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[BUG?] Lack of AI Crashes/Incidents/Mistakes/Errors and therefore No Safety Cars

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1.       A detailed description of the issue. Please include any error codes here. 

I haven't seen any safety car, VSC or AI mistakes yet in this game, while it is turned on and i race on 50% races with simulation damage on. I only get mechanical failures and that leads to a yellow flag for maybe 3 seconds. 

2.       Platform

Xbox One

3.       What version of the game you are using (Shown on the start screen in the bottom left corner of the screen) 

1.06

4.       Game-mode? 

My Team, 50% distance, 80 AI, gearbox assist. But also in GP mode and career mode. 

5.       What are your replication numbers? Minimum test attempts are 4. Please also add EXACT replication steps for us to try too. 

Over 30 races. If you wanna try it youreself start a race on 50% distance with safety car on and simulation damage on. And see that the ai is driving on rails and dont make any mistake and that you dont get a safety car. 

6.       What troubleshooting have you attempted? Please always try to attempt to fix the issue 

Turning SC off and on again. Didn't help unfortunately. Trying to set it to Full damage, this works but i dont like the full damage because you can crash in the wall and drive on. 

7.       What peripherals are you are using (gamepad, wheel make & model etc) 

Xbox One Controller (White one) 

 

Please confirm if this is a known issue, and if you guys are planning on fixing this like you did in F1 2019. @BarryBL

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@MarcFey12 As far as the "odd" thing that happened to you is concerned, I think I can actually confirm that.

While browsing the internet for content for F1 2020, I stumbled across a mod on the Race Department website. This mod purportedly makes the cars much more fragile, so that even tiny contacts cause massive damage. During the explanation for this mod, the guy who created it stated that to really get the most out of it, you'd need to switch the Damage setting to "Realistic," because that would make the program much more sensitive in regards of distances and possible touching of cars. Or some such nonsense - I must admit that some of it sounded like gibberish to me, but the overall gist of it made perfect sense to me and is in sync with what you witnessed.

The higher the realism in terms of damage, the higher the number of accidents and thus Safety Cars or VSCs. While playing the "Casual" mode or having set car damage to "Off," you won't get to see all that many Safety Cars, but switch it to "Realistic," and you should see some. I have put that theory to the test several times, and it was perfectly true. That's what you got to see, that's what really happens.

So I tend to think it's intentional and nothing the guys and girls at Codemasters would consider a bug.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, ostendorfjens said:

 

The higher the realism in terms of damage, the higher the number of accidents and thus Safety Cars or VSCs. While playing the "Casual" mode or having set car damage to "Off," you won't get to see all that many Safety Cars, but switch it to "Realistic," and you should see some. I have put that theory to the test several times, and it was perfectly true. That's what you got to see, that's what really happens.

So I tend to think it's intentional and nothing the guys and girls at Codemasters would consider a bug.

I would think that, but I've completed 50 races on simulation damage and haven't seen the SC or VSC, not even once. Other people I know who are playing on full or even reduced damage get an abundance of SC's, sometimes multiple times a race. 

Of course you can always get a streak of (bad) luck, but if I haven't seen it after 50 races it can't be a coincidence or settings related, some bug is preventing it from being deployed since race 1.

Edited by Worntoathread

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Alright, I guess it's time to rip this problem apart! Here's why I don't consider any of this a bug! Let's take a look at real life first:

Why do we need safety cars? Because something happened on the track that makes safe racing impossible - car wrecks, debris on the track. the occasional lunatic jumping the fence. (Don't laugh! It happened in Hockenheim in 2000, in Silverstone in 2003 and in Spa in 2017, if I remember correctly.) Even if there are accidents, however, getting a safety car or a VSC isn't always a necessity. And the very same can be said if we think the other way around. Safety cars can very well be deployed if there was no accident, but a car's engine blew and the driver was unable to park the car in a safe location, or he painted the entire track in oil.

And now let's look back at the game:

None of the aforementioned is valid for computer games in any way, shape, or form. Here, we have accidents - the few there are -, and we have safety cars - the few there are. They're not necessarily related. As a matter of fact, when you're told that the safety car was deployed, you sometimes are told that someone is out of the race, but that's about all the info you get. You usually don't know what happened exactly, if it was an accident or an engine failure or whatever that caused the safety car to come out. This is not like real life, where the reason for a safety car is immediately obvious.

And here's the crux of the matter: We're talking about a computer game, so all we have here, going on in the background, are a heck of a lot of equations, mixed with a hefty bit of randomness. A car dropping out of the race, that's just a dice being thrown. If the number isn't high enough, a series of quick calculations is initiated, and the car is out. The same goes for safety cars - throw of a dice, number too low, safety car.

Since the underlying mechanism is determined by equations, it's tempting to think that you can tinker with the parameters - there are people over on the Race Department website who do nothing but that -, but while all those changes may tip the scales in your favor, the sad fact is that even with much more aggressive drivers, safety cars are no guarantee. Neither are more accidents. I've given the aforementioned mod that made drivers more aggressive and the cars more brittle a try, but it did not lead to significantly more DNFs and to no more safety cars than before I tried it. In the end, nothing changed very much. I got rid of the mod soon afterwards again, it simply doesn't change the fact that in the end, it's all down to equations and randomness. Sometimes you're s**t out of luck, sometimes you strike pay dirt.

Yes, there are guys who can drive for 100+ races and never see a safety car, while others get to see one every other race. There is no rule to this, there are no guarantees, no certainties. It's all down to sheer randomness, and that's nothing you can blame the programmers for. If not for that randomness, all races would be very boring, because they would all end completely identical.

That's why I don't consider this a bug. But I'm not a programmer, just a regular computer player with more than 30 years' worth of experience under my belt. So of course I cannot claim that I'm perfectly right. I just like to think that I am right. And if you could convince me otherwise, if you could prove to me where I was wrong, please, tell me about it! My doors are always open!

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After playing 50 races 50% length I only had safety car at Baku due to collision behind because of me in a corner. It made the GP much more thrilling. Only driver errors are front wheel lock ups. I sense Codemasters concentrate on new products due to early release schedule and the delicate job of creating a life-like AI does not fit into the development time. Hopefully F1 2020 makes such good money that next year the AI can be realistic from day 1. 

If the AI is not improved then i doubt I will return to the franchise as even the fantastic My Team gets old after 100 hours of no crashes.

  • Agree 1

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So far the only AI errors I've seen are the front wheel lockups and they also sometimes lose the back end of the car a bit during or after exiting a turn. The latter is especially noticeable in Zandvoort, especially in Turn 1 and Turn 3. Some AI racers almost spun out in my first race in Zandvoort.

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On 8/5/2020 at 8:33 PM, ostendorfjens said:

Alright, I guess it's time to rip this problem apart! Here's why I don't consider any of this a bug! Let's take a look at real life first:

Why do we need safety cars? Because something happened on the track that makes safe racing impossible - car wrecks, debris on the track. the occasional lunatic jumping the fence. (Don't laugh! It happened in Hockenheim in 2000, in Silverstone in 2003 and in Spa in 2017, if I remember correctly.) Even if there are accidents, however, getting a safety car or a VSC isn't always a necessity. And the very same can be said if we think the other way around. Safety cars can very well be deployed if there was no accident, but a car's engine blew and the driver was unable to park the car in a safe location, or he painted the entire track in oil.

And now let's look back at the game:

None of the aforementioned is valid for computer games in any way, shape, or form. Here, we have accidents - the few there are -, and we have safety cars - the few there are. They're not necessarily related. As a matter of fact, when you're told that the safety car was deployed, you sometimes are told that someone is out of the race, but that's about all the info you get. You usually don't know what happened exactly, if it was an accident or an engine failure or whatever that caused the safety car to come out. This is not like real life, where the reason for a safety car is immediately obvious.

And here's the crux of the matter: We're talking about a computer game, so all we have here, going on in the background, are a heck of a lot of equations, mixed with a hefty bit of randomness. A car dropping out of the race, that's just a dice being thrown. If the number isn't high enough, a series of quick calculations is initiated, and the car is out. The same goes for safety cars - throw of a dice, number too low, safety car.

Since the underlying mechanism is determined by equations, it's tempting to think that you can tinker with the parameters - there are people over on the Race Department website who do nothing but that -, but while all those changes may tip the scales in your favor, the sad fact is that even with much more aggressive drivers, safety cars are no guarantee. Neither are more accidents. I've given the aforementioned mod that made drivers more aggressive and the cars more brittle a try, but it did not lead to significantly more DNFs and to no more safety cars than before I tried it. In the end, nothing changed very much. I got rid of the mod soon afterwards again, it simply doesn't change the fact that in the end, it's all down to equations and randomness. Sometimes you're s**t out of luck, sometimes you strike pay dirt.

Yes, there are guys who can drive for 100+ races and never see a safety car, while others get to see one every other race. There is no rule to this, there are no guarantees, no certainties. It's all down to sheer randomness, and that's nothing you can blame the programmers for. If not for that randomness, all races would be very boring, because they would all end completely identical.

That's why I don't consider this a bug. But I'm not a programmer, just a regular computer player with more than 30 years' worth of experience under my belt. So of course I cannot claim that I'm perfectly right. I just like to think that I am right. And if you could convince me otherwise, if you could prove to me where I was wrong, please, tell me about it! My doors are always open!

You are perfectly right, it is not a bug. It's poor game design. Let me explain what needs to be implemented, and what I think is the problem right now.

 

First: The problem right now: I guess there isn't sufficient coding done on the behavior of the drivers. Hence, they look like going on rails. All seem to be driving the same line, doing the same type of overtakes and what not. We don't see Ricciardo diving up the inside from far out, performing magnificent overtakes, and we don't see Max being an absolute monster on the defensive end. They act very much like (the same) robots, with the exception of having different pace. But pace is far easier to code than the unpredictability needed for overtakes and/or mistakes.

 

What I think needs implementing is a far greater range of mistakes. Missing the breaking point entirely, higher chance of spinning (especially off line), massive understeer/oversteer and so on. But the problem is something you explain in great detail: Randomness. This is a game, everything is a result of an equation and randomness. That's not to say it's impossible to achieve, but I guess it's a bit difficult. My simple take on it is as follows:

 

  • In any given turn, implement a base chance of a mistake happening. For example, at turn 8 in Baku (castle), they make it a 0.05% chance a driver takes too much kerb, risking getting airborne and thrown into the barriers. Further, you make individual drivers have "traits". For this exact case, we say that Grosjean has an 2x increased chance of making such a mistake, while Lewis has a 0.5x decreased chance of making that mistake. This would result in Grosjean making that mistake 0.1% of the time, Lewis 0.025%. Further on, you increase or decrease the chance of it happening based on whether the driver is pushing or battling for position, or just managing his race. 
  • Driver traits: Traits not just for mistakes, but also for lines (wet, dry), overtake style (inside, outside, "fear" of contact, how often they dive), tyre management - making mixed strategies more of a sight, "nervousness"/experience - think new drivers in the lead for the first time, aggressiveness - not just in overtaking situations, but general pace. Trying to make the most out of opportunities given (using rich mix for longer periods, risking the engine), form - Getting into rhytm, overperforming for shorter or longer periods of time (or vice versa), sometimes as a result of good/bad results.
  • The traits should not be static. Neither should the risk of a mistake in any given corner. But that isn't the most important aspect, randomness is.

 

If this was implemented, we would see far greater diversity in the game. Some races would be clean, some would be carnage. Some races you would see Magnussen absolutely smashing it due to form, pace and aggression, the next three you would see him smashing into others due to high risk-maneuvers. The implementation of the SC isn't the issue, the issue is that there is seldom carnage. especially between the AI's.

Implementing this is probably really hard, but what is really tilting is that Codemasters don't seem to even acknowledge that it is a problem. This is very often the response:

 

They surely must know, from simulations, that the amount of crashes (NOT mistakes, NOT SC's/VSC's, NOT mechanical failures) between the AI's are far from what we see IRL.

Edited by undead9nja

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@undead9nja It might come as a surprise to you, but I actually agree on everything you say! I'd love to see more aggressiveness, more errors, more diverse driver behaviour. All those things you mention, I think they'd improve the game by quite a big margin. If overtaking a car feels just the same as overtaking the next one, things tend to get old really fast. But if there is one guy among all those drivers whose car seems to become wider, the more you are closing in on him, and if you then manage to overtake this guy despite his best attempts at thwarting you, you get a real sense of "I have achieved something great here." This is something that's sorely missing with all those "robot AI" drivers this game seems to feature. I'd love to see more mistakes, more variety in driving through corners, more aggressiveness when approaching a braking zone. Races would surely be far more interesting!

But, and here's the crux of the matter, I'm not convinced that even with all those changes implemented, the game would change all that much when it comes to catastrophic failures, to accidents, to safety cars. Because at the end of the day, we still have the very same problem: Even if we have a certain percentage of someone screwing up in any given section of a track, we have no guarantee that he will screw up. Maybe you increase the likelihood of something interesting happening, but more likely than not, nothing will change very much. When in doubt, all F1 games by Codemasters err on the side of caution. They want the races to be decided on the track, not in the tyre barrier next to it. And since that's the case, I don't think we'll see many more crashes, even with more aggressive/more random AI behaviour.

As the last real-life races have proven, the number of DNFs in each race is way higher than anything you get to see in these games, you're perfectly right about that. But I'm afraid that's exactly the way the the Codies want it to be. If that wasn't the case, we'd have seen way more crashes and safety cars in the games already - they had more than ten years to tinker with the underlying mechanics, and on the whole, the number of cars finishing a race in F1 2020 is pretty much exactly as high as it was in F1 2010.

So everything you said, while I agree with it from the bottom of my heart, probably is little more than wishful thinking. Sad, but true!

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8 hours ago, ostendorfjens said:

@undead9nja It might come as a surprise to you, but I actually agree on everything you say! I'd love to see more aggressiveness, more errors, more diverse driver behaviour. All those things you mention, I think they'd improve the game by quite a big margin. If overtaking a car feels just the same as overtaking the next one, things tend to get old really fast. But if there is one guy among all those drivers whose car seems to become wider, the more you are closing in on him, and if you then manage to overtake this guy despite his best attempts at thwarting you, you get a real sense of "I have achieved something great here." This is something that's sorely missing with all those "robot AI" drivers this game seems to feature. I'd love to see more mistakes, more variety in driving through corners, more aggressiveness when approaching a braking zone. Races would surely be far more interesting!

But, and here's the crux of the matter, I'm not convinced that even with all those changes implemented, the game would change all that much when it comes to catastrophic failures, to accidents, to safety cars. Because at the end of the day, we still have the very same problem: Even if we have a certain percentage of someone screwing up in any given section of a track, we have no guarantee that he will screw up. Maybe you increase the likelihood of something interesting happening, but more likely than not, nothing will change very much. When in doubt, all F1 games by Codemasters err on the side of caution. They want the races to be decided on the track, not in the tyre barrier next to it. And since that's the case, I don't think we'll see many more crashes, even with more aggressive/more random AI behaviour.

As the last real-life races have proven, the number of DNFs in each race is way higher than anything you get to see in these games, you're perfectly right about that. But I'm afraid that's exactly the way the the Codies want it to be. If that wasn't the case, we'd have seen way more crashes and safety cars in the games already - they had more than ten years to tinker with the underlying mechanics, and on the whole, the number of cars finishing a race in F1 2020 is pretty much exactly as high as it was in F1 2010.

So everything you said, while I agree with it from the bottom of my heart, probably is little more than wishful thinking. Sad, but true!

It would be really interesting to know Codemasters' stance on this. Do they want the races to be this clean, or would they like for the game to resemble reality more?

 

I hope that they want more unpredictability, but aren't able for the time being. Implementing randomness like I described in my last post is probably very, very hard from a coding stance. Balancing it, making the randomness happen at acceptable frequencies is quite the task. On paper it is easy to implement for a single driver, but when you introduce a field of 20 it becomes quite advanced to control the variables.

 

"Even if we have a certain percentage of someone screwing up in any given section of a track, we have no guarantee that he will screw up."

- That's not true. If they hardcode a 0.05% chance of someone running into the barrier at a certain corner, it will happen sooner or later. In a race with 20 AI drivers, driving 60 laps, the chance of it occuring at least once is approx. 45%. As the game is today, they have not coded in mistakes on the AI drivers, apart from the occasional lock-up or snap of the rear. If they code in "proper" mistakes, we will get more carnage. If something can happen, it will happen.

Edited by undead9nja

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1 hour ago, undead9nja said:

"Even if we have a certain percentage of someone screwing up in any given section of a track, we have no guarantee that he will screw up."

- That's not true. If they hardcode a 0.05% chance of someone running into the barrier at a certain corner, it will happen sooner or later. In a race with 20 AI drivers, driving 60 laps, the chance of it occuring at least once is approx. 45%. As the game is today, they have not coded in mistakes on the AI drivers, apart from the occasional lock-up or snap of the rear. If they code in "proper" mistakes, we will get more carnage. If something can happen, it will happen.

Sorry to contradict you there, but the probability theory tells a different story. Let's say you have a six-sided dice. Now, in theory, the chance for getting a six at each throw is one out of six. So after six hundred throws, you should end up with one hundred times six. The problem is, that's not how probability works. The dice has no memory, so it doesn't remember how often which number came up. The next throw, the chance is, again, one out of six. And if you're unlucky, you end up with yet another measly one. The same goes for the next throw. So it's perfectly possible, although admittedly unlikely, to end up with having no sixes at all, even after having done six hundred throws.

That's what I'm talking about here. All you can do, all the guys and girls at Codemasters can do is tip the odds in favour of drivers making mistakes. Neither you nor they can make them a given. That's exactly why I mentioned in one of my earlier posts that sometimes you're s**t out of luck while striking pay dirt the next time. As long as there is probability, as there is chance, as there is randomness, there will always be those who never experience what both of us are hoping for.

That said, I still second you in your wish for more mistakes. But you just can't make them a certainty, not as long as random elements come into play.

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17 hours ago, ostendorfjens said:

Sorry to contradict you there, but the probability theory tells a different story. Let's say you have a six-sided dice. Now, in theory, the chance for getting a six at each throw is one out of six. So after six hundred throws, you should end up with one hundred times six. The problem is, that's not how probability works. The dice has no memory, so it doesn't remember how often which number came up. The next throw, the chance is, again, one out of six. And if you're unlucky, you end up with yet another measly one. The same goes for the next throw. So it's perfectly possible, although admittedly unlikely, to end up with having no sixes at all, even after having done six hundred throws.

That's what I'm talking about here. All you can do, all the guys and girls at Codemasters can do is tip the odds in favour of drivers making mistakes. Neither you nor they can make them a given. That's exactly why I mentioned in one of my earlier posts that sometimes you're s**t out of luck while striking pay dirt the next time. As long as there is probability, as there is chance, as there is randomness, there will always be those who never experience what both of us are hoping for.

That said, I still second you in your wish for more mistakes. But you just can't make them a certainty, not as long as random elements come into play.

I think we are in agreement. The issue as the game is today is that there (virtually) doesn't exist coding to make drivers do proper mistakes. To use your dice analogy, to make a mistake happen you need to roll a seven on a six-sided dice. That obviously won't happen. To be fair, I'm guessing that today it is more like you have 5 dices, and need to roll a six on all of them. Hence mistakes happen once every 7776 times.

But you just can't make them a certainty, not as long as random elements come into play.

That's not correct. If you increase the chances of mistakes in the coding (to a level that mirrors IRL), more mistakes will happen. It is inevitable. If you balance them correctly, everyone will experience them, although not every race. Just like it is IRL.

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@undead9nja I really don't understand why you're still arguing. Have you even read my post? What you are claiming is just not possible! Probability just doesn't work the way you wish it would. You cannot make mistakes a certainty! Even if you give an AI driver a 99.9% chance of screwing up, that is no guarantee he will. 100%, that's certainty. 99.9% is not. As long as you leave the game a loophole to escape the predicament you are trying to create, no matter how small the loophole actually is, chances are the game will exploit this loophole.

The only way to make mistakes/crashes/failures a certainty would be through getting rid of all random elements, all randomness. As long as you don't do that, there will always be a chance nothing will happen at all. And I'd hate to see a game without any random elements. "Oh, so Hamilton beat Bottas by 8.347 seconds. Let's try again! Oh, he did it again! By 8.347 seconds! How is that possible! Let's have another go! Gosh, he did it again! 8.347 seconds! What the f...?"

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