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Shakedown survey (+ how do I improve?)

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I've been wondering about the shakedown in Rally racing. I preface with this disclaimer. I'm a total newbie to Rally - an American accustomed to oval tracks and open wheels and wings and things. Playing video games to pass time in the pandemic, I picked up Dirt Rally 2.0 on XBox One. I've progressed a good ways from my first few stages since then.

One thing I never have been able to get a grasp on is the shakedown. So I figured I'd ask some longtime racers for their thoughts.

Do you use shakedowns in various game options (career, historic, colin mcrae, etc.)? If so, how often?

Do you use them in challenge events? 

How many do you use per event?

What do you use them for? 

How much difference does using them or not using them make in your overall race?

Appreciate any responses, and apologies if this is the wrong forum.

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I do 1 shakedown before most rally starts, to get a feeling for the car and track, because I switch the cars very often.
If the shakedown shows problems with the car or me being bad, I do a second one.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, UnderclassGDfan said:

I do 1 shakedown before most rally starts, to get a feeling for the car and track, because I switch the cars very often.
If the shakedown shows problems with the car or me being bad, I do a second one. 

👆

Edited by somethingthing
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I use them before basically every rally. They're enormously important, and go hand-in-hand with set-ups.

If you're not paying real attention to set-ups, you're compromising your performance and enjoyment of DR. It becomes second-nature after a while and doesn't take very long to change your setups once you get the hang of the various elements.

Shakedowns are your 'test your setup' time and are vital. Use them wisely but be careful not to smash your car in the process!

In particular, use them to test for oversteer/understeer and fine-tune your setups so you are as nimble as possible.

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18 hours ago, EggBerry said:
  1. Do you use shakedowns in various game options (career, historic, colin mcrae, etc.)? If so, how often?
  2. Do you use them in challenge events? 
  3. How many do you use per event?
  4. What do you use them for? 
  5. How much difference does using them or not using them make in your overall race?

I've played the game quite a bit so I feel I can jump in right away without a Shakedown, however:

 

  1. In any long events that you only have a single attempt in (like Clubs), I'll try Shakedowns.
  2. No. 
  3. As many as I feel I need to get comfortable with how the car is feeling that day, so usually 4.
  4. A simple warm-up and way to expose any glaring flaws with a car setup before I start running for real.
  5. The different is minor; it's mainly for peace of mind.
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I don't use them enough! I am often tight for gaming time during the week, so I frequently jump into dailies with no warm up and I would almost certainly set a better time with a bit of practice! 

They are invaluable for adjusting driving style if you like changing classes a lot (which I do quite a bit).

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On 10/6/2020 at 11:05 PM, Jake Cushing said:

I use them before basically every rally. They're enormously important, and go hand-in-hand with set-ups.

If you're not paying real attention to set-ups, you're compromising your performance and enjoyment of DR. It becomes second-nature after a while and doesn't take very long to change your setups once you get the hang of the various elements.

Shakedowns are your 'test your setup' time and are vital. Use them wisely but be careful not to smash your car in the process!

In particular, use them to test for oversteer/understeer and fine-tune your setups so you are as nimble as possible.

See, this is what I've been wondering, and nowhere in all of the tutorial/training videos or materials have I been able to find such a simple explanation for what a Shakedown is. :)

 

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On 10/7/2020 at 3:02 AM, PJTierney said:

I've played the game quite a bit so I feel I can jump in right away without a Shakedown, however:

 

  1. In any long events that you only have a single attempt in (like Clubs), I'll try Shakedowns.
  2. No. 
  3. As many as I feel I need to get comfortable with how the car is feeling that day, so usually 4.
  4. A simple warm-up and way to expose any glaring flaws with a car setup before I start running for real.
  5. The different is minor; it's mainly for peace of mind.

This is very helpful. I am trying to work out the whole getting ready for a race routine, learn manual shifting (for Sim, I drive manual all the time IRL) and car adjustments all at the same time. 

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On 10/7/2020 at 3:30 AM, tbtstt said:

I don't use them enough! I am often tight for gaming time during the week, so I frequently jump into dailies with no warm up and I would almost certainly set a better time with a bit of practice! 

They are invaluable for adjusting driving style if you like changing classes a lot (which I do quite a bit).

I totally get the pressed for time part. I do the exact same thing, even as a beginner. Hopefully, I'll start to improve my times more by using shakedowns more.

And I also like jumping into the different cars (I just got the game, so all the DLCs came with it, *** do I know lol). Just from a brand-new perspective, my impressions:

FWD - Easier to learn on, more forgiving handling

AWD - Balanced, somewhat forgiving handling, but bites quickly

RWD - The demon drive of the dark realms, difficult to control in all conditions

Group B - What hell hath Rally released upon the earth?

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I've just got Dirt Rally 2.0 and it's still downloading data! 55% of data currently downloaded which allows me to have a try driving a lovely Citroen DS 21 front wheel drive on shakedown and on a stage. Easiest difficulty setting.....using PJTierneys controller settings (reduced steering linearity to 1 though) and it's a beautiful driving experience. I've been playing WRC 8 prior to this which I also enjoy playing. But I reckon that Dirt Rally 2.0 might just shade it purely on enjoyment factor.

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When I'm doing a career mode, I tend to do a couple of shakedown runs before the first stage - a slow one to acclimatise and a quicker one to know where I can push.

I understand the reason why, but the shakedown being the first sector of the first stage is a little disappointing, but far from the end of the world - I like the way you can't make fixes between runs and there's a real consequence to just going out and binning it in practice, unlike most racing games.

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15 hours ago, Scrogs said:

I've just got Dirt Rally 2.0 and it's still downloading data! 55% of data currently downloaded which allows me to have a try driving a lovely Citroen DS 21 front wheel drive on shakedown and on a stage. Easiest difficulty setting.....using PJTierneys controller settings (reduced steering linearity to 1 though) and it's a beautiful driving experience. I've been playing WRC 8 prior to this which I also enjoy playing. But I reckon that Dirt Rally 2.0 might just shade it purely on enjoyment factor.

I have tried both Dirt 4 and WRC 8, and I don't know exactly what they are doing differently with Rally 2, but just on a visceral level it feels ... More. And that's with "training wheels" set on!

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36 minutes ago, RodgerDavies said:

When I'm doing a career mode, I tend to do a couple of shakedown runs before the first stage - a slow one to acclimatise and a quicker one to know where I can push.

I understand the reason why, but the shakedown being the first sector of the first stage is a little disappointing, but far from the end of the world - I like the way you can't make fixes between runs and there's a real consequence to just going out and binning it in practice, unlike most racing games.

That makes sense. I have only ever done two shakedowns on any stage, so I didn't know you were only able to do the first sector. Even as forgiving as Dirt 2 is (C'mon, nobody would still be running with some of the tumbles produced in the game!), it's still brutal to me, and a total mindset shift from what I've been exposed to racing-wise.

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1 hour ago, EggBerry said:

I have tried both Dirt 4 and WRC 8, and I don't know exactly what they are doing differently with Rally 2, but just on a visceral level it feels ... More. And that's with "training wheels" set on!

I'm new to driving games and rally driving games in particular (have been rallying for 4 weeks) so I definitely class myself as a noob/casual driver and find both WRC 8 and now DR 2.0 as difficult and challenging.......but I'm having some kind of perverse fun learning how the different wheel drive cars perform on different surfaces and what a decent set up might give me. Its disappointing when I drive what I think is a decent stage (decent to me is driving a stage without ending up in a ditch or flying off a cliff) only to find that my best attempt, even on very easy difficulty setting, is always a minute or three behind the leader (depending on the stage length).

No matter......I'm thoroughly enjoying the challenge. I'm even contemplating getting the Colin McRae DLC but my current driving skill wouldn't do the great man justice!

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23 hours ago, Scrogs said:

Its disappointing when I drive what I think is a decent stage (decent to me is driving a stage without ending up in a ditch or flying off a cliff) only to find that my best attempt, even on very easy difficulty setting, is always a minute or three behind the leader (depending on the stage length).

It's true, you really can enjoy this game without needing to come out on top. Coming in the top 16 should be a rewarding goal to set. And you will find improvements in your time come naturally, without even realising it sometimes. It's like playing a musical instrument, you often find yourself just getting better over time without pinpointing where exactly you made the upward jump.

It's so much fun without having to be at the top anyway, because of the simulation nature of the game. That's why I love it so much, arcade games are meaningless without winning, whereas this game actually means something for every level of outcome.

 

Edited by Jake Cushing
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On 10/9/2020 at 10:05 AM, Scrogs said:

I'm new to driving games and rally driving games in particular (have been rallying for 4 weeks) so I definitely class myself as a noob/casual driver and find both WRC 8 and now DR 2.0 as difficult and challenging.......but I'm having some kind of perverse fun learning how the different wheel drive cars perform on different surfaces and what a decent set up might give me. Its disappointing when I drive what I think is a decent stage (decent to me is driving a stage without ending up in a ditch or flying off a cliff) only to find that my best attempt, even on very easy difficulty setting, is always a minute or three behind the leader (depending on the stage length).

No matter......I'm thoroughly enjoying the challenge. I'm even contemplating getting the Colin McRae DLC but my current driving skill wouldn't do the great man justice!

The version I got already had the Colin McRae DLC bundled in, and I've only tried a couple of stages in his Mini Cooper S (the badge for the stage is "Don't Suffer Terminal Damage"!). 

I've caught myself watching a few old rally video collections on YouTube, and it's sort of fun watching these famous names (Burns, McRae and others) as fresh-faced 16-18 year olds struggling with engine issues and road conditions. Like, hey, they're human like me! lol

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On 10/10/2020 at 9:21 AM, Jake Cushing said:

It's true, you really can enjoy this game without needing to come out on top. Coming in the top 16 should be a rewarding goal to set. And you will find improvements in your time come naturally, without even realising it sometimes. It's like playing a musical instrument, you often find yourself just getting better over time without pinpointing where exactly you made the upward jump.

It's so much fun without having to be at the top anyway, because of the simulation nature of the game. That's why I love it so much, arcade games are meaningless without winning, whereas this game actually means something for every level of outcome.

 

Oh, that is so true. I discovered really early that I'm not actually competing against the other racers in Rally (not Rallycross). I'm competing with nature itself, my human tendencies, and the machine underneath me. As I just heard the other day, "To finish first, first you have to finish." Finishing as best you can is the goal! Musical instrument or almost any creative activity that you want to be good at/love doing. You just have to put in a meaningful effort to progress.

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That's exactly it.

 

Compete against yourself and the car first, the other drivers can come later 🙂 

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On 10/10/2020 at 3:21 PM, Jake Cushing said:

It's true, you really can enjoy this game without needing to come out on top. Coming in the top 16 should be a rewarding goal to set. And you will find improvements in your time come naturally, without even realising it sometimes. It's like playing a musical instrument, you often find yourself just getting better over time without pinpointing where exactly you made the upward jump.

It's so much fun without having to be at the top anyway, because of the simulation nature of the game. That's why I love it so much, arcade games are meaningless without winning, whereas this game actually means something for every level of outcome.

 

100% this - one of the several reasons I gave up on Dirt 4 within a few hours was that it felt pointlessly easy - DR2's first season was a bit like that, but it picked up quickly - driving as hard as I can in pursuit of a rare podium is a real highlight of Dirt Rally to me; with the exception of tarmac rounds (where I consistently do well) I've only won a tiny fraction of the AI events I've entered at the higher tiers (I'm talking single digits) and I can remember each of them clearly, because they meant something. I've also backed off from having a chance to win in order to be more likely to get the championship points too, which I'm not sure I've done in any other game. Makes it 'feel' much more rewarding to me.

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4 hours ago, RodgerDavies said:

100% this - one of the several reasons I gave up on Dirt 4 within a few hours was that it felt pointlessly easy - DR2's first season was a bit like that, but it picked up quickly - driving as hard as I can in pursuit of a rare podium is a real highlight of Dirt Rally to me; with the exception of tarmac rounds (where I consistently do well) I've only won a tiny fraction of the AI events I've entered at the higher tiers (I'm talking single digits) and I can remember each of them clearly, because they meant something. I've also backed off from having a chance to win in order to be more likely to get the championship points too, which I'm not sure I've done in any other game. Makes it 'feel' much more rewarding to me.

I'm continually relearning these lessons - backing off, finishing the stage, maintaining focus, not getting too 'comfortable' until the finish line is crossed. I've only ever really played games that were mostly ovals (nascar and sprint), and as hard as they try, there still comes a point in a race where you can sort of ease off the mind throttle a bit. Not so here. Let your mind wander for a second and you've hit an unseen rock 2 inches off the side of the road that upends (literally) your whole race. And I've even found myself actually going back and watching stages that I did well (or particularly poorly) on, to see what it looked like from the outside. I can't remember ever doing that in a race game before.

I'm thinking about putting together a video and calling it: all the things Dirt 2.0 teaches about life. haha

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5 hours ago, PJTierney said:

That's exactly it.

 

Compete against yourself and the car first, the other drivers can come later 🙂 

You forget your other opponent - Mother Nature. ;)

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I also have the thing referred to in real life where people take their mind off it when they take their foot off. I have learned the hard way that if I do want to protect a position, I can't back off too much or I'll end up making some other silly error from driving too differently.

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On 10/12/2020 at 8:32 AM, RodgerDavies said:

I also have the thing referred to in real life where people take their mind off it when they take their foot off. I have learned the hard way that if I do want to protect a position, I can't back off too much or I'll end up making some other silly error from driving too differently.

Ouch, that is so familiar. I get too cautious because I've banged up a couple early in a stage, and end up having more problems until I find that "near the limit but not too near" point that I can perform well in.

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My way of getting fast:

  • Push like hell.
  • Crash and restart a few times.
  • Crash and restart a few more times.
  • Figure out where the limit is.
  • Aim to be just below that limit in speed/placement.
  • Be fast.

 

If you watch my recent Twitch streams you'll see this in real time. I go from bailing half the corners to beating 100% AI on a Stage within like 20 minutes.

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1 minute ago, PJTierney said:

My way of getting fast:

  • Push like hell.
  • Crash and restart a few times.
  • Crash and restart a few more times.
  • Figure out where the limit is.
  • Aim to be just below that limit in speed/placement.
  • Be fast.

 

If you watch my recent Twitch streams you'll see this in real time. I go from bailing half the corners to beating 100% AI on a Stage within like 20 minutes.

I learned a lot from watching some of your basic videos on YouTube. I haven't gotten on Twitch too much yet, but I'll give it a look. 

This style of racing really has a way of keeping you humble.

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