Maybe a Free Weekend Wasn’t the Best Idea…

RRRE 2015-06-27 13-07-13-56In theory, Sector 3’s concept of opening up everything RaceRoom Racing Experience has to offer for one weekend in June was a flawless idea. The game is loved by the handful of drivers who choose to call it their main sim, but the absurd pricing model turns off all but the most diehard of racing sim enthusiasts. Managing to achieve a relatively niche following, with new users trickling into the game primarily through word of mouth, the Free Weekend promotion opened the floodgates to a huge wave of new users.

On most days when I come home from work, R3E is a ghost town online. It doesn’t help that I’m in Canada and the majority of R3E drivers are across the pond in Europe, but this picture accurately demonstrates the limited options I’m presented with when I feel like racing online. The size of the online userbase definitely increases during Euro-centric hours, but never to a size where rooms can be considered populated. There’s basically one room with a bunch of people, and a handful of rooms with one or two drivers.

Obviously, with all content in the free-to-play racing sim being temporarily unlocked, online activity saw a noticeable increase.

RRRE 2015-06-27 10-01-28-27I personally really enjoy R3E, so at first I was stoked. Even some of the game’s older content that we’ve been advised to stay away from, such as the GTR X cars, were getting some love thanks to the game’s really simple dedicated server application.

However, making the game totally free for a few days doesn’t just open up the racing sim to experienced drivers curious about a title that rivals their personal sim of choice – it also unleashes waves of noobs that as of this writing, have made most servers insufferable.

RRRE 2015-06-27 10-10-41-92

There’s no way to describe it other than pure chaos. Most people couldn’t keep their cars on the track for more than a lap or two. Every wallpaper-worthy screenshot I took had someone gloriously shitting the bed in the background.

RRRE 2015-06-27 10-13-03-36So I just stopped taking pretty pictures altogether and focused on the wrecks.

RRRE 2015-06-27 10-04-10-90Despite the huge grids, very few people in practice or qualifying were competent enough to complete a lap. Those that did were woefully off pace, despite the consensus away from about R3E’s allegedly dumbed down physics. In both a GTR X room, and a mixed class P2/GT3 room, multiple people spun off the starting grid. This, in a game where you can shift into first before the lights go out and it feels like there’s a built-in launch control.

RRRE 2015-06-27 10-04-56-84It’s a frustrating experience, as time and time again I’d spend a decent amount of time running laps in practice, only to see that 90% of the grid probably shouldn’t have been there. I took the Group 5 Skyline to both Mid-Ohio and Hockenheim, and each lap would pass numerous cars parked on the side of the track. Had there been a 107% cutoff rule in qualifying, 5 of the 24 cars in the room would have been allowed to race. It was really disappointing. There was no point entering a Group 5 room as nobody could deal with the 1970’s turbo lag.

RRRE 2015-06-27 10-07-40-34We didn’t even make it to the problematic braking zone in Macau, as a track-blocking wreck occurred mere seconds into what was supposed to be a fifteen minute race.RRRE 2015-06-27 10-08-48-00Nothing compares to turn one of the famed Nurburgring. Starting 23rd out of the 24 car field (I joined the server with a minute left in qualifying), I was really excited to see how multi-class racing would work in R3E. I didn’t even make it through the first sector; a huge pack of cars washed out, and then proceeded to simultaneously spin back onto the track. This track has been in numerous high profile racing games for almost a decade, and people still haven’t figured it out.

RRRE 2015-06-27 10-05-35-08Again, what could have been a fun 20 minute race was ended before it really even began. Must have been absolutely demoralizing for the people who had taken the time to run proper practice and qualifying laps.

RRRE 2015-06-27 10-06-10-66What makes this clusterfuck even more disappointing is that the netcode is really fucking good, and there aren’t any noticeable performance issues, even with a full field. This one can solely be blamed on bad drivers. I look forward to reading other people’s opinions of R3E in the coming days, because the abundance of new users and bored kids who downloaded the game out of curiosity means you sometimes can’t get 800 feet into a race regardless of what car/track combo the server is running. All of these inevitable my experience with R3E threads that’ll pop up will be based off of guys trying and failing to survive 30 seconds of carnage.

R3E Will Be Free This Weekend

5ad5ec8fcd0575b24fb95c61d153929fCan’t ignore free. Probably the greatest marketing idea these guys have come up with so far, as the Free-To-Play pricing model scares off all but the most hardcore of racing sim fans who want to own everything Steam has to offer. Book Friday off from work because Sector 3 are essentially giving you an entire racing sim for free, and it’s a damn good one.

Be sure to grab our killer baseline setup before you hit the track.


The Perfect R3E Baseline Setup is Here!

For as majestic as RaceRoom Racing Experience is, the game’s car setup element is comically simple. Like Gran Turismo 5 on the PS3, there appears to be one common setup that works across all Rear Wheel Drive cars in the game. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it lets me focus on racing instead of building setups, and I’ll gladly pass that knowledge on to the readers of

This baseline setup works across all GT cars found in R3E, all DTM cars (including the fantastic 1992 pack), all Group 5 cars, and pretty much anything that sends the power to the rear tires. I’ve even won online races in the LMP2 cars using this basic formula.

R3E Magic Setup

  1. Set the front splitter at 2, and the rear wing at 16. For the DTM 1992 cars, keep everything at 1/1. Use equivalent fractions for the LMP2 cars as I don’t think they let you run super high wing values to begin with. You paid attention in school, right? Oh, and set the front ARB one click above the minimum value, and the rear ARB one click below the maximum value.
  2. Put the front toe at -0.24, the rear toe at 0.09. This is something both Guus and Sev found when we were racing Brazilian Stock Cars. It works across everything.
  3. Front camber at -3.5, rear camber at -2.8. Discovered racing GT3 cars in rFactor. It gives a nice neutral feeling all throughout the corner and works here.
  4. Turn off traction control. You have so much aero grip and the tires are so sticky that you won’t need it.
  5. Diff Power at 15%, Diff Coast at 20%, 1 click of preload, Brake Bias at 63/37. All values found playing Game Stock Car Extreme.

If it’s loose on entry, increase the value of the front anti-roll bar. If it’s loose on exit, decrease the value of the rear anti-roll bar.

By the way, this works across all other ISI-powered sims like rFactor, Stock Car Extreme, rFactor 2, and Race 07.

RRRE 2015-06-20 16-32-00-21

Reader Submission #9 – Double Standards?

Today’s lone reader submission comes from Tim R., wondering why we take such massive dumps on the community surrounding Project CARS while turning a blind eye to the exact same behavior by RaceRoom Racing Experience drivers.

It’s not a long post, but he raises a valid point.


I just wanted to know why you have such a massive hateboner for pCars, yet you ignore the RaceRoom fanboys organizing to shill for their game everywhere.

R3E Shilling 1

On the official WMD forums, away from the general publics eyes, the Press Articles on Project Cars/WMD thread, stickied at the top of the General Discussion section, features 1440+ pages of users banding together to find any negative article about pCars and leave a flurry of comments either discrediting the author or doing as much damage control as they can with the following basic comments:

  • It’s pre-alpha footage!
  • Sign up for the Official Forums and report the bugs to the developers!
  • You’re just having trouble with the car handling because it’s a true sim unlike Gran Turismo or Forza!
  • Yes it has bugs, but it’s a solid base platform for the devs to build on, and they plan to support the game for many years!

And this is basically the same type of thread Tim linked us to over on the Sector 3 forums.


RRRE 2015-02-20 23-19-43-85R3E is a very different game than it was at launch during the Spring of 2013. Originally, R3E was a free-to-play racing game heavily laced with sneaky micro-transactions. The game did not feature an abundance of real world cars, and the cars that were licensed only featured fictional liveries – all of which had to be bought with vRP, the game’s version of funny money that conned you during the currency conversion process like Microsoft Points on Xbox Live. At one point, even the hardcore physics (which were heavily work-in-progress at launch) were restricted behind a pay wall. To top it all off, the game only included online hotlap competitions – no single player AI races or multiplayer lobbies in sight.

The damage from the disastrous free-to-play experiment has been mostly undone as of June 2015. R3E in its current state can be seen as more of a natural successor to Race 07. Featuring a fully functioning Single Player component, proper multiplayer racing with dedicated server support, and multiple expansions for the WTCC, ADAC GT Masters Series, as well as three DTM seasons (1992, 2013, and 2014), the game almost deserves a name change.

So when I see people organizing to spread the good word, is it comparable to pCars shills? Hell yeah, you got us there. But is it warranted? Let’s compare the feature list from the launch days, versus what the game is like now:

– Spring 2013 –

  • No Single Player
  • No Multiplayer
  • Only online Hotlapping competitions
  • Mix of fictional & real cars
  • The fictional cars cost money
  • The fictional liveries cost money
  • The unfinished hardcore physics cost money
  • Rainbow brake markers

– June 2015 –

  • Single Race with AI
  • Offline AI Championship
  • Dedicated Server Support
  • Online Hotlapping Competitions
  • Multiple ADAC GT Masters Expansion Packs
  • Multiple Modern & Historic DTM Expansion Packs
  • Multiple WTCC Expansion Packs
  • Large selection of Modern GT2 cars
  • Large selection of Group 5 Touring Cars
  • Only racing sim to have a licensed Riley Corvette Daytona Prototype
  • Large Roster of Tracks with more in the pipeline such as Macau, Spa, and the Nordschleife
  • Hardcore physics don’t cost money
  • Retarded rainbow brake markers removed

The game is completely different than it was when it first launched. The few hardcore R3E racers have every right to run around begging people to come play with them, because Sector 3 got their shit together.

Talking about the June 2015 Update for R3E

RRRE 2015-06-02 17-28-01-91It’s difficult for us to publish a piece of news on patch notes alone, as I personally find them boring as all hell. So for those interested, R3E’s June 2015 update came out today, and here’s the minimalist version of what was included in the 9GB download:

  • New Transmission Model
  • New sounds
  • Better UI
  • Better load times
  • More liveries
  • Tons of bug fixes and optimizations

Instead of writing why all these additions benefit the game, it’s easier to just say what I tested and how the game performed. I joined a custom lobby that featured the 1992 DTM cars at Zandvoort with four minutes left in qualifying. Selecting the Opel, because I wanted to be a special snowflake, I adjusted my seat position quickly and threw an approximated setup at the car with values that seem to work across any car in the gMotor universe. I was really happy to see the long load times that really caused a problem in the past were totally eradicated. Load times in R3E are now on par with any other gMotor sim.

Sector 3 have totally gotten rid of the annoying circular orb menu layout that was seen in everything from the garage area to the main menu of the game itself. Starting with this new update, all aspects of the menu layout reflect a natural progression from Race 07 to R3E. To longtime Race 07 players, it will all feel very familiar, and that’s a good thing.

RRRE 2015-06-02 17-29-00-01The first thing I noticed were the sounds. Sector 3 have added a ton of new effects, including stuff like wind noise, road noise, and chassis creaking. To be honest, they’re not welcome additions. By default, all of these extra sounds are turned up way too high, and your brain simply stops processing everything being thrown at you. I found myself turning a lot of the new effects almost completely down because there was too much going on, and that defeated the point of the new sounds altogether. I really like the wind noise during the first few laps I ran because it was pretty damn cool, but when you combine it with transmission whine, suspension creaking, backfires, opponent engines, tire squealing, brake screeching… It doesn’t sound immersive, just sounds like the game is playing twenty different audio files at once. There’s only so much a decent set of PC speakers can do. Maybe this isn’t a problem with surround sound systems or high-quality gaming headsets, but not everyone has those. To me, it was just too much.

RRRE 2015-06-02 17-26-45-17During the opening laps of the fifteen minute race, I really began to notice the redone transmission model, and how it affected my braking. In short, I had to focus a bit more than I usually do on hitting my marks, because the car would shudder and shake a little bit differently in each braking zone as I went down through the gears. It’s a welcome change compared to Game Stock Car Extreme, where downshifting is something you rarely need to think about. The more laps I ran, the more natural it felt, unlike iRacing’s attempt at a new transmission model many years ago where the driveshaft wobble was greatly exaggerated just to show that “hey, we re-did the transmission physics this build!”

RRRE 2015-06-02 17-37-02-43With the introduction of custom lobbies comes the impending threat of lag and netcode issues, and I’m happy to say that R3E’s custom lobbies perform just as good as the official rooms. The race saw myself and another guy in a Mustang constantly trading places for the lead, and it’s incredible how smooth the game was, and how you could pick up the little nuances in your opponents behavior. At times it’s very close to being in a single player race. Contact has also improved from previous versions. gMotor games usually have a hard time simulating contact between two or more cars, often leading to awkward shunts that happen well after the aggressive maneuver has been made, and R3E for the most part fixes this. In previous builds, weight and momentum were transferred almost too easily, leading to AC-like crashes where a small bump at the wrong time sends both of you helplessly into the barrier, but it seems to have been toned down. In the above picture, Kristof lost it out of turn one because I hadn’t forced him to run the high line yet, and he slammed into the side of me. What would have ended both of our races in previous builds lead to only slight damage and being knocked off our lines with this new update.

RRRE 2015-06-02 17-41-42-87

Other minor fixes made it into the update as well – you can now jump the start, there’s a one minute period before the race where you can make last-minute adjustments to your setup, and you can swap between the base game and the ADAC/DTM expansions with a really nice drop-down menu at the top of the screen.

RRRE 2015-06-02 17-12-48-30With Open Wheel cars, the Nordschleife, Macau, and new WTCC cars coming, R3E appears to only be getting better. Unfortunately, living in Canada, online is still primarily a ghost town as the primarily European user base tends to be safely tucked into bed by the time I get home from work. During my time testing, the server browser never had more than 20 people racing across all sessions combined. Maybe with custom lobby support, sites like RaceDepartment will begin organizing club & league races within R3E.