When a player character moves through the game world, any character (other players, NPCs, monsters) within a certain radius around the player (visible range) gets reported to the player's game client. This lets the game draw those characters, allows the player to select them, shoot at them, etc.
Culling is a network design used by ArenaNet to limit the number of characters within visible range that are reported by the server to your game client. Once reached, this limit results in only the characters/NPCs closest to the player being reported to the client. The aim of this limitation is to:
- Limit server bandwidth and network resources.
- Reduce client-side resource utilization and client side technology requirements.
Although achieving these aims, Culling has led to numerous problems due to nearby players and NPCs becoming completely invisible. While this is considered a problem throughout both PvE and WvW, it has been a particular problem within WvW, where the number of players during many battles is considerably larger than the chosen limit, resulting in numerous enemy players not being visible to opposing forces.
Removal in World vs. World[править]
Culling has been removed from WvW with the March 26, 2013 update. WvW players are now expected to control the load on their systems in order to attain acceptable frame rates, by introducing limits themselves, using two new graphics settings:
- WvW Character Limit: Five settings from Lowest to Highest. Controls the total number of character models that may be displayed in WvW. The remaining characters will appear as nameplates only. It is assumed that the farther they are, the more probable that only their nameplate will be visible. The exact number of characters corresponding to these settings is unknown.[требуется подтверждение]
- WvW Character Quality: 3 settings from Lowest to Medium. Controls the number of high quality character models that may be displayed in WvW. Among the characters that are drawn (controlled using the setting above), this setting determines the number that is drawn normally, in high quality. The rest will appear as low quality character models which consume less resources on the player's computer.
Low quality models are faster to draw mainly due to lower detail, and because all characters wear one armour design per armour weight, and use one body model for both male and female Asura, one for Charr and one shared by Humans, Sylvari and Norn. The bodies and armour are also uniformly tinted using the team's color to improve performance.
Culling in PvE[править]
Culling was observed to gradually increase in the PvE areas since the game's launch. The current observed limit is around 30 friendly NPC's and 12 monsters.[требуется подтверждение] As distant characters come closer, their bodies become visible some distance before their nameplates appear. Visible, but distant characters and monsters cannot be selected until they come within a minimum distance.
As you move your character in a direction, new characters/NPCs will gradually phase into the scene (taking a few seconds) while those behind you disappear. This phasing in was one of the issues affecting WvW stealthy characters, and providing them with a few seconds of extra invisibility as they came out of stealth.
ArenaNet has stated they are also working on implementing improvements to culling in PvE as well.