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

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Hi guys,show is great ,my compliments to Jessica and both of you.I have some questions or comments for your recent episode.I am not iracer for one reason, i think its not full product yet and i will wait until it satisfies my requests for good racing game such as dynamic weather,night racing,ai, and cockpit animation (arms).Speaking of moving arms i really cant belive nobody mentioned this as a big minus for iracing.I really hate when there is no even moving steering wheel and not to mention arms and driver.I know now you are going to say that im missing the point of iracing but this little elements are really important in my opinion to make real racing feel.Of course i respect others who think this is irelevant.This is why i like simbin titles most,because they are full quaility product and i cant wait their new lizzard engine.Im sure iracing would atract more people if they just polish it a little bit ,maybe not hardcore simracers but regular customers.

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Hi guys,show is great ,my compliments to Jessica and both of you.I have some questions or comments for your recent episode.I am not iracer for one reason, i think its not full product yet and i will wait until it satisfies my requests for good racing game such as dynamic weather,night racing,ai, and cockpit animation (arms).Speaking of moving arms i really cant belive nobody mentioned this as a big minus for iracing.I really hate when there is no even moving steering wheel and not to mention arms and driver.I know now you are going to say that im missing the point of iracing but this little elements are really important in my opinion to make real racing feel.Of course i respect others who think this is irelevant.This is why i like simbin titles most,because they are full quaility product and i cant wait their new lizzard engine.Im sure iracing would atract more people if they just polish it a little bit ,maybe not hardcore simracers but regular customers.

Things like moving arms on the wheel would be nice, but 43 cars online with an excellent frame rate, incredible physics, the best force feedback and road feel with the best tracks is a very decent trade off. GT5 will have 16 cars online with moveable arms on the steering wheel and lag in all those areas iRacing excels in.... Should I run out and buy GT5, because of that? Is that finished? What would you rather have? It's personal preference, but few iRacers consider moveable arms a deal breaker.

Who's more complete? It's in the eye of the beholder and what's important to you. Moving arms on the steering wheel is way way down the list on iRacer's wish list.

I'm not saying what you're asking for wouldn't be a decent feature, I'm just commenting on you being shocked no one cares. That's why. It's the whole sim that matters and as a whole sum iRacing is pretty amazing.

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Lincoln,

Great points !

Also wanted to point something out.. One of the emails I got after the review was from Tim Wheatly of iRacing that stated "Very fair review, I've passed it on to the dev team to work on all the areas we have low scored in"

So they want to make it better and add all those cool features. They've focused on a great core for us all to enjoy.. It keeps getting better every three months !

Darin

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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.

I like the idea of the resets in there. First off, you lose resets after you start running series races that require a license. The reset sytem is there to prevent newcomers to be discouraged right away. You get ONE chance to get back out on the track... and don't forget that you also get penalized with the towing time in exchange for that reset. Now, what I'd LIKE to see in iRacing is for them to finally implement the repair system. I cant tell you how annoying it is to have to end an open wheel race early, because a wing broke.... A part that can be replaced by a modern pit crew in less than 15 seconds - but no, I have no front downforce, so I can't race.

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.

I get at what Darin is saying, particularly as is relates to time of day - it's also what I meant when Jessica asked DK my question about environmental effects during his interview with her. As the sun sets, depending on where it is, it can become a HUGE factor. Ask any Cup driver what it's like to be barreling down the front straight of Miami-Homestead Speedway when the sun is setting. Living in Miami, I can tell you that the orientation of the track puts the sun just over turns 1 as it sets. The glare on those windshields, especially as they get dirty, is a huge factor. As an example, check out the effects in FM3. It actually pulls this off pretty well, and I wouldn't be surprised if the new rFactor 2 Graphics Engine will produce the same... C'mon, Jhon, make it happen! :D

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.

Yep, I'd rather see it too... It's a real hazard of racing. The more realistic the better, I say. I wouldn't necessarily like to see it there the whole race, though... after all, a crew would pick it up... So when the virtual crew picks it up, it should disappear. In these cases, I'd even throw a local yellow in the area until the part is picked up, if you want to REALLY make it realistic. I also wouldn't mind seeing an actual flag waving on the stand. I have to admit that the waving yellow effect from the flag stands in NetKar-Pro is pretty cool. It would also be cool to see flying cones when people hit them... I've been know to hit a few cones in rFactor on purpose, just to see them fly, lol.

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:

iRacing should have AI, but just as a training aid; after all, the true beauty in iRacing is the competition with real people. But still, Imagine all the racing manuevers you could practice, without getting yelled at when you make the occasional mistake. Sure, AI will never be as good as a real opponent, but again - it would make a great training tool. Like Darin mentioned earlier, it would let me see how my Impala would run in a crowd! Daytona is a rough track. Already, I can see myself side-swiping someone, just because of the inexperience there! I guess I'll find out when practice opens this weekend, but it would have been nice to know ahead of time... Ghosts would also be great, because it would let me study exactly where the "aliens" get their additional speed. Noticing the driving lines, seeing firsthand how the car is handling from behind - all that could be studied with ghosts.

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.

I'm all for details, but popcorn vendors would be too much, lol. I wouldn't mind the lines, assists, etc., again, as training aids to new drivers though... Once they start racing for real, however, kiss all that stuff goodbye!

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!

Totally agree, and if they support DirectX 11, it will come at little cost performance-wise, given that each iteration of DirectX has gotten more efficient while providing more effects for Graphics card makers to utilize

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.

While I was a bit surprised at iRacing's score, I can understand why they had to do it the way they did. If they kept changing the rating scale for every title they reviewed, then what good would the reviews be? On the flipside, what if you you rated rFactor without taking into account that it has AI. rFactor could have horrible AI, or the most fantastic AI on the planet, but it wouldn't make a difference by your proposed scale.

It's not perfect - they know it, we know it - but you have to give the guys credit for coming up with something that tries to be above all, consistent, regardless of the target audience for the product they are reviewing. :)

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Lincoln,

Great points !

Also wanted to point something out.. One of the emails I got after the review was from Tim Wheatly of iRacing that stated "Very fair review, I've passed it on to the dev team to work on all the areas we have low scored in"

So they want to make it better and add all those cool features. They've focused on a great core for us all to enjoy.. It keeps getting better every three months !

Darin

Very cool. It's great that iRacing isn't satisfied with their already stellar product. I love how they demonstrate humility when it comes to things like the SRT review and the strengths of their competition. That, coupled with the desire and ability to be the best is a great combo.

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Gotta say Great show guys!

Luvved the verve and enthusiasm you showed towards Dirt2 it looks like a great fun game....if only I could get it to run for more than 3 minutes on any one of the 3 computers I have tried it on....lol. Hopefully a patch will appear fixing the problem. It was this game I purchased which got me to this site, and now into the sim scene a few weeks ago.

To weigh in to the iRacing scoring controversy /discussion....as a newbie, from what I have seen, the scoring was about right. I believe you did a very fair and unbiased review with constructive criticism where needed. I have been playing most of the titles you all (forum posters in general) mention and they all have their good and bad points from what I have seen in the limited time I have played them.....am on Holiday so been getting lots of pedal time on rFactor NFSS and iRacing GTR2 etc. Signed up for 3 months of iRacing and am really enjoying it but a few big glaring things stood outfrom a newbies perspective.....now I might be skating on thin ice here.....but everyone keeps playing up the physics. I don't know how cold it is in the U.S., but are all the off track dirt and grass areas frozen all year round? That alone would have knocked the hell out of my physics score (again my observation as a newcomer). Real cars run a wheel or two off the side fairly regularly (not necessarily the same drivers) during an average race and I have never seen that type of "spinning on steroids" reaction.

No AI = no score....hmmmm a tough one....it is an online sim. A ghost car or two would be nice especially for me at this early stage. Here's an idea...... if the boys at iRacing are reading..... What if you were able to integrate the replay tracks from other drivers, into my test session as some kind of overlay????? You wouldn't have to program a bunch of bloatware AI routines into the system and I still get someone to chase. :)

Hopefully the damage model (referring to Solstice atm) will be improved and I am sure they are working on it. Visually it just looks way over the top ie, rolling into a wall or tyre at 5 mph and having the entire front end fold like hot knife through butter....and the visual FX look exactly like that metaphor. I gotta say though, its definitely the best feel in regards to driving and track and that's where I think it really wins.

I have to wonder about the weighting on the pricing factor with a lot of the reviews and in particular to the package you get with iRacing. I think the economic crisis must have really hit hard, when $7-10 a month for lots of folk, is being percieved as a major purchasing deal breaker for unlimited use of the iRacing facilities and servers . I think its incredibly good value when you compare it to....well just about any pass-time, hobby, entertainment, movie, DVD, drinking habit etc. The sheer scope of what these guys are trying to do with realistic scanned and modelled tracks has got to be a mind boggling exercise as a business model and I have no probs dropping an extra $10-15 for a new car or track....when I am ready for them. Most people won't realistically need, as opposed to want, new vehicles and tracks if they progress with the normal learning curve until a couple of months down the road . Of course if you want it all in one go, it might hit the wallet but its still good value if you stick it out.

Anyhow my 2c worth.

Keep the good show rolling. :)

Cheers

Macka

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Things like moving arms on the wheel would be nice, but 43 cars online with an excellent frame rate, incredible physics, the best force feedback and road feel with the best tracks is a very decent trade off. GT5 will have 16 cars online with moveable arms on the steering wheel and lag in all those areas iRacing excels in.... Should I run out and buy GT5, because of that? Is that finished? What would you rather have? It's personal preference, but few iRacers consider moveable arms a deal breaker.

Who's more complete? It's in the eye of the beholder and what's important to you. Moving arms on the steering wheel is way way down the list on iRacer's wish list.

I'm not saying what you're asking for wouldn't be a decent feature, I'm just commenting on you being shocked no one cares. That's why. It's the whole sim that matters and as a whole sum iRacing is pretty amazing.

I know what you mean ,i also prefer great physics ,large grid and every stuff that makes a sim over shiny graphics,but i just thought that we can have both in iracing.I thought average users now have hardware which can handle all that.My point is why not put it in the game if you can and of course make it optional.On the other hand im no expert,i really dont know is it possible so i just asked.I simply got this on my mind comparing it with simbin titles.For instance lot of people prefer simbin titles over rfactor although they run on basicly the same engine simply because it looks nicer and has weather effects and night racing.Also i think graphics shouldnt be underestimated over physics and stuff,cause sims intend to be as realistic as possible and graphics is huge part in that and has to evolve.greetings to all

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I really like the current weighted rating scale, because it makes very difficult to get anything above an 85. Sure the system is not perfect, but considering all reviews are subjective, it does a very good job at showing the strengths and faults of the game.

And Hopfrog, I think you are really exaggerating, because Shaun and Darin are not hammering iRacing at all, the game is not perfect and they are mentioning what can be improved, aside from that, they repeated several times that it's the current pinnacle of sim racing, so don't worry that much about the final number.

Most important, it is a very helpful review to people that haven't tried it and that's what matters the most.

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now I might be skating on thin ice here.....but everyone keeps playing up the physics. I don't know how cold it is in the U.S., but are all the off track dirt and grass areas frozen all year round? That alone would have knocked the hell out of my physics score (again my observation as a newcomer). Real cars run a wheel or two off the side fairly regularly (not necessarily the same drivers) during an average race and I have never seen that type of "spinning on steroids" reaction.

I am not alone in thinking the physics is a bit wonky ;)

Here is an example of a car in iRacing on a track in iRacing. Just TRY the manuver at 1:38 and see what happens.

It also seems off that you lose 1X for taking a wheel a TINY bit off the track. If you watched a road race and took a shot for every car that went over the rumble strip you would be dead of alchohol poisoning in the first two laps! If they are aiming for "realism" they need to let you use a little more ground!

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sun and lighting conditions on the track affect your driving.

how can you defend something for not being a complete product, how can you try to find excuses for developers to don't work to give you a better experience? even the guys from iRacing are not satisfied and are working on improving the sim..

you are not selling the game here Hopfrog noone is buying because you said so, why are you putting so much effort?

if it were up to people like you, we'd all be playing pong until now.

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sun and lighting conditions on the track affect your driving.

how can you defend something for not being a complete product, how can you try to find excuses for developers to don't work to give you a better experience? even the guys from iRacing are not satisfied and are working on improving the sim..

you are not selling the game here Hopfrog noone is buying because you said so, why are you putting so much effort?

if it were up to people like you, we'd all be playing pong until now.

How can YOU totally misconstrue his posts? :roll:

I am not aware of any video game that is a "complete product" upon release. Perhaps finished, but not complete. If you know of any, please share. It has been acknowledged that iRacing is a WIP. But, using your logic, I suppose one must wait until they decide to stop adding to the service before it can be defended. No one has suggested that iRacing should not continue adding features. Some just feel stronger about prioritizing certain things over others. Furthermore, no one is selling anything here beyond our own opinions. Obviously, opinions can differ and what interests one person might be meaningless to another.

Pong? Really? I would have went with Night Driver. ;)

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Thanks Jojo, its obvious you get it, and man, I spent a fortune in quarters on Night Driver as a kid. Loved that reference.

@Toddy, I am just disagreeing with the review and trying to make a case for inside"SIM"racing making their main reviews those that give a better overall picture to simracers out there rather than to gamers in general. I know they are planning to do a sim index and it was clear from the video that they were not thrilled to be giving iRacing an 85 but felt they needed to stick to their scale. I respect why they did it, I just disagree and as a FAN of the show and of iRacing I took the opportunity to voice my opinion.

My main point is... why isn't the main review the one that is already based on a sim index. Darin said it best: "This is insidesimracing and not insidegameracing". I just feel that insidesimracing's initial review of a sim like iRacing shouldn't have things like AI and Cost weighted the same as Multiplayer and Damage. It gives potential simracers looking for an opinion about a sim, an opinion of a game instead. Someone who is not familiar with the show may not be aware of a coming soon simindex and may pass on the best simracer out there. If I were forced to give it a "0" for AI, I would have actually scored it lower at 84. But again, let me refer you to the name of the show.

My suggestion is that they take the simindex and just make that their weighted rating scale. Then go back and rescore everything based on it, post those scores in the Reviews section and then if anything provide an arcade or game rating for titles like Midnight Club and DiRT 2 and offer that as bonus coverage to simracers who might like that stuff as well. I don't see that happening, but as a loyal viewer, I believe I have a right to voice my opinion. In fact, I believe that is the whole point of this forum.

I expected a lot of posts similar to mine, but hey, both here and over at iRacing there was a lot of positive feedback on the review. Ok, fine, I'll drop it, but you asked why I am putting so much effort into it, so there is your answer. :P

how can you try to find excuses for developers to don't work to give you a better experience?

I'm pretty sure a group of developers who actually go out and physically laser map all the tracks and cars are working on giving us the best sim experience out there. In fact I think its because of that attention to detail that we don't have a lot of "fluff" right now.

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Hello ISR crew,

I wanted to add my insight and introduce my self. I have been watching from the sidelines and have come to enjoy your "show". Its a great mix of professional fun and information for all levels of racers.

Ive been racing since early 2000, with the addvent of the Nascar 2003 "game" I was hooked. There are a load of "games"that promote the sport of racing and its what keeps me engaged.

A lot of the drivers I race with are torn with the Iracing and its format, we all love to race but have mixed feeling when it come to having to purchase cars and tracks. Personaly I see a great level of detail being put into the "simulation", and the extention of creating leagues is a great step in the right direction. I look forward to their further development.

I have a final comment, the GTR Challage. I havent ever raced for cash or prizes, its not allowed by our league, which is fine, we race to better our selfs and we promote sportmanship and clean driving above all. But seeing that and the way youre chances of just showing up could put you into a poduim finish. I will diffinently be looking at SIMRACWAY and what they offer.

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After watching the review of Iracing for the second time, it really cemented my opinion of the work Darin and Shawn do here. The review was as professional and straight forward as you can expect. After making connections with all the pesonnel with Iracing and understanding that those connections can effect there own existance with ISR, this review was clearly non-bias and a great information piece in which to base your own opinion on. Well done!

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