For me FakeMeshesNotReady=false is exactly what the LOD system already does. I still get this:[Rendering]
FakeMeshesNotReady=false <- Prevents to use of stupidly low quality meshes. Might have an fps hit in lower end systems.
If I set it to FakeMeshesNotReady=true, then **everything** becomes the super low quality version. This tells me the engine is already defaulting to false, because setting it to true completely breaks the game.
It doesn't just add shadows. There are other shaders like the backlighting/vegetation shader. The trees definitely get higher poly too, but only slightly. Basically there are super "billboardy" trees and then slightly less "billboardy" trees. The really flat ones probably don't cast shadows because it wouldn't look good.Above 1.0 the foliage doesn't go any further, it simply adds shadows.. which you'd think "FoliageShadowDistanceScale" is responsible for
You can see here with the huge tree in the distance:
1.8 vs 2.4
https://i.imgur.com/RY6HBJe.jpg vs https://i.imgur.com/2GfTMrT.jpg
There is definitely more geometry there, because the tiny holes in the foliage go missing.