Over a year ago I wrote that zoning would have to come to mainland, and that the best way would be to allow residents to know what they were getting into, self-zone, and create self-zoned mainland. On Tuesday LL announced that they have a new initiative on mainland which will include, zoning. The reason for this was pretty clear at the time: there are shared resources, these shared resources are not reflected in price. Thus there is drama and negative competition as people try and reduce the values of the land around them, and at the same time block other people from expanding. The grind of mainland land wars is a bore.
Mainland, presently is a pit for cheap prims.
The zoning also fits in with technical initiatives, such as Andrew Linden's "liberation of huge prims." This would allow more varied and better buidling on mainland. The new altitude changes mean that people can really place buildings well above the land load, which reduces their own lag, and for a time, will reduce their own visual clutter. People, when give a choice, like the ground, but they will take the sky if it means less slugly and lag.
This news does not alter open space sims very much, especially those of us who are primarily in isolated sims, that's not coming from LL. But it does drive another stake through the dinosim estates, as the difference between an ll mainland estate, and a full sim, will grow narrower. After all, if all a sim owner did was zone out ad farms and some clutter, it was worth a premium over mainland. As LL rolls these changes out, it means private sims should get less expensive, as LL's lack of management of mainland was what drove people to estates in the first place.
More later, but these announcements fall along the lines that have been coming for some time, that is LL being more active in the market to increase total value, because as the monarchy, they must do so to increase their revenue.