Not sure whether this would be pulled off in max or in the engine, though I figure in the engine, which we are using unity for the iphone. After putting multiple tiled textures on a larger diffuse to keep draw calls down, back in the geometry I would just copy & move the planes, for this example we'll say the ocean plane, so that the ocean would be made of multiple planes instead of one big tiled plane.
example of uvs laid out over the texture, each blue square represents a plane's uv coordinates.
This worked fine until now at the crunch we're going through and figuring out what geometry we could do without to help the frame rate as much as possible and having 8 pieces of ocean planes to make one ocean seems a little over the top.
Question is, is it possible to tile the texture on that ocean piece without it showing any other part of the diffuse map so I can just have one large plane for the ocean and just tile within that plane's uv coordinates. If not I figure I'll have to go back and break the diffuse map into multiple separate textures, though I'm a little reluctant to do that since we're trying to keep the draw calls down.
Though I figure we're going to have to favor either geometry or textures one way or the other.