Racing Sim Thread, Part II

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Re: Racing Sim Thread, Part II

Post by Wilk5280 »

I think 1.4.0 did more harm than good. A lot of people can’t play their career anymore and, on PS5 anyway, the choppiness, screen tearing, and frame rate issue is a disaster.
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Re: Racing Sim Thread, Part II

Post by GB_Simo »

Have we settled on a verdict re: EA WRC 1.4, chaps? I got a £50 gift card for Christmas which was meant as a means of buying F1 23 and WRC, but some of the initial feedback on the latest WRC patch has me wondering whether to hold off. I'm all out of free trial so can't check it out for myself.
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Re: Racing Sim Thread, Part II

Post by pk500 »

GB_Simo wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2023 3:20 pm
Have we settled on a verdict re: EA WRC 1.4, chaps? I got a £50 gift card for Christmas which was meant as a means of buying F1 23 and WRC, but some of the initial feedback on the latest WRC patch has me wondering whether to hold off. I'm all out of free trial so can't check it out for myself.
I LOVE the game. Runs fine for me on the Series X.

The asphalt physics model isn't great, a recurring theme for Codemasters' rally games back to the original Colin McRae. It must be the Achilles heel for that development team like calling penalties is for the Madden dev team.

Otherwise, I think the game is sublime. Good fun. Some proper long stages of 20 km or longer, too!
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Re: Racing Sim Thread, Part II

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GB_Simo wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2023 3:20 pm
Have we settled on a verdict re: EA WRC 1.4, chaps? I got a £50 gift card for Christmas which was meant as a means of buying F1 23 and WRC, but some of the initial feedback on the latest WRC patch has me wondering whether to hold off. I'm all out of free trial so can't check it out for myself.
I really want to like this game and I'll need to go back to playing it on Series X to see how much better, if any, the framerate and stuttering issues are compared to on the PS5.

If I had to make a claim right now, I'd say WRC 10 is the better value. Unfortunately, Klyotonn mailed in last year's game, Generations, due to losing the WRC license after its release so it wasn't that good, IMO. WRC 10 has the most polilsh and bang for the buck if you ask me.
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Re: Racing Sim Thread, Part II

Post by GB_Simo »

Wilk, I went ahead with a purchase on Series X after PK's recommendation and it's running absolutely fine for me in gameplay. I've seen one stutter in the little cut scene immediately before the stage starts, but nothing while driving. Still a few bits of screen tear but I suspect that's baked in at this stage. One observation I would make, though: it strikes me that if a patch release is capable of completely breaking the entire Career mode, that's the kind of thing that should probably pop up in QA testing.

On WRC Generations, I'd go a step further and suggest that in a number of ways, Kylotonn actively made things a bit worse. Take the tarmac physics, for example, which were class-leading in 9 and 10 but took on the same floaty quality as the Codemasters games in Generations.
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Re: Racing Sim Thread, Part II

Post by Wilk5280 »

sooo, we gonna do another one of those WRC rallies or no?
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Re: Racing Sim Thread, Part II

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I'm in for a WRC rally. Someone has to bring up the rear. :lol:

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Re: Racing Sim Thread, Part II

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Wilk5280 wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2024 2:45 pm
sooo, we gonna do another one of those WRC rallies or no?
Yes, sorry for the delay. I am going to create it's own thread for the championship series, but my thoughts are to make it easy for participation, not too many stages, allow all assists, cross-platform, one week per rally with different location and car class so that by the end of the championship we have hit all locations and car classes, or at least the ones everyone is interested in. See this thread for anyone that is interested in participating or giving feedback. Thanks!

EA WRC DSP Rally Championship
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=17212

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Re: Racing Sim Thread, Part II

Post by pk500 »

Many thanks for organizing this, Don!
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Re: Racing Sim Thread, Part II

Post by pk500 »

F1 23 -- the latest EA F1 game -- coming to GamePass Thursday. Very solid driving and racing model if you can ignore the odious story modes and F1 Life mode.
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Re: Racing Sim Thread, Part II

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Lads, I have no real idea where to post this, but this seems like the most appropriate thread.

As some of you are already aware, I've been managing mental health issues for my entire adult life. I won't bog you down too much in the specifics, other than to tell you that towards the end of last year, I entered a sustained depressive episode which lasted well into this year and almost cost me both my family and my job.

I'm not in any danger and I'll be fine; measures have been put in place to deal with it appropriately and I'm already seeing some success. One of the measures is to have a creative outlet available to me. Partly, this lets me try to craft things which are at least occasionally amusing, the logic being that I'll do less of it in person (as a masking behaviour when I'm struggling) if I'm doing it regularly in writing. Partly, it's because I like writing things and it'll make me happy.

To that end, I've started another blog. This one isn't about racing cars, so there's no pressure for it to stay topical or be constantly updated to reflect current events, recent races and so on. It's about racing games, how I used them to sustain my dreams of being an F1 world champion and the slow, steady process of understanding that virtual glory would not lead to real-world glory.

All of this preamble is being written because the blog isn't just talking about games. Some entries will be much more focused on the game than others, but the first one is as much about a life event as it is the game. Your mileage is going to vary and my entries might bore the life out of you, but if you ever fancy taking a moment to have a look, I'd love to hear your feedback on it.

To lure PK in, the URL is taken from the chorus of my favourite Oasis song:

https://heystayyoung.wordpress.com/

No regular schedule for uploads, but I'm hoping to have a new entry up every 1-2 weeks, so please feel free to stop by every so often and see how long I sustain that hope for...
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Re: Racing Sim Thread, Part II

Post by pk500 »

Adam:

Thanks for your note. Takes real courage to admit you're struggling, and you know everyone here has your back and wants you to get well.

Be well, mate. You're surrounded by love here. Eager to read your blog!
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Re: Racing Sim Thread, Part II

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It takes courage to share your story! I’m very happy to hear you are on the road to recovery and will always be here to listen anytime you need to talk!

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Re: Racing Sim Thread, Part II

Post by dbdynsty25 »

Good luck Simo, I’ll be reading!

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Re: Racing Sim Thread, Part II

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Thanks for the kind words, lads.

I'm refreshing myself on Formula 1 '97 so I can write about it over the next week or so, but before I do, I wanted to let you know that I've tried the free trial of F1 24.

I've seen clips of wheel users drifting like it's Need For Speed, then demonstrating how the quickest way around a track is to apply full lock during every turn-in phase no matter how fast you're going. From that, I understand the physics model is a bit broken, but since an accident recently befell my CSL DD and I need to buy a new rim for it, I cannot comment personally.

What I can tell you is that on pad, no assists, something feels a bit off. In the dry, cars are pointy on corner entry with a huge amount of front-end grip, then transition to huge understeer as soon as you apply power. In the wet, they're pointy on entry and even pointier on exit, with the front rotating so much that from the rollover bar camera view, you'd swear the car was turning around a central pivot, just like the old days.

When you use a flashback because you spun, locked up or whatever, your tyre smoke reappears in front of you. That's odd.

ERS and DRS are hugely powerful this year, to the point that I entered the home straight at Imola leading Leclerc by just over a second and still ended up taking a defensive line into Tamburello. Is that odd? It might be.

My first race at Spa, where I started last, got up to 12th and then just kind of stayed there while the 11 cars ahead circulated in a big, uncatchable DRS train, was definitely odd. Seeing the driver who finished 14th set the fastest lap in that Imola race, which I won from pole position, was odd too. It'd all seem to indicate that when I say ERS and DRS are hugely powerful, I actually mean they're powerful to the point of imbalance.

I'm going to save the rest of my trial for the patch that's due in a week or two, in response to the many complaints about the current handling model. Perhaps that patch will also make kerbs matter again, rather than the quickest way around a track being to absolutely launch yourself at every raised corner marker, no matter how tall, no matter how sausage-like, and take the free lap time they provide.

Until then, F1 23 is a) on Game Pass and b) better.
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Re: Racing Sim Thread, Part II

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2 patches for F1 24 since my initial notes above. One of them addressed handling, of which more shortly, and the other addressed things like having the entire field forced to start a wet race on slick tyres because even after 15 tries, Codemasters can't pull an F1 game together without shipping a load of daft bugs that even the most short-sighted member of the Questionably Attentive team must have flagged in.

Wet weather handling is slightly less drifty than before but still occasionally registers on the Burnout Paradise scale coming through slower corners. The AI takes chunks from me on corner exit in the slow stuff, I get some of it back in the quick stuff and no matter what I do or where I race, I qualify exactly 12th. It's not an awful experience but nor does it feel quite right.

In the dry, though, it's very good. The quickest of the wheel users and the e-sports pros are absolutely slating the post-patch feel based on running their demon tweaked setups, but this is an officially licenced console game. In an ideal world it should feel great for everyone, but where it can't, it should feel best for pad users of moderate talent using default setups, because that's who this game is for, right?

I am one of those people and I'm telling you the dry weather handling model is genuinely enjoyable to drive. It's not realism's last stand - the feeling of heft is reduced from F1 23, making for a pointier experience where weight and momentum matter less than before - but you can fire yourself into Acque Minerale, Pouhon, Copse or Becketts at speed, grab a little dab of opposite lock as you clout an apex kerb at the wrong moment, emerge on the other side feeling like an absolute hero and then come back 90 seconds later for another go.

That being so, why would I still recommend F1 23 over this?

Tonight, I ran a 25% race at Silverstone. I did a one-shot qualifying session, it was wet and so I qualified exactly 12th. The race was dry, though, so tyre strategy was going to matter. I checked my pre-defined choices and noted that if I chose the tyre conservation strategy, I'd be starting on softs, then pitting at the end of lap 6. If I chose the balls-out strategy, the same softs would be thrashed to within an inch of their lives before somehow carrying me to the end of lap 7. There was probably wisdom in there but I chose not to seek it.

Having parked a gentlemanly distance away from my grid box, I made quiet progress during the first stint and prepared to make my stop from 9th position. Despite being 9th, I could see the leader. Everyone ahead was in a DRS train, everyone was doing similar things with their ERS (I've now understood that it takes more manual management this year, regularly switching deployment off in order to store big chunks of energy for key points in the lap), everyone was occasionally going 3-wide down Hangar Straight as if it all made sense. Once every few laps, the train would check up as someone made a little error or tried to take the lead, and I'd go from being nearly a second back to hitting someone as they braked almost to a standstill.

The pit stop itself went well. 2.4 seconds from the Aston Martin crew. What went less well was having to wait the same amount of time and more as the second half of the field pitted, having maintained its own DRS/ERS convoy that left no space for me to be released into.

By the end, I'd got back into the points, with a fastest lap of 1:31.0. The fastest lap overall was a 1:30.4, and every AI car in the field had a best lap under 1:31.5. Barely a second of spread from fastest to slowest over a lap in race trim, because that pace is governed entirely by whichever train you happen to be in.

A strong dry weather hotlapping experience, then, and a title potentially worthy of recommendation once the rest of the game catches up. Until then, F1 23.
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Re: Racing Sim Thread, Part II

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Adam, thanks for the F1 24 first impressions and experiences post patches. For once I held off on early purchase and your impressions have sealed the deal for me to wait at least until there is some major sale.

Also, your blog posts on the Sony F1 game for PS1 are fantastic reads and truly captures the anticipation and excitement that could build back when the internet was still young enough that gaming news and hype still came via magazines and advertisements and talking to the guys at the local gaming store. And then there was acquiring the physical game itself. Calling shops, standing in lines on release day/night. It all added to the hobby in ways that are somewhat missing today. Thanks so much for the great memories of that game!
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Re: Racing Sim Thread, Part II

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The amount of calls I made to Electronics Boutique asking if a game had arrived...through the roof!
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Re: Racing Sim Thread, Part II

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DChaps wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2024 8:44 pm
Adam, thanks for the F1 24 first impressions and experiences post patches. For once I held off on early purchase and your impressions have sealed the deal for me to wait at least until there is some major sale.

Also, your blog posts on the Sony F1 game for PS1 are fantastic reads and truly captures the anticipation and excitement that could build back when the internet was still young enough that gaming news and hype still came via magazines and advertisements and talking to the guys at the local gaming store. And then there was acquiring the physical game itself. Calling shops, standing in lines on release day/night. It all added to the hobby in ways that are somewhat missing today. Thanks so much for the great memories of that game!
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https://heystayyoung.wordpress.com/2024 ... formula-1/
Thanks, Don. I'm so pleased you found something to enjoy. You might like to know that I've spent a couple of days pulling together what accidentally became 4,000 words for a new entry, some of them eventually talking about Formula 1 97 itself:

https://heystayyoung.wordpress.com/2024 ... mula-1-97/

This gives rise to another question, one of exactly how many unofficial F1 games I can write about before I've got no choice but to do Formula 1 98. I could definitely try Racing Simulation Monaco Grand Prix 2, maybe even TOCA Touring Car Championship...




While I'm pondering that, and while I'm still refusing to recommend F1 24 to anyone, I'm mindful of the fact that my comments have probably left you with unspent money and an urge to do something with it, so I want to suggest that you shell out a few dollars for New Star Grand Prix.

You might remember there being an NSGP game sometime around 2009, a top-down game with fake team and driver names which, while not the deepest game ever released, was a lot of fun in short bursts. The new edition takes an entirely different approach, leaning into the faux-retro art style used in games like Hotshot Racing and Formula Retro Racing as it invites you to progress through a career comprised of 5 "eras", running from the 1980s to the 2020s. Each race weekend features a number of different events, from time trials to checkpoint races via last man standing elimination runs, culminating in a final Grand Prix race which you're only allowed one attempt at, adding a bit of tension and jeopardy to proceedings. You're the owner/driver at New Star Racing, using the spoils earned from on-track success to purchase upgrades, donate to charity, hire and fire key staff members and occasionally, if you're in the mood for it, royally upset the other drivers.

Gameplay isn't exactly what you'd call a sim ("So what's it doing in this thread, then?" - Everyone) but while you don't need to think about weight transfer, torque curves or anything like that, you do need to drive sensible lines, keep your tyres in good shape and execute the right tyre and refuelling strategy for a given circuit ("Ah, so that's what it's doing in this thread, then" - Everyone). Some races have variable weather too, with a pre-race forecast which isn't always perfect and forces you to react in the moment - as the track dries out just before the start of the final lap, can you nurse your wets through one more tour to victory or should you quickly pit to get rid of them?

I also genuinely mean it when I say the AI in NSGP is more fun than in F1 24. Your rivals aren't shy about making a pass if they're in position to go by you, and they defend their position vigorously when you get near to them, squeezing you right to the very edges of the track and running through corners side-by-side if there's space. Their behaviour towards you also changes according to how they feel about you; in my 1990s season, I had a wheel-banging tussle with Michael Schildhauer (there are no official licences, but you'll not struggle to identify each driver) and was asked post-race how I felt about comments he'd made around my driving. I selected the antagonistic response, received a phone call from Schildhauer with steam coming out of his ears and was still surprised when, during the start of our next race, he made a point of driving all the way across the track to crash into the side of me.

The hiring and firing staff management aspect isn't particularly deep or arduous, but adds character. You have a chief engineer, a lead pit mechanic and a commercial manager, all of whom you need to keep happy. The main way in which you do this is by selecting them to receive a Perk, an in-game boost earned upon winning trophies, though you'll also sometimes be asked whether you want to spend a day at the cinema with your mechanic or meeting sponsors with your commercial person. Unhappy characters leave your team, members of other teams phone you asking for jobs and sometimes, your commercial manager injures herself trying a new workout routine and leaves you without her Perks for the weekend. Perks take the form of things like extra money for winning races, reduced grip loss if you drive off track and the ability to use slipstreams - none of them are absolutely vital to success, but all of them smooth your path in some way, and it's useful to mix them up at different tracks for best results. There's not a lot of sense using the Improved Off-Track Grip boost at Monaco, for instance.

Not Monaco, actually, but Cote d'Azur. For Silverstone, read Northampton. Sochi has moved to Krakow, Hungaroring is now Danube GP and so on. None of the track layouts are official, a number of them don't actually bear much of a resemblance to the real circuits when you view the track map, but somehow the design of them is such that you always know exactly where you are. My favourite is the Adriatic track, which manages to be a bang-on representation of Imola despite not sharing a single corner with it. Tracks have multiple different layouts and some countries don't feature until later eras, so there's no danger of becoming burned out on the available circuits.

I've cleared the 1980s and 1990s eras and so far, there's not been a lot to complain about. There are some races which become much harder if you're under-upgraded or haven't equipped a certain Perk - Brazilia in the 1980s era would have been an absolute pig of a race to win without the Slipstream Perk - but you figure these things out in the preliminary events so by the time the one-shot Grand Prix starts, you're ready. Conversely, some of the 1990s races were very, very straightforward to win, as if I'd been too aggressive with my upgrades and massively out-developed the AI; the performance gap was well and truly closed by season's end, so I'll be keeping an eye on that through the 2000s to see if it's better to apply house rules to the upgrade process.

Beyond that, there's really very little I'd call out as a concern. I haven't had this much pure fun playing an F1-themed racing game for ages.
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Re: Racing Sim Thread, Part II

Post by GB_Simo »

Dave wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2024 7:08 pm
The amount of calls I made to Electronics Boutique asking if a game had arrived...through the roof!
I was too shy for that. Before it became Electronics Boutique over here, I bought the Nigel Mansell Newman Haas game from the Hartlepool branch of Future Zone and the bloke behind the counter asked me, "Is it IndyCar or OndyBike? I used to think it was IndyToilet." When I didn't laugh, partly through being a socially anxious kid and partly because I was still trying to find where exactly the joke was in all of that, he said it again. It's a funny thing, but sometimes I swear you can hear silence, and during the lifetime that passed within those excruciating few seconds, I concluded that it'd be better to never speak to any of those people again.

By the time they'd moved on, I'd got so used to walking into stores, not finding the thing I wanted and resolving to return next week with renewed hope that I just sort of kept doing it.
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