Why must we learn (or worse never learn) so much by accident?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by P.S.R., Jul 2, 2014.

  1. P.S.R.

    P.S.R. Registered

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    Don't get me wrong. There is much that can only be learned through experience. There is just no substitute. My beef is with how much there is that I just learn by accident. There are certain things sim racers simply should not have to wait years to understand.

    For example, shouldn't new sim racers be aware that immersion grows with skill development and experience? Shouldn't they understand that setups have the power to transform vehicles they wouldn't touch and consider undriveable into favorite vehicles? Shouldn't they know that default setups almost always suck and not to confuse a terrible default setup with a terrible vehicle? Shouldn't they know how important it is to develop their skills with a balanced vehicle (including brake bias) so they are able to execute maneuvers? Shouldn't they know the power of championships to inject focus, purpose and meaning into their sim racing? Shouldn't they be able to look forward to the moment things "click" and they are forever able to identify opportunities for improvement and practice and test for hundreds of laps when fatigue sets in before boredom? Shouldn't they know the addictive power and satisfaction of testing? Shouldn't they (especially console converts) understand basic auto racing concepts without having to fumble their way through two confusion and unfamilar worlds at the same time (sim world and auto racing worlds)?

    Why must we learn so much by accident? Why am I still learning seven years on? How do new sim racers even know what they want or, even less likely, what it's called or how to ask for it?

    What else could they (I?) know now? Why so many secrets? How many sim racers have given up navigating such unnecessarily mysterious terrain?
     
  2. Jamie Shorting

    Jamie Shorting Registered

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    Not around here man. :) For instance, the GT-R default setup is very very good IMO. Most of the default setups are excellent baselines.

    Also just knowing a few basic things about setups allows you to be a click or two away from making the default suit your style. For instance, I find one of the historic formula 1 cars too twitchy, so a couple few clicks of some caster and I'm ready to go.


    If you're finding the default " a setup that sucks" maybe your driving is too blame, or a hardware issue. No offense intended btw.


    Little side story:

    I recently more than double the steps of resolution on my throttle pedal, and all I can say is wow do I have throttle control now. I think I might have a quarter inch or so too much travel but what a huge difference than before.
     
  3. Ronnie

    Ronnie Registered

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    Secrets? What secrets. It's not like anything is being hidden from anyone. You either give sth a proper go and try to get grips with everything or you don't. It's like wanting to lose weight, start running, biking whatever and give up after few hours becasue it's hard and they get sweaty, tired and it's painful then sell their bikes or running shoes and complain they are still fat expecting that they will lose fat by breathing. When you play a sim with great depth, expecting everything to be instantaneous is the worst set of mind that you can have. It takes time and determination. You won't discover many things if you don't want to, just like you won't get slim if you don't excercise with determination for a longer period of time.
     
  4. Paul_Ceglia

    Paul_Ceglia Registered

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    Learn by accident.....that sums up life in a nutshell. Its call discipline and perseverance, seeking answers to questions and finding out that more question come from the answers. Sorry for the "heaviness" but when I first started siming I knew nothing about car dynamics and proper driving technique, only when I read books and watched youtube vids on the subject is when it really came to life for me.

    And for never learning, that is the said persons own fault for not digging deep enough. All the answers are out there it just how far are you willing to take it.
     
  5. Paul_Ceglia

    Paul_Ceglia Registered

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    ditto!
     
  6. P.S.R.

    P.S.R. Registered

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    Jamie you are correct re rF2 setups being good or very close. I was speaking generally. The rest of you seem to be missing my point re the distinction btwn what can only be learned via experience vs not

    Edit - for example ==> could it not be motivating for some sim racers to be able to look forward to the possibilities that lie ahead? Some of my many discoveries along the way took me completely by surprise and I hate to think of the sim racers that got close to some breakthrough milestone only to never reach it because he never knew it was coming.

    Anyway if I am not making sense then I will take responsibility for not communicating effectively. I'll yet have to find some better way to illustrate which will be fun :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2014
  7. Jamie Shorting

    Jamie Shorting Registered

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    A real sim racer or anybody who is into computer sims are aware that there is much to learn that lies "under the surface" so to speak. The more you learn, the more you can get out of the software. For example I learned VOR and NDB navigation in FSX even though GPS is much simpler. It just made FSX that much more realistic to me.

    Sim racers specifically are a dying breed as the "immediate gratification sims/games" are taking over in the racing genre. I don't want to get into specifics since I'll bring some people out of the woodwork, but making videos and taking screenshots seems more important than learning the intricacies of a tire model or developing a driving style etc....


    So to answer what I bolded from your quote, yes it is but people have to want to dive in deeper in the first place.
     
  8. datanode

    datanode Registered

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    Good post. What can help you want to dive in deeper is a good few practice sessions with others. Tailing, chatting, reviewing and tweaking...

    Get a community involved in the improvement it certainly can help.
     
  9. PaulG

    PaulG Registered

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    The setup thing that always aggravates me: Why can't developers just put in some generic profiles you can choose. Codemasters did this with the F1 games from day one. And those aren't even sims. They're arcade-sims. Every sim game should have this. If you still want to tinker, fine, but you shouldn't need to be a race engineer to make generic, wholesale changes to a car.
     
  10. SPASKIS

    SPASKIS Registered

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    Let's assume that default setups are a good starting point...I also guess they are tuned for Race conditions and not for Quali which can be quite different setups.

    That does not help a bit in the process of adjusting it for any single track!

    SETUP PARAMETERS ARE THERE TO BE TWEAKED!!!!!!

    How should you fine tune it for each different track? I think that that's what is all about. Tracks are right handed or left handed. They might require higher/lower downforce and higher/lower top speed. When adjusting those parameters you need to balance suspensions.

    THAT IS THE HARD PROCESS FOR MOST PEOPLE.

    IMO it would be much helpful if each vehicle would have different default setups for some standard tracks that could be considered as a reference. Logically in this case it would be useful to use ISI official tracks. Silverstone, indy, mores, lime rock, monaco, loch drummond for example. Looking at the differences of what would be considered very good setups for those circuits would be very helpful in order to understand the setup adjusting process.
     
  11. Maug

    Maug Registered

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    For short:

     
  12. ViSo

    ViSo Registered

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    Yesterday:
    I was doing tons of laps with ISI Civic car, changing lot of things on setup in order to have a stable car for the race I had at 22.00h. I changed almost everything up and down, nothing works, a friend told me that Civic Default setup is pretty nice, then I tried it ... here you go, 1sec faster and much more stable.
    I finally won that race with default setup.

    Default setups are not that bad :)
     
  13. P.S.R.

    P.S.R. Registered

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    Guys, please don't turn this into a "rF2 default setups are not bad" thread. I was speaking in general about sim racing. ISI's rF2 vehicle setups are very good for most vehicles I have driven.

    Can you say the same about mods in general across different sim SW? Nope. In fact, I'll never forget the first time I decided to deliberately tinker with a vehicle I considered to be undriveable. That vehicle is now one of my favorite vehicles. I was so affected by that moment that I began tinkering with setups of other vehicles I never liked and got the same result. They were great cars but just with terrible default setups. And they felt GREAT with just a few tweaks and all of them in <= 10 minutes to get a great feel.

    Sim racers who don't understand setups are not only losing speed and the joy of tinkering. They are also missing out on vehicles they could otherwise be enjoying.
     
  14. Ronnie

    Ronnie Registered

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    Let's get one thing straight. People that just wants to jump and drive perfect car with ease and when she/he hears setup changes they make silly face... these are not sim racers. Sim racer, sim is short for simulation as we know, so we should expect from a true sim racer some patience, willingness to learn new stuff and fiddle around if he lacks speed and wants to have some fun races in middle or front of a pack. I consider a sim racer someone that doesn't just drive a sim, I consider such guy/girl a gamer and there's nothing wrong with that. It's just a different approach.

    Some types of people don't want to change anything and expect everything to be as they want them to be. It's not a good sim racer material and probably will never be (there are exceptions).

    When I see someone that is new to a Sim and is feeling kinda lost I tend to bring them under my wings and make their life easier. Showing them things that they might miss. It makes me happy to see them evolve and become sim racers with some knowlage and set of skills to race properly. Of course sometimes there are people that say sth is too hard and quit after few atempts. We can't expect everyone to be like some of us. :)

    No point wondering why things are like they are, try to enjoy it yourself and do it with others that think the same. ;)
     
  15. Voodoo Pizzaman

    Voodoo Pizzaman Registered

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    I'll never forget, years and years ago, one day when I sat down in front of my computer with NASCAR Racing 2002 season (way back machine!) and went into the setup screen during a test session. I hovered my mouse over every single changeable facet of the car setup screen and read the popup tool tips on the screen 2, 3, 4 times over, or more in some of the more difficult parts. Fast forward to now and I can recite 90% of those tooltips verbatim, sometimes involuntarily when I'm browsing the rF2 setup screen, like muscle memory. When I graduated to rF1 I realized I was trying to tame a different animal, so I sat down with the now-famous rFactor F1 Setup Guide and spent a day with that information, with much the same effect as with NR2002. I was 11 years old back then and racing in a league against people 3 times my age, and before that point in time I knew nothing about car setups, but I wanted to learn, and the WANT was what made the difference for me. I was in the company of many other racers who possessed the "want," and that inspired me to get the "want" just as much.

    Some people have the want. Most don't, though, hence the small-but-devoted cult-like fanbases that sim racers enjoy (not a knock on cult-like fanbases, I'm a card-carrying member). Nobody can make someone want, but those who don't have it can perhaps be motivated to learn by witnessing others who are passionate about racing AND learning, in the context of a vibrant community (like this one).

    That's how I feel, I suppose. Take it or leave it. By the way, I ended up using that setup knowledge to win 3 races that season, 2 at Watkins Glen and Sonoma...I've always been a road course warrior, it seems :p
     
  16. P.S.R.

    P.S.R. Registered

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    I understand where you guys are coming from regarding some personality types are just never going to be interested and that is for sure but what about me? I've lost interest in sim racing a number of times and only accidentally discovered certain things. Surely there are others out there who may become accidental professional sim racers like me but what about the ones who give up? What if they don't even know themselves well enough to anticipate that they will get addicted to testing? As an example, here is a summary of the path I took which was filled with landmines...

    I started with console racing games and then discovered Richard Burns Rally but began to lose interest when it seemed that everyone was memorizing the tracks and that is not what rally is about so then I discovered rF1 and was very interested in the prospect of numerous tracks because that would mean that I could avoid memorizing the tracks and that was fun for a while but then there was no online rally action in rF1 so then I begin circuit racing online and that was fun but I never joined a championship. I wasn't doing public server races but also I never followed a championship all the way through or the leagues I was joining were not championships but just hosting individual races. After a while of that I lost interest again and explored other ISI motor based sims from Simbin and Game Stock Car which were all great but I was racing single player because online everyone was just racing the same tracks and I never joined a league or championship because I just never thought to.

    I was rapidly losing interest in sim racing when rF2 came out and it truly blew me away but I still had never put much effort into skill development, experimentation, testing, etc.

    One day I decided I was going to attempt to master, or at least be able to drive aggressively with confidence one of the most demanding cars in rF2. This led me to Ross Bentley and Skip Barber videos/books and I began practicing with enthusiasm.

    Not long after I was ready to compete but no one was hosting races with car so I started a league and began hosting races with decent attendance but no long after that another league picked up the vehicle and was running a full championship so I backed off which was the right thing to do since they were going to put in the effort to run a full championship I did not want to dilute their grid and I initially joined them but lost interest because I did not like the selected tracks.

    So I decided to play singleplayer only and soon began to question the meaning of what I was doing.

    Then a rF1 mod was released that I wanted to test and it had been a long time since I was in rF1 and when I went back to rF1 after developing more skill I realized the ISI motor engine was way deeper than I thought. Regardless I went back to rF2 until another rF1 mod was released and this time I found myself wondering why this mod felt so much better than other mods? So for whatever reason I decided to see if setup could be part of the reason the mod felt so good so I tinkered with one of my least favorite mods and was able to make it feel great in < 10 minutes and will very limited setup skills or experience.

    I immediately began tinkering with any mod I could think of that I initially hated and which I still had on my PC and I was able to make every one of them feel great.

    Until then all of my championship race weekend prep was focused on many laps and practice but not setup tweaking so I decided to join a league race again and that I was going to do a lot of setup testing and I ended up having a great race and actually had to stop myself from setup testing to select a setup and begin practicing with the selected setup.

    Also, I forgot to mention that while I was still hosting the league I mentioned above that I also reached a level to where I could practice without getting bored and fatigue would set in way before boredom ever did and even after doing hundreds of practice laps I still couldn't wait to get back to that track again so I could start doing practice/test laps again.

    Anyway the summary is that I came close to quitting sim racing many times and actually did quit one or two times temporarily but I would have been much further along if I knew what to look forward to and what I was working for like increased immersion and a more fulfilling overall experience, sense of accomplishment, etc. that the full usage of sim sw (practice, testing, skill development, experience, championships, etc.) afforded.

    It would be a shame for others that have the required personality like me but for whatever reason struggle with understanding/anticipating the many benefits awaiting them.
     
  17. D.Painter

    D.Painter Registered

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    You answered your own question.
    All the listed things are apart of that. Watching motorsport teaches the important of setups. To drive within the tyres. The importance in finding the best racing line on any given track.
    Not all motorsport broad casts are that informative as others unfortunately.

    Default setup.
    This made me laugh with rF1 and other sims. This is so much more the case today with rF2's physic engine. The truth is there is "no" magic formula that suits every track and every driver. Tracks vary in so many ways. Driving styles (right or wrong) vary in so many ways so what you may think is crap, others may think the opposite. There's no surprise or secrets in that. The perfect default is a pipe dream, it'll never happen.

    People who use simulations like rF2 are not just gamers! For the most part. It's not looked at as just another game to play.
    Learning the secrets and finding the best you can from your driving is apart of the true appeal of sim racing. True also to real racing. Again a reason for the appeal.

    Today's console racing isn't just plug and play anymore either. Setup and driving style "do" matter, Make a difference to your speed.

    Haha.... Why would you need to be told?? The hole purpose in competing in anything is to achieve! Win! Be the better on the day! Why would you need to be told you have to work toward that goal? It doesn't come cheap, you have to commit at leased something to achieve!

    The only time you stop learning is when your dead! This applies to every single person on the planet and the few that aren't!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2014
  18. SPASKIS

    SPASKIS Registered

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    So let's remove setup changing functionality: Fixed default setups for everybody. ;)
     
  19. Denstjiro

    Denstjiro Registered

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    All of the above is correct :)

    Yes its hard to get grips with it, especially for people whom are not too technical or can use their fast experience and/or spend countless of hours understanding cars and testing endlessly.

    And yes its also a given there are no 'easy' ways to tackle this as an individual, its a hurdle that needs to be taken just as in real life racing. (apart from the fact that real race drivers have engineers and we do not)

    But there are ways around it no doubt and focussing on the complexity of it all is not one of them.

    First off setups are overrated, one doesn't need an elite setup to become fast or consistent. Typically in-depth changes are supporting an already stable and fast driver whom is looking for either more consistency or those last few tenths.
    So epic tweaks only become epic when the driver is already at a certain level.
    If he aint, those tweaks wont help either.

    In that respect one could say that the basics of a setup is all you need (downforce/gearing/coast/tirepressure/braking/power) to become stable and fast in general.

    You also don't need to be an expert, grab setups from other peeps, there's a long thread dedicated to it or start your own.
    Or join certain servers regurarly and ask for setups.
    Or join a league and use setups from others (and league racing is the best tool to become faster by default)
    (does need to know why a setup is good? if its effective, use it!)

    Use good setups acquired as a base setup for next endeavours and/or use them to compare with your own and try to find out why its feels so different. If the base settings are reasonably ok you will find there are only a few in-depth changes that make it so much better (different ride height on a specific track for example)


    It is as complicated as you want it to be. You don't need to be an expert to be fast, you just need more track time and experience. the setup only supports that experience.

    In all the years I've been in league racing and supporting drivers one thing was clear: Drivers really struggling are usually drivers whom dive into the garage and start changing things hoping it will make them faster and ignore track-time completely.

    I'm not very technical either and continuously ignore in-depth paraphernalia, I just practise hard and am still able to compete vs the top drivers in our league and win race and titles.



    TL;DR:
    Ignore the complexity
    acquire good setups from others to use
    spend more time on-track then in garage
    Join real humans online to improve and compare.
     
  20. Racefreak1976

    Racefreak1976 Registered

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    Some of you didn't read the first sentence. ;)

    It's the way of the World.

    There really aren't any.

    They'll all come crawling back if they have the slightest interest in motorsports.
     

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