I used to play this back in 2005-7, then there were very few players getting lap times around 1:33 at Blackwood. Most players were playing from their keyboards and getting times anything from 1:37 to 1:42. The good guys were there (that could do 1:33), and we let them go off out front. But the really good racing was in the pack between the rest of us all around the same times.
Now I suddenly found the site again and recovered my log on. Really surprised to find the game still here and still going strong. So I watched a few online races and now it seems that almost all players are getting times around 1:33 to 1:36.
The best I could manage back in 2005 was 1:37, after some small practice that appears to still be the best I can manage.
So what has happened, have players simply become more serious, is everyone now using gaming wheels?
It's a pity, because with my lap times there is no way to compete with the current players. And I have no idea how they got those times then, and still have no idea how to get those times now (Using a keyboard).
Back then almost all players used the keyboard, just a few had wheels, but the racing was really good.
Are there still keyboard players that can get into the 1:33's and is it just practice, or should I simply not bother trying to get involved again unless I get a wheel?
Watching the good racers, on the seconds lap their times are around 30:30 for the first split. I can do 31:50. So I'm a second off pace there, I have no problem with this and can see how this can improve with practice.
But on the first lap their split times are 34:40, and I only get around 38:50 no matter what I try, so how am I so far off on the first split on the first lap when I am only a second off on the second.
How is it possible for my first lap times at the split to be 4 seconds off the pace at the first split?
I'm taking the right lines, giving it all the gas I can give it, but I'm 4 seconds off the pace.
Mouse is more accurate (mathematically speaking, but that only applies to steering) than all other control devices on LFS. Wheel is the way it's meant the be used, and surely the most rewarding way to drive on a sim. Plus, you'll get pedals, which is wonderful for cornering. Don't even think about getting the same lap times with the faster cars with a kb as you would with a wheel.
With all that being said, keyboard really doesn't matter too much with low-power cars like XRG, XFG and even FBM; these cars tend to require more use of momentum and on-point lines than perfectly timed braking and good throttle control. Honestly, once you get the hang of it, driving with keyboard is fairly easy. But that will take you time. A ****load of time, actually. As a keyboard-only player, it has taken me months of (mostly messing around) lapping to be able to get some proper lap times and be competitive with XRG/XFG on blackwood.
I recommend you start by using an automatic gearbox, this allows for a lot more focus on your lines and momentum control. No joke, I have been using automatic gearbox until I was getting 1.34.50's on BL1R and 1.33's on BL1 (the old BL1, not the new one, but the times are pretty similar anyway, they're about 20 to 30 hundredths of seconds slower for everyone with the 2017 one). If you can run 33's (even 34s) consistently on BL1, consider changing to manual as soon as possible. You'll shave off about 50 hundredths of seconds by passing gears without using clutch (XRG can handle that quite easily, XFG can't at all, and FBM has a sequential gearbox anyway), downgrading very fast (force breaking by passing down two gears almost at once to lower RPMs and loose momentum extremely quickly, breaking the rear grip so that you can quickly change direction on a short distance [XRG only], don't do that shit with tires that are too slippery or you'll just loose the time you've gained with heavier counter-steering than normally needed; and obviously this only works for short corners that turn brutally or require quick weight change. I'm mostly thinking about BL1R's T1, aka BL1 last turn, but the other way, with speed at around 155km/h on entry). Now automatic might be a pain in the ass when you're not used to it, but when you know it's gonna kick in you can totally forget about passing up and down gears and work on a perfect line. Note that some corners can only be perfected with manual though.
I suppose you're one of these licensed-but-blackwood-lovers-anyway players, so if you're gonna spend a lot of time on BL, learn everything there. From gripping to drifting. It's a perfect track for newbies, you get every bit of different portions a track can offer with a wide variety of cornering needs, that and some heavy competition with other players that you can spectate to grasp how they're doing their corners.
Get a stable setup as soon as you can, the most balanced ones that don't play too much on the edge with loosing grip are the best for learning, but that doesn't mean endurance setups will do any good. Try your hand at time attack setups that are demanding on tires (about 5 laps with those) yet remain controllable if a little mistake is made, then you'll be able to adapt to anything else.
Also, keyboard only works well two ways: either with slow steering that requires pin-point timing with your fingers and maximum concentration on steering. Sadly this way isn't the most efficient, even though it feels the best. The other way is slightly tapping your keys all the time. It's probably the best approach as it allows for easier corrections for every mistake that you make while gripping. It's also the only way to get some proper tandem action, as drifting - no matter your skill - calls for constant correcting of throttle input and steering angle. Keep in mind that drifting (on hot tires, so about ~130°C+ exterior rear tire temp) will give you a good idea of what LFS physics handle like and is necessary if you want to get faster. Takes a good month of mastering (obviously you'll need a drifting setup for this, preferrably something good that's reliable and that you're not scared of going crazy with. Try going for -4.5 camber on front with normal tires - knobbly tires if you want to get some front grip for serious angle and reverse entries while powering though corners - and -1 camber on rear [don't ever use knobbly/hybrid on those, your tires will melt down faster than rock in a volcano]. Locked Diff won't do a big difference on XRG. Put the steering lock to maximum).
With a generic WASD layout (W for accelerating, S for braking, A steering left and D steering right, space for handbrake and switching gears with mouse buttons for faster input) by slightly tapping the steering keys, using 3D person view (yes I'm really playing this game as if it was an arcade game, I know...) here are my settings (while I didn't do a whole lot of BL1 [never hit 1.32's on there], I can safely say I had the world record for BL1R with keyboard [and still have I suppose but idc]), not like there's a lot of competition on it though, sadly.):
As for your split problem, it's really just practise. Avoid every unintended slides, perfect your braking. The first hairpin of BL1 is the most important part of the first split, force-braking (= quick downgearing by slaughtering engine and clutch, BE CAREFUL NOT TO OVER-REV YOUR ENGINE) in that area is key, while holding a controlled slide (very small, but it is very important that you do this at the same time as you are slowing car down, the best way is that you start turning before braking and carry the steering momentum for the whole braking sequence) so that momentum is already in the place for the corner exit so that you can power out of the area as quick as possible. Don't forget to hit the apexes. The chicane is just a releasing-throttle, turn, full throttle, cut the corner thing. Now the issue might be even more basic and has to do with your controls, the way you handle them, and your setup.
Last but not least, at the best level of all devices possible, keyboard will always stay behind (for WR, especially on often-ran tracks) by at least 20 hundredths of seconds or more when comparing to the few (insanely fast) guys that can break or equal a lot of records on this game. Just buy a wheel if you want a real experience. And don't expect to do good times with GTRs while using keyboard without a lot of practise.
EDIT: you'll see yourself solving your "I don't understand" issues by practising, watching others, and trying to attempt and they're doing. To get good at something, you must do that thing. Same goes for improvement.
Thanks for the reply Twiny. Actually I'm using mouse for steering. I think I used that before way back then. I know it took me quite some time to get lines right, back then (and only then) did I get times down to where I could enjoy the races. I suppose I just need to do the same again.
I'll practice until I'm down in the 1:35 times before I join races, otherwise I'm just an obstacle to everyone else.
It's still a great sim though. Challenging as always.
I'm sure I'm not the only one with this following opinion, but I'll say it anyway :
The reason you're finding it hard to race blitzingly quickly is probably the tire model. Comparing with other games - yes, LFS is much better to "race" on. Very realistic. But once you start to push, or plan to set a hot lap, the set ups you make to the car and driving style turn very unrealistic. In GTi racing, you see cars 4 wheel drifting into corners, applying handbrake to turn, deliberately initiating a drift ectra.
To be fast, basically you have to exploit the physics to "push the boundaries" and be quick. Its less evident in the open wheel or GTR cars, but with road cars (with the exception of the LX and RAC) its very much so. It annoys me because sometimes I just can't find pace (I have a tendency not to go down the "unrealistic driving style" route, as I have somewhat a sim racing background.
Remember! Back then, even with FBM you could use the handbrake to turn in faster (thank god that has been abolished). So yea... to be fast, especially in low powered road cars, you have to drastically alter your driving style and set up. OH. Not to mention, unlike real life, where you tailor a set up to suit your driving style and still be quite quick with the pack - in LFS, I find it as if you have to tailor your driving style to suit the best possible set up to make the most out of a potential flying lap. Which to me is bollocks, because everyone has his/her driving style.
Idk, just my two cents. I've been called out for saying this theory but I hope someone knows ot relates to what I'm saying, because its very hard to put in words lol.
Whoever called you out for that hasn't been playing the game for long, that's all. The slightly drifting while hardbraking, forcing on clutch and gearbox techniques from BL1's T1 is a textbook exemple of that. It's absolute BS. Do that in real life and not only will you burn tires down too fast, loose grip, destroy internal components of your car and eventually finish in a wall. It's all about exploiting the way momentum works (w/ tires). Just look at WRs: using hybrid tires for more grip, even though they last 1 or 2 laps at most. Handbrake still is a thing with XRG, it's like pressing a magical "I want some grip in that corner please" button. Can destroy your momentum though if messed up.
@BAD_BA Apart from that, the physics are great, and very rewarding once you get things right as they're quite consistent unlike most other sims out there.
Just way too many exploitable variables within the game physics engine and the tires that makes racing in the lower powered cars very unrealistic for people whom "live by racing". I can't bring myself to use hybrids or drift the car. It ain't natural.
Even with FBM, for the past 3 years I've been using one set. Yes, one set (abiet small tweaks) since 2014. It's been hella quick doing sub WR top 30 times. And funny that, it's realistic handling, unlike the floaty, "boat-like" FBM WR sets we have. Drives like how a FBM handles. Its .3 slower indeed, but at least I enjoy driving it because it's my style and my handling.
Plus, props of having a realistically handling set : demon trail braking If you see me around @BAD the FBM servers, I'll probably be Riccardo-ing into T1 and still pulling it up in time. Haha
quite a few of the WR's for blackwood are held by mouse users and i have raced against some fast keyboard users.
When i was on hokiday i used a mouse to race and it didnt take long to start getting fairly good times with GTI and fbm
I can see what people mean about tyres. Way back then I managed to find a setup that was almost perfect for my driving style, now, all the ones I try do not give me enough front end grip and I suffer from understeer massively. So I find I need to brake more and that is where I am losing a lot of time.
Since the settings I used back then are long gone from the site, I'll need to try to work them out myself.
It's good to see that my account and some stats have survived from way back then, but I played this sim for well over a year and only two days racing stats seem to have survived. So I guess a lot of data was lost on the server from way back then.
Can anyone suggest a server to join where I will not be ridiculed too much and allowed to race my own race? I'll try to get my times down before joining, but once I do it would be nice to join a crowd tolerant of slower drivers. I avoid contact if I can and always let faster guys through.
There're plenty of quick mouse drivers out there, and the odd keyboard wizard too. I reckon any system of input is as good as any other once you're proficient enough at it to not have to think about doing it. Be the car and all that