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[DiRT 4] Constructive feedback on the subject of car-feel and physics: The Ultimate Thread

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Yeah also it is pretty suspicious that I take first places in career (Sim no assists) with minimum oversteer, like I'd do in road racing.  

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the subaru 2001 you cant donut it unless you handbrake lock up back wheels.there is also a noticable bite on it.

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Flykas said:
Yeah also it is pretty suspicious that I take first places in career (Sim no assists) with minimum oversteer, like I'd do in road racing.  
This has less to do with the physics and more to do with the difficulty setting. Besides modern rally driving is not as oversteer dependent as it used to be pre mid nineties. 

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Flykas said:
Headlong said:
I must admit, this has been an interesting read, but many of you guys are way, way off, either because you've never driven a rally car, or any car, on gravel, or because you learned incorrect driving techniques from DR and RBR. 

Ive been driving buggies and go karts on dirt since I was eight, I did rally school four times and I drive my roadcars on gravel whenever the opportunity presents itself. When playing DR the first thing I do is stiffen the front roll bar to the max and soften the rear roll to the max to kill the excessive oversteer. The cars in DR just oversteer way too easily, as if they have no weight. You don't even have to transfer the weight to the front to get the rear to kick out.

Now with D4 you actually have to work hard to get the car to oversteer just like in real life and I think that's what caught many people out. Plus it doesn't help that the cars in D4 are set up to understeer and generally be very benign. But overall I can't even begin to tell you how much closer to real life the cars are in D4 than than they are in DR, especially the modern FWD ones. 

Now that's not to say that the cars in D4 are perfect, because they are not, but the deficiencies in the physics model really are in most cases very, very minor. In fact, to be honest the only thing that I would like to see is the ability to feel the throttle and wheel spin and to be able to use it more to drift the cars through the corners.
Otherwise I wouldn't change much. Even the comments about the car losing momentum and getting bogged down don't really resonate with me based on my experiences in real life as this really does happen in real life. Whether by the same amount or slightly less I find it difficult to quantify, but I don't find it to be massively inaccurate in most cases, although I haven't driven all of the cars yet. 

Now the other issue is force feedback, which I think contributes in some measure to the perception that there is something not quite right with the physics in D4. Whereas DR seemed to give a lot of info with regard to what the car is doing and seems to be overlaid with more "seat of pants forces" , in D4 it seems as though they decided to go with what seems to be more of a purer steering colum forces type force feedback. For that reason a lot of what the car is doing is not communicated through the wheel. You can see this if you watch a replay in D4. You can really see the suspension working, the car being affected by the topography, the wheels slipping, the front and rear ends sliding, and in general the car seems to behave so realistically that it looks like a to replay of real life. Unfortunately it doesn't really come through through the force feedback, which I think is a bit of a shame.

But I think at the end of the day it isn't going to be very fruitful for a bunch of people to intuit how the cars behave having never driven them in real life and to try to guess at what they migh or might not have done code wise. Even I find it very difficult to quantify through feel how much the cars should slide given a particular diff or roll bar setting or given a particular angle and throttle input. Even people like Chris Meeke will struggle in this regard. I mean certainly he can provide feedback about the general car behaviour and handling but to actually precisely quantify the plethora of things that happen to a rally car on the limit is very, very difficult. 

So if changes do get made to D4, they will be very minor, and will come from someone who has actual rally driving experience. But if you're hoping for a DR type of experience in D4, that will never happen; that would be going backwards. 



I agree with everything you said, seems that you know this stuff, but I still think that this is right with when car drives slowly and there is something wrong when driving fast. Don't you think that you should be able to throw the weight of the car a little more ? For me it sometimes feels like the car lacks weight or inertia and this is why it can do 180 spin so suddenly, also thing with RWD is that it seems that turning the wheel into the direction of the slide save the car to quickly, it reminds me a little bit of Dirt rally where it feels like you should lose the back of the car and spin but you just turn a little bit more and it magically saves you. 
This is very difficult to answer. I mean how do I know whether you should be able to throw the weight of the car a little more? I mean how do I quantify it, especially since I've never driven those exact cars in real life.  

As as for your comment about being easily able to save the car by turning into the slide, again I don't recall that being the case. In fact, I don't find it all that easy to save the car from a spin if I'm going too fast in a particular corner or if I lock the rear axle. 

In a general sense I can tell you that the cars in D4 do handle in a way that is very reminiscent of real life, more so than than DR. As for the minutia, really there is very little than I or anyone on this forum can contribute without actually driving these exact same cars on the absolute limit and in similar settings. And really the behaviour of cars on the limit is something that is very difficult to model anyway, even in a track racing sim, let alone in a rally sim where the surface and topography play such a major role. 

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Headlong said:

Now the other issue is force feedback, which I think contributes in some measure to the perception that there is something not quite right with the physics in D4. Whereas DR seemed to give a lot of info with regard to what the car is doing and seems to be overlaid with more "seat of pants forces" , in D4 it seems as though they decided to go with what seems to be more of a purer steering colum forces type force feedback. For that reason a lot of what the car is doing is not communicated through the wheel. You can see this if you watch a replay in D4. You can really see the suspension working, the car being affected by the topography, the wheels slipping, the front and rear ends sliding, and in general the car seems to behave so realistically that it looks like a to replay of real life. Unfortunately it doesn't really come through through the force feedback, which I think is a bit of a shame.

I thinkthis is the part I'm missing the most
The force feedback feedback in D4 does feel more like what you feel through the steering wheel in a real rally car, but it does mean that you don't quite get the richness of some of the seat of pants forces and the nuance that comes with it. It would be nice to have more sliders to perhaps bring that in a a bit for those who like it. 

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dgeesi0 said:
the subaru 2001 you cant donut it unless you handbrake lock up back wheels.there is also a noticable bite on it.
It's not easy to donut a four wheel drive car, especially on gravel. The first time I tried it in real life I ended up digging the rear axle into the gravel and ended up with a pathetic 180 degree spin. 

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we have had subaru cars in our family since 1980s ;) as the previous guy said go try do them with the scooby.you shouldnt need to use a handbrake to start them off.

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yes if you can drive them.if you look up a few posts you will see the scooby we talking about doing donuts and then in game go try the same.

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dgeesi0 said:
yes if you can drive them.if you look up a few posts you will see the scooby we talking about doing donuts and then in game go try the same.
There is more to it than that. You need the right kind of surface (one that will give you the needed bite) and you need the torque bias more towards the rear. 

Im pretty sure i did a donut in Australia in the Hyundai R5 yesterday after I spun and ended up facing the wrong way, so the physics model in D4 definitely doesn't prohibit it, but whether it's also possible in the Subaru I don't know. I'll give it a go tomorrow if I still remember. 

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some cars will do it fine.in the play ground i tried a few and they work great.some of it maybe set ups but scooby bit off.

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dgeesi0 said:
some cars will do it fine.in the play ground i tried a few and they work great.some of it maybe set ups but scooby bit off.
Yeah, you'd have to play around with the set ups a bit. The default ones are very benign and understeery. Plus the surfaces in the playground are quite different to the surfaces in the stages so just because you can donut on one type of surface, it doesn't necessarily mean that it will be just as easy to donut on a different type of surface. 

Anyway I will have a play tomorrow, as to be honest 90 % of my time with D4 has been driving through stages. 

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I was just playing with the kadett and how to improve the handling on it, and got the weird rock bank action on replay. Rear starts to lean on the bank, and suddenly the rotation of the rear is increased by loads. https://streamable.com/43807

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gheeD said:
I was just playing with the kadett and how to improve the handling on it, and got the weird rock bank action on replay. Rear starts to lean on the bank, and suddenly the rotation of the rear is increased by loads. https://streamable.com/43807
That would confirm some of my conclusions in the wall-text post. 

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Could anyone share reccomended gravel  setup for Fiesta R5 so I can test it perhaps? 

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Ok, after several days playing, with the career mode almost finished, I can give my impressions. 

FFB: Big step back. At least in my DF GT the center force is too high and the suspension and little details have disappear. Don't know if is a bug or what but BIG step back from DR.

Graphics: Not so important for me, is a win-lose point. Some things are better other are a bit worse. In general I like the new look, the big thumb up is for for the new lighting system.

Physics: Again, miss and win. I love the new tarmac physics but gravel is worse than DR. You loose the rear so easily, even with 4wd, almost impossible to break at some points (slippery zones, I am talking that more than 10% or 20% of the break and you  have completely lost the rear and the car control). You can powerslide but is very unrealistic, you will always lose a lot of time, even in fast medium corners. Too much grip in gravel, there is no big difference right now between gravel, snow or tarmac.

Game modes: Better than DR but neither a great aspect of the game. Your stage is good, not perfect, but good. The rest of the game is quite empty and a couple of different new localizations for YourStage would be nice.

Conclusion: In some points it seems to me like this is a follow up from vanilla DR physics, not from final version of DR. Some of the vanilla mistakes are back. RX for example is perfect now, you can feel de aero downforce, at the correct speed you cand balance the car, use the different surfaces...  but in rally mode there is something wrong. I hope they improve gravel and FFB and the game will be my new favourite racing game.

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Just wanna drop in and say that I drove the NR4 Subaru WRX STI in Wales and Sweden, and its by far the best handling in terms of physics and how it interacts with the road.

Also reminded me of how much of a positive first impression I got when I first booted the game and played through the Dirtfish lessons, since most of them were run with that car. I thought "wow, this makes the cars in DR feel like hollow toy cars".

But then other cars don't don't behave as well with the road as the Subaru WRX STI. That inconsistency in car handling is what is frustrating me a little bit.

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Sho846 said:
Just wanna drop in and say that I drove the NR4 Subaru WRX STI in Wales and Sweden, and its by far the best handling in terms of physics and how it interacts with the road.

Also reminded me of how much of a positive first impression I got when I first booted the game and played through the Dirtfish lessons, since most of them were run with that car. I thought "wow, this makes the cars in DR feel like hollow toy cars".

But then other cars don't don't behave as well with the road as the Subaru WRX STI. That inconsistency in car handling is what is frustrating me a little bit.
This is the impression that I have gotten. I don't feel that the physics engine is fundamentally flawed, but rather suffers from inconsistency. Some cars feel good, others not. The video posted above of the guy loosening up the Kadett is very promising. I haven't been able to try setup tweaking yet but it does seem that cars that feel too understeery and too grippy out of the box can be loosened up with setup.

It would be great if there is anyone out there putting together a comprehensive test of this. If there is a demonstrable conclusion that most cars can be set up to behave "correctly" (maybe predictable is a better word) on gravel then I think that would prove that we are dealing with inconsistencies rather than flaws.

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The issues mentioned with default setups being too safe and under-steer prone remind me of what happened when SMS released Pcars1. The setups were tailored for the majority of players using game-pads and the "One Size Fits All" approach to default setups doesn't translate well between Arcade and Simulation. Add to that the variables with FFB and you have a recipe for disaster IMO.  SMS made the mistake of not providing setups that suited both types of players and it took months, if not years - to reach a point where advanced users understood what had happened. I'm not talking about the super hardcore Sim-racers here either - they are always going to pick apart every detail to infinitude; I mean the average Sim-racer that has some good to high-end controllers but, may not be a wizard in regard to setups.

Regarding my theory about assist interference, I wasn't able to replicate that in all Rally cars to establish any strong correlation so it seems more likely that we are dealing with setup and/or more isolated handling issues with some cars. 

Grip levels are always something that get a lot of discussion in any simulation talk but, in closed circuit racing, we have the advantage of comparison to real-world lap-times to confirm or deny overall performance data. The tracks being referenced also may be laser-scanned and extremely accurate in reproduction for virtual use.

In the case of Dirt4, we have relatively little actual data to support / refute performance comparisons but, as is the case with Road-racing sims, immersion and visceral quality are important factors for players and finding a balance where the majority of players is happy is challenging. A good place to start in regard to RL vs virtual car behavior might be to compare performance in the extreme situations as some do by showing Subies doing donuts in various conditions; if the car can do that in RL pretty easily, it should be able to do it in the Sim too.

Braking performance: RL braking can vary wildly - not only due to varying surface conditions but, also the aids at work and it's not always as obvious as it may seem, in regard to the actual results. We may believe that having ABS in real life will make the car brake better in a shorter distance but, it may not work so well on loose surfaces that perform better by blocking forces created by material buildup in front of locked wheels. Without knowing how complex the game's physics model really is, players can be at a disadvantage when applying RL data to the game.

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Well, this game continue to puzzle me. I drove a good amount of  time on a sprint stage in Wales today. Mainly R5's and the 00 WRC's and I must say I thorougly liked it. 

The R5's got great grip and lacks a little punch, but I had no trouble getting some good oversteer going. 
I don't care much for the 01 Impreza but the 2007 Focus did actually felt quite good traction wise for a car with active diffs.

My main concern remains the RWD's on gravel.

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Has anyone tried porting their setups from DiRT Rally over to DiRT 4? Has anyone compared the default setups between the two games?

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dgeesi0 said:
we have had subaru cars in our family since 1980s ;) as the previous guy said go try do them with the scooby.you shouldnt need to use a handbrake to start them off.
I've performed 3 tests on Dirt Fish area (uploading to YT right now). 
I've tried:
- Subaru Impreza 2001
- Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6
- Mitsubishi Space Star

From these three, Space Star is easiest, it's possible even on default setup and with tweaks, these are real doughnuts.
In Lancer you're able to set Rear LSD Preload so it's really easy too, in Scoobie you don't. 

There is some weird behaviour going on with Scoobie. I think you can see that on TT - look at G ball and compare it to the other two. It's like it wants to snap and go sideways but something is holding it.

Could that be just because of the different differential? I'm going to test a few other cars as well but not today.

THE SETUPS ARE MAKING HUGE DIFFERENCE. In my opinion, they're changing more than it was in DR.

Setups: Full drift.


Scoobie: 

https://youtu.be/U9Ca1mLgu8I


Space Star:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-HAIQ7Jj2k&feature=youtu.be
Lancer:

https://youtu.be/fEh1v_qSB74

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Lancer Evolution VI donut, how it should look
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mj0Q_jU6wxY

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I don't see much difference, excluding my lack of skill in starting it :D
Plus "how it should looks" depends completely on the DIFF setup

And secondly - it's wet there. 

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yep versedi thanks for checking its like its got something holding it back from doing what it wants to :D

some cars are also the same.

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