The online racing simulator
Setup stealing and sharing discussion (from 0.6F thread)
(217 posts, started )
Quote from Forbin :Do you not think everyone will tend towards the same, optimal strategies over time anyway? Even without having the same setup, teams tend to watch what the winning teams do and attempt to emulate them.

Yeah of course that happens but there are also often many good strategies that may work as well but why would anyone try to do major changes to their (stolen) setup and strategy if they already have one that is proven to work well. Some years ago I found often different strategies and it was also easy to notice that top teams had significantly different setups in every race, nowadays everybody are doing the same thing and it's just a bit boring.
Quote from MonkeyHead :Evidence: Try to drive oval with minimum wings and then try again with maximum wings, are you still able to drive same laptimes?

So yeah, setups can be important and there are many reasons why it hurts league racing that much. Some of them were mentioned above already but also it becomes more interesting when there are more drivers/teams with different setups and different strategies but nowadays it's often so that everyone just steals the best available setup and maybe does some small changes to make the setup fit theirself and everybody got the same strategies.

setup is only a fraction of the overall performance of the racer.I see it all the time on on the demo servers when someone does a good time and then people start asking for the setup and they still drive as bad/same as previously

It does on the odd occassions help the driver if they were previously using a setup that setup totally wrong
Well,you're comparing 2 different things - like you said in demo servers a bad driver with better setup won't drive better,it's just lack of skill. While in top leagues,where drivers are top level and pretty much even skilled,the right setup might decide the edge - if suspention is better optimized for track conditions or gears are perfectionized to be able use the most possible engine power at most times or there's found the best compromise between downforce and straight line speed. And all this is set up after hard work. Do you think it's fair,that some are working hard week before race to make the car better for a league race and someone else just joins server hour before race,downloads other's (the hard workers) setup and has it without doing anything for it? Of course the experience at practice still plays a big role.

One thing what might bring fresh air to racing - changing conditions. That would throw out the need for hard work on setups for one constant situation and add need to addapt to changing situation. Wishes,wishes...
Quote from bishtop :setup is only a fraction of the overall performance of the racer.I see it all the time on on the demo servers when someone does a good time and then people start asking for the setup and they still drive as bad/same as previously

It does on the odd occassions help the driver if they were previously using a setup that setup totally wrong

Well you are right in that but only if we are talking about hotlap setups. But those tenths you can find by using faster setup (in hotlapping) are also important sometimes, specially in demo. I believe the current bl1+fbm WR would be quite hard to beat with bawbag's ex WR setup for example. On s2 tracks the margins are typically bigger because the setups aren't that close to perfect yet of course.
Quote from Forbin :Do you not think everyone will tend towards the same, optimal strategies over time anyway? Even without having the same setup, teams tend to watch what the winning teams do and attempt to emulate them.

That's quite an interesting statement, in most of LFS endurance leagues the basic strategy have always been to do a complete hour and a lot of team always thought that if they were able to save a stop it was faster. Stint simulations in LFS have always shown on my side that the quickest strategy was actually quite often to do slightly shorter stint. That's even more important when you run soft tyres. Then ofc another thing that have to be taken into account is that it is always safer to have the "base" strategy as you don't get everything broken by a SC at the wrong time.

Regarding setups, back in the good days of F3 euroseries, F3 teams used to hide their suspensions and to close garage door when doing setups...I saw few teams doing that this year in Le Mans so yes you can always have a look at the wing setting, but you would never know which antiroll bar is used, which spring, what is the ride height (which is actually the #1 factor on aero balance)...I heard that Redbull have developped a software to get data from television but I also heard it wasn't really working...and anyway you would always miss some informations as you can't know tyre load with pictures, same as rideheight.

Tbh that setup extractor thing hurts me first time I heard about it, but in the end I decided not to care as this is just a game which is sometimes forgotten in league racing. Anyway you are always faster with a setup you made by yourself.

Anyway at the end of the day the problem isn't that often the car, but the thing between the steering wheel and the seat.
Quote from MoMo92i :That's quite an interesting statement, in most of LFS endurance leagues the basic strategy have always been to do a complete hour and a lot of team always thought that if they were able to save a stop it was faster.

...

Anyway at the end of the day the problem isn't that often the car, but the thing between the steering wheel and the seat

Among a variety of other factors, that's how CoRe won the GT2 class in the 2008 MoE 24HR @ AS5 ahead of Mercury, arguably the GT2 class favorite for that race. They were faster, but we had a smooth setup and, most importantly, smooth drivers who could eke out those few extra laps from the tyres and maintain good pace.

Another, very fast but less smooth driver on the same team with the same setup popped a tire 4 laps before the smoother drivers would have pit.

Regarding teams tending towards a similar strategy:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_algorithms
Quote from Eclipsed :Well,you're comparing 2 different things - like you said in demo servers a bad driver with better setup won't drive better,it's just lack of skill. While in top leagues,where drivers are top level and pretty much even skilled,the right setup might decide the edge - if suspention is better optimized for track conditions or gears are perfectionized to be able use the most possible engine power at most times or there's found the best compromise between downforce and straight line speed. And all this is set up after hard work. Do you think it's fair,that some are working hard week before race to make the car better for a league race and someone else just joins server hour before race,downloads other's (the hard workers) setup and has it without doing anything for it? Of course the experience at practice still plays a big role.

One thing what might bring fresh air to racing - changing conditions. That would throw out the need for hard work on setups for one constant situation and add need to addapt to changing situation. Wishes,wishes...

there are plenty of very good demo racers dont get me wrong, low 1.12s who would/have benifited from setups given to them,My using of the word "bad" maybe incorrect i should of used the word "slower"

Also because people race in leagues it dont make them pro's compared to them that dont. With the few exceptions i see demo/ and non league drivers with 3 times more mileage in half the time and with good laptimes

Also honestly more likely than not the setups are ones given to them in the first place that they have used as a base to work from and unless there should be no reason to not share unless they feel the person who asked would then surpass there skill suddenly

we have done our leagues and competitions and always promote a friendly atmosphere where people dont mind helping others , maybe its what the leaugues your on about are lacking
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Quote from Scawen :As some people pointed out, it can't be made impossible. Your LFS.exe must decrypt a setup and hackers can figure that out. Setups in replays are already encrypted but as LFS can read them, hackers can read them too. It would be nice to make setups impossible to read and LFS licensed content impossible to crack but unfortunately that is not possible.

Do I get it right: you need to be able to decrypt setup of everyone for every instance of LFS connected to a server?
Quote from vitaly_m :Do I get it right: you need to be able to decrypt setup of everyone for every instance of LFS connected to a server?

Encryption isn't magic. You need to decrypt the data to use it. Encrypted data is practically indistinguishable from garbage.
Quote from vitaly_m :Do I get it right: you need to be able to decrypt setup of everyone for every instance of LFS connected to a server?

No, I don't think setup data is being send encrypted to every client while connected to a server, would be a waste of resources. But the setup data is there after connection because it otherwise is not possible to save a replay.

Thats why I suggested to completely block saving a replay locally in case of being in "training server mode" but probably this also is not easy to accomplish, unwanted and/or also is not secure enough.

Considering license status checking, there have to be a more complicated solution for that. Crackers use real IP's for their servers, if LFS detects this kind of communication a license re-check could take place (with help of something similar to SSL) and either abort or continue online functionality. The biggest problem trying to make things more secure is that its not fun and it eats time. Especially the discovery that something again has been cracked can work demotivating. It would be nice if the LFS team was a little bit bigger so somebody else is able to focus on this kind of stuff.
Quote from Scawen :As some people pointed out, it can't be made impossible......

Would it not be fairer then to make set up sharing mandatory?
Instead of having "SS" (send set) in the connection box, just have "S"...click it and name it.
Anthoop ??? wow am amazed you can write this, nice.

Becky wrote it nicely earlier aswell, change the culture, make 'stealing' meaningless.

and i do also strongly believe that's the way to go, sharing mandatory.
Quote from cargame.nl :No, I don't think setup data is being send encrypted to every client while connected to a server, would be a waste of resources. But the setup data is there after connection because it otherwise is not possible to save a replay.

It is sent encrypted to avoid people getting it from network packets. Is is encrypted in the file to avoid people getting it from replays. But hackers worked out how LFS gets the key and they got it from files. It is decrypted in memory so LFS can render other people's cars appearance and physics properly, and hackers also can find this in memory.

Quote from Becky Rose :If you can't fight it, make it available to everyone.

So either tougher encryption, or change the culture by allowing everyone to use anyone's set (there might be some resistance initially, but it would get accepted soon enough).

In real racing you can walk about the paddock, talk to drivers, look at their cars, and gain a lot of information. At international level you can use photography and analysis tools to garner toe and camber data - sound analysis for gearing and so on - heck, F1 teams steal and buy each others secret data routinely...

Apart from a league race long enough for fuel stops even that is simply "enough for the race".

It's not exactly rocket science to work out tyre choice or pressure.

So what's the big secret? Only because hackers have something others don't... So lets change the landscape and just open up setups for everyone.

Quote from Anthoop :Would it not be fairer then to make set up sharing mandatory?
Instead of having "SS" (send set) in the connection box, just have "S"...click it and name it.

I do think this is worth considering.
Quote from Scawen :


I do think this is worth considering.


I aprove it, I suck at making setups but I think I'm fairly good at racing (can be under 1 sec off WR with practice) but without the proper setup I can't do it.
So you're telling me, after over 10 years all the setups i've spent days, weeks, to develop setups, that just because a few wise guys can't built their own setups, it's completely okay to steal?!

It's just a handful of guys, it's not really hard to find the source, i'd help the 'investigation', because I can easely name a few who used/uses it, friends or foes, they all go in the same boat.

All what LFS stands for would easely be broken and turned into a kindergarten for people who likes to cross where it's easiest.

Dont allow it Scawen, it's not okay to welcome hackers.
Quote from Dennis93 :So you're telling me, after over 10 years all the setups i've spent days, weeks, to develop setups, that just because a few wise guys can't built their own setups, it's completely okay to steal?!

It's just a handful of guys, it's not really hard to find the source, i'd help the 'investigation', because I can easely name a few who used/uses it, friends or foes, they all go in the same boat.

All what LFS stands for would easely be broken and turned into a kindergarten for people who likes to cross where it's easiest.

Dont allow it Scawen, it's not okay to welcome hackers.

its not ok to steal but its is better when good people dont mind letting others trying them without thinking they are some precious piece of gold
Quote from bishtop :its not ok to steal but its is better when good people dont mind letting others trying them without thinking they are some precious piece of gold

Those who want to share, press SS. What's your point?
If there were more updates to the car/physics then the setup extracting would be much less of a factor because the setups would improve much more from 1 season to the next, so it wouldn't be good to take a previous seasons setup and just use that. If there aren't updates then the damage is already done and it doesn't matter what the devs do in that aspect anyway

Shouldn't be made mandatory though, at least right now it's easy to hide whatever setup you're using until the day of the race.
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(eobet) DELETED by eobet
After a few less then 10 years Dennis, only you weren't aware of it. All of your hard work was a continuation of someones else hard work and so on. You, or anyone else, would loose nothing.
Only people who would loose are those that still believe that they're the only ones stealing other people sets. Expression of their faces would be priceless, oh well gotta rely on imagination

Of course the best solution would be optional set sharing but from what i heard it's not possible. What would be possible is to make it harder to steal temporarily, at a cost of performance and development time.

This way everybody would be forced to be a kind, sharing person™

The setup sharing sites would still make sense as a readily available repository, the stealing tools wouldn't need to be updated and the replays would still store the setups you wish to steal (advanced version takes the set right under the nose of the person on the server, and even that is few years old). Some cool stuff there.
It would largely help newbies at well, not to mention saving the race winner's time to find and SS every person on the server who asked for a damn set.

* * *


Got a few ideas how to handle the transition, to expand on Anthoop's example. I am all for freely shared sets since i heard about the whole stealing business, at least until a good solution to prevent it permanently is found. And even then I'd like to see an option to make sets free to download while driving on server.
Some examples i came up with:

1) Some way to keep an option to send set (S) explicitly to a person, to let it known to him that he received it. Same as now, but to keep it this way if possible. So theres no need to tell that person: hey, take this set now I want you to try it later; how i imagine it would work in the new system.
2) Improve on 1) by leaving the set downloadable even after the sender spectates, pits or even leaves the server. Perhaps gray out the button with his nick in the latter case and remove the line after the set is saved. If multiple sets from the same person are sent and the previous set wasn't yet saved, overwrite the sent set with the newest version.
3) Some simpler way to distinguish when a set is received or being available to download for others. Even after 7 years i get confused what is S / SS
4) Optional info message about who has saved your setup. Although, it might get irritating in some cases so an additional option to block that specifically instead the whole chat. Ego booster thats proportional to the message/skills ratio

Things of that nature, keeping the usability and improving accessibility bit by bit.
Quote from Dennis93 :So you're telling me, after over 10 years all the setups i've spent days, weeks, to develop setups, that just because a few wise guys can't built their own setups, it's completely okay to steal?!

It's just a handful of guys, it's not really hard to find the source, i'd help the 'investigation', because I can easely name a few who used/uses it, friends or foes, they all go in the same boat.

All what LFS stands for would easely be broken and turned into a kindergarten for people who likes to cross where it's easiest.

Dont allow it Scawen, it's not okay to welcome hackers.

I Approve this message! all that hard work and effort put into a set just for it to be flushed away? what a stupid idea, i think keeping the 'send set' option is possibly the best, and i don't think many people would agree with the whole idea of people being able to just save any set they want just because they can't make their own, people should have a choice whether they want to share their set or not.
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And yes Litro im still using XP.
Quote from Scawen :I do think this is worth considering.

Might as well make LFS open source then.
Quote from Nilex :After a few less then 10 years Dennis, only you weren't aware of it. All of your hard work was a continuation of someones else hard work and so on. You, or anyone else, would loose nothing.
Only people who would loose are those that still believe that they're the only ones stealing other people sets. Expression of their faces would be priceless, oh well gotta rely on imagination

Of course the best solution would be optional set sharing but from what i heard it's not possible. What would be possible is to make it harder to steal temporarily, at a cost of performance and development time.

This way everybody would be forced to be a kind, sharing person™

The setup sharing sites would still make sense as a readily available repository, the stealing tools wouldn't need to be updated and the replays would still store the setups you wish to steal (advanced version takes the set right under the nose of the person on the server, and even that is few years old). Some cool stuff there.
It would largely help newbies at well, not to mention saving the race winner's time to find and SS every person on the server who asked for a damn set.

* * *


Got a few ideas how to handle the transition, to expand on Anthoop's example. I am all for freely shared sets since i heard about the whole stealing business, at least until a good solution to prevent it permanently is found. And even then I'd like to see an option to make sets free to download while driving on server.
Some examples i came up with:

1) Some way to keep an option to send set (S) explicitly to a person, to let it known to him that he received it. Same as now, but to keep it this way if possible. So theres no need to tell that person: hey, take this set now I want you to try it later; how i imagine it would work in the new system.
2) Improve on 1) by leaving the set downloadable even after the sender spectates, pits or even leaves the server. Perhaps gray out the button with his nick in the latter case and remove the line after the set is saved. If multiple sets from the same person are sent and the previous set wasn't yet saved, overwrite the sent set with the newest version.
3) Some simpler way to distinguish when a set is received or being available to download for others. Even after 7 years i get confused what is S / SS
4) Optional info message about who has saved your setup. Although, it might get irritating in some cases so an additional option to block that specifically instead the whole chat. Ego booster thats proportional to the message/skills ratio

Things of that nature, keeping the usability and improving accessibility bit by bit.

+1 agree with every word
Quote from LFSMasterMan :I Approve this message! all that hard work and effort put into a set just for it to be flushed away? what a stupid idea, i think keeping the 'send set' option is possibly the best, and i don't think many people would agree with the whole idea of people being able to just save any set they want just because they can't make their own, people should have a choice whether they want to share their set or not.

Don't be so dramatic. Nothing is being "flushed away."

You still have your set and, presumably, it will still suit you just fine. There is no reason someone else being able to download your set should change that.

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The part about all this that leaves me incredulous is people used to share sets like crazy. It was considered courteous to send someone a set when asked. Assuming the set the requester had been using was absolute rubbish and the new one suited their driving style, it had the added benefit of providing closer racing. Everyone wins in that case.
Quote from Dennis93 :So you're telling me, [..] , it's not okay to welcome hackers.

There is no solution? By changing the encryption routine it is only a matter of time before someone cracks this again.

Quote from Scawen :getting it from network packets. Is is encrypted in the file to avoid people getting it from replays. But

Already more advanced then I thought. Nice, in a way.
Forced setup sharing is NOT the solution. I guarantee you that if I had been given incontrovertible proof of someone setup stealing, they would be permanently excluded from NDR events, I would also go back and strip them of EVERY LAST RESULT in the history of NDR.

Involuntary setup sharing is simply kowtowing to those few who stole. I'm quite sure those stealing setups are not the public server lot, it's the league lot - those who want the last tenths but haven't found it, and also want to find their opponent's strategy. It is also a cowardly move. Teams EARN the pace, not THIEVE it. If you think your team cannot win on it's own merit and need to rob other teams of their merit, you don't deserve to race.

It very likely is a few people, and it very likely is a try to get the last bit out of the setups. The stagnation of content in LFS has had this unfortunate side-effect where setups are largely stable; and it's just the last bits of performance to find. It's also the natural tendency to the one or two function statistics.

If this were an epidemic to the majority of LFS, it would require a global solution, which forcing setup sharing is. It's not. It's a specific group affected, and sadly, the current real part of LFS. League racing is a whole kettle of fish separate to public racing, so you can't cross those mentalities!

It's not a problem that needs fixed by the Devs, and I've told many people that. It needs to be fixed by a mentality shift in the userbase.

Setup stealing and sharing discussion (from 0.6F thread)
(217 posts, started )
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