Last week, Kojima Productions announced a patch for Death Stranding, scheduled for mid-December. One of the most requested features of the forthcoming patch? The ability to delete vehicles left by other players.
If you're not familiar with Death Stranding, vehicles can be a big problem. A key feature of Kojima's game is a "shared world" between scores of players, where people can interact with structures built by others, but never see another soul in the harsh landscape. You can also come across vehicles, when they've been abandoned and left out in the elements by other players. Depending on where the vehicles were abandoned, this can be a problem.
Presenting Exhibit A: The Cosplayer. This is the shelter in which Conan O'Brien's character resides, and it's become a warzone between players on foot versus abandoned vehicles. Imagine hiking over 100 kilometers only to find that you need to blow up a truck with a rocket launcher to deliver a parcel to Conan.
The Cosplayer is really, really bad for abandoned vehicles. It's become so bad that someone on the Death Stranding subreddit remarked there was only one occasion where the entrance wasn't blocked with vehicles in over 70 hours of playing.
I don't even know how this next one happens. Vehicle physics in Death Stranding are pretty flippant at the best of times, even before you use the dedicated jump button (yes, vehicles can jump in this post-apocalyptic America).
Rebuilding roads is one of the standout features of Death Stranding, but it's easy to use vehicles to grief other players using said roads. If you, or any other player on your server, can put enough resources into any one of the terminals dotted around the map, it'll 3D print a road for you stretching a few hundred meters. Chain these roads together and you'll be making deliveries between outposts in minutes, but not if someone's left a truck blocking the road.
All this has not gone unnoticed by Kojima Productions. There's a reason the disposal of individual vehicles was among the "most common requests from players" in the patch announcement from the developers.
Good news! We are working on another update to address the most common requests from players such as the ability to increase text size or dispose of individual vehicles.— KOJIMA PRODUCTIONS (Eng) (@KojiPro2015_EN) November 27, 2019
The update is set for around mid-December. We appreciate all your thoughtful feedback!#DeathStranding pic.twitter.com/LFO0V7PWuT
Vehicles in Death Stranding should help other players - at least, that was probably the thinking behind them in a shared world. If you're hauling cargo over hundreds of kilometers and you find a fueled vehicle ready and waiting, it's like a gift from the gods, but not so much if it happens to be jammed right in the entrance to the shelter you're trying to visit.
Right now, there's no clear idea of how deleting vehicle abandoned by other players could work. Could Kojima Productions implement a downvote system for abandoned vehicles, or could each player be given the ability to destroy any vehicles they come across? Actually that last option might be a bit too much power.