Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Dirt Rally - Initial Thoughts

Recommended Posts

Enjoying this so far although only just scratched the surface. Always enjoyed "proper" rally games as opposed to arcade type sims and cut my teeth on titles like the Magnetic Fields Rally Championship (@1999), still the best albeit doesn't work on modern PC's.

For an "early access" game things already seem pretty advanced, the graphics engine is good and runs very well at high settings on relatively modest (I7/GTX650 1Gb) hardware. Nice to see plenty of car setup options becoming unlocked, too.

A couple of suggestions:

It would be nice to see the actual distance of each course listed on its intro screen. Also bit confused as to whether these are real world locations or a composite. Would also like to see much longer stages, on a par with the "RC" greats of AE, Kershope and Pundershaw which really put the car and driver through their paces.

And one little grumble... please don't make it unduly difficult to move through the ranks. Not everyone can get a perfect or near perfect score in order to get the required season points to move on. Nothing kills a game more (other than unachievable checkpoints) than artificial hurdles to progress.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I personally like the fact that it actually takes effort to progress through the ranks. I've never played sim games before, just NFS and CMR/Dirt on a keyboard, so you can say I'm almost a total newbie. However, I loved the fact that I had to put some serious hours into reseach on rally driving techniques and basic stuff like FWD vs RWD vs 4WD handling before being able to progress through the ranks,

Just my humble opinion: difficult games have become more and more rare, so to me the aggressive targets of Dirt Rally are a breath of fresh air.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not saying there shouldn't be a challenge or it should be dumbed right down. However how many people have bought games over the years and ended up "rage quitting" because there is a stage or level you just cannot break through no matter how hard you try. If you read the posts about Dirt Rally on sites such as Reddit there are already numerous complaints about the AI turning in impossible times that would require average speeds of 70 MPH, on tracks where it is unsafe to do more than about 55!

Rally Championship got round this by having all the tracks available, albeit you had to keep your car in good shape to see them all and avoid DNF. However the incentive to finish first was unlocking better cars.

Obviously things are still in beta/pre-release and it's even possible the devs might add a choice of difficulty settings to the final game. However having bought a rally simulation I feel justified in expecting to see all of the scenery that's been included!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I consider people ragequitting Dirt Rally a great way to iron out the kinks. Less whiners that pester, and more gamers sticking around. The fact that I can't compete in 2010 cars on master difficulty in Monte Carlo without losing 15 seconds per stage hasn't put me off the slightest. I also wouldn't have it any different - because it is what today's games needs. Difficulty. I seriously hope Codemasters don't cave in to the people whining about the game being too hard, because it most certainly is not. It could use some more difficulty, to be honest... as it would encourage people to actually improve further.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whilst I'm not a fan of artificial progression and unlock systems I think it's flawed to consider the competition classes as a progression system where everyone will eventually make it to master and 'beat the game'. It has much more in common with simple dynamic difficulty level system. You simply drive whichever car(s) you like and will settle at a level that fits your ability.

It's why I'm grateful that none of the cars are gated behind the various competition classes and why I've made a few posts trying to get the one thing that is gated, the number of stages you race per rally, separated out.

Of course I have no idea whether that's the intended function of the system.

I do agree that some will get frustrated if they reach a point where they can't win or get promoted. On the other hand I can think of nothing worse than reaching a point where I can win at the highest level all the time, I imagine that would annoy others as well.

I'm not sure what the best option is, perhaps difficulty level needs to be separate from competition class so players can choose what suits them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you read the posts about Dirt Rally on sites such as Reddit there are already numerous complaints about the AI turning in impossible times that would require average speeds of 70 MPH, on tracks where it is unsafe to do more than about 55!

The AI is beatable, I know of at least 2 people in this thread alone that can easily beat them.

@KickUp was asked about the AI difficulty in an interview at http://gamerzunite.com/interview-dirt-rallys-paul-coleman#.VVu6p_lVhBd


AI20Timesjpg

GZU: I'm surprised at the difficulty of this game. I've not once made it to first place in DiRT Rally. In fact, third place is the highest rank I've been in a championship. Do you plan to ease the difficulty? Personally, I hope not.

Paul: I've been pretty surprised by the fans acceptance of the fact that the game is challenging and that the AI times reflect that. We have seen people beating them and we have ensured that the spread of times in an event means that you aren't finishing last if you aren't getting the times our best drivers are capable of. It's something we are going to keep an eye on and we have always planned to reflect the spread of community times in the AI times, but we aren't going to change things with the times without being sure that it's really necessary."

I found that interview strangely intoxicating, but I can't quite figure out why ;)


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It could use some more difficulty, to be honest... as it would encourage people to actually improve further.
It could use more difficulty for YOU.
I think you forget you're a Top-10 driver.
As such, you don't understand the mindset of the average gamer.
Your perspective would be much different if you were struggling to break into the Top-10000, which is where the average gamer will likely fall.

The game needs to have adjustable difficulty, to cater to those people, as well as the top-tier.
I'm all for allowing people like you to dial the top times up, but the average gamer is motivated by their ability to "beat the game", so they can move on to something else.
Bumping the difficulty up, without adding any provision for lowering it below where it is now, will cause pretty much all those average gamers to say "screw this", and take the game back to Gamestop.

As far as the "game being boring, when you can win at the highest levels all the time" argument goes, that's covered with the League support.
Find a bunch of other people who are equally good, and set up League Championships.
Getting a couple points in those events, towards the championship, would be much more satisfying than winning a bunch of races in career mode because the times you're chasing wouldn't be artificial.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What, do you think I'm what you call a "top 10 driver" for no reason? I practiced. More people can do the exact same thing - and nowadays I barely play more than 3 hours a day. There's no excuse not to practice, in my opinion. If people really want to become good, then they will practice. If they don't want to put any effort into the game and become fast, then fair enough - but they shouldn't complain about it.

Besides, the mindset of the average gamer is so different compared to ten years ago that I don't even see how that is relevant to the subject at hand. I apologise if I welcome difficulty in games. I just thought that it would encourage people to drop the whole new gaming mentality and just work to achieve a very achievable goal - and have all the more fun in the process.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NoOneNBA said:
The game needs to have adjustable difficulty, to cater to those people, as well as the top-tier.
They've already said that they are going to downgrade AI difficulty in lower levels before the game is released, but they also said that they'll be making the faster AI even faster.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NoOneNBA said:
The game needs to have adjustable difficulty, to cater to those people, as well as the top-tier.
They've already said that they are going to downgrade AI difficulty in lower levels before the game is released, but they also said that they'll be making the faster AI even faster.
Yeah the AI at master difficulty is a bit goofy sometimes. You can win one stage with 3 seconds, then another with 33 seconds. I'm looking forward to a little improvement on that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I realize you practice a lot.
My point is that being in your position skews your perspective, regardless of how you got there.
You can't see the game as it is seen by the guy struggling to break into the Top-10000.

The average gamer doesn't want to "become good" at any given game.
They want to add the new game to the list of ones they've "beaten", regardless of how badly they sucked in the process.
You can encourage them to change that behavior; but, in the end, they are going to do what they want, how they want.

Game developers can't afford to ignore that reality because it will artificially limit the success of their games.
Blockbuster games get that status by catering to as many different people as possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My personal hope is that they'll go ultra-hardcore on the high end, but still have lots of options to dumb it down for the masses at the lower end.
That will give us the game we want now, but will also boost sales, which gives us our best chance of followups.

Giving people a taste of easy success, then raising the bar on them incrementally, will encourage them to improve more than just setting the bar really high to begin with.
The best example of that I've seen is how Codemasters handled the race classes in DiRT 1.
The big payouts for beating the races at Rookie level, gave lesser skilled players a relatively easy payout.
Once they had an idea what they were doing, the game enticed them to try higher levels, by offering larger payouts, especially if they chose to rerun a given event.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ignited a bit of a debate here!

That it's being discussed at all seems it is an issue - from both sides. I would classify me as a bit more than a casual gamer, but being in an older age group reflexes and manual dexterity isn't what it was. Combine that with playing via an XB360 controller with little analogue feel and a successful power slide on one corner easily turns into flying over the edge of a cliff at the next. Above all, I play games because I want to have fun, escape from reality and do something I wouldn't begin to contemplate in real life - whether that's flying a DC10 in FSX, shooting a bunch of people in GTA or driving a virtual rally car.

Hopefully Codemasters can come up with a system that satisfies all users, which might be multiplayer for the power users with scaleable difficulty for the single player game. Maybe some sort of dynamic adjustment to the AI - if you're constantly getting poor times, let it notch back a few seconds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah, sorry for derailing your thread a bit there, Pundershaw. I'm a bit too passionate about the game I suppose. Everyone makes perfectly valid points, and I understand them a bit better now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ignited a bit of a debate here!
being in an older age group reflexes and manual dexterity isn't what it was.

Debate is a great thing, when it's civil.
I personally wouldn't want to live in a world where everyone agreed on everything.
That would bore me to death.

I'm in that older age group too.
Strangely though, it's my brain that slows me down, not my reflexes.
When I get a few drinks on board, and get my brain out of the loop, my reflexes and muscle memory take over, and my times get faster.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It seems that quite a few of us are of the older generation. The first racing game I ever played was Pole Position, in the arcade, when it came out ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It seems that quite a few of us are of the older generation. The first racing game I ever played was Pole Position, in the arcade, when it came out ;)
Hold up there Son, I was unbeatable at pole position, I never left a cabinet without being number one!

Remember the turn where you smacked the down shift and THREW the wheel spinning to clear the inside past the AI?

...ahh kids nowadays, they missed out on the great evolution that has become modern gaming!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For anyone wondering what we old farts are on about: This was how we gamed back in the day, pumping coins into a wooden box, the historic precursor to micro transactions:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Y-oMdBaMFk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It seems that quite a few of us are of the older generation. The first racing game I ever played was Pole Position, in the arcade, when it came out ;)
The first racing games I played were the electro-mechanical ones, where the car was an actual plastic model on a wire.
The first video racing games I remember playing are Key's Sprint 2 and Super Bug, and Atari's Night Driver.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Think my first "computer" racer was Geoff Crammond's Grand Prix 2 on the Amiga, @1993. Man that was hard with a keyboard or digital joystick!

Back on topic, have spent a bit more time tweaking the car and managed to start turning in some slightly better times with the Mini - such that I've now unlocked the 70's and have to start from scratch with the Mark 2 Escort, which is a squirrelly thing and seems wider than the track. Dropping the gearbox to short in particular helped as I tend to slow down too much on the corners, get rapid acceleration on what passes for the straight sections!

I also found switching off all the HUD info, stage progress etc. and just relying on the audio co-driver helped, as too much clutter and distraction on the screen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×