Slow Snail

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Comante, Oct 9, 2020.

  1. Comante

    Comante Registered

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2013
    Messages:
    1,398
    Likes Received:
    909
    I'm into simracing since it was invented.
    I still suck at it, and probably will never be decent at it.
    In my quest to become a bit more decent I'm trying to find a culprit that does not involve my skill.
    So, as simracing still make me happy anyway, I'm looking for something that could help squeezing some more fun out of it.
    So, one of my questions is:
    What is the main hardware part that can affect performances?
    1) wheel
    2) pedals
    3) monitor
    4) overal PC performances

    At the present moment I own a G27 wheel and pedals (with a spring kit, a nice addon).
    My pc/gpu is not the top but is enough to play with capped 90 FPS most of the time.
    My monitor is probably the most lacking: a common 23" 60 Hz that sit at the end of the desk, so a bit far and small.
    I also use Trackir, that not having a large monitor is quite essential to me.

    In the future I think I'll go VR, not because I think this will make me more decent, but simply because I've grown with the myth of VR, and now it's almost time to try it. (I also fly DCS world, so vr is a bit more justified :D right?).

    p.s. I've tested my reflexes online, and I perform exactly as expected, so, at least in this, I'm not impaired.
    What It seems to me is that my feet and/or my hands lack sensitivity or "refresh rate", or simply I'm unable to focus enough to enter in the right concentration* state where my movements are instinct and not thought.
    What could help improve the focus more? a bigger Monitor or a strongher FFB wheel?

    * I have an hard time freeing my mind from random thoughts, simracing (when it works) is one of the things that give me peace.
     
  2. mantasisg

    mantasisg Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Messages:
    2,167
    Likes Received:
    2,994
    Monitor, in short vision is very meaningful - the size of monitor, the refresh rate, the resolution.... And I believe different people will be able to take different amount of refresh rate depending on reaction times and sharpness, but it is just my own theory.

    I have no experience with trackIR, but I am sceptical about it, unlike VR you would be turning away from your view, wouldn't you ? Sounds to me like this would mess up coordination. But this is also just my theory. So maybe I should just shut tup by now, IDK

    The third thing which I just simply assume is that you use "realistic FOV". And it is useless if you have small monitor, because peripheral vision is very important too. But this is also just my own theory, I should stop misinforming you.

    However... I won't. You have also shared meaningful info about yourself not being in total connection, concentration with a sim. And that is a big deal. Most of your corrections should be subconscious and early, sometimes also almost "before" they would be actually needed. This could be because you don't get good enough subconscious feed of information, and that is going well together with lack of peripheral vision (at least one informed thing I can tell to you, is that most of the subconscious reaction comes from peripheral vision), trackIR could possibly make things worse (but I don't know, never tried).

    My bet would be that all these things would make you faster: bigger monitor, monitor not being too far, good refresh rate and of course stable FPS no stuttering, good resolution, sufficient peripheral vision, and trying not using trackIR. VR is probably awesome too, but I am unhappy about resolution, weight, heat, cords, and being with a mask on my eyes not seeing around myself.
     
  3. Comante

    Comante Registered

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2013
    Messages:
    1,398
    Likes Received:
    909
    Thank you for your reply, I shed some light on some things:
    1) Track IR, the movement can be scaled, I just need to turn my head very slightly to look at an apex, often I don't even need to do it, but in hairpins it's the only way to see inside the turn... and bonus point, I can lean into the turns to counteract immaginary G forces ( I do that naturally... look stupid but whatever.... :D).
    2) FOV, I can't use a realistic fov, I tried, but it's like driving looking outside from a long pipe. Now I'm using default FOV (55?).
    3) I agree with you, peripheral vision is low res but pretty fast and connected to the lizard brain, flight or fight stimulus came from here a lot I think, so probably a better monitor with a desk arm stand could make a big difference, being able to put it in my face almost.

    4) Today you can acquire a pretty decent 144 Hz WIDE monitor for quite cheap, but I won't change monitor if I decide that Reverb G2 is worth the blood, because in the end the difference in money is not enormous (give or take 300 Euros).

    5) I think I'm one of those people quite sensible to FPS, I for example can't stand action scenes at the cinema, too much movements with too little FPS. Solid 60 fps still look blocky. Unfortunately I don't think I've ever seen a 144hz monitor to see how it feels.
     
  4. mantasisg

    mantasisg Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Messages:
    2,167
    Likes Received:
    2,994
    I have one story related. It was some years ago when I was actively racing in AC in ALOOG1 servers. I used to be 1-1.5s second slower than regulars. Shout out to AndyR, V8, pctm, Leif, Henrie. Then I got new PC with slightly larger monitor but better resolution also I upped from 40fps to 80fps (although that monitor had 60HZ). I gained about 1-1.5s and then frequently could compete with them. It was awesome.

    I have upgraded to even better monitor this year, larger, faster, better resolution. And went up to 100fps. But because I wasn't participating in anything in rF2 that would regularly challenge my pace against same guys and rF2 doesn't even record laptimes, I didn't perceive if I got faster, but I think I did.
     
  5. JimmyT

    JimmyT Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2012
    Messages:
    875
    Likes Received:
    548
    I found that the pedals made the biggest difference for me. I changed from G25 (Logitec) to Fanatec load cell and could judge braking more consistently, this improved my time more than any other upgrade I've made. Except maybe for VR, this also made a time improvement and better immersion (more fun).
     
    Ernie likes this.
  6. Lazza

    Lazza Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    9,154
    Likes Received:
    4,233
    Upgrading from an old CPU that was on the edge of slow motion in rF2 to a modern one gave me a feeling of added smoothness despite still having the same monitor. I think if it's too close to the cliff it can mess with frame rate or physics pacing in some way (not changing the physics outcome, which we know is always fully calculated which is why slow motion happens). So if your CPU is very close to the edge I would certainly consider that.

    The G27 is perfectly capable as a wheel, assuming you avoid excessive clipping. A small distant screen won't slow you down, the default FOV allows plenty of vision and you're used to it.

    Pedals my only concern would be your brake, especially if you've thrown a spring in there. If you're used to braking by position (with a relatively weak spring) moving to load cell is quite a transition unless you have some real life racing under your belt - driving a normal roadcar isn't the same. If you have gone halfway with a stiffer spring providing an even less linear resistance you can't rely on positional braking but the force isn't proportional to the braking percentage. This can rob you of consistency and feel near the limit.

    Braking aside, new hardware won't make you faster but can increase motivation.

    Honestly, if you're more than 3-4 seconds away from aliens, maybe 2 seconds away from 'normal' league frontrunners, you'll be making very common fundamental mistakes and have bad habits you need to unlearn.

    Doing thousands of laps won't cure it, although it may get you to lap more consistently at your peak pace.

    Most time gain I think will come from:
    - watching replays of yourself driving, cockpit and swingman view
    - watching other faster drivers, with their actual replay file if they'll share
    - repeating those two above
    - having someone provide some coaching and tips, combined with those first two again.
     
  7. Emery

    Emery Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2010
    Messages:
    2,789
    Likes Received:
    1,381
    Are the pedals fastened down in a permanent way so they don't move/shift? Likewise, is your chair secured?

    The Logitech wheel is annoying for immersion, but perfectly capable and doesn't hold anyone back for performance. If the pots on the pedals are jittering due to dirty potentiometers, then they may need replacing; after all, G27 is about a decade old now, so I would not be surprised if the pots are dirty/worn. If you do upgrade the pedals, allow yourself time to adapt.

    90 fps is a solid performance level. Would be handy if your monitor matched that capability. If you've got VSYNC enabled, turn it off, as the delay it creates is not helpful. 90 fps on a monitor translates to "not enough" for VR and a GPU upgrade would be warranted.

    Training: Learn to use rF2 Replay Office (I think it still works) to compare your laps, especially with others who are faster. https://forum.studio-397.com/index.php?threads/rf2-replay-office-set-of-tools.45062/
     
    Lazza likes this.
  8. Comante

    Comante Registered

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2013
    Messages:
    1,398
    Likes Received:
    909
    Thank you for all the tips, yes I've longly thought about a load cell brake, for now the spring helped me a lot, at least to reduce flatspots and to better find the limit, but I understand that a load cell brake is a game changer. Probably it would be better to change the whole pedals more than just the brake, but time will tell if I will be able to invest quite a lot of money in 3 metal shafts :D.
    For the setup, the chair is quite uncomfortable for long sessions but firm (wooden chairs with a pillow), and the pedals are pushed against the wall behind the desk, so they don't move.
    My pace is that of probably 2 seconds. When I was racing online I was mostly in the condition to make most of the race alone: the faster drivers quite ahead, and the slower drivers quite behind or DNF. I don't mind to finish a race in 10th position if there is someone to engage a bit.

    p.s. recently I've tried Iracing, and with the mazda mx5 in a matter of 2 weeks I've managed to win a race, it was probably the first time in my life I won against humans, but as I understand it's a matter of luck in the opponents you find. Most of the time I finished in 5th 6th position. Iracing was quite tense for the fear of ruining the race to someone with a stupid crash, but otherwise, I can't live without RF2 FFB, and the money request is really too much for the game itself... and for my pockets.
     
  9. muz_j

    muz_j Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2014
    Messages:
    264
    Likes Received:
    187
    ....I think you're looking for a solution that doesn't exist and you seem to skirting around the actual real reasons for you not being as fast as you want.
    Most of sim racing is mental - in my opinion.
    There are countless articles and reviews of the real world differences between drivers using budget hardware and high end stuff the the differences are minimal at best - again that's my opinion, so feel free to think differently.

    You keep talking about being unable to focus (the comments about your feet and hands lacking sensitivity etc) and then the bit about "...I have a hard time freeing my mind from random thoughts, simracing (when it works) is one of the things that give me peace".

    Being blunt - from what you've typed, it sounds to me like you're looking for a hardware solution to fix a problem with your mind-set.
    That's never going to happen - and it doesn't matter if you have the best PC, best wheel and pedals and the best VR head-set.

    My advice to you would be:
    1) try to understand flow states and how to induce them - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_(psychology)
    I'm pretty familiar with them and sim racing is an easy example (amongst several things I enjoy - motorcycling and downhill mountain biking being two others) that result in me flicking into that state of mind basically instantly.
    2) if you like beer - I sincerely suggest you try having some before sim racing.
    But don't worry or think about results at all. The point is to alter your mental state and just relax and get used to the feeling of focusing on what you doing and pushing external thoughts out of your mind.
    3) perhaps consider meditation - learn and understand how to focus your mind and free it up from external / intrusive thoughts.
    4) lastly - in my own opinion - to me the biggest single factor for me to go fast - and that's on a bike, a motorcycle or sim racing, is track knowledge. you need to understand the track and know exactly how to use it in every single corner to make the most of your speed to maximise your lap times. do not underestimate how long this might take. I have had many conversations with people who don't seem to appreciate this aspect of sim racing.
    5) here's a random tip on _one_ method to help induce flow states - watch it and pay close attention to what is being said from the 7 min mark to 8 mins. Think about why those suggestions are being given.
    I appreciate you might not thinking mountain biking is relevant, but if you want to understand flow states, watch, listen and learn. The person giving the advice is a very highly ranked professional mountain biker (Tracey Hannah). You can easily apply this method to sim racing (and lots of other activities where a mental flow state is beneficial).

    ...oh and I forgot to mention - I also agree with everything @Lazza said too.

     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2020
    Comante likes this.
  10. davehenrie

    davehenrie Registered

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2016
    Messages:
    4,256
    Likes Received:
    2,368
    I've upgraded several times over the decades that I've been sloooowwly sim racing. If you are like me, you might gain a tiny bit of speed from new hardware, you also might get a little more consistant, but in the end, it's about controlling the car on the edges of the track. I find I tend to cheat corners. I'll make a good line one time, but the next lap I'll turn in too soon, or brake too late. I often end up off track at a corner I NAILED the previous lap. New hardware might get you excited to drive more and that will bring you some gains eventually. I've been off the pace for 2 decades and the gap really hasn't changed much, if any, the pros get farther ahead as they come to grips with each sim.
     
    Comante likes this.
  11. Richard Busch

    Richard Busch Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    Messages:
    213
    Likes Received:
    84
    The best advice you can get for trying to be a better race car driver.

    Skip Barber's - Going Faster

    There is also a book.
    https://www.amazon.com/Going-Faster-Mastering-Race-Driving/dp/0837602262

    Watch the video, then get in the rF2's Barber national car and drive. Try Lime Rock Park without the chicanes. Don't try to go fast right away, just drive and keep it on the road. You'll learn a lot. It has helped me quite a lot.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2020
    Emery likes this.
  12. Emery

    Emery Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2010
    Messages:
    2,789
    Likes Received:
    1,381
    "We don't give you the shaft... we sell it to you!"
     
  13. Comante

    Comante Registered

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2013
    Messages:
    1,398
    Likes Received:
    909
    Wow I didn't expect all those comments, thank you all.
    Muz_j I said I was looking for an external solution because I know that probably 90% of the problem is "internal" , I'm not used to drugs or excessive alchool assumption (and I don't really want to try for a videogame :D ) , I was hoping that some external condition could help trigger my internal focus. I will try to listen and apply the info about flow state, it's a thing I've already stumbled into, but never really tried to see if it works. I'm a very rational person, and it is really a struggle for me to "let your body decide " .
    At the moment I think that probably a decent monitor / monitor position could help in two ways : 1 is to have a better perspective of the track, 2 to help my brain to let the flow emerge.
    Richard : I've seen that video many times, and it really helped me a lot understanding racing physics, I practiced really a lot with the skip barber, and surely improved my driving.
    Knowing the track or better understanding it is really of paramount importance, is incredible how much time you can lose at every single turn just by doing a little different line or exiting just a few Km/h faster.
     
  14. Comante

    Comante Registered

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2013
    Messages:
    1,398
    Likes Received:
    909
    The singing trick is quite simple yet effective. I just made a few laps , but I've immediately noticed two things:
    1) is far easier to focus on the music and let the random mental noise out of the head.
    2) I immediately noticed that my driving was different, different lines, more fluid work on wheel and pedals. This had no impact in my lap times, but I think is just a matter of time and really focalize.
    Going downhill with a bike has a physical and adrenalinic component that probably help entering the flow.
    I just realized that I'm faster when I'm behind someone, I always thought that it was due imitation, but now I think is because I can focus on the car ahead and catching it make me enter the glow easily.
    I think I will make a singing behind the ghost car experiment.

    Other than that, I tried to put my screen near the wheel, this is a plus, but ghosting /occasional tearing/ and 60hz are surely a downside/ even resolution and low AA level are distracting.
     
    Emery likes this.
  15. Comante

    Comante Registered

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2013
    Messages:
    1,398
    Likes Received:
    909
    Well, It just happened that I was able to get out of the stall I was in. The stall was the combo Silverstone +Radical rsx.
    I was frustrated because long ago I was able to mark some good times, I've even still had the car setups. But nothing worked. I've read a short article about braking with an aero car VS a non aero car. So I tried to see if braking was my problem. I looked around for the least aero car around, and found the BMW CS2. Decided to give it a go at the same track. I've immediately seen the different driving: with the radical I was carrying too much speed into the corner, the car had poor steering and poor traction, so I was too much time idle or braking.
    With the BMW it was natural to brake in the straight then making the whole turn under throttle. So I reverted to the Radical and made the minimal setup changes that could replicate the different driving style.
    Rapidly shaved 2 seconds, and maybe will be able to get another 0.5.
     
    Emery likes this.

Share This Page