Exposing the Hypocrisy of Sim Racers

It’s no secret that there’s been a pretty noticeable change in tone here at PRC over the last several months – not quite an elephant in the room, but a large ominous presence that a lot have picked up on. With our origins primarily oriented around slaughtering hardcore simulators, many of our readers began to notice that the games receiving any sort of praise from us weren’t simulators at all, but mass-market pieces of software aimed at just getting people away from first person shooters for a few minutes, and into driving race cars – no matter how compromised and simplified the raw on-track experience had become. Sure, I crucified the ill-fated NASCAR Heat Evolution, and outright refused to review Kylotonn’s WRC 6 last fall, but while serious titles such as iRacing and Assetto Corsa received their weekly lashings for months on end, mainstream products from Codemasters that never advertised themselves as hardcore offerings, as well as obscure PlayStation 2-era offerings, were seemingly given a free pass, if not more.

I could easily dedicate another article to explaining our unpredictable stance on driving games, but for this topic it warrants just an introduction.

There’s an old quote from the classic Grand Prix Legends manual of 1998 that states “the first time you go out on the track, you WILL spin and crash… – and for many that’s part of the allure of hardcore racing simulators to begin with. Whereas mass-market games aim to provide some sort of all-encompassing experience surrounding the simplified on-track product, hardcore simulators are designed to generate a style of gameplay similar to learning guitar, in which becoming proficient is both the game itself, as well as the reward. The reason so many people flock to simulators in the first place, is primarily because you have to work at them, and when you finally master that new track, or tame a car that’s traditionally out of your comfort zone, there is a tangible feeling of accomplishment like no other in gaming – and it’s one you don’t exactly get with blasting through Burnout: Revenge.

The problem, at least when it comes to us here at PRC, is that we’re already at that level of proficiency in regards to racing simulators, and it generally fucks with our perception of almost all driving games that come across our collective radar. I’m personally in a very unique spot, in that on some occasions, I get to upload hotlaps on YouTube with the tagline “World Record” as part of the video title. Now, that’s certainly a humble brag on my part, but in this case it serves a very valid purpose: unlike the quote above, which claims that all those who try Grand Prix Legends (or other games boasting an equivalent driving model) will spin out and crash… I’m sorry, but that doesn’t happen over in this neck of the woods.

Grand Prix Legends is fun for a lot of people because it’s objectively hard as fuck, and the months spent mastering it are why people enjoy sinking extended periods of time into it. But maybe for a second or two, imagine that you jump into Grand Prix Legends, and you’re making it around the track and actually posting competitive times against the ruthless AI, just as if you’d hopped on your Xbox to play Project Gotham Racing 4. Or imagine if, after all of the message board horror stories you’d read about Richard Burns Rally – supposedly the toughest simulator in existence – you jumped in and won the championship on the game’s highest difficult level, never wrecking the car once and winning all but a few select stages.

Suddenly, the ultra-hardcore physics seen in Richard Burns Rally just don’t matter, because for your own personal set of skills, this game is no more or less challenging than DiRT 2 on your Xbox. What does end up mattering, is the game built around it.

Yet for the average sim racer, this concept is totally lost on them, and you’ll see across basically every populated message board, sim racing community members talking down on games that do not feature absurdly difficult driving models, almost as if they’re inferior products and should be avoided by those looking to assert their elitism over others. And this is where I’ll begin exploring the absurdly hypocritical nature of everyday sim racers.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for several years, or are just getting into sim racing and maybe haven’t explored the back catalog of several developers, 2015 saw the surprise launch of Codemasters’ DiRT Rally – a hardcore rally simulator that was constructed by a mainstream-oriented developer in total secrecy, only to be dropped on Steam’s Early Access platform some time during the spring. Despite a lack of unique stages, even after the game achieved a “released” state, rally fans around the world simultaneously jizzed in their pants at what was finally a modern spiritual successor to Richard Burns Rally, which until then had been kept alive by an absurd amount of third party mods.

Yet despite the fanfare, DiRT Rally’s reception slowly changed over a period of what felt like about six months months. Originally praised by the community for daring to take aim at a niche market and picking up where other rally simulators had left off over a decade earlier, Codemasters were soon slammed by those who initially supported the title. While there were indeed questionable physics oddities that arose at high speeds – mostly due to insane sideforce values, an undeniably honest oversight in the grand scheme of things – rally fans were now blasting DiRT Rally for being “simcade” and “not a real simulator” because the car was working with them, rather than against them. And truth be told, the world records you can find on YouTube depicting DiRT Rally being driven to the absolute limit are pretty preposterous – so I’ll give you that.

Yet the same existed for Richard Burns Rally.

But rather than joint outrage and the dreaded S-word thrown at the classic rally simulator, almost a curse word in some parts, the same sim racing community eager to rip apart DiRT Rally for a few physics oddities, chastising Codemasters for swinging big and having a genuine physics oddity that could be dialed out with the community’s voice aimed in the right direction, as well as a patch or two to fully rectify things, ultimately remained silent when footage like this of their almighty rally simulator – depicting the same general problems exhibited by DiRT Rally – began to surface.

We can dig deeper, and we will. Though it’s pretty common knowledge by now, it must be said for the sake of the topic at hand that the original release of Richard Burns Rally was highly unrealistic from a physics standpoint, and several different modding teams have basically deconstructed and rebuilt the game from the ground up, including a complete restructuring of the game’s underlying driving model. Regardless of whether you’re a Czech Plugin guy, a firm believer in the NGP physics patch (hi, this is my category), or subject yourself to the torture of downloading the yearly monolithic RSRBR add-on compilation – not to mention those which I haven’t included – Richard Burns Rally needs extensive third party patchwork to behave in even a slightly realistic fashion behind the wheel, and it’s pretty much required downloading for any sim racers who may fancy a few laps in RBR. Sim racers who call Richard Burns Rally home, or merely have the title installed to be called upon during a rainy day and nothing more, do not bat an eyelid over what is a pretty monumental inconvenience of downloading several gigabytes of files just to have a piece of software worth playing at the end of the day.

Yet when the same amount of community patches and third party fixes are required to get the PC car collecting simulator Shift 2: Unleashed up and running, Slightly Mad Studios are suddenly slammed by the same sim racers – who willingly inject gigabytes of fixes and upgrades into Richard Burns Rally – as incompetent developers who are incapable of releasing a finished product, and that they should not need patches upon patches to fix their game. I must apologize for this, as in hindsight, it’s an incredibly stupid stance to take. Why is one game that’s only worth playing with an extensive amount of community patches praised, while another is basically tossed in the proverbial trash, when the vanilla versions of each simulator are both highly unrealistic and rely on the community’s work equally?It’s a question that you can either choose to answer, or keep going down the metaphorical mineshaft of hypocrisy, as it only gets worse.

We now shine the spotlight not on iRacing, but the iRacing community. For those who are maybe new to the game, or new to sim racing, as a guy who was most active on iRacing from late 2011 to the middle of 2013, what I’m about to say might be news to some, or a mere tidbit for fellow veterans. iRacing in its infancy looked remarkably different than it does today, and though the game never drove quite right behind the wheel regardless of what alleged tire model improvements and revisions were applied to the simulator, the mentality powering it during the early years was drastically different compared to what we know iRacing to be today. iRacing once lived up to its ultra-hardcore reputation.

At one point in time, the concept of fixed setup racing – where all participants are given an identical garage configuration for a given event, allowing driving skill to determine the victor – absolutely did not exist on iRacing, meaning that every single member on the service was required to spend their lunch break at work, or spare blocks in high school, reading up on race car dynamics and setup tricks to ensure their on-track success in what is widely considered to be the most popular hardcore racing simulator by a country mile.

However, after a smorgasbord of factors subtly pushed iRacing to reel in new customers by the truckload, including but not limited to members complaining that they were getting trounced by real race car drivers and amateur crew chiefs who knew their way around the garage area, did iRacing implement fixed setup racing – as had been seen in their last commercial release, an officially licensed NASCAR title. Fast forward several years to present day, and fixed setup racing for a fraction of the original race distance is now overwhelmingly popular, with feature-length “open setup” events reduced to sparsely populated affairs. This would not be out of place to implement in something like NASCAR Heat Evolution, in which the core audience consists primarily of casual stock car fans and teenagers, both of which whose lack of setup knowledge can be gracefully forgiven, yet this same mentality is occurring within the group of enthusiasts these games were built for in the first place.

So you have these people dropping hundreds, if not thousands on PC equipment, not to mention the cost of a subscription to the most hardcore simulator on the market and all of the content they feel is relevant to their interests, only to publicly admit they have zero interest in actually diving into the enthusiast aspects that play an integral role of the game. These people will actively knock a title such as NASCAR Heat Evolution for not allowing setups or caution flags online, but then pay double, triple, even quadruple the price of Evolution’s admission to participate in a quick 25-lap sprint race on iRacing with no caution flags and uniform setups.

I promise this gets better.

So let’s talk about the Assetto Corsa community for a bit here. When we first caught wind of this title’s existence in late 2012, and eventually got our hands on it in 2013, many including myself believed this would be the spiritual successor to the original rFactor, as ISI had grossly mismanaged rFactor 2 into a death spiral, and Kunos Simulazioni essentially promised a modding paradise that spat in the face of iRacing’s horrendous tire model with glorious vanilla content. For a period of time, it was the PC simulator set to dethrone iRacing, and early adopters such as myself were convinced that as long as enough people could be swayed by such a phenomenal driving experience, this would be everybody’s new home.

Yet while we all sat around waiting not-so-patiently for the simulator to be deemed finished in the eyes of veteran sim racers, as basic things like flag rules and the ability to jump the start had yet to be implemented, fanboys swore up and down that regardless of how much it lacked, this game was a true simulator, and even ex-Need for Speed fans had finally seen the light of PC racing simulators – now becoming sim racing converts thanks to the little Italian developer that could.

But in an ironic twist of events, Assetto Corsa was literally turned into Need for Speed by the community of veteran sim racers and recent converts despite acting as if they were somehow “above” EA’s arcade racing franchise. The most popular third party modifications for Assetto Corsa are not highly detailed race cars as you’d expect from a simulator, but open-world maps that allow you to explore the scenic backroads of Banff, Alberta – just as you’d do in a traditional Need for Speed product – or dart between passenger cars on public roads – again, a very Need for Speed-like scenario. Again, these creations all come from people who for the most part were trying to get away from the supposedly less serious environment of console arcade racers, only to mod Assetto Corsa in a way that turned it into a console arcade racer. Go figure.

Let’s shift into fourth gear.

Codemasters were awarded the official Formula One license in 2009 after a bit of a virtual F1 drought once Studio Liverpool pushed out their final release, F1 Championship Edition for Sony’s PlayStation 3, and truth be told, the first handful of games bearing the Codemasters logo honestly weren’t very good. Though Formula One 2017 is a masterpiece, the first few releases were clunky as hell, featuring awkward vehicle physics, poor penalty assessment, and a set of AI drivers that honestly just weren’t that good, especially when compared to what Codemasters were doing on the off-road spectrum at the time with the DiRT series of releases.

Yet what drew the most criticism from Formula One fans weren’t the driving physics, the penalties, or the AI – it was actually the tracks. Codemasters threw some dubious replica circuits into their yearly releases, with the Nurburgring in particular being a complete disaster; far too banked and wavy for what we’ve become familar with over the years thanks to the joys of laser scanning. But while sim racers had no problem slagging off Codemasters for tracks that were in some cases too wide, or in other instances featured absurd elevation changes that bore little resemblance to the real deal, they also had no problem turning around and ripping every single track from the entire game for use in their hardcore simulator leagues – some of which are still being converted again and again today for use in more modern simulators.

And sure, while it’s fairly easy to dismiss sim racers ripping Codemasters tracks for use in more hardcore-oriented simulators as the cheeky modders being resourceful, this too can also be dismissed as pretty blatant hypocrisy when you peel back the layers of mental gymnastics keeping it in the shadows.

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed by now, but Formula One as an organization don’t exactly co-operate in the slightest with the modern crop of simulators on the market. iRacing are lucky to get a McLaren or a Williams entry here and there, and maybe ISI can pull a partnership with Marussia out of their asses, but for those in pursuit of an authentic Formula One experience, they’re left with two options – the officially licensed Codemasters game, which hasn’t really been constructed as a simulator, or a community modification for an already established racing sim. And it’s here where things get really tricky.

Formula One 2017 is quite good this year, but it’s also a mass-market Codemasters game, and I think there’s a valid argument to be made about it’s authenticity if gamers with an Xbox or PlayStation controller can wheel the cars around the circuit with all assists turned off. However, in being awarded the exclusive license to the world’s most prestigious racing series, there’s always a chance that maybe they’re not far off, especially with the current crop of Formula One drivers being brought in to playtest the thing every once in a while. Fifteen years ago, Michael Schumacher turning laps in F1 2002 on the PlayStation 2 in front of the TV cameras may have been little more than a marketing stunt, but we’re now in an era where basically every driver on the grid at one point was a teenager playing Xbox in his bedroom, and they know how important an authentic video game representing the sport is when it comes to reeling in new fans. So while it’s not wrong of some to say that Max Verstappen is only playing F1 2017 for a mandatory promotional appearance, it’s also not out of the realm of possibility to assume both himself, and others like him, are passing along some valuable info to Codemasters, and the game may be more accurate than the elitists would like to think.

But of course, sim racers eschew this theory altogether, occasionally proceeding to rip the car models from the same Codemasters Formula One games they’re happy to publicly trash, and then task some guy in his basement with zero technical knowledge of Formula One race cars whatsoever to create the car physics. In extreme cases, this has led to outright hilarious situations that really display the incompetence and hypocrisy of the community, in which sim racers would rather play an rFactor 2 mod that’s eight seconds faster than the 2004 pole time at Interlagos, than a Codemasters game where a car from the same season is only half a second up on the track record, because rFactor 2 calls itself a hardcore simulator in the description of the product on Steam, and F1 2017 doesn’t.

This is the sim racing community in a nutshell. These people are happy to exhibit an elitist bravado over the rest of the overall driving game scene by bragging about the time invested into alleged hardcore simulators, but at every opportunity instead prove themselves to be mere posers who are apathetic towards any actual enthusiast elements.

They imply they enjoy the aspect of “figuring out a car”, but within the confines of their own message boards admit that they are blissfully unaware of what anything in the garage area does, and flock to online race events that closely mimic what you’d see in a console lobby run by teenagers. They knock mass-market games that sell well and are reviewed even better, only to rip all the content from them, and despite claiming that their simulator of choice offers a more competent set of physics, instead hand the development of said vehicle attributes to a random motherfucker sitting in his basement with a demonstrably poor understanding of the car’s basic performance traits. And while one game gets a free pass for being unfinished and requiring truckloads of community patches to become both realistic and playable, another doesn’t. They also love to look down on games that don’t meet their standards of realism with pseudo-slang like “arcade” and “simcade”, but in doing so fail to recognize that it’s an admission that they aren’t proficient behind the wheel and are judging a game by how many times they spin out and embarrass themselves, not its all-encompassing verisimilitude.

It’s no wonder developers have mostly gotten out of this sub-genre, save for a few stragglers. This is a fanbase that is literally impossible to please.

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174 thoughts on “Exposing the Hypocrisy of Sim Racers

  1. to be fair .. RBR had good base and good community patches … Shift was terrible and had good community patches and tyre mods that were not able to help that much .. perhapsfor lower speeds it was bearable to some extend ..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “RBR had good base”
      not really, it didn’t. it was just overly difficult for the sake of being difficult. that’s what hardcore tryhards loved about it. apart from the above average difficulty that requires special getting used to, the game never had anything good to offer. sounds were mediocre, graphics were acceptable at best (at least it ran reasonably on shit computers), stages were bland and repetitive, championship mode was very basic, and so on.

      some people argue that the rally school was good, but it wasn’t either. it was a glorified beginner challenge mode that only mentioned a few “pro handling tricks” and let you try them out. but it didn’t even explain how co-driver pace notes work, or how to handle certain hazards, like potholes, ruts or water splashes.

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      1. funny how “time” warps perspective when looking back.

        2004 <— 2017.

        Name me an objectively-better rally title available on the PC – platform based in 2003..2005 … I don't think there was one. Especially when it comes to rally-stage design. Albeit I did actually not try xpand-rally where all the hype was about G-force black-out… …and not much else

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        1. nothing warped here, it was always more difficult than realistic. the thing that changed is the overwhelming hype has burnt out and now you get to see proportionally more negative criticism

          “Name me an objectively-better rally title available on the PC – platform based in 2003..2005 … I don’t think there was one. Especially when it comes to rally-stage design.”
          Mobil 1 Rally Championship from 1999 — over 650km of real, full-length stages, recreated from photo and video reference materials. no game has ever come even remotely close in stage quality

          RBR has horrible stages. they feel very artificial in design – they’re more test tracks to throw various corners at the driver, rather than roads that actually lead somewhere.

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  2. ” tips hat ” James , what you have written is exactly the way I look at the racing genre. .

    Would never be able to put it in writing as you have . From my point of view , exceptional article.

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  3. The sim racing community is a joke. Too many know-it-alls that bitch about the way a racecar should drive, while never having driven a single lap in said racecar. They are the ones responsible for the constant shit racing games being developed. I’m sure the devs love these type of casuals because they can get away with lazy development which leads to these half baked carbon copies of other racing games on the market. And if an upstart business decides to make a true blue bottom up sim racer, it will get picked to pieces by these half witted sister fuckers

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    1. Honestly the only thing you are “exposing” is a guy who has got himself behind a wheel in some kind of racecar by among other things being a pain in the ass of pCars Ian Bell.
      And eventhough it probably will work out as a smart move from same financier Ian Bell as the most economical way of cooling his hardest critic down a bit there is not much hypocrisy to “expose” – because everything is out in the open.

      So come on. How about “realising” the real world?

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  4. “And this is where I’ll begin exploring the absurdly hypocritical nature of everyday sim racers”.
    is it somehow an indirect self reflection comin up here?

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    1. “The harder a simulation is, the more realistic it is… and that is a scientific fact.
      A green track in rF2 with cold tires is more realistic than real life”.

      This is a good example of a completely invalid argumentation (logic).

      First you use a completely unproven postulate as a (“scientific”) fact.
      And then you supposedly think that because a green track in rF2 is harder to control (the car on) then the opposite must also be true.
      The opposite: (in relation to racing sims) the harder they are to control the more realistic they are.

      And to really prove your point sims can even be more realistic than real life realism.

      Entertaining reading – but not specially sound logic 🙂

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        1. > Hi BrunoB, please get checked for VD regularly.

          Unnecessary.

          His head is so firmly planted up his own ass, that it’s effectively impossible for him to get ass-raped in the first place.

          Secondly, judging by his fussy, conceited writing style and delight in humorless pedantic “logical analysis”, I suspect that the aforementioned ass-rape is the only sort of sex he’s likely to ever have.

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          1. humorless pedantic “logical analysis” is bad – mkay.
            Hehe at least for people not even intelligent enough to follow a simple logical reasoning 🙂 🙂

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          2. FFS CHINAMAN, ALL YOU TALK ABOUT IS ASS SEX.
            ANYWAY, AS YOU KNOW, I USE A FIRM RUBBER DILDO UP MY ASS TO STABILIZE MYSELF DURING HEAVY RACING SESSIONS, I ALSO LOVE THE WORD SIMCADE AS IT’S NECESSARY TO DESCRIBE GAMES WITH DODGY PHYSICS.

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  5. some of us just like to race, and couldn’t care less if its realistic. cuz you know…racing is fun. setting up a car, not so much.
    Have fun, its a hobby.

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  6. It’s an edgy take (as you would expect from PRC) and I do suspect the whole “this was the plan all along” is more than a little bit of BS engineered to provide shoot-back ammo for the inevitable shit storm James is sure to incur when PC2 hits the shelves as a solid simcade…but I don’t believe the underlying point is far off the mark.

    For an extremely vocal and influential subset of the community, if it ain’t trying to kill me, it ain’t a racing sim. That’s total horseshit (ask a real driver).

    Personally, I would take F1 2017 over rFactor2 or iRacing 10 times out of 10, no doubt whatsoever. On the other side of that coin, I’d probably take R3E or AC over F1 2017 close to 9 or 10 times out of 10.

    My point is, there’s a spectrum. Find where on that spectrum works for you (remember, you should be having FUN, first and foremost) and you hereby have my permission to ignore the shit out of any fucktard telling you you’re shit for playing/liking an inferior sim. Guess what? At the end of the day, NEITHER OF YOU ARE ACTUALLY RACE CAR DRIVERS! It’s all make-believe, no matter how well the devs have marketed the molecular level integrity of their tire model.

    The difference between someone who chills the fuck out and has themselves a good time turning laps in whatever sim works for them and the religious fanatic who spends more time defending their pet science project in PRC comments is that the former can accept the fact they are not a real race car driver and the latter will probably be working it out with a psych someday (not that there’s anything wrong with seeing a psych – I have close personal loved ones who have done just that and if you think you should, you should – I’m just expressing an opinion that it would be kinda pathetic to end up on a therapists couch explaining how you mentally connected the dots between playing video games and becoming a real race car driver. Hope your psych has a really good poker face!)

    Liked by 2 people

  7. “Yet when the same amount of community patches and third party fixes are required to get the PC car collecting simulator Shift 2: Unleashed up and running, Slightly Mad Studios are suddenly slammed by the same sim racers – who willingly inject gigabytes of fixes and upgrades into Richard Burns Rally – as incompetent developers who are incapable of releasing a finished product, and that they should not need patches upon patches to fix their game.”

    Here is the cream of this article. Sucking up to SMS. Getting some more money.

    Lately these articles are preparing us for the simcade pcars 2? hehe

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      1. Don’t forget the absolutely critical items like Buttkickers, Button Boxes, and Rear Traction Loss Simulators (aka Rectal Vibrators).

        It has long since been scientifically proven that it’s impossible to enjoy a game unless it supports all of these vital peripherals.

        I don’t know about you, but driving is just not enjoyable unless I’ve got a sonic transducer beaming low-frequency soundwaves into my asshole ever time I go over a curb.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. “””I don’t know about you, but driving is just not enjoyable unless I’ve got a sonic transducer beaming low-frequency soundwaves into my asshole ever time I go over a curb.””

          DAMN BOY, I KNEW YOU WERE WEIRD, BUT NOW I HAVE PROOF…..IT’S LIKE WHEN CLAY SPOKE OF THE TRUTH THAT PINY AND TARA KNOW, AND THEN TRIED TO KILL THEM BOTH.

          I’M NOW GUESSING YOUR ASS HAS SEEN MORE TRAFFIC THAN POOR OLE JUICE WHO WAS ROUTINELY ASS RAPED BY THE ARYAN BROTHERHOOD ALSO AFFECTIONATELY KNOW AS “AB”.

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  8. I don`t think you have the right to use the word hypocrisy in this blog ever again.
    If you look up that word in the dictionairy, you`ll see a picture of James with Ian`s cock burried deep in his troath…

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  9. “This is a fanbase that is literally impossible to please.”

    -James, after writing an entire fucking ARTICLE about what games the sim racing community likes and what games it doesn’t like, even after highlighting how beloved aspects of iRacing are, after highlighting how beloved Richard Burns Rally is, after highlighting how beloved rFactor2 is.

    Something seems to be wrong here…

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  10. People keep throwing the word arcade around as if that means the physics are inferior. They shouldn’t be!

    Looking at the Assetto Corsa NFS mod, I immediately said to myself, hell, this would be fun! Because it’s relatively easier and… relatable. Obviously, less focus on razor sharp precision or technical know how or doing the same thing over and over again makes it more accessible. But realistic physics in these types of games should be a thing because it’s relatable. Why can’t my virtual car handle like my real car? All these years we could’ve been simply elaborating on what NFS did right all those years ago.

    I love track racing sims but I would also love to play for pink slips on city streets or outrun the cops on some remote highway. If SMS would add a mode or create a separate entity that’s like an old-school NFS game but with their modern physics model and the latest Livetrack, I think we have a winner. Winner, chicken dinner.

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      1. The Assetto Corsa engine is currently taking a month long holiday and will report back to Microsoft if and when it can be fucking arsed.

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    1. Arcade, Simcade, Simulation define how much is simulated underneath NOT how realistic it is …

      So many people believe that misconception. Thats why iRacing is still simulation, even if it is totally unrealistic!

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      1. So you’re basically saying you become fool by hearing what a fool has to say? Some people come here for the entertainment the fools provide.

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  11. Sorry but the thoughts behind this are idiotic. People who enjoy sims don’t play them because they’re hard, but because they feel good. Reason the same people hates simcades is not because they’re easy but because they feel horrible behind the wheel and they’re completely backwards in many aspects.

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    1. I AGREE, JAMES HAS BEEN TAKEN BY IAN BELL{BELL HAS BUTTFUCKED JAMES INTO COMPLETE COMPLIANCE}, SO WHEN PCARS ARRIVES AS ANOTHER SIMCADE TITLE, HEAVILY BUTTFUCKED JAMES WILL IGNORE THE PHYSICS AND FOCUS ON THE REST OF GAME.

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  12. If you think the lack of gamey stuff in racing sims is bad, try some modern flight sims. It’s been like 20 years, and there’s still nothing like the sense of purpose that Mig Alley and Falcon 4.0 gave you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true. The last real dynamic campaign in flight sims was in 1998/1999. Things are so bad that Falcon 4.0 is now officially the longest-running game in history using the same code base.

      In other words, people still prefer to play a game first released in Dec 1998 to anything that’s come out since then.

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  13. “Though it’s pretty common knowledge by now, it must be said for the sake of the topic at hand that the original release of Richard Burns Rally was highly unrealistic from a physics standpoint”

    This is very far from the truth.

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    1. Richard Burns gave DNA to achieve the PlayStation 2 physics, and that eventually led to his death.

      Saddam Hussein then used 4000 PS2 consoles to conquer the world, but then was beaten by glorious USMC.

      MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

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    1. Still lurking occasionally.

      Opinions: ’17 Camaro ZL1 or ’18 Widebody Challenger Hellcat (Hellcat with a Demon body)?

      I’ve gotten bored with my super-competent, ’13 Audi TTRS. You can’t do burnouts with a 4WD Haldex.

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      1. Come on old man, That’s just silly.

        You’re rich enough to afford both a classic Camaro and a classic Challenger at the same time. Better burnouts, better aesthetics.

        They also hold better value over time, so they’re a better investment aswell. The newer ones are overpriced pieces of junk that will be devalued into oblivion the moment they leave the parking lot of the dealership.

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        1. That’s a good idea, but I tend to drive the shit out of my cars, including track days. I buy a car to drive, not as an investment.

          I’d love an old 930 Turbo, but unfortunately the fucking “investment” types have descended on anything that’s air-cooled with a Porsche logo and driven the prices into the stratosphere. I used to see those cars (air-cooled 911’s) at the track all the time.

          Now, they’re sitting in the garages of dentists, lawyers, etc. collecting dust and “appreciating”.

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            1. I think the ZL1 then. But did you guys see the Grand Tour episode where a stock Hellcat was within a couple of tenths (iirc) of the lap time of a DB11?

              I thought that was damn impressive, and that was the regular narrow-body Hellcat.

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      2. Hellcat, I drove the Camaro and was not happy with the line of sight, was worse than many of the honda accords. I’m partial to the Mustangs though despite owning a classic chevy muscle car. i’ve driven the 15,16 and 17 Mustang’s for extended trips through the west and enjoyed every second.

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        1. Would love a GT350 (an American Audi RS5!), but getting another manual tranny is politically impossible.

          I’ve taken a ton of shit from my wife about the TT RS (it only came with the manual), because she can’t even move the car out of the garage and she’d like to drive the “fun” car too.

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  14. Let’s talk about the hypocrisy of a nation with over 6800 nuclear weapons (and a propensity to bully, destabilize or violently overthrow any country that dares to have a form of government that’s even vaguely dissimilar to a dystopian corporate kleptocracy right out of an 80’s sci-fi movie) telling me “You’re not allowed to have nuclear weapons.”

    Ask Muammar Gaddafi how it worked out for him, after he stopped his WMD program in exchange for oh-so-reliable American promises of “Diplomatic and Economic Normalization”.

    Sorry, bitches, I am not going out like that.

    Like

              1. Or maybe I just don’t care about the same things as you do. For example, politics and rich guys. That only fills the mind of the sheep.

                For example I don’t keep James on high regard as you do Robert T.

                Like

  15. Hey man, I agree with a lot in your article, I always laughed at the hardcore Sim Racing community while I enjoy all sorts of fun games with my pretend wheel, sometimes i even fly some planes!

    Anyway, reading this I was thinking of two great experiences I been having with my pretend race wheel:

    1: Forza Horizon 3: This one was a surprise, I’ve been itching for that Dirt 3 next gen fix and have read a lot of crap on this game as recent as the Q1 this year, complaints about wheel support and performance abound, and let me tell you, as far as a next-gen Dirt 3 I think FH 3 has solved most of the problems and is a goddamn beautiful and fun experience to play!

    Amazing scenario in Australia with nicely diverse scenery, the DLC Blizzard Mountain is another masterpiece of scenery and totally fun, a nice cast of vehicles with that Forzavista quality and a very creative Career mode with the Festival building where you can really take the car you want and have some nice racing on basically any circuit in a way that matters in the career, so you can explore some nice vintage cars, odd fun buggies etc without having to worry about the super cars that we know kinda breaks immersion on these sim-cades.

    Wheel support is completely ok for my wheel (G27) and there are a lot of presets for other wheels and you can create your own, the complaint here is that you have to fiddle with the settings and force feedback to dial in how you want to drive it, kinda like a mix of GRID Autosport and Dirt 3.
    Aaand the one real complaint I really have for now is that cockpit cams go from Ok to Atrocious, but bonnet or bumper cam are your friends in this beautiful game while they don’t implement cockpit cam settings. And as far as performance, my 1060 has little trouble keeping up with the game at 60fps so you monster PC guys should have it even better.
    So highly recommend to check or re-check it out.

    2: That can be old news but GTA V on PC with the Manual transmission and Wheel mod it’s also a trip, goddamn i was really surprised the PC version runs flawlessly on Ultra and looks like none other with a great 1st person cam and beautiful cockpits (even the position and FOV are great, Rockstar doesn’t play at work!) it has been really a trip to do the campaign again and even menial tasks like doing taxi jobs or driving a boat on the sunset are taken to a whole new level.

    And here is the catch, this one Wheel Support mod is UNBELIEVABLE, at first I installed GTA V as tradition when you upgrade from a very shitty GPU, from a 520 to a 1060 in my case, to benchmark and mess about in the game when i decided to mess with the wheel, so at first the game itself doesn’t support or has very basic joystick support for the wheel, so I searched and sure enough there was this mod, and I was like, ehhhhhhh idk… gonna be shite, lol, i must tell you man, is a better implementation than some full games on the market: Full Force Feedback support, Wheel rotation settings, soft lock, button bindings, from manual H shifter with clutch, engine blow, wheel lock and all to sequential paddles and automatic for a more chill experience, seamless transition from wheel, controller and keyb, mouse and all pretty straight forward, just drop it into the main folder, config in game and bam, I’m doing a high-speed chase with one hand on the wheel and the other on the mouse aiming as precisely as I can on the guys wheels etc.. Reaally good fun!

    Anyway, those have been my fun times when i get fed up with the bullshit on public lobbies.
    Cheers and sorry for broken engrish.

    Like

  16. The article is a plausible hypothesis on what is wrong with the ‘sim’ racing community. This should more accurately be called the racing game community but they ‘sim’pletons like to believe there is a difference.

    F1 2017 is a FIFA series equalling depiction of the sport, Asssetto on PC has uncanny steering feel, Assetto on console is an utter disgrace / Stefano & Marci should be ashamed, it’s the worst game on Xbox yet. AMS & RF2 hmm take a look at the Steam sales/play figures and see how minority they really are. Forza outsells the lot because it is accessible to millions on gamepad or wheel (sorry PS GT you don’t get a mention because you lost the plot years ago).

    I’ll offer you a slightly different hypothesis. The real problem is the developers and a bunch of paid YouTubers, bloggers and worst of all ‘content creators’ (e.g. leeches making a living off crappy unlicensed mods) pretending to be normal players promoting one game whilst running down another. This lot are fighting over the crumbs of maybe 500k Steam players when, for examination le, F1 games sell double and accessible console games 10x the amount.

    ‘Sim’ racing seems determined to strangle itself in infancy. Luckily racing games will outlive this nonsense and continue to thrive.

    Like

  17. If you want gamey stuff on sim racing then that’s a good indicator that sim racing is not for you and you better spend your time making anime liveries and ram eachother on GT, Forza and F1 20XX

    Go fuck yourself Austin!

    Like

  18. James, how about doing a piece about Kunos’ inability to deliver a working product to the XB1 platform? Game hasn’t been able to launch again since Monday last week. No official statement as to why this happened a couple of weeks ago and no indication of why it’s happening again. The game has just had its first birthday and it’s actuall in a much WORSE state now than it was at release. That is quite an achievement. Speaking of hypocrisy, some users don’t seem to mind this, and choose to suck up to the Lord and his minion by heaping continual praise on what is essentially a useless steaming pile of donkey shit.

    Like

      1. It should be a concern for everyone because it reveals poor decision making on the part of Kunos. they overextended themselves releasing AC for console, and if you put out a game, it should work, period.

        Like

        1. poor decisions making? AC on xbox one at half gas is better than project cars 1 and 2.

          Even when AC is fully working there are complaints from prc trolls.

          Like

    1. If the game is so bad, why do you care writing and getting angry about it? Aren’t there other hundred racing games you can play?

      You’ve got more issues than AC on xbox one.

      Like

      1. Ok, well just let it pass then that in 2016/7 a company can release a product that simply does not work and we’re all happy to see them keep selling it.
        You elitist PC shagging cunt.

        Like

          1. So if whatever sim you prefer play on PC had a problem because of a Windows update, is it not the responsibility of that studio to ensure their product is ready to be compatible with that update? You’re a Kunos apologist.

            Like

            1. Lots of them about. Probably hoping for an invite to the next Italian track day. You know, the ones where the media are corporately wanked off so they don’t admit how shit the actual product is.

              Like

              1. You mean sms paying up journalists and reviewers? At least Kunos is inviting journalists and players to try both the real and sim cars. sms on the other hand only cares about buying them up.

                Like

            1. most of the guys complaining about ac on xbox one are james minions that only own the game on steam.

              Just like james himself. Doesn’t have the game on xbox, doesn’t play it on steam, complains that currently the game isn’t working on xbox. So basically a drama queen and attention whore.

              Like

                1. I have AC on Xbox One and it is categorically the worst performing game on the platform. Currently it does not work at all with no comment from the developer.

                  If James/PRC don’t cover the issues and bring them to public attention no one else is likely too. AC gets an easy ride in the gaming press based on the PC version. The truth about Kunos’s console cash grab need to be exposed for what it is.

                  Like

                  1. What about the PS4? Kunos are the worst about the xbox one, Kunos are the best about the ps4? If you want impartiality, then at least have some fair comments when talking about the console port.

                    You should expose James for the cash grab he’s doing with prc and us readers.

                    Like

                    1. Awesome FFB and the cars feel really good but .

                      The ps4 port is just boring as fuck ! Hot lap sim , that’s about all its good for.

                      Like

                2. In fact is sound logic. You only know about you read from a few others. You don’t know the cause of the xbox one issues, how many it affects, if is a system or game problem, if is just server problems, if its already working for some but not for others.

                  Journalism 101, go read that please. Anyone can put up hate comments and articles with no content but just blabling. But actually giving impartial information is hard for sms employees.

                  Like

                1. you and the like only comment because you like to hate on kunos not because you’re worried about the game.

                  The devs know what the issues are, with what possibly are you helping with those hate comments about ac on xbox? With absolutely nothing, they are just hate and trolling comments towards the game and the company.

                  Like

                2. (“No one is allowed to comment on things that don’t personally affect them” – You.

                  What a moron.)

                  I never said you’re not allowed to comment, but what’s the point of yours and others unaffected comments?

                  Imagine this situation. You have working internet but your neighbor doesn’t. What is the sense in complaining about issues affecting others? I think is nothing more than just letting your accumulated frustration out, because is actually not your problem. Or maybe is just hate for company and you’re looking for an excuse to get mad or troll them.

                  K.. call me moron. But you’re still not contributing with anything towards solving the issues for the affected ones. If you don’t understand that 3rd party comments make no sense, perhaps the moron here is you.

                  Like

  19. I don’t get the praise RBR gets, it is based on the Pacejka tire model (or better a flawed theory) which is just another of the many models out there and certainly not the most realistic and by today’s standards simplistic if not outdated. The Czech plugin guy can patch it all he wants but he will never make it to simulate properly stuff that can’t and was never meant to simulate.

    http://www.edy.es/dev/2011/12/facts-and-myths-on-the-pacejka-curves/
    http://dictionnaire.sensagent.leparisien.fr/Comparison_of_racing_simulators/en-en/

    Like

    1. Edy’s last comment

      (In simulation we are always using models or “simplifications” of the reality. One can define how much “reality” the model should span.)

      And here my friend is where the truth lies for sim racing, SIMPLIFICATIONS OF REALITY

      unless you have warehouses with cluster mainframes that push the simulation models to real life levels then it’s highly umilkely your intel iWhatever six core cpu can replicate the levels of realism we’re talking, not now, not even 50 years from now.

      https://arstechnica.com/cars/2017/04/formula-1-technology/

      Like

    1. I noticed the obnoxiously obvious shilling too. Being subtle has never been Austin’s forte. Well, as long he unintentionally exposes his hypocrisy to the world by his own articles it’s all good…

      Like

      1. But But But Shaun did a review on AC on his ISR days and he declared that’s not a full sim, ironically all he does lately on his channel is to play AC.

        Like

    1. “At least RBR was worth fixing.”

      especially by replacing the physics, which apparently is what made the game “good” in the first place… right

      Like

  20. Enjoyed the article, there are some really interesting points. The conclusion at the end is overreaching to the extreme. Sim racers are not all one group, most owners of assetto corsa have probably not downloaded any mods and numbers of downloads are not an indication of how much the people who actually downloaded the content will play it. 5 mins or 15 mins.

    I think some people drawn to simulators are people who like fiddling with settings and really care about realism in terms of them. In flight sim some people like click able cockpits and simulated systems. I think they are a special group of people. They aren’t hypocritical.

    I am part of another group. I like a simulator than translates as far as possible to real life skills. I want a sim that rewards and teaches skills that I could use in a real life road car, go kart or maybe a formula ford. Other than that the next priorities are close racing and nice graphics. I’d be interested in fixed setup races and would consider driving any sim.

    Like

  21. Dr. Kondor, kmanitou has lost it. Move up his schedule with you.

    It seems kmanitou was the anon that kept spamming on prc with off topic posts about jews, politics, africans, nazis, feminism, american dramas.

    Or maybe it wasn’t him, but got affected so much by it that now his posts are just about politics and jews. Dr. Kondor, you need to see him urgently 🙂

    kmanitou, aren’t you too old for this shit? The older you are the more you lose it and become angry with anything that isn’t related to you directly.

    Like

    1. Liberating tolerance, then, would mean intolerance against movements from the Right and toleration of movements from the Left.

      Surely, no government can be expected to foster its own subversion, but in a democracy such a right is vested in the people (i.e. in the majority of the people). This means that the ways should not be blocked on which a subversive majority could develop, and if they are blocked by organized repression and indoctrination, their reopening may require apparently undemocratic means. They would include the withdrawal of toleration of speech and assembly from groups and movements which promote aggressive policies, armament, chauvinism, discrimination on the grounds of race and religion, or which oppose the extension of public services, social security, medical care, etc.

      Like

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