Reader Submission #76 – This is the Worst I’ve Seen It

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After a disastrous Christmas Holiday update & content launch forced the iRacing website to go completely offline for several days, sim racers subscribed to the expensive online-only racing simulation were hoping for a much better start to the 2016 calendar year. Less than three weeks into January, the situation somehow managed to descend into utter madness, with no signs of stopping anytime soon. Longtime iRacing members from the competitive Skip Barber community are now posting lengthy rants on the game’s official forums slamming iRacing developers and staff members for both the lack of communication, as well as the massive amount of technical errors that simply shouldn’t be there. Today’s Reader Submission comes from a source that wishes to remain anonymous, who has documented what some of the more prominent iRacing members have said about the current crop of technical issues, as we do not have access to the iRacing forums ourselves.


iRacingFailing1

Hey James. If you decide to post these screenshots, please don’t use my name. I just don’t want to risk it due to iRacing’s blind wrath. Just thought you should be aware of this regardless.

A lot of leaders in the community are starting to get together regarding iRacing’s overall quality and communication with their customers taking a steep nosedive. While it is no surprise given their previous history, this outrage has gone unanswered and unacknowledged. Philippe L. is very highly respected in the community, and is the creator of the 2K World Cup for the Skip Barber open wheel car.

iRacingFailing2

As you can see by the replies, there are other highly respected members that feel the same way. For one of the top road racers in the service (Philippe) to risk being suspended or even banned by speaking out about this shows everyone has had enough of iRacing’s take it or leave it attitude.

iRacingFailing3

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iRacingFailing6

iRacingFailing7

iRacingFailing8

iRacingFailing9

iRacingFailing10

The thread was created recently but I’m sure it will continue on this trend of support.


I must say that it’s nice to see someone like Philippe L. directly address the topic of random suspensions and/or bans from iRacing. As a sim racer, I do more than just maintain PRC.net; I’m active on a variety of different message boards, and play a variety of different games. I’ve been saying for a number of years now that iRacing as a software company can’t handle criticism, and regardless of whether I’m on Reddit or RaceDepartment, somebody always jumps into the thread to claim that I’ve got some irrational vendetta against iRacing; deeming it necessary for them to permanently ban myself and a buddy from the service. It basically results in a whole bunch of posts like these on various sim racing sites. You’ll know ’em when you see ’em:

Hopkins

It’s liberating to see someone like Philippe come out and say “no, this whole thing about people randomly getting banned for criticizing iRacing isn’t a rumor, this is genuinely happening, it’s a serious problem, and we as sim racers shouldn’t stand for it!” But that is only a portion of the several forum messages pictured above.

timRiRacing, as admitted by David Kaemmer under oath in a court of law, is using 65% NASCAR Racing 2003 Season code, which is an evolution of an engine originally designed for Grand Prix Legends released in 1998. With technology evolving at such a rapid rate, and the reliance on an engine that has seen much better days, the team in Bedford were obviously going to hit a brick wall at some point – and that point is right now. Yes, iRacing should have their shit together after being in business since 2008, but the reality is that under the hood, this is NASCAR 2003. You knew this day would come.

But even if it’s total chaos behind the scenes, with site improvements not working, the game itself struggling with framerate issues, and some cars launching with core physics problems, a better relationship with the community is indeed needed. Why? It’s the least they could do. This is not a $60 Playstation 4 release that will be placed on the shelf after 20 hours of play – a majority of the racers on iRacing are in it for the long haul, investing hundreds of dollars into both hardware and software just for this one racing sim. You owe it to your customers to develop a tangible relationship with them, as the hefty subscription and content prices imply this is much more than just your average video game. If you’re going to advertise your game as a haven for hardcore virtual auto racing fans, give them a service that justifies the enormous price tag. Otherwise, someone will call you on your shit and send it in to PRC.net.

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74 thoughts on “Reader Submission #76 – This is the Worst I’ve Seen It

  1. That screenshot of DK talking about the code, is that some kind of court transcript?

    If that’s legit, wouldn’t they be open to being sued big time? I don’t know how ‘murican laws work, but wouldn’t that be like Toyota telling you publicly that the new corolla has only 1 component the same as the old one, but then you find out later they have privately admitted over half of it is exactly the same?

    Like

      1. The code argument is so stupid, and you guys using it as some sort of “proof” that iRacing is crap only shows how little you understand about software and game development, yet continue to write about it like some sort Robin Hoods of sim racing…

        Maybe you should start bitching about your windows operating system which still has code from 1980?

        What exactly is your understanding of 65%? Code is supposed to be re-used, and it is one of the underlying principles of proper software development. The fact that they were able to start with that only shows that the code was well written and maintainable.

        Also, it has been 12 years since 2004, and you have no idea how much of the original code remains, or what has been re-written. Chances are, a lot!

        Your blog is entertaining, only because its so much fun to watch how you guys make such moronic arguments. I’ve started to visit it daily to get a good laugh. Keep it up! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s kind of sad to say this, but all these guys on the iRacing boards that threaten to leave the service every time a new issue pops up (which is like weekly by now) – where are they planning on going if they leave?

    I mean, this is a purely hypothetical question, as these guys aren’t ever leaving – it’s all empty threats – but let’s say they did. These guys that bitch are the heavy, heavy, HEAVY, “I have a problem” kind of iRacers. Some of these guys do like 5-6 official races a day, I’ve checked. Where do they think they’re going to go to get that kind of racing if they leave iRacing? Over to some competing service that is just dying for their business? It doesn’t exist…

    Man, if ISI was smart they would pool EVERY resource they have at their disposal (for fucks sake, even do a kickstarter or gofundme, lord know they’re all the fucking rage right now) and hire a couple of good web guys and build a service to compete with iRacing. I’m no iRacing fanboy, but they are literally THE ONLY option if you want to race any time and not have to wait for your 1 or 2 weekly league races. Add on to that persistent stat tracking and the SR system – there’s a reason why iRacing is so popular right now, they’re the ONLY ones that offer anything even remotely close to this kind of service. Not only that, but despite what you may hear, they do it pretty well…

    I know, personally, I’ll never leave iRacing until there is something else out there where I can hop into an official race with decent competition at 1 AM on any random fucking Tuesday like I can do now. There are plenty of sim-racers out there for competition, trust me, they’re just all on iRacing…

    Now excuse me, my second official race of the night starts in 20 minutes.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Both ISI (rf2) and RRE, are both sat in ideal spots to challenge IR, to me it appears it wouldn’t take much, Imagine if ISI came out with the same infrastructure as iracing at a tenth of the price WITH modding, its a huge market hole ready to be filled,and ISI already have a very decent netcode, it reminds me of the construction world, no suppliers wants to tread on others toes, even if there’s a huge gap to be filled, as they are so scared of starting a price war etc, its AMAZING how much industry is actually very fixed between competitors, yet that threat doesnt exist for ISI as they arent gonna get “priced out” any time soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The alternative everybody wants has already been made, and it’s called Race2Play.

        I think the only difference is that it doesn’t have a button that insta-launches the game and loads you into the appropriate server; you have to scroll through the server browser yourself after you’ve signed up for event and manually join at the appropriate time.

        It even has the per-car iRating that people have been crying for, though it’s done by car class (for instance, I have a 97 overall rating in GT cars, in Touring Cars I drop to a 91 overall – it’s like FIFA player ratings).

        Although I understand what people want, they want this functionality built into the game itself. Listen, while we wait for a competitor to come along, this is the best option.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. You’re right, R2P is pretty damn good. It’s not in the same league as iRacing, for sure, but It would be pretty unfair to expect them to be. If they had a much higher user base I think they could be as good, if not better. The problem is they’re not very well known. The guys who have been racing since the rF1/GTR2 days know about them, but the majority of guys on iRacing (I would imagine) are much younger than that and are oblivious to R2P, and in a lot of cases, even rF2s very existence.

          The infrastructure is already there, so why doesn’t ISI reach out to them to, if not outright incorporate R2P into rF2, then at least host their official servers with them?

          Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah true race to play is very good, but like ISI, completely lack coverage and marketing, be a dream come true if ISI partnered up with them, or S3, reiza,kunos, just like kunos bought that rating software\mod.

        Like

      3. How exactly are RF2 and RRE ideal iRacing challenger when neither title offers anything resembling the feature that defines the latter?

        “Imagine if ISI came out with the same infrastructure as iracing at a tenth of the price WITH modding, its a huge market hole ready to be filled”

        Assuming the guys at ISI are both intelligent, and interested in increased profits, I can only speculate that maybe replicating iRacing’s online infrastructure isn’t the easiest of endeavors.

        But if, in fact, they haven’t yet considered the possibility, I sure hope they read your comment, and get right on it.

        And if they add mods to the equation, man oh man, that will just completely rock, yeah?

        (I know I’m being a complete asshole, but good god man, vet your posts)

        Honestly not sure which is more bewildering, the comment itself, or the fact that someone actually “liked” it (and wasn’t being facetious).

        Liked by 1 person

      4. @Michael Henke what the fuck are jabbering on about ya smart arse idiot?

        You make out my post is pointless yet drivel on about it for several paragraphs,its called feedback and\or discussion. Im sure ISI is in ideal position because they have a superior sim for a start, very very decent netcode allowing players from around the world to play together flawlessly, and is a modding platform allowing unlimited customization, all iracing has got over that is a browser based UI many good professional net nerds could throw together, and a shit load of decent servers,teh ratign system is decent, but again could easily be replicated adn improved, whats so fucking hard about that?.

        Have you not noticed the hundreds of MMP games? iracing is far far from being unique in its ability to host a few thousand ppl from around the world, when some have millions at a time.

        Iracing is in some sort of artificial market dominance, considering the “sim” side of things isn’t even the pinnacle says enough,its a rare oddity not really replicated in any other market, a few high priced servers, a nerd,some marketing and rf2 could challenge Iracing overnight if wanted too, and charge a tenth of the price, and some of their $1000 “clients” would be left with a virtual track tourer.

        Also whats your snide little comment about modding all about, are you one of these jackass’s that claim only devs can make cars because you cant figure mods out?, modding is a very large part of sim racing and community if you haven’t noticed, and many many leagues outside iracing choose to run mods.

        You are not being a “arsehole” you are just trying to be a smartarse and failed miserably, mainly because your reply has zero substance or relevance and amounts to some idiotic rambling focused around me commenting about sim racing on a sim racing blog, that actually says nothing about why its so wrong, let alone “bewildering”.

        Like

      5. i have had a chat with tim of isi and he basically said hed need $25mil to do what iracing did.
        its such a shame that rfactor2 will never realize its full potential,it will always be that sim you try once in a while.

        Like

    2. We all kind of hoped Isi or kunos would do something.

      Isi never says anything and Stefano is an asshole who calls his users pussies an idiots for wanting multiplayer improvements.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Stop mixing stuff. He said some stuff to the couple guys who are obsessive with everything being right and the way they want it, and shitting on the game and devs. Only to those people.
        If you go and report game problems the normal way, no one is gonna speak bad on you nor ban your forum account.

        Like

      2. Nah he called me a pussy for wanting changeable paint jobs online, proper flag rules, proper start stop and other stuff. Things that would make leagues actually work properly. Every league race I’ve tried on AC is a cluster fuck because of this. Let’s leave alone the potato mode pit stops that are a joke for 2016 standards.

        This is after his skype buddy and beta tester with about 10000 forum posts shilling between the official forums and RD in the past 3 years had a chuckle about how stefano doesn’t give a shit about those things and they won’t be in AC1. “Maybe AC2. ”

        It’s cool I’m now the hot topic of his private message discussions about how I’m a NEET who just spends all day forum posting (not true).

        Meanwhile I work 30-40 hours weekly while working on my
        3rd degrees. Sounds like a NEET to me huh? Guess he didn’t think these people contact us one way or another huh? Maybe I should just spend all day shooting for 10k forum posts too.

        Appsrently stefano thinks it’s a “fantasy” to want working feature in a $50 game with 3 $10 DLCs. And apparently there are no “standards” for a racing game. So next game you buy may actually just show you pictures of a car racing not actually allow you to play.

        Amazing world huh.

        Like

      3. He didn’t argue with you simply because you want those specific features. But because you are obsessive and demand too much from the devs, and don’t accept when they say they can’t or don’t want to do those things. That’s the difference you and others are constantly ignoring.

        Like

      4. Ok lets see I just raced the AI for an hour in Dirt Rally and they were great. I did it in the rain and was able to change my paint jobs. It’s a complete game

        iRacing I can race with 100% flag and start rules, change my paint, have damn nice reliable netcode, a real pitstop system, and there’s a dynamic groove and it affects the game in ways other than adding speed. It’s a complete game.

        GSC had decent netcode, online paints can be changed, working pitstops, and decent netcode. It’s a complete game.

        AC has, decent driving physics? That have gotten easy feeling lately with questionable things like the camber. No working pitstops, cant change paint in non booking sessions, no flag rules, no career mode, questionable AI, no start procedures.Not a complete game.

        GUYS YOU’RE ASKING FOR TOO MUCH AND DONT UNDERSTAND WHAT KUNOS IS TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH.

        Liked by 3 people

      5. I’m not complaining that you are reporting issues about the game. Neither the devs complain about that. But they complain about some people’s bad attitude, sometimes too personal against the devs or the game.

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    3. Ain’t that the truth.

      None of us are leaving, and we damn well know it.

      And before anyone offers R2P as a viable iRacing alternative, that service is missing at least one very important feature. Until they rank drivers in some manner akin to iRating (yeah I know iR is only meant to split grids, but if that were true they wouldn’t publish the number), they’re likely going to continue functioning as a league hub.

      BTW, I follow the Skippy forum reasonably closely, and don’t remember Leybaert commenting on forum bans.

      Although I certainly may have missed such comments, none of the screenshot posts accompanying this article discuss forum bans at all, yet James writes about Leybaert’s position on the issue as if he’d just finished interviewing the guy.

      Moreover, given PL’s unabashedly critical posts, it’s pretty obvious he’s not particularly concerned about any repercussions.

      And why would iRacing ban members for critical commentary within a members only forum?

      In any case, although I’m not as incensed as PL about the website issues, I do wish they’d get their shit together, and at the very least, communicate a little more openly with members. DK’s goddamn obsession with iRacing’s public optics is definitely annoying, and not doing him any favors (blatantly lying about iRacing’s shared infrastructure wasn’t exactly shrewd business).

      But until something better comes along, what the hell am I really going to do?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “Why would iRacing ban members who are critical in a members only forum”

        I’ve been banned probably 4 years total at various times on their forums.

        Like

      2. @ James

        I knew I should have read PL’s manifesto one more time before posting my reply, and I’m obviously pretty embarrassed. My apologies for the mistake.

        That said, I simply haven’t seen any evidence that iRacing is answering critical forum commentary with bans. And with a paywall shielding such commentary from public scrutiny, why would they?

        Moreover, it’s important to remember that forum related bans (usually the result of naming and shaming, foul language, and personal attacks, etc.) are almost always, if not always, temporary, and more importantly, they only restrict forum participation (access, I’m pretty sure, isn’t even restricted).

        A distinction PRC has so far chosen to ignore.

        I do, however, disagree with iRacing’s marketing/optics obsession, as well as their response to public criticism.

        That James’ street stock article, whether accurate or not (and I have no reason to believe it was inaccurate), led to a ban is absurd. Their response to his RD review was similarly ridiculous, and while I don’t entirely understand what happened to Sev, it’s likely another misguided, and indefensible, response.

        Not too mention infantile.

        Like

  3. It has been ridiculous. I signed up right before the Nords came out and the service was speedy and normal. I think it’s been down as much as it’s been up this time. iRacing needs to do something for subs whether it’s two free months or a free car or track or something.

    Like

  4. Would you stop constantly jerking off over that 65%? You literally can’t mention iRacing without bringing it up, and even in 2009 it was the simracing equivalent of declaring the sky blue. I swear, with all of the repeating of rhetoric you do, reading your writing sometimes is like subjecting myself to being repeatedly kicked in the head. And still I return for more beatings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Why don’t you research properly? Here I give you links sorted by rfactor 2 game, tell me what’s missing:
      http://www.bsimracing.com/category/rfactor/
      http://www.virtualr.net/category/rfactor-2

      If anything is missing, maybe is because they don’t all the time create news at the minute. Sometime some time goes by and then release news in bulk.

      In fact there are more news of rf2 on bsim and virtualr then about pcars, ac, iracing, raceroom.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The 4 track 2 car in one day realease. I do my research and checked those sites regularly and checked the front page of both those sites everyday. It was one of the biggest free releases of any sim in a long while and nothing. It was buried in the rf2 section in bsim and nothin’ in virtr. I am not a fanboy it was a glaring omission and thought it was quite interesting.

        Like

  5. I’m not an iRacer although I have subscription ATM, but I think the way it seems to be heading right now is very typical for companies that have been very succesful for a long time and have very estabilished customer base. We’ve seen the same in business many times: Overconfidence, selfentitlement, lack of true progression and taking customers for granted is really not something new. Only problem is that there really seems to be no good alternatives. R2P could probably be good enough for many iRacers, but if most of the people are in iRacing, no one wants to make the plunge especially after spending lot’s of dead presidents on the game. It is somewhat an egg-chicken problem and iRacing still thrives even after service level has been decreacing.

    Like

  6. iRacing did fuck up pretty bad this build, but things are slowly improving (of course no one wants to see that). We’ll see what happens for Week 13.

    As for the bans… Dunno, I’ve been pretty critical of iRacing and I’ve never been banned (apart from temporary forum bans cause trolling). I’m guessing you need to be a real asshole and/or spread bullshit around to get hammered.

    Personally, I don’t want to go on Race2Play. Reasons being, I like how iRacing feels and that’s where the competition is. Bring on Blancpain Endurance Pro Series.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The opening paragraph pleads for the author’s name to be hidden (sensibly so, iracing ban people for being too popular and criticising them, that’s well documented) but could the same courtesy be extended to the other iracers in the screenshots (blur names please) and in the body text it is definitely not clever to include the guy’s name. You can say the Skippy community leader perhaps but don’t use his name, that shit comes up on Google!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Great that we got the name adjusted (though still a small step) but honestly, leaving people’s names in there is a dick move. If you want the community to work with you it’s best not to screw them. Please consider blurring the names in the images, it’s not hard to do, won’t take long and would go a long way to making everyone happier. Consider that the people who posted those comments have done nothing to harm you, so please do nothing to harm them.

        Like

      2. This is why I stopped “investing” in Iracing, Id be terrified what eva site or forum Id visit, if I said the wrong thing, Id get a email banning me from my $1000+ rented game, explain that one to the missus, after convincing her spending that 1000 dollars on a “game” isn’t completely retarded.

        “oh you know that 1000 dollar tv we bought dear, turns out Sony dont like our bad review on facebook and have repossessed without refund”

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      3. are these iRenters seriously afraid that they will be banned because they criticized the game and someone took screenshot of it and put it on some blog article top kek 😂😁😂😅

        Like

      4. James, it’s not for you to hang people out to dry and have iRacing take action. Think about it. They’re not collatoral damage in a war, they’re people, who may not want their names put out there in public. When we use the iRacing forums we use our real names in the strict understanding that what we say is private, which is why for instance the forum is not visible to the public (we’ll leave aside iRacing not wanting to see how pissed off their members are for now).

        I’ve personally had bans for criticising iRacing and that’s up to me. I don’t want it to happen to others, and it’s not your place to facilitate it happening. Losing access to the community sucks. It’s not about losing access to some thing you’ve spent money on, it’s about that community, we all have friends there.

        All I’m asking is a bit of basic human decency (and something that most proper journalists will do, and you are trying to run a news site so I’d expect you to adhere to journalistic standards) so please do that. I’m not having a go, I get your situation, I really do, I just want to minimise the damage to people (some are friends, some I don’t know, but either way I don’t want them to suffer because I didn’t try to fix it).

        iRacerUK aka Concerned iRacer

        Like

      5. @James

        If iRacing were, in fact, banning members with impunity, why haven’t you been inundated with corroborating accounts? Surely, at least 3 or 4 former members would’ve found PRC by now.

        Like

  8. Weird behaviour by the complaining party IMO. If I look at the last seven years, iRacing has been the most solid platform out there.
    Taking into account the fact that it runs a tenfold or more daily races, with users running in the thousands, instead of the low averages on other platforms, the iRacing service has bene nothing else than amazing.

    Before iRacing, the Sim Racing scene had never experienced an online racing platform of this complexity. As another user in here stated. If members want to leave the iRacing service because of a technical glitch…. where are they gonna go to reach the same level of satisfaction? I wish them all the best finding a better home. That said, If they start complaining and trolling because of a temporarily technical issue, iRacing is probably better of without them.

    These days, there are plenty of sim racing platforms out there… In the end of the day, we can all just do what we like. Isn’t that great?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So just because it worked in the past you now have to just suck it up when it doesn’t and deal with it? After probably having spent at least $1000 on the game when adding subscription, cars and tracks altogether?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, irenting is violating consumer law based on the evidence I’ve seen so far. That’s all that really needs to be said.

        Even if you can’t easily challenge them in court (99% a financial/contacts issue), it doesn’t make their actions any more legal.

        Like

    2. “That said, If they start complaining and trolling because of a temporarily technical issue, iRacing is probably better of without them.”

      Haha what did I just read?

      Like

      1. Just my personal opinion James. These days, a lot of community members do more complaining than racing. That can’t be right. Isn’t it simple? If a product is not up to someone’s requirements, they should just stop the subscription, and get something better.

        The last few years the sim racing community has become a trolling heaven. I think it’s time that people start to realise Sim Racing should be about fun and enjoyment. Not hate and anger.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. It’s not that there’s problems, it’s that there’s problems that have been getting progressively and consistently worse over time. This didn’t just jump out of nowhere unexpectedly, the fact they haven’t done anything to successfully stop the trend of worse and worse performance over the last 3-4 years makes this deeply concerning.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, I’m no fan of Iracing, but I would expect problems and performance differences when the tyre and surface models are being worked on and expanded. Things are in flux and will hopefully balance out in time.

        The thing is, when you look at the amount of time they have had and consider the 5 unique model limitation, you have to wonder wtf they have been doing all these years. I don’t think a strong MP platforms absolves them from serious questions with regards to rate of general progress.

        Like

    4. @Hash

      “This is why I stopped “investing” in Iracing, Id be terrified what eva site or forum Id visit, if I said the wrong thing, Id get a email banning me from my $1000+ rented game, explain that one to the missus, after convincing her spending that 1000 dollars on a “game” isn’t completely retarded.

      “oh you know that 1000 dollar tv we bought dear, turns out Sony dont like our bad review on facebook and have repossessed without refund”

      Paranoia’ll destroy ya, buddy

      Like

      1. Paranoia alright, I Haven’t got a single other product or service, software of physical, that I risk losing through bad mouthing it,I only have about 150 invested so far(not including sub fees), but the fact the cunts might take even that “small” amount off me,pisses me off, hence despite enjoying what I did play, I won’t be sinking much more into it anytime soon.

        Like

  9. Iracing is an American company, file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, This is one monopoly with a business plan can be tested with ease, they love situations like this. Big splash, little work. Give it a try

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  10. The higher the Iracing forum post count, the less problems you are having with the current build. Easy solution, post more head in the sand fanboy lunatic bullshit on the forums and youre stutter magically disapears! Who knew !!!!

    Like

  11. Wow…

    And the iRacing fanboys complain about the gmotor sims being outdated…

    Poor saps fell for a marketing line… Oh well…. I fell for AC’s marketing so it’s easily done..

    But at least I didn’t throw away so many years of my life working for the money to race something that turned out to be not what was marketed too me…

    The people waking up from that marketing dream will be foaming…

    Like

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