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12 August 2009

People are screaming loudly about the temporary disappearances of objects - which I'm sure most people have experienced in some form or other, and which can be annoying. Someone tracked down the cause of at least one type of disappearance, which most had just considered a bug that needed to be fixed, but which, if this is to be believed, is actually a deliberate lowering of the viewable number of prims in areas that present the observer with enough data to choke the computer.

I'm not quite sure how I feel about it - on one hand the howling mobs scream about lag that they themselves are generating, and LL is trying to make things work more smoothly. On the other, no one likes it when actions take place in secret that affect everyone. I haven't had any real problems about disappearing things... I've never really approved of extremely high prim attachments like jewelry or billion prim boots... but yet there are lots of things that people wear that that look great and which I think our world would be poorer without. The genie was out of the bottle before LL had any idea at all that they needed to do some limiting on resources.

Of course, this doesn't affect only attachments, but an area of massed avatars wearing complicated attachments was cited as a prime location for disappearing prims as the viewers try to cope with the scene by simply not rendering part of it. I'm truthfully not sure what else is possible. I doubt LL would leave prims unrendered for no reason, so they must've felt it was necessary. It must get tiresome hearing the Lag! screams when they know people are wearing 5
HUDs and scripted hundred-prim hair, shoes, collars, belts, etc. Dunno.

The people who are outraged are recommending everyone change RenderMaxNodeSize in the debug settings to as high a setting as one's computer can handle. People seem quite able to handle things like draw distance, so I hope that the knowledge of this setting will just become another adjustable-for-circumstances part of people's use of the UI, so they can make choices to fit the graphics to what they are doing at the moment. If it's truly a case of needing to constantly raise and lower setting to accomodate what's going on around us, even more than we already do, I think that should just be stated bluntly. Currently LL is in an unenviable position of having to pull the settings in or listen to even more complaints that are caused by things they can't, as yet, control. I wonder if the RenderMaxNodeSize was dropped silently because then, after the limits are (whenever it happens) put into place it can be silently raised again.

It would be awsomely cool if viewers could have floating settings - that is, you'd set your framerate and your settings would go up or down to meet that - just like cruise control. Turn off cruise control and set RenderFarClip at an outageous number because you want to take a screenshot, then turn it back on. Well, it's an idea, anyway.

posted by - 5:23 PM

good idea
if as I suspect this is the thing dissected in then the story from the Lindens was that it was done to address some FPS-griefing attack that used a huge number of prims, and (all too Linden-like) they didn't realize their quick fix would break lots of real content.
Thank you for the link, Dale - yes, it looks like that's it. I have no particular beef with the idea of creating a middle-of-the-road default as long as the setting is available for tweaking. I do worry that things will get reduced by default then the settings will be removed at some point.
I use the RenderFarClip thing for pics too - usually have to restart after a few, but I've taken a few nice pics like that:

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