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RD Rally Club - Future???

Discussion in 'Richard Burns Rally' started by Warren Dawes, May 6, 2010.

  1. Warren Dawes

    Warren Dawes
    Premium Member

    I believe we need some serious feedback re the current and future plans of our RBR Rally Club here at Racedepartment. Do we have enough interest to maintain the Club, and if so, does the organisation need an overhaul??

    First, to the level of interest.
    Over the past few months we have seen a slow decline in driver numbers to about 4 or 5 drivers in each Rally, and this has included a few cancellations/reschedules due to even lower numbers. Despite the addition of a few new drivers, the biggest disappointment is that many of our previous regular drivers now seem to have drifted away (with little or no feedback to advise of this, or to indicate that they may return).
    Given the workload required to organise these Rally's, it is demotivating. I have been more than happy to keep running these Rally events, mainly for those of us who enjoy them and have remained loyal participants, and I am prepared to continue. However, we need to be realistic and ask "does the Rally Club have a future here?".
    Maybe I'm missing something obvious, but I personally think RBR has a lot to offer to us. It is the only true Rally series available on-line at RD (and surely a major SimRacing site has Rally fans), the events are open to all Timezones (the only events where this happens), and it doesn't require high spec PC's or internet service.
    You don't have concerns about interference from other drivers, your crashes are your own.
    Sure, RBR requires some skill and patience to drive well, but surely we have plenty of highly skilled drivers here who want to challenge themselves.

    Assuming we have a reasonable level of interest from a core group, is there a problem with the way our events are organised?
    Should we run a different night (currently every second Wednesday), maybe weekends?
    Should we run events more frequently or less frequently?
    Are the Rally's too long or too short?
    Are the car / track selections not popular?
    Should we look at using an alternative to RSRBR?

    I have tried to be as flexible as possible with schedules and tried to adopt suggestions for interesting events, but if there are preferred changes, just let me know.

    Sorry to sound somewhat heavy or negative, but we really need to make some decisions about the future viability of RBR at RD.
  2. Hello Warren,
    don't give up. I have mentioned this Rally Club on a big Swedish simracing forum to see if we can have some participants from there.

    Regarding the format of the rallies
    Should we run a different night (currently every second Wednesday), maybe weekends? Mon-Thur is OK for me
    Should we run events more frequently or less frequently?

    If we have enough starters then once a week would be good, then you can miss one race without having to wait so long for next
    Are the Rally's too long or too short?
    8-10 stages is OK
    Are the car / track selections not popular?
    I would like to see some BTB tracks, and maybe not change the cars for every race
    Should we look at using an alternative to RSRBR?
    NoI think RSRBR is the most complete package once you have it installed
  3. Hopefully I won't sound ignorant, as I'm clearly a newcomer and a newbie.
    If I have a vote, I vote against Wednesdays. Almost every other day is ok.
    Once a week would be nice, helps develop a certain routine, also as Tomas mentioned skipping an event isn't a big issue then.
    Agreed with Tomas again, ~10 SSs is just fine.
    I personally find the N4 cars to be perfect fit for me.
    I'm biased on this one, since I've been doing some virtual rallying using the plugin from http://rbr.onlineracing.cz/ (as I mentioned earlier) and I can say that I like it very much. But even tough it's works IMO better, there is way more variety in tracks (and cars) in the RSRBR, and for me having way more roads to cover in a rally car instead of memorizing a small pack is the real essence of rallying. The con of RSRBR is also it's weight. I personally have two separate RBR installs to enjoy the best of both worlds, but that's not really a "cost-effective" solution.
  4. Me, I am fine with everything as it is, but also have no aversions to anything else. When you say someting other than RSRBR, does that mean a different sim? If so - I can't see me buying another rally sim TBH (but don't decide anything based on me, I have just been glad of the opportunity to run some rally's).

    Once a week would be too much for me, as I have other commitments and work shifts (but again, don't base any decisions on my feedback :D).

    Also - if the workload is not worth the small turnout, I would completely understand you pulling the plug.
  5. Warren,

    Sorry to hear about this developement. I for one enjoyed the rally experience because of the schedule freedom. The concentration required is second to none and was really amazing in it's intensity for sure!

    I have taken responsibilities as you know in RD staff and am committed to supporting that at this time. Despite some of the difficulties I experienced geting the SIM to work etc. I still enjoyed my time on the stages!

    It was a bit daunting for me to be constantly installing new car packs for each new event. I would suggest that you runt he saem car pack for 4 events to minimize all that extra file weight in the machines of the drivers. I think testing and tuning is not something guys will throw into before an event so car familiarity would be a bonus.

    I think 10 stages is the most you should have. After about 30 mins of rally driving you are pretty worn thin unless you do it all the time. Maybe reduce ther # of stages but offer it two days in one week or once week?

    Regarding RSRBR......It was somewhat difficult to get accustomed to for me. The layout seemed counterintuitive? But once I understood how to navigate it did become easier.

    I hope this helps a bit mate! I know what it's like to do the work and get small fields in the events you plan. Happens to me all the time in my Club gig and that is 7 events a week I am handling all alone ATM.

    Best Wishes Mate!
  6. Ross McGregor

    Ross McGregor
    Premium Member

    I'd certainly be interested in joining a few events, but... (well you know the rest!):)
  7. Warren Dawes

    Warren Dawes
    Premium Member

    No decisions yet but a couple of points on items raised so far.

    No Mark, not another Sim, RBR is still waaaaay ahead of anything else available for Rallying, so I won't consider changing Sims. However, as Łukasz mentioned, there is another plug in for RBR that allows on-line play. I know very little about it though, but my concern with RSRBR is that a few people are having difficulty with it, including not being able to get it running (eg. Ross). I've never had problems with RSRBR2010 and like the quality and depth of the options, but maybe we need to investigate the other plug in if it helps get more drivers. Hopefully Łukasz can tell us more.

    I am quite open to running a different night if it suits more people. Maybe we should try a different night for our next Rally and see how it goes. I'd love to know what others prefer.

    We have already started running the same Cars for consecutive Rally's and drivers seem happy with that. Once people get used to the game physics, changing cars becomes less daunting, and fine tuning setups isn't very important in these Rally's, I mostly use default setups and they seem well balanced for most cars. Success in this game is more about car control and patience, not finely tuned setups (from my experience anyway).

    I have wanted to try some BTB Stages, but I have been hoping to get a regular group settled first before venturing down that path.

    Please keep the suggestions / comments coming.
  8. Aw, that's a shame... Just drove a bit today, great game, too bad I'm really, really, really bad at it.

    FWIW, I just went on ebay, and ordered the original game, so you can count me in as a regular in a week or so.
    Had I known there was an online option in RBR, I would've done it much earlier.
  9. Warren Dawes

    Warren Dawes
    Premium Member

    Senad, great to hear from you and hope to see you join us soon. Make sure you have a read of this one:

    It will show how to get on-line with RBR, and there is other useful info in these forums. RSRBR2010 also adds heaps of content and upgrades to RBR, so it adds lots to the off-line enjoyment as well.
    BTW, we are all pretty bad at this Sim, especially when getting started, it is tough (just like real Rallying), but you soon get used to it (sorta). We all crash lots, it just adds to the fun.
  10. Changing to a Mon or Tues night works for me, just not Thurs or Fri. I like the event length so far, 8-10 works quite well. Running some of the BTB tracks would be interesting, though some of them can be quite resource hungry, maybe get a poll together and we can test each one then rate it? I'm happy driving whatever though it might be nice to give some of the more obscure car packs a go....perhaps following a little private testing!
  11. It's not the only one, there are also at least two different that I know about, one of which is very similar to the RSRBR (Italian one), and I'm not sure if the second one isn't really dead (Hungarian). I can tell you the story of the Czech plugin.

    Well, it's well known in Europe (some say all major rallies held there can be considered European championship rallies), and it's makers targeted a tad different approach. Rallies aren't held in real-time (this gives more flexibility), instead they are given a timeframe, set by rally creator. After the start date all drivers logged in with a plugin can enter the rally (given they have at least one car required by the tournament maker installed and now the event password, if there is any) and have to finish it in one sitting. There is a possibility to create multiple legs in an event (eg. Leg 1 held on Friday, Leg 2 on Saturday etc. - all depends on the creator again).

    Another major difference it's the way add-ons are installed. User is required to download the plugin itself (which is a very small file, installed into the plugin directory of RBR and ran from within game's Plugins menu), but from now on most of the stuff is optional - you can join an event with otherwise 100% stock RBR, but it is really recommended to install at least the Reversed track pack and the Czech stages (which are stunning, BTW - it's the Czech plugins guys that made "Pribram" stage seen in RSRBR. And the newer one are WAAAAAAY better, not to mention the fact that "Pribram" is just a tiny bit of their early work). This is extremely easy (as all tracks are distributed as installers and only feedback they require from the user is to point out where the RBR is installed - they also check the registry for the path with it, so it's as easy as it gets).

    It's just a tiny bit trickier with cars - as I mentioned all stock cars are fine, but as seen here, the N4 or S2000 cars are more accessible and popular, but they're missing from the original game. They are downloadable from the plugin's site (especially the physics, witch are checked by the plugin before being able to start the rally, so they have to be the exact same files). Installation is manual - that means that you have to grasp the mechanism of installing RBR cars (which is easy, as you just unpack the model into the Cars folder, change the entry for the car you are replacing (as RBR supports only 8 cars at the same time) in the Cars.ini file in the same folder, then extract the Physics.rbz file (it's just a renamed .zip file), which gives you Physics folder in the game's directory, you replace the physics of the car there, compress it back up (as a normal zip file, then rename it to Physics.rbz of course - back up the original first) and you're set.

    Installing the car is really a piece of cake, especially with hundreds of picture-ridden tutorials around the web. And once you install your favorite car(s), you don't have to change a thing. You just fire the game up and search for a rally.

    Just look around the site - http://rbr.onlineracing.cz/ (there is an English version, switchable on the right-top of the page). I haven't even mention all the data that is stored there. You have access to EVERY multiplayer round you have ever competed in. There is SupeRally support in rallies, cummulative damage, multiple road-surface quality settings and much more. Not to mention slow, but constant adding of new tracks in native RBR format.

    Just take a look at this fantastic track (considered the best-looking fan-made RBR track to date. Or rather SS pack, as there are 2 really different variants, each available in 2 directions): http://youtube.com/watch?v=k9fSIjsTGAE&fmt=22

    Adding of the newest cars is sometimes slow (we're still waiting to see the Peugeot 205 & 206 to have their physics finished by the site car admin), but there is almost every DETAILED RBR car ever released.

    I'm willing to answer every question :)
  12. Sounds like a good option, especially if it entices more drivers to join... I would be willing to try.
  13. Warren Dawes

    Warren Dawes
    Premium Member

    Thanks Łukasz, this option sounds interesting and well worth looking into for our group. The additional flexibility for people to run their Rally may help get more drivers, but the only downside I see is that we might miss the real time aspect and the ability to share times during a Rally over Teamspeak in freal time. We could still use TS though and maybe organise to have others run at a similar time.
    I presume anyone could act as the Rally Organiser for our RD Rally Events, or do we have to join set events organised by a central Administrator.
    Are the addon Car models and physics as good as RSRBR2010?
    It sounds like we might need to have separate RBR installs if we want access to RSRBR2010 as well.

    I'll have a good look around the site when I get back from holidays and things settle down at home for me.
  14. Although it is a detailed write up, it would appear this is an upgrade on a number of levels!
  15. Well, it's true and unfortunately unavoidable. The only sort of consolation I can think about is the fact, that in real rallying you aren't really running simultaneously either. Most series make up for that with really nice forum discussions, it's really interesting to read the insights of the drivers as they post "while still hot" after finishing the rally.
    Yes, but there is a minor catch to it - to be able to create rallies you have to donate a certain amount of money towards the server running costs (AFAIR it's about 8 Euro, so it should be ~10 USD or so - of course only one person is required to donate for the whole series to be organized).
    At least on par with RSRBR. They are aimed at matching the stock cars performance for WRC, and from the opinion of the current F1 driver who used to compete a bit in the Polish championship held there, they are really accurate.
    That is correct. But, as I said, the minimum space required for the plugin-oriented install is much smaller than the size of full RSRBR. Around 6 or 7 GB is enough to fit ALL the tracks and some cars on your HDD with ease (all RBR. Don't forget you get quie a few new stages). The downside is that you don't get different road surfaces on the stock stages, except for the France with SnowFrance mod turned on.

    Waiting forward to this :)
  16. Warren Dawes

    Warren Dawes
    Premium Member

    Thanks again Łukasz, I don't see too many negatives at all with that. I'd like to install it on my system and test it out.
    Anything special I need to do to run a separate install of RBR with this plug-in, so that it doesn't interfere with my current RSRBR installation? No registry issues if I just rename my current install and install RBR again to the same HDD? Alternatively, should I install to a separate HDD?
  17. Well, it's just an issue of being able to do it (install the second copy of the game) - I've got mine sitting right next to each other on one partition. If you rename current installation, then try to uninstall it, remove the entry from the Add/Remove list (I hope it removes the registry entries so you won't have to do it manually), then install it again (and maybe swap the folder names around, so the registry points out to RSRBR - just to be on the safe side. Czech plugin's install is fine without any installation, just the files are required, all installers ask for a path anyways. I already forgot if RSRBR does the same ;)) and you're ready to roll with both.
  18. Warren Dawes

    Warren Dawes
    Premium Member

    Based on feedback so far, it seems a change of night is preferred. So for the next event, we'll try Tuesday night, I'll set up one for Tuesday 18th May, I'll be back home and available by then.

    Thanks for your input so far guys. :rainbow: :rally:
  19. There was a chart with events and days of the week, gone now?

    Other days are kinda crowded. Tuesday night European time, or? GTL Club races are on Tuesdays :/

    EDIT: that non-real time rallying thing looks pretty good now
  20. Warren Dawes

    Warren Dawes
    Premium Member

    Oops, that might interfere with European drivers, so I'll try Monday night EU & USA / Tuesdsay OC for the next one then. However, so far none of the GTL guys have been running RBR anyway.