Much of our work against meshing this year has involved our Anti-meshing Detection System and we’re continuing to see a marked decline in incidents. Countering meshing is not over and, whilst cases remain low and will continue to decrease, we incorporate other methods in the battle including: Fixing mesh method exploits (the ways in which players get in), utilising Level Design to fill in holes or unintended building locations and, enforcement against offending players.
We’ve spent a fair bit of time talking about Mesh Detection, fixing exploits, and enforcement this year, so let’s spend some time talking about the level design aspect.
By Level Design, what we’re literally referring to in the case of meshing is holes & unintended playable areas. Once a map/game has been shipped, holes and missed locations (along with bugs/exploits) are going to be found by the sheer number of players that are now playing. It’s the nature of the beast, in our game, and others. Ideally, all of these locations would be found during our QA process but it wasn’t the case, so we circle back, and have our Level Designers iterate on them aka fill them in via our live game updates.
Our approach to fixing holes/unintended playable areas is simply to fix them as quickly as possible. This is because we have concerns about players seeking an advantage over others by exploiting these locations and using them to detrimentally affect another player’s experience through illegitimate gameplay (i.e meshing/unraidable bases). We understand that due to the pace of our method some well-meaning players may be unintentionally affected due to not knowing that the spot was illegitimate but our focus is to prevent malicious players from gaining an unfair advantage by using these locations.
During the development of The Island, and possibly some other maps, we have given visual indicators indicating that these parts of the map were going to change. The reason behind the differences in the processes was due to the fact we were continuing to develop and design those maps. Entire regions or biomes were being changed, and these changes were going to have a large impact on the majority of players on those maps, which is very different from filling holes and preventing unintended playable areas from being accessed.
Whilst we’re sympathetic to players who felt they may be in a legit spot because, say, X dino could fly inside it, the damage players could do to other tribes with public notification, shared locations, and, warning of an incoming fix to an unintended and, frankly, OP location would impact more players negatively than those impacted by building in one of these locations.