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iRacing Review - Dirt 2 PC - GT3 Challenge Report - TSC

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In this show, a full review of IRacing.com's simulation, including an Interview with the "Godfather" of Sim Racing, Dave Kaemmer. Also covered on this show, Top Sim Cars featuring the VW Jetta TDI and the Aussie V8 Supercar. In addition we also cover Dirt2 again, this time for the PC including all of the mods for the sim. And if that wasn't enough we also have coverage of the Simraceway GT3 Competition with a top prize or over $5,000.

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Just wanted to give you guys some positive feedback and some criticism. First off, this show feels so professionally done and yet still maintains a really cool "we do it because we love it" vibe. The show really would seem right at home on TV or in some niche corner of the internet. Jessica obviously does a great job as host, and I gotta say, Darin and Shaun you both do outstanding jobs as well and your obvious genuine passion for simracing is a bonus to the great job at presenting you both do in your segments. The segments flow so well with you guys taking turns giving your opinions.

The only criticism I have is with the ever changing weighted rating scale that you guys are always tweaking. I know you guys wanted to be fair to previous products you have dinged with a "0" for an omitted feature, but I think a product should be judged on what it is trying to do and not be penalized for specializing. As you have said, iRacing is THE pinnacle of our hobby and with all that goes into it I am just shaking my head at that 85. A "B", not even a "B+"? Something doesn't seem right about that and I think you guys must feel that too and thats why we are hearing about a "sim-index".

Hearing you guys rave about DiRT 2 I was almost tempted to buy it until I saw videos of the terrible physics on the make believe tracks. I'm sure it s a wonderful game, but its a game. Gamespot does not have a review of iRacing and its the only 'game' I play that when I tell people about it I can't even bring myself to say the word 'video game' because it is so much of a sim. I like the additional content you guys provide in reviewing arcade racers, but really, there should be two seperate rating categories. I feel like you are comparing apples to oranges and that hurts the credibility of the ratings for both arcade racers and sims.

Does adding a bunch of eye candy hurt the stability of a sim like iRacing? If so, I don't want it in. In fact, if keeping eye candy to a minimum allows for higher framerates that translate into better feel and a better multiplayer experience then I think the sim should be applauded for it and not penalized. Although I will admit you came up with excellent suggestions for having AI in iRacing. I still would rather not see any AI in iRacing personally.

I will give you guys credit for sticking to your guns and fairly evaluating iRacing on the parameters you have laid out. I just wish you guys would go even beyond having a "sim index" and just have two seperate review categories altogether. I think you guys knew you were gonna get some posts like this from iRacing fans as I could sense you both almost bracing for impact with the disclaimers at the start, but as simracers, I think you know in your guts that something is not right here. iRacing as a total package is a 95 at least, and I think that score of 85 proves that you guys should just make two seperate categories with simracers having more weight given to things like multiplayer and physics and arcarde racers like DiRT having more weight to given to graphics and fun. Although to be honest, nothing is more fun to me than racing wheel to wheel with other drivers racing clean and realistically.

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I think you're doing a great job, but I agree with the poster above. It's just not possible to have 1 weighting scale so many different types of games/sims. Every individual has their own idea about what's important, so a single weighting scale won't fit all users. Having said that you're doing the best you can. Great work. :-)

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First.. Thansk for the post ! Great read..

but.. You gotta try Dirt 2 man. I've had some great online races with friends on it and it is a benchmark setter in graphics and maybe AI.. To say AI isn't needed in a sim is wrong in my opinion. Like I said in the review. It's a great tool to test your system, and to run in traffic,, See whats it's like to enter a corner with a car in your face.

We're not going to seperate them out. The Sim Index will do that.. We've checked it out and it seems to work perfectly to distiguish great racing game, from great racing sim, to the titles that do both well..

I don't need the eye candy.. but to not have things like real world deformation, day to night transitions, weather.. How can you say iRacing is a 95, when it lacks all those things, and AI ??

Just wanted to give you guys some positive feedback and some criticism. First off, this show feels so professionally done and yet still maintains a really cool "we do it because we love it" vibe. The show really would seem right at home on TV or in some niche corner of the internet. Jessica obviously does a great job as host, and I gotta say, Darin and Shaun you both do outstanding jobs as well and your obvious genuine passion for simracing is a bonus to the great job at presenting you both do in your segments. The segments flow so well with you guys taking turns giving your opinions.

The only criticism I have is with the ever changing weighted rating scale that you guys are always tweaking. I know you guys wanted to be fair to previous products you have dinged with a "0" for an omitted feature, but I think a product should be judged on what it is trying to do and not be penalized for specializing. As you have said, iRacing is THE pinnacle of our hobby and with all that goes into it I am just shaking my head at that 85. A "B", not even a "B+"? Something doesn't seem right about that and I think you guys must feel that too and thats why we are hearing about a "sim-index".

Hearing you guys rave about DiRT 2 I was almost tempted to buy it until I saw videos of the terrible physics on the make believe tracks. I'm sure it s a wonderful game, but its a game. Gamespot does not have a review of iRacing and its the only 'game' I play that when I tell people about it I can't even bring myself to say the word 'video game' because it is so much of a sim. I like the additional content you guys provide in reviewing arcade racers, but really, there should be two seperate rating categories. I feel like you are comparing apples to oranges and that hurts the credibility of the ratings for both arcade racers and sims.

Does adding a bunch of eye candy hurt the stability of a sim like iRacing? If so, I don't want it in. In fact, if keeping eye candy to a minimum allows for higher framerates that translate into better feel and a better multiplayer experience then I think the sim should be applauded for it and not penalized. Although I will admit you came up with excellent suggestions for having AI in iRacing. I still would rather not see any AI in iRacing personally.

I will give you guys credit for sticking to your guns and fairly evaluating iRacing on the parameters you have laid out. I just wish you guys would go even beyond having a "sim index" and just have two seperate review categories altogether. I think you guys knew you were gonna get some posts like this from iRacing fans as I could sense you both almost bracing for impact with the disclaimers at the start, but as simracers, I think you know in your guts that something is not right here. iRacing as a total package is a 95 at least, and I think that score of 85 proves that you guys should just make two seperate categories with simracers having more weight given to things like multiplayer and physics and arcarde racers like DiRT having more weight to given to graphics and fun. Although to be honest, nothing is more fun to me than racing wheel to wheel with other drivers racing clean and realistically.

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First.. Thansk for the post ! Great read..

but.. You gotta try Dirt 2 man. I've had some great online races with friends on it and it is a benchmark setter in graphics and maybe AI.. To say AI isn't needed in a sim is wrong in my opinion. Like I said in the review. It's a great tool to test your system, and to run in traffic,, See whats it's like to enter a corner with a car in your face.

We're not going to seperate them out. The Sim Index will do that.. We've checked it out and it seems to work perfectly to distiguish great racing game, from great racing sim, to the titles that do both well..

I don't need the eye candy.. but to not have things like real world deformation, day to night transitions, weather.. How can you say iRacing is a 95, when it lacks all those things, and AI ??

I agree with your decision to keep scoring categories consistent. While AI is of little importance to me, I think iRacing's lack of it should count against it in the same way that a lack of damage hurt Gran Turismo. Though FM3's lack of a useful multi-player should knock it back a bit as well.

I think iRacing deserves to be closer to a 90 at this point. It's an on-going project that appears to be getting better with each build. So, moving forward, attaining a solid A grade is certainly not out of the question. The console titles can sell as much DLC as they want, but those do not compare with the actual improvements made regularly with iRacing.

I suppose the Fun Factor element, though, can be somewhat subjective. What makes it fun to me is the fact that it is like having an actual racing career. The member site with all the stats and info is great. The actual on track experience is, for me, second to none. But the challenges that iRacing and its membership present is probably what makes it the most fun. The fluff that goes along with other games is great, but is often lost on me. I'll take the straight to pit lane approach of iRacing over, for instance, FM3's over-produced race intro any day.

As mentioned on the show, this is the real deal for online racing. To quote Ty Cobb, "It's no pink tea, and mollycoddles better stay out." Of course he was referring to baseball, but that is how I see iRacing. It is the most fun I have ever had with e-gaming.

I am looking forward to the Sim Index addition. It would also be cool to see a listing like you do with the sim cars.

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DiRT 2 looks like a blast and I will probably check it out.

You make a good case for the AI, but I will still disagree. iRacing is so realistic that you can't do things like check tire wear while you run the car or cut a corner or cross a pit lane on exit. Too put AI in the sim would for me be a scary sign that other compromises will be made that sacrifice realism. Dale Jr. can't send a robot out on the track to practice drafting behind and if I can't find someone to help me test then I should probably be playing an arcade racer.

The eye candy would be great if it can all be done without sacrificing the wonderful things that iRacing strives for. Sometimes you just can't have it all.

I practiced all week for the 2.4 Hours of Daytona. On lap 1 I hit the brakes way too late after passing the start/finish line and slid off the track. It was right at a high speed corner at the start of the race and I had to sit there stewing as I watched 20+ cars come flying by and had to start lap 2 all the way in 40th. The satisfaction I got in working my way up to 14th the rest of the race is nothing any arcade racer can deliver. If that had been Forza, I would have made a risky move to get right back into the action, but it was iRacing and the only thing worse than losing would have been to have forced myself back into the action and caused somene else to have a bad day. By the way, I looked up your results Darin and it looks like you had a great race, well done!

Its a tougher path to walk but the rewards are so great. I can't get that experience anywhere else and that is why iRacing is a 95 for me. I'll sacrifice eye candy for that anyday.

The Sim Index is a good compromise. But I will put my 95 up against that 85 with the sim community anytime.

After I wrote this, I saw Jojo's new post. Excellent points and after more thought, I think 90 is about right.

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Hi, guys!

Great Episode!

I debated whether or not I would post my thoughts but here they are....

This newest episode was very well done. You guys covered a good amount of information in the short period of time. Also, seems that the focus was shifted back to the intended subject and content. What I mean is that having Jessica on the show can be pretty tricky. In other episodes, she seems to take the spotlight, seems out of place or ends up over shadowing the show. However, in this episode, she was a part of the show and the content took the spotlight. She did a very good job on serving as the co-anchor of the show. As you will see by the visibly absent trashy/harsh YouTube comments, her role seemed more natural/professional and not out of place.

I hate to think that we as an audience can't be mature enough to keep comments on youtube respectful and on subject...but then again most of your audience probably ranges from ages teen to older men with an attraction for women. :)

Keep up the good work, guys. And thanks for doing this for our unique hobby!

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I really enjoyed your episode especially the detail on iRacing. It did show where your rating system may need a little tweak, to which end I think adding the proposed "sim index" will be helpful. For example, iRacing is penalized for lack of AI even though AI is really outside the scope of their goals. However, this is a difficult problem. Perhaps looking at something like dog show judging where the contestants are judged based a standard for *their breed." Translated to rating racing sims/games perhaps having different judging standards for racing "games" verses "sims"..the question, and where this analogy breaks down is how to classify something being judged? ...enough thinking on my keyboard...great job as always!!

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What a great episode. And I loved being able to watch it in 720p on Youtube as well.

Each so improves more and more over the previous. The set looked good, the chatter between hosts was good, the transitions between segments are getting "smoother", etc...

Keep it up guys!

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Hey All,

Thanks for all the comments, very much appreciated..

Wanted to comment on the "I'd give it a 90, or 95" comments. Honestly.. Just throwing a best of 10 score at it.. I'd give it a 9 out of 10 too.. If we were to go that route. We might as well just drop it to a 5 star rating and say.. "4 1/2 stars for iRacing. We recommend it" But we go "Inside Sim Racing" When you put it on that weighted ratings scale and compare it to every title we've run in the past year, it misses the boat and there's no way it deserves a 90+ on that scale.

To give it an "A" grade now would be saying that it's close to complete.. Here's a list of things that I think they need to obtain that A on that grading scale.

1) AI - Even the NR2003 AI would have got them a 3. Just read in another post how Julio wants to practice drafting in the COT for the Dayona 500 coming up and there's no servers up.. Can you say.. AI !

2) Graphics - Real world deformation, rain, day to night transitions, parts left on track, debris, windshield build up, corner workers / flagmen, sun light. Dale Jr has all those things in real life.. ;-)

3) Physics - you guys would give it a 20 ? It still needs work.. I think the feel of the Abarth in netkar is closer to real.. Richard Burns Rally also gies iRacing a run for it's money here.

4) Cars - they need more, but have a great selection

5) Cost - Still too expensive.. I think they should offer road or oval packages, etc.

6) Sounds - Still need work. They're pretty good.. but not the best.

7) Presentation - How many people tanked their safety rating out of the gate ? They could have hired 100 different people in the community to have a great video tutorial instead of the Leigh Diffey infomecial they did.

8) Track grip, or off track grip.. slight ding here in tracks, and in physics.. put a wheel 2 inches off on some tracks and you spin.

9) Damage - Forza 3 beats it in many areas. Transmission damage, Progressive engine damage, the physical reaction to damage.

10) Driver swaps for enduros.. Live for speed and rFactor both have it

11) Live paint swaps, not having to go to "Tradin Paints" to get someones paint.. Forza 3 and Live for Speed both get paint jobs for you.

12) Dual class racing - other sims have it - iRacing has only done it on week 13.

So there's 12 things that I think iRacing can improve on to get an A. As they evolve, they will get to tat A status..

I love iRacing and it is the best place to race, no question.. Like we said, the pinnacle.. but it has room to grow and improve.

1 last thought to ponder.. What about the other forms of racing they mentioned in our first interview with them..

Drag racing, motorcycles, etc.. There theres still The F1 car !! Aussie V8s.. All that stuff coming ! It'll get there guys.. Strong B (85) with a 0 in Ai is a damn good score considering.

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rating is a way to measure the experience making it easy for comparison, but you can't compare an arcade game with a hardcore simulator even if you take it down to just numbers.

you don't need a new rating scale, just remind the people out there that if they are looking for a hardcore experience the higher score of dirt2 won't be enough.

sorry for the bad grammar.

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there's no servers up.. Can you say.. AI !

Looks like a rainy day at the track, just have to wait for the servers to get back up. I still don't want AI, ghost cars, auto-tuning, braking lines superimposed on the track, a no damage option, etc... Once you start down that path, where does it end? At the arcade.

Graphics - Real world deformation, rain, day to night transitions, parts left on track, debris, windshield build up, corner workers / flagmen, sun light.

I suppose the argument could be made that its time to update the graphics engine. Most of us who shell out for the wheel and chair have a decent enough system for a stronger engine. I have to say your spot on here. It would really "liven" the game up. But with the current engine.... negatory. The framerate hit would effect driving performance too adversely.

Physics - you guys would give it a 20 ? It still needs work

Not a 20. You guys nailed it regarding the off track physics. It needs work.

Sounds - Still need work.

Agreed. Tire squeal and engine sounds.... pretty generic and eerily similar in all cars.

Presentation - How many people tanked their safety rating out of the gate ?

Part of being a rookie. The guy who won the real TDI cup this year was on the podium in every race. The year prior, his rookie year, he didn't even finish one. iRacing isn't about holding anyone's hand. A tutorial video is a good idea though.

Live paint swaps, not having to go to "Tradin Paints" to get someones paint.. Forza 3 and Live for Speed both get paint jobs for you.

Whoa, this is a definite swing and a miss. I do not want to grid up and look over to my left and see Lady Gaga on the side of some dude's ride. I've been in those Forza races with Japanese Anime flying all over the track. You want that in iRacing?

On a personal level, all I want for Christmas is Rally Racing to make its way onto iRacing. But they clearly need to work on their off road physics if they ever tackle that.

Looks like other fans would also like to see arcade and sim racers judged on seperate merits.

In this week's episode of insidefruiteating we review the apple and the orange. We have to give the orange a "2 out of 15" in the being crisp department and the apple a "2 out of 15" in the being juicy department. Well dangit IFE! why not judge that apple out of 10 for crispiness and only out of 5 for juiciness. And that poor orange, lets judge him out of 10 for juiciness and 5 for crispness!

A juiciness index, ok, I guess that'll do :?

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I don't see a problem with "ghosts" personally in iRacing.

It gives you a chance to see what lines other guys are taking and how the faster guys handle themselves on the track. but, it does not teach you their setups or other "tricks", but it would be a tool to help you improve yourself none-the-less.

i also think the ghosts should not be ghosts as in Forza, but the actual car, that way you also get to practice racing "clean" without actually having to be in a huge field and worrying about what other cars are spinning out or wrecking.

It's the best of both worlds I think

As for Ai, if i want that, I always have Forza to turn to.

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Nice review of iracing, a little high in physics IMHO as touching grass on some tracks is like hitting ice and you can spin a Solstice 360 at 20mph which is not possible in RL and therefore should not be possible in any decent physics model. I would also give iRacing a 2 in sound. Its very generic and uncrealistic IMHO.

I was also dissapointed to see no mention of how iRacing is a BEAST to run even on decent to very good systems. "modern gaming PC" does not cover what iRacing needs to run an actual race with many cars.

I chuckled when I saw the de-badged Dell Vostro. iracing will not run on a stock Vostro, heck a stock Vostro does not even have the power supply connectors to run a modern video card!

I really liked the new backdrop. Presentation is just as good as content!

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Nice review of iracing, a little high in physics IMHO as touching grass on some tracks is like hitting ice and you can spin a Solstice 360 at 20mph which is not possible in RL and therefore should not be possible in any decent physics model. I would also give iRacing a 2 in sound. Its very generic and uncrealistic IMHO.

I was also dissapointed to see no mention of how iRacing is a BEAST to run even on decent to very good systems. "modern gaming PC" does not cover what iRacing needs to run an actual race with many cars.

I chuckled when I saw the de-badged Dell Vostro. iracing will not run on a stock Vostro, heck a stock Vostro does not even have the power supply connectors to run a modern video card!

I really liked the new backdrop. Presentation is just as good as content!

I'd have to disagree. I have driven race cars from my dad's 1973 Javelin drag car to Stock Cars, Legends and Bandoleros.

The sounds to me seem very good, especially at high RPMs, just (as Darin and Shaun mentioned) you have to crank your volume up.

As far as being a "beast" to run, my computer is no slouch, but isn't top tier either. It has a 2.8ghz dual core intel processor with a 16mb cache and 1033Mhz FSB, an Asus 680i SLI mobo, 4gb 1033MHz DDR3 RAM and 2 eVga 8800 GT 512 videocards running in SLI, and running windows 7 ultimate 64. I run iRacing at full video settings, and even in 20 car fields I get 80+ FPS.

As far as physics, i will agree to an extent. They are the best of any sim racing program out there, but like you said, at times certain things do not make sense. i have done just as you have said and spun a slowstice almost 360 which in first gear and well under 30mph. Also there are times where i have dipped a wheel off track, even at low speeds, and have it shoot me right into a barrier. But, you have to remember that just as Darin and Shaun have said, it is an organic program and still has a ton of room to grow and evolve.

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The Arcade.. lol.. Isn't that extreme ?? I can list 12 things that aren't realistic / arcadish in iRacing and I don't see you throwing up a red flag there..

RESETS ?? Thats real ?

Parts not coming off of a car after a wreck ? Thats real ?

Where's the sun ??

No one mentioned "auto tuning, lines superimposed on the track". We just want some AI dude.. Maybe if they had AI, more people would consider buying it.

I personally prefer online racing and haven't done a real AI race in over 10 years on a PC sim.. But.. We get a lot of comments from people that do want AI.

Like it or not.. iRacing is a racing game.. yes it's more of a simulation. .but even Dave K himself called it a game. I also have the man himself referring to Dirt 2 in my full interview with him and how cool things in it were.

Was also enlightening to talk the staff in person about Dirt 2, NFS shift, Forza 3 which by the way.. all of them liked in one way or another.

So the whole apples and oranges comparison.. Which titles should we have compared directly to iRacing ? I bet you can't name one that doesn't have some form of AI.

No one says you have to use the AI .. But there's lots out there that will if and when they implement it.. The Pres of iRacing Tony Gardner told us that they plan it in the future.

Here's the bottom line. All of the things I mentioned are featured in other sims.. To say that adding graphical enhancements will bring the sim to a crawl is untrue based on my talks with Dave K. They just haven't done it yet to focus elsewhere.

there's no servers up.. Can you say.. AI !

Looks like a rainy day at the track, just have to wait for the servers to get back up. I still don't want AI, ghost cars, auto-tuning, braking lines superimposed on the track, a no damage option, etc... Once you start down that path, where does it end? At the arcade.

Graphics - Real world deformation, rain, day to night transitions, parts left on track, debris, windshield build up, corner workers / flagmen, sun light.

I suppose the argument could be made that its time to update the graphics engine. Most of us who shell out for the wheel and chair have a decent enough system for a stronger engine. I have to say your spot on here. It would really "liven" the game up. But with the current engine.... negatory. The framerate hit would effect driving performance too adversely.

Physics - you guys would give it a 20 ? It still needs work

Not a 20. You guys nailed it regarding the off track physics. It needs work.

Sounds - Still need work.

Agreed. Tire squeal and engine sounds.... pretty generic and eerily similar in all cars.

Presentation - How many people tanked their safety rating out of the gate ?

Part of being a rookie. The guy who won the real TDI cup this year was on the podium in every race. The year prior, his rookie year, he didn't even finish one. iRacing isn't about holding anyone's hand. A tutorial video is a good idea though.

Live paint swaps, not having to go to "Tradin Paints" to get someones paint.. Forza 3 and Live for Speed both get paint jobs for you.

Whoa, this is a definite swing and a miss. I do not want to grid up and look over to my left and see Lady Gaga on the side of some dude's ride. I've been in those Forza races with Japanese Anime flying all over the track. You want that in iRacing?

On a personal level, all I want for Christmas is Rally Racing to make its way onto iRacing. But they clearly need to work on their off road physics if they ever tackle that.

Looks like other fans would also like to see arcade and sim racers judged on seperate merits.

In this week's episode of insidefruiteating we review the apple and the orange. We have to give the orange a "2 out of 15" in the being crisp department and the apple a "2 out of 15" in the being juicy department. Well dangit IFE! why not judge that apple out of 10 for crispiness and only out of 5 for juiciness. And that poor orange, lets judge him out of 10 for juiciness and 5 for crispness!

A juiciness index, ok, I guess that'll do :?

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great episode! thanks.

I think the sim index will be a good addition that will complement the WRS scores; I look forward to seeing that implemented.

After your review of iRacing, and some other conversations I've had with members I am stongly considering trying it out. Thanks for taking the time with your preview and interview segments for giving the depth of coverage this simulation deserves.

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Excellent points Darin! I see what you mean about the AI...some way to practice racing without worrying about messing stuff up for others and get used to having cars around or as you mentioned, practice techniques like drafting that require another car. Formal practices help a lot in this regard but sometimes one wants to practice without having to worry about others or hoping that the random people in the session are good "training partners."

I definitely agree with you about damage...visually it's not very realistic and often a little tap will mess up your steering, esp. in the more "fragile" cars like the indy car or skippy (that part maybe realistic, not sure.) You're also absolutely correct on price as well...promote to D and if you want to run a full D level series be prepared to lay out $100..even with the discount...I'm sure that discourages some people. The only think I can say for them is not seeing their books one can't know if financially they can afford to sell content for much less. I do know Forza will sell you a car pack (several cars) for $10 but given how many cars/tracks are in the game I can't believe it costs them as much per track/car as it does to produce iRacing content...unless they can amortize it over so many more people that they can make it up on volume.

All that being said, I am enjoying iRacing a great deal and I feel the satisfaction is from seeing some improvement in skills and being required to really learn about racing in order to be successful..the fact it's realistic enough to not "pick up and play" is one of the things I find attractive about it. (If that makes sense.)

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Hey All,

Thanks for all the comments, very much appreciated..

Wanted to comment on the "I'd give it a 90, or 95" comments. Honestly.. Just throwing a best of 10 score at it.. I'd give it a 9 out of 10 too.. If we were to go that route. We might as well just drop it to a 5 star rating and say.. "4 1/2 stars for iRacing. We recommend it" But we go "Inside Sim Racing" When you put it on that weighted ratings scale and compare it to every title we've run in the past year, it misses the boat and there's no way it deserves a 90+ on that scale.

To give it an "A" grade now would be saying that it's close to complete.. Here's a list of things that I think they need to obtain that A on that grading scale.

1) AI - Even the NR2003 AI would have got them a 3. Just read in another post how Julio wants to practice drafting in the COT for the Dayona 500 coming up and there's no servers up.. Can you say.. AI !

2) Graphics - Real world deformation, rain, day to night transitions, parts left on track, debris, windshield build up, corner workers / flagmen, sun light. Dale Jr has all those things in real life.. ;-)

3) Physics - you guys would give it a 20 ? It still needs work.. I think the feel of the Abarth in netkar is closer to real.. Richard Burns Rally also gies iRacing a run for it's money here.

4) Cars - they need more, but have a great selection

5) Cost - Still too expensive.. I think they should offer road or oval packages, etc.

6) Sounds - Still need work. They're pretty good.. but not the best.

7) Presentation - How many people tanked their safety rating out of the gate ? They could have hired 100 different people in the community to have a great video tutorial instead of the Leigh Diffey infomecial they did.

8) Track grip, or off track grip.. slight ding here in tracks, and in physics.. put a wheel 2 inches off on some tracks and you spin.

9) Damage - Forza 3 beats it in many areas. Transmission damage, Progressive engine damage, the physical reaction to damage.

10) Driver swaps for enduros.. Live for speed and rFactor both have it

11) Live paint swaps, not having to go to "Tradin Paints" to get someones paint.. Forza 3 and Live for Speed both get paint jobs for you.

12) Dual class racing - other sims have it - iRacing has only done it on week 13.

So there's 12 things that I think iRacing can improve on to get an A. As they evolve, they will get to tat A status..

I love iRacing and it is the best place to race, no question.. Like we said, the pinnacle.. but it has room to grow and improve.

1 last thought to ponder.. What about the other forms of racing they mentioned in our first interview with them..

Drag racing, motorcycles, etc.. There theres still The F1 car !! Aussie V8s.. All that stuff coming ! It'll get there guys.. Strong B (85) with a 0 in Ai is a damn good score considering.

Darin,

Great post! You nailed it with the "room to grow" comment. Only if you've tried all the other sims/games do you notice the things, that are missing. That's one of the things I love about you and Shaun. You try everything and give it a fair shot. Many guys in rFactor or iRacing etc, have never tried Forza, Dirt, NetKar etc. You can find unique and/or state of art features in all of those sims/games. Every sim can learn from every other and should.

iRacing is interesting, because it does oval and road and is trying to nail racing from the bottom (ie Legends and Solstice) to the top (ie COT and Indy/F1) of the racing world. It's community is a collection of drivers all all former sims, so the community tends to be very demanding and wants iRacing to have every feature of every sim. If we have driver swaps in LFS and rFactor then it's needed in iRacing. If the best damage is in Forza 3 then iRacing needs to beat that. Car deformation in Dirt 2, then iRacing needs to beat Dirt 2 in that category. It's a lot to bite off for one sim and so often it's compared to all sims at the same time.... Having said that iRacing just might get there and beat all the sims with all their combined feature sets. Tough challenge though!

I'd agree it definitely has room to grow. I want iRacing to have the best of every sim all in one package. It doesn't yet, but In the end though, I think for you, Shaun, myself and others the sum of the parts is greater than all the individual parts. Certainly for me it's the best place to race as well, but I also want the same 12 things you do.

Maybe the sim index will line up better with the sim scale. The current whole is greater than the sum of the parts on the current scale. These "scales" are so tough to get right, because there are so many considerations, unique to each person's needs.

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RESETS ?? Thats real ?

No and I wish they weren't there. That would be the first thing I would axe. The safety rating is a good motivator to race clean, but not having a reset would be the ultimate motivator. If it had been brought up I would have been more than happy to red flag it.

Where's the sun ??

Up in the sky. I see shadows moving across my dashboard as I circle the track. Night/Day transition would be nice though. I just think what iRacing brings to the table far outweighs the things that you are hammering it for. Give me realistic racing, a group of racing series where your real name and rep is on the line, qualification times that matter, laser accurate tracks and cars... I'll go to the beach for the pretty sunsets. But yes Darin, dusk to dawn would be a nice feature, but it ranks a blip on the overall picture. I like your suggestions, I am not disagreeing with them, I just think iRacing delivers such a great experience overall that I wouldn't hammer it for hundreds of minor things I can think of that it is not doing.

Parts not coming off of a car after a wreck ? Thats real ?

I had the entire hood come off of my Ford Spec the other day and finished the race with an exposed engine. The parts come off, but yeah it would be a cool addition to see that hood on the side of the track the rest of the race. Again, great suggestions, I am just glad the time and resources have gone towards the other things. Work in progress as you mentioned.

Which titles should we have compared directly to iRacing ? I bet you can't name one that doesn't have some form of AI.

I would actually have given iRacing a 5/5 for not having AI in it. The two greatest sims to me are iRacing and Richard Burns Rally. RBR has that ghost car but thats it, and got hammered for it also in the review. Why? for in my opinion being TOO simlike. Why should a sim get dinged for trying to be like a SIM??? :shock:

No one mentioned "auto tuning, lines superimposed on the track".

I know, I didn't say you did. There are people out there that may want it though, there are probably people that would want to see someone selling popcorn in the stands too, my point is I personally don't want to see iRacing walk that path. I know they plan too implement AI, just giving my opinion, and more to the point stating my reasons why iRacing should not have gotten a 0 in AI and an 85 overall.

To say that adding graphical enhancements will bring the sim to a crawl is untrue based on my talks with Dave K. They just haven't done it yet to focus elsewhere.

Bad assumption on my part. That being the case, a lot of your suggestions would really improve the game!

Thats great that Dave and everyone over at iRacing thought DiRT2, Forza, NFS, were all cool in some way. So do I, so does the 12 year old down the block who wouldn't have the patience for a SIM like iRacing.

Look, I love the show, the whole gang does incredible work, but I still think you guys got it wrong here and I think your being stubborn about it.

For heaven's sake Darin you guys gave Midnight Club L.A. an 84 as a simracer! Grid got an 86!

Are any simracers going to pay iRacing money to play Midnight Club or Grid? Does anyone in their right mind think as a "SIMRACER" that either Midnight Club or Grid are in the same category, heck the same universe, as iRacing? Take a survey!

So what went wrong? You dinged iRacing with a donut for a feature that it shouldn't have been judged on. Without that iRacing is close to a 90 and thats about what it should be. Apples to Oranges. Ding those arcade titles for lacking AI, not a sim. A lot of what you have said convinced me it is not a 95, but Darin, its not an 85 either.

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I cannot understand why anyone would expect iRacing to not be hit for the lack of AI. I own several PC sims and they all have AI. And they all cost less too :)

iRacing is probably the coolest idea out there right now. Its implementation however is not exactly fantastic. It is a startup obviously and you can see the budget AND technology contraints if you look. Thats certainly OK and does not take away the fact it really does give you an experience you cannot get anywhere else.

I am not sure review scores (by anyone) are really meant to be held up to one another. I mean seriously here... if you take ANY game and focus on the negatives you can justify dragging any title down into the dirt. iRacing's score is what they felt appropriate for iRacing when they scored it and Midnight Club's score was what they felt appropriate for MC when they scored it. It does not make MC "better" than iRacing.

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To Hopfrog.. Not being stubborn.. just voicing my opinion about it.. I guess you could be looked at as stubborn as well..

In regards to Midnight Club and Grid.. those were scored on our old scale. The new scale obviously focuses more on a racing title or game than a "sim". Which is why we creted the sim index. A true simulation does not need AI.. I agree with that and so will our sim index.

Still doesn't take away from the fact that other sims/games have everyone of the features I mentioned. My wish list wasn't made up of items that are pipe dreams.. They are made up of items that have been in other titles, even their own (Papyrus) for years.

90 - no for iRacing.. Do me a favor. Score it on our scale and tell me what you come up with and post your numbers here.. Good luck getting to 90.. Make sure to score that AI a 0. It is what it is.. If we changed that scoring just for iRacing.. imagine how many people would come running to us crying foul.

FC.. thanks for seeing it my way.. Not that I'm right here Hopfrog.. just opinions.. and yes Im a stubborn MOFO when it comes to my opinion ! ;-)

I cannot understand why anyone would expect iRacing to not be hit for the lack of AI. I own several PC sims and they all have AI. And they all cost less too :)

iRacing is probably the coolest idea out there right now. Its implementation however is not exactly fantastic. It is a startup obviously and you can see the budget AND technology contraints if you look. Thats certainly OK and does not take away the fact it really does give you an experience you cannot get anywhere else.

I am not sure review scores (by anyone) are really meant to be held up to one another. I mean seriously here... if you take ANY game and focus on the negatives you can justify dragging any title down into the dirt. iRacing's score is what they felt appropriate for iRacing when they scored it and Midnight Club's score was what they felt appropriate for MC when they scored it. It does not make MC "better" than iRacing.

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I will accept your challenge and see how I would score it based on your criteria with one caveat. I am giving it a 5/5 for NOT having AI.

Physics - 14. You guys nailed it.

Grahics - 9. Ditto here.

Sounds - 8. Gonna score it a little lower than you guys did because I think the sounds are a bit too generic, escpecially tire squeal. I wouldn't deduct anything for the volume levels, but I am bringing it up to an 8 for the excellent radio communication between drivers that comes with the package.

Tracks - 10. No need for discussion here.

Cars - 9. Dinging it for some of the damage not modeling correctly to aerodynamic performance. My Spec Racer felt just as fast without its hood.

Fun - 10. Shaun said this wasn't as fun as Forza? What? Look at the cool stuff iRacing puts on like the 2.4 of Daytona... your gonna get excited like that by ANYTHING that Forza provides? To me there is no funner simracer out there. The races actually mean something, it has the most respectful community out there, the races are clean, the realism is there, bring it altogether and thats a 10 of fun.

FFB - 9. Lacking something off track. But gonna score it high for little details like the wheel staying cocked when the camber is borked.

AI - 5. Perfect score for not having it.

Multiplayer - 5. Silky smooth and the community is tops.

Damage 4. Again, some more work needs to be done on aerodynamic affects from damage and more realistic visual damage.

Presentation - 5. The ease of use make it effortless to get right in there and race with the community. I love how easy everything is to manage and all the information that is a few clicks away. Diving into iRacing is as easy as opening my browser. Perfect!

Cost - 1. The most expensive simracing option on the market, I don't see how you give it a 3.75 here. Again, your comparing apples to oranges during this segment.

My score based on your criteria: 89

But I don't think Cost and AI should weigh as much as Multiplayer and Damage in a sim racer. If I were to weigh it, Cost and AI wouldn't be included and those 10 points would go towards Multiplayer and Damage.

My personal score for iRacing: 92

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Cost - 1. The most expensive simracing option on the market, I don't see how you give it a 3.75 here. Again, your comparing apples to oranges during this segment.

But I don't think Cost and AI should weigh as much as Multiplayer and Damage in a sim racer. If I were to weigh it, Cost and AI wouldn't be included and those 10 points would go towards Multiplayer and Damage.

I would agree with your rating on cost. I haven't tried iRacing simply because of the cost. I have been tempted so many times but I just can't justify it. Maybe if I were a young aspiring driver and I could use it as a training tool it would make sense. 8-)

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