Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Remco Majoor, Aug 25, 2019.
Agreed, assuming devs read it
I just made an example on how they could do their licencing system. This would avoid defragmentation due to licences, but still seperate rookies from the pro's
I am a bit too busy to reply on our undergoing discussion about certain iRacing system design choices..
I don't think there will be any license system, or there should be in the first place. It will be great if there will be populated servers in the first place. And it is a bit late to throw such fundamental suggestions TBH. And back seat developing was never needed anyway. But I am not saying it is bad to discuss it all.
I personally wouldn't be against such career ladder system, but only if it wouldn't make people grind, but could sort out people skills in rational way.
And Formula E and Hypercars should definitelly be at pro.
I mentioned iRacing because every new system (rFactor or not) has to claim itself against it.
iRacing is (still) the No. 1 for public online racing.
So every new competitor has to compare with iRacing. If you want and like it or not.
That's why I said all the license stuff. Look at why it is so good and how you can improve (or beat) it
(If you want more info about this and how to make it/a better system: youtube.com/watch?v=r9UMjdjSOB8).
Because that's what you have to do if you want to succeed.
I don't know how the new system will be like so of course have to make assumptions (regarding you're "info" of no license levels at all).
If we're lucky we get more news about it soon (in a week).
And somewhere was mentioned a Beta or something ?
That's when we will start to disguess again
I'm looking forward to it as I want to help to make a better system out of it and the game itself.
I think you're 2 years to late to push that direction ;-)
Not really. It's a good discussion point, and considering the biggest work is moving everything towards a web based ui, things like licences etc are relatively easy to implement. From what I have heard, there will definitely be a rating system, and on that they can always build a licence system.
The thing is, we don't know what they have atm, and they don't know what we want. So it's at least soemthing to share opinions about stuff that we want/expect, so they can, if needed, adjust to that. That last bit is something they already said they were going to do after beta release.
I've tried many times to engage the S397 crew in discussions on what exactly they are building ("the design/use cases") for the competition system, and aside from some throwaway comments, they've never been interested in having a substantive discussion on what they are building or why.
Though some people don't recognize a need for a separate safety rating, saying its all part of the competition rating, this doesn't seem to be the way any of the other systems have built things, so there has to be a reason why. Whilst it is true that failing to finish will be a detriment to the competition rating, there's still value in being able to see just how many 'incidents' a player is having; be that for league membership or other competition exclusion. We've all met the guy/gal who is wicked fast but can't keep it on track, and takes out those trying to be careful/respectful. There's a difference between poor racecraft (fighting too hard for a position you have already lost to a much faster opponent, blocking leaders when a backmarker) to simply having poor driving skills and having offtracks/crashes. PC2 tried to implement a system where a combined letter plus number to indicate experience and skill, and letting their users decide whether to utilize that when joining servers/race events, hasn't been entirely successful: you either see servers with no limitations, or the limits are so high hardly anyone can enter.
That said, the iRacing way of having safety rating be the sole determinant of a license level, doesn't work either and they basically de-fanged that approach, because then people couldn't race the cars they'd bought and paid for. So I'm not convinced the license level approach is going to work at all, even though it seems like an obvious thing to push for. Back in the day, iRacing had 'Pro' series which was only open to those who had achieved a high enough competition rating AND safety rating; this was meant to guarantee high quality racing to those who were capable of it (aka serious hobby types). Instead, they turned into qualification for highest level of esports, which will only ever appeal to 100 or so people on the planet at any time and is a useless approach to grow the sport/hobby community. This is like saying, we'll only organize a golf game/league for those capable of playing on the PGA Tour; that isn't why millions of people play golf, and many work to improve their handicaps or get better at the game by using coaching etc.
The competition rating is used for matchmaking; and if S397 don't offer public servers and regularly organized series, as opposed to one-off competitions like WFG, then it'll not get used for much given what we've seen on PC2. I don't see a way for S397 to spend all the money to provide 24x7 all day, every 2 hour series for multiple series types like iRacing do, without charging for use of server time/provision. I think S397 will stick to a few series or competitions, and leave it to the community to open up other servers. So, they have probably focussed on building capability best used for their existing user base i.e. to support leagues. iRacing support both 'public open servers' and league type racing, though they built the former first and had to modify it a lot to allow for the latter. What S397 have showed us so far only extends to their own competitions like WFG; all sorts of murmurs for building something to support Formula E that they never carried through on. So, I think that'll be the story to begin with, until they figure out what they really need to build.
iRacing began the same way. Do well enough in the Skippy, we'll let you buy and compete in the Star Mazda. Sadly, that lasted for a year only; they couldn't sell enough content to make it work, only a limited number of people wanted to race that way. I'll call this, the stage they were at was "serious hobby/managed competition" phase; they had to abandon it. Got the same scenario here now; just bought an LMP2, now you're telling me I can't race it in an online competition? S397 rely on content for their entire funding; they can't cut off their noses to satisfy a few die-hards. They can't keep creating series where "only the top 200 fastest get to compete"; that only works for individual competitors and not really team-based racing either. iRacing continually get their team-based systems gamed by people who sign up for a race with the low-scored driver, then the 'ringer' high rated driver signs in, and they romp the race in lower license levels. Or the entire thing is dominated by "big teams" (team red, team blue of X group) with really high rated drivers, the 'gentleman drivers' don't get a look in any more. You end up having to join leagues in the end, to get a decent mix of fun and not-too-serious competition.
Not quite sure what happened along the way, but I was always thinking S397 would do the "Formula E" competition, branded along with the real series type approach. Never happened; maybe because the competition system wasn't ready, maybe because they couldn't get the content (tracks) done in time. They took all their resources and built Le Mans/Nords instead, so F-E never happened. I'm not so sure anything like that ever will happen in future, either. The cost to license those is prohibitive, and there are few enough licenses to go around (see Sector3 for DTM/WTCC and Kunos with ACC/GT3 Blancpain, never mind F1 and/or WEC) and likely you need console volumes to get that done. I also think WFG has very limited appeal, but no sponsors want to put up money to support a bunch of beer-bellied 50-year-olds having a good time, unless those ones buy all the equipment (looking at you, Logitech). When its marketing-driven, they want t return on their investment. Golf apparel makers don't make their money off the 100 guys ion Tour, they make it from the thousands who play on a weekend. You see a lot of financial services companies sponsor those events, because, the people who can afford golf club memberships are also the ones with big money to invest. What's our claim to fame? Well, take a look at who is sponsoring these events now. Porsche, McLaren etc. so obviously they think we are the ones who hanker after buying those types of cars. I still don't see S397 making a fortune off people who are running a cheapo/free content system they don't even have a subscription model for. We'll just have to see, what they can invest for use by the "community" as opposed to the splashy esports events; we can only hope there will be some trickle-down at present, though its hard to see what that is.
Personally I'd like to host my own mini-series so I can race against my subscribers without them all having to grind up to a certain level. Just stuff where I can go "I'm hosting a race at 9pmGMT on Friday, first come first serve, at Snetterton in the Tatuus, who's in?"
Then build it up from there.
That you already can do? The system is AFAIK not replacing what you already can do.
Will be easier to rank everybody with the new system. Set up points and have bragging rights as prizes.
You have some good points in both of your posts. But there is an important point that most people completely ignore in this whole discussion. If you look at iRacing and how people start, you will notice that there is zero sense of running an official championship with lisenced content like IMSA, so I don't think that this is the key point to get people to join a server. The starter content isn't much better than the content that comes with rFactor 2 and yet they have something like 150 people racing MX5 on pretty unknown club tracks with polygonal trackshapes. And the reason why other sims with comp systems failed so far is pretty simple aswell: they all play like random CoD MW servers with zero structure and cars that are far too fast for most people who get into a sim wich gives no sense of building a career. All those sims have a simple MP system with some ranking and grinding on top of it, wich isn't enough if you want to play in the same league as iRacing. The simple reason why iRacing is a success is because people allways know that there will be a race at 8pm after they get home from work. And if they can't make it, there will be a race every other hour and they simply know that, every iRacer from all over the world knows it. They have 100% assurance that they will be able to race and joining a server gets much more of an instinct than searching through MP lobbies and looking for the right server.
And this is from my POV the critical part that makes or breaks an online comp system and if S397 won't have something like scheduled races, the comp system will fail. SRW had a similar approach and the MP was much more populated than it is in rF2. Now comes another point why rF2 has actually a real chance to offer good competition against iRacing. First of all people aren't forced to pay a sub like in iRacing and the offered starter content gives a big variety of content that you will have to pay a good amount of money in iRacing, especialy on the track side of things. And even if you want to buy the more advanced and premium stuff, you will have to pay much less than in iRacing and it's simply yours. iRacing has a good marketing machinery, I will give them that. But when I look at their laser scanned starter content the first thing that comes into my mind is "laserscan ... my a$$"
S397 needs to update those base tracks to latest standards, with puddle maps, dirt maps PBR and all bells and whistles and it'll offer a good experience. People don't care if it is laserscanned to nano meter accuracy in first place - they simply want to race.
And last but not least: you don't need a big server farm to get this going. Offer five or six different servers with starter content to more advanced content based on skill levels and you will get the ball rolling, if people know that there will be other people to race with at prime time. The system can grow over time and people will start to buy content. If you see that more people join, you can offer more servers. Anyway, this is all theoretical. How much of it gets transformed into reality is up to S397 at this point and I hope that they have made their homeworks.
On the subject of updating older content, if they want to keep the competition system free, their money would have to come from DLC. I don't think they can ask money by updating old content. I'd also rather have high quality new content that are laserscanned/lidar scanned
@TCLF That's true, but they could do both. Even get some enthusiastic community members to do the updating of the old content.
Didn't they do something like that with zandvoort and longford?
Not sure about Zandvoort. Longford was woochoo the whole time.
I think the important point here is to find a good balance. Having some sort of cohesive and consistent experience is pretty crucial to keep the people playing the game and investing into further content. Let's take a track like Interlagos for example. It makes no sense to abandon such a great track and confuse people by not updating it. What do you tell people who use it in rain and the track surface appears as a mirror and is unusable? Even some hobby modders have done such an update so I see no reason why the studio behind this sim wouldn't get their stuff together. The argument can't be that it is 3PA content and that updating it is up to the author. Update it or get rid of it (aka publish it as a seperate mod in the workshop), simple as that. This is the stuff that has given rF2 the image that it has today as being a big construction site where you need to search for the right track and car combo.
If the starter content gives a nice and smooth first impression (wich is a must have), it makes marketing for the premium content and thus cash flow even easier, because it gives the user the impression that the studio takes care of the product. Maybe they have a laser scan for the track, who knows. But all in all content needs to follow a certain standard and use all the tech in place. For car content this can be a bit more tricky, but for tracks this is a very important aspect.
The short time I played iRacing years ago, as a regular rF1 player (and helping administer a league, some involvement in mod physics and server plugins etc), I didn't really like the lack of transparency in a number of areas. Its fans applauded the physics but there was no information or figures to properly judge it, and I'd already seen real life content get very different interpretations in rF1 (V8 Supercars, for example) with each attracting its own group of supporters who drove it weekly or even daily, so I was wary of user opinions in judging authenticity. Even moving around between cars online, and the way the cars moved in replays, wasn't the same as what I was used to. Driving wise it was certainly different to rFactor but I wasn't willing to say which was more realistic.
What it had was racing. Get on around 9am my time? There's a race coming, and I'll be on track with (8? 10? 12? can't remember) other cars in a competitive race. 12pm? 3pm? Quick burst at 9pm before bed? Always racing. Everyone's confident they'll get a race, so they get on when they can and race. Instant snowball effect.
rF2, especially at the moment, I can spend 3 hours during some free time and try to find some people practicing on a track somewhere. 20 mins here, 40 mins there, with a handful of cars at best. Races tend to be well organised and require some sort of registration on a site (or aren't easy for someone not well acquainted - I jumped in a multiclass server having just bought some of the DLC and quickly found out I hadn't had enough practice in multiclass to even practice in multiclass, so I left before I caused a crash). Sometimes you find some numbers which probably aren't AI, then spend 20 mins googling the server name and room name to work out which content you need to join it. Sometimes those people are still there when you're done, and sometimes they're not.
The fact I can't jump on and be guaranteed some people to race against - even practice with - discourages me from spending my spare time doing it. So I'm one less person for others to join. Delamination effect
RF2 F3s on a Sun morning are fun though
If server admins would configure their server properly, then the auto-download stops the googling for content. Except admins don't seem to do that all that well and there's no pointer for DLC. Fix the pointer for DLC and be more aggressive on walking admins through server setup, then the autodownload would be significantly more useful. Still won't help the masses who just want to join a race without waiting to download content they don't have, but at least the rest of us could get on with simracing life.
Edit: oh, yeah, and then there's the whole download speed issue, where using the Steam client is 10x faster than using the rF2 launcher!
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