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Professional Race Car Driver's Take


MBellRacing

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Hello again, everyone. 

Fist off, I do feel I am ranting from frustration. I think I made that clear. I'm not sure what my end goal is except to no longer be frustrated. I think this frustration stems from a love of this title. It is SO close to right, that when there's something still relatively wrong, from my point of view, it stands out dramatically. I do not envy the developers, and I do feel bad about commenting in such ways about something they surely work very hard at, I merely think it would take slight tweaks to be perfect. 

Will try to give some actual feedback about the tarmac driving experience. I would love to comment on other things, but I think my opinion may be shot down a bit since I don't have real life evidence supporting my hunches. 

  • Braking feel seems very knife edge and relative front traction isn't translated. There should be a sensation of initial hit of braking, a sensation of nearing wheel lockup, a good indication of wheel lockup and on which tire, and a good feeling of the brakes being released and transferring grip to the front tires again. I think some of the vagueness in the sim comes from lack of nose movement. Real cars give you a good feeling of weight moving around on the nose. Looking at videos online of both real-steel WRC cars at Germany and videos of DiRT WRC cars at Germany show the lack of nose movement in the sim. The DiRT cars look very rigid, very digital in regards to nose dive and roll. The real cars have little pitches and wobbles that indicate relative front tire traction while braking and on corner entry. See here: 

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sq6nDsO8dCk

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXG0HUrByzw
  • Braking lockup does not feel realistic. Many times while braking on tarmac, especially on the Monte, but also in Germany, I continue to brake quite hard despite the sound of locking tires. That is because the tire noise is not what a real driver reacts to as much as the sensation of sudden reduction in braking force. This loss of braking force is usually about 30% of threshold, which is to say, a slightly rolling tire has 30% more slowing acceleration than a locked one. The locked tire also loses all rolling direction and follows the direction of momentum. If you were to lock a tire heading into a corner, you would hear some noise, see some smoke, but really you would almost feel like you're suddenly accelerating again. It is incredibly abrupt, this feeling.

    The sensation of locking changes based on where you are in the corner and which tire is locked:

    If both fronts are locked, you're going to feel like you are accelerating with no ability to steer.

    If the rears both lock, you're going to still have reasonable slowing, but the car is going to dance, sometimes even twitch aggressively as the wheels lock and unlock. You'll often hear in a 4WD car the differentials and gear lash bouncing around as you lock the rear tires. This is usually an indication that you're braking JUST over threshold.

    If you lock an inside front into a corner, the most common wheel lock, reduction in braking will be minimal, since most slowing has already occurred. The biggest feeling will be a sudden reduction in rotation, maybe a numb feeling through the wheel. It usually results in mild understeer.

    If  you lock a rear on corner entry, it will feel like a handbrake turn. Usually, this type of lock isn't a really fast snap sideways like a true handbrake turn. It is usually somewhat slower, since you are likely already releasing the brake. 

  • The tire noise is dramatically over-done. The howling tires are almost distracting to me, since this is not the usual noise. Usually, with small inputs, understeer sounds like nothing at all on race tires. You'll notice in the Neuville video above that you only hear tire noise on handbrake turns. I find that the tire noise often has nothing to do with relative traction. In real life, you drive to push (American term for understeer) through the steering wheel. The direction change will be most abrupt with smaller inputs. As you get closer to the limit of tire adhesion, the steering begins to feel numb. A good driver knows to log this point in their mind to better estimate tire traction through following corners or the next stage (the next lap, in my case). This sensation seems to be partially missing in DiRT. They seem to indicate limit of traction with tire noise followed by aggressive understeer more than nice, progressive push. This is a hard thing to describe, but I think it boils down to a need for less tire noise on tarmac and a smoother, longer limit of front tire traction. 

Those would honestly do it. More feel under braking, better lockup indication, more realistic and progressive understeer sensation. To be honest, all these things could be done with a "tire mode" as iRacing would call it. There's hope! For fun, I also found this video of Kris Meeke jammin' up the Monte in the wet. Even with the video you can "feel" the car's grip. THAT is what is missing. It helps that Meeke is a dying breed of McRae-esque drivers that like the car "fast loose". This is how I like my race cars, when I can have it that way. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vclbcO8ncEg

For kicks, here are a couple of my videos. They are relevant to what we're talking about. In the first, you can see a big Camaro from way back in 2012 at a Continental Tire test in New Orleans. Watch the nose under braking and when transitioning from push to loose. The movements are subtle, but enough to tell you, even in a static camera mounted in a terrible location, what the car is doing. This car has FAR worse tires than a modern WRC car and is probably twice the weight. Very little tire noise. Some, but not a lot. You can especially see the car move around more later in the tire test, toward the end of the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkGzYx4wwmI

Second video, same car, same "era" (pre-Z/28.R), this time at COTA and with a better camera angle. You can see the nose roll around and when my reactions come in. THIS is what I'm responding to. Watch how the nose appears to "release" the load on corner entry. Again, it is subtle, and the camera is still not mounted in the driver seat. You can also see hints of understeer with very little tire noise. Watch how immediate direction change has lots of command over the front tire, but closer to the limit, the steering gets "numb".  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juzfTlo4m_U

Same track, different car. THIS is a good video to show what it should look like with good front-end feel. Watch the pitch under braking and the smooth release on turn-in. No ABS on this older R8 GTD car, so the release is pronounced without any bouncing from ABS engagement. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8baJVZeNO8


Hopefully I have done an adequate job of better explaining what I think the sim needs, with video and text. Please let me know if you'd like me to explain anything better.




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nice feedback. you can get some pitching when breaking but i have to over do what i want to do to achieve this kind of feel on tarmac in dirt rally.i dont really like how germany tarmac feels in general thats why i mainy stick to wales which is nigh on perfect.

quite a few do think tarmac driving in the game should be tweaked hopefully it is in a later patch at some point.
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The pitching under braking is a good point. On tarmac spec the cars seem to have very little pitch on hard braking, even when setup with full suspension travel and softest possible suspension. However, on gravel the pitching is much more pronounced. The Fiesta WRC is a good example of lots of weight transfer on the brakes and even on the throttle. 

Here is a video that I made a month ago or so. It really shows that the suspension does not absorb the weight on the brakes properly on tarmac spec setup.

https://youtu.be/_XSk1rl4n_c



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It's a great post and worthy of some response. I don't know who does the handling modelling for dirt rally - I think it was @britpoint for f1, maybe he can point you in the right direction.

So much there to think about, but trying to look at it one point at a time - I have little time at the moment, this is probably the obvious one did you try altering the suspension and damping to see whether that made the differences any more obvious ? 

Also I know some guys got some camera mod that allows you to see from the side of the wheel and maybe this could help verify your pitch changes.

My guess is though that the model simply isn't sophisticated enough to handle this sort of stuff.
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I think what you're talking about I'm "supposed" to be feeling through the FFB, but instead it just all FFB. Which is weird. Based on Bogani's videos the cars are all pretty stiff through braking and cornering, I'm no expert, but it looks a bit difficult to tell the wheel lockup or understeer.
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JZStudios said:
I think what you're talking about I'm "supposed" to be feeling through the FFB, but instead it just all FFB. Which is weird. Based on Bogani's videos the cars are all pretty stiff through braking and cornering, I'm no expert, but it looks a bit difficult to tell the wheel lockup or understeer.
Wheel lock up is actually quite hard to provoke with default brake pressure. At least with clubsport pedals.
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bogani said:
The pitching under braking is a good point. On tarmac spec the cars seem to have very little pitch on hard braking, even when setup with full suspension travel and softest possible suspension.
I mentioned this months ago, but some individuals insisted that it was due to the force feedback settings. taha ;) Trying to remember how I described it, I think it was something along the lines of the cars looking disconnected from the road.

I thought everyone was aware of this already though?
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Thanks for the responses, guys. Bogani's video shows it best-- the cars are just glued to the surface of the road and have no suspension movement. More importantly, there's no tire movement. I know this is difficult for a sim to get right, or at all, but I think it is possible and needed to be right. 

Adjusting suspension is not the problem, in my opinion. Softening the suspension in real life does, indeed, increase mechanical grip, but at a cost of control. I feel the problem is still in the tire model, not the setup of the cars.

FFB is still a bit weird on my setup, but it is what it is. I can work around it. I wish there was more caster effect when sliding, which seems to be missing. Porkhammer, I think people may have been aware of it, and that's fine. Like I said, I think the big problem is that the tire model looks to be made of wood. There is no progressive break away on braking or cornering, and this results in a vague sense of limit. 

Here, compare this video of McRae and Burns driving the old 22B, easily one of my favorite cars of all time. Compare it to Bogani's video @ 2:35 and checkout the differences in body movement. Even on SNOW the real 22B has more body movement!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bS41Ymal0L0
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Thanks for the responses, guys. Bogani's video shows it best-- the cars are just glued to the surface of the road and have no suspension movement. More importantly, there's no tire movement. I know this is difficult for a sim to get right, or at all, but I think it is possible and needed to be right. 

Adjusting suspension is not the problem, in my opinion. Softening the suspension in real life does, indeed, increase mechanical grip, but at a cost of control. I feel the problem is still in the tire model, not the setup of the cars.

FFB is still a bit weird on my setup, but it is what it is. I can work around it. I wish there was more caster effect when sliding, which seems to be missing. Porkhammer, I think people may have been aware of it, and that's fine. Like I said, I think the big problem is that the tire model looks to be made of wood. There is no progressive break away on braking or cornering, and this results in a vague sense of limit. 

Out of curiosity, how is your FFB settings? 
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Thanks for the responses, guys. Bogani's video shows it best-- the cars are just glued to the surface of the road and have no suspension movement. More importantly, there's no tire movement. I know this is difficult for a sim to get right, or at all, but I think it is possible and needed to be right. 

Adjusting suspension is not the problem, in my opinion. Softening the suspension in real life does, indeed, increase mechanical grip, but at a cost of control. I feel the problem is still in the tire model, not the setup of the cars.

FFB is still a bit weird on my setup, but it is what it is. I can work around it. I wish there was more caster effect when sliding, which seems to be missing. Porkhammer, I think people may have been aware of it, and that's fine. Like I said, I think the big problem is that the tire model looks to be made of wood. There is no progressive break away on braking or cornering, and this results in a vague sense of limit. 

Here, compare this video of McRae and Burns driving the old 22B, easily one of my favorite cars of all time. Compare it to Bogani's video @ 2:35 and checkout the differences in body movement. Even on SNOW the real 22B has more body movement!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bS41Ymal0L0
Oh shit.you just opened a can of worms calling it the 22B ;)

On a more serious note tho, there is much more suspension movement on gravel in the game though. And I'm not sure what you mean when you compare my video with yours and point out there is more body movement on snow. Ofcourse it is, the suspension setup on snow tend to be very soft?

Agree about the caster effect, that could be stronger and provide more help when countersteering.
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bogani said:
Thanks for the responses, guys. Bogani's video shows it best-- the cars are just glued to the surface of the road and have no suspension movement. More importantly, there's no tire movement. I know this is difficult for a sim to get right, or at all, but I think it is possible and needed to be right. 

Adjusting suspension is not the problem, in my opinion. Softening the suspension in real life does, indeed, increase mechanical grip, but at a cost of control. I feel the problem is still in the tire model, not the setup of the cars.

FFB is still a bit weird on my setup, but it is what it is. I can work around it. I wish there was more caster effect when sliding, which seems to be missing. Porkhammer, I think people may have been aware of it, and that's fine. Like I said, I think the big problem is that the tire model looks to be made of wood. There is no progressive break away on braking or cornering, and this results in a vague sense of limit. 

Here, compare this video of McRae and Burns driving the old 22B, easily one of my favorite cars of all time. Compare it to Bogani's video @ 2:35 and checkout the differences in body movement. Even on SNOW the real 22B has more body movement!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bS41Ymal0L0
Oh shit.you just opened a can of worms calling it the 22B ;)

On a more serious note tho, there is much more suspension movement on gravel in the game though. And I'm not sure what you mean when you compare my video with yours and point out there is more body movement on snow. Ofcourse it is, the suspension setup on snow tend to be very soft?

Agree about the caster effect, that could be stronger and provide more help when countersteering.
Well on the snow there is very little normal grip to see a lot of suspension travel, that is WHY the suspension is so soft. My point was, even when you soften the suspension all the way for the tarmac, you still can't achieve any pitch or roll even compared to a situation where load capability is maybe 10-20% of tarmac. 

My FFB settings-- I'd have to look. My Fanatec wheel is set to max on everything, I have many things lowered to 20-25% on the in-game settings. I'll check tonight if I can and let you all know my settings. 
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bogani said:
The pitching under braking is a good point. On tarmac spec the cars seem to have very little pitch on hard braking, even when setup with full suspension travel and softest possible suspension.
I mentioned this months ago, but some individuals insisted that it was due to the force feedback settings. taha ;) Trying to remember how I described it, I think it was something along the lines of the cars looking disconnected from the road.

I thought everyone was aware of this already though?
But this was more about the abscense of the car "squating" on the front suspension under braking,

We all agree that tarmac isn't optimal, but atleast it's better now than it was when they released Germany. The "crabbing" isn't as apparent as it was and the cars doesn't feel like as much like boats after they tightened up the FFB. Well, except the 2000's Impreza. That one always feels like a boat on tarmac.
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bogani said:
JZStudios said:
I think what you're talking about I'm "supposed" to be feeling through the FFB, but instead it just all FFB. Which is weird. Based on Bogani's videos the cars are all pretty stiff through braking and cornering, I'm no expert, but it looks a bit difficult to tell the wheel lockup or understeer.
Wheel lock up is actually quite hard to provoke with default brake pressure. At least with clubsport pedals.
True, but I adjust the max brake pressure to about 80% of pedal travel.
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I remember in ye olden days some guys managed to get the other tire models (of which I think there's supposed to be a soft/medium/hard) and that made the tarmac feel better. I made a poll about allowing people to choose their tire compound, but apparently no one was that interested.
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bogani said:
Thanks for the responses, guys. Bogani's video shows it best-- the cars are just glued to the surface of the road and have no suspension movement. More importantly, there's no tire movement. I know this is difficult for a sim to get right, or at all, but I think it is possible and needed to be right. 

Adjusting suspension is not the problem, in my opinion. Softening the suspension in real life does, indeed, increase mechanical grip, but at a cost of control. I feel the problem is still in the tire model, not the setup of the cars.

FFB is still a bit weird on my setup, but it is what it is. I can work around it. I wish there was more caster effect when sliding, which seems to be missing. Porkhammer, I think people may have been aware of it, and that's fine. Like I said, I think the big problem is that the tire model looks to be made of wood. There is no progressive break away on braking or cornering, and this results in a vague sense of limit. 

Here, compare this video of McRae and Burns driving the old 22B, easily one of my favorite cars of all time. Compare it to Bogani's video @ 2:35 and checkout the differences in body movement. Even on SNOW the real 22B has more body movement!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bS41Ymal0L0
Oh shit.you just opened a can of worms calling it the 22B ;)

On a more serious note tho, there is much more suspension movement on gravel in the game though. And I'm not sure what you mean when you compare my video with yours and point out there is more body movement on snow. Ofcourse it is, the suspension setup on snow tend to be very soft?

Agree about the caster effect, that could be stronger and provide more help when countersteering.
Well on the snow there is very little normal grip to see a lot of suspension travel, that is WHY the suspension is so soft. My point was, even when you soften the suspension all the way for the tarmac, you still can't achieve any pitch or roll even compared to a situation where load capability is maybe 10-20% of tarmac. 

My FFB settings-- I'd have to look. My Fanatec wheel is set to max on everything, I have many things lowered to 20-25% on the in-game settings. I'll check tonight if I can and let you all know my settings. 
Yes, I stated that when I posted the video. I've tried setting the suspension as soft as possible with as much travel as possible, but there is very little movement going on. It's default setups in the video though.

One thing I would love to try is if it was possible to get the gravel spec setups on tarmac.

What Fanatec wheel do you have? I had a GT2 before but now a T500RS which I like way better. The Fanatec felt very dampened. To counteract that I used the drift settings on the wheel, but that doesn't really feel all that natural to me.
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I agree. I actually didn't realize that the setups changed with location... I don't think I like that. That is a big separation of this game from a true simulator, in my opinion. I feel it is easily possible to allow the full range of spring and damper adjustments between locations. In our old Camaro we used to run softer springs than stock, often. Yes, softer. Europeans will cringe at this, but mechanical grip is remarkable when you use damper and bar to support the chassis mid-corner. I would love to get a similar setup to this in DiRT, but I don't believe it is currently possible.
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I agree. I actually didn't realize that the setups changed with location... I don't think I like that. That is a big separation of this game from a true simulator, in my opinion. I feel it is easily possible to allow the full range of spring and damper adjustments between locations. In our old Camaro we used to run softer springs than stock, often. Yes, softer. Europeans will cringe at this, but mechanical grip is remarkable when you use damper and bar to support the chassis mid-corner. I would love to get a similar setup to this in DiRT, but I don't believe it is currently possible.
Well, the WRC teams almost completely rebuild the car going from a gravel rally to a tarmac rally. Bigger discs, bigger rims, much thicker roll bars, different springs etc. So in that regard they are doing it right. I would still want to play around on tarmac with a gravel spec car on gravel tires if I could :)

I think it comes down to this. The tire model isn't very advanced in this game. They did however do a real good job on coding how the loose surfaces work, but the limitations of the tire model is much more apparent on a hard, flat surface that does not include multiple layers.
This is just pure speculation from my side though :)
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  • 3 weeks later...
So, Mr. MBell, I'd like your opinion on the new AC 1.5 update. I know it's off topic, but I don't feel like creating a new thread to ask you a question. If you don't have AC 1.5, the new tire model seems to be explained as tires take about 3 laps to reach temp, you can almost immediately floor it coming out of a corner, and there seems to be abhorrent understeer everywhere, especially if you think about touching the brakes. I'm no expert here, but it seems like a step backwards to me.
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Here, compare this video of McRae and Burns driving the old 22B, easily one of my favorite cars of all time. Compare it to Bogani's video @ 2:35 and checkout the differences in body movement. Even on SNOW the real 22B has more body movement!

Given the seriousness of the above offense, I'm afraid your opinion on all matters have now been rendered invalid Mr Professional Race Car Driver.

Go forth and read post #3:

http://forums.codemasters.com/discussion/39555/the-confusing-car-name-thread-s1-e2-22b-wrc-etc/p1

:smiley:
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