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Region Impact -> Appearance manager


pixysticks
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So recently I've opened up a sandbox and I've noticed some strange things concerning lag/region FPS which what some people are doing with their appearances. I don't know if this is a bug, an exploit, or what, but let me try to explain as I'm trying to get a little more information about it and decide on a proper course of action to take when I find people in my sandbox doing this...

Appearance Manager -> Loading an entire avatar or outfit at once using Firestorm's appearance manager, depending on the level of detail, alpha layers, and scripted attachments being attached at once can easily drop a region's FPS below >20 which is a conservative number. In many cases it is >10. Why is this a problem? Region FPS differs from your own local FPS and effects everybody inside the region. I have noticed some people switching through avatar appearances every 5 to 10 seconds, what appears like to be just long enough to rez the appearance for them to decide whether they like it or not as they flip into another appearance. So now imagine your sim's FPS wobbling like it's about to crash from just a single avatar doing what they would consider non-malicious behavior just working on their appearance.

DEMOS -> Mesh and hair demos also have this severe negative impact on a sim, and I also see people switching between hair demos really really fast to look at them, never realizing how badly it's lagging out everybody else in the region.

The problem(s) -> Deciding whether the person is doing it on purpose or not. If it's more then one person, just how many people flipping through avatar appearances is it going to take before the sim craps out and restarts itself? I would think as little as 3 or 4 people heavily modifying their appearances within a couple of seconds time frame could easily take down a region but I am just speculating here I don't know for sure, and I don't really want to test it unless it's really late at night and nobody's in my sim. :)

The question -> What is the standard practice for handling such a situation? I don't want to earn an evil reputation for banning people but I'm noticing even if you warn a person they typically don't care, and furthermore I don't speak every language in the world and translators really suck so some people don't even understand my warning. Since my sim is for the community at large I wanted to pose my problem/question here to get a feel for what community reaction is.

Thank you for any advice you may offer me. :)

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The problem is that when you dump a whole bunch of stuff on your avatar at one time the server has to render it all, start the scripts running etc faster than it does when they put one thing on at a time.  I don't they are doing it on purpose, never the less the result is the same.  Since this is a private sandbox there is nothing wrong with laying down rules and enforcing them.  There are plenty of Linden sandboxes around for people that need one to change clothes and try demos. 

If I were you I'd make a big sign that says the sandbox is for building only and any other activity will result in an eject and ban.  Put a landing point on the sim and put the sign around it in four directions so that they have no excuse.  Then you can follow through without guilt.  You can even give a warning if you would like before acting if its a newb, just to be nice.  But you wouldn't need to. 

A lot of privately owned sandboxes have rules that the public Linden ones don't have.  Builders generally appreciate it too.  I went to one the other day to build because the build was more prims than more prims than I could rez on my private platform.  It is run by a school.  I was in standard cutoffs and a summer top , not **bleep** wear, and was IM'd and asked to change into something conservative.  I was happy to know someone was policing it and was happy to comply even though I thought it was a bit extreme.  Never the less I didn't argue and thanked them for allowing me to build there and complied immediately.

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It seems harsh to me to impose extremely strict rules on a sandbox but the goal of it was/is to provide a low lag alternative to the Linden sponsored ones and police it of griefers..

Being a builder myself I love the environment of an empty sim to work in, but I don't want to have to close my doors to everybody but builders...it's private land sure but at that point it no longer seems like a public place...sigh...but I see your point entirely and appreciate it. :)

A lot of my traffic comes from people working on their appearance but most of the time it's not a problem and they're not doing it so fast that it has an impact on the region, or they are as you said attaching one thing at a time without using the appearance manager.

It makes me wonder if it's not a worthy cause to try to open a jira about it to have a "cooldown" of sorts added to appearance manager so you can only use it say, once every one minute or more.. kinda like how they have a timer on activating/switching between group tags too quickly.

As long as people can't do it over and over and over again very fast.. :)

Some people really do appreciate the sandbox and are very polite about things :)  I really like to see people like that who share your views and understand what I'm trying to provide for people.. :)

But yes I do feel bad about those I have to pounce on when they are lagging the place out because they aren't really aware they are doing it, either from a lack of observation or they're so new or they just don't know.  In all honesty I've been playing for around six or more years and I never noticed it until recently.  I've always noticed the drop in region performance from an avatar landing or exiting but I had never noticed the appearance manager causing it or had connected the dots that they are related to one another.

 

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It is your sandbox, so you get to set the rules.  My post was just a suggestion.  If you want to allow other things there that is fine too. But it would be good to post your rules, whatever you decide they should be, at the entrance point.

Maybe when you see people doing this you can use it as a 'teaching opportunity' instead.  You could write up a notecard to drop on them or use to cut and paste an IM to them.  Then if they give you a lot of grief about it or ignore you, then tell them to leave and give them a permanent free ride out if they don't.  Seems reasonable to me.  You are doing a wonderful thing.  There is no reason to put up with bad behavior.

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Oh a notecard doesn't sound like a bad idea. :)  I try to help when I can.. sometimes I spend entire days doing nothing but guiding a new person with how to navigate the viewer so other days I get kinda quiet wanting my own me time... so just dropping a notecard on somebody sounds like a great way to still get some free time out of my days lol.


Yeah I have posted my rules at the entrance, lol, most people just walk right on past them without looking at them even though I've made them as visible as possible.. still though I haven't had many problems.. at least none lately. :)


Thanks so much for your advice it's really appreciated.

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FWIW, I think one might fairly accurately automate detection of avatars going in and out of the appearance editor or hopping on a posing stand, by monitoring everybody in llGetAgentList for whether llGetAnimationList includes (the UUID for?) the "turn_180" internal animation. (They'd be on a posing stand if they're also AGENT_ON_OBJECT according to llGetAgentInfo(), otherwise they're probably in the Appearance editor.) This assumes that the Appearance editor's "turn_180" animation is played in-world for all to see... I think it is, but haven't actually tested it.

I'm not at all sure, however, that it would be worth the script resources to do this detection. I'd guess that the same amount of lag is caused by just dropping an outfit folder on the avatar without ever going into the Appearance editor. If that's not the case, it would be interesting to explore why not.

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  • 3 weeks later...

We are actually experimenting with something like you suggested now, Qie. 


It rezzes a cylinder that follows the avatar around so they can't see themselves and jostles them a little bit so they can't just use their camera to cam back inside of it again.


If they don't leave the sim on their own then it teleports them home.


It's still of course a prototype but we will continue to work on it and maybe offer it for free on the Marketplace to other sim owners having a similar problem with people.

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