Sins of a Solar Empire is a real time strategy game. Players have to concur planets, manage resources, utilize the environment at hand (choke points, raw materials) and leverage anything they can to build a military machine capable of destroying their enemy – before the other side does the same. Sins has always been a nitch game -the majority of todays gamers cant stand a 5 minute skirmish match and prefer quick, brutal deaths followed by an immediate re-spawn with the biggest weapon possible. That being said the game has moved over 500,000 copies and has been well reviewed and accepted by strategy gamers both as an excellent game and as an example of what PC Games should be like.
Unfortunately the game has been plagued with various issues during its success – from balance issues in the gameplay itself (mostly fixed now) to technical issues. The most universally experienced error message is “Your mesh files differ from the host” while connecting to a multiplayer game – even if the two players are running the same version of the game. This has been a persistent issue for over a year now (14 months according to one commenter) and has remained a constant thorn in players side. I have had this issue twice – once while attempting to play over LAN and once while trying to use Ironclad online for multiplayer. The solution is fairly simple.
Somehow – either during download of while the files are created/edited on the host machine – the files in a folder called ‘mesh’ become loners, and dont want to play with the other mesh files. Mesh folders exist in the directory of Sins (base game) and in every expansion.
In order to connect to the game both players should delete the mesh folders entirely and then use Impulse (the distribution platform users have to use to play Sins) to verify the installation. Like Steam Impulse will detect that files are missing and redownload them. Once this is done the game should connect as per usual.
Here’s a breakdown.
1. To clear out your mesh files, you’ll need to go into the application folder (right click in Impulse, select ‘Open application folder’), and there are three different ‘Mesh’ folders. The first is in the root folder, and there may be two more, depending on which version of the game you have, in the \Entrenchment and \Diplomacy folders. Delete everything in those (Mesh) folders.
2. Shift-right click on the game(s) in Impulse, and select ‘Verify Installation’. Impulse will check the integrity of the installed application, and an update should be made available in Impulse. This is not an update to a newer version, but simply Impulse using the update mechanism to replace the missing files.
3. Once you complete the update, reboot your computer.
Remember that mesh folders exist in the root game folder but ALSO in the fodlers for each expansion. To be sure the error is ousted delete all of the mesh folders.
On the first read through I overlooked the “shift-right click’ instruction to get impulse to verify the game files. If you only right click on the game the option does not appear.
Some users have been able to send their mesh files to one another to rid themselves of the error. I dont see any advantage to that versus using impulse to grab the files again unless the two players are purposefully using older version of the game (but the same version as each other). I cant imagine a reason for this, so perhaps its best just to delete and redownload the mesh files rather than worry about overwriting yours with the ones your buddy has.