Draw Distances on placed actors seems quite low

I’ve noticed a couple of problems with draw distances and popup.

Firstly, I ran into an Elephant. This was a bit much for me - its a big thing and for low level characters quite dangerous. To have one pop up into the world within aggro range is a bit much and I think raises the severity of the issue.
So the suggestion here is to have a proxy/lod appropriate for Elephants. And I guess other beasts.
I can’t think of an easy way to do this as a mod, although I’m going to have a look. I think I could make a textured-quad render proxy as long as the elephant was simulated but distance culled, but I can’t make that respect the depth buffer.

The second thing is player buildings have a reasonably short draw distance. I’ve not done any GPU profiling, but it feels like at least foundations and walls could be visible from further away.
I appreciate this can’t easily be done with massive lods, so isn’t as efficient as the landscape, but mesh instancing to could keep the draw call count down, and would help keep the game looking richer at a long distances.
Really you want single-box versions of each wall and foundation asset to remove overdraw caused by small triangles, and a simpler shader to cut down fill rate.
LOD popping is generally less objectionable than visible popup.

I doubt I can do anything in the mod toolkit that will get past the distance culling, it’s possible there is an override in PFX if we can add custom particles.

Are there any plans to make our buildings, monuments, and castles, visible from further away?

Just had a quick test running down a long corridor, and nearby meshes don’t appear and disappear atomically with other actors, but whole meshes do pop-in and out, implying that its not GPU culling. And since the Game DB is storing each object as a separate entry they are probably CPU culled actors.

So a single mesh instancing actor with a different culling policy could provide proxies for walls, ceiling, and foundations. This might be possible just as a mod, with a instance or emitter actor that reads the type of walls nearby and draws proxies for the distances between the CPU culling value and the depth precision limits.

or at the very least, it should load the closest blocks first.
We have a big base and I find pretty annoying that anybody can see what’s inside just by walking from afar.

Well, in a PVP gameplay sense, the structure - walls, floors, etc - should have a larger draw distance than your decorations, crafting stations, and storage.
If that’s not already the case then it needs a fix just to stop window shoppers.

But I’m more concerned with pop-up castles appearing from nowhere. It looks gash. I’ve had reasonably large castles that would look cool - e.g. towering above the trees. The intro video literally shows an exile gazing at her castle from a clifftop. Try that in game and your castle is invisible.