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NGE Structure View Distance
#1
I'm inclined to try and work on this myself but I thought it might be better to post this in the Requests section.

Back in late CU, Early NGE, there was a patch released that drastically increased the visual draw distance of all player structures. I wager this was done to accommodate for the increased ability of computers as time went on. With this patch, you could see houses from a great distance, roughly 300 to 400 meters away. Very similar to static structures are now. 

Here is an image I found demonstrating this:
http://i.imgur.com/UlU4C8D.jpg

Essentially, I'd love to get that draw distance back for player structures.

Originally, I tried to see if I could force it to expand this distance with the Client Settings Overrider tool, which worked wonders for increasing my draw distance of static structures and terrain, but it did nothing to player structures. I would not be surprised if I still need to be in range of a structure for it to initially draw, but even with the overrider, the structures vanished after I got too far away, roughly 64 to 128 meters from the building. 

Now, I am not entirely sure if this change was done in the server's code itself, or in the client through a certain file. Either way, I have had little luck finding the file responsible for this draw distance. But regardless, this patch was done mid-lifetime of the game. They even had a fancy post about it announcing it, though I've combed through all the patch files and could not find any reference to it. 

If anyone thinks they know what could be done to solve this, I would greatly appreciate it! 
Thank you!
 
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#2
Player structures are handled server side, including the view distance.

Where exactly, I couldn't tell you but there might be a thread somewhere here (or someone that can answer it specifically).

Basically, your client wont know about any building until it gets into range of the building, then the server lets the client know, so to reduce server related load, it's kept low at the moment, but can easily be tweaked if you run a server yourself and have the hardware that doesn't buckle under the added strain.

As you found out yourself, .WS (World Snapshot) files do get loaded client side, so NPC structures you can view away from large ranges in theory, if you tweak certain files and settings.
 
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#3
As I recall, the initial rendering of buildings (when you first encountered one and they spawned into the world) was always pretty close range, possibly a little further out using the method you just listed. The big difference was the fact that the objects persisted after being spawned for an immense range. 

It was as if the building, after spawning, imprinted itself on the world so that it would be rendered like NPC structures, and only update if you were in range. For instance, at a distance, if someone deleted a house, you wouldn't see that the house was gone until you went back in range of it. 

I'll dig around and see what I can find. The most straight forward answer to this problem is most likely what you suggested, the expanded view range. However because the spawn in range was shorter than the spawn out rate, I suspect something more is happening than just the server's recognition of player view range.

Thank you for the suggestions though, I now have a path to follow, and perhaps others do as well!
 
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#4
Hm interesting, do you remember this being in PreCU too though? It's been so long and I barely remember details like this unfortunately.

I might investigate too now that you mention it, when I find the time and hopefully don't forget.
 
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#5
Well, I remember there being some sort of article on their website, like a Friday Feature, that detailed about how they increased the view distance of the game and how you could see houses from far away. It's not impossible that this was introduced the Combat Upgrade, but what I remember most of all is that it was on the Gold website, not the black and blue one. Seemingly, they didn't use the Gold website until roughly mid CU, early Rage of the Wookiees.

Memory is a fickle thing, but I remember the houses being so drastically increased, in comparison to what it is now. For that, we do have definitive proof. I found another screenshot that demonstrates this; notably, in the Core3 SWGEmu, the City Hall, what is behind it, and that Mustafarian Bunker would not be visible normally.  
http://i.imgur.com/Q95NCSD.jpg

I just spent the past hour tirelessly searching through Friday Features and Patch Reports and I can't find any mention of this update. I decided I'd change my efforts to the Serverside, looking through source to see if there were set limits on the Object parent classes for buildings, but found nothing in BuildingObjectImplementation.cpp. I checked the SceneObject base as well, and while there's references to range, I think it has more to do with interaction than the spawn in principles.

Checked through Clientdata, as well as the templates for the default object and default structure. Seemingly, there's nothing that directly references range, however I am inexperienced still with using SIE and doing IFF file lookups, so I may have missed something. 

I'll keep casually looking through things, not just the files but the actual article about the update as well. I feel very certain it was at least CU or after.

EDIT: I did want to add some hypothesizes I had about this matter, if anyone was interested in helping me find that article, or the precise location of that data. What I suspect is that they did the visual increase after they had stablized the Engine and computers were getting better. It stands to reason that the distances in JTL helped solidify this, so this definitely had to have been Post-JTL. However, in the NGE, the developers did go on a kick about upgrading graphics, like the human/twi'lek/zabrak revamp, the improved shaders on things like the Uniform Boots, etcetera. I would suspect this increase would have gone alongside it, as increasing the visual distance of player houses does go a long way to making the game look better. But most importantly, there was the great house purge in June 2007. I suspect this upgrade may have been around then, when housing was put on the spotlight.
 
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#6
Structure view distance was the same in pre-cut as NGE, it was actually changed in Publish 14.1. It's an acknowledged issue on mantis@swgemu. We were discussing it on IRC just a few days ago.
 
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