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PC AC US Club - Suggestions Thread

Discussion in 'Assetto Corsa' started by Lorenzo Bonder, Aug 31, 2015.

  1. Lorenzo Bonder

    Lorenzo Bonder
    #forçaChape Staff

    Hey guys,

    For those who don't know I manage the Assetto Corsa Racing Club for the US with James Perez (@JRP77), @Ryan Ogurek and @Dragos Haba and we provide regular races on a daily basis (this is being reworked on as we've had some inconsistency with the event schedule) for our US audience.

    However lately we've been suffering from barely to empty grids in our US race events. While I can quote a number of possible reasons to why this could be happening, I've preferred to come up here and ask for your fellas guidance.

    Now a days our current schedule goes from Thursday to Sunday, with the current schedule

    Thursday - James
    Friday (with the F-Renault 3.5 Fridays) - Lorenzo
    Saturday (with the GT Saturdays) - Lorenzo
    Sunday (TT Cup Sundays) - Lorenzo

    We are still sorting out the other days (Monday and Tuesday), however this will be sorted out among the staff. What I come here for is to ask your guys opinion, because I'm motivated to see the US scenario to grow again. Just to throw a bit of information, the US is one the highest audiences on RD during our monthly basis, it tops with Germany and Great Britain only. And right now our numbers are small near stagnant and I wish to change that.

    One of my goals is to make the US an active force in the RD Racing Clubs, make sure we can have equal numbers to the EU club. However I feel that I cannot do it without the community's help! So I want from you guys to tell me the following:

    What would be needed to draw interest to the US Racing Club? What kind of events would be good to the Club? When? What timezone is preferrable to you guys? What should be the session limits (30 minutes practice, 30 mins quali, then race, i.e)? When should the Race Club begin and end?

    These are some of the questions that if possible, I'd like to read answers below. Of course, I'm open to all criticism, suggestions and other ideas from you guys. All feedback will be directed towards the certain effort of making a bigger and a better Racing Club.

    So for now that would be it. Thanks for reading this and please please comment below!

    Cheers

    Lorenzo
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2015
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  2. Lorenzo Bonder

    Lorenzo Bonder
    #forçaChape Staff

    Remembering, any and all constructive feedback is welcome!
     
  3. Sun Levi

    Sun Levi
    Premium Member

    US server :)
     
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  4. Lorenzo Bonder

    Lorenzo Bonder
    #forçaChape Staff

    lol Sun, anything else guys? Any car you want to see in a event or a track?
     
  5. Cristian Haba

    Cristian Haba
    #555 | Roaring Pipes Maniacs Staff Premium Member

    US Server would help on the pacific side ofcourse, or if RD decides to do a US Cup/League then I'd deem it mandatory.

    Speaking for myself, I'm available during the weekend and Fridays, that's when I'd be able to participate unless I have commitments. For Saturday and Sunday at times I would need a race to be in the early afternoon, ex. 3-6pm which would leave time for plans at night, maybe that would help others. The length of the race anywhere from 30m-1hr is fine, unless we have a dedicated endurance race, which IMO should be up at least a week or two before hand.

    On mods, they have to be high quality. For example the last track I raced on was adelaide 1988, and although the track is nice the quality is not and it takes away from the experience. There are exellent mod tracks out there and some are not meant for race cars imo ex. grobnik. The new Audi TTrs mod is out and thats a nice spec racing opportunity which is always fun, as well as the Seat Leon Cup mod, if they have similar performance they could be placed together.

    Honestly it comes down to availability, so more responses on this the better, and also the choice of games we have now is much larger. 8 months ago AC was the most populated forum and had a high attendace rate, now PCARS and SCE are taking a share of that pie. I still come back to AC since it gives me the best driving feel. So there are a couple of intangible factors, also check out the history and see what formulas have yielded the highest attendance or interest.
     
  6. Stereo

    Stereo
    Premium Member

    I like events with the road legal cars, although prior experience shows I don't end up picking cars in the same league as anyone else...
     
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  7. Lorenzo Bonder

    Lorenzo Bonder
    #forçaChape Staff

    Hey @Stereo, any vehicles you have in mind? 458 Step 3s, FXX vs Zonda R, P1 vs LaFerraris? Any track you'd like to see them?
     
  8. If you build it, they will come...

    I suggest setting up a server or two in the US (as Cristian suggests) and hosting simple, daily events with a proven recipe (GT2/GT3 cars, an AC track, no mods, and an active admin present). You'll attract the North American and South American audience who are currently going to the ALOOG servers (like me), the PedalToTheMetal server, and the "official" AC servers by RackService. These folks are going there because those servers host a format they want to drive, and they're enduring big pings to do so. If you're successful in attracting some of that audience, then you have their attention and have an opportunity to sell them on the idea of a race league or series. Watch the weekend attendance figures for your simple, daily event and find out when the low-pinging US attendance is highest, then set up a second server on a weekend day in that time slot with your feature* event (this second server should be available in a non-booking mode during the weekdays to accommodate practice and advertise the upcoming weekend event). If I saw this when scrolling through the AC lobby between 3pm and 6pm Pacific Time on a weekend, then I would happily join in the fun.

    *Selfish suggestion: make the feature event a continuous loop of short 2 to 3 lap sprint races with no practice or qualifying sessions and a field limited to 12 or less until popularity justifies a bigger one or another server with the same format. Just keep racing and racing with the "victor" being the guy who is standing on top of the hill at the end of the evening. This would accommodate folks across many timezones who can't make a single starting time or don't have the patience to wait as a long race runs it course when they show up late. It would also keep folks from complaining about restarts since it would only be a few minutes before things got underway again. Flash Bazbo has been occasionally hosting events like this (server name = Back2Back3Laps or something like that), and it probably the most intense racing I've recently experienced.

    (I started thinking I'd just add my 2 cents, but I got on a roll...)
     
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  9. Matt Horst

    Matt Horst
    Premium Member

    One thing i notice at some other communities i race at is there are far fewer races but bigger grids.For example in a Assetto Corsa fun series i race in every other Tuesday,always yields 10-12 drivers minimum.So maybe it's a quality over quantity sort of thing.More drivers,less races i think makes for bigger grids.

    As for cars some of the best races i have had of late was with the Lotus Evora GTC.Great little car that can provide great close racing.The 2 eleven GT4 is great,Alfa Romeo GTA is epic fun,formula abarth,abarth 500 and of coarse the GT3's are always a favorite.Caterham Academy is a must do sometime,but i think the mod has some issues at the moment.

    My idea of an ideal club racing seen would be a three race series with the same car,three different tracks,one race a week,then move on to a new three race series with a different car.I have seen this formula work out really well.You could run two races a week,or two series in tandem on different nights,but maybe change up the nights from series to series,so for example two three race series running Abarth 500 on Monday's and GT3'S on Friday for three weeks,then maybe for the next two series switch to a new day.:)
     
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  10. Lorenzo Bonder

    Lorenzo Bonder
    #forçaChape Staff

    I'm liking what I'm seeing, plenty of solid ideas. Keep 'em coming guys! I'm taking all into serious thinking and consideration and @Matt Horst, I kinda like this idea of yours...would you be kind to elaborate a little bit more about this racing idea you take part in? Is it like 3 race series in a day twice a week or I'm failing to understand a bit?
     
  11. SK

    SK
    Prince with a thousand enemies. Premium Member

    Can't really say enough how important this is. Netherlands is a particularly awful server location for US events. If eventually you do get one running you need to just get the word out and people will flock. Make a news post.
     
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  12. Stereo

    Stereo
    Premium Member

    2-11 and KTM X-bow would be good, the Cobra, F40 & CTR... there's probably a match for the 1M in the Lotuses but I'm not sure what.
     
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  13. Hi Lorenzo,

    I used to help organize US Club races a few years ago for Race 07 here @ RD. I've been lurking the forums periodically, wanting to get back to some sim racing for awhile now with my eye on AC.

    I can offer you the following suggestions which seemed to work very well back during that time. We had a good group of US based people racing then.

    When you have a smaller group of active participants, you want to focus on quality more than quantity. We ran 2-3 races per week with pretty full grids.

    By far, our most popular, was the Mini Wednesdays. The Mini's were a very fun class of car to race. The races were always very close and exciting. Most importantly, it set the bar low for people to just get in and race without have to spend large amounts of time practicing, and learning the car, and it's setup options. Setup options were minimal with the mini's and we all shared setups and tips. Eric Nelson used to upload a stable setup for the track before each race, so people could just hop on and drive. This is also a great way to attract new drivers, it's an entry point to the world of sim racing. You focus it on just having fun, meeting some people, and sharing setup tips. What club racing is suppose to be all about!

    Next up was Friday nights. Friday was an interesting one. We had a good amount of US drivers and Australian drivers, that would join up with us (early Sat morning for them). We usually ran touring cars on Friday. They were the next step up from the mini, in terms of learning more setup options, and a little higher difficulty - but still easy to drive. Friday's were very popular, and was what ended up sparking the creation of ATCC league.

    We later ended up adding Monday's as a Sports Car themed race night, which did alright.

    For tracks, each week we would try to run a consistent track between all three races. To make it a little more interesting, we would run the different layouts of the same track. For example, if on Monday we ran Watkins Glen with the boot and no chicane in Sports cars, on Wednesday we would run the Mini's on it without the boot and with the chicane. Then on Friday in the Touring Cars we would run with the Boot and the chicane. That made it so each week the track was familiar - requiring less practice and setup time, but the different cars and layout added the extra variety.

    Hope this helps, and good luck!

    I hope to see you guys on track sometime.
     
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  14. Matt Horst

    Matt Horst
    Premium Member

    Three races with the same car and three different tracks,one race per week for three weeks,then on to a new combo for a new three race series.This way people know what is coming up well in advance and you might find that the anticipation alone of a good car and tracks combo's will have people exited about that series.So as i said i would do no more than two series at the same time witch gives you two races a week with different cars.

    Example:

    Series: Abarth 500 @ (pick three tracks that go nice with the car being used)
    Race 1 - Monday September 7 @ (whatever time you choose)
    Race 2 - Monday September 14 @ (whatever time you choose)
    Race 3 - Monday September 21 @ (whatever time you choose)

    Series: Lotus Evora GTC @ (pick three tracks that go nice with the car being used
    Race 1 - Friday September 11 @ (whatever time you choose)
    Race 2 - Friday September 18 @ (whatever time you choose)
    Race 3 - Friday September 25 @ (whatever time you choose)

    If you did this with all racing clubs,you could even make sure there is as little overlap as possible with the other sims.Now you have a race all seven days of the week,in multiple sims,and you don't dilute the the driver pool because a lot of people race multiple sim platforms.

    If i was an organizer of my own sim racing community i would have one guy set up the dates and times for all races across all sims in witch we support,making sure there is little or no conflict.Then each club organizer could choose the content and set up the servers,ect. for his club races on the dates and times that have been provided by the "Senior Scheduling officer".I think it would be simpler,more efficient and maximize the drivers you have in your community.:)
     
  15. I run a casual mod and experimental server running 1 lap of Nordeschleife to see how it takes.

    A shorter format will attract more of a casual group of racers that in a sense could develop to more serious League style races.

    garyyokota said it best, run a simple format server for public and attract traffic, it's like fish trawling but works and get's seen.
     
  16. Lorenzo Bonder

    Lorenzo Bonder
    #forçaChape Staff

    Thanks for the input so far guys, all this input is being very helpful towards bringing up the US Club into full force again. This process will be somewhat progressive but we'll get there. I got some news using this ideas you all gave me and I'll shall give them soon. Tomorrow I'll put up a new reply here talking about what we have now regarding scheduling and what is coming new.
     
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  17. Ashley Cowan

    Ashley Cowan
    Premium Member

    Hey I really want to help you but unfortunately its controversial and I know I am a tightarse so no need to point that out.
    The mandatory paid premium killed the US club. I used to race in your Thursday night events and occasionally Friday night. To help numbers we would often rustled up a few Aussies/Kiwis and make a race of it but numbers dwindled after March and I stopped checking.

    Casual drivers can't drop in and turning them away is not the attitude when you are struggling for 6 from 320 million on a Saturday night.

    I have paid premium membership both voluntary and when mandatory and most likely will continue. I would pay twice as much if it was buying the hard working volunteers a beer at Christmas time or something like a Pluralsight membership to further their technical careers.
    But right now members fees from the Americas or Australiasia are subsidizing EU racers and their local servers.

    These clubs are held together by the countless hours, and more than anything the fantastic attitudes, of the "staff" organisers. If you are going to charge then substitute one EU server for one on your continent and reward the "staff" members.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2015
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  18. St3fan

    St3fan
    Stefan Zhang <- Just use this name for convenience Premium Member

    Well I have to admit that at first I felt a little bit disappointed that RD US club races are not quite populated. The main reason that I paid the membership is: I could hardly find pub servers on GSC, AC servers are usually high ping, AC US servers are mostly Nordschleife or drift servers, PCars lobbies have selections of car/track combos too random for me to feel comfortable to "practice then race", and I really hope to have some mp experience with Race07 and maybe GTR2.

    It's unlucky that you guys are having such issues, so I think I would like to participate as many events as I could.

    My suggestions would be:
    Some US tracks (I don't know if the Leguna Seca is considered realistic, but I think the only way to race Leguna Seca in AC now is to find a club race).
    Alternate between serious race cars (FR3.5, 787b, GT2/GT3, etc.) and fun-to-drive road cars or track day cars (X-bow, 2-11, Miata, Caterham, Mini, etc.).
    More open events for non-premium members, say once a month to attract more people.
    Extra membership for referral to a friend (XD)

    Also as a newbie in sim racing and a slow driver, I hope to get tips on racing. For example on the last race of FR3.5 at Assen, I realized I didn't know how to work out a pitting strategy at all.
     
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  19. Lorenzo Bonder

    Lorenzo Bonder
    #forçaChape Staff

    Hey folks, now that I had the time to analyze the inputs from everybody, suggestions and else I've come up with the following:

    We the AC staff we have to offer everybody around the world races in all games 7 days a week. We intent to keep it that way, but for the American side we are working on it. While we can't cover all days for now, we are investing in the days we cover with quality content. So for next week (13/9-20/9) I'm starting the following:

    Mondays might have occasional events, hosted by James (JRP77) and he'll provide races in all different forms and tracks. GT3s, GT2s, Kunos road cars, etc, etc.

    Tuesdays I'm going to host a small for fun series, carrying over in a weekly basis, with the various cars trends around the globe. Per example, this Tuesday I've launched a 90s' DTM event as a form to have a test event before going forward. Once this is done, the initial series will kickoff with this 90's DTMs and will carry over for 3 weeks. Depending on how this goes we might go for a daily (3 day series) and else, but as said I'm implementing what you guys suggested into our calendar.

    Wednesdays is the relax day, as this is the day we can't cover yet. We are looking into solutions.

    Thursdays, James hosts again with cars from all around the world and in different tracks, all for peoples entertainment.

    The weekend kicks off with the Formula Renault 3.5s event. This event is fixed as this has been running for the past month with some success and I wish to carry that success and keep it going. We use all variations of the car and we drive in all tracks possible, be Kunos or mods :)

    Saturday is the US GT Saturdays event. Here we race all variants of events, GT2 and/or GT3 sprint or endurance. Also we run GT4 and GTC events whenever possible. Also we run in all tracks possible to run and strive for competiveness and fun.

    Finally, Sundays is the Kunos road car event. Here we'll select a car group and make it available to you guys. Either be Supercars, Performance, Compacts, we'll also pick the Kunos tracks and here winning doesn't matter, fun does.

    For now that is the programmed schedule for the US. Hope you guys like, and as said this is a WIP, we are always looking to get better and do better event for you guys. About the US server that is matter that we Staff are looking into it seriously. :)

    Cheers folks!
     
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  20. Yes absolutely. I understand this worked out great for the european racers but it absolutely killed whatever participation we had in the USA. I remember joining here and running a couple races with ~14 or so participants. After the paid premium began, I kicked back to see how it would develop. Maybe most people did the same, but suddenly the races went down to 5 or less, and I am just not interested in that. Probably mostly because I am too slow to run with the hot shots.
    I pay for the iRacing service, so I am not opposed to spending money on racing, but you need to reach critical mass for it to be attractive.
    As someone else has said, to me AC has a much more satisfactory driving model, so I really hope you guys will figure it out. It's frustrating that NA has so few leagues. None really.