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This is again nothing wrong and is done often ( QW:ET, Stalker ). Is also the case in my engine ( terrain meshes in Blender, height terrain and placement in world editor ) for example.
for terrains it makes perfect sense (take etqw for example). Etqw terrains were not entirely done in maya either (im fairly sure ID uses maya primarily). For buildings its a total time killer. Im not sure if stalker structures are modeled or not but as i recall that game took forever to come out.
If human life expectancy wasn't so low it wouldn't matter but the fact remains that we live to die and we die eventually.
QW:ET is based on MegaTexture which is about texturing one huge triangle soup terrain with one texture. John itself said in his article on GamaSutra that the terrain is one large mesh in modeller that is then textured using this approach. So yes, QW:ET does use this technique.
So why doing it this way? It has one important advantage: versatility. If you don't code this editing support into your world editor people can use whatever 3D modelling application ( given the format is free, which in the case of Stalker had been a Maya plugin for example ) they work fastest with for creating the geometry. Don't underestimate blender and other apps on modeling buildings. Those are highly sophisticated applications so anybody skilled in their use ( and in a real game production you have skilled artists ) produces the required assets with easy and in time. So that's no argument against this technique.
Now from your comments I take it you are a brush-mapper?