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unexplained invisibility of agents/avatars


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Sitting in an unfamiliar region a friend had just invited me to, I watched two dots approach us. I heard my friend interacting with people on their mic. But nobody was visible. These invisble people, very much though on the 'nearby people' radar, green on the map, conversed with my friend, and drew them away. My friend and the two invisible dots flew off and left me alone, so I logged out.

What is the technical explanation for how something like this is even possible? It doesn't jive with our understanding of how the grid works. What's going on here?

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@Chroma StarlightThere are a number of circumstances where such a thing might occur

The  two invisible avatars might have actively been shielding themselves and while this can only be achieved using routines forbidden by LL, there are "reported" incidents like this, but to my knowledge they are only heresay.

The more likely situation is that for some reason the server you were on did not send their data to your viewer...you did not say whether you heard their voice chat or saw any text chat from them.  In the past such occurrences were the result of a rendering bug in the viewer code, but I believe that has been addressed.

I would therefore suggest that you witnessed this rare communication failure between the simulator and your viewer.  It is a phenomenon that I have observed myself although only with single avatars.  In such circumstances I could converse with the invisible avatar and their prescence was confirmed both by "nearby people", the map and my avatar scanner, though the map showed them at some distance from their actual location on the sim.

Wiser counsel may know better.

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I've experienced this twice, but from the other end, I was the invisible avatar. Somebody IM-ed to ask how I had even made my name tag invisible. I rebaked, relogged, changed viewers three times, they still couldn't see me, but others who came along were able to. I have never been able to repeat this and I suspect it was an issue with the viewer of the person who reported I was invisible, but I have no idea how they ever fixed it.

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6 hours ago, Chroma Starlight said:

Sitting in an unfamiliar region a friend had just invited me to, I watched two dots approach us. I heard my friend interacting with people on their mic. But nobody was visible. These invisble people, very much though on the 'nearby people' radar, green on the map, conversed with my friend, and drew them away. My friend and the two invisible dots flew off and left me alone, so I logged out.

What is the technical explanation for how something like this is even possible? It doesn't jive with our understanding of how the grid works. What's going on here?

Even if they were very close, if they were on a different 'parcel' and either parcel had the setting turned off for letting those outside the parcel see them, that would explain it.

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On 12/4/2020 at 9:32 AM, Aishagain said:

The more likely situation is that for some reason the server you were on did not send their data to your viewer...you did not say whether you heard their voice chat or saw any text chat from them.  In the past such occurrences were the result of a rendering bug in the viewer code, but I believe that has been addressed.

This ^^ (and like most SL bugs, it is still present)

I have this happen occasionally - the last time was 2 days ago.  It has also happened when at my home parcel, where my partner is invisible, 2 meters from me.  Chat,  People, Radar, and Zooming from radar all work normally.  Their avatar is simply derendered.  It happens when the "invisible" party has been on the region for some time but was out of my viewing range. Eg, my draw distance was set to 96 m and they were 200 meters away.  Then they TP to my location, or vice versa, or I simply walk to their location, and their avatar was not rezzed (invisible).  It seems their avatar information was never sent to my viewer because they were initially out of range, and when they entered my DD range, their avatar assets never were sent to me.  They are always visible to other people, including my alts on the same viewer - but they arrived later or were in range of the invisible avatar when they arrived.  Of course this is random and not repeatable.

The simple solution is to TP to another far away region, and then return to the invisible avatar location.  The invisible avatar then slowly rezzes as a new arrival to my viewer.  Probably a CDA related bug.  Missing buildings and objects fall in the same category.  I use Firestorm 6.3.9, but this has happened for years.

 

Edited by Jaylinbridges
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I have seen these issues on the firestorm viewer and it uses the same coding of the official sl viewer.  I have found ways to get around that issue that mostly worked for me.  If they are dots showing as nearby on the minimap and radar, just try changing your group tag.  If they are showing up as off sim but yet you still see them chatting in local, try either having them sit on something nearby or you could try first black list them, then open the asset blacklist under the world menu and remove them from the list, and then change your group tag.  

These are usually what worked for me when I can't see nearby avatars.

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On 12/4/2020 at 5:13 PM, Chroma Starlight said:

What is the technical explanation for how something like this is even possible? It doesn't jive with our understanding of how the grid works. What's going on here?

Yes it has happened to me and my friends randomly a few times over the years. There are still plenty of such little  bugs but they are not considered critical/malicious since they don't give someone the ability to run code on your machine, for example i could be on my own region(or not even logged in) and have a normal chat with you and your friends on your own region's local voice chat and silly stuff like that, not even worth of a bug bounty. It is software after all, everything is lines of code so there will be flaws.

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It's a relatively "normal" occurrence, in the sense that it seems to happen to a wide variety of people regardless of the quality of their network/computer. It doesn't seem to be very frequent or affect multiple avatars at once, though. (As in, the invisible person won't be invisible to multiple people.)

I don't recall what causes it exactly, but when it does, they are indeed completely invisible. Not even their nametag shows up, so it's not a case of simply hiding your avatar. They are still able to interact with you by bumping into you, and (I think) chat with you. Teleporting out of the sim and coming back, or relogging (or having the invisible person do the same), will almost always fix it on first try.

Edited by Wulfie Reanimator
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