Why rFactor needs a well designed driver class/rating system

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Taxi645, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. Taxi645

    Taxi645 Registered

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    *arrogant mode on*

    Unlike Walter Röhrl I prefer a good fight over a 10min lead. The problem is drivers pace/talent is like a pyramid, the faster you are the fewer there are to meet of similar pace. If you look at rFactor many very fast drivers are spread between different leagues and hidden behind multiple server passwords. You won't find many on public servers, cause there are a lot of goons out there who can mess up your race no matter how good you are. These fast drivers might be on password servers, but how do you know if it's worth the hassle of going on the web to search the password if you have no idea of the level of the competitors there?

    In other words in rFactor as a fast driver it is very hard to find a race with a full field of comparable drivers. Many fast rFactor drivers have since moved to iRacing since rFactor became less and less interesting. Any remotely serious sport has a class system. Why? Because if you have people of roughly the same level the game becomes a lot more interesting both for players as well as spectators. This is not only true for the fastest drivers, but for drivers of all levels. So to find people of comparable pace, you need a system that:

    - tracks people's pace
    - and easily indicate where they are.

    To achieve this, I reckon there should be a well thought out driver rating/class system. Something similar to rFracing just with further fine tuned algorithms, added functionality (server browser, admin options) and more integrated into the game:

    - Implement a decent driver rating system, either publicly visible or not, with rating for speed, cuts, contacts and spins (and make it compare identical cars only).

    - Allow admins to set server access based on thresholds for speed, cuts, contacts and spins and possibly make this visible in the server browser

    Allow admins to determine what level of racers they want to have, perhaps they want very fast drivers, or perhaps they don't care about speed, but for instance like huge events just that people drive safely (low contact and spin rating). This can all be controlled with the rating thresholds.

    - In the (internet) server browser give an indication of the average speed and safety rating level of the drivers on that server (for instance by using a colour or icon system) and allow the server list to be sorted accordingly

    Use a colour code in the (internet) server browser to indicate the average rating level of the drivers on that server and split it into the current average rating and the average driver rating of the past month for instance. That way you can immediately see what the level is on a server at that moment, but also if it is server where fast drivers tend to gather so it might be useful to join even if there aren't many fast drivers on their yet. If for instance you see a passworded server with a very high average rating you might get interested and take a look at their website and perhaps register or get the password, while otherwise you wouldn't have bothered cause you wouldn't know it was worth it in the first place.

    - Make the ratings ranking system visible at the server browser website, the in game server browser and on server if player and server admin chooses to

    Introduce a ranking list in game and online for all four ratings, giving people an extra built in challenge (this is an optional feature, not really necessary for the system above to function).

    I was thinking to separate each rating; contacts, cuts, spins, finishes like the following:

    Level C: All drivers
    Level B: top 67% (just to weed out the wreckers so to say)
    Level A: top 33% (if you want really safe and fair races etc.)

    For speed I was thinking to use some sort of ELO system to determine the rating with the following levels:

    Level E: all drivers
    Level D: top 33%
    Level C: top 10%
    Level B: top 3%
    Level A: top 1% (which prolly well be almost never used as a threshold)

    All ratings would be quite sticky meaning then they won't change by one or two races, but take longer to change (longer than rFracing for sure). So if someone for some reason wants to mess up your rating it won't work and they prolly end up hurting their own rating much more.


    EDIT: Just wanted to add that there are a few possible implementations, adopting more or less of the above characteristics:

    1 The most modest one would only indicate the average level on that server without individual stats being visible to anyone.

    2 Then you could have a system, where individual stats still are not visible (at least to others) but servers admins CAN set thresholds for the different type of ratings

    3 Same as 2 but with the addition of ratings being visible to others and perhaps adopting a rank list as well.



    In short a well working driver rating/class system is essential for me and I suppose many for rFactor 2 to be a worthwhile step forward compared to rFactor. I really hope something along these lines will be implemented and I hope to hear ISI's thoughts on this subject. Thanks. :)


    *arrogant mode off*
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2011
  2. xzess

    xzess Registered

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    Number of races too... Decent ranking it's a good feature, but hope they put it as an option to servers. I'm not a verygood driver, but lot of times playing with 10 faster people (in lap) i finish race in top 5, in most cases top 3, cause they crash, burn their cars etc... only few people (out leagues) can stay in road for more that 5 laps. Need ranking to control theese, to me that i don't have much time to race, it's very hard to find one "no crazy" race.
     
  3. Graag

    Graag Registered

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    Public servers in rFactor do suffer from bad lack of drivers. This in my understanding is caused by huge amount of mods and servers. Also rFactor's old age of course makes the situation worse. This system you are proposing wont cure the problem. However I think that this would be a good addition to the game. If people do have problem of finding drivers of same level, this would help a little. But I don't know if it's a good idea that you have to be some particular level or above to enter some server. Might be better if you just see what level of drivers are on servers.
     
  4. Taxi645

    Taxi645 Registered

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    Indeed, of course it should be option for admins. Admins would be able to set their own type and level of threshold or none at all.

    I think the lack of (good) drivers is indeed the sheer amount of mods, tracks and servers, but also that the quality of racing on public servers is often not too great and moreover not visible before entering the server. Being able to see the average safety rating of the drivers on a server in the server browser would help in that regard. Furthermore I think with a rating system you'll see a concentration effect. Servers with a high speed/safety rating will start to attract more drivers therefore racing will converge more to those servers.

    You might be right. I think both the "soft" as well as the "hard" implementation should be tested. Perhaps the soft version will already be sufficient, that said, it takes just one wackko to mess up everyone's race.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 15, 2010
  5. The Stig

    The Stig Registered

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    On the surface it sounds good, but it is really a fancy way to say persistent online stats/leaderboard. And these things, IMO, bring out the worst in people.

    I am opposed to mandatory leaderboards and stats tracking in all guises.
     
  6. Taxi645

    Taxi645 Registered

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    Even if this was the case, you could leave all that off, not show people individual rank, but still track peoples skill level in the background and still indicate what the average level on a server is and optionally allow thresholds if that was what was decided to be best. To me the "more easily have races against equal components" is more important than being able to see or show your rank.
     
  7. sommergemuese

    sommergemuese Registered

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    I'm against this. No I am no crasher but I hate collecting data from drivers. Then you get Boring Races like in iRacing where you never see door to door fights like in the WTCC
     
  8. Taxi645

    Taxi645 Registered

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    I think admins should be allowed to choose whether or not to track stats and if so which stats. If an admin wants to have a more free race where like you say like with real life WTCC some contact is part of that type of rating it should be possible for him to opt for not track safety stats for instance. This should be visible somewhere so drivers who consider joining a server can see if and what stats are being tracked on that server.

    Anyway thanks for the comments, it helps to design a system that might be acceptable to everyone.
     
  9. V6_

    V6_ Registered

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    You have good intentions in making this, but I feel like the others. A rating will give players motivation to better that and only that, rather than have fun. Of course not everybody will get off on having a higher rank than those around them but it's definitely a majority. Let's see what the staff say.
     
  10. Graag

    Graag Registered

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    It could be possible to affect to this behavior by giving drivers different kind of results from the measurements. For example instead of using numerical results like rfracing does, we could simply have some words which describe the driver:

    Online safety rating: Dangerous, Unsafe, Mediocre, Safe, Very Safe
    Online speed: Slow, Not so fast, Mediocre, Fast, Very Fast
    Online races driven: Numerical result
    Online races finished: Percentage.

    As I understood, the purpose of this system wouldn't be to create some sort of competition. Neither should these be seen as some sort of achievements, that we see on many games these days. It would be used only to describe the drivers and to show that kind of drivers currently are on servers. So as such it should not be adjusted so that drivers start to drive differently because of these measurements. If five levels seem like they make the drivers to drive differently, we could just have three or four levels:

    Online safety rating: Unsafe, Mediocre, Safe
    Online speed: Not so fast, Mediocre, Fast
    Online races driven: Numerical result
    Online races finished: Percentage.
     
  11. MystaMagoo

    MystaMagoo Registered

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    Whether your for or against makes no odds as long as you can turn it OFF :cool:
     
  12. sommergemuese

    sommergemuese Registered

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    I play Counter-Strike Source really often.

    This Ranking KILLS the Game. There is no Teamplay = fun. Everyone wants to get the most kills.

    The only reason I play this is I can talk with friends there while playing.

    And Stats like mentioned here would kill the fun of driving.

    To have sword against Crashers I believe the best way is to enable the Admin to ban the player. And the Player is bound to it's Serial number. Then the Admins can get Rid Off the Crashers really fast and we have fun with driving without looking for stupid ratings.

    Just my 2 cents
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 12, 2010
  13. The Stig

    The Stig Registered

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    The best solution to people who enjoy ruining the experience for others has always been, and will likely still be to simply join a racing community. It may take you a couple to find a fit, but there are lots to choose from.

    I read a great line on the Race Department forums today: Trying to find a clean race on a public server is like going to a public swimming pool full of kids and hoping there is no pee. :D
     
  14. Ahmad

    Ahmad Registered

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    Sometimes the most fun is coming back through a field after being smashed at the first corner :p

    This one time in a public Megane server, I started 26th and was 9th by the 4th corner, LOL. I somehow managed to avoid all the carnage, it looked pretty amazing driving through the storm.
     
  15. Suarez16

    Suarez16 Registered

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    So you never ran a Legends or a Late Model Series race then? :p
    You have a point though, the safety rating makes people very cautious.
    Grouping racers based on lap times might be a good idea, but a fast lap time doesn't always mean a good driver...
     
  16. Pandamasque

    Pandamasque Registered

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    Same happened to me on BROS (or something like that in caps) Megane server. But just when I started to find some joy in navigating through a battlefield by the middle of 1st lap, somebody ran into my backside with a speed difference of at least 150kph after cutting the whole section of the track (Stowe, Vale, Club) at full speed.
    Public server racing. Lesson learned.
     
  17. Niksounds

    Niksounds Registered

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    HEAR the words of this man.

    Played CS for several years (min 10 .. what a story..) and this man says a law.

    THE RANKING (intended in a central world server..) KILLS THE GAME

    It's sadly true.
     
  18. Ahmad

    Ahmad Registered

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    While I agree that ranking is not the best thing for fun and high spirited gaming, the similitude to CS:S is incorrect because CS:S is a team game, rF is not.

    Wow, deja vu.

    And now I feel like watching The Matrix.
     
  19. Taxi645

    Taxi645 Registered

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    Wow, where to start. Like I said (some seem to have missed it) to me the important part is not a ranking list, which could be left out. The important part, like graag says, is the ability to converge people of similar skill levels.

    On the topic of CS or similar FPS games and why it ruins gameplay is because kill stats move focus away from objectives to reach or teamplay where as in real life racing objectives like being fast, driving safely and finishing ARE the actual goals. So unlike FPS games where it might lead away from objectives, in racing a rating system would actually focus racing on real world objectives. If you don't like these real world objectives (which would seem a bit odd when racing a race-sim) you can always join servers that don't have thresholds and don't track stats.

    EDIT: Thanks Ahmed you got it.

    About whether or not the rating system should influence people driving, actually I would say it should. Can anyone sincerely claim there it would not be desirable if the overall driving safety in simracing would improve? I find that hard to believe, if this rating would improve peoples overall driving safety I would be very happy. Does it have to apply to each and every server? No, thank god no. There would be plenty of servers, perhaps even the majority of them that, that won't use the system, but at least there will be servers where driving safely is rewarded. So in that sense I surely do hope it will influence peoples driving.

    Although League racing does improve the overall competitiveness and driving safety of the starting fields, there is still much room for improvement even there. I've raced in many leagues and driving safety could still be much improved. Furthermore also in league racing the competitiveness of drivers still leaves much to be desired. Each leagues has say 3 to 5 top drivers, if a few don't make it to the race there is not enough to have a competitive field at the front. For me it is so frustrating, knowing there are plenty of fast drivers around, just that they are so spread out between the different leagues, that they are spread out too thin to actually have the glorious racing that is possible with sim-racing.

    But instead of quibbling back and forth with arguments let me try to explain why I want this. For me the most fun in a racing game is to have multiple lap battles with equal opponents. You really need to push to the edge of your abilities and overtaking is not just waiting for the inevitable to happen but rather a tactical battle to try to lure your opponent into making a mistake or having to leave open a gap you can jump into. Also with a competitive field fuel and tyre strategies come into play. If you have an equal field the last few seconds you can squeeze out of a certain tyre strategy can be the difference between winning and loosing where as when the gaps can be expressed in ten's of seconds or laps even it doesn't matter what you do since it won't make no real difference any way.

    Hope you all see why I am proposing this and consider it with an open mind. I think it will be fairly easy to find a middle ground where you'll have an implementation that will suit almost everyone.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 15, 2010
  20. Christopher Joyal

    Christopher Joyal Registered

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    Good Topic . . . one of the things I admire the most about iRacing was the class system it implemented. Plain & simple, it rewards clean driving and race results. No way of cheating the system if your skills just aren't as good as others.

    I'm not too big on the idea of rFactor designing a class rating based system. We would just like the tools to implement our own system on our servers.

    At BozRacing we have designed our own Rating System. Combination of race results and safety rating algorithm.

    What we would like to do is take our MOD and Race servers to the next level. We would like to have our drivers enter our Race Servers via the browser. They would be logged into website(authenticated) and there BozRating would be known. From the website they would be able to see all of the servers available to them based on there BozRating.

    SERVER API - Wish List ( what we need to be accomplish this ? )

    Need an API Method that will allow us to Authenticate individual ids and passwords against the race server.
    (maybe setup configurable webservice that is used)

    Need an API Method that will take that user and connect them with the appropriate server
    (current way is rfactor://my.serverip.com:34300 )
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 12, 2010

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