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Thoughts after a day playing iRacing - Immersive enough to cause panic attacks

Discussion in 'iRacing' started by April Dillon, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. Before recently, I always assumed iRacing was a con. That it wasn't worth the money, that the laser scanned tracks didn't make a big difference, and I was better off playing rFactor or Race. And then the 1 month free promotion turned up recently, and I figured I should give it a try, see what all the fuss is about. And boy was I in for a surprise.

    I was surprised to find that the laser scanned tracks actually make a difference. Having all the bumps modelled accurately to within less than an inch still seems trivial to me. But there's a lot of subtle camber changes, crests, etc. which are often missed when other games model tracks using more traditional methods. They make driving the track a little bit more technical, and consequently, a lot more interesting.

    After a while practicing, I worked up the guts to go online. All I've driven all day is the MX-5 on Laguna Seca. I've done two qualifying sessions and three races so far, and I'm beginning to see what it is that makes iRacing great. The game's reputation for having a high standard of racing is well deserved. People are courteous, and drive cleanly. When they make a mistake, they're quick to apologise. And understanding when I (often) make a mistake. :)

    But there's one thing I found it did better than everything else; immersion. Before today, I have never been scared by a racing game. But sitting on the grid, waiting for the lights to turn green, I start to get tense every time. I become frightened to the point of shaking, and this lasts the entire race.

    I figured it's due to the pressure from iRacing's standards of racing being so high. I worry that I'm gonna mess up somewhere, and be the latest idiot to turn up. Which I'd say is a good way to reflect the pressure a racing driver is put under.

    At this point, it's probably worth mentioning that I'm suffering from anxiety right now, and I'm pretty sure the stress that iRacing puts me under has induced a panic attack. Which is just crazy. How can a video game be that immersive?

    I don't know how much I'll carry on playing it after today if it has this kind of effect on me. In fact, I can't believe my time on a game is actually limited by how good it is! But I'll be trying to over the duration of my trial, that's for sure. It's not something I want to miss out on.

    However I still find it difficult to bring myself to subscribe. I recall a post here by someone who wanted to do the V8 Supercars series in it on a 3 month subscription, which added up to about $160 with the car and tracks. That's a lot of money for a game, worth it or not.

    I tried driving the Skip Barber car aswell, which I couldn't get the hang of. Thankfully it came free with the trial. But it has served as a warning; I can't be sure I'll enjoy a car before I buy it on iRacing. And I'm not fond of gambling like that.

    Maybe one day I'll come back and subscribe, when I've got more money. Because I've deffinately enjoyed what I've seen so far. But until then, at least I now know what the big deal is about iRacing, what's so great about it, and what brings people to pay that kind of money for it.
  2. Lemming don't be scared off by the money that others have put into iracing. With the base package you have enough content to run in a few series, examples are of course the mx-5, but also the legends with no other purchased needed. You also get the spec ford, pontiac solstice and the street stock all of which only require a few additional tracks to make the full series. I would suggest getting a 3 month sub and pay with paypal as it does not automatically renew, don't try to buy all the tracks at once, just one or two a month will be plenty as different series use the same track through the season. You already have the skip which is a great car, you just have to spend a little time with it and speak softly to it. Also when I let my first 30 day trail run out iracing email me a code to come back for 3 months at a lower rate, not sure if they still do that. The next step is to get a RD license and come and race with us. Welcome to the asylum.
  3. You've got a good point. And I suppose after a while, I'll have a collection of tracks which will make the other series more 'approachable'. And in the meantime, the rookie series wouldn't be expensive to get into.
  4. The initial step to a full season of D class racing was the most painful financially for me, but once you've made that commitment the outlay is really hardly noticeable from then on in. As William says..you don't need to buy a load of stuff at once. They do offer discounts on bulk purchases, but to be honest its not much. I preferred to just buy a track every couple of weeks as and when I needed them.

    If you don't rush to get up the licenses and just concentrate on 1 or 2 series per season it's really not that expensive. Now i've been there a couple of years I have all the road content and haven't spent much at all apart from the subscription fees for ages.

    I'm unemployed and have very little spare cash. If I can afford it anyone can :wink:

    Ohh..don't give up on the Skippy. It takes some time to learn how it drives, but once it clicks for you I think you'll love it. Check the Skippy section of the iRacing forums for tips on how to get it set up a bit more "safe" to begin with, then work your way towards the faster setups. It really is a fantastic little car and teaches you a lot. It also is one of the most popular series in iRacing and the standard of driving is generally miles better than in any rookie races.

    You're right about the tension.. I'm an experienced sim racer and have a lot of wins and podiums to my name, but I still get that tense,nervous feeling sat on the grid of official races that I don't get from any other sim. I love it! :D
  5. Nice one Lemming, but I dont understand you... how can you say it gives you such a feeling on the grid, then say your going to let it go...?
    What feeling are you after with a sim then?
  6. Mainly it's because I don't want to descend into panics like that, because they aren't fun. Had that not been a risk, I wouldn't have to think twice about racing. Although now, I'm thinking playing for smaller periods of time is the way to go for me.

    I agree that it's exactly the feeling a sim should give you. I think it just overwhelmed me at the time.
  7. I also get nervous as hell in standing starts :D

    I can tell you that your not alone, everbody on the grid is nervous the first lap until you start to relax and focus on the driving.

    I also hated the skippy in the beginning, but now i appreciate that car like no other. I never race it nor have i tried it for a long time but after you drive alot of different cars the skippy is just a wonderful little machine :)

    And if you think the Mazda gives immersion, boy are you in for a treat ;) Ford V8, Riley, FW31, Lotus F1 etc is in another dimension when we are talking immersion.

    Soon there will be two more insane machines joining IRacing. ALMS Ford GT and Acura ARX-01c (oh and another car which is secret atm but is strongly rumored to be the Honda HSV-10!)

    The tension will become less and less of a factor as you rack up more races in Iracing.

    Oh and btw, there´s a grand prix package now where you can get a full year for $75 including the FW31, Spa and something else i think.
  8. Agreed Hampus!
  9. Lemming: I signed up on that 'three months for one' trial about a week ago, and like you. I can't believe how much I'm enjoying it. I'm already planning on renewing my subscription, and I've narrowed my first track purchase down to Silverstone since it'll finish out what I need for the Spec Racer/Solstice series.

    It's not standing starts with me, though. It's rolling starts on the ovals. Once I figured out how to turn my spotter on, hearing him go 'greengreengreen!' made it even better.
  10. One more thing which has been especially reassuring is that all your posts in this thread have been excellent. You're all well mannered, and seem like decent, intelligent people. It's hard to believe it's an online discussion about a video game.

    After this long on the LFS forum, they crucified me for even suggesting that there might be anything good about rFactor. And even in the rFactor section on this board, there was someone being a prat by going on about how much better iRacing is than rFactor 2 will ever be. So it's a pleasant surprise to see just how hostile a few iRacing fans aren't.

    I think it's guaranteed that I'll be subscribing, and playing a lot more. It may not be immediately after my trial expires, but the more I think about iRacing, the more I think it's the best way for me to go if I want to improve my sim racing ability.
  11. Lemming77, You said it bud! Nice one!
    Roll on all the iracing converts, it rearly is the best sim out there.
    As my mate said to my other mate just before he drove the WIlliams around Lime Rock Park
    "Knees, You've been driving the Wrong Sim Mate"
    He did some laps and went home and subscribed to Iracing.

    Anything else is just a compromise. : )

    Join the RD League and :letsgoracing:

    Regards George

    who cant wait to irace when his motion rig is finished this friday.... :D
  12. Dont worry Lemming, you have not met any iracing fanboys yet :)
    These ones can be annoying hahhaa

    iRacing is not perfect, but it is for now, the best simulation outthere.
    I don't like LFS so much personnally, which i dont really consider as a sim, but I have enjoyed a few mods of rFactor for a very long time around the nurburgring and on other tracks :)

    Also, as it's been said, dont worry about spneing hundreds of dollars in the game...
    I spent 3 months without buying anything, just having fun with the base content :)

    The MX5 is the absolute best car of the game to me, though it would need some new tires (like all the car actually) in order to be able to slide/drift a bit more like the real one can do...

    Enjoy iracing!
    I hope to see you around a track somewhere!
    I am mostly in the Grand Touring Cup right now MX5/Jetta mixed.
  13. Been interesting reading this thread, I've gone through two trial 3 month periods over the past 2 years and I've got to say my initial reaction was almost entirely negative. But a number of changes in my personal life and my growing boredom with rFactor meant I gave iRacing another try. I couldn't take advantage of the trials so I took a fairly hefty gamble and plumped for a year subscription.

    At first things didn't seem to be going as well as I'd hoped, but I took advice from my friends and kept my head low and things started to come good. I managed to go from Rookie at 2.56 to B class 4.49 in just under a week and I'm loving it, honestly believe its worth paying for the quality of the sim, particularly the force feedback and the feeling of weight in the cars are a joy.

    I've bought quite a lot of tracks and cars, not a stupid amount but a few...I'm competing mainly in the Grand Ams but hopefully a little in the Indy cars too and since they share a lot of tracks it works out financially as well which is nice. Now I'm just enjoying myself and taking it all in, and I'm not looking back! The quality of the racing is fantastic and I've already had some very memorable races and moments :D
  14. There are many good sims out there, some better then others because of having proper tyre models etc
    But as a whole package, i don´t even think Rfactor or LFS simmers can deny that Iracing is the better one.

    LFS and Iracing are working on a tyre model aswell which makes it even easier to choose unless it´s a cost issue.
  15. I think if iRacing could get close to NetKars tyre model then it's a win but tbh as much as i love iRacing, the one part that really grates on me is the damage, it's almost funny. I think iRacing in general have alot to fix before releasing new content all the time and these 2 should be top. As an overall package though for me it's untouchable.
  16. Sure, there's no denying it's not perfect. All sims have an edge over the others, like Race's wet weather, rFactor's day/night cycles for endurance races, etc. But despite everything about iRacing I don't like so far, it seems to be worth it's weight in gold. Well, it doesn't weigh anything, which is where that analogy falls down, but you get the idea. :)

    I've seen some videos of iRacing's new tire model in the works, and I'm very curious to see how it drives. But in the meantime, the one it has right now will do. :)

    I was getting a bit frustrated that after 3 races, my rating had only increased 0.09. It felt like it was going to take forever. But from what you said Richard, I guess it accelerates...? So as you go, it gets easier to increase it and be promoted?
  17. While I'm with you that most of the discussions are well mannered especially here at RD, don't expect the same from the General Discussions forum over at iRacing :p
    It has been great in the beginning but it has become a playground for childish behaviour if you ask me. Most individual car forums are great though, would be a shame to miss out on them. Lots of helpful people around.
  18. It doesn't really accelerate it's actually the opposite as your license gets higher up the points get slower. Well sort of, they still give alot depending on the track and race. However they get hit alot harder for inc points if something happened. There is a bright side to this though that I found. Once you get a few races under your belt you'll find you have an abililty to see which guys will wreck or cause problems. They are all the same really, by driving like they are drunk so to speak. Really fast guys that are out of control, my best advice here is to let them by without hitting you then pass them on the side of the road a lap or two later.
  19. Agreed totally and the same can be said of VirtualR of late. Although it was a good move to make it members. Was hard reading over there the last few weeks
  20. Absolutely! Didn't even bother about the comment section anymore.. quite sad actually, considering that not long ago there were great discussions going on with modders, developers, SRT etc.

    @Lemming77: Best advice is to try to not race for the win in the lowest classes but to focus on clean racing. This will help with SR and getting into cleaner races.