Hi, I'm matchstick. I'm a noob. Not just a noob to this game but to playing any game online. Have a read might give you a bit of a different perspective.
This game is old. Without updates the game will eventually die. But that's outta all of our hands so let's no go into that.
There seem to be a number of fast people playing but as you all seem to say it nothing like the golden years of this game. However there are heaps of noobs out there, many of who can get treated like garbage because they are a "filthy noob." To me the best chance you have of stretching this game out is by encouraging noobs. New people that will get better and faster and add to the fun.
Don't get me wrong, I've had huge hours of fun playing this game, but I've also had a number of times where I have thought is it really worth it.
Here's just a few of my views and experiences.
It's a computer game.
We all come on here to have a bit of fun. We're not fighting for the world championship. Most of us are not even professional racers, and are far from it. Most people are not interested in qualifying so the grids are jumbled up. In a 12 person grid the lap times can vary by over 10% with people of different experience, knowledge, speed, and style. If you think there's not going to be the odd acco, you're kidding yourself. People make misjudgements and mistakes especially when a grid is random and filled with such a wide variety of drivers. You want to skip out on qualifying, great, we all wanna race, but this is the result you get. live with it. I like that there is a strong encouragement of clean racing as their should be in a game like this, but people make mistakes, we are human and many of us are learning. Even in the pros, I can't remember the last time I saw a decent length race where there were no accidents.
I believe everyone should be given a chance. It doesn't take much to work out if someone's having a proper go or not. In my opinion If someone's doing something wrong, tell them. "Leave more space" "brake earlier" "stop blocking" "spectate when crash" give people a chance to realise they're getting on your nerves and change what they do. If they persist, then kick. If they kicked and comeback still not learning, then ban. Or obviously if they are deliberately trying to ruin people's game then ban too. I've seen unnecessary kicks and bans quite regularly. Ill give you a couple of examples from my experience.
One day I had a number of hours to kill. I jumped online to race. For about 3 hours on a busy server I raced without incident. Generally I kept out of everyone's way even if that meant pulling off to the side and just letting people past. After running well for a while I had a go at trying to race with the people at the front. They were doing 13s. I normally sit in the 14s but if I'm on a good run I get the odd 13 or two. So I had a decent crack and was going well in the middle of the group then had a bit of a moment and ran wide. I thought i'd caught it but then it turned pear shaped and took out one of the faster guys before I could spectate. I got kicked by a priority vote for that, after 3 hours of racing without incident. Not even the chance to explain or apologise.
Another occasion I was side by side with someone. I left them space, they left me none. Again after plenty of clean racing they blamed it on me, and tried to get all their mrc teammates to ban me. I spent a bit of time watching this person in spectate after, and numerous times saw their style. If someone was in their way they pushed and rammed their way through them and gave no one any space, and everytime it turned out worse for them, they'd try and get all their mates to try and ban the person that they had rammed into and lost out.
These are just two of many incidents I've been involved with or witnessed in the last few weeks.
So... With people like this how do you expect noobs to hang around when they don't feel welcome. Instead of encouraging noobs, I dare say many just get pushed away before they get the chance to come to grips with it all. Don't get me wrong, their are plenty of great people online racing that seem quite friendly, but the f wits could ruin it for everyone. I race online because besides the excitement of racing real people, there is little point in racing ai that's doing nearly 2 - 3 seconds a lap slower. But I often wonder why I do when I get into positions where I'm too scared to actually race anyone because if I, or even they, make a mistake or swap a bit of paint I could be treated as if I were a criminal and should do time for it. I often struggle to pass someone considerably slower then me as I fear the possible consequences.
So all in all I guess, if you play nice you'll have more friends to play with! For those who don't already, try and encourage people instead of crucify them for trying. Then you might have some new fast racers that will at least slightly help cover some of those that have moved on.