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Let's talk hardcore damage

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I'd like to preface this by saying that I love what codemasters is doing with the post-launch content and updates in Dirt Rally 2, especially updates regarding rainy weather. I'm hoping that this rant would help in getting my issues with hardcore damage mode fixed in future updates just like the rain was.

When I heard that Dirt Rally 2 would feature a hardcore damage mode, I imagined Richard Burns Rally 2.0. When I'm playing RBR, I'm constantly afraid of crashing my car, because the damage model is absolutely brutal. Enter a corner too fast and understeer into a bush: you get a broken radiator, which will then destroy your engine within a few stages. Crash into a tree and you will most likely break the engine, forcing a retirement. If you slide and crash into a ditch or barrier, your wheels can break down. They can lose drive shafts or suffer from broken suspension. Wheels can even turn sideways or break off completely. These are relatively tame crashes. If you roll your car, you will not only lose heaps of time, but you'll also have to pray that you don't roll into anything solid and you keep a functional car.

Now in Dirt Rally 1 and 2, I'm completely fine with the standard damage model, seeing as most couch rally drivers want near-invincible rally cars. My gripe is with the hardcore damage option, which really just feels like turning the damage setting from "Easy" to "Normal". I am never afraid of crashing my car in this game. It doesn't really matter if I hit a rock, a tree or a barrier - the car will rarely suffer damage that hurts me in the long run. Crashing feels more like a minor inconvinience than a rally-ending disaster. The worst that can happen is a tyre blowout, a double tyre blowout, penalty for resetting/hitting a spectator or broken headlights, which all just add time penalties or force you to drive slowly. Keeping your car safe from excess damage is an integral part in rallying, You can often see drivers slowing down for big jumps because they know their suspension can't handle the landing if they do it flat. And if they crash their car, they'll rarely get away with just a couple seconds added to their time.

TL;DR: I want Dirt Rally 2 to be the Dark Souls of racing games, please let me adjust my experience to my liking.

PS: I would love an option to enable hardcore damage in weekly/monthly My Team challenges, they're a significant part of My Team mode!

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Yeah I was talking about this in the gossip thread, the hardcore damage model is softer than even DR1's base damage model. In DR1 I used to brake check the big flatout jumps in Finland for league events because we would run 5+ stages between service. You hit one of those flatout flawlessly and you will destroy your suspension. Damage the radiator? You better watch the temp gauges and avoid always running it to red because you will damage the engine.

DR2 has none of that. I literally ran 5 stages, 3 of which were Longs, on a rim with a broken radiator and knock in the engine limiting me to ~65mph top speed in Monte. I ran that on redline bouncing off walls for all five stages. Made it to the service stop... I should have DNF'd by the next stage back in DR1, but in 2.0 we can just ignore damage. It may slow you down a ton, but it won't DNF you.

It's fine, don't make the normal damage model crazy hard - a lot of people don't want it. But for those who DO want it, when we enable hardcore, I better actually be scared of hitting things and the consequences of going too fast.

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Posted (edited)

Let's go for it. At this point i suppose it's about tweaking existing damage variables to make them less forgiving, so it should be fairly easy to tweak this.

Edited by Riggs
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Completely agree. Do you remember Richard Burns Rally? You were afraid of even touching the road railing with the side of your car. Just like you would be in real life. I want this in Dirt Rally.

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Posted (edited)

I'm all for a more hardcore damage model too, but make it optional for league racing. I can understand the 'forgiving' approach as the hardcore racers are a minority but I think downshifting like crazy to get better braking distance should be penalized by damaging the engine and eventually either losing HP or completely send it to the shadow realm in both dailies and TT.

The thing with radiators is though, modern rally cars are built in a way to avoid rally ending damage, radiators and intercoolers wouldn't be the first thing to damage if you hit something, so I think RBR approach should only apply to historic rally cars. Would be ace if we could get that differentiation. Currently we can get terminal damage and punctures but it's not enough in my view. Something in between the RBR model and what we have would be really nice.

Edited by richie
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Posted (edited)

This is something I think definitely needs to be fixed, but it seems to be going under the radar. When I first heard there was going to be a separate hardcore damage mode, I was over the moon, thinking we would finally have a mode where you are forced to drive CAREFULLY, just like a real rally driver. But unfortunately you can still be reckless and not worry too much about damaging your car or jeopardizing your rally. Codies need to make the Hardcore Damage mode worthy of having the word "Hardcore" in it, and remember everyone who wants a more casual experience always has the option to turn it off! @Riggs are you able to add this to your big fix list as that seems to get the attention of Codies.

Edited by A-M-A-R-85
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I’d go back even further than RBR for a hardcore damage model in a rally game. Does anyone remember Mobil 1 Rally Championship? Engines would overheat and misfire. Suspension would collapse. I had numerous occasions where I had clutch and gearbox damage that led to slipping, poor gear changes and eventually losing certain gears altogether. The stages were long enough that the wrong tire choice could see you wearing out tires before you’ve finished the second stage of that run. I can’t remember how many attempts it took me before I finished my first event, let alone won one. It was the challenge of trying to get to the finish that kept me playing over the pile of racing/rally games that I had at the time. These days it seems like most games are made “too easy” to avoid the complaints from people that want everything for nothing. Just spend some time reading the Forza forums and you’ll see the endless comments from people that want everything unlocked and handed to them without any input because “that’s what they paid for”

Make rallying challenging again. 

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Plus the modders that changed DR 1 to extreme damage made it look even better.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/11/2019 at 5:24 PM, A-M-A-R-85 said:

This is something I think definitely needs to be fixed, but it seems to be going under the radar. When I first heard there was going to be a separate hardcore damage mode, I was over the moon, thinking we would finally have a mode where you are forced to drive CAREFULLY, just like a real rally driver. But unfortunately you can still be reckless and not worry too much about damaging your car or jeopardizing your rally. Codies need to make the Hardcore Damage mode worthy of having the word "Hardcore" in it, and remember everyone who wants a more casual experience always has the option to turn it off! @Riggs are you able to add this to your big fix list as that seems to get the attention of Codies.

I have considered that in the past, but it's not considered a bug. It's rather a design choice. Plus, considering the amount of bugs that still exist and their priority I thought it would be best not mixing in other stuff.

Anyway, this topic should be enough to voice the community's desire. CM Devs do read these as well, as well as the Community Manager so it's good.

Edited by Riggs
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Posted (edited)

Yeah I guess its not a bug. Hopefully it does get changed eventually. 

Edited by A-M-A-R-85

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I would tend to agree with the above, though at this point there are still other more serious things to look at.  I'm a purist in terms of damage, so I'd like it to be as 1:1 as possible while not costing us much more CPU resources.  (and I don't care about more visualizaiton, just simulation)

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