Examples Of How Zos CAN Increase House Furniture Slots.

Woefulmonkey
Woefulmonkey
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If you have ever seen any of my other posts on this topic, you are probably saying ‘What You Talken About Woeful!’ right now.

I have made it pretty clear in the past that their ARE performance issue with increasing the furniture slots and I still say that IS true.

However, there is a saying is Software Engineering that ‘Anything Is Possible In Software’.

That is because there is almost always a way ‘cheat’ somehow that gives you something at least close to what you want.

So, what I am going to describe here are to ‘viable’ ways that Zos could increase housing slots ‘In Some Way’.

NOTE: Both of these ‘solutions’ have issues, which is why I doubt Zos would actually do either of them.

Set separate furniture limits for ‘Interior’ and ‘Exterior’ areas:

Ok, so the first one is pretty straight forward, and probably requires the least amount of work from Zos, but it also has the least amount of benefit to players and the amount of benefit a player received depends on the house they bought which makes it ‘unfair’.

The idea is pretty simple.

‘Some’ houses are already divided into isolated areas. Usually they are an interior and an exterior location.

These areas are isolated meaning Furniture you place in one area ‘excluded’ from any rendering or collision detection in other areas.

You can verify this by simply taking a very large object and shoving it though a wall from the inside of a house so that it ‘should’ definitely be protruding outside the house if both areas shared the same ‘object’ list. When you go outside of your house and look at the location where the object should be sticking out, you will see nothing is there.

That is because the object only ‘exists’ in the ‘interior’ area of the house, it is not part of the ‘exterior’ area’s object list.

So… What does that mean?

It means that each area should be able to have a unique object list that allows for the ‘Maximum’ furniture allowed.

So if that max is 700 items you should be able to have 700 items sored in the ‘interior’ and another 700 items stored in the ‘exterior’ without adding any kind of ‘New’ performance issues.

This is because Zos already allows you to have the ‘Max’ item count in ‘either’ area.

You know this because there are players who build massive custom object outside their house then block off the entrance to the ‘interior’ area of their home because they have no more slots to put any furniture in the ‘interior’ area.

There is no reason that would not work and it should not create any ‘new’ performance issue.

However, it does have problems:

1. ) Not all homes have multiple area and some have more than 2 areas which means player who bought a house with more areas get more furniture slots that players who bought a house with less areas. For example if you bought the ‘Cold Harbor’ parking lot you only have 1 exterior area so you only get 700 slots, where as if you bought the ‘Daggerfall Overlook’ it has 4 areas, 1 exterior and 3 unique interiors so it would get 2800 slots.
2. ) If you have already used up all 700 items in one area you would not be able to add more items to that area or ‘trade’ slots with another area. So those players who blocked off their entrances could remove the blocks and decorate ‘inside’ their house now, but they could not expand what they have done outside.

Basically, this would only benefit a small set of customers who have ‘over decorated’ one area of their house and just want to be able to decorate the other area as well.

People who want more slots to build more custom objects in an existing area that is already using max items, would still not get what they want.

Players who are not at the current cap don’t gain anything of value to them.

Even if it is not a lot of work it would at least require some Dev cycles that Zos could be spending on making new dungeons and expansions.

Ok, so what is the other solution?

Segment the entire Home Zone into grid areas where each ‘grid’ has its own furniture limit:

NOTE: This explanation has some technical content regarding game design concepts that I am not going to break down because it would take too much space in an already long thread no one is actually going to read anyway.

This is very similar to the concept of a BSP tree commonly used for object occlusion operations but it would strictly enforce how many object can exist in any 1 node of the tree.

Grid sizes would need to be large enough to ensure you could no move between zones and object limits would need to be small enough to ensure even if a player moves to a location that overlaps any 4 zones they would not have more than saw 200 objects to resolve.

So imaging a grid overlapping your house where each square is about 15ft by 15ft and no square can have more than 50 objects in it.

This basically guarantees you wont have to deal with more than 200 items for collision detection which is usually what leads to catastrophic performance issues that would prevent adding slots.

Now the number of ‘total’ object you can have in your house is dictated by the virtual size of your home.

The more space you have the more objects you can place.

If your house is 10,000 square feet that give you about 45 15ft squares to work with so you would have a slot limit of 2250 items!

Sounds great right?

Ok but now for the bad news.

1. ) Sure you can have 2250 total items but you can never place more than 200 in a 30ft by 30ft square and never more than 50 items in a 15ft by 15ft square. Say good buy to all those beautiful custom built walls, stairways, and structures that take 100+ blocks in a relatively small area. You could easily be stymied in creating even a simple small way because you place too many other small objects near by.
2. ) Don’t expect to be able to place ‘any’ objects outside of the pre-determined housing grid. Say good buy to your floating islands place in the distance of your skybox.
3. ) Expect all the hard work you have already done to place furniture to be erased and you would have to start over from scratch. If they did implement this, all existing furniture placed in houses would need to be reset at least to some degree. Basically any place were furniture is currently place that does no obey these rules would have to have furniture removed until it does meet these rules.
4. ) Even though this solves the 'collision' detection issue when the item counts get this high it could lead to 'rendering' issues, which mean they may have to reduce the visibility in your house. So expect to feel like Mr. Magoo and only be able to see like 45 feet in any direction before a 'fog' obscures your vision. Also expect to see object popping into view sporadically as you move.
5. ) This solution would require a ton of work from Zos to rework how collision detection and rendering is performed just for homes. So instead of doing work to create more dungeons and expansions they would have to spend a great deal of time figuring this out for a small subset of customer who own homes and want ‘more slots’.

Basically this meets the ‘ask’ for ‘More Slots’ but actually benefits almost no one and costs a ton of dev time to implement.

I would actually support the idea of asking Zos to implement the first solution.

However, I don’t think it would appease most of the people asking for more slots.


I did not post this to be 'flippant' I am posting this to give people an idea of what Zos might do if they actually try to give you more slots, and neither of these options sound great to me.

If their is some development savant out their who thinks they have an actually viable solution to this issue they should post it here, or better yet apply for a job at a game company since people have been trying to solve this kind of issue in game design for about 3 decades now.
  • Nestor
    Nestor
    Community Ambassador
    The first idea is the most workable. However what they would have to do is make the interior of the main house a seperate loading cell. Otherwise the interior furniture would still be part of the same load of the home. I think the interiors are still part of the main home as we dont experience much of a load going in or out. They are probably partially rendered like those other interior cells that are not behind a load screen.

    However, seperating the interior and exterior into cells would allow them to increase total item count. And it would not be all that much work for all the homes that have yards.
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  • Woefulmonkey
    Woefulmonkey
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    @Nestor

    Ofcourse without seeing Zos's code I could not be certain about how they handle the segmented environments.

    However based on 'black box' observations of 'housing' services I am pretty sure they already segment the object loads for any area that you have to travel though a door to get to.

    1. ) Interior floor plans usually don't even match the exterior area they are supposed to represent.
    2. ) If you take a huge object then shove it though a wall in the interior it is not displayed in the exterior and vis versa.

    The reason the load time when you enter an 'interior' area are short is because although you are loading a new 'zone' you are not migrating to a new 'server instance'.

    When you travel to your home from in game you leave the 'world server' and move to an instance that is most likely running on your own hardware, or less likely running for special 'house' servers similar to how dungeon instances are spawned.

    So long as that is true there should be very little work involved to enable that kind of 'slot increase'.

    However, the real question here is how many users would this actually benefit and how much controversy would this change cause when houses like the Cold Harbors parking log get 0 slot increases while other homes get a 4X increase.

    At the very least is will start calling into question the 'value' of different houses based on how they are segmented.
  • Nestor
    Nestor
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    They may not have to be instanced, it all depends. However separation of any sort will help.
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  • R_K
    R_K
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    The interior spaces for all of the homes are located approximately 45 to 60 meters below where they would be if they were actually the true interior. So, when you activate a door object, for example, you are actually requesting a “jump” operation targeted at the interior door’s position. Any jump more than ~35 meters triggers the load screen to give the caching system time to retrieve any assets that may have instantly come within higher LOD range. Once loaded, the load screen fades.

    And any given instance that is spun up for a given player house continues to reside on the same node within your mega server until it expires from disuse (as best as I can tell).
  • Minyassa
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    I'd be perfectly happy with an interior count and exterior count that both equal the current total of my homes as they are. The only homes that I run into a problem with hitting the cap are the ones that DO have an interior and exterior that both need decorating.
  • shadowwraith666
    shadowwraith666
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    Zos could take note from certain player houses in Oblivion and the hearthfire homes in skyrim, where some of them had 1 or 2 additional separately loaded internal cells.

    Skyrim - hearthfire homes had the underground forge area

    Oblivion - Benirus Manor (Anvil, same place as bank in ESO), Rosethorn hall (Skingrad) and Frostcrag spire (wizards tower DLC), these all had at least 1 area that was loaded separately, Rosethorn and frostcrag had 2 areas

    in ESO homes with multiple floors (alongside multiple external entry/exit points) could have some separated in the same fashion as the above examples which would free up resources and allow separate item counts in each area since they are loaded separately.
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  • Woefulmonkey
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    @R_K


    OMG, thanks R_K, that totally makes sense with what I see in back box observations and explains why objects do not 'pass though' existing areas when embedded in walls and stuff.

    I assume you would have to verify that in order for your tool to generate objects in an interior area of a home.

    Do you know if that means the object list for both interior and exterior areas are the same?

    If so it means implementing the 'interior' to 'exterior' counts solution suggested become a more difficult (although still not impossible)

    For instance if each 'interior' 'zone segment' is placed a significant vertical distance apart that it ensures object occlusion occurs for collision and display each space can still have unique counts based on the 'verticality' level.

    However, if all 'interiors' exist at the same level and they don't make any changes it may be limited to 1 exterior and 1 interior count.

    Basically we would be talking about a 'strict' BSP tree with 1 node per 'zone segment' where the vertical position is used rather than a horizontal grid. An actual BSP tree structure may not even be needed if they just have 2 'zone' segments with a clearly defined vertical plane that divides the areas.

    Edited by Woefulmonkey on June 11, 2018 10:47PM
  • Woefulmonkey
    Woefulmonkey
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    @Minyassa

    To be clear I am not exactly an advocate of either of these solutions but I am no opposed to the 'interior/exterior' count solutions.

    I do understand 'why' people want more slots. I see very creative work being done by the community with 'custom' structures that I think is really amazing and that kind of creativity should be encourages as much as possible.

    However, I Personally would rather Zos focus on giving us better objects that let players place more things using less slots over all. That is because it is the 'cheapest' solution that applies to the 'most' customers. Which means they can meet that goal while still maintaining focus on creating new game 'content' like Dungeons and Expansions.

    For instance they recently gave us stairways, stone walls, and large stone flooring objects. Players have already reported that they were able to free up 100+ slots just with those items.

    I was no where near the item cap in my house, but I was able to reduce my items used by about 30 using the new objects and it looks way better now.

    Instead of a 'cave' made from a collection of large lava rocks and moss that looked OK, I now have a Tomb with grand stairways and an alter complete with an unground area that actually looks cool for about half the slots.
  • Ertosi
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    @Woefulmonkey There were a few additional possible solutions brought up in your sister thread concerning the behind-the-scenes causes for needing an item limit. Please consider adding these, and any other possible solutions, to this thread's original post; it only currently has 2 possible solutions listed, but including all viable options in one place would be even better, should this thread ever catch ZOS's attention.


    1. Allow for the creation of item clusters which share collision. This would allow for creating intricate decorations in a single area without all of the collision calculation overhead. This is similar to the upcoming changes to furnishing mentioned with Mirkmire's release where you can select multiple items to move at the same time; it would then need to be converted where they aren't just moved together but fully share collision (ie truly treated as a single object).

    An alternate to this was suggested where special Collision Boxes could be placed where anything inside would not count against your furnishing limit as their individual collision would be turned off (ie everything within the box is using the "parent" Collision Box's collision).

    [Both of these methods would be perfect options for common multi-piece decorations such as elaborate dinner tables, aquariums, and cluttered bookshelves.]

    2. Create a new furnishing category for all current items which don't have collision (ex curtains, vines, grasses, other small plants). As the core problem is collision calculations for numerous furnishings in one area, move everything that wouldn't contribute to this issue to a new furnishing category and allow for their max counts to be increased as a group.

    This is similar (but for the opposite reason) to the existing category of "Special Furnishings" which only has a couple of items (ex Mists of the Hag Fen) which seem to have nothing else in common other than elaborate particle effects. As elaborate particle effects can cause extra strain, it makes sense that they were placed in their own category with a strict max limit (10 for large houses). Special Furnishings seem to exist as their own category because they are items that cause extra strain, so why not also separate out those items with no collision which require less calculations.

    [Creating a new furnishing category for no-collision items gives the "best bang for the buck"... it would be the easiest solution to implement (as it only requires adding a new furnishing category and flagging all appropriate items as being in the new category) while allowing for significant increases to the max furnishing limits.]

    3. Add more complex furnishing options to the game. The game has already started seeing a few of these, like bookshelves that are already loaded with books, and plates with meals and silverware. By creating more furnishings like these, players would have the option to trade out several items for a single one which accomplishes the same purpose.

    [We've already started seeing a little bit of this in-game. It requires lots of custom work on the part of the Dev's and also limits player creativity, so it doesn't really directly address the core issues, but is great if used in addition to other solutions.]


    Edit for Clarification: There is a difference between Special Furnishings and Special Collectibles. Mists of hag fen is a special furnishing, but pets, mounts, banker, etc. are special collectibles, not special furnishing.
    Edited by Ertosi on September 16, 2018 8:56PM
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  • Grayfax
    Grayfax
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    Here is a perspective on the displacement of the interior versus the exterior of a house. I believe this was Hunding's Palatial Hall. We had been guild hopping houses and when I hit this house I glitched on all of the interiors. Couldn't interact with the tower out back and no surfaces visible on interiors, just player placed items.
    I looked out and up in one spot and could see the player placed glowing items far above (the blue "firework bursts"). These were crystal structures embedded in the roots of the trees on the beach by the tower and the "hot tub" on the surface to give a glow. Definitely shows the displacement of the interior versus the exterior.
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  • Vaelen
    Vaelen
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    If you have ever seen any of my other posts on this topic, you are probably saying ‘What You Talken About Woeful!’ right now.

    I have made it pretty clear in the past that their ARE performance issue with increasing the furniture slots and I still say that IS true.

    However, there is a saying is Software Engineering that ‘Anything Is Possible In Software’.

    That is because there is almost always a way ‘cheat’ somehow that gives you something at least close to what you want.

    So, what I am going to describe here are to ‘viable’ ways that Zos could increase housing slots ‘In Some Way’.

    NOTE: Both of these ‘solutions’ have issues, which is why I doubt Zos would actually do either of them.

    Set separate furniture limits for ‘Interior’ and ‘Exterior’ areas:

    Ok, so the first one is pretty straight forward, and probably requires the least amount of work from Zos, but it also has the least amount of benefit to players and the amount of benefit a player received depends on the house they bought which makes it ‘unfair’.

    The idea is pretty simple.

    ‘Some’ houses are already divided into isolated areas. Usually they are an interior and an exterior location.

    These areas are isolated meaning Furniture you place in one area ‘excluded’ from any rendering or collision detection in other areas.

    You can verify this by simply taking a very large object and shoving it though a wall from the inside of a house so that it ‘should’ definitely be protruding outside the house if both areas shared the same ‘object’ list. When you go outside of your house and look at the location where the object should be sticking out, you will see nothing is there.

    That is because the object only ‘exists’ in the ‘interior’ area of the house, it is not part of the ‘exterior’ area’s object list.

    Just so you know, anyone who has modded or fooled around with TES editor software on other TES games should understand this concept of "instanced" objectIDs and the separation between interior and exterior IDs. This comes as no surprise to me that this could be done, but the problem is ZOS devs are lazy today or just don't want to increase the object ID limit and instead lump interior and exterior objectIDs together.
    1. ) Not all homes have multiple area and some have more than 2 areas which means player who bought a house with more areas get more furniture slots that players who bought a house with less areas. For example if you bought the ‘Cold Harbor’ parking lot you only have 1 exterior area so you only get 700 slots, where as if you bought the ‘Daggerfall Overlook’ it has 4 areas, 1 exterior and 3 unique interiors so it would get 2800 slots.
    2. ) If you have already used up all 700 items in one area you would not be able to add more items to that area or ‘trade’ slots with another area. So those players who blocked off their entrances could remove the blocks and decorate ‘inside’ their house now, but they could not expand what they have done outside.
    This seems more of a fairness issue than a technical issue with ZOS development, all they got to do is lump all interior object IDs together so that they are all in the same interior instance, but separate from the exterior object ID instance which is possible. But again, like you said those who bought expensive manors such as the Coldharbour Estate, Earthtear Cavern, Erstwhile Sanctuary, or Pariah's Pinnacle get shafted and those who bought homes with large separate interior and exterior areas such as the Psijic Villa or the Dawnlight Palace receive the greatest benefit and can decorate to whole new levels.


    Edited by Vaelen on September 17, 2018 2:54PM
  • MornaBaine
    MornaBaine
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    Minyassa wrote: »
    I'd be perfectly happy with an interior count and exterior count that both equal the current total of my homes as they are. The only homes that I run into a problem with hitting the cap are the ones that DO have an interior and exterior that both need decorating.

    Right there with ya! 700 seems to be an okay limit on homes with just interiors based on the few homes I have with the 600 limit and no outdoor space.
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  • Wreuntzylla
    Wreuntzylla
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    They could simply allow you to set directional view distance limits. Anyone who runs surveys regularly will know that if you have 2+ identical surveys, after harvesting the first, you just have to run out of view distance to have the objects load. I set my view distance to zed and don't have to go very far.

    I am not a software guru but some of my folks are. They seem to think that collision detection software should always perform distance checks to determine which objects are in close enough proximity to add them to the list of objects in the detection loop. They think that other than the case of too many items being stacked in the same, very small area, the issue is most likely surface rendering of independent objects. They began talking about ways to address issues, composite thingies, my eyes crossed and I stopped listening, but hopefully that's enough for you software gurus to contemplate.

  • idk
    idk
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    I think Zos is aware that they can increase furnishing slots in homes. They haven’t due to performance impacts it could have and any solution to mitigate that are ones they choose to not implement.
    Really, idk
  • Zypheran
    Zypheran
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    They could design a few new homes with an even balance of interior and exterior space, each with 700 items. Yes this would involve a longer load screen as they move to a different cell but many people would see this as an acceptable price for increased slots. Those that don't, well they don't have to buy the new house!
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  • Mix
    Mix
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    I don't know much about programming.

    The inside/outside makes sense BUT people don't like load screens and that would probably add a load screen?

    I did wonder if they could take the Item Grouping (very nice tool on the PTS) but make it permanent and have the game consider the Group as only one item for calculating collision?

    example: You decorate a dinner table using 15 items, group them and permanently make them into 1 item. Now that 1 item (decorated dinner table) only needs to calculate collision for 1 object rather than 15? I have no idea if that would be possible to program or a nightmare to do so or what though...
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  • The_Last_Titan
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    Ertosi wrote: »

    2. Create a new furnishing category for all current items which don't have collision (ex curtains, vines, grasses, other small plants). As the core problem is collision calculations for numerous furnishings in one area, move everything that wouldn't contribute to this issue to a new furnishing category and allow for their max counts to be increased as a group.

    This is similar (but for the opposite reason) to the existing category of "Special Furnishings" which only has a couple of items (ex Mists of the Hag Fen) which seem to have nothing else in common other than elaborate particle effects. As elaborate particle effects can cause extra strain, it makes sense that they were placed in their own category with a strict max limit (10 for large houses). Special Furnishings seem to exist as their own category because they are items that cause extra strain, so why not also separate out those items with no collision which require less calculations.

    [Creating a new furnishing category for no-collision items gives the "best bang for the buck"... it would be the easiest solution to implement (as it only requires adding a new furnishing category and flagging all appropriate items as being in the new category) while allowing for significant increases to the max furnishing limits.]

    Sounds like a good idea. If no collision stuff takes up a minuscule fragment compared to the rest. Not many things would be in that category atm but even like 200 slots for flower patches would be great. Also more focus on things like banners, rugs, paintings that don't have it.
  • Grimm13
    Grimm13
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    I am in favor of the separate areas having their own load list. Yes it makes some properties more desirable than others, which should be reflected in pricing going forward from that point of change.

    Also I believe it could open up another area for ZOS to explore, the Room Expansion. You would place a door on your property that ports up to the new expansion area with it's own load list. There could be interior doors, exterior archways or mystical transport pools.
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  • MornaBaine
    MornaBaine
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    Grimm13 wrote: »
    I am in favor of the separate areas having their own load list. Yes it makes some properties more desirable than others, which should be reflected in pricing going forward from that point of change.

    Also I believe it could open up another area for ZOS to explore, the Room Expansion. You would place a door on your property that ports up to the new expansion area with it's own load list. There could be interior doors, exterior archways or mystical transport pools.

    OMG I can't tell you how much I love this idea! Since the interiors of houses seldom really match the exterior anyway this is a reasonable way to expand existing houses, a thing I think a lot of players would love to have as an option. Especially if these "rooms" are also available for gold as well as a REASONABLE amount of crowns.
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  • trowlk
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    Set separate furniture limits for ‘Interior’ and ‘Exterior’ areas:

    I love this proposal! I'm willing to take an extra loading screen in exchange for more interior and exterior slots!
  • Aziara
    Aziara
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    I really like these ideas. My housing guild just had a Villa Extraveganza--build your own villa contest, since almost everyone has it. Seeing so many builds over and over, I realized that the only good ones were ones where either the outside or the inside was ignored... if they built in both, it was too sparse.

    I also think that the SIZE of the item should be taken into account. Like have huge items count as 1, have tiny items only count as 1/4, etc etc. I'm tired of placing a tiny dice or cup and having it count as much as a huge boulder.
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