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More in sorrow than in anger

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This game is such a piece of work. So incredibly infuriating. I don't want to use the "D" word (difficulty) but it's really of an ordeal more than a game. There's no gradual improvement and associated dopamine hits to sow the seeds of enjoyment and keep you coming back. It's just a brutal battering from start to finish, a regular reinforcement that you're wasting your time trying to get better. 

I know it's a simulation. I know it's realistic. I'm fine with that, but there has to be some element of fun or enjoyment in it. As you swing uncontrollably backwards and crash intro trees and fall off cliffs and log times 20 seconds longer per stage than the AI or the competition - ask yourself... are you *really* enjoying this?

It's a Codemasters problem. The F1 games are the same, a tiresome slog with little to make you return. I have a terrible habit of addicting myself to driving games, and I'll have to stick with this for the moment, but I absolute cannot wait until I set it down never to return to another Codemasters game. 

I don't need to adjust difficulty settings. I don't need to practise more. I don't need patience. These are things for real life. I just need a game where someone has adequately pitched the difficulty curve properly. Rant over.

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Have tried Dirt 4 and it’s ok. Really just wish 2.0 had a bit more balance in the AI and a bit less ruthlessness in the early stages 

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I asked myself and still love it 🙂 
I do a Masters (highest difficulty) career run at the moment.
6 rallies with 12 stages each.

Won the first 4 rallies, got 4th place in the 5th one.
One remaining.
I'm already champion, because I have a 37 points lead. Great feeling.



Yes, this game is hard.
It punches you right in the face, if you don't focus 100% all the time.
And I love it.

I want a challenge, not a game were I fall asleep before I reach the finish line.
Played way too many racing games in the past to play boring easy racing games, THIS is for me a waste of time.

But the great thing is, there are games for everyone out there.

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Yeah I hear you. Sometimes I really enjoy it. What ****** me off is there’s little sense of improvement, for me anyway. It’s just one step forward, five steps back. 
I just finished Ribadelles in a RWD car and it took 4 mins over the best time. But I went up 100 places in the rankings because so many didn’t finish or gave up! I just don’t think it’s a sign of a fair difficulty level 

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The problem here is not the AI difficulty or other human drivers (in club events for example), the problem is having the car always under control.
I wouldn't recommend using RWD at the beginning, because these are even harder to drive than 4WDs.

Focus on driving as fast as you can control it.
Going off the throttle sometimes when you feel you lose control before you crash can help.
Many crash because they just push 100% until a tree stops them.

Most of the time people lose more time by crashing then because of pace.

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I’m actually ok on the RWD, and on going slowly and keeping control. I’m just not improving despite putting probably 100+ hours into the game.

What I think would really help is (1) AI that makes it a fun challenge, not coming 28/29/30 every time; and (2) groups for the human drivers, so instead of always being 897th or whatever and 1m 15 behind the leader, you could be in the top 50 of your group. I guess it’s just perception - I’m probably improving, but feels like the game doesn’t want to admit it 😂

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Hm, you want the game lie to you?
It doesn't matter if the result screen says you're 1st or 28th, the time is important.
If the game says you're first, but in Time Trials the same time would be 10268th place, wouldn't that be st****?

You need to find out what makes you slow, not asking for machanics, who lie to you.
It's hard to tell what the problem is without replays, if it's not crashes or constant big mistakes.
Maybe some Driver-Assists? Auto-Braking for example slows you down quite much, if you actually don't need it.

The big question I forgot to tell until now is: On wich difficulty are you playing?

In custom championship you can configurate you're difficulty with a slider from 1 to 100.
Did you tried that yet?

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2 hours ago, UnderclassGDfan said:

Maybe some Driver-Assists? Auto-Braking for example slows you down quite much, if you actually don't need it.

Using assists really can slow you down, just like Underclass states here. More so on loose surfaces. The assists in racing games tend to be fairly dump, in that they will be either on or off with zero inbetween. Take TCS for example, the moment it detects you are spinning up your tires; it will cut power. This can have a negative impact of you are sliding around a corner on gravel, as you need the tires spinning in order to powerslide around and out the corner. STM also does a similar thing where it is cut power if you are sliding laterally. Which again will stop you from been able to powerslide on loose surfaced. A skill that is required in rally.

In this video I show the effects off the assists at Finland in an Evo 6, stage times and assists are shown in each clip. I also have on screen telemety showing for Throttle, Brake and Steering. The Evo 6 is a manual sequential car IRL, so baring the "auto gears" test, the rest was done using Manual Sequential in game using a T300 RS GT wheel with T3PA Pro pedals -

One thing that is really important in any racing game (even a rally game), is course knowledge. Knowing whats coming can really help. Some people believe that goes agaisnt the nature of a rally, but very few rallys are done blind. Most allow the rally drivers to drive the stages a couple of time before hand, in order to make the pace notes. This gives them some memory of the course in the process. Obviously in Dirt Rally (or other rally title), we can take that further and run the stages till they become second nature. But course knowledge is often what will lead to the biggest time gains.

How you drive a stage matters, how close you get to the edges, how you handle the jumps. You may drive a stage without nessicerally messing up, but are you driving the fastest lines for that particualr stage?

I made this video a while back when Scotland released to the game, to show people how I personally go about learning a stage in an effort to help others improve -
 


Improvements can be made in Dirt Rally 2 ( and any racing game) by just practicing. I know thats a tired thing to say, and I know you say you dont need to practice; but it does work. Like with anything, you only get out of it what you are willing to invest. When you invest the time and effort, anything is possible. That isnt just for a racing title like Dirt Rally, but for all video games. You can be good a first person shooters for example, but to be one of the top players; it takes effort and practice. Even outside of video games, such as learning an instrument; or even learning to draw/paint. It all takes time, it all takes practice -
 


Whether you act on what I have said or not, it doesnt matter. But I do hope you get that sense of improvment you are wanting so that the game becomes more fun for you.
 

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12 hours ago, Ialyrn said:

Using assists really can slow you down, just like Underclass states here. More so on loose surfaces. The assists in racing games tend to be fairly dump, in that they will be either on or off with zero inbetween. Take TCS for example, the moment it detects you are spinning up your tires; it will cut power. This can have a negative impact of you are sliding around a corner on gravel, as you need the tires spinning in order to powerslide around and out the corner. STM also does a similar thing where it is cut power if you are sliding laterally. Which again will stop you from been able to powerslide on loose surfaced. A skill that is required in rally.

In this video I show the effects off the assists at Finland in an Evo 6, stage times and assists are shown in each clip. I also have on screen telemety showing for Throttle, Brake and Steering. The Evo 6 is a manual sequential car IRL, so baring the "auto gears" test, the rest was done using Manual Sequential in game using a T300 RS GT wheel with T3PA Pro pedals -

One thing that is really important in any racing game (even a rally game), is course knowledge. Knowing whats coming can really help. Some people believe that goes agaisnt the nature of a rally, but very few rallys are done blind. Most allow the rally drivers to drive the stages a couple of time before hand, in order to make the pace notes. This gives them some memory of the course in the process. Obviously in Dirt Rally (or other rally title), we can take that further and run the stages till they become second nature. But course knowledge is often what will lead to the biggest time gains.

How you drive a stage matters, how close you get to the edges, how you handle the jumps. You may drive a stage without nessicerally messing up, but are you driving the fastest lines for that particualr stage?

I made this video a while back when Scotland released to the game, to show people how I personally go about learning a stage in an effort to help others improve -
 


Improvements can be made in Dirt Rally 2 ( and any racing game) by just practicing. I know thats a tired thing to say, and I know you say you dont need to practice; but it does work. Like with anything, you only get out of it what you are willing to invest. When you invest the time and effort, anything is possible. That isnt just for a racing title like Dirt Rally, but for all video games. You can be good a first person shooters for example, but to be one of the top players; it takes effort and practice. Even outside of video games, such as learning an instrument; or even learning to draw/paint. It all takes time, it all takes practice -
 


Whether you act on what I have said or not, it doesnt matter. But I do hope you get that sense of improvment you are wanting so that the game becomes more fun for you.
 

Thanks man, these are great points. I’m seeing a very, very slow improvement with the practice and I totally agree with you on the importance of it. It’s the little muscle memory points and fraction-of-a-second reactions that add up to big improvements over a stage. I’m still playing the game and because they took it off the Game Pass I had to buy it outright... so will keep persisting! 

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As a quick question, how many degrees of rotation do you have your wheel set at?  Soft-lock in-game seems to be unreliable, so I have my wheel set to 540 DOR which matches modern rally cars, and that makes driving them considerably more straightforward (I didn't want to say "easy" here).  If you have 900, or even 720, you have to do huge massive swings that take a really long time and you're going to have a lot more trouble controlling the car.  If you want to be realistic for whatever car you're in, there's lists online somewhere about what cars naturally have what DOR, but I just set it to 540, don't worry about the soft lock since it seems very unreliable, and go with that.  I'm not the fastest driver out there by any stretch, but I'm usually within about 15 seconds of whatever the top time is on most short stages, 25-30 seconds on longer stages, so not terrible either.

Assists already got mentioned as probably being more of a hinderance than a help with rally driving, but I'll also say that automatic shifting is going to make things harder too if you're doing that.  Sequential shifting allows you to avoid an upshift just before a braking point and/or corner where the higher gear could give you issues, and just in general you have less control of things.

Anyways, good luck!  If you already have everything I suggested set, then keep doing what you said you're doing with practice and it'll eventually kind of "click."  This is also helpful, assuming the link doesn't get eaten or deleted by a mod: http://www.oldrallysport.on.ca/articles/Driving.html

Have fun!

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Great news. I managed to set the game down for a few days and now have completely broken the habit. No desire to go back to it and in fact I’ll never get into another Codemasters game again! Chalk it up to experience 

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