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DiRT Rally 2.0 Update pipeline

From Christina:
Just put this on reddit in response to an escalating thread - just trying to combat some misconceptions and shed some light about what's going behind the scenes here. :)

"We're not fixing FFB as it's not broken for us"
We're definitely making changes in this area - but OP is right that we had to do a lot of investigative work and talk to a lot of people to ascertain what was 'missing'. Also, as we've alluded to elsewhere - not everyone has been affected/been discontent with the FFB out of the box, so we've had to discuss about how to implement it as well (and that's still something we're trying to define). Please bear in mind that we also have a wealth of data here about people's wheels, settings, etc - so it's all a big balancing act to please as many people as possible.

In terms of the process of how we refine and change FFB; it’s something that needed key individuals in the studio to be given the time to look at in detail, whilst also trying to balance this against giving them the time to fix other issues and work on upcoming features. There's also a lot less people available to take part in this process now the game's out, as the service team is smaller than the base game team. There are demands from all areas of the company, with numerous projects going on and F1 2019 launching two months earlier than ever before. In that respect, it's something that's ended up taking us a little longer to tackle, just by sheer number of people available - and that's something we're really sorry about. Throw into the mix that we want to get it validated by pro drivers, and you can see how the weeks have gotten away from us.

And finally, just on the point of FFB: with DiRT Rally 2.0 we very much focused on simulating the effects that come through the front wheels as purely as possible, and we (and external validators) were pleased with how authentic the simulation felt in that regard. However on previous games, rather than just science, we used a little more art in some of the effects (especially with regards to the chassis effects, environmental effects, etc) - and that's the area where we've seen the most feedback.
We didn't think we were launching it 'broken' and felt we had achieved and validated a realistic representation of steering feedback when driving a rally car. The sheer volume of [negative] feedback we've had definitely took us by surprise, and it's taken us a considerable amount of time to find something that a/ tackles the feedback we've had, and b/ is still an improvement on all previous iterations of DiRT games. We're getting there, and I look forward to sharing with you in the coming weeks when these changes/options will arrive. Our car handling team have done an absolutely stellar job when it comes to DiRT, and they've been valiant in going through the more nuanced feedback we've received about how it feels.

"We're not adding clubs because there aren't enough players in this game"
Clubs is in for testing now. It's very likely Clubs will arrive in June - which we know is late, and it's disappointing because the same thing happened with DiRT 4's Clubs coming quite late post-launch - but it's a huge undertaking to get right. We have also needed to refactor the backend RaceNet system and make significant changes to the web interface as a result. However, we're seeing some brilliant retention numbers despite the lateness of this feature, and we're confident it'll be more than ready to provide infrastructure for our competitive plans later this year (as well as all your plans).

Just while we're on competitive - the next update will include human-only MP rallycross. We've always been listening, and that comes later this month in Update 1.4.

But back to the main issue raised: the new environments are made by our amazing Environment Artists and Level Design team, and the vehicles are made by our Vehicle Artists. It's a predominantly different set of skillsets that tackle the bugs. However, player satisfaction and happiness is just critical to our commercial goals as DLC.

"We're working on VR instead"
"We're not working on VR because of other fixes"
We're working with an external development company to make this. There's a VR build in the studio right now - the lion's share of work is done, and we're onto looking at comfort features.
More on that soon!
 

RasmusP

Premium
Thanks for 'officially' stating what me and @Martin Fiala told most of the guys all the time. The ffb is not broken, it's just realistic about what the real steering wheel is doing.
But since most of us simracers only have the wheel and nothing else to be immersed and feel what the car is doing, it feels a bit... Boring and lifeless.
So while I'm kinda on Codemasters' side of the arguments here, I still prefer dirt rally 1 because it's more fun.

Thanks for taking the leap to make this post. Great to get some insight on the process! :)
Once you throw some "art" into the ffb again, I'll be all over it!
 
Oh boy, that's not going to go well with the community, given how it responds to every single bit of news that's not "we've completely redone the FFB and now it's just like it was in DR1" makes people lose their minds. I don't think I'll even look at Reddit after this, they're going to throw a hissy fit about it. It will likely be bad enough here.

Needless to say, I really like what she's saying there. It's very reasonable, even if I might not agree with all of it still. But that's just it, really - I have no problem disagreeing with reasonable opinions. It's just the unreasonable ones that sometimes drive me up the wall.

And in regard to the FFB...I have to say I probably like it even more the more time I spend with it. Just yesterday while doing the daily with the R-GT in Australia, I was thinking how great the FFB was as the track with heavy degradation was absolutely affecting the FFB and the car, I could perfectly fine feel the wheel going lighter when I was losing grip, and I could also very clearly feel when I was putting the wheels outside of the track. I still think some parts of it could be a bit stronger (and I guess they will be), but even if they're not, I'm quite happy. I've compared the FFB in DR2 vs DR1 back to back a few times now and I've always came to the conclusion I much prefer the DR2 version, and the DR1 road noise people seem to miss so much in DR2 feels more annoying and fake than anything now.

Also, one of the people vocal about how bad the FFB in DR2 is a while back mentioned the FFB in Forza Horizon 4, stating that this is what FFB for a rally game should be like. I installed Forza Horizon 4 demo just to test it and made it all the way so that I could actually test a rally car on gravel roads, and...well, yeah, if someone considers its FFB how it should be done, then I absolutely understand how they don't like the DR2 FFB, and it also reinforces my theory that the most vocal people likely don't really care about information the FFB conveys, they just want very strong FFB with loads of bumps and shaking, even if it gives you almost no information to actually help you drive the car...
 
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FFB it's not broken, but FFB lacks a lot of information, it's like half FFB. Anyways ,the SAT is possibly the best and smooth SAT Ihave seen
Lastest DLC surprises me as I can feel for the first time front wheel grip at least in the impreza, for example in Montecarlo grip/nogrip form ice patches is smooth now and near perfect with this car.
Cattlegrids are the same, and little holes/gravel/rocks are non existent, big jumps are good.
 
Cattlegrids are a fascinating thing in DR2. Someone at CM must really love cattlegrids. Not only they are so strong in FFB, but one of the updates also added a new sound for them that's much louder than it was (and more importantly, than it should be, IMO, unless they're really that deafening IRL). It makes me laugh every time I drive over them ;)
 

RaceNut

Premium
Lets face the fact that real FFB is really very boring. There's a reason that pro-drivers, reviewers, enthusiasts want more feedback through the wheel than most real cars provide. Add to that, the lack of other feedback in Sim's and yes, some of us prefer as much information and details as possible, for various reasons.

For those that like dull FFB, there are generally ways to reduce details and certain effects through filtering, dampening or game-ffb settings. There's really no need for a DD-wheel with such preference because detail and immersion is where they provide the most benefit.

I don't ascribe to the false belief that only "pure physics" based FFB should be valid in Sim's. Many cars can and do give more feedback than what the current FFB-API is capable of providing. Effects such as tread-crawl (vibrations) and some unique tire characteristics can be felt in real cars. Race cars may have reduced or no power-assist for the steering at all (especially some classic's), and will certainly give a lot of feedback through the wheel.

To take a one size fits all approach to FFB for the masses is the wrong way to advance any simulation imo. Having the benefit of adding a little "Art" is one of the great advantages we have in the virtual space. Reality is sometimes over rated and in the case of FFB, it definitely is imo. Where reality is the goal, simulation will always fall a bit short anyway; why reduce the immersion and intensity of the virtual experience in the process. It's like removing the soul of the title and turning it into a purely technical exercise.
 
Lets face the fact that real FFB is really very boring. There's a reason that pro-drivers, reviewers, enthusiasts want more feedback through the wheel than most real cars provide.

I kinda find this a strange way to put it. I wouldn't say we want more information in FFB because the real life FFB is boring, I'd say we want more information because we only have the FFB to give us all the information the car conveys in real life by different means other than what you'd call "FFB".

I don't ascribe to the false belief that only "pure physics" based FFB should be valid in Sim's. Many cars can and do give more feedback than what the current FFB-API is capable of providing.

I just want to point out that in case I come off as someone who only wants "pure physics based FFB" in DR2, that's absolutely not the case (edit: then again maybe it is, because I'd certainly like the road noise to also come from physics and the texture of the road, not as a canned fake rumble effect...). See above. That's also why I still think the current DR2 FFB could be improved (and I always try to mention it in these discussions). I just don't think DR1, let alone FH4 FFB are how it should be, because, as mentioned, now that I've been focusing a lot more on it than I used to, I find the "road feel" in DR1 very artificial and "faked" (or, as Christina put it, "artistic"), and the FH4 FFB doesn't even give you (well, me, at least) the actual useful information DR2 gives me right now, it just mostly consists of the "useless" stuff that you could do without.

On the other hand, a "one size fits all" approach is rarely something exclusive to DR2. AMS, rF2, AC, ACC, iRacing...they all basically come with a "one size fits all" approach that leaves very little to tweak to personal tastes. But hey, if DR2 can include more options to adjust the FFB while preserving what we've got as much as possible, like it seems they intend to do...great, I'm all for it!
 
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RaceNut

Premium
I kinda find this a strange way to put it. I wouldn't say we want more information in FFB because the real life FFB is boring, I'd say we want more information because we only have the FFB to give us all the information the car conveys in real life by different means other than what you'd call "FFB".



I just want to point out that in case I come off as someone who only wants "pure physics based FFB" in DR2, that's absolutely not the case. See above. That's also why I still think the current DR2 FFB could be improved (and I always try to mention it in these discussions). I just don't think DR1, let alone FH4 FFB are how it should be, because, as mentioned, now that I've been focusing a lot more on it than I used to, I find the "road feel" in DR1 very artificial and "faked" (or, as Christina put it, "artistic"), and the FH4 FFB doesn't even give you (well, me, at least) the actual useful information DR2 gives me right now, it just mostly consists of the "useless" stuff that you could do without.

On the other hand, a "one size fits all" approach is rarely something exclusive to DR2. AMS, rF2, AC, ACC, iRacing...they all basically come with a "one size fits all" approach that leaves very little to tweak to personal tastes. But hey, if DR2 can include more options to adjust the FFB while preserving what we've got as much as possible, like it seems they intend to do...great, I'm all for it!
I have no issues with the way that AMS & rF2 approach the FFB because it is very full-featured out of the box. It is sort of one size fits all but, it just works. AC and RR provide us the means to tweak things with secondary effects, which I have no problem with either.

Dirt Rally provides an absurd amount of FFB detail through it's telemetry data, some of which is filtered out in the game-ffb but, some of the subtle traction-loss effects are also lost somewhere in translation. The game-FFB fell a bit short in that title and now DR2 has it far more filtered. I just prefer to choose how much filtering should be applied to the FFB. Most titles allow me to do that pretty effectively but, I think some developers are now going too far with "pre-filtering" the output, as seems to be the case in DR2.
 
Statement from ChristinaMc about FFB on the official forum :
"Hi all, just wanted to chip in here before the weekend arrives; we're working on bringing changes to the FFB - within the next week or two we'll be releasing a FFB specific update. More info soon, but it's coming. Thanks for your patience - we can't wait to have it out there and in your hands."
 

Andrew_WOT

Premium
Statement from ChristinaMc about FFB on the official forum :
"Hi all, just wanted to chip in here before the weekend arrives; we're working on bringing changes to the FFB - within the next week or two we'll be releasing a FFB specific update. More info soon, but it's coming. Thanks for your patience - we can't wait to have it out there and in your hands."
Now, that's a good news. Hopefully the wait is worth it.
Curios on VR implementation, is it really Oculus only, the company that abandoned PC VR altogether.
 

Kurupt CDN

DirtT Tuned Motorsports
Premium
Also, one of the people vocal about how bad the FFB in DR2 is a while back mentioned the FFB in Forza Horizon 4, stating that this is what FFB for a rally game should be like. I installed Forza Horizon 4 demo just to test it and made it all the way so that I could actually test a rally car on gravel roads, and...well, yeah, if someone considers its FFB how it should be done, then I absolutely understand how they don't like the DR2 FFB, and it also reinforces my theory that the most vocal people likely don't really care about information the FFB conveys, they just want very strong FFB with loads of bumps and shaking, even if it gives you almost no information to actually help you drive the car.

Is this comment in regards to me?

If so, I never said FM4 was how a rally game should feel, it's got terrible ffb/physics compared to more serious sims lol
It was a sarcastic comment ;)

If not, disregard :)
 
@Kurupt CDN I honestly don't remember who said that. I think it wasn't you (I think I remember who it was, but see below) and it also didn't seem like a sarcastic comment to me at the time at least. But maybe it was, I don't know. When I posted what you quoted, I didn't feel like specifically searching for who it was and where, and it kinda still applies...
 

Kurupt CDN

DirtT Tuned Motorsports
Premium
@Kurupt CDN I honestly don't remember who said that. I think it wasn't you (I think I remember who it was, but see below) and it also didn't seem like a sarcastic comment to me at the time at least. But maybe it was, I don't know. When I posted what you quoted, I didn't feel like specifically searching for who it was and where, and it kinda still applies...

All good!
 

Stenne

Premium
Thanks Christina for bringing this info to us. I believe it was a good idea to do clarify the developers intentions for DR2 at this moment when there's a lot of discussions going on at different forums.

Regarding FFB: I'm using a Logitec G27 wheel/pedal/H-gear set. I have experiences from most of the simracing applications available and for me rF2 is sort of a point reference for a FFB that is to my liking (I'm not saying it's "the best"). This goes for how it works out of the box as well as the settings available.
When I "unboxed" DS2 and drove it for the first times with default settings (Logitec Profiler and in-game) I must say I was a bit disappointed and it was the FFB that felt like the biggest drawback.

After reading through quite a number of informative and constructive posts (I must say it was quite a job to sort out these posts from all the "noise") on the topic on different forums I started to learn how the FFB in DR2 works and how it is intended to work. So after some time of trial I said to myself that I had to get out of my "rF2-box" and get in to the "DR2-box" in ways of thinking how to set up FFB in the profiler and in-game.

And, Heureka!! A couple of days ago I came close to sort of a "sweet spot" that makes DR2 really enjoyable to drive.
So, with this and all the good stuff that's already in there I must say I'm getting to like DR2 more and more the more I drive.

Then a pledge to CM. Keep all the good FFB stuff that's in there and don't put in too much "artificial artwork" with the risk of moving DR2 towards an arcade game. And if you do, please make it adjustable/removable. Of course there are room for improvement but in my opinion it should be done with care and considering the simulation aspects of the game.

Keep up the good work!
 
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Kurupt CDN

DirtT Tuned Motorsports
Premium
For me, if they take what they have now and stiffen the sidewall flex a tad and improve the contact patch, I'd be happy.....but easier said than done, I just find that any situation other than a torn up track the tire just feels like jello that molds to the track surface.

Anyways, glad to see they are working on things and an update will be coming :)
 
I installed Forza Horizon 4 demo just to test it and made it all the way so that I could actually test a rally car on gravel roads, and...
The gravel feedback in FH4 is terrible. Utterly terrible, no matter what settings you use.

It's way too shaky and spiky, hiding all useful information, and making it just plain painful to drive. I've tried to solve this by testing/lowering all possible values, but then tarmac becomes dead. I don't know what they were thinking.

I think FH4 feels pretty good on tarmac, by putting Damper 0, Spring 0 and Minimum force 100. But then you just have to avoid going to gravel at all. Exception are very old cars with loose steering, for some reason they feel tolerable on gravel.

And if you use those horrible Damper/Spring effects + Minimum force 50 like the devs suggest, it just becomes crap on all surfaces.

(Note that Minimum force works NOTHING like in Assetto Corsa or such... just crank it to 100, and stay out of gravel... you can get pretty fun wheel experience from FH4 demo that way)
 
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Don't do this to me...

Nah I wouldn't do it in any sim... I know what you are thinking. Trust me, they are totally butchering the detail in FH4. Just try my settings (in-game settings, that is), drive a bit on tarmac and see the difference.

(Simulation steering, assists off)

In the Windows driver settings you can leave Damper and Spring on, as you should anyway (because most games implement them reasonably, unlike FH4)

Tarmac feel becomes nuanced, accurate, dynamic. Downside is that you can't drive on gravel anymore, excluding some old cars or offroad buggies with very loose suspension. Because disabling Damper/Spring + Min force 100 boosts the inherently bad offroad FFB to another level. But even if you use full Damper/Spring and default Min force, it's too much shaking
 
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