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Harder on performance if followers use separate body meshes?


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As different body meshes use different textures that are usually at least 2k, this can lead to a performance drop but by how much the performance drops depends on the used hardware.
So aside from texture resolutions: The more unique textures, the more RAM, VRAM and bandwidth will be needed to have a high and stable framerate.
Meshes/polygons itself are no problem unless you use some really old hardware like an 8800GT or GPU/APU with similar specs/performance.

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There's always going to be some sort of tradeoff with these things, how much depends on the individual setup.  Adding a bunch of aesthetic modifications to npcs will make itself felt in towns and cities, and especially if you run civil war or bandit gang type spawners.


You don't get anything for free. 


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