Reader Submission #134 – The Honeymoon Phase is Over

ken-blockistanIt appears a single half-decent car on the iRacing service hasn’t been enough to convince users that the eight year old simulation is making a tangible leap forward to justify the increased cost. Released with no prior build-up to iRacing members about a week ago, the 2017 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup was the first car on the service to implement everything the team have learned from their time spent trying to accurately produce dirt oval racing, and at first, reception to the vehicle was overwhelmingly positive. While most cars available in the online-only simulator at a price of $15 per-vehicle exhibit strange handling behavior at the limit of adhesion, even iRacing’s toughest critics were convinced that the 911 GT3 Cup was an incredible step in the right direction.

Unfortunately, today’s Reader Submission from Charles H. notes that while the car itself is indeed fairly enjoyable, the rest of the platform still has some catching up to do.

seb-loebHey PRC, I’m just writing to you as a way to share my experiences with the new Porsche Cup car. I’m honestly feeling a bit retarded at my decision to re-subscribe after hearing such glowing feedback on the first day rather than waiting it out for more critical, well-rounded pieces to surface.

A bit about myself: I quit iRacing back in 2014 (God, I make it sound like an addiction) because of the tire model woes, service issues, and the price needed to advance my B license. So many users claim iRacing is a worthwhile substitute for a real racing career, but it cracks open your wallet as frequently as a real career does. This week, I decided I would re-subscribe and at least try out the new Porsche GT3 Cup car.

I was first greeted by a small price increase of $13 per month instead of $12. No big deal, I thought after shelling my shekels for the Porsche and the Nurburgring circuit. And after some practice, I decided to partake in an Industriefahrten Fun race, since I could at least bust out consistent 6:43’s in the Mercedes AMG GT3 at the ring and hold my own in an online race. Well, I ended up beating second place by a solid minute or so in my first race back, without too much effort – leading to what I thought would be a free increase in iRating and Safety Rating.

But after an hour and a half of waiting, the race results still weren’t in. I assumed the race was affected by some bug that made it not count, so I signed up for another hoping they’d eventually appear on the website – which as of this submission they still haven’t.

When this next race started, I encountered the extremely common “Starting the Sim” bug, where the simulator hangs on the loading screen and eventually crashes. After a restart of my PC, I was finally able to get into the race, but I had to start from pit lane as is the case with all late entries. I was already pretty bummed at this point, but figured if I can win by a minute, I would be able to catch up the ten seconds or so that I’d lost with a less than ideal starting position.

The first few corners were fine, but then as I exited the first sector, iRacing suddenly decided to fuck up the calibration of my controls, or at least my brakes. I put more pressure into my T3PA pro pedals than I’ve ever put in before, and only registered about 50% input. I was unable to stop the car because of a software calibration bug and binned the car into the barriers. A ten minute tow pretty quickly established the fact that this race was a write-off.

A race doesn’t count, a common and still unfixed bug ruins my race start, and a sudden calibration error ended it four corners after I took the green flag. On top of that, the tire model on cars other than this divine entity with the Porsche logo is still trash to put it bluntly. The real kicker is that as of this Email hitting your inbox, it has been about three hours since I’ve completed the first race, the results still aren’t in, and probably never will be. I posted a condensed version of this submission within the complaints department in the forums. Whether you give a shit or not, I’ll let you know if I’m banned for it.

I’m a sucker for paying $13 per month for this.

1This is why it’s very important for iRacers to be as vocal as they can possibly be about gremlins in the software. New content for an aging simulator doesn’t mean jack shit if there are underlying software issues that are being swept under the rug by a userbase who are more than happy to hold hands with staff members on the forum and sing kumbaya in unison. iRacing will sit in a stagnant position without a mass of voices demanding the quality of the product to live up to the amount they’ve invested into it. Of course, there are people who are fine with what iRacing offers as a racing simulator in January of 2017, but as you’ve written above, sometimes these problems get in the way of actually enjoying what the game does do well. A loss of wheel calibration and failing to register statistics in a piece of software all about tracking statistics is like, basic software functionality far more important than tire heating patterns or which licenses they’ve acquired this month.

The approach you’ve taken to reporting the problem is the correct action. Yes, it’s fun to come to PRC and blow off steam in our comments section; either shitting on the developers or arguing with brainwashed fanboys, but when you want to get shit done, bombard the forums with error reports. Make developers very aware that their product isn’t up to snuff. They’re not your friends, they’re not your co-workers, and they’re not your family members – they’re a company who sold you a product. It’s your duty to tell them when it’s broken, not make excuses for them and apologize for their mistakes.

It’s indeed disappointing that iRacing suffers from such widespread technical problems despite almost a decade in operation and obsessed fanboys throwing hundreds of dollars at them, but that’s what you get when there’s a cult-like mentality infecting the official forums and people are treating it more like an elite social club than an overpriced video game constructed from the ashes of an obscure NASCAR simulator. If you’re a developer and the majority of your audience shower you with praise as some sort of revolutionary figure in what’s admittedly a niche genre, what incentive do you have to listen to any sort of criticism, even if it’s valid?


34 thoughts on “Reader Submission #134 – The Honeymoon Phase is Over

  1. this guy is the issue.
    Industriefahrten Fun race,==== FUN race, sit around all you want for SR/IR gain, it wont happen on a FUN race.

    I have only been on service for a year, Always loads fine for me.
    sudden calibration error >>> Bet the farm its on his end.

    Go ahead and criticize Iracing, but do it for real issue not this and pissng you seat chit.


    1. I have some issues with iRacing, but I agree with this comment. I’ve never had those issues with the service in over 4 years. The guest post sounds like a load of bullshit.


  2. Why would anyone expect to gain SR from a fun race. Sudden calibration resets sound more like a Windows update or reset.

    I enjoy PRC for the constant shredding of racing games, but this really sounds like a user end issue.


  3. I think that the series in question is not official, so no results and no SR / IR to be gained.
    A variation of the loading screen bug is recurrent for me, when the game stops working when jumping into the race session, plus, the ring takes a lot of time to load.


      1. sure he had results, but OP stated,,,, leading to what I thought would be a free increase in iRating and Safety Rating.
        he still needs to learn how it works

        not loading sucks, but i get it to load with no issues 99% of the time, and when i do have loading issues, i am trying to run/start other chit at same time

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I feel like this was a baseball pitch that was left over the middle of the plate, asking to be crushed for a grand slam.

    Instead, it was a fly out to the third baseman, in foul territory at that.

    This article had so little substance, and the substance it had was poorly presented and wasted.

    As I’m no longer an iRacing member, I was looking forward to some proper iRacing bashing. Instead I’m feeling let down.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t think you really understand how submissions work. Some guy sends in something to me and I paste it into the article box and then respond to it for a bit.

      If I post it and it falls flat? Oh well, there’s always something else in the pipeline. Call the guy an idiot, whatever, fine by me.

      If I don’t post it at all, people accuse me of having an agenda and not posting certain things. So yeah, there’ll be some submissions that come up and aren’t very good. Oh well. R/SimRacing isn’t very good, either.


      1. Maybe try reading what people send you first, do some research to figure out if what they are saying is valid or not and then post.

        The Fun race is “FUN” doesnt count towards SR/iR and doesnt show up in the main “last 10 results” list. You need to go to the full results archive and check a button to show unofficial fun races. The fact that he (and you) were members previously means you should both know this.

        The loading error is not widespread. It is an issue for some people, no doubt, but its generally a hardware or software conflict. Ive never had it once in 4 years.

        The calibration is a windows 10 driver update issue. Im guessing if you asked him, hes probably running a G27 which have been the people who have been shafted by microsoft. Every update windows does it seems to bork the driver and causes us to need to reinstall. In other words, not an iracing issue.

        Do your damn research. Quit being a bitch.


    1. They need to put up a story to hate iRacing with a guy who has done 52 races on iRacing and has 2008 iRating and “came back” to it as if he was a regular user in the past, like seriously :DDD


  5. Wow….cars don’t cost $15, fun series don’t give pints of any kind, and user end issues aren’t anyone fault but the user…this is the best you can muster…this is 6 minutes of my life I will never get back…your website will be held responsible and I will be seeking full reimbursement for said time at a rate of $19,000 per minute… My lawyers are preparing the paperwork…


  6. Gotta make an iracing article to let all the other news websites share the “leak” first and then I will do mine. I bet virtualr won’t cover this because they know this is a pretend leak and then only go with official previews.

    A real leak is when you expose the juicy stuff, now this is just marketing tactics from SMS to let all the good shit come out. Ask yourself this question, why the leaks so far have only been about promoting nice pictures, video trailers, talking about the features and the goods, and not one interesting leak besides self promotion?


  7. Who cares about iRatings at this point? It’s not like it will transfer over to pCars2, the only simulator that will be relevant in the near future.


  8. The headline of this article is The Honeymoon Phase is Over.
    If we apply this as a more critical view of iRacings latest car the Porsche 911 then the car sucks as soon as you get over the Honeymoon Phase.

    The car is a complete understering brick with close to no parameters in the setup.
    And the uberhyped “enhanced” TM is just some new introduced Gods Hand that take control of the car as soon as the normal iRacing “tankslapper” behaviour would otherwise have spoiled the party.
    It feels completely artificial.

    Another thing is that because of the complete missing diff params its impossible to use any dif/coast to dial away the UUUndersteer under both acceleration and deac.
    A complete waste of money.


    1. Well, if you had read the forums, they said the car wasn’t that great on the baseline setup, due to the wing being too high. I haven’t gotten to drive the car myself, but I think you should try lowering the wing and tire pressures, and see what other recommendations there are on the forums.


  9. Not gonna lie, this guy isn’t the brightest bulb in the box. Cost to advance your B license? You mean purchase the FW31 back in 2014? Oh no all that money! Better take out a loan.

    “So many users claim iRacing is a worthwhile substitute for a real racing career, but it cracks open your wallet as frequently as a real career does.”

    Hahahaha. Yeah, 750 bucks with all content is all it costs to drive/maintain a racecar in real life. Plebs


  10. I like reading the website, honestly some of the stories are true, but this favoritism and hate towards iRacing is just funny, like who even cares about that 2k iRating guy who has done 52 races in his iRacing career, he didn’t come back to iRacing or anything cause he was never there in the first place LOL. Try harder next time.


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