Can R3E Handle Competitive Online Races?

RRRE 2016-01-03 11-57-11-36

Despite it’s flaws and omissions, I find myself coming back to Sector 3’s RaceRoom Racing Experience time and time again. A cross between Race 07 and Project Gotham Racing 4, I can deal with many of the game’s shortcomings because several elements of the game are of a high enough quality to offset the negative aspects. There may be an all-encompassing exploit setup, but the driving model requires realistic inputs and techniques to be successful. The pricing model is all sorts of ridiculous, but the sheer amount of content includes well-known race cars and offerings exclusive to R3E. Leaderboard competitions that haven’t been tainted by guys intentionally exploiting track limit boundaries offer a source of genuine competition when the online servers are a ghost town during non-primetime hours, and the graphical level of detail is a tangible step forward compared to other titles based on isiMotor technology.

However, many of you are aware that I’ve spent the past few months competing in various online races within the confines of Race2Play.com, an online hub intended to mimic iRacing’s structured approach to online racing using other, more affordable racing sims. While Stock Car Extreme and rFactor 2 routinely provide fantastic platforms for competitive events, RaceRoom Racing Experience throws a new problem at us each week. I’m not a developer, and I’ve routinely displayed my ignorance in how products like these are created in the past, but for a game that’s been on the market since January of 2013, it’s disappointing to see ominous bugs like these still exist as we enter 2016. If anything, it explains the Multiplayer Alpha label the game slaps on the online component.

1In a race at Portimao using the generic Silhouette Touring Cars, content that comes with RaceRoom Racing Experience, a bug in the game caused two racers to register a DNF result simply for not clicking the right button after they’d crossed the finish line. Milan Stevanovic finished the race in fifthtrust me, I was there – and the game instead had a hiccup and listed him as an eleventh place finish. As this event was part of a multi-race season, Milan’s championship run was adversely affected by this bug. Luis Almeida also suffered the same fate. With Race2Play using server plugin’s to report the results of each race to the website, there’s a pretty serious problem if the game isn’t even calculating the race results properly to begin with.

2We move to an event at the Red Bull Ring using the 2014 ADAC GT Masters cars, where Roger Hinds took the pole by a whopping 30 seconds due to an in-game glitch. According to Roger, he’d messed up his lap, hit Escape to return to the game’s garage menu, and instead R3E counted his aborted qualifying attempt as a completed lap. To make matters worse, R3E awarded him the first spot on the grid, and there wasn’t a way to rectify this. The final race of the season was started with a completely random guy awarded pole position.

3To continue the trend of strange results calculations, an event this morning was again held at the Portimao Circuit using another piece of vanilla content, the Aquila CR1 Prototype. With the race set to end 30 seconds after the leader crossed the start/finish line, the automated race recap generated by Race2Play led to an accidental piece of comedic gold. The ten-way tie for fourth place was more than the race recap bot could handle, continuously citing photo finishes that didn’t actually occur, and Paulo Braga was awarded a total race time of nothing after sixteen laps of driving.

Walk Racing sim team owner Mr. C has also weighed in on the troubles surrounding R3E’s online stability, uploading the above video to YouTube demonstrating some interesting netcode behavior where he’s able to drive almost entirely inside a competitor’s car during a race at Zandvoort.

151211-wintercupWith the officially sanctioned DTM Experience 2015 Winter Cup currently underway, an event pitting the best R3E Leaderboard drivers against each other in a massive tournament culminating with several knock-out rounds and guest appearances by high profile drivers, these kinds of issues make me question whether R3E can truly support competitive online racing. While Assetto Corsa constantly gets ragged on for failing to provide an environment with enough functionality for serious racing, it’s important to mention that RaceRoom Racing Experience has it’s own set of unique bugs that can and often do cause problems. With the title being on the market since January of 2013, as a consumer, it doesn’t feel like a big stretch to question why it’s now January of 2016, and fundamental flaws like a random car being on the pole or the guy in fifth suddenly being scored in eleventh still exist.

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25 thoughts on “Can R3E Handle Competitive Online Races?

  1. “If anything, it explains the Multiplayer Alpha label the game slaps on the online component.”

    I was under the impression that the multiplayer was relatively sound only because I hadn’t heard otherwise and don’t have enough content to get much MP racing going myself.

    This is something I want to see addressed before I consider spending much on content for r3e. I’m surprised, I really just assumed they had solid netcode.

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    1. I’ve just gotten into R3E and the single player alone is really nice. Bought the DTM 2015 experience, WTCC 14 pack, Historic Touring Car Pack and 92 DTM pack so far along with Bathurst and Macau as individual tracks.

      Not sure how much I’ve spent so far but it’s been worth it up to this point even though I’ve only been able to find 1 other player online in a DTM Hockenheim server

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  2. I don’t think in its current state that online competitive races will be possible with the r3e net code… but I do think that above other games r3e has the most potential because as a kiwi the fact i can race with poms is quite extraordinary and something i can do else ware. If you are not aware England is literally on the opposite side of the world to nz that is if i way to dig a whole straight through the world i would end up in or very near England.

    I hope sector3 can fix these bugs but I’m not surprised they are their as multiplayer was only introduced at the start of 2015 which isn’t a long time to develop a completely new system of netcode. considering we can knock out the period of time that was simbins bankruptcy i think they have done a fair job so far.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I just completed a 30 man race in RF2 on a english server from NZ with zero issues, ISI are pretty shit hot at netcode, but rre is up there, but I do get random DC now and again on euro servers, but if S3 sort out the bugs the actual physical netcode is good IMO, still better than either AC or Pcars MP.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is what I call “Classic PRC.” No wild accusations, no stories made on “I heard from a guy who’s name we can’t tell you”, just James making valid complaints about a sim with evidence to back it up.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I totally agree!
      And this: “Experience throws a new problem at us each week. I’m not a developer, and I’ve routinely displayed my ignorance in how products like these are created in the past..”
      was in direct reference to the REIZA screw up! It would have been nice if they issued a formal apology though. – I’m looking at you James 😉

      Liked by 3 people

  4. I think R3E is a solid sim and I wish more people would check it out. The pricing sucks but the racing is good and I disagree with James about the universal setup; his settings really didn’t work for me at all, and I can feel a difference in the cars. With that said, they have some improvements to make, this netcode stuff being one. The pricing model needs to go and they also need to eliminate the always online requirement. Guess we’ll see.

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  5. I think you meant “ignorance” about how games are created, although you may have been arrogant about it. Also “it’s” is not interchangeable with “its.” Does no one know how to use an apostrophe anymore?

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  6. I really enjoy the game, and had a very hard battle from within to choose from Iracing, Rf2 and RR3 do to my real life schedule,but RR is so freaking fun i can’t stay away.
    But like TouringProSeries showed, the game is not ready for a big league or a league of any kind, to many errors.i can add that in the past there was the start glitch where you couldn’t start even do the lights where green, last 2 sundays at RaceDeparment my car was on track but my image was on the garage menu(couldn’t race) and put others in trouble,random crash…still the sounds and updated physics are insanely good for my taste

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  7. An interesting article James.
    I think you’re correct here in your assumption that R3E isn’t ready for serious league use yet. However for the most part in the normal club online races it’s works reasonably well, the biggest drawback is the lack of functionality in the dedi server which the devs are working on. The Mr.C video is down to lag in the other car. I would also point out that although your baseline setup worked well for the older cars before the patch Mr.C’s tailored setups provide a more solid base for the newer ones.
    As a postscript to some of your other stories, I’ve been enjoying playing the P & G 3.2 update in GTR2, apart from the graphics (which really don’t bother me that much) it made me reflect on the shortcomings, many of which you’ve highlighted, of some of the modern games.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The results bugs weren’t there IIRC when the MP was first introduced. I think it started with the dedicated server update. Hopefully they get to the bottom of it.

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