The problem with iRacing, and with all sims, is that they feel amazing and realistic when you are driving at 95% (which means seconds off the world records) but when you are getting nearer to the limits of the car the physics just collapse. I haven't played since late 2011 but from what I heard from fellow DWC drivers the F1 especially is even worse than it was when I drove. Don't know if that's true but it's a pity. There was SO much talk about the new tyre model then and seems like it didn't deliver.
Still it was really fun. You learned a lot about racing by actually racing against other people, even if it happened in virtual world instead of real asphalt. I just have too competitive nature - nothing is enough, I have to be the best. So it became too frustrating at times even obsessive. Sometimes I would hotlap in offline 4 hours straight trying to improve a tenth or two. I started college and dropped the hobby. I was never going to be as good as Greger Huttu anyway, so maybe it was for the best. All though sometimes I wonder how good I'd be today if I never stopped.
There is a big difference between how it feels now and back in 2011. I find it hard to put my exact thoughts into words so you will have to try to visualise what I mean. The old tyre model is actually how you described, it worked great up to 95% and then started doing strange things, but the model worked and it was "safe". The new tyre model is mathematical based and is from what I can tell the result of years of experiments by Dave (physics dev). Strangely to me I found that in the extreme cars (F1 car especially) the tyres actually now behave badly below the limit and don't start working stable until right up at that 99% limit, where transitions between these 2 phases is very in your face. For example the F1 car feels like it has unlimited grip and like it is constantly oversteering (extremely sensitive) in what I could only describe to myself as "super glue jelly bungie cord tyres". The absolute smallest of movements make a massive difference and losing grip happens out of nowhere..
Because you have this above mentioned characteristic you feel like you're driving an unlimited grip machine until you hit the limit where there is a kind of almost understeer "wall" and it stops oversteering and starts to feel less insane (a little more stable), so its very hard to get it to the limit but once you're there it feels more comfortable, unfortunately when you transition back below the limit (which you will do a lot) or when you initiate weight transfers the tyres revert to their superglue mode and either spit you off the track or start to slide.. when it starts to slide it is like being on ice, when the rear tyres go they just slide away from you. Basically a lot of unpredictable and at times almost contradictory behaviour, you can feel like you have it under control and that the tyres are stable right up until the point where it spits you off the track out of nowhere, with no warning... as I said, extremely sensitive and unpredictable.
If you watch how the F1 drivers drive then this is just so far from reality, I'm sure it provides some pretty hairy racing (and some pretty high crash rates I'm sure) but I don't think it really resembles real life in any way. It's certaintly a lot more sensitive than it was on the old tyre model.
M.Nader -DODZ- wrote:
Bit of an update, I went ahead and resubscribed with a 1 + 2 months free deal. I have to say though I'm not going to purchase Bathurst + RUF as the cars that I do own are not that great. I think my memory of iRacing (apparently I last played in early-mid 2012) was one of slightly rose-tinted glasses when it comes to the driving/physics model. Some cars feel really funky and I must admit I found the F1 car was perhaps the worst of all the versions I've tried from various sims.
I'l probably play it a bit and get my moneys worth, still enjoy doing some Oval racing (it's better than one might expect) as I have the Truck + Impala B class but I can't see me buying any more content or keeping my subscription going past my 3 months.
Please do elaborate, i have just started in iRacing and i am having a bit of fun although i think it is a bit too difficult to drive. i am sure with your experience you can add to that
Continuing on from above, but more in the general sense. It feels like in many cars when they start to lose grip at the rear they never really re gain that grip, and so you have this strange sensation from a lot of the cars where you have this slow motion almost unsaveable tankslapper and the back end will come around as if it is on a pivot... Very noticeable in the Cadillac racing car with the default setup (but there in a few other cars too, it seems to be an iRacing characteristic).
Also, I find myself feeling that in the low speed corners in some of the heavier cars (again like the Cadillac or the Corvette C6R) that the car is just floating about with absolutely no feeling, and often enough that is accompanied by the above rear end coming around out of nowhere... It's a very disconnected feeling.
I find that rather than driving the car to the visual/sound and FFB feeling cues in a natural way you have to perhaps train yourself to drive the cars in a way that will avoid you getting into the situation where the above would happen. In the Cadillac instead of feeling say a progressive "grip wall" where I can progressively feel the grip and limit of the edge of the tyre instead I have to estimate where that is. The reason is that the sim almost gives you the false indication that you have more grip than you do, what happens then is that the car will turn in and keep turning in (similar to the unlimited grip + constant oversteer I talked about with the F1) until eventually the rear tyres give up and start to slide, and then you have the above mentioned back end slide where the tyres never re gain any grip and just slide as if they are on Ice, this characteristic feels almost amplified in low speed corners.
There was one car that I drove that did feel much more realistic and natural, the Spec Ford Racer. A much slower car but to me this one felt a bit more predictable to drive, it locked the brakes up a bit easy (not sure how accurate that is) but otherwise I felt it was pretty good.
I will say that in its current form iRacing is a lot harder than other simulators to drive... But it feels to me that the main reasons for that are the issue with very unpredictable tyre behaviour, the strange slow speed floaty/unconnected physics on the heavy cars and perhaps because of a general lack of connection with between the driver and the simulator. If I jump into Assetto Corsa, Rfactor 2, Simraceway, NetKar Pro (some of the other highly rated simulators) I can pretty much jump in and drive comfortably at a pretty high level almost instantly, driving in other simulators is like second nature... it's like driving in the real world to me... iRacing though seems to be a beast of it's own, and honestly I don't think it is all that realistic at all.
Regarding Assetto Corsa : This is one I've been driving a bit and I must say it is by far and away the most realistic I've driven, and that seems to be the general consensus (even on the iRacing forums strangely), in AC more than anything I can really drive the cars and when mistakes happen they are mistakes, there is no unpredictable behaviour going on and that makes it a very engaging and lifelike driving experience.