For the dedicated fans of Sector 3’s free-to-play simulator RaceRoom Racing Experience, late November traditionally marks a frenzy of increased activity within the game’s online servers. Thanks to the Swedish development team adopting the practice of heavily discounting every piece of content available for the title, keeping in line with Black Friday festivities celebrated by North American-based developers, those on the fence when it comes to diving head first into the spiritual successor to GTR 3 are able to indulge without any sort of substantial hit to their wallets.
The cost to add the complete collection of RaceRoom Racing Experience content to your library is temporarily reduced from a couple hundred dollars, to around the cost of a standard PlayStation 4 disc – a much easier pill to swallow for those of us who still remember the days when you could find GTR 2 on the shelves of Best Buy. Now it’s not all sunshine and lollipops – there are still obviously some major flaws with the game, such as the outright inability to set tire pressures – but the point I’m trying to make is that a whole bunch of sim racers pull the trigger on RaceRoom Racing Experience if they haven’t already when November rolls around.
That is, however, until the wave of new customers wreak havoc on the game’s online servers. Today’s Reader Submission comes from an anonymous subscriber of Reddit’s simracing community, outlining the complete disaster that has been R3E’s 2016 Black Friday sale. Despite the fact that we receive press access to the game and have effectively been given every piece of content R3E has to offer, free of charge, it’s our duty to cover this story.
Good afternoon, PRC.net. Just wanted to start things off by saying you’ve got a great thing going, and I love how it makes some people go batshit crazy over simple facts about their beloved games, like some religious cult. Now I can sort of understand how Jim Jones could get his followers to follow him in death back in 1978.
I just wanted to report that RaceRoom Racing Experience is absolutely unplayable online right now after the latest patch. Many people, myself included, went all in on their Black Friday sale and bought content like crazy. I actually went out and bought their PRO PACK bundle, which gives you 100% content ownership for a fixed rate. But guess what? We can’t play with our new toys online, because the servers won’t work.
I have played RaceRoom for a good two years without major problems and lately it is the only sim I’m playing. Great force feedback, nice feeling cars, good amount of content and decently populated servers online. So I know how good this game can be when it’s firing on all cylinders. But I had a race with you a couple of days ago, and I think you could see the problems for yourself: massive ping rates, disappearing cars, intrusive stuttering, and framerate drops to the point where the game isn’t playable.
What bugs me and others is the complete silence from the developers at Sector3 Studios. Are they working on a fix, or have they gone completely underground?
Thanks for pushing me to cover this story and get away from the madness that’s occurred in our comments section over the past few days. I personally enjoy RaceRoom Racing Experience, and hopefully Jean-Francois won’t crucify me for mentioning to our readers that we occasionally shoot the shit over Facebook, but you’re absolutely goddamn right – R3E is a bloody mess right now, and I’ve included a few screenshots of the races you’ve alluded to throughout the article as proof that shit is going seriously haywire.
This game is utterly solid online when it works as it should, but I tried to enter a couple of servers over the weekend at my own leisure, only to leave prematurely in outright disgust. As you mentioned, cars were warping everywhere, framerate issues popped up when this has usually been the most stable application on my PC, and collision detection woes were off the charts – some guy in a Corvette was the victim of a lag shunt from me even though on my screen, I was nowhere near him. It was so brutal I actually retired from the GT3 event at Spa despite nursing a hefty lead after lap one, as the heads up display reported me to be residing in fourth place, trailing an alleged doppelganger of myself that was said to be 0.000 seconds ahead, with last three drivers incorrectly reported as first, second, and third.
Jean-Francois immediately asked to look at my log files once I notified him of my experience, indicating they’re more than aware of the situation unfolding on their servers, but I can’t answer anything on behalf of the team considering I don’t actually work for Sector 3, regardless of what the inevitable trolls in the comments section claim. I assume they’re not happy that a slight increase in server traffic warranted such disastrous results, but that’s unfortunately the price they have paid for relying on R3E’s bizarre free-to-play model, as opposed to a classic offline format.
Even though our relationship with Sector 3 is quite good, I have to warn our readers that it’s probably best to stay away from RaceRoom Racing Experience until these problems are completely eradicated, so do your best to stay informed and keep monitoring the official message boards until you see a unanimous consensus from active users that everything has been taken care of. Make no mistake, I was genuinely mad at what I saw out my virtual windshield over the past weekend, especially since I’ve enjoyed many exciting online races within R3E prior to the Black Friday update and subsequent influx of new users that their servers obviously can’t handle. Here’s to hoping the next major Sector 3 release will put this ludicrous always-online bullshit six feet under, because I really don’t want to deal with online servers that chaotic ever again.