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My thoughts on p2p in F1 2019

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Posted (edited)

Since I've started playing the F1 games online I've been amazed at the way it is handled in the Codemasters games. 
There is a host, that sets up the lobby and gets used for several checks it seems, and the hosts pc seems responsible for driving the ai bots and the safety car. 
For the rest, to my understanding, everyone is connected with everyone and all those connections can have individual problems. 

That this leads to a lot of instability doesn't have to be said. Everybody knows the sight of desynced ai cars of people who are actually driving but (temporarily lost connection to someone, but not others)

Here's a clear example of this: 

ttps://clips.twitch.tv/CaringInexpensiveAlmondPlanking

And what the car behind him sees. 


 

If this 'desync' lasts long enough this ai car is driving somewhere else for everyone, and even worse: though the AI is set to 100 (to negate these problems) The ai still drives like a total ****** appearing to give people space and then closing the gap without mercy. 

 

The person in question has no idea this is happening, he can see all the other cars, and it might have been a temporary hiccup in the connection that the game isn't able to fix. 

The second example is with regard to the safety car:
So the safety car is driven by the 'host' pc. And whenever the host has a small connection issue, goes into the menu, or tabs out to respond to people in discord begging for a restart, for example, 
This happens:

https://clips.twitch.tv/SmilingCoweringCoffeeYouDontSay

As funny as it looks, (Personally i think it's hilarious), this is a perfect example of what it feels like to do online racing right now, and, in my opinion, a good reason to start using servers that drive the safety car and not be dependant on the drivers in its functioning. 

 

And thirdly I just think a lot of the issues come from having 20 different simulations run on 20 different PC's with nothing actually keeping track of it all.
Then I think of people reconnecting and their time being off like this: (The lad got disconnected from steam at the end of lap 27 and rejoined RIGHT before the end of s2 in L28)20200423213318_1.jpg.9bd11596dd280821ee3995cfdb8d5c87.jpg

He finished in p5 (because of the disconnect) but the game still put him in p1 by 18 seconds because of that one lap. 
Big issue in my opinion! where someone is on track doesn't matter, just what his client THINKS is the sum of all his laps. Their client doesn't know what happened before they came back and the rest just trust it. This problem also shows itself in close finishes where the wrong car wins according to the game. 

Apart from the things everybody already knows about like checks being missed on starting the lobbies. or just in general: The fact that if the wrong person has a game crash, loses connection to steam, the whole lobby is bugged for minutes if not till the end.

This brings me to the last point and that is Steam. I love steam as much as the next guy, but in a game where a 'match' takes so long and getting disconnected for even half a minute can be SO punishing to your overall race (and thus enjoyment of the game) I feel it's madness to keep reliant on them to organize the online part. 
Apart from the fact that if steam goes down without notice around race time we're royally screwed most of the time, it just happens too often that people get briefly disconnected. (And then I mean that if it does NOT happen during a full 50% race to at least someone it's worth a small celebration) The only thing using steam is good for is that it's a good way to give the blame to someone else if it doesn't work, but seeing as it's your choice to use steam and have people instantly send back to the main menu the moment steam derps out... The ball is with Codemasters on this one and if they are truly serious about making this game work this is something they will absolutely have to look at. 

----------------------------------------


Also, I'd think that, apart from improving stability, this would make it so much easier to implement other things that everybody's been asking for like actual replays of the races, allowing more people (spectators, race directors) in the lobbies, and allowing us more control over said lobbies on the fly, during the race, like (removing) penalties, initiating (virtual) safety cars, and not having to wait for 5 laps to kick that one troll in open lobbies. 

If I'm totally wrong and all these issues can be easily fixed even while still using loose p2p web lobbies then, by all means, prove me wrong, but having played the last 3 online quite a lot I am starting to think this is the cause of a lot of the issues. 

Edited by Bicarda
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Code masters are cheapskates employing only game service to servers while utilising p2p, which relies heavily on permissions, I can not connect to any league race, because I have to have set permissions but so does the host, and everyone else, if one doesn't I can't connect, then there's how they handle the interpolation etc. 

Codies don't care about us mere mortals, they run a different system for the big f1 boys, there's no point, they don't care, I've yet to see any dev comment on any issue, just clueless mods along with a wanna be mod, no offense to them, they are clueless because codemasters doesn't care to advise them

 

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54 minutes ago, pachedupdemon said:

Code masters are cheapskates employing only game service to servers while utilising p2p, which relies heavily on permissions, I can not connect to any league race, because I have to have set permissions but so does the host, and everyone else, if one doesn't I can't connect, then there's how they handle the interpolation etc. 

Codies don't care about us mere mortals, they run a different system for the big f1 boys, there's no point, they don't care, I've yet to see any dev comment on any issue, just clueless mods along with a wanna be mod, no offense to them, they are clueless because codemasters doesn't care to advise them

 

A LITTLE harsh maybe but the main reason there are no official servers is that they release a new game EVERY year. THAT'S the problem. If they did set up  dedicated servers what do they with the old game? Just dump it, killing off everyone using or pay for a whole new bunch of servers? If you want great online racing with persistent dedicated servers you have to PAY for it as in iracing or at least play a game that doesn't become obsolete every year. That's not Codies fault that's their product line. Everyone knows that's what they do its not like you buy a game from them and they surprise you with a new one. Even though I believe most casuals, the biggest market, play almost entirely online the actual main game is focused on career which DOES work well year after a year.

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Then time for a Standalone , Online Only Season Pass version , where you just renew your yearly subscription ?

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Technically there are couple of ways we could have dedicated servers. One is a full rewrite (probably) of the networking that takes literally everything away from the client and tasks the server with it. The other is to have a dedicated host but still use the P2P system. Only one of those is a decent option.

Sadly stuff like this is ridiculously expensive to develop and especially to maintain after it has been developed... Even RaceNet has problems daily and that's just mostly used as a database! Maybe the F1 2022 threads will look like this. Just some 600 replies in less than a month.

 

 

13 hours ago, Bicarda said:

Also, I'd think that, apart from improving stability, this would make it so much easier to implement other things that everybody's been asking for like actual replays of the races, allowing more people (spectators, race directors) in the lobbies, and allowing us more control over said lobbies on the fly, during the race, like (removing) penalties, initiating (virtual) safety cars, and not having to wait for 5 laps to kick that one troll in open lobbies. 

I don't think so. The client is always in charge of recording a replay be it online or not. Switching it to serverside would just make it harder to implement it. In fact it's still most likely saved into this file!

image.png.c55d5c8c501276176eae49419264ac5f.png

Allowing more spectators etc. is probably true as the limit is most likely there due to stability.

The others are just features that could still be done with the current system as they just require the clients to listen to the host... which they tend to do.

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12 hours ago, sloppysmusic said:

A LITTLE harsh maybe but the main reason there are no official servers is that they release a new game EVERY year. THAT'S the problem. If they did set up  dedicated servers what do they with the old game? Just dump it, killing off everyone using or pay for a whole new bunch of servers? If you want great online racing with persistent dedicated servers you have to PAY for it as in iracing or at least play a game that doesn't become obsolete every year. That's not Codies fault that's their product line. Everyone knows that's what they do its not like you buy a game from them and they surprise you with a new one. Even though I believe most casuals, the biggest market, play almost entirely online the actual main game is focused on career which DOES work well year after a year.

I'm always sad when I can't play my old NHL and PES games online because they shut down the servers 😞 

On the other hand you can still go and play F1 2010 with your friends if you want thanks to Xbox Live on Xbox and PC!

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, UP100 said:

Technically there are couple of ways we could have dedicated servers. One is a full rewrite (probably) of the networking that takes literally everything away from the client and tasks the server with it. The other is to have a dedicated host but still use the P2P system. Only one of those is a decent option.

Sadly stuff like this is ridiculously expensive to develop and especially to maintain after it has been developed... Even RaceNet has problems daily and that's just mostly used as a database! Maybe the F1 2022 threads will look like this. Just some 600 replies in less than a month.

 

 

I don't think so. The client is always in charge of recording a replay be it online or not. Switching it to serverside would just make it harder to implement it. In fact it's still most likely saved into this file!

image.png.c55d5c8c501276176eae49419264ac5f.png

Allowing more spectators etc. is probably true as the limit is most likely there due to stability.

The others are just features that could still be done with the current system as they just require the clients to listen to the host... which they tend to do.

It's just too fragile. Having the whole lobby depend on 1 person's client that is ALSO dependant on 19 p2p connections to know what is going on. a lot of trust has to be put in every individual client. 
On top of being dependant on steam for connections. 

I play some overwatch on the side and even though there's a lot to be said about blizzard and how THEY handle the e-sports, at least it's been YEARS since i've had a random disconnect from one of their servers during a game. they have the replay system that automatically saves your last 10 matches online (and then  you can save em and stuff, replay em backwards in slowmotion while hanigng upside down from the ceiling) Now i know Blizzard made quite a dime with wow and they can do whatever the hell they want but at least they show they're committed to having the game function correctly. You just can't half-arse a game like this especially if you want to go e-sports. And if you want it to be a success you have to invest in good infrastructure FIRST and reap the benefits later. not try to stay afloat with a broken multiplayer system that will scare away 90% of those who try it and which everybody knows is never gonna be sufficient. 

Edited by Bicarda

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4 minutes ago, Bicarda said:

It's just too fragile. Having the whole lobby depend on 1 person's client that is ALSO dependant on 19 p2p connections to know what is going on. a lot of trust has to be put in every individual client. 
On top of being dependant on steam for connections. 

I play some overwatch on the side and even though there's a lot to be said about blizzard and how THEY handle the e-sports, at least it's been YEARS since i've had a random disconnect from one of their servers during a game. they have the replay system that automatically saves your last 10 matches online (and then  you can save em and stuff, replay em backwards in slowmotion while hanigng upside down from the ceiling) Now i know Blizzard made quite a dime with wow and they can do whatever the hell they want but at least they show they're committed to having the game function correctly. You just can't half-arse a game like this especially if you want to go e-sports. And if you want it to be a success you have to invest in good infrastructure FIRST and reap the benefits later. not try to stay afloat with a broken multiplayer system that will scare away 90% of those who try it and which everybody knows is never gonna be sufficient. 

I know how many issues P2P multiplayer games tend to have. I even made a list about them (around five times at least) but I was told that I shouldn't compare the F1 Games to other games! 😁

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43 minutes ago, UP100 said:

I know how many issues P2P multiplayer games tend to have. I even made a list about them (around five times at least) but I was told that I shouldn't compare the F1 Games to other games! 😁


giphy.gif

 

 

Also, @Bicarda absolutely nailed it. 
If everyone's connection is fine and you do not play with AI or Safety Car, the races can be very smooth, that much needs to be said. 
Some of our codies forum league racing was really good, until some things happened like the deployment of the safety car, or driving against someone with a bad connection.


But as soon as a single person has problems in this game, it affects others and this is something that has been a thing for as long as I play these games. 
I'd happily pay to set up my own dedicated server for F1 2020. 

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2 hours ago, LSKone said:

I'd happily pay to set up my own dedicated server for F1

 

I'd happily do it for FREE as long as I could implement my own rules.

Cockpit view enforced.

Only real world assists allowed (ie none lol)

Damage full.

Deliberate cheaters permabanned.

Beginners welcome and respected.

All races and qualifying full length, practice half hour.

ALL drivers must take part in practice 3 to be eligible for qualifying and race.

🏎️😉😎

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Makes me laugh when people claim dedi servers are expensive lol, they can be built and then game services rented, so one off payment, then rental for the game service, ie ranking etc 

 

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9 hours ago, pachedupdemon said:

Makes me laugh when people claim dedi servers are expensive lol, they can be built and then game services rented, so one off payment, then rental for the game service, ie ranking etc 

 

Completely rewriting the networking system is expensive itself. Then with dedicated servers you have to ensure every part of the world can access your servers. ONRUSH ran on dedicated servers but was blocked in Russia for example due to them running on the same servers as Telegram.

There is a reason why Valve offers free dedicated server hosting for people that can't afford to rent servers from every part of earth.

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3 hours ago, UP100 said:

Completely rewriting the networking system is expensive itself. Then with dedicated servers you have to ensure every part of the world can access your servers. ONRUSH ran on dedicated servers but was blocked in Russia for example due to them running on the same servers as Telegram.

There is a reason why Valve offers free dedicated server hosting for people that can't afford to rent servers from every part of earth.

Expensive or not it NEEDS to be done. It is long overdue and it shows a staggering lack of ambition if they are not already working on that. 

The only reason people even play against and complain about the stupid ai train in the first place is because online is such a mess because of this. 

It's the biggest thing holding the online back right now. and i'm convinced it will increase sales a LOT if they finally start taking themselves and their own game seriously enough. 
All this shows is they don't believe in their own product enough to make the investment. and if that's the case maybe they should just throw in the towel and stop depriving us of a good f1 game. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Bicarda said:

The only reason people even play against and complain about the stupid ai train in the first place is because online is such a mess because of this.

Is not true. I have always enjoyed the single player parts of all the games I have played. Sometimes it's nice to have some "me" time. Not to say I have never done multiplayer however, I now live rurally and online multiplayer is sadly impossible. I am forced to pay the same as someone with a great internet connection yet all I get is 80ms ping at best with 2.5mb down an 0.5 up. :classic_sad:

So for me single player is king until the British government pulls their finger out and gets some fibre optic cable connected to the backwoods.

Edited by ChasteWand
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2 hours ago, Bicarda said:

Expensive or not it NEEDS to be done. It is long overdue and it shows a staggering lack of ambition if they are not already working on that. 

The only reason people even play against and complain about the stupid ai train in the first place is because online is such a mess because of this. 

It's the biggest thing holding the online back right now. and i'm convinced it will increase sales a LOT if they finally start taking themselves and their own game seriously enough. 
All this shows is they don't believe in their own product enough to make the investment. and if that's the case maybe they should just throw in the towel and stop depriving us of a good f1 game. 

I would agree on the fact that multiplayer needs a considerable investment.

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On 4/28/2020 at 12:03 PM, sloppysmusic said:

I'd happily do it for FREE as long as I could implement my own rules.

Cockpit view enforced.

Only real world assists allowed (ie none lol)

Damage full.

Deliberate cheaters permabanned.

Beginners welcome and respected.

All races and qualifying full length, practice half hour.

ALL drivers must take part in practice 3 to be eligible for qualifying and race.

🏎️😉😎

I would race in this league. (and get my arse handed to me 🤣 )

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5 hours ago, DrDraken said:

I would race in this league. (and get my arse handed to me 🤣 )

Hey I said you'd be welcome and respected, not enough buddy?!

🤗😝😎

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11 hours ago, sloppysmusic said:

Hey I said you'd be welcome and respected, not enough buddy?!

🤗😝😎

Oh, it's absolutely enough.  I'm just wise enough to realize that there are a lot better drivers out there.  And that's ok.  🙂

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3 hours ago, DrDraken said:

Oh, it's absolutely enough.  I'm just wise enough to realize that there are a lot better drivers out there.  And that's ok.  🙂

You nailed it. When you're amongst drivers of the right mind set racing is great fun regardless of their individual abilities. I believe most players with F1 won't even start a race unless there is a chance they can win it. That's just not the way F1 has ever worked in real life. Excluding major accidents or breakdowns usually on 3 or 4 drivers actually have a chance of winning. The rest are racing for points or inter team rivalries, or just to get better during the early part of their career. You only need to see drivers jumping for joy and hugging their team mates when they manage to win ONE championship point to realize this. My main goal during any race is just to perform up to my abilities without making an major mistakes. If that leads to a good result then that's awesome too. Even if I came last but performed well for my skill level I know I'd still get respect off the other drivers. In my happy little clean lobby that is!

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12 minutes ago, sloppysmusic said:

You nailed it. When you're amongst drivers of the right mind set racing is great fun regardless of their individual abilities. I believe most players with F1 won't even start a race unless there is a chance they can win it. That's just not the way F1 has ever worked in real life. Excluding major accidents or breakdowns usually on 3 or 4 drivers actually have a chance of winning. The rest are racing for points or inter team rivalries, or just to get better during the early part of their career. You only need to see drivers jumping for joy and hugging their team mates when they manage to win ONE championship point to realize this. My main goal during any race is just to perform up to my abilities without making an major mistakes. If that leads to a good result then that's awesome too. Even if I came last but performed well for my skill level I know I'd still get respect off the other drivers. In my happy little clean lobby that is!

This is so true. I see it even in some leagues were people lose interest when they're not fighting for the win every race anymore (like when other fast(er) people join) 
I enjoy leagues the most when i have to fight to even get points and then when you get that podium after a super thrilling race (or that super lucky safety car where the first half had already crossed the pin entry) it tastes all the sweeter.  Also to get better you absolutely have to drive against people that are faster than you. If you win every time there's no real reason to improve. I love while waiting in the quali to spectate other drivers from the pits and see exactly how they are taking every corner. where they take more kerb or where they avoid it at all. you can always learn so much from people even if they're slower overall they can still do certain corners better. but yeah my point being: This game is no fun if there's no one to chase. 
 

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2 minutes ago, Bicarda said:

This is so true. I see it even in some leagues were people lose interest when they're not fighting for the win every race anymore (like when other fast(er) people join) 
I enjoy leagues the most when i have to fight to even get points and then when you get that podium after a super thrilling race (or that super lucky safety car where the first half had already crossed the pin entry) it tastes all the sweeter.  Also to get better you absolutely have to drive against people that are faster than you. If you win every time there's no real reason to improve. I love while waiting in the quali to spectate other drivers from the pits and see exactly how they are taking every corner. where they take more kerb or where they avoid it at all. you can always learn so much from people even if they're slower overall they can still do certain corners better. but yeah my point being: This game is no fun if there's no one to chase. 
 

Absolutely! An f1 race is not just one huge race with 20 or so drivers all trying to win the trophy. It's actually a whole bunch of smaller races all taking place at the same time. To get enjoyment and feel accomplishment you just have to figure out what YOUR particular challenge is. Beat your teammate? That's one. Get a point? Another. Fastest lap, beat a driver who you've never beaten before, finish the race without crashing, beating personal best lap /race time are others.

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1 minute ago, sloppysmusic said:

Absolutely! An f1 race is not just one huge race with 20 or so drivers all trying to win the trophy. It's actually a whole bunch of smaller races all taking place at the same time. To get enjoyment and feel accomplishment you just have to figure out what YOUR particular challenge is. Beat your teammate? That's one. Get a point? Another. Fastest lap, beat a driver who you've never beaten before, finish the race without crashing, beating personal best lap /race time are others.

Yeah it's 20 individual stories. I like to watch league races i did from other perspectives (their stream) too. cause 3 seconds behind you the best fight can be going on without you noticing and especially the alternative strategy guys (who went m-s) will usually have a hell of a story, even though while driving you might only see him suddenly appear in the position behind you 3 laps before the end, and just not make it close enough, then when you rewatch you realize you have to thank that huge p4-8 fight behind you for holding them back so long XD 

but yeah everybody has their own story and their own goals at the end. (which is why 50% is really the minimum for a good race most of the time cause the story needs time to 'unfold' ) 

i was doing a whole monologue here about the ranking system but i figured i should make a new topic for that XD 

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On 4/29/2020 at 7:28 AM, UP100 said:

Completely rewriting the networking system is expensive itself. Then with dedicated servers you have to ensure every part of the world can access your servers. ONRUSH ran on dedicated servers but was blocked in Russia for example due to them running on the same servers as Telegram.

There is a reason why Valve offers free dedicated server hosting for people that can't afford to rent servers from every part of earth.

If someone or something is running on the same server, then that's not a dedicated server, it's a shared host server. 

I can rent a true dedicated server, and have all the maintenance and game services taken care of for £200 a month, so dot 5 around the globe, that's £1000,and everything is taken care of for you, and your game has full bandwidth. 

Tell me how that's too expensive for codemasters, or should I go ask em, I live not to far from their offices

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Just now, pachedupdemon said:

If someone or something is running on the same server, then that's not a dedicated server, it's a shared host server. 

I can rent a true dedicated server, and have all the maintenance and game services taken care of for £200 a month, so dot 5 around the globe, that's £1000,and everything is taken care of for you, and your game has full bandwidth. 

Tell me how that's too expensive for codemasters, or should I go ask em, I live not to far from their offices

Both software were running on servers that had some kind of affiliation on Amazon (ONRUSH uses gamesparks for example). Russia blocked Amazon IPs in order to try and take down Telegram, causing ONRUSH to be unavailable to Russian players.

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3 hours ago, sloppysmusic said:

Absolutely! An f1 race is not just one huge race with 20 or so drivers all trying to win the trophy. It's actually a whole bunch of smaller races all taking place at the same time. To get enjoyment and feel accomplishment you just have to figure out what YOUR particular challenge is. Beat your teammate? That's one. Get a point? Another. Fastest lap, beat a driver who you've never beaten before, finish the race without crashing, beating personal best lap /race time are others.

And oftentimes the mid-field fights are the most exciting!

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