I have a suggestion to purely make game play better. I want larger view distances, I know the reasons why they don't implement this but I think there is a way they can. In other games with large view distances, far away objects are blurry. In Minecraft they kind of do this with the mipmap levels but I think they should implement it on a larger scale. Say you have your view distance set to 5 chunks, instead of having fog at the edge of the view distance there should be areas that progressively get more blurry for up to however many more chunks after 5. There could be options for turning it off or making the area outside of the view distance that's blurry larger or smaller. Also, until you explore and load all the chunks in your area it will have an initial view distance, that gets larger when you explore a bit. Wouldn't you like to see your creation in its entirety? Don't you think its weird that when people build stadiums, they're so large you can't see the other side sometimes? I personally think this would improve game play, and I don't think it would be that hard if almost every other 3D open world game can. Please inform me if you have more knowledge about how this works and if this would actually be impossible, because I want to hear it.
The problem with this is the amount of lag you would experience from having more chunks rendered would not be offset by using mipmapping or reduced LoD. So if right now, the highest you can render without lag is 5 chunks with fog, no amount of blurryness on far chunks will make 6 chunks lag less than just rendering those 5 chunks with fog. So unless you want the blurriness to occur even closer than 5 chunks to be able to see 6 chunks, all it will do is perform worse.
Besides, with the latest snapshot you probably have a performance increase, and if you have the power and enough RAM to allocate 3GB to Minecraft you can push the render distance to 32.
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It doesn't work that way. Being blurry has absolutely nothing to do with view distance performance.
In games, the models have what are called LOD (level of detail) objects. Basically, they means they have multiple models of the same object, starting with high detail models for up close viewing to low detail models for when they are far away and in the background, with a couple stages in between. The farther the object, the lower resolution model and texture is loaded, the less resources it takes. The blur, or more appropriately, dof (depth of field) is just a post processing effect to help "smooth" the visual appearance of lower res models as well as focus the players attention to what is close and "important". It also simulates real life vision. The goal for lods is to balance removing as much actual detail in the model while retaining the silhouette so that when viewed from the designated distance the loss of detail is not noticeable, because you simply cannot see it from that far anyway. Commonly, each lod is half the resolution as the previous, but there is no set numbers, and it depends on the assets and game engine.
Minecraft is made of of a bunch of cubes. Each model, aka block, is already as low as it can get. So in the traditional sense of view distance performance and lods, it simply is not possible.
Minecraft does have the potential of another method, however. From a distance a 2x2 set of blocks could be rendered as 1. This would actually reduce the hardware resources for the block model by about 8x (a set of 8 blocks in a 2x2 space containing 48 faces, vs 1 2x2 block at 6 faces). You do have to consider, however, that these calculations would have to be done in real time and dynamically calculated. It is defiantly more complex than swapping a loaded model file at a specified distance. In the end, how efficiently it could be coded, how long it took to execute over a large space, ect. would determine how much of a benefit, if any could be gained.
Voxel based lods is can be very complicated and have to be dynamic(aka the game engine has to generate the lod itself), and with minecraft, intentionally designed to appear blocky, not a restriction of voxels my any means, the potential methods of lod terrain geometry is limited.