Life is Pain for Assetto Corsa Fans

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For readers of PRC.net who have sunk long hours into the popular PC racing simulator by Italian developer Kunos Simulazioni, it’s been an interesting Thursday to say the least. Not just one, but two major stories have come out of the Kunos Simulazioni camp, and it’s basically impossible for me to adequately cover them as if they’re breaking stories. Compared to most other sim racing web sites, I’m based out of a Western Canadian province in North America and will always be late to the party, so those who have wanted to get anything off their chests regarding the two new pieces of information, have already done so on multiple different platforms. People are bitching about them on RaceDepartment. They’re bitching about them on VirtualR. And even in the official Assetto Corsa forums… yep, they’re talking about it over there as well. Not successfully, I might add. The usual set of individuals are already lashing out at their customers. But that’s to be expected, I guess.

Considering we don’t ban people for merely going against the “safe” stance on either issue, I guess we’ll start a discussion here as well. I get that sometimes sim racers are forced to bite their tongues , so you’re free to explode in the comments section below.

Anyways, on with the show.

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The first piece of news, and in my opinion the most noteworthy of the two, is an announcement of an announcement. Yes, we’re at that point where modern racing sims are so dull, unfinished, and boring, that developers feel the need to rile up the community by announcing an announcement. Surprise press releases just aren’t cutting it anymore, now there has to be an advance warning of a press release. Cutting to the chase, Kunos staff members – a whole bunch of them actually – are telling us all via Twitter to mark June 17th on our calendar, using the common wedding term Save the Date as a hashtag. Maybe there’s a subtle hint in this peculiar choice of words, a staff member is getting married or something and it’ll be streamed on the official forums, but realistically, some kind of major addition to Assetto Corsa will be unveiled next Friday.

Do I have any clues as to what it might be? Well, I can throw a few names into the mix based on what’s been said to me. It could be the acquisition of the Aston Martin, Honda, or Initial D license – all three of which are rumored to be in talks with Kunos, though a safe bet would be to put your money on Honda, as Kunos have allegedly purchased a community member’s S2000 model behind the scenes like they did with the R34 Skyline. On a personal level, I can’t see the Honda license validating the need for a massive, week-long hype extravaganza until the eventual announcement, but Kunos can and often do operate in ways that don’t make a whole lot of sense to the average sim racer.

I could be a funny guy, strap on my custom-made tin foil hat, and suggest that the Turn 10/Kunos deal we spoke about earlier this spring will be officially announced on the 17th, but the amount of chaos something like that would generate if it were to come true would be too much for everyone to handle.

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Our second piece of news from the Kunos Simulazioni camp today – and a controversy you’ve most likely already discussed on multiple different sim racing discussion platforms – is the abrupt closure of the Assetto Corsa modding community within the game’s official forums. Yes, you read that right. To bring fans of the game up to speed – sim racers who may not spend a whole lot of time inside the game’s expansive online community – the official message boards were home to a dedicated modding sub-section, and Kunos has announced they’ll be closing the entire section down. Car liveries? Removed. Tracks? Removed. Vehicles? Removed. Showcase threads? Removed. Tutorial threads and other related items will still remain for the benefit of amateur modders, but everything else must go immediately.

Aside from the Kunos Simulazioni livery competition, which is still up for some reason, indicating Kunos can’t even follow their own extremely simple rules.

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Outside of the official announcement, which hints at an influx of ripped, unlicensed, or stolen content as the reason behind the sudden closure, Stefano Casillo has confirmed within the Assetto Corsa forums that this decision has absolutely nothing to do with legal issues or other miscellaneous problems that may arise from hosting third party content downloads. In fact, on the other side of the sim racing world, Image Space Incorporated maintain a very active rFactor 2 modding community within their official forums, indicating there isn’t any real reason why a team like Kunos Simulazioni would be justified in spontaneously giving the boot to every Assetto Corsa modder from a place they’ve called home for many years.

The news comes as a complete shock to basically everybody within the Assetto Corsa community. Since the game’s announcement and initial release on Steam’s Early Access platform back in 2013, Assetto Corsa was billed as a modding platform, subtly aiming to surpass what was accomplished with the original rFactor in the late 2000’s. From a third party standpoint, the chain of events that have taken place today are absolutely nonsensical.

  • Kunos Simulazioni built a racing simulator that was intended to be heavily modded by the sim racing community, first and foremost.
  • Kunos welcomed sim racing modders into their official domain with open arms, introducing a dedicated section just for them to converse with each other, show off mods, and have easy access to staff members that could answer very specific questions about the content creation side of Assetto Corsa.
  • Kunos allowed this community to thrive for a period of several years, and routinely monitored the modding section of the forums to recruit talented individuals for contract work – content that would find its way into Assetto Corsa as official Kunos Simulazioni content.
  • Zandvoort, the Nissan Skyline R34, Lamborghini Muira, Shelby Cobra, and the Audio Quattro are just some of the cars and tracks featured in Assetto Corsa that originally began life as high quality third party mods, only to be literally bought by Kunos Simulazioni themselves.
  • Today, Stefano Casillo announced people weren’t using the modding section for it’s intended purposes, claimed there were too many useless threads which only served to feed people’s egos, and told everyone to find some place else to go.
  • Literally everyone shit their pants and wondered what the fuck was going on.

It doesn’t take a genius, or a sim racing connoisseur, to understand how batshit crazy this all is, but I admittedly don’t understand just how tight the modding community for Assetto Corsa is, nor do I understand the politics taking place behind the scenes. I’ll instead let a few Reddit comments summarize the overall atmosphere post-announcement.

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Two Reddit users, TCLF and smudi, both immediately accuse Kunos of lying about the real reason the Assetto Corsa modding community is being forced to leave the official forums. TCLF states Kunos initially didn’t want any sort of online racing community discussion occurring on the official forums, but Kunos staff member Kevin contradicted the team’s stance and said it wouldn’t actually be a big deal for him to moderate another board. Smudi, on the other hand, says there has been basically no ripped content posted on the official forums, as the incredibly hostile community promptly chases away any bad apples who are caught ripping cars from Forza. In the final portion of his post, TCLF backs this up. Smudi even states there has been no sort of tangible influx of inappropriate behavior on the official forums which would warrant the entire modding section to be closed, directly contradicting what Stefano had mentioned in the initial announcement.

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Several other users come to the defense of what Smudi has to say. Viscerous says the claims Stefano Casillo has made about an influx of ripped content is “silly”, while Acc87 allegedly had a Kunos Simulazioni team member congratulate him on an upcoming project he had been working on after posting a single picture. As displayed in a screenshot above, Stefano Casillo has said that the modding section had become an unnecessary showcase of WIP projects intended solely to feed egos, but clemenskaa notes that Kunos staff members had created additional tags primarily for use in the modding forum.

Again, Kunos allowed this in-house modding community to thrive for almost three years, routinely used it to recruit talent that could help build official Kunos content, and yet today they decided to randomly shut it all down – for reasons many community members simply aren’t buying.

So why does this all matter?

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Well, for one, it makes sim racers lose faith in Kunos. What asshole developer suddenly destroys a modding community he willingly allowed to operate for several years in his own domain, over purely fictitious reasons? If these kids of rash and illogical decisions are made, ones which serve to universally upset an entire portion of the community helping to breathe new life into your game at no extra cost, what else is going on behind the scenes that we don’t know about? Some speculate this decision was made primarily to hide the incredible PC modding scene away from the influx of next-generation console owners who don’t have access to this “superior” version of Assetto Corsa when the console version drops, but I just can’t see why that would be a big issue. Everyone knows most PC games have mods, and your average console game doesn’t. Skyrim has an official modding section, even though only the PC game supports mods. This can’t be the reason.

And most importantly, it fragments the modding community. From what I understand, everyone went to the official Assetto Corsa forums to check out what was on the horizon, and download the latest and greatest scratch built creations. It was the central hub of operations, and a place where talented modders could directly ask Kunos staff members questions about the game. Now, with the new rules in place, some will migrate to RaceDepartment, others to F1Classic, and the odd cluster of folks will remain in private Facebook groups – all keeping bits of information to themselves.

An interesting day, that’s for sure.

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98 thoughts on “Life is Pain for Assetto Corsa Fans

    1. So your not closing the modding community?

      If you are, then your reasons for doing so are irrelevant to the customers.

      The only reason or league is in the process of changing over to AC is because of the modding scene. Kunos even made 10 additional sales because the rest of our league pitched in and bought it for some off our members so they could join in.

      I don’t care for excuses. I’ll just stop paying for the dream and car packs that do officially come out. I have no problem going back to warez copies of games once developers stop looking after its customers, we’ll stop looking after you. Darwin’s theory in action there my friend.

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      1. They aren’t closing the modding community. Only that in their forum, cars, tracks, liveries don’t each have a dedicate thread showing the progress/download link. But is still active the general modding section, the apps section, physics section, and sounds.
        You can still mod AC as before, mods will continue to be uploaded to Racedepartment and other websites as before. Now Racedepartment has a modding discussions forum where people can open their threads to show progress of their mods. Nothing changed in terms of modding scene, only the place where you do mods progress threads for skins, cars, and tracks. Which can be here: http://www.racedepartment.com/forums/assetto-corsa-modding-discussions.414/

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        1. Yep .. basicaly this tabloid could be short new:
          “Kunos is removing mod downloads section on Assetto Corsa official forums. Nothing is gonna change for modders, mods are gona be available on RD and other sources.”

          .. but than, why would it be on this web … 🙂

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    1. Initial D Arcade Stage 8 Infinity, I heard, is going to be Sega’s last update for the Initial D Arcade Stage series. And you can only find that game in arcades in Asia.

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      1. Where have you heard that? After 8 installments I doubt they’d cancel it now. And I have an ID8 card in my wallet, and it’s sure not from Asia…

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  1. It’s damn fishy, no doubt. Even if we were to believe that Kunos legitimately want the forums to focus on the “how to” of modding, the decision to outright delete the old boards makes no sense whatsoever. There’s bucketloads of modding knowledge strewn all over the various WIP threads, so it would be a much better idea to just archive the boards. Just deleting them is shooting yourself in the foot — unless Kunos have a completely different motive to delete them…

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      1. Huh. The announcement post used to say “The involved subforums will be closed and kept visible until Friday 17th, in order to give the modders the chance to “transfer” their work on different domains.” which would mean the boards would be effectively deleted on the 17th, but I suppose Kunos changed their mind on that.

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  2. Like everything, this comes down to money. Long story short, they’re hiding mods from the console kiddies who cannot bear to see content exclusive to PC. Once again they’re attempting to reposition their product for that market. If anyone has been following the Bethesda console mod debacle, its clear to see that Kunos would be inundated with endless complaints and begging for mods on their forums if they were to leave things as they were. Further, it is best to keep them away from free mods, instead keeping them conditioned to only expect and desire official DLC packs. And thats the truth.

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      1. But the AE86 is a Toyota and Mount Akina is a public road. All the Initial D license gets you is Takumi. It would be the biggest waste of money ever, and there have been some pretty stupid licensing deals out there.

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        1. And access to that hot AE86 livery with the kanji along the side!

          Obviously more desirable than Honda or Aston Martin.

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  3. As much as I don’t like Kunos or Stefano taking away the Unfinished/Russian Forza R- I mean modding subsection makes sense from a legal and clutter stand point. I can’t really fault them for cutting any liabilities. Who knows maybe the person that this mystery 6/17 deal is involving doesn’t want their 91- uhh car modeled by amateurs.

    Besides if you are still playing AC I doubt it is because of the shitty Forza rip and unfinished mods.

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  4. This just proves that Kunos are incompetent fucktards. Getting rid of an entire modding community on your forum for some bullshit reason, when they are doing for money, and for the console release of the game. Congratulations on butchering your broken sim even more Kunos.

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  5. the console release will bring all the haters much more pain and for kunos much more fame and for the sim community maybe again much more simracer

    The sim´s of now and in the future are iRacing and Assetto Corsa, cause they got a strong community of simracers.

    And modding will be always a big advantage for AC.

    peace!

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  6. From my point of view, the closing of the modding section is a good news actually.
    I couldn’t have access to Kunos forum (you know why) and therefore neither could I have access to the (very) few mods whose links were not published anywhere else (simtraxxx hillclimb roads in particular).
    So many thanks to Kunos for killing the only reason I could have had to buy your game !

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  7. TCLF should have added Quffy along with Hornbuckle. I swear the guy has an alarm going off every time someone is critical of AC’s physics.

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    1. I swear to god, say AC has no simulation value in the mirror 3 times, and he will appear behind you, the mans possessed, I just hope hes on the actual dev team, the only reasonable explanation of the utter dedication he has on trying to shut ppl down , either that or Im toying with the idea hes a bot kunos coded.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. How is it shutting people down? When you’re just gonna say “this is wrong, “this doesn’t work how is supposed to, “this is simplified, “this is dumbed down, etc…” The main reason we are playing sim racing games is because of the simulation aspect. So you can’t provide some proof from real life or even in-game analysis (i.e videos), then of course people are going to question/doubt your posts every time.
        Look at the thread from David that posted in an objective manner and bringing game/real life analysis: http://www.racedepartment.com/threads/self-aligning-torque-sat-relationship-vs-slip-angle-and-camber.122596/
        You should do more of that, and less what Hash and others do, always talk talk talk and never provide.

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  8. Could the announcement next week be connected to the mod section being deleted?Maybe a important manufacture in negotiations says we don’t like in game mods.They also could have had complaints from other manufacturers and decided to cut it.

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  9. I don’t think they’re this retarded, so my money is on Steam Workshop support coming next week. They purged their forums to force the modders to move to the Workshop once its available, and while that is quite stupid, maybe the driving force behind that is to be able to police mods directly on the WS and eventually allow pay mods when Valve finally grows a pair and re-enables them.

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    1. my thoughts exactly, stefano did say in a stream that the code is done without the integration if i remember correctly. it shouldnt be too hard though that launcher has been a bit temperamental with steam recently.

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    2. No, it’s being moved to RD. I suppose it will save kunos time on their own forum and head off any potential legal problems all in one go.

      It’s not ideal and nothing to be happy about unless you’re banned from the main forum and not RD.

      It’s also not a terribly bad thing unless there’s some hidden issue with the modding section moving to RD.

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    3. why would steam care about workshop support for AC? This game is practically dead, 2k people playing a racing game means nothing to them, Valve has millions of people playing their own games every day, CSGO has atleast 500k active players every second, Dota has over a million, heck even Left 4 Dead 2 has more active players than Kunos, they’ll spend time and money running workshops that are actually worth existing. + if AC would get a Steam workshop, it would be littered with rips anyway, payware mods for AC in Steam workshop? yeah, that’s only a dream, maybe when AC actually has 200k people playing daily it’ll happen.

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      1. Steam cares about all games on their platform service that brings them revenue. They get a cut from each copy sold, just like Sony and Microsoft get from console games.

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      2. Steam allows every developer ro use Workshop if they want, it doesn’t cost devs anything to do so. Steam takes 30% cut from games sold on their platform.

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      3. You’re literally insane if you think a sim racing game could have the potential to have nearly as many concurrent players as some of the most popular games in the world. The sim racing community is already one of the smallest proportion of gamers, so the notion that it should be capable of having 200k users at once is not just idiotic, it’s completely ignorant on all levels.

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  10. Assetto Corsa was never meant as a dedicated modding platform and most of the AC mods cars are boring slow street cars anyway.

    rFactor 2 is a great dedicated modding platform with Dev Mode, packaging system, MP with auto-downloading of mods, Workshop support and is a full generation ahead regarding physics, FFB, AI, race rules compared to AC.

    Have a majorly nice weekend.

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    1. “Assetto Corsa was never meant as a dedicated modding platform and most of the AC mods cars are boring slow street cars anyway.”

      Major disinformation.

      AC is a dedicated modding platform, especially because the game structure allows 3rd party additions and devs made tools for the various content type.
      Most of car mods (the legit ones) are race cars. See here: http://www.racedepartment.com/downloads/categories/ac-cars.6/?order=rating_weighted

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  11. Yes lets all move to rFactor2 then. Maybe with all our power we will get it alife like rfactor1 that days

    It’s a sign… #Friday17th #savethedate #AssettoCorsa

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  12. The news isn’t exactly right.

    AC Support: “Users can discuss about cars, tracks and everything else modding related in the general modding subforum.”

    Of course it’s asocial to prune the modding community but Kunos do not kick out the modders out of their forum. The only thing that is now absolutely forbidden is giving a download link but I’m sure Kunos allows something like “check out RD guys”.

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  13. Let me help you as to why.

    Look at fallout 4 and the mod issues there with consoles.
    The console players try to use PC mods and continually fuck up the game.
    Console people whine and we know how Stefano loves whine. so nip it in the bud and kill the mods now.

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  14. It dies, its dead, they kill. cause of console release they doing these and that…..blablah blah

    AC will still be same and it grows faster and faster. Forza Kunos!

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  15. The upside to this is that Stefano’s lunacy is effectively going to cause him to lose a fair bit of direct control over what goes into “his” game. Many people specifically only got mods from the forums to avoid shitty Russian rips and (most) other second rate content, and this sudden turnaround in attitude from Kunos could end up biting them in the ass if the modding scene goes to shit due to fragmentation.

    Could it be that in a few months Kunos could rail against modding altogether in an effort to set up their own closed marketplace, in the vein of apple’s iOS app store perhaps? The timing and manner of these happenings makes for easy conspiracy theories, which is arguably more fun to play at than the fucking game itself.

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    1. or Stefano is so fucking tired of working for Kunos and the game, he just wants to kill the game so he has a sad story to tell why the business died and development stopped.

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        1. When you buy a game, you are making a transaction, and it’s money in exchange for entertainment or a diversion of some sort. It’s also implicit that you can expect a certain level of quality from any game/media you buy. Being a developer is not a prerequisite for any of this, in much the same way as one need not be a director to criticise a shit actor.

          Would you care to explain the logic behind your statement?

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  16. The only people with massive egos are Kunos staff. They are like snobby Ferrari “connoisseurs”. AC is and will always be a hotlap “simulator”. How can they tote around saying AC is all about the community and racing but have NO functionality to support serious online racing/leagues. Kunos are the biggest tools in the sim community. They just love shooting themselves in the foot.

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    1. Look, people having organized leagues in Assetto Corsa.

      After all AC is all about the community. The game is open to add functionalities on your own and then emulate whatever championship you want.

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      1. It’s so open to emulate whatever championship you want that there is no day/night transition and no dynamic weather. Something that simulations like rF1 and GTR1/2/GTL had 10+ years ago.

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        1. Yes it doesn’t have 24h, only day time, and no dynamic weather. Thank you captain obvious. They just didn’t consider the investment in such features in the beginning because the studio was/is small in terms of programmers, back then little money to do big features, and so on.
          We didn’t lose much, those type of features are mostly for saying “this game is better than that one” and then everyone keeps playing in day time and clear sky.
          If anyone wants those features, they can still play AC and then try out night and dynamic weather in the games that support it.
          Probably for a future AC game they take a different approach and better equip the game. But the current AC as is, satisfies enough people in terms of what you can do. Do you want those features right now? Then please reinstall those older games and have fun. Only because AC doesn’t have those features because it was a decision they made, nothing stops you from using those features in other games.

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          1. You are a moron. Go back to their forums sucking their dicks.

            “Day/night transition is not importan”

            Best bullshit I’ve heard all day.

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            1. Is like the forbidden fruit. Oh I want it so bad, then when they get it, the extreme desire gets lost.
              I’m not saying is not important, having full 24h transition and dynamic weather that also includes rain, but day and dry racing is much more popular, in all (sim) racing games that ever existed.

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      2. Have you ever tried to organize a league in AC? I’m guessing not. Trust me, you don’t want to. The game has zero glitches. Swear!

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        1. Then just keep standing still and complaining. Instead of putting some work and creativity. Or use the tools other people created and share with the community. Or just join a league that has those features and you don’t have to do anything, as other people already did the work for you to organize the league.

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  17. I don’t see what the big deal is, Modders will just migrate to RD which most of them are on anyway and people will know that’s the place to get your mods. No pain here.

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  18. support forum? when did they ever answered other then “as designed” ? … oh well, their forum, their rules, but since going there to show my wips, talk about mods, and help other people with their mods was 99% of my time spend there, I guess I will have lots of free time now

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    1. You’ll stop working on your mods? Well, now you’ll have lots of wip threads on racedepartment. But anyway, AC forum isn’t just the 3d models section, and some section in the modding part are still going to be used.

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    2. Come on, you know that’s not true, countless suggestions in the gfx section have eventually surfaced in the game, there are certainly more FIXED tags than AS DESIGNED ones. Also apart from showing off WIPs, everything you mentioned will still be possible and welcome by the community.

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  19. Fuck you Kunos. Please ruining sim-racing talents, disappear from face of sim-racing and let everyone play something better.

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  20. “I’m based out of a Western Canadian province in North America”

    The western provinces are full of the most assholes. I should know, I’m in one of them and just maybe… maybe… I’m also one of them.

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  21. Hilarious how every Semaj reddit post gets downvoted. That p*funk dude must have 100 logins and go crazy hitting those down arrows.

    As for Kunos … they can shove their heads back up their anos.

    Fucking consoles.
    Always fucking annoying consoles.
    Annoying fucking consoles.
    Fuck consoles.
    Shit is weak.

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    1. Don’t like don’t play. The sim racing market has other games you can grab and play. For sure other people don’t agree with your choices either. And that’s fine.

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  22. Not sure why Stefano left the Philippines:

    “Pare, let’s kidnap this computer dude! He makes computer games”
    “Talaga? Which game?”
    “Assetto Corsa”
    “Hay nako, that game is shit diba? Hindi! Putangina!”

    Well considering he was in the south it would prolly not have been tagalog, but yeah.

    Like

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