As many of you know I've been a long time self-confessed Fanboy of ISI (10 years and counting...) and whilst I've learnt in recent years to stop the childish whining about everything "wrong with RF2" (yes I was bad at times!), I've also learnt when to simply just accept things for what they are in the Sim Racing world in general (other titles included). This has helped me understand the whole Sim racing development process and at the same time given me a much better "just get on, race & enjoy" attitude when to comes to ignoring those minor bugs and grievances...after all, no game is Perfect! But now we're soon entering the world of Steam, for one I think this is a good move, anything that boosts ISIs reputation as a leader (amongst others) in the world of Sims is a good thing and of course for them there must be the financial benefit...which will filter down to us in the form of future development and who knows....maybe that V8Supercars Full Grid License eh Tim?! </EndDream> Most of all for me though the potential increase in numbers will mean answering the same questions on the Forum over and over again regardless of how many Stickies or FAQs there are, and a recent post on lack of a Championship Mode in game got me thinking about where RF2 is lacking in the "Little Areas" that I myself have been pondering for so long....and now I believe it is time to express my thoughts on those areas. Before I go on, this is not some sort of "Open Letter" to ISI, I'm just merely expressing my feelings on what I regard as my most favourite game.....behind Elite: Dangerous....oh and FIFA....what I regard as my most favourite Sim racing game amongst other very good ones. If the Devs chose to read it then great, if they don't then fine, I'm not going to shove it down their throats! "So why post it at all then if you don't care that ISI might not read it?" - because it's a free forum and the Elite Servers are going down for maintenance soon alright?! UI: Lets start with the most common one that newbies notice, the UI, whilst it's not great it does the job for me and of course spending so much time in the game I'm totally used to it. What I still don't "get" though is that in 2015 we're forced to edit a text file (player.JSON) to change many of the options in game, particularly options that won't harm the "look" of RF2 but more help the player refine the game to his or her liking. I won't name them all as the point of this section is that I simply don't like the 1990s "edit a text file for changes - load the game - bugger, need a slight alteration - exit the game - edit the text file - load the game" process when a simple UI addition would suffice and save faffing about in notepad! Fair enough it saves from over-cluttering the UI and keeping things simple, but for me I miss having an "Advanced" Menu Screen with those options to quickly change on the fly. Race Weekend Options: We're moving forward in this area, the recent inclusion of the Qualifying Rules plug-in is great, but it's still lacking in the general aspect of what makes a great Race Weekend. As above we have the option to add more Practice Sessions in the player.JSON...so why not just add that into the game, Qualifying Rules in game - again faffing about in notepad. Multiple Races are another little thing that would add a further sense of a decent experience when mimicking your favourite series, Grid From Previous Race Finish, Random Grid for Race 3...that sorta thing. As has been wished for in the Wish List Forum many times the option to run on Used Tires and have a Set Allocation for an entire weekend, this helps the immersion when racing as you have to think about your tires (even) more, when to use them, when not too etc. Now all we do is quit back to the pits when we want a bit of fresh rubber! Of course this may fall into the "filesize" issue if saving a set of Used Tires is 100mb+ or something, but not knowing doesn't mean I can't mention it anyway! Qualifying on a Per Class Basis, doing a lot of Endurance style races I hate getting stuck behind a slower car across the top of the Mountain at Bathurst. In Game Championship: As said elsewhere I've become accustomed to using a 3rd party tool to create my own Championship which is alright, but again just like the player.JSON editing it's taking it away from the main game. Even the rF1 version in its basic form would do me for now, but having a more advanced Championship mode in game complete with a Class Points System, Points for Pole/Fastest Lap etc would add to the experience of playing a racing game, again it's the faffing around with loading log files outside the Sim then the game crashes because you forgot that Alt-Tab is dodgy (as it is with lots of games just for the record!) that becomes a little frustrating. Having it all there, in front of you a simple click away from a Race Weekend, that's what it should be like. Random Weather: Yeah, again, I know we can do this via a plug-in! But for those who remember the early days this was an option in game before the first Builds release and IIRC was taken out due to not working properly. That's fair enough, but it is just a "Little Area" that would be great to have if "fixed", just go to the Weather Screen and select "Random" then enter the Race Weekend not knowing what the hell you're gonna get, even add "Random but No Rain" so you don't know what Clouds/Temp/Wind/Humidity (when they work) you're gonna get but saved from any Wet races if you don't like that sorta thing. AI: What? AI? Surely even you MarcG with your vast knowledge and well known love affair with them you cannot find fault? Oh yes I can...lots actually but this is about the "Little Areas" so I won't name them all Whilst they are widely regarded as the "Best In The Business" there is one "Little Area" that would boost them into the next century.....PIT STRATEGIES Currently the only way to get them to pit when you "want" is to Multiply the Fuel/Tires or give them a set Setup individually <yawn that takes ages!>. What I'd like is a UI option for "Mandatory Pit Stops" where the AI know they simply have to pit regardless of what their own Tires/Fuel is like. It doesn't even have to be some sort of massive calculation where the AI need to know how much fuel to add, whether to stay on used tires etc, just something that forces them to Pit X number of times during a race. To finish I'm fully aware that ISI are a relatively small team when compared to the big guns in this genre, I'm also fully aware they make the whole rFactor franchise based on "mod-ability" with an eye on the community to make tools for us. Whilst that is great in soooo many ways (All Hail Lord Gerald!) it leaves me wanting a little more from ISI in these "Little Areas" I speak of, yes their strengths are Physics/Tires/AI and I'm fine with that, but I'd personally like to see a little more Polish around the minor features that make a great game greater, it shouldn't always be up to the community to "fill in the gaps" as it were. I'm also fully aware this is a Constantly Evolving Product that is nowhere near "finished" and that there is still a long way to go, but for me these "Little Areas" are merely things that - as a whole - would improve RF2 beyond belief for me so there's no harm in mentioning them Thanks for reading, now to race the AI at Bathurst until the Elite servers come back online!