The second Steam Hunt got underway on March 1, and continues through the end of the month.
I might have said this before, but it bears repeating: obsessive people should not do SL hunts. One tries to moderate one's pace, seeking perhaps ten items per day, so as to not tax one's system and to not interfere with other duties. Then ten items seems too few, the pace too slow, and, all of a sudden, it's several hours later and muscles are crying out for relief.
For those of you who might be less compulsive, the Steam Hunt is an opportunity to collect items of varying degrees of Steaminess, and to see a variety of shops - some familiar, some new to me. After I finish the hunt, unpack, and figure out what to do with the items I've collected, I'll have a number of places to revisit at a more, ah, leisurely pace.
Miss Emilly Orr has an impassioned rant on the short-sightedness of some of the merchants who participate in the ever-growing number of grid-wide hunts. In her post, Miss Orr laments the widely-varying quality of gifts, the difficulty of finding the prize in some locations (which increases the time it takes to complete the hunt, which in turn reduces hunters' incentives to participate), and, most importantly, the attitude some merchants take toward such devices as lists of participants and clues. I left the following comment:
I have participated in exactly two grid-wide hunts: Steam Hunt 1 and, er, Steam Hunt 2. From your description, though, it sounds as though they all fit a similar pattern and vary only in degree.
Your point about using a list of locations is well-taken. During last year's Steam Hunt, when I knew nothing of such lists, I made it through about four locations when I couldn't find the gift, and hence had no place to go next. As it turned out, the store had pulled out of the hunt and had been replaced - so the LM in the previous store was out of date. Without the list, I would have been dead in the water...and stores number 5 to 130 would have been out of luck, too.
It strikes me that 130 stores is too many for one of these hunts (especially for those of you who do more than one a year). I have an obsessive streak, and the desire to grind it out as quickly as possible is not a healthy one.
But you raise another good point with respect to where the gifts are located. I'd think that, in the spirit of fair play, store owners should make the clue difficult to find in inverse proportion to the size of the store. That is, if I have to search over Hell's half-acre because you have a store that sprawls across a quarter sim, I want the damn thing to be easier to find than if you have a small booth in a mall. I'm sympathetic to the idea that store owners don't want to participate if hunters are going to stay no longer than the time it takes for the search object to rez - but if you embed the item in a wall, I'm not really looking at your merchandise, I'm camming through objects and using wireframe view to spot the dumb thing....
With a smaller number of stores, I'd find it less frustrating to have to solve clever clues, or to look in obscure places, or to find a series of false objects that ultimately lead to the real gift. I've seen some on the Steam Hunt that have been quite clever indeed, but my admiration is dampened a bit by the thought that I have another 100+ stores to go.
Finally, I don't understand the objection to hints at all. I thought the most effective placements of all were those near an item for sale in the store - not under the stairs, not embedded in a wall, or under a decorative object - in which a clever clue led the hunter to the prize. I have to look at your merchandise to see if it fits the hint - and isn't looking at the merchandise the benefit that the store owner gets?
I think I'll go find a deep-tissue massage now.