Modified by on Tuesday, December 7, 2010 - 02:53
Part of this build was a packaged terrain example. The only terrain that was packed was New Trismus, to save on size. New Trismus should load fast, whether you've been there or not, because it's already fully cached, and doesn't bother asking the server about it before it's loaded.
To properly compare loading performance, you should port back and forth between other places you *have* visited already this build and New Trismus. This would highlight the difference doing findfirst on the terrain folder to find files on disk, and just loading them directly from packages.
hypothesis: packaged terrain will always load consistently fast, while terrain from flat folders will load progressively slower as more terrain is cached.
There is still debate on whether LOD textures are worth packaging out, or if those should just be created locally and cached. My position is that while it is a large download, and doesn't save much on file size at all over the flat folder tree, it reduces the number of files in the world cache by 25*sectors files on disk.
We have around 2000 active sectors (dev sectors excluded), which means LOD images account for around 50000 individual files on disk with a full world cache. Packaging reduces that to 2 files on disk, and eliminates any possible data corruption issues that can sometimes occur if the client runs out of system memory, video memory, or hard disk space.