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GTSSS & Trofeo MiTo - End of Season Discussion

All discussion regarding the seventh season of Really Rubbish Racing - a worldwide Grand Tour(er)!
Heh. See what I did there?
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DanThorn
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Re: GTSSS & Trofeo MiTo - End of Season Discussion

Postby DanThorn » 03 Dec 2012, 00:23

Completely agree with everything you've said Rumbly. Especially the point about buckets - I'd forgotten that. The Aston was impossible to drive without putting on a ridiculous tune that made it several seconds a lap slower. I think that in hindsight, given that most of the cars were in group 2, groups 1 and 3 should have been abolished and everyone given a level playing field with no grip or power reductions. Part of the reason we reselected the Z4 was for the ease of tuning and testing etc, which Pete mentioned. I never really took advantage of that but it's something that could have been an issue if our team had had more success.

Also thinking about it, i wasn't a fan of the car selection process. I get that we were supposed to pick the cars we like, but we did that and found it completely undriveable, and I was actually quite upset pre season because Id picked a car that turned out to be utterly shite. It seemed a bit of a lottery. I think it would have been better if people picked a car they got on with driving. If we had lots of people testing lots of different cars under the regs, potential shortcomings (like the power of the McLaren) could have been identified and remedied pre season to make things more equal.
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Icthyes
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Re: GTSSS & Trofeo MiTo - End of Season Discussion

Postby Icthyes » 03 Dec 2012, 07:50

I have to add my dissenting voice to the buckets, for the sake of four (in practice, three) cars to make it so complicated and hampering to the majority of the field was a bit strange. Then any suspected performance advantages could have been caught in testing and balanced with changing upgrades.

It'd be nice to see some lobby rotation between the bottom of Lobby 1 and the top of Lobby 2. I maintain a simple lottery wouldn't work because of the speed differences between the fastest and slowest, but we shouldn't be too rigid about it either. Something like four from each lobby alternating every other week.
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Re: GTSSS & Trofeo MiTo - End of Season Discussion

Postby ajokay » 03 Dec 2012, 09:36

I thought I could add my two cents. Obviously I ran the season so I'm going to see the best in things, but it was by no means perfect.

Buckets - I thought it was a good way to even the cars out without much hassle. In some cases these cars are impossible to even out using upgrades alone. Although you'd think that because all of these cars compete against each other on an equal level in real life, that Turn 10 could have them race against each other equally in-game. Anyway, yes they were a ballache to set up and even moreso to test with. I think we'd have to think very carefully about using them again.

Attendance & Lobbies - It's been a pleasure to see this club grow from an initial 9 people to the 50+ forum members we have today. It's a shame to see than only about 1/3rd of them actually race on a mostly-regular basis. Indeed we do all have lives that get in the way of more important things like make-believe virtual car racing, hard to believe, i know, but having only just more than one lobby is annoying, because it means going back to the sparce 7-8 cars per race races that we used to have. Fine then, but we now better now, we expect more. I don't want to have to go back to one lobby and reserves for 2 reasons. 1 - it's not fair, and 2 - as if we'd be able to get all 16 people who want to play into a single lobby without someone not being able to connect, issues getting in, people dropping out. So it's always good to have a second lobby, it's just a shame that both lobbies don't have 12, 13, 14 drivers in.

However, as Sam has mentioned, being a lobby 1'er, racing in lobby 2 is a breath of fresh air. Sitting in the 'waiting room' as if were in lobby 1 these past few races has been exactly like that, a waiting room. everyone has been silent, hardly a word said other than to check that the lobby settings are correct. Then when the races are finished it empties out pretty sharpish. no hanging around to piss about for a couple of hours.

I think the genuine fun has gone. I really do. I was different in lobby 2. Banter, racing in a game. just having fun. I've said it before, I'll say it again. I'd like the lobbies to be randomly drawn before each race. I don't care if I'm either going to be way out of my depth, or way out in front. I don't care if I'm not driving directly against whoever I'm currently fighting against in the championship. I just want a good fun evening racing with my buddies, and I miss not racing with half of you. and a few of you I've never raced against. That sucks. it really does.

If you're desperate to be racing directly against your team mate, or your closest championship rivals on any given week, then that's fine, we can make sure you're together, but after that I don't see why we can't draw the lobbies randomly. or at least have a rotation. It might even throw up some interesting and unexpected results. which I'm all for. I know racing is about winning and being the best. But i'm bored of seeing one or two drivers run away with it. Shouty has finished in the top 3 in every race this season. I mean, well done to him. but that's just dull and predictable. Sorry. Everyone should be able to have a crack at it. Surely if anyone should agree, it is Shouty. he is communist after all.

And what else. The cars looked lovely, great liveries. I stand by my choice of tracks. I've never been a fan of fictional tracks since the dar I first raced at Midfield Raceway in GT2. Game build these fictional tracks to bulk up the number of locations and to show off their skills. I always rememeber the Tiger Woods games. They had the real courses, brilliant, well designed, professional, steeped in history. Then you'd have a course with par 8 holes and around the rims of volcanos. Thats how I see Bernese Alps and the like. If I wanted to race up a snowy mountain, I'd go play Mario Kart. Unfortunately it means we get tracks like Ladera and Bernese Alps, instead of decent genuine licensed racetracks. Iberian Raceway is the most like a real track, and Sedona might just about pass, but all the rest are meh, and don't really have any place with GT cars on them. They're fine for slower stuff. MEMES at camino was fun, but it doesnt work in these. Maybe we should've gone for some shorter options of the real tracks, but you live and learn.

The less said about the main issue regarding the fastest car and tuning exploits, the better. I've had enough of it. I can't wait to ram you all into the nearest wall in 2 weeks.

That'll be fun.
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Boovolari
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Re: GTSSS & Trofeo MiTo - End of Season Discussion

Postby Boovolari » 03 Dec 2012, 09:57

ajokay wrote:However, as Sam has mentioned, being a lobby 1'er, racing in lobby 2 is a breath of fresh air. Sitting in the 'waiting room' as if were in lobby 1 these past few races has been exactly like that, a waiting room. everyone has been silent, hardly a word said other than to check that the lobby settings are correct.

Really? You need to turn the volume up on your headset, I don't think there's been a single week where we weren't all laughing and joking ahead of the racing. And some of the bucket and lobby titles have been priceless.

Clearly lobby two have a great vibe going, but that doesn't mean lobby one is dull. If anything, we've just been a bit low on numbers in lobby one.
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Re: GTSSS & Trofeo MiTo - End of Season Discussion

Postby SHOUTY » 03 Dec 2012, 10:01

ajokay wrote:Surely if anyone should agree, it is Shouty. he is communist after all.


Ah, yes... but while all are equal, some are more equal than others.

Damn it, i'm so predictable. :(
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DanThorn
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Re: GTSSS & Trofeo MiTo - End of Season Discussion

Postby DanThorn » 03 Dec 2012, 10:22

Bookoi wrote:
ajokay wrote:However, as Sam has mentioned, being a lobby 1'er, racing in lobby 2 is a breath of fresh air. Sitting in the 'waiting room' as if were in lobby 1 these past few races has been exactly like that, a waiting room. everyone has been silent, hardly a word said other than to check that the lobby settings are correct.

Really? You need to turn the volume up on your headset, I don't think there's been a single week where we weren't all laughing and joking ahead of the racing. And some of the bucket and lobby titles have been priceless.

Clearly lobby two have a great vibe going, but that doesn't mean lobby one is dull. If anything, we've just been a bit low on numbers in lobby one.


Some of the chat we've had in the lobby has been brilliant! Often my favourite part of the night's racing. We are very silent when we race but I don't mind that, I can't race and chat at the same time without going significantly slower.

As for hanging around afterwards, I haven't been motivated to do that this season. Usually because most weeks we've had lobby issues or delays in starting, and I have to be up at 5am for work the next day and need time to wind down. I'll rarely play past half past 9. Also the post event races either turn into a test session for next weeks races or a car footbally crash fest, neither of which really interest me.
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Re: GTSSS & Trofeo MiTo - End of Season Discussion

Postby smifaye » 03 Dec 2012, 10:35

Yeah buckets didn't really work for me. I felt a little lost with them, not knowing where the cars had an advantage without racing them online. It's awful for tuning as you can't do anything to the car.

As for banter, I think we have had some great banter this season. Although it had got a little serious, but the MiTo's more than made up for that. I just think it was the nature of the season really.

Although I do agree that it sucks I've not raced with many of the Lobby 2 guys! The only time has been Bon Anniversaire and then there was only a few of us. I'd love it to be one huge lobby so we can have some AMAZING banter, but for now I don't see how we can mix it up.
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Re: GTSSS & Trofeo MiTo - End of Season Discussion

Postby Covamalia » 03 Dec 2012, 10:42

Have suggested ways to mix up the lobbies before based on the previous weeks combined results which would allow for a decent talent spread right the way through both lobbies and would give a good chance of mixing it up between lobbies each week. Odd finishers in one lobby and even finishers in another. Any non-racers then get assigned randomly. Really think we should try this because I miss not racing with a lot of you, especially now we dont have an F1 season at the moment.
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Re: GTSSS & Trofeo MiTo - End of Season Discussion

Postby JayCoops435 » 03 Dec 2012, 10:46

EUREKA!!! I HAVE A SOLUTION!!

Let's all go on iRacing problem solved. Ideally this would be awesome but I understand about the cost and needing a gaming PC etc. So realistically it wouldn't happen. Shame really.
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Re: GTSSS & Trofeo MiTo - End of Season Discussion

Postby Icthyes » 03 Dec 2012, 13:00

When I say speed difference is a problem I don't mean PJ beating Ben by 40 seconds and only racing him for three corners. I had a bad experience in MEMES being taken out twice in two weeks simply by being so much slower on the apex. No, it shouldn't happen but it does. There's also lapping which can easily cost someone 10s a race from being in the wrong lobby.
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Re: GTSSS & Trofeo MiTo - End of Season Discussion

Postby D0n M4730 » 03 Dec 2012, 13:59

Dan 7horn wrote:The Aston was impossible to drive without putting on a ridiculous tune that made it several seconds a lap slower.


Funny that you had such trouble with the Aston, after hearing your complaints I gave it a try myself and quite liked it, though granted I was using TC. Diffrerent driving stylesw and preferences I guess, plus I only tried it in a couple of practice races.

With the value of hindsight, we probably could've made do with just the Group 2 cars and then not had the power restrictions. Yeah that would've meant no Aston/Z4/SLS, but there were several Group 2 cars that were never seen or only made one-off appearances, so swings and roundabouts.

One other thing I liked about this series which I forgot to mention in my original post was the team element to the championship. After two seasons of not having teams it was good to go back to them, and I enjoyed being one of the founders of a team that hopefully will be around for future seasons. It's just a shame our 3rd driver never made it to the grid in the end :( .

On the subject of 3rd drivers, obviously ours was totally taken out of the equation, so it was fortunate that I made it to more races than I originally thought I would. I'm in two minds about the idea of third drivers: our intention was to have three, but I knew that I wouldn't be able to make every race and it was possible that one of the others also might not have, so in that sense I think we'd have been sticking fairly close to what was originally intended. Likewise Rach couldn't do every race and being able to learn from the ATTK boys probably helped her out, and between Tommy's internet and Nik's work Indy Alpha didn't all show up at once that often either. Goteki on the other hand had all 3 drivers at every race bar one, which is fine, but it might have been better to see one of them form a team with someone else, and help out one of the guys who ended up by themselves. We might also have seen even more car variety on the grid in that case.
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Re: GTSSS & Trofeo MiTo - End of Season Discussion

Postby PJTierney » 04 Dec 2012, 14:38

I should go to Spain more often, plenty of discussion here :)

Before I give general season feedback I may as well respond to a few things. Some of the criticisms and details are warranted while I believe a few have been thrown a little out of proportion. If you want to assume I'm this guy then go right on ahead 8-)

"Outside help"
    The comments that Smifaye was referring to are this, and this. As you can see, I'm not exactly asking "how can I make my car a second a lap faster than the rest of the field?", it's just some minor things I'm curious about or was struggling with. In the end I didn't bother with Qualifying setups and found my own way to get the car to "rocket launch" (it's a combination of Dampers and Gearing in order to reduce wheelspin).

    Some of you may know that I paint, test and tune cars with a tuning garage, Saetta Motorsport. You may recognise some of the paints of cars in this catalogue. Occasionally we'd be chatting about Forza and the things we're doing outside of making release cars, and naturally I'd talk about the Lambo a bit. I'll admit I got a few tidbits of advice (generic stuff like "you need max aero for X track") but I always went into this season and races with the intention of doing all the tuning myself, as I'm still learning the craft and trying to get the maximum out of the cars I race.

    Again, to make it clear, I never asked people to "do the work for me", I merely asked for advice. Maybe you feel it's unfair that I asked people outside the club for tips and that's fair enough, I'll hold my hands up and say that was an error of judgement if you feel that it was.

Tuning "exploits"
    There are 2 things that people have identified that may have made the Lamborghini reach its maximum potential at an early point of the season; Gear ratios and heavy rims.

    Regarding heavy rims; I've done a lot of tuning/building of cars in the past year, and learned that ultimately, it's the build (upgrades) that gains the largest chunks of time, and that the tune (sliders) merely extracts the last half second or makes the car more consistent. Between choosing the Lambo and the season opener I spent a weekend getting to know the car and how I can improve the stock version. I tried a bunch of different builds, like lighter rims, stock or race brakes, upgraded driveline or not, and wider front or rear tyres.

    There were about 5 or 6 different combinations that allowed the Gallardo to reach its PI limit, so I put them together and did 5 laps each on a balanced track that tested a bit of everything (Sebring). That took about an hour or 2, nothing major, and the final build (heavy rims, wider front tyres, race brakes) felt the strongest. The build remained unchanged throughout the season, except for Nurburgring GP where we changed to a different build at the request of the Black Raptors (comparing the 2 builds there was no real difference, maybe a tenth or so at most).

    Secondly, people mentioned the final drive, which was set to maximum. After finalising the build I started tuning for Sunset, and wanted to use all 6 gears (since the Lambo wasn't great at accelerating in stock trim, and the power handicap meant it would only use 5 gears). Naturally, I moved the final drive up. By the time I got it to the point where I'd use all of 6th gear, it was near enough to the maximum so I simply said "aw hell, I'll max it out and not worry about it for the next 2 months". I then pushed back the individual gears as they were a little too short.

    Throughout the season I only had to do minor gear changes, like extending 4th or 5th so that I wouldn't have to upshift right before a braking zone. In some races I didn't bother with 6th gear, or simply used it as a "top up" for the main straight as other straights were fine for a long 5th gear.

    Before the Silverstone race, a few Lobby 1 drivers spoke to me and wondered about the final drive, assuming it was an exploit. After the races that night I made an alternate build, with the final drive set to the middle and the individual gears re-adjusted to top out at the same speeds at before (1st: 66mph, 2nd: 88 etc.). I did a half mile drag test (with the power cap) with both tunes (5 runs each), and the times were near enough identical.

    Forza 4 has had gearing issues the past past, but those have been with road cars, and were patched way back in March. Racing gearboxes are fair game. I explained all this already.

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"Tactical pitting"
    At Sunset, myself, Shouty and the Raptors were battling for the lead before the pit window opened; the 4 of us within 30 feet of each other. I was in 4th, Smifaye 3rd. He pitted, and I immediately followed, as you can see above. At the time, I didn't know that the Lambo would be stronger than the Corvette over the entire season, and expected the 5 of us (Flob included) to be trading podiums and wins quite a bit. I also knew that Smifaye was quick in clean air and since there was a Teams' championship to fight for I didn't want to see him jumping Shouty to make a Raptor 1-2. I was planning on pitting early anyways (as the 4 of us had opened a big enough gap to the 5th place driver) and merely followed him in. In the end we lost enough time that Jay jumped the both of us and we had a 3-way battle to the flag. I don't agree that it was a case of me trying to "fuck him over", moreso that I was being a team player and expected at the time that the Championship would be decided by as little as 10 or 11 points, and every point counted. I knew I wouldn't win, so I did what I could to help Shouty (and Goteki) out a bit.

    By Sebring I'd realised that we were faster than the Corvettes and just ran my own race. At Silverstone a similar scenario happened, but this time it wasn't me trying to "screw him over", it was the fact that battling with 1 driver loses less time than battling against 2 (Flob and Jay), and if I followed a faster driver for a lap (Silverstone's my weakest circuit) then maybe I could jump up a place or 2 when things shuffle around.

    At Suzuka I was following him up to 130R and got squeezed onto the grass. We made slight contact and lost a few tenths. I was planning on pitting right away when the pit window opened but having felt partially responsible for the racing incident I decided not to pit, as I knew he'd pit ahead of me and complain about it afterwards. Fortunately it worked out as that incident gave me some clean air and when everyone pitted (and had incidents according to the chat at the time) I was able to jump from around 8th to 2nd.

    I think this criticism was blown out of proportion. In the first race it may have been warranted but from Sebring onwards I ran my own race and didn't care what the Corvettes were doing ahead of me.

    On a related note, there were no team orders at Goteki House. When battling Shouty or Flob I'd still race as hard as I would against a McLaren, Mercedes, BMW or anybody else. The only difference is that I won't fight as hard if I run wide or make an error; I'm willing to accept defeat to a teammate and focus on catching back up. (case in point: Lap 1 of Suzuka Sprint, I run wide at Dunlop and give the place to Flob, whereas I'd have defended harder if it were anyone else).

"Over-practicing"
    It's well-known by now that I have a lot of free time (I work from home, so it's to be expected). Forza is my "main game" and I'm usually playing it a few hours every night, and a bit longer on weekends. With all that free time I'm not going to "not practice", when I have an opportunity to improve my driving, my pace or the car the team is using.

    As you all know I'm active on the Turn 10 forums (less-so now, but I still read stuff), so I get to see what the wider Forza community is up to as well as RRR. I had been following TORA's races on YouTube since around the time OSCAR ended, and once I saw the car list I knew that the car balancing would be similar for GTSSS. I'd also joined 1 or 2 of the testing races pre-season. For what it's worth, the track that was used for testing was a little power-based, so a car like the Lamborghini wouldn't show up as being quicker overall, even if it did handle better.

    Researching to this extent just really isn't what this club is about. Watching replays of TORA races to find best lines, what gear ratios are used, tyres pressure, tyre temperatures, its not what we do here.


    That's fair enough, but at the same time the club motto can go some way to explaining why I look up these things. "We race for fun because we're not very good." First off; I find all this stuff enjoyable (ie: fun); I like hotlapping, I like tuning, I like looking at what other people are doing and learning about how they're going so fast. I'm also "not very good", but I want to be, so I like to learn, ask questions, practice etc.. Regarding watching the replays, it was merely to see how they were going 4 seconds a lap faster than us, not to grab every publicly available piece of their setups to use for myself. All I really learned was what lines were taken on some of the tracks we raced at, and that sometimes taking a corner in 3rd is better than taking it in 2nd. I have the free time, I'm curious and I was going to try and learn some stuff in order to become a better (virtual) driver.

    I'm not as quick as Shouty, Smifaye etc., but I'd like to get up there, hence why I practice, research and learn. I was happy to match Shouty's pace on at least a few tracks this season, when a few months ago I was 2 seconds slower.

    I get that I'm probably the only guy here who likes to do all this stuff; which is fair enough, but I don't think I should be punished or vilified for trying to learn and improve, it's just who I am, whether it's trying to become a better artist, writer, or virtual racing driver.

"Extensive testing."
    Several weeks before the start of the season and the settings were announced, PJ correctly assumed we would be using the TORA ruleset for our GT cars. Thus began an extensive testing programme of all the cars for him to determine their performances and characteristics. So, when the time came for everybody to choose a car explicitly based on preference/desire, Goteki went for the quickest car - the Panoz. When early testing showed the Panoz to have a major performance advantage, it was removed from the roster and Goteki switched to the Lamborghini, arguably the next strongest car.


    I think it's a well-known fact that I tried out some of the cars before Goteki made their car choice, however, it's not as extremely extensive as some might suggest. It was 3-4 laps with 5-6 cars on 4 tracks, took a Sunday afternoon tops. Here are the results for those curious.

    Initially, before trying out any car, myself and Shouty wanted to use the Lambo (because it looked like a fighter jet and we could make an awesome livery with it). Flob agreed after trying out the stock version, though he preferred the 458. If we were picking based on what we liked, we'd have gone with the Lambo first choice. In the end we went based on performance but things came back around full circle and we changed to the Lambo after I had started working on the Panoz.

    Granted, maybe we should have just picked the Lambo first and left it at that. However, while I don't mind having a car that's somewhat competitive, I really don't like having a car I know is slower than the others. I picked the Audi TT for HGTM and hated the season because of it (although I was also not very good in those cars in general and crashed a lot as well), and didn't want that to happen again, so I tried out a few cars I liked the look of to see how they'd compare. It's also why I was saying that the Lambo wasn't unbalanced compared to the others, even if certain cars (the McLaren, new Corvette and new Viper) were clearly slower than the rest of the field (albeit not by much). Anyways, the point I'm trying to make is that I didn't want to go through the entire season regretting a car choice (maybe if teams were allowed a mid-season swap I wouldn't have been so concerned) and wanted to know if the car chosen was somewhat good before picking it.

    You recently referenced a site you've read called 'Play to Win' on F1Fanatic - well, We race for fun, because we're not very good is this club's tagline.


    The book I'm referencing is here, I read it when I started playing Yu-Gi-Oh! on an international level in 2008. (if you've looked at my Xbox profile over the past year you'll see a quote from it)

    While it's clear that I still "Play to Win" to a certain degree, I'm not as concerned with the philosophy as I was in early 2009. A certain event (read Round 6) made me realise that "Play to Win" has turned me into a horrible competitor; I was still playing fair, but I had taken it too far.

    I noticed after Bon Anniversaire and the CSTT that this playstyle was seeping back in, so I've tried to tone it down in the following seasons (OSCAR's format helped out a lot). I had also found an exploit in F1 2011 (informed Pete about it, he can post the details if he wishes) but elected not to use it as I didn't want to unfairly gain an advantage with it.

    I'm a competitive person by nature, regardless of what I'm doing, but I've tried in recent times to be fair and sporting. I wouldn't have asked tuners for advice if I felt it was a big no-no, but apparently it is. I've also been more open and willing to help out more (hence the GT tuning thread), and even gave out my setup when I was asked to "come clean" (it's now on the storefront if you want to try) about why the car was so fast compared to the others. Sometimes I step over the line, yes, but it could be a lot worse, and at least I've been (hard but) fair on the track these past 2 seasons.

In closing, I know there's some things that overstepped the mark a little, and I'll hold my hands up to that. Trying out the cars before choosing them, and asking tuners for advice, I'll admit those were errors in judgment. It's not like I went into this season on some relentless pursuit of victory; it was moreso the fact that I wanted to improve as a driver/tuner/hotlapper, and I guess the Lamborghini dominance is the result of that.

The above might not change what's been said, but I wanted to respond and get some closure on this season. If you can see where I'm coming from and agree/disagree then fair enough. I'm done now and don't want to talk about it anymore.


(next post is general seaosn feedback, since this is already a wall of text)
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Re: GTSSS & Trofeo MiTo - End of Season Discussion

Postby PJTierney » 04 Dec 2012, 16:04

With that out of the way, here's my thoughts on the Season(s) itself.

Good: The concept.
    After 2 seasons of road cars it was nice to be in proper, thoroughbred racing cars again. Having these cars for a whole season along with some proper tracks to race them on, GTSSS felt like a real championship, compared to MEMES and OSCAR which were more like a bunch of different races (good seasons yes, but they didn't feel like full-on championships).

    Having a single car to use for the entire season had other benefits too; You knew that things you were doing in the first race would apply to the last, that you had something stable to measure your progress as a driver. You could grow attached to a car and even if you didn't like it at the start of the season you may have ended up loving the car by the end (The Lambo is my favourite car this year, even moreso than the MEMES Stratos).

Neutral: The track selection.
    Some people have said that the track selection was a weak point, but I don't necessarily agree. Forza is somewhat limited in the tracks it has to offer (only 20 or so locations) and when you cut out the fantasy tracks that these cars have no business racing on, you're only left with a handful to choose from. Some of those are no-brainers like Suzuka, Nurburg GP and Sebring, which leaves less room for others to be used. Maybe some of the shorter layouts might have been preferable for GTSSS (Silverstone International is more overtake friendly than Silverstone GP) but I think the track selection was okay; it had power tracks (Sunset and Atlanta), grip tracks (Suzuka and Catalunya) and a few in between.

Bad: The bucket system.
    I'll chip in here and say that I'm also not a fan of the bucket system. People have mentioned that having to set up an online race just to drive, test and tune your car as a weak point but I'd like to raise another: Ghosts. When you don't have a ghost to practice against you can't tell if you're actually improving or not, which means you have to practice even more in order to get any reliable results. That's fine for somebody like me who's had all the time in the world to put in laps, but we don't all have that luxury.

    When I got to try out Dan's Z4 after Suzuka it was so much easier to get into the groove of things as I had a ghost car to chase and compare to. Case in point: on my very first flying lap with Dan's car around Sebring, I beat the 2:08 that gave me Fastest Lap in the GTSSS race. If I was driving the Lambo again I might not get that laptime for 15-20 minutes.

    I get why the bucket system was in place, and it did allow for a wider range of cars to be picked, but at the same time it might have been easier to simply drop the Z4 and SLS (and nobody raced the Group 1s), have no buckets and we'd see the M3 and R8 get a fair shot (the M3 was a really good car).

Good: Car variety.
    The variety of cars that were used was great to see, as it made the races more interesting. In OSCAR (and to an extent in MEMES), once things had settled down after the first few laps that was it, there was no way to make up ground and challenge for places. With these cars, you knew that the SLS was mighty on the straights, that the Z4 could accelerate well, that the McLaren had strong brakes, the Lambo had tons of grip and that the Corvette couldn't launch to save its life ( :lol: ). It made the races incredibly interesting, and given how clean the racing was (in Lobby 1) this season it was a lot of fun battling with other teams. Some of my favourite battles were with Jay and Dan; who'd pull away on the straights but I'd reel them back in in the corners.

Neutral: Tuning.
    As you all know, I love tuning; I have the free time to do it and it's something where I learn something new every time I do it. Given the kinds of cars we were using, tuning made sense; these are racing cars, and racing cars get developed and improved as the season progresses. At the same time, I know it's not for everyone. While I had the time to tune, research, experiment and ask questions; others would only have the chance to do 4-5 laps pre-race and hope for the best. I don't think tuning should be something we have in every season, but at the same time I don't think it should be thrown away either.

    Regarding the Lambo, all of the free time I had (plus the other factors we all know about) the car was able to reach its maximum potential from as early as Sebring, whereas other teams may revisit their cars a month from now and find that they could have gained a second if they had done X instead of Y.

Good: The Support series.
    Having a support series (and thus, a second car to drive) was a brilliant idea, and it worked rather well. Regardless of how good/bad you were going in GTSSS, you knew that everybody was on a level playing field in the MiTos. They were a little difficult to drive, but I think that actually made the racing better (in Lobby 1, can't comment on L2). It was also a nice way to cool down and not worry about the main season for a bit. My only criticism is that the bonus points system made things a little difficult to handle it seems, and I'm not sure if it made much of a difference.

    At the same time, in any season with multiple cars (like GTSSS); one car will always end up being faster (or tuned better than the others), so having a single-make series support that was a great leveller. On a personal note I thought I'd fail hard at it since I was worried about the handling but was pleasantly surprised with how well I did; I just wished I could've given Smifaye a bit of a fight for the title at the end. :(

Neutral: The pit windows.
    The pit windows are a little hit and miss. On the one hand they add a nice tactical element to the longer races, especially when the field is this close. They also make the tracks that aren't overtake friendly (Silverstone and Suzuka) a bit more fun as you weren't "stuck" behind a (potentially slower) car for the entire race. That being said it's always nice to see a "slower" driver score an underdog result by defending against one of the quicker guys, and pit windows could potentially rob people of that.

    It could go either way really, it has its plusses and minuses.

Bad: The lobby split.
    I guess this is kind of a good problem to have; the club is growing and we're now at a point where we can't fit everyone into a single room. The lobby system in general has been a success since its inception; everybody is guaranteed to be racing and for the most part people are having solid races with people of the same pace level.

    The flipside is that it gets a little "samey" racing the same people every week. I got to have battles with everybody in Lobby 1, which is great, but at the same time I haven't competitively raced with half of the club; I've never been in the same lobby as Rach or Becker, and haven't raced against Nik, Scott, Tom, Ian etc. since the start of MEMES.

    I think it'd be worth trying something different to shuffle up the lobbies a bit. I have an idea that might work (while also solving the reverse grid lobby points issue and potentially allowing for rolling starts) but it might be a little difficult to implement. Ben's idea of basing the grid on Championship order might be a good one to work with, at least for a few races. Here's what Week 1 of Season 8 would look like based on the GTSSS results:

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    As you can see, each lobby now has a healthy mix of fast, medium and slower drivers; there's no longer a "fast lobby" and "slow lobby" (no offence intended, merely categorising here). As GTSSS has proved, "Lobby 2 drivers" can get on the podium, and "Lobby 1 drivers" didn't exactly run away with races when they joined Lobby 2. There's no ambiguity (weighing up if a driver is "good enough" to be in Lobby 1), there's no sandbagging to get into an easier lobby; it just might work.

    A final note on this, often when following a faster driver, somebody will gradually improve and set PBs as they go on. I seem to remember Kimster setting personal bests around Nurburgring when he was fighting me for a podium, and I've often seen my laptimes jump when I'm behind Shouty or Smifaye. I think if the lobbies are mixed up like this we could see the slower drivers learning and improving at a fairly quick rate.

Good: Teams.
    Teams make sense when using racing cars, and I think they were good for the season. It was nice to see teams like PSP, Firecruiser, ATTK etc. working together to develop their chosen cars and learn how to drive faster. It was also fun battling for another championship; even though Goteki ran away with it it was nice seeing the teams further down the grid having something extra to fight for; which meant that even if they had a bad race they still wanted to do their best.

    As regards assisting the slower RRR drivers; I don't think that just because a person is on Team X they aren't going to help someone on Team Y. I did a fair bit of practice with Kimster and helped him out with his car towards the end of the season; people who posted in the GT tips thread got answers, I helped Mr E find a comfortable setup for the Viper (even though I didn't have the car I drove with him and pointed out things to improve on the car, and how to fix them). Ben mentioned that Jay helped him a bit with his driving style (most notably dropping the Clutch). When I knew I'd miss Road Atlanta I drove Dan's car and sent him an update that gained me a second; he was directly competing with me but I wanted to see if he could nab the lofty results he needed to overhaul me in the standings, and he did (whether he used anything I sent or not is irrelevant, I was willing to chip in regardless).

I think that covers everything. Overall Season 7 (and 7S) were great; there was some good racing, the cars looked awesome and (controversies aside) it all worked pretty well. I think it's a new benchmark on what future season can be compared to (the previous was MEMES, which is still the marker for car balancing).

Roll on Season 8 :)
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Re: GTSSS & Trofeo MiTo - End of Season Discussion

Postby Covamalia » 04 Dec 2012, 16:48

Was looking more at solely the previous race for the lobby settings rather than championship standings to try and mix it up a bit more, but that is essentially exactly what I was on about with the advantages that it brings (such as being able to follow faster cars and learn more). I for one learn a hell of a lot following a faster driver and normally do pick up a lot of time and driving tips doing so.
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Re: GTSSS & Trofeo MiTo - End of Season Discussion

Postby DanThorn » 04 Dec 2012, 17:29

For the record I never used the tune you sent PJ - in fact I've got a feeling it's still in my inbox. Still, it was good that you were willing to send one despite the championship battle. When I sent you my tune it was more out of curiosity to see how the Z4 stacked up against the Lambo.
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Re: GTSSS & Trofeo MiTo - End of Season Discussion

Postby PJTierney » 04 Dec 2012, 17:34

Dan 7horn wrote:For the record I never used the tune you sent PJ - in fact I've got a feeling it's still in my inbox. Still, it was good that you were willing to send one despite the championship battle. When I sent you my tune it was more out of curiosity to see how the Z4 stacked up against the Lambo.

It stacked up pretty well! On the power tracks it was great out of the box, and once I tweaked it a bit (you've tons of tyre width options on the BMW, I went with wider fronts) I was beating my Suzuka and Nurburgring times too. Driving against my Lambo ghost helped a lot too.


Oh, one more thing I liked about the Seasons: Seeing the Support race take place on a similar track to the main event. It made the whole thing feel like a proper racing weekend event, like how real series have support races. It also meant that any practice you did in the GTSSS cars would apply in some part to the MiTos; you knew that Sunset had dodgy kerbs, the Nurburg hairpin was dangerous etc.
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Re: GTSSS & Trofeo MiTo - End of Season Discussion

Postby FlavouryRug » 04 Dec 2012, 20:52

Covamalia wrote:Was looking more at solely the previous race for the lobby settings rather than championship standings to try and mix it up a bit more, but that is essentially exactly what I was on about with the advantages that it brings (such as being able to follow faster cars and learn more). I for one learn a hell of a lot following a faster driver and normally do pick up a lot of time and driving tips doing so.

Very good idea this is. Very good.
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Re: GTSSS & Trofeo MiTo - End of Season Discussion

Postby Icthyes » 04 Dec 2012, 21:29

One thing that could work in faour of Ben's system is that instead of Lobby 2 wondering how many places they might have gained on Lobby 1, this way absolutely no-one would know where they had finished. Thinking it about it this way I actually find the idea really exciting.

Only thing if it's championship based then there won't be a direct fight between the top two! So it would be better based on the previous race's results.
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Re: GTSSS & Trofeo MiTo - End of Season Discussion

Postby ajokay » 04 Dec 2012, 21:32

Still think it should be a random draw out of a hat
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Re: GTSSS & Trofeo MiTo - End of Season Discussion

Postby Ratonedge » 04 Dec 2012, 21:38

ajokay wrote:Still think it should be a random draw out of a hat


Works sort of for ITV4 and BTCC....
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Re: GTSSS & Trofeo MiTo - End of Season Discussion

Postby DanThorn » 04 Dec 2012, 21:40

I don't like the idea of random, as it doesnt guarantee being fair for everyone. There's always a chance it could favour some people more than others. I'd prefer if lobbies for each race for the season were drawn up before the first race and evenly spread so we could guarantee a fai spread.

I'd like some kind of rotation system based on results like Ben has suggested, or perhaps the top half and bottom half of each lobby switch week on week. Dunno.

What I'd really like is to race against 15 other people, whether that means going back to the reserve days or making everyone miss one event and have dropped scores, but I know I'm in the minority there.
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Re: GTSSS & Trofeo MiTo - End of Season Discussion

Postby RumblyLizard » 04 Dec 2012, 22:05

I tried to do something like that for MEMES but it didn't quite work.

We'll think about it.
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Re: GTSSS & Trofeo MiTo - End of Season Discussion

Postby D0n M4730 » 05 Dec 2012, 13:32

Personally I've always thought that the way we've divided the lobbies up so far has been the right way to do it, splitting them along the lines of ability means everyone has someone to race against.

The only downside though is that there's generally not much movement between lobbies and we race against the same opposition every week and rarely race against people from the other lobby.

With that in mind I think after 3 seasons of the current format it's time to try something different. I'd favour doing it based solely on the results of the last race as this is more likely to mix things up every week. If we do it based on championship positions then by the end of the championship things will probably have become pretty predictable again.
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Re: GTSSS & Trofeo MiTo - End of Season Discussion

Postby RaceProUK » 05 Dec 2012, 23:14

GTSSS

Good
Variety - having such a mix of cars always makes things more interesting.
Grid ordering - While not perfect, it's definitely been more interesting (and easier to sort out) than other systems I've experienced. It also greatly reduces the chance of a DF when rebuilding a lobby.

Bad
Sebring - I don't like that track :(
Balancing - Sometimes it seemed there was a little too much difference between cars. Mr E will attest to the Merc being DRS-style faster than the Viper in a straight line. Can't level too much critisism though, as the only car I've actually driven is the Merc.
Series length - There should have been at least one more week, which could easily have taken place at Twin Ring Motegi.

MiTos

Good
The car itself - once I'd got used to the happy-dog handling, it went pretty well. I've found over the last couple of years I'm most comfortable with mid-power FWD cars, as well as mid-to-high-power AWD, mainly as the cars are usually more forgiving.
Random grid - kept the seriousness out of the series, which I'm assuming was the intention :)

Bad
Sebring - I really don't like that track :(
Suzuka - West would have been a better track to use than East, since there was no need for a pitlane.
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Re: GTSSS & Trofeo MiTo - End of Season Discussion

Postby TommyWTF1 » 06 Dec 2012, 20:54

ajokay wrote:Still think it should be a random draw out of a hat


Me too. I don't really see why we need a complex system to sort it. Just draw it out of a hat and then people can't complain, it's just the luck of the draw.

I agree with what people are saying though, I enjoy racing with everyone and would love to be able to race with more of the guys in Lobby 2 that I don't get to race with that much.

The lack of "banter" really killed it for me but that's because my internet was poo and I couldn't hear what anyone was saying so I couldn't join in the convos. I'm looking forward to having better internet so I can have more of a laugh with people and start chatting again. This season, was just a bit boring really... I enjoyed the races we did on F1 Race Stars after, mainly because the chatter was hilarious.
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