Once upon a time there was a website called the “Mouselook Survival Guide” or at least that’s how I remember it. I deleted the bookmark after it went stale and Google doesn’t show anything either, so I fear that awesome piece of information is lost forever. I don’t remember who put all that information together and he or she probably has left SecondLife since then, but this is my tribute to that unsung hero. My feeble attempt to get a comprehensive guide together to address all those “I cannot IM in ML” issues and whatnot.
First of all there are a couple of reasons to use mouselook in SL:
- Fine control while moving
- Weapons or or other scripted objects that require ML to use properly
- Restriction in transformation, BDSM etc.
Before we look at the things you can, or can not, do in ML in the second part, let’s look at some helpful viewer settings. Some of those settings require access to the Advanced menu. If you don’t have it, the option to enable it is in the Phoenix menu.
First is the option to see yourself in mouselook. This is part of the normal preferences. In the Input & Camera you can tick the box to Show Avatar in Mouselook. While I find it extremely useful I know that not everybody likes it. If you haven’t done already I strongly recommend to try it and decide for yourself.
The next thing are the mouselook crosshairs, they are enabled by default, but if for some reason you don’t have them, the option to turn them on again is in the Advanced menu and unsurprisingly is called Show Mouselook Crosshairs. There are no conflicting opinions about the crosshairs, they are vital. I don’t understand why there even is an option to disable them.
The second group of settings is hidden deep in the Debug Settings under the Advanced menu.
The first one is vital for everybody using mouselook: PhoenixEnablePieMenuInMouselook. That’s right, the default behaviour of Phoenix when you right-click (ALT-right-click to be precise) is: to do nothing. This is different from the original Viewer and every other viewer I ever tried. I have no idea where the benefit is in crippling mouselook this way, but somebody must have found it useful at some stage.
The last option is mostly of interest for people who spend a large amount of their time in ML. Another debug setting called PhoenixLeaveMouselookOnFocus. This is the default behaviour. If you switch to a different application and then back to SL you will automatically leave mouselook. Again, I don’t understand why anybody would want this. If I want to leave ML I hit ESC or M and that’s it. If I ALT-TAB to my browser and back to SL I would expect to find the viewer in the same state that I left it. And disabling this setting will do exactly that… well… kinda… it doesn’t work if you minimise the viewer and enlarge it again, but still better than nothing.
(to be continued)