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[41.78 Dedicated MP] Sandbox Setting Synchronization Issues

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It would seem that map_sand.bin, which stores the sandbox settings, is used if present on a save, yet not necessarily updated in MP when the user joins the server. This means old settings can be retained, and it likely means that you could hex edit the file to change settings and cheat.


It seems that the client won't get new settings unless they delete map_sand.bin from their save folder when this happens, whatever conditions it happens under. When this is the case, there are the following implications which I have personally experienced:


  • Old settings are persistently used on a client even when the server's sandbox options have changed from these settings. Turned a feature on? Too bad, it's off on this client. Changed a value? Too bad, it's the old value still for this client.
  • If this happens to an admin account and that user goes to edit the sandbox options, it will overwrite existing options with those from map_sand.bin upon saving. It will show these in the sandbox options screen as if those settings were never changed, though if you go to look at the file on the server the values are in fact the newer values (unless that admin hits save).


I first posted this on Discord in late January here: https://discord.com/channels/136501320340209664/1067210244159193108


Was told it wouldn't necessarily get attention there on 3/8 but between being sick and being busy I have not had a chance to post it here until now. The Discord thread has links to places where others encountered this issue and/or resolved it by deleting the map_sand.bin file as I describe being the issue above. It also has other prominent modders sharing concerns having also seen the issue.

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