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I could beat around the bush and try find a way to get out of you what you're preference would be in one of my DiRTy little games but lets be honest.... It's no secret :P

So.. We'll do this the easy way, we're currently toying with the idea of adding proper full on league support to *cough* one of our upcoming titles but we need your help with it.

We want to make sure we get the design of it right and while we have our own ideas about how it should work I think it's really important that we speak to the people that would hopefully use it the most (we don't want to do it half arsed).

I don't want to colour your thoughts with what we're thinking of doing so I won't post that just yet (though I promise to post up one of our ideas for the feature later)

We have at our disposal the game and the website and I want to know how would you would want league support to work? What kind of things do you want control over? What kind of info do you want displayed in game? How do you want to manage your league? and more importantly would you want to use it or do you prefer the way you currently run your leagues?

That kinda stuff, open to all ideas - I'll answer any questions I can. 

I'm not saying this will 100% happen, we're just putting the feelers out to see what you think :)

(GRID, F1 and OT crowd that happen to be reading this post up your thoughts too)

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I might not necessarily have many suggestions but I thought I may as well try to explain how we did our DiRT 3 league a year ago at VRL. Hope you understand.

So the way it worked was we did 8 rallies in a season (did night/rain rallies too). We did one rally every week. Apparently each rally on the game had 8 stages, and as online allowed you to do up to 5 at a time, we split each rally into two sections of 5 stages each, with the longest two stages being repeated to make a total of ten stages per rally. For the final stage we awarded bonus points like the power stage in the WRC.

As there were more than eight drivers, we had multiple lobbies going on and basically we just combined the times and awarded points that way.

I'm not sure whether you can view this link as it's from the VRL forum archive which isn't visible to the public, but hey ho. Anyway, it's the full rules and regulations we used

http://cmfrl.freeforums.org/ps3-dirt-3-rally-championship-t973.html

And you can view the entire forum section for the championship here too if you want, with all the rally threads and reports, etc

http://cmfrl.freeforums.org/ps3-dirt-3-rally-championship-f64.html

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I think the most important thing to have is complete control for the host of a session. I've hosted leagues in a couple of console games and I think Forza Motorsport 3 and 4 did a pretty good job at giving the host control over what was allowed during the race and what format it should be. I don't know if you're thinking of a separate 'league mode' next to a regular multiplayer mode or just a private lobby thing. I think proper private multiplayer options would be enough to get leagues going. So let people mix classes so you can create a league with a R5 and a R2 class or so and create long rally's with more then 5 stages. why limit stuff like that (or it's memory related, I don't know how the Ego engine works with that). I really hope that we will be able to get a lot of players in a lobby (more then 8) but I know it's harder to have more players in a lobby in a game that will be heavier hardware wise. Did you guys made some steps with the Ego engine to get streaming in and out data going on better? I can remember that being an issue in one of the Codemaster games a few years back. Long time ago I read that so I don't now. :p

A lot of gamers asked for a proper service area menu/mode where you can repair and tune a car before and during a rally a few years back and I remember Paul saying on twitter that he would love to go back to something like we had in CMR2. One thing that would be really cool is having a lobby where you can select and tune your car before the stages start. So while other drivers are joining you can already start working on it.

So for me the most important thing is to have control and choices as a host so you can create what you want for a rally. Can't think of anything else right now but when I do i'll share. :)

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Oh hello there and thanks for not beating around the bush :)

Good league support is something I really wanted from Codies games for a while. Years ago I started PS3 side of Apex Racing League, which by now transformed into Apex Online Racing.
When DiRT3 came out I organised some leagues, which made use of various decades of cars, locations, themes and found that DiRT3 was somewhat unfriendly towards trying to run an event. 
The good things about it were that an event set-up could be prepared, saved and loaded. The bad was that stage or total time displays disappeared quite quickly and sometimes I've missed the chance to take a photo of the screen...

Features which come to my mind first:
1. Replays
Online replay system and a way of exporting them. From what I remember Gran Turismo has a system where the player can save a replay file, come back to it later and adjust which car is followed and which views are used. As a minimum I would love to be able to save replays right after the race (even if they're current Codies style of pre-defined camera views)
Very nice to have replay features for rally leagues:
- a broadcast mode where, once the stage is completed by all ghost cars are overlaid to show it like they sometimes do in WRC (only in WRC France I think). It would be a view as if from a helicopter with live gaps being shown and a summary table at splits. It would also be good to be able to specify the 'focus' car
- ability to define camera locations on cars e.g. GoPro behind driver's ear


2. Detailed export of event results and ability to edit them
Please allow us to export everything, interrogate everything...  I guess many people are familiar with a format of showing split times used in WRC, so a spreadsheet export or website with such an appearance would be a very welcome feature for big rally fans.
Functionality to add penalties if the player is the host/judge/organiser - once that is done then it would be very useful if amended results could be exported/linked to and penalties can be visible with an explanation provided by the organiser
Output of the driving line taken to check for corner cuts? (a line drawn on the stage map)

3. Asynchronous, pre-defined rallies for a set number of attempts
Now this is something, which would make me a very happy person... 
I would like to have a possibility to define an event with great detail:
- define specific stages (no limitations on whether they can be repeated, and allow for rather crazy total number of stages in this asynchronous multiplayer rally)
- if there's a weather/stage condition system in the game allow the organiser to define these settings and do not impose limits... 
- functionality where these event settings can be modified away from the console/gaming PC, allow the organiser to share the format for others to be implemented or commented on
- if possible implement a functionality where a series of events forms a championship, but then do allow some interesting combos where three 10 stage rallies and 2 rallycross events form a DiRTy Masta Trophy...  Summing up points into a table can be done offline in Excel, but if a website allows the user to select events in which 'club' members participated and spit out a points classification then Yay
- allow for the organiser to limit the number of attempts at each stage (make it VERY real by limiting it to one or slacken it a bit by allowing more), allow for defining a default time/points penalty for destroying the car (DNF as an option). It would also be quite handy if the system allowed for the player to set times just once for 10 stages of a rally and then be allowed to re-run 1 or 2 of the ones he/she believes to be the worst

This asynchronous rally mode is perfect for Codies for releasing event set-ups and rules for large competitions, but also allows for league creators to go bonkers with their event ideas. Simply put - league heaven...

I'll be back with more.....

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I really like where this is going, the only "league racing" I've done so far was last years DiRT Rally Championship here on the forums so I can't really give any input, except that I really enjoyed that, and I will certainly join in on some league once the game is here.

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I really like where this is going, the only "league racing" I've done so far was last years DiRT Rally Championship here on the forums so I can't really give any input, except that I really enjoyed that, and I will certainly join in on some league once the game is here.
That was kind of a test, so think about that. While I enjoyed running it for you man was it a pain in the butt to get everything together and added up - If you remember I even made a few mistakes.

So yeah, think back to that and how that worked. Then think about how you'd like the game to just do a lot of that work for you.

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So here are my Ideas of adding proper full on league support

But before can start my ideas we have to think a little bit out of the box about a league /Online Multiplayer mode, this way I think we can create a very successful online game mode and a very active and fun game league!

So first of,… Not just the same Multiplayer as before where u can start a lobby, chose a rally, chose a rally car and go.
No my idea is a whole different.

My  idea about the “league” / online multiplayer mode idea is based on my idea about the WRC Ultimate team  (
http://forums.codemasters.com/discussion/43/idea-wrc-ultimate-rallyteam-explained/p1)

U can compare it to an online MMO (Massively multiplayer online role-playing game)

U start your career / league multiplayer in your workshop/ team place, In this area u can put your online settings, chose your rally or rallycross car where u want to drive in online, u can see the active online rallies for this week and all different championships.

In this start “menu” u directly separate something very important! U separate the hardcore prof’s from the beginners (rookies), I hear u thinking how?

Well, when u first start the “league”/ Online Multiplayer everyone is equal, u can start your beginning car from a few R2 rally cars for example Fiesta R2 , Opel (Vauxhall in the UK) Adam R2, Peugeot 208 R2 etc etc
by choosing that car u automatically starts in the R2 league, where u can compete against other gamers driving almost the same car ( only the settings are different).

If u are successful u win a lot, means u get more “virtual cash”  
u can buy upgrades, but at a moment if u have enough virtual cash u can rent, or perhaps later buy a WRC car, and earn more money to for fill your online career as Rally Champion! That also opens new leagues for example R5 or the WRC class.

Well lets go back to the League, because that was the real question, when u got your gamers/ players divided into classes ( R2 “beginners”/ WRC prof’s”) u can put all the players together in one rally,

For example Codemasters organised 1 big rally every month from 18 stages, we take for example Rally Monte Carlo at the end of January, Everybody can enter this event ( from Monday until Sunday), in his or her car career car, u will notice that u got for example and entry of 100 cars/gamers, consists of 40 R2 cars , 30 R3 cars, 20 R5 cars and 10 WRC cars.

That means that u have 4 leagues ( R2,R3,R5,WRC) with everyone competing with almost the same car specs! = fair!
Depending what your finish is in your class (for example R2) u get points for your (R2) league / championship, for example if u finish 1st in your R2 class in the rally u get 25 points 2nd  18 points 3rd
15 points etc etc.

But the other bonus award, for example if u finish with your R2 rally car 20th
overall in the big Monte Carlo Rally ( outstanding job!) u get a lot of money, to develop your R2 car or perhaps rent a WRC car in your next event?

U can put the championship results at the website or in the service area/ lobby
This answers this part of your question Lee:

We have at our disposal the game and the website and I want to know how would you would want league support to work? How do you want to manage your league?

Well that was the explanation of the game mode well lets take it back to the Leauge / the big Rally made by Codemasters 1x a month.

You start the rally in the Lobby. The lobby is not just a lobby, but it is the service area, because every rally starts at the service area, and end at the service area/ podium)

Areyouben said:

A lot of gamers asked for a proper service area menu/mode where you can repair and tune a car before and during a rally a few years back and I remember Paul saying on twitter that he would love to go back to something like we had in CMR2. One thing that would be really cool is having a lobby where you can select and tune your car before the stages start. So while other drivers are joining you can already start working on it.

So for me the most important thing is to have control and choices as a host so you can create what you want for a rally. Can't think of anything else right now but when I do i'll share. :)

As I said before and @Areyouben mention for the lobby I also would like to see a Service Area, where u can adjust your rally car for the upcoming 2 or 3 rally stages

What kind of things do you want control over? What kind of info do you want displayed in game?

In the Service area u can adjust for example repair the damage, get your set-up ready, check the weather case, the stage information and adjust your settings for it, for example tires, or gravel setup etc etc

I think that are the most important things, specially if a dynamic weather system will be added.

Ofcourse you can also join other own created rallies, but i think u need to keep one main Championship to bind every one together so the online mode will not fall apart ( like it now did with the other Codemasters games).

What do you guys think of the idea? Have to say we all need to work it out to give it more shape, but this is a rough sketch.

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I don't really play any multiplayer games, so I cannot comment on much.  What has always kept me from doing so is matching up times with others and it never works out, esp US/UK time differences.   

From the above comments here is what stood out for me:

Asynchronous stage-rally events.  This would eliminate the time I play as to when others play problem.  It would open up the events to a broader audience to participate.  Also it would lessen some of the burden trying to organize a live event?

The service area idea, I think this should really be reflected in the whole game (online and offline) it should be your starting point.  DiRT2 touched on this (kinda).  

If it is possible, the recorded replays would be great, but I see this could be hard to implement unless the EGO engine has this coded in the core.  I would think it is pretty difficult to record the data and save it from how it is done in the current engine.  I maybe just talking out my butt on this though.  No matter if implemented could be very useful for extracting data for events/standings.  Even fun to watch later on like you see on TV.

No matter what replay cameras should be user defined, or at the least add a lot more camera positions and SPECTATOR types of angles and places.

Add as much detail should be implemented that can be done.  Confusing to average player?  Have deeper menus with more and more detail.  Top level would have basic options for setup, as is done now.  The advanced menu would have a tree off of it with all the different options organized Tires, suspension, camber, etc.  Give some of these to the organizer as to limits on upgrades or whatever.

Lastly, a cash based system the the upgrades and winnings are obtained.  Sponsorship could add to this in a realistic way (major and minor, based off contingency).  This is something that should be segregated from offline/online each having its own 'bank'.   

That about it for me, I know some of this overlaps with non-league features, but it would benefit both or all scenarios.  


Trying to make my post count.    

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Obviously Lee has read the posts linked below, but when reading it I thought it suggests many features I'd love the game to have so I thought I'd forward them here:

deadstump's post on reddit
deadstump's post on reddit 2

Apparently, he's been organising RBR championships so has a first hand experience in what would be useful to a league.
Hopefully, some of the feedback will be taken onboard and we'll see it implemented. I remember the F1 games designer asking for league functionality ideas, but I'm struggling to think of any which were introduced as a result. 

A well implemented asynchronous multiplayer mode would be a killer feature for a rally game. If the core of the game (handling, track design and feel) is right then... I'm scared to think of what would happen... ;]


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@justbiglee‌ this is mainly for f1 2015. First of all dedicated servers is a must as there is far too much lag with P2P. An online practice session would be a great feature for leagues. Right now the only way we can prepare for league races is doing Grand Prix mode with crappy AI or qualy sessions on multiplayer. Corner cutting & track extending needs to be cracked down for the next game, you can cut nearly every corner & don't get a warning for it. A replay system like on forza would be good for investigating incidents. Finally the equal car glitch needs to be fixed. Pick one car then copy & paste the handling & top speeds to the other cars.

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LGS469 said:
 Finally the equal car glitch needs to be fixed. Pick one car then copy & paste the handling & top speeds to the other cars.
I'm sure if it was that simple they'd have done it years ago :)

I've always suspected the problem is that their physics engine is actually too 'good', in that the characteristics of each car are probably somewhat tied to its shape, weight etc. (as you would hope). In which case they can't make all the cars truly equal without actually using the same model for each one... which league racers probably wouldn't mind at all, but would probably incense the sprint lobby hordes, and might not even be allowed by their licence anyway (in the F1 case).

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A lot of cool stuff has already been brought up here, my apologies if I repeat some of what has already been taken up. 

I really enjoyed the DRC that ran on the forums a while ago, that concept would be great. At the same time, part of the warm fuzzy feeling came from uploading your times and discussing with others about setup and so on. Plus the shear fact that it was a quite closed group with a real passion for the game. 

I don't want to be elitistic, so open the thing up for more people to enjoy. I can think of a few details one could implement to try to mimic and improve on what we had here at the forum, which @justbiglee‌ so wonderfully orchestrated for us: 
  • Associate the leaderboard with a "forum like thread" where all the contestants can discuss various things like setup etcetera
  • Give a deadline for each race, times must be posted by a given time
  • Give the possibility to restrict access or knowledge of the next round of stages until the current stage(s) are done
  • The organizer can choose how many chances the driver has to complete the stage(s)
  • Possible to restrict training for hardcore drivers, a system could be in place that restricted the number of training runs a driver can do, optionally even including a restriction of single player activity until a valid time is posted
  • Give players the chance to form teams and compete for manufacturers points
  • If possible put a service twist to the thing, damage could be carried over to the next round if the league is ran one stage per round
Some thoughts, as always I cannot wait to see what you guys are up to! 

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dotmartin said:
  • Give players the chance to form teams and compete for manufacturers points
  • If possible put a service twist to the thing, damage could be carried over to the next round if the league is ran one stage per round
I like the Manufactures points, u can do that in combination with a Co-Up mode online championship, so u can form with ur friends a team! ( Online and offline)

And about the damage if u have more then 1 stage between the service, .. that is a must in rally.
After all its not JUST driving flat out! , Its driving on the maximum but also try to keep your car together!

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...
I like the Manufactures points, u can do that in combination with a Co-Up mode online championship, so u can form with ur friends a team! ( Online and offline)

And about the damage if u have more then 1 stage between the service, .. that is a must in rally.
After all its not JUST driving flat out! , Its driving on the maximum but also try to keep your car together!

Exactly, great minds think alike! :)

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@dotmartin had a good idea.
If we did do this would you guys be interested in something like a mini forum for just your league members? or would you rather keep everything public?

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@dotmartin had a good idea.
If we did do this would you guys be interested in something like a mini forum for just your league members? or would you rather keep everything public?
I guess a single thread would do fine, lets say it has the leaderboard tucked in somewhere and there is a possibility for the members to discuss stuff. I do like the idea of the public being able to follow the progress and maybe post comments and show support in some way, maybe this waould be a way of recruiting people to the tournament.

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dotmartin said:
@dotmartin had a good idea.
If we did do this would you guys be interested in something like a mini forum for just your league members? or would you rather keep everything public?
I guess a single thread would do fine, lets say it has the leaderboard tucked in somewhere and there is a possibility for the members to discuss stuff. I do like the idea of the public being able to follow the progress and maybe post comments and show support in some way, maybe this waould be a way of recruiting people to the tournament.

Yea it should at least be possible for them to follow it, but I'm not sure if random people commenting on the thread would do any good. As I've seen with the release of GAS a lot of people joined the forums and just started spamming all over the grid forums.

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