The online racing simulator
LFS - serious racing simulator. No steering aids - YOU have to do the driving...
1
(33 posts, started )
LFS - serious racing simulator. No steering aids - YOU have to do the driving...
/this might be a bit of a manifesto from my side, but now that simracing as an 'esport' is as popular as ever, I think it would be worth it to have this discussion again/

The fastest way to drive in LFS has been crystallized for a long time: lower steering wheel rotation, automatic clutch (or button-clutch if not forbidden), handbrake ready to be used at all times. While mistakes were always punished, the extra skill of using axis clutch, h-shifter and full rotation is not really rewarded at the moment.

For obvious reasons, the physics engine has stayed the same the past decade, but the hardware we use to race didn't. While some of us started LFS when two pedals and 270 of rotation were the cutting edge, nowadays its hard to buy the wheel that doesn't rotate the 720 degrees of rotation LFS uses (for now) and hasn't got a clutch pedal. Which brings me to the point: why does the game even allow to have anything else than 1:1 ratio between the rotation of the steering wheel you use and rotation in game? Pros and cons aside, it's apparent that the handling of the car changes dramatically with different rotation settings, to the point where I would argue that we're not driving the same car (which is ironic to see in endurance races when you share the car with a teammate who uses different rotation from yours).

Same thing applies to the clutch pedal - now that the game detects the controller you're on, why should automatic clutch be allowed? This is probably the most controversial point, and also the one I am shooting myself in the foot with, but most drivers don't use it apart from the launch off the line. We race road cars as if they were karts, and that will not change, not with the new physics, not ever, unless it's made slower, or forced.

Regarding the handbrake meta, it's everywhere now. Somehow, in the early days of the past decade, we smiled with a bit of cringe and embarrasment at the problem and swiped it under the carpet until Scawen traded handbrake in single seaters for Rockingham (hooray). The topic was brought up here a couple of times but the attention was quickly shifted onto another issue. Join a public server and right away you'll see that most of quick TBO drivers spam the handbrake on the regular in multiple corners. But who cares about public servers right? You would think that the top GTR drivers wouldn't need to use it, but no, it's clearly advantageous at times, then it's used lap after lap after lap, for however many hours you desire. I don't think Scawen races enough to understand the impact this has on the car potential and as a result on the competition. It hasn't been dealt with at the start, and if someone buys the game tomorrow, he will see that in some cases the way to go fast currently is to set the car up for understeer and help yourself into the apex with the handbrake, sometimes more than once into one corner.

Many years have passed since we've had some introductions that shook things up, namely Hotlappers Paradise patch with tire warmers and custom start spot. Was it a good thing? Just look at some BL3R hotlaps, just back your car up against the wall, make your pit crew heat those babies up to optimum temp and off you go to set the laptime. The laptime which has no translation into reality, no chance to get close to in online quali conditions. Remember just how cool it was to see the guys beat WR in qualis to the events, like WOW. How many no-joke WRs had to make way to lesser drivers taking advantage of tire warmers, when probably all that was needed was to disallow hotlaps in which the driver was facing the wrong way in the buildup.

We also got this thing that was probably meant to use only in Scirocco, but ALL the cars got it in some way, even though it's virtually no way to prove someone is exploiting it - I'm talking about ABS. Originally a cool feature, but it quickly became apparent it disbalances XRG against XFG like hell, makes TBO racing flat (takes off the challenge of the wheels locking up and not wanting to turn into the corners as a result), and - unlike handbrake - the feature that should save you from problems becomes - just like handbrake - an advantage most useful when the car is purposefully set up for it.

I don't think we looked at some of those things in retrospect and assessed whether they were good for the game in the long run. Sure, any novelty is a good thing, but I believe another look at things is needed. It might be that for better to happen, good must stand aside. I don't see anyone complaining at the moment, but maybe we have a golden opportunity to start over when the new physics patch finally comes out. Maybe this is a non-issue for many, but I hope that both those who co-sign and those who don't speak up.
I agree, 100%.
The clutch thing is just insane. For those who are saying that BC is normal, go and drive in LFS using your left foot for clutch as in a classic car, you will see why normal minded people see this as cheating (in the end, even autoclutch can be considered as cheating ...).
ABS stuff is linked to how the tires behave curently with too much grip under most circunmstances + a setting that should either make the wheels to lock a little like older cars may still have (or like modern cars where ABS is killing a bit your braking distance by being a bit too sensitive on many brands).
One note regarding hotlaps : I am quite fine with teleportation unless there is a system that automatically drive the car at the right speed on the right line. Setting the tire temperature at 1°c is maybe not realistic, but it avoids to see the guy drifitng stupidely the car at the begining => waste of time, kB and time !
Handbrake ... no word Big grin Face -> palm
Players use every technique and feature they can to get a better lap time in a racing game? I'm shocked

-"Noo you can't use handbrake in a 150km/h turn to gain advantage"
-"Haha laptimes go brrrrrr"
#4 - Racon
It's always going to be a balance - but we shouldn't be addressing these things with hardcoding because people's setups and circumstances vary wildy, let alone requirements for different types of racing.

If there are to be bans on specific setup things in races, they should be enforced by server rules and/or insim so that you can set your server to your own preference, like the FCV option. When we hard-code this kind of thing, we get side-effects.

For example, I'd like to run MRT and FBM on hillclimbs/autocross. Those are perfectly valid cars for a hillclimb (I've seen similar on telly), and a hillclimb is a perfectly valid use of a handbrake in a single seater (they had handbrakes, and they used them for hairpins). But I can't do that if there's a hairpin, because other servers don't want handbrake abuse in their races. We could have had both if single-seat handbrake-ban was an option like FCV, or if we checked ourselves in insim with a handbrake flag added to the MCI packet or something along those lines.

TL,DR: Your right to swing a handbrake-ban should end at my server. Hardcoding means it doesn't, so let's not do that if we can avoid it Smile

PS: I know you said that point was controversial, but the auto-clutch discussion ends before it even starts when real-life paddle-shifters are auto-clutch, doesn't it?
None of what Ziomek mentioned bothers me much.

"Abusing" the handbrake in a correct way requires still skill and that's all that matters to me. I don't care if it isn't 100% realistic as long as it's same for everyone.

Only questionable thing out of these is the button clutch. It has always been kind of a gentlemen's agreement in LFS not to use it because with some cars it makes you 2 tenths faster per lap out of nothing. However, not everyone is a gentleman in the racing world and then it becomes problematic. I don't want to use it because it feels unfair towards those who don't use it but at the same time I don't want to lose either just because some guys use it. That's why I think league organizers should always either disallow BC or recommend using it in the rules.

If you are skilled enough with clutch pedal and H-shifter, with many cars it also makes you faster compared to using automatic clutch. I think that's good enough "reward" for that skill.

Adding tyre heaters in hotlap mode definitely improved my hotlapping experince. Without that feature hotlapping would be often a contest about who is the best at heating tyres and not who is the fastest driver on one lap. It's completely fine by me that hotlapping and online racing are separated this way.
Quote from Ziomek21 :/this might be a bit of a manifesto from my side, but now that simracing as an 'esport' is as popular as ever, I think it would be worth it to have this discussion again/

The fastest way to drive in LFS has been crystallized for a long time: lower steering wheel rotation, automatic clutch (or button-clutch if not forbidden), handbrake ready to be used at all times. While mistakes were always punished, the extra skill of using axis clutch, h-shifter and full rotation is not really rewarded at the moment.

For obvious reasons, the physics engine has stayed the same the past decade, but the hardware we use to race didn't. While some of us started LFS when two pedals and 270 of rotation were the cutting edge, nowadays its hard to buy the wheel that doesn't rotate the 720 degrees of rotation LFS uses (for now) and hasn't got a clutch pedal. Which brings me to the point: why does the game even allow to have anything else than 1:1 ratio between the rotation of the steering wheel you use and rotation in game? Pros and cons aside, it's apparent that the handling of the car changes dramatically with different rotation settings, to the point where I would argue that we're not driving the same car (which is ironic to see in endurance races when you share the car with a teammate who uses different rotation from yours).

Same thing applies to the clutch pedal - now that the game detects the controller you're on, why should automatic clutch be allowed? This is probably the most controversial point, and also the one I am shooting myself in the foot with, but most drivers don't use it apart from the launch off the line. We race road cars as if they were karts, and that will not change, not with the new physics, not ever, unless it's made slower, or forced.

Regarding the handbrake meta, it's everywhere now. Somehow, in the early days of the past decade, we smiled with a bit of cringe and embarrasment at the problem and swiped it under the carpet until Scawen traded handbrake in single seaters for Rockingham (hooray). The topic was brought up here a couple of times but the attention was quickly shifted onto another issue. Join a public server and right away you'll see that most of quick TBO drivers spam the handbrake on the regular in multiple corners. But who cares about public servers right? You would think that the top GTR drivers wouldn't need to use it, but no, it's clearly advantageous at times, then it's used lap after lap after lap, for however many hours you desire. I don't think Scawen races enough to understand the impact this has on the car potential and as a result on the competition. It hasn't been dealt with at the start, and if someone buys the game tomorrow, he will see that in some cases the way to go fast currently is to set the car up for understeer and help yourself into the apex with the handbrake, sometimes more than once into one corner.

Many years have passed since we've had some introductions that shook things up, namely Hotlappers Paradise patch with tire warmers and custom start spot. Was it a good thing? Just look at some BL3R hotlaps, just back your car up against the wall, make your pit crew heat those babies up to optimum temp and off you go to set the laptime. The laptime which has no translation into reality, no chance to get close to in online quali conditions. Remember just how cool it was to see the guys beat WR in qualis to the events, like WOW. How many no-joke WRs had to make way to lesser drivers taking advantage of tire warmers, when probably all that was needed was to disallow hotlaps in which the driver was facing the wrong way in the buildup.

We also got this thing that was probably meant to use only in Scirocco, but ALL the cars got it in some way, even though it's virtually no way to prove someone is exploiting it - I'm talking about ABS. Originally a cool feature, but it quickly became apparent it disbalances XRG against XFG like hell, makes TBO racing flat (takes off the challenge of the wheels locking up and not wanting to turn into the corners as a result), and - unlike handbrake - the feature that should save you from problems becomes - just like handbrake - an advantage most useful when the car is purposefully set up for it.

I don't think we looked at some of those things in retrospect and assessed whether they were good for the game in the long run. Sure, any novelty is a good thing, but I believe another look at things is needed. It might be that for better to happen, good must stand aside. I don't see anyone complaining at the moment, but maybe we have a golden opportunity to start over when the new physics patch finally comes out. Maybe this is a non-issue for many, but I hope that both those who co-sign and those who don't speak up.

ok

Nah, but seriously. I really hoped that Wizard was the only guy capable of making me feel like I was suddenly teleported to a parallel universe. I do believe LFS has much bigger issues than this, one of them being lack of new content and systematic updates. If you think these things really matter I guess they should be suggested in the suggestions thread, not really sure if this deserves its own thread because it's going to become a bag of all topics related to LFS and its development, development speed etc.

If you want to hear my take on the matter, I believe these are really minor issues, except for button clutch. We all know physics isn't perfect, and the handbrake issue is going to be resolved most likely by a physics update. You can't forbid people from using it if they want and obviously if the car is equipped with a handbrake. If it's faster, then most likely this is the fault of not perfect tyre physics and cannot be patched.

Button clutch - if axis clutch is allowed and gets simulated properly, then you can always use it for faster shifting than with auto clutch. And then you could create a macro that acts essentially like a button clutch to gain advantage even if BC was eliminated completely from the game. If you can do that, then the only solution is to either disallow auto clutch or to disallow axis clutch. Both solutions are wrong.
Ah shit, here we go again.
Quote from Racon : We could have had both if single-seat handbrake-ban was an option like FCV, or if we checked ourselves in insim with a handbrake flag added to the MCI packet or something along those lines. Your right to swing a handbrake-ban should end at my server. Hardcoding means it doesn't, so let's not do that if we can avoid it Smile I know you said that point was controversial, but the auto-clutch discussion ends before it even starts when real-life paddle-shifters are auto-clutch, doesn't it?

My point of view regards the way the cars are meant to be driven. Obviously I'm not trying to be more Catholic than the Pope here, it's about the cars that LFS lists as having an H-pattern gearbox.
Regarding the FBM hillclimbs - it should be treated as an exception to the rule - a choice in this case would be good, but the nominal use of FBM doesn't include handbrake.

Quote from Botswanan Salama :None of what Ziomek mentioned bothers me much.

"Abusing" the handbrake in a correct way requires still skill and that's all that matters to me. I don't care if it isn't 100% realistic as long as it's same for everyone.

Most of what you say doesn't really invalidate my points, but rather shows that you treat LFS as a skill contest first, realism second, which is fine by any means. Handbrake skill is another variable, another piece of the puzzle to make a complete driver. The way I think of it is similar to the way "The fan car" or the third pedal in a McLaren were treated - those were probably borderline legal features, but were they not taken away, everyone would eventually start using it.


Quote from Botswanan Salama :button clutch

BC is a funny thing in a way that the way the value ramps up when you depress the clutch is more realistic than auto clutch (which instantaneously jumps to full depress), but the way autoclutch stays fully depressed for something like a tenth of a second before easing off is on the other hand more realistic than an instant decrease after the peak is reached in BC, at least in my findings when looking at clutch behaviour using axis.

Quote from Botswanan Salama :If you are skilled enough with clutch pedal and H-shifter, with many cars it also makes you faster compared to using automatic clutch. I think that's good enough "reward" for that skill.

I disagree, I'm yet to see an axis clutch H-shifter user doing elite echelon laptimes against the autoclutchers

Quote from Botswanan Salama :Adding tyre heaters in hotlap mode definitely improved my hotlapping experince. Without that feature hotlapping would be often a contest about who is the best at heating tyres and not who is the fastest driver on one lap. It's completely fine by me that hotlapping and online racing are separated this way.

If we're considering handbrake use as a skill, than heating tires (or the skill to keep the temps at bay) is no less important. We had ridiculous practices such as doing burnouts on the kerbs to warm the outsides, then spinning the car to warm the other side as well, and those admittedly were reaching, but seeing UF1's on pre-heated tires... give me a break Omg omg omg. The hotlap changes made so many people happier, which can't be understated, but I'm just not sure if they were right.
Quote from pajkul :I do believe LFS has much bigger issues than this, one of them being lack of new content and systematic updates. If you think these things really matter I guess they should be suggested in the suggestions thread, not really sure if this deserves its own thread because it's going to become a bag of all topics related to LFS and its development, development speed etc.

And this is precisely what has happened every time the topic was brought up, hence why I - with not an awful lot of satisfaction I have to say - had to come out with what I feel many people felt over the years, and that was treated like "yeah, yeah, whatever". Consider this - we have leagues with 'big' prices here now. Say that the handbrake usage gives you those 5 hundreds a lap. You catch and pass your competitor on the last lap of a 50 lap race. This can be (and is) the difference between winning and losing. Regarding axis clutches and so on - the hardware improvements made certain things that weren't possible in 2005 doable, but the overwhelming majority of players do not use them.

Quote from pajkul :the handbrake issue is going to be resolved most likely by a physics update.

We're speculating here, let's hope that's the case.

Quote from pajkul :You can't forbid people from using it if they want and obviously if the car is equipped with a handbrake. If it's faster, then most likely this is the fault of not perfect tyre physics and cannot be patched.

Maybe it can be made less OP by changes to the button control rates, or the non-linear increase of it, I don't know. I like the defeatist attitude btw, but there has to be a way, maybe someone can come up with the solution

Quote from pajkul :Button clutch - if axis clutch is allowed and gets simulated properly, then you can always use it for faster shifting than with auto clutch. And then you could create a macro that acts essentially like a button clutch to gain advantage even if BC was eliminated completely from the game. If you can do that, then the only solution is to either disallow auto clutch or to disallow axis clutch. Both solutions are wrong.

Indeed both solutions are wrong, just as mapping the macros, which we can't do nothing about, but there's things we can do to LFS at least.
Dont forget that half the players dont have a wheel.
For a keyboard player manual clutch would make me stop playing this game.
I already use 9 buttons to drive, and for even mouse players it would be pain in the ass
Quote from Paprika6 :Dont forget that half the players dont have a wheel.
For a keyboard player manual clutch would make me stop playing this game.
I already use 9 buttons to drive, and for even mouse players it would be pain in the ass

My mistake not mentioning that I'm talking about wheel users that have this capability. You probably don't know, but when a wheel user enters the settings, LFS knows what wheel he's on. The problem would arise if for example one of the pedals broke and was unusable.

Keyboard/mouse/joypad users would probably have to be left alone, and it would result in a sort of "two-speed LFS", probably not good. I'm not arguing the ideas here are foolproof, I'm glad you mentioned this.
Quote :Indeed both solutions are wrong, just as mapping the macros, which we can't do nothing about, but there's things we can do to LFS at least.

You can always force auto clutch(pretty sure there is option like that in airio) so peoples wont make macros. Axis clutch and shifter wont be allowed in that way.
Quote from Ziomek21 :
Most of what you say doesn't really invalidate my points, but rather shows that you treat LFS as a skill contest first, realism second, which is fine by any means. Handbrake skill is another variable, another piece of the puzzle to make a complete driver. The way I think of it is similar to the way "The fan car" or the third pedal in a McLaren were treated - those were probably borderline legal features, but were they not taken away, everyone would eventually start using it.

Yes, this is true, I just wanted to bring up another point of view. Most important to me is that LFS provides a nice racing experience. It doesn't need to be super realistic for that. So I kinda agree with pajkul, there are bigger issues than these.

Quote from Ziomek21 :
I disagree, I'm yet to see an axis clutch H-shifter user doing elite echelon laptimes against the autoclutchers (sorry troy, even though you're probably the best at it I've seen)

troy, nikopdr, yorap... all of them benefit from using manual clutch to my understanding. It depends a lot on the car/track combination of course.

Quote from Ziomek21 :
If we're considering handbrake use as a skill, than heating tires (or the skill to keep the temps at bay) is no less important. We had ridiculous practices such as doing burnouts on the kerbs to warm the outsides, then spinning the car to warm the other side as well, and those admittedly were reaching, but seeing UF1's on pre-heated tires... give me a break Omg omg omg. The hotlap changes made so many people happier, which can't be understated, but I'm just not sure if they were right.

Tyre heating is a great skill and you can already utilise it in online qualifyings. Tyre heaters made hotlapping more accessible to drivers and raised the level of competition.
troy's an even bigger weirdo becuase I think he has his clutch set to the middle pedal...


As for qualifying tyre warming, I think it's a mixed bag. I know iRacing has recently begun to clamp down on people warming their tyres in unrealistic ways such as doing LOOOONG burnouts out of pit lane or down the back straight before running quali laps. It made their broadcasts look ridiculous becuase the exit of pit lane was just completely black (as track state carried over from qualifying). Their new system might be _too_ strict as it seems to count spins as a violation, requiring you to restart your qualifying from pit lane (on "clean" tyres). There's other settings that basically just reset your tyres if you drop beneath a certain speed.
Some interesting points.

As a rule of thumb I don't really mind people using aids because it improves accessibility, but yeah, a lot of aids are used as exploits nowadays. More server settings for allowing/banning certain stuff would be really good.

Have to say that having to manually adjust wheel rotation settings to match 1:1 is a major pet peeve of mine, and probably confuse newcomers as most sims do it automatically nowadays.

I too think that tyre warmers were a mistake but the cat is out of the bag, unless we get a major update that forces a board reset it's too late to go back.

Interesting part about ABS! It really changed road car racing a lot and I'm surprised it isn't brought up so often.

On a slight tangent driver aids isn't the only source of unrealistic driving, the forgiving damage model is an issue. Being able to slap walls at South City or tyres at Fern Bay lap after lap and suffer no consequences doesn't feel right.
Quote from GreyBull [CHA :
Have to say that having to manually adjust wheel rotation settings to match 1:1 is a major pet peeve of mine, and probably confuse newcomers as most sims do it automatically nowadays.

Interesting. I don't know what wheel are you using but I have never touched wheel rotation settings on my G29 (neither in wheel soft nor in LFS) and my wheel rotation always matches LFS wheel rotation.
Don't understand the fuss about hotlapping and tyrewarmers - it's all about world record and perfect conditions to achieve best possible laptime. Why it's so important to be able to match perfect laptime in server,which eventually would become even more difficult in case dynamic track conditions would be introduced at some point. And also as Botsi said - without tyrewarmers it will be back to tyrewarming fest in hotlapping,especially in ovals.

Regarding driving aids like ABS and TC (and ESP n'stuff if there's a new car that realistically features such) - as long as an actual model features those (or might feature in case of fictional car),it's fine,but there should be serverside option to disallow them.

Regarding cars with H-shifter gearboxes - would be better to slow down the shifting when using sequential shifter to match shifting of an H-pattern shhfter. Same with autoclutch,but - some might find a way to work around that again...
Quote from Sobis :Interesting. I don't know what wheel are you using but I have never touched wheel rotation settings on my G29 (neither in wheel soft nor in LFS) and my wheel rotation always matches LFS wheel rotation.

For real? I also have a G29 and every time I have to adjust it manually.
Quote from Ziomek21 :Snip

You can also find my crusade against the handling model (mainly the rear slip angle and lack of mechanical front grip) and how I've exploited the car characteristics to force cars to behave like their IRL counterparts (or at least how they should be have if you go "by the book").

https://www.lfs.net/forum/post/1956377#post1956377
Quote from Thespeed10 :For real? I also have a G29 and every time I have to adjust it manually.

I am on G29 too. Maybe I'm doing something wrong, I don't know.
Quote from MicroSpecV :You can also find my crusade against the handling model (mainly the rear slip angle and lack of mechanical front grip) and how I've exploited the car characteristics to force cars to behave like their IRL counterparts (or at least how they should be have if you go "by the book").

https://www.lfs.net/forum/post/1956377#post1956377

One thing I'd note about your post is that iRacing has made a lot of strides to be not quite as snappy. It's a bit more snappy than LFS is, but much more forgiving than it was 1 year ago.
On iRacing you have to do burnouts and lock your tyres up before starting a quali lap to have max grip.

On rF2 if you look at the server wrong it crashes, it seems almost impossible to have an endurance race without some kind of technical issue.

If we are talking about "esports" racing titles then you have to talk about the Codemasters F1 games where you downshift an extra gear or 2 for eXtRa RoTaTiOn. Or Forza where you have to use a pad to be within half a second of top times.


All the racing titles have quirks and stuff like that, people still pour their money into them because they produce new content quarterly rather than every quarter of a decade.

For the game to come more to life, just need to make some new fake tracks and some new fake cars.

PS: Regarding handbrake, if you want a pure driving simulator then to be honest the issue is the physics themselves. If you don't use handbrake, you just lock the rear wheels a bit on downshift and flick the wheel to have the same effect which also isn't realistic
Regarding "Handbraking while cornering" , back in 90s , Mclaren F1 Team used third pedal for braking , connected to the rear wheel to eliminate the understeer , but BC is too OP and and looks like cheating , but when the occasion and its allowed , i'm using it Tongue
Quote from IsaacPrice :
PS: Regarding handbrake, if you want a pure driving simulator then to be honest the issue is the physics themselves. If you don't use handbrake, you just lock the rear wheels a bit on downshift and flick the wheel to have the same effect which also isn't realistic

I assume you're talking about RWD. Now correct me if I'm wrong but shouldn't a downshift without any rev-matching loosen the rear? I'm not talking about flat out locking (which doesn't happen in LFS?), just some extra braking by the engine.

Regarding G29 - OK now I'm confused. I don't have my wheel mounted now but when I will I'll check how it is. I honestly don't remember adjusting rotation settings and I know that at least for road cars it's 1:1. If you don't adjust them, does it try to use the whole 900° range?
Quote from Sobis : Regarding G29 - OK now I'm confused. I don't have my wheel mounted now but when I will I'll check how it is. I honestly don't remember adjusting rotation settings and I know that at least for road cars it's 1:1. If you don't adjust them, does it try to use the whole 900° range?

I'm confused too, but at the same time it doesn't bother me that much. And yes, if you don't adjust the rotation from the profiler, it will use the last assigned rotation setting. Uhmm
1

LFS - serious racing simulator. No steering aids - YOU have to do the driving...
(33 posts, started )
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