Advocating for Stagnance

Once again, the sim racing community displays their bizarre mentality which prohibits the genre from moving forward.

While racing simulators can be a traditionally dull affair, devoid of life, fancy progression systems, and interesting diversions aside from the sterile on-track experience, the men and women at Codemasters are making an effort to change that with the upcoming DiRT 4. With a portion of the team – who have grown quite large since acquiring a major slice of Evolution Studios – working hard to make the simulation physics even more realistic than the sideforce-heavy driving model in 2015’s DiRT Rally, another part of the gang are hell-bent on crafting a compelling campaign experience to go along with the ruthless rally driving sim racers are eagerly anticipating to get their hands on this summer.

Codemasters’ latest blog update details the in-depth Team Management feature which will be available in DiRT 4, adding elements not seen since 2007’s Race Driver GRID into the core gameplay experience. Not only do we anticipate DiRT 4 to be the most realistic and authentic off-road sim ever created, but users will also be able to acquire crew & staff members, sign sponsors, design their liveries with a large roster of in-game templates (akin to the original GRID), buy & sell cars, as well as develop facilities to upgrade your vehicle at a quicker rate. You’re no longer just a rally driver; you’re running your own rally team. The giant inflatable Monster Energy cans and avant garde menus of past titles that shot you right into the action will now be replaced by a comprehensive meta-game that will serve to compliment what you accomplish behind the wheel, and sure, some people will have more money than they know what to do with only a few days into owning the game, but the existence of such management features greatly helps to flesh out the world of DiRT 4.

However, this hasn’t sat well with some sim racers.

Codemasters are going above and beyond with DiRT 4, introducing several elements which serve to substantially lengthen the longevity of the game and give some sort of underlying purpose to your on-track activity, and sim racers are actively saying they would rather have a mundane simulator devoid of life and meaning. While mainstream sports games such as FIFA, NBA 2K, and Madden are praised for their pseudo Twitter feeds, extensive visual customization, financial negotiations, in-game radio shows, and even cutscenes to enhance the immersion factor, a racing game developer attempting to add genre-appropriate elements like managing a pit crew, signing sponsors, designing a livery, and keeping an eye on your finances, have been scoffed at by snobbish sim racers, who would seemingly prefer these games to be permanently stuck in 1998.

It’s a very confusing phenomenon, to say the least. In terms of raw staff size, Codemasters may possibly be the single biggest racing game developer thanks to their recent acquisition of the staff from Evolution Studios, so it’s not like the simulation elements are being cut from DiRT 4 in favor of the management meta-games – it’s merely the icing on the cake of an already impressive package thanks to a random stage generator, 50 vehicles, and three distinct racing disciplines. Yet sim racers are actively voicing that they don’t care for these features in the slightest.

It’s extremely ironic how hardcore auto racing fans, who obsess over real-world silly season sponsor announcements, draft up fantasy liveries for their favorite drivers, and use sim racing as a way to live out their childhood dreams of running a race team with their friends, actively dismiss a solid attempt by a developer to include these elements in their newest game; instead crying that these features aren’t welcome.

This is proof that the sim racing community is absolutely off the rails, and I pray to God that developers are selective in what community feedback they choose to take into account; sim racers are whining that a developer went above and beyond to create a well-rounded experience from the paddock to the podium, instead implying the genre should remain stagnant. Thank you, Codemasters, for making a very tangible effort to create a compelling experience both on and off the track. Please don’t listen to these clowns, you’re on the right track with DiRT 4.

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94 thoughts on “Advocating for Stagnance

  1. This article, while kind of right, is still hipocritical – *no* simfag that focuses more on circuit racing should take a dictating stance what’s right or wrong in a rally game

    >Not only do we anticipate DiRT 4 to be the most realistic and authentic off-road sim ever created, […]
    I can only give you benefit of doubt and assume you mean only the buggy part of the game, because rallies take place on roads

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  2. A small correction:
    Three fucktards posting on the internet =/= The sim racing community (whatever this is supposed to be)

    Besides that I applaud Codemasters’ decision to spice up DiRT 4 and trying to deliver more than a standard run-of-the-mill rally yawnfest. Shockingly they might even appeal to a larger player base by doing so. Make sim racing sexy again!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m looking forward to this game and am pleased to see the effort Codemasters are putting in. These are exactly the kind of additional features we need to see more of in racing games. It actually looks like this will be a well polished title! I know that’s something some sim racers (stupidly) are uncomfortable with, but if they don’t like it, they can keep playing the many other lifeless, featureless, and broken games out there.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. These remind me of the ridiculous “lifestyle” features from early Codies’ F1 games, and I prefer they delegate more resources to the core experience.

    Adding arbitrary shit for box cover bullet points doesn’t move the genre forward, and James’ enthusiasm is honestly surprising.

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      1. I should have been more specific.

        Custom livery support is a valuable feature, and I guess consoles need a dedicated livery editor, and buying/selling cars within a career mode adds to the experience, but things like sponsorship, and hiring crew are algorithmic, and unless implemented with emergence in mind (as in, e.g. Shadows of Mordor’s Nemesis system), don’t offer much gameplay utility.

        I’d love to be proven wrong, but I expect the team management features will be slight distractions at best.

        That said, as much as I absolutely loved the original GT, and later Forza/Forza 2 career modes, I’m now pretty much wedded to online multiplayer racing, so I don’t really have a dog in the fight, and my opinion shouldn’t matter.

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  5. Super looking forward to codies next instalment , they had a pretty sweet foundation with dirt 4 and it can only get better …….

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  6. If they work on steering response with controller, that will go a long way. If they reduce some of the assistance they offer, very nice. Increase the number of stages, excellent. Address tire accuracy over tarmac, fantastic. Anything beyond that is a welcomed bonus.

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    1. WHY NOT MAKE MORE REALISTIC PHYSICS INSTEAD OF THOSE DUMB FEATURES!!!!!!”
      +1
      But the answer is probably that its a lot easier to code these extra management features than up the physics.

      Instead of quarrelling about if such meta features should/should not be included in such a game an enable/disable feature for the management part could be added.
      >Perfect solution for all kind of gamers.

      Like

    2. Wy not make realistic physics and a lot of extra features
      What the heck is wrong with that
      Is it so that the fanboys get some extra sense of achievement. By sticking with it even when the know in there hart it’s actually shite

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  7. “and I pray to God that developers are selective in what community feedback they choose to take into account”

    Just like you did right now?

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    1. Highlighting heavily curated community feedback is a hallmark of the Ogonoski School of Journalism (not to be confused with Northwestern or Colombia University).

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      1. Here was me thinking that as your now wedded to online multiplayer racing, you were without a dog in this fight. Don’t know where I got that idea

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  8. “Once again, the sim racing community displays their bizarre mentality which prohibits the genre from moving forward.”

    This sounds like you’re talking about yourself each time you publish a new PRC article

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  9. Physics are only part of a rally sim, there are core aspects of rallying that must also be looked at to make a better simulation experience. But try telling retards that physics isn’t everything and they’ll just cry and call you a shitter.

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  10. On paper this whole team management thing sounds awesome, on paper Dirt 4 sounds awesome, but…..

    Here’s the thing I don’t get.

    Some people simply want a driving experience, nothing more when rallying and offroad circuit racing (rallyX, Landrush and so on) is more than that. I personally am excited for once, I want to hire a second driver in RallyX and watch how they do in their heats, and finals.

    Same with Landrush, the idea of nudging my teamate out of the way for a win is something not many sims get right, hell I still fire up the original GRID with my 100% save just to tweak my team and enter into the races and work as a team, maybe my teamate’s streaking off at the front, maybe I’m being the tailgunner for him, either way it’s actually different and fun.

    I said fun. Now, somewhere, there’s going to be a sim racer sitting at their keyboard angrily typing up a comment about how sim racing isn’t meant to be fun and I’m not doing it right for playin the original Grid. Yeah, well, I’d rather take a game like Grid simply for the team managing aspect, or Motorsport Manager, over another dull, bland racing sim any day. I can honestly say I have had way more fun with the phone and PC versions of MM than rF2, iR or Automeblista recently, because with MM you get a world that feels fleshed out. Same with Grid. Same, hopefully with Dirt 4, if Codies nail the whole making the world feel lived in both on the track and away from the track/stage parts….I’d be happy to shell out 60 bucks for it really.

    (Also why no Motorsport Manager shit slinging? That game is stupidly underrated, c’mon PRC, you showed Brick Rigs a lot of love, why not Motorsport Manager? )

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, that’s exactly it. The concern is more that some people just want to be able to get behind the wheel and that’s it; if the management aspects aren’t optional or actively get in the way of that, that WILL be a problem for people. I’m sure I’ll end up enjoying them, myself, since I’m a sucker for customization, but my very first thought on reading these features in the Codemasters blog post is “can I skip this”. I don’t enjoy hiring and managing AI drivers all that much in a straightforward racing title.

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  11. HI AUSTIN,

    WE ARE STILL WAITING FOR PROOF THAT YOU WERE BANNED FROM IRACING FOR BEING TOO FAST.

    I THINK YOU MUST HAVE POSTED THE WRONG SCREENSHOT IN THE PREVIOUS ARTICLE BECAUSE IT DIDN’T SHOW ANYTHING TO PROVE YOUR CLAIM.

    PLEASE POST THE CORRECT SCREENSHOT.

    THANKS

    Like

    1. Where did he say it was for being too fast?

      He wrote a post where he cried extensively about his ban here:

      racedepartment.com/threads/the-other-side-of-iracing.66234/

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            1. You fucktard, of cours you did! You deleted my comment in the “Advocating for Stagnance”-article which proved your lyings!!! Keep on lying here to yourself and your crew of fellow sociopaths.I’m outta here you juvenile unstable liar!!!!!

              Like

  12. What stops the genre from moving forward are all those who add the “simracing” tag to titles like Dirt Rally, F1 2016, Forza, GT and such.

    When I moved from mainstream titles to simracing it was because the driving experience was on another level, I already had Forza to play a career mode with 500 useless races against dumb AI and wonky physics.

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  13. It’s all looking pretty positive I would say, surely the more features the better regardless of whether it’s your cup of tea or not, once they’re execcuted correctly I’m all for it. I’m a wee bit concerned about the easy\difficult handling models, p-cars 2 is going the same way but again, once implemented correctly and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t get it right, I’m all for it. I understand concerns as in the past, additional features sometimes came at the cost of handling but I also think we’re moving beyond this sort of approach from the dev’s. Time will tell but I’m pretty optimistic

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  14. rather give us more tracks, more car customisation options, more levels, animated trackside characters,unexpected things coming in your way while rallying, technical defects, repairs but a team manager eehm yeah thanks, dont matter what you put into though, i´ll count it as enrichment 😛

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  15. Good points in the article, but the correct word would be “Stagnation”, not “Stagnance”. I’m fairly sure the latter is not actually a Word.

    Ok, moving on 😉

    Management/development elements are what elevate, for example, F1 2016 way above all the various F1 mods I’ve played since the rF1 days. Turns out, racing (even for an F1 nut like me) is actually kinda boring unless it has some context and the outcome *means* something in game terms. It’s incredibly fun to help Marussia break into the mid-field pack and become halfway competitive. Or getting Williams back on their feet again, making the most of that excellent Mercedes powertrain.

    These elements create story-lines that engage the player and create memories. This is (for me) a lot more fun than droning around, enjoying how great the physics and FFB are, but with no other purpose. If that’s all I wanted, I’d go drive karts IRL.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Then why are you even in sim racing if you can access cars or karts in real life easily? Then just do that and play normal racing games like forza horizon with your controller.

      Like

      1. Why are you trying to (apparently) learn things like car control via a simulator? First of all, it’ll never work. Why? Because you’re deprived of absolutely the most important element: Your inner ear.

        Without real g-forces and its effects on your vestibular system, you’ll never learn how to, for example, correct an incipient spin.

        In simracing, instead of vestibular information, all we have are visual cues and exaggerated FFB effects. If you tried to take what you learned from simracing and apply it to the track, you’d find yourself over-correcting and doing it too late – every time. You’d probably have been better off starting with *no* “sim experience”, because the car control lessons you learned would now be highly misleading on a real track. You’d have to “un-learn” all the stuff you thought was useful.

        Did you really think that you detect oversteer by waiting until you can feel it through the wheel? Because I can assure you that does *not* work IRL. Most cars, you don’t even get that exaggerated “Oh now the wheel is suddenly tugging in the opposite direction” stuff.

        So, getting back to my point. None of these simulators can make you a good driver IRL. Sure, I appreciate good physics and tire modeling and all that. And there are some aspects of racing (like course familiarization) that are well done in sim racing. But the really great things about sim racing (vs the real deal) are:

        1) It’s really cheap.
        2) It’s really safe.
        3) It’s really, really cheap.

        So, do you see my point? The physics and FFB are nice, but they’ll never make you a good drive IRL. So, what’s left then? All the other things, that’s what: Setup choices. Some of these management aspects we’re discussing. AI. Game structure/reward systems. Replicating the rules and procedures of a real race series (like tire choice in F1).

        All that “extra crap” that gets denigrated in favor of physics and FFB by people who are essentially deluding themselves.

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        1. Well said dude, perhaps the lack of real world experience in this instance is what leads some to disect grammer as opposed to making any constructive contribution

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        2. for a “psychologist”, way to miss the point of my reply to you.

          “This is (for me) a lot more fun than droning around, enjoying how great the physics and FFB are, but with no other purpose. If that’s all I wanted, I’d go drive karts IRL.”

          I only talked about this. Why are you on sim racing when none of the sims offer a great experience like a forza or gt, besides great physics and ffb? You said yourself that if you wanted just great physics and ffb you’d drive karts irl. So why are you in sim racing and not doing that? When sims have no other purpose but to offer the driving experience together with racing.

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          1. I’m going to interpret that as wry humor.

            I actually find it much easier to control the rear end of a real car. Probably because:

            1) The physics algorithms of Real Life tend to be 100% accurate and bug-free. The “Tire Model” is also pretty good 😉

            2) I’ve got the aforementioned accumulated “vestibular experience” (i.e. My Ass) to tell me what the car is about to do – before it starts really doing it.

            In a simulator, I’m always going to be fractionally slower than IRL because I’m depending on fake FFB and visual cues. It’s still fun and all, but it’s just a game.

            To be clear, I’m not saying good physics and tire modeling are “useless”. I appreciate both and they do enhance my enjoyment of a game. But, in the end, (and this is just my opinion) a sim has to have some kind of “fun” element because, judged purely as a simulator, none of these games is all that useful except for track familiarization and very basic car control concepts.

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            1. that’s why I suggested you to leave sim racing for other type of racing games, most likely you’ll find those on console. Since you can access karts and cars easily irl to satisfy your realistic driving experience, then why are you playing sim racing games if they are no fun?

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              1. Sigh. You’re not really listening. I’m saying I appreciate physics and FFB, but those aren’t enough to compensate for the lack of any sort of underlying game structure.

                I say this because the physics and FFB of even the best, most hardcore sims, still isn’t going to help you learn how to control a real car. You’d learn a lot more from a *single* day of karting.

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    2. The “sim racing community” is also singular, so the first sentence should read “displays its bizarre mentality”, or maybe “a bizarre mentality”.

      Of course, he’s also referring to a subset of the sim racing community, and the sentence is clunky anyway, but whatever, I appreciate his writing style.

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    3. The features you’re describing are standard career mode fare, while negotiating sponsorships and hiring crew (according to very basic algorithms) are usually casually implemented afterthoughts, likely borne from meetings with marketing.

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    4. I gave a shit about this stuff in F1 2016 and this repeating Notebook-Meeting i find just pathetic. A good career should start with Touringcars, F4 or even karts and it was a bit like this in Dirt Rally starting from the bottom and climbing the career up and earning credits (still have 5 Mio to spend:). This mechanic-stuff was nice as well, but F1 should be by no means a good example for me.

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        1. The handling model was IMO to bad to enjoy the rest. This features are no replacements for stupid physics and you have performance upgrades in Dirt Rally as well, just automatically after the Rallyes, which is just fine for me.

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          1. Have you driven an F1 car? You do realize that an accurate representation of an F1 car would be completely undriveable for normal people, right? Check out the Top Gear episode where Richard Hammond tries out a Renault F1 car (2005 I believe).

            Open wheel is fucking brutal. It is *nothing* like GT3 Pro-Am shit.

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  16. Incredibly negative blog website in “bash the incredibly negative sim racing community” shocker.
    Incredibly negative rFactor and iRacing fanatical blog publicist in “criticise those who want their games like 1998” double shocker.

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  17. As a t500 user …….I thought the opposite Rosko , dirt drove nicely off road and felt a little dead on tarmac .

    As far as I can tell is they are adding things that will please a broader audience and that isn’t all ways a bad thing , sometimes to keep franchises alive and that may be the root to go .

    I’m not saying I liked the fanfare stuff in dirt 2 and 3 but I don’t think they are heading that way anyway.

    If this is better than dirt we all win and I cant see how it wont be with the main features being added e.g the map generator , more cars , better physical attributes and so on.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. It’s better to spend their resources on realism and actual cars and tracks instead of useless career crap but crapmasters are not able to produce a simulator anyway

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    1. Wrong. It’s better to spend their resources on what gets them more sales and revenue.

      Features provide more revenue as not everyone is a die-hard sim-racer.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Having a Gran Turismo career mode isn’t really moving the genre anywhere. Hell, it would be an improvement if we simply got a decent rally sim that modelled a single year with all the real cars and stages and rules and so forth.

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            1. There are still idiots who believe in Pizza Gate fake news?

              Here’s some real news for you:

              Three names:

              * Jeffrey Epstein
              * Alexander Acosta
              * Donald Trump

              Do the math yourself.

              Like

          1. 😦 Oh noes! So it’s about the iRacing community again. And silly me thought it would be about the simracing community like you wrote on twitter. ;-(

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  20. James, I’m really annoyed: Why didn’t you publish my revealing article concerning Project Cars 2 which I sent to you two weeks ago? I guess Sev being on SMS’s payroll has absolutely nothing to do with your very telling silence?! And don’t tell me you forgot about our extensive e-mail correspondence. Nigga please!

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          1. Please stop playing this game, it wasn’t fun the first time. I sent the article twice (!) to you. Now I understand that you will not publish the article and I can actually understand considering your SMS connections. I’d only wish you’d stop lying about not getting the e-mail. Since you’ll have the last word anyway I’m outta here and wish you all the best with your circlejerk of fanboys. Have a nice day!

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              1. Wow, James really doesn’t know when to stop and keeps on digging his own hole. Deleting comments, not publishing articles about PC2, and playing dumb. What has become of PRC? Very disappointed…

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                1. Man I’m not dumb. There’s nothing in my inbox about Project Cars 2. Anyone can post on here crying that I’ve deleted comments or have ignored submissions just to start shit. I give you 6/10 for the effort though, it’s at least creative and can kinda work under the right circumstances.

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                  1. To quote Austin: “Given the non-disclosure agreements in place and all of that fun stuff I have to dance around, you’ll only hear about Project CARS 2 or other upcoming titles by Slightly Mad Studios if there’s an overwhelming request for it, or something major has happened that warrants an opinion piece.”

                    This explains why you will never publish my article! Just stop stop playing dumb and stop lying about not getting any e-mails before you lose the rest of what little credibility you have left.

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  21. I can see that some fans of motor-sport turned simracers might actually welcome a more fleshed out game-element regarding virtual team-management.

    On the other hand: driving&racing sims have always been about that place called “utopia”, where I get to experience the actual driving & racing without going through a strict weed-out process (that I would possibly fail), and enjoy that fantasy to the fullest. All while the cars felt like actual cars and made me drive them in a manner that was as close to indistinguishable from the real thing as possible.

    Dirt Rally’s “eam-management” component was just shallow-enough to look at it and master it within minutes, complete it within a few hours of playing. Great idea to ease the uninformed and inexperienced into the game, by having them mind their mistakes, collect “mystery” upgrades, etc…
    And it was just shallow enough to willingly deal with it and not run away by the means of the “custom rally” mode. If Dirt 4 wants to continue in that direction and expects players to like that sort of thing: fine!

    On the other hand, those more experienced and limited in their time on what they gravitate towards for their simracing-fix might get repelled if it turns out being overdone. Maybe separating that career game-mode from the online-profile or offering two separate online-personas to use, might be a good idea.

    Last time I checked, there are still many flight-sim fans that enjoy the challenge of learning the craft necessary for the captain’s chair without the hassle of going through the thick and thin of creating a fully-outfitted, authorities-approved people-transport airline-business.

    ps.
    good luck in your real-world race-team thing!

    Like

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