Why iRacing gets my cash while I'm stingy with better sims

Shovas

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tl;dr It comes down to hourly races, any day, any time, competitive, ranked, pickup multiplayer, series racing. Other sims and services need to understand that this is why we're all stuck to iRacing and nothing else really catches on, even if those sims are technically better.

I just dropped a bunch of cash on iRacing, a two year renewal, and two cars at $12 a pop, that I likely won't drive them enough to make it worth it.

Why in 2020 am I still giving money to iRacing without even the hope of ever owning what I paid for?

I admit, this time around, I sat on it for a few weeks when their 25% sale came on (it's on right now until December). My account expires in January but I knew the 25% deal has only come very rarely in recent years.

But I also thought about their recent improvements, a new tire model (which I just learned in physically modeled, like rFactor 2, not empirically modeled), surreal lighting improvements, 24h day/night cycles, dynamic skies and clouds (clouds morph, and they block out the sun as they pass between), continuous and noticeable improvements to ffb, some of the best AI I've ever experienced.

And I thought about what's to come. Rain, flat-spotting, maybe other weather like snow, and they've proven reliable on continuous improvements to tire model, ffb, AI, graphics, etc. And they also seem to produce a complete solution - not something half-baked. Not perfect, mind you, but not half-baked either.

I finally convinced myself it was a good enough deal and I don't regret renewing. I've certainly regretted one-time purchases of other sims.

But what really seals the deal is their implementation of multiplayer infrastructure: Series-based, recurring Hourly or Bi-hourly, ranked races, and usually with a full grid (of between 12 and 30 normally) . What this means in practice is that almost any time of the day you just load up iRacing and you can find a race that starts in the next few minutes, no exaggeration.

I do not understand how this is not understood by the other sims and multiplayer services like SRS and Simracing.gp. Maybe it is understood and they want to do their own thing, anyway. I get there are costs and logistics of spinning up that much compute power.

But from what I can see that way of racing is dying.

The next alternative to iRacing that implements the minimum viable featureset of iRacing multiplayer, among the proper sims, will have a massive market advantage against the other sims.

And if SRS or Simracing.gp were to bring hourly racing to multiple sims?

That's the dream.

PS. It occurred to me I should have been clear that the key to iRacing's hourly/bi-hourly schedule is that each and every series repeats on the hour or every other hour. This allows you to get into your favourite series any time of the day. For example, I might like MX-5, 488 GT3, and Radical SR8s, but I might not like and not ever really race other series. Users should be able to find their series at any hour of the day.
 
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Bram Hengeveld

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this is not understood by
Very much understood, believe me :)
And if SRS or Simracing.gp were to bring hourly racing to multiple sims?
For SGP that is absolutely the plan to have hourly races for all supported sims. But it will not limited to just that. It's a community platform foremost where communities can host and run their own leagues. But for sure there will be plenty of idle hours to fill up with hourly, bi-hourly, daily or weekly races. And guess what? If we don't host the content you like on the hours you like you will have all the tools available to do that yourself. Everybody, even those without a technical background, can manage races and series online with easy. Even I can as a non-techy :D

But there will be no hourly races during the closed beta (phase we are currently in) with limited amount of players. We will need to open the floodgates first soon and gets thousands of players in before we can host more regular races.

That's the dream.
Dreams can come true :)
 

Shovas

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That's amazing to hear. I didn't think this was on anybody's radar due to costs and logistics.
 

Shovas

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PS. It occurred to me I should have been clear that the key to iRacing's hourly/bi-hourly schedule is that each and every series repeats on the hour or every other hour. This allows you to get into your favourite series any time of the day. For example, I might like MX-5, 488 GT3, and Radical SR8s, but I might not like nor ever really race other series. Users should be able to find their series at any hour of the day.

I thought this was worth clarifying as missing this key feature would be a deal-breaker. I believe this is such an important reason why iRacing's multiplayer is successful.

SRS already has hourly races but they're different series, some of which not everyone will like.
 
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couldn't agree more with OP, however, many if not most series on iracing do not run hourly but every second hour.
This means for me, who has a very limited time corridor in which i can play, i usually have to abandon series as europe changes from normal time to energy saving time and back. i keep on forgetting this will effect two of the four seasons each year, stupid me.
 

Shovas

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Yes, totally, I feel iRacing really hurt themselves when they (1) moved to having less series every hour and (2) started requiring in session qualifying which resulted in not being able to bounce quickly to another race in the next hour.

They still have a handful of Rookie and D series going off every hour and, despite the ranking, top splits can be very, very enjoyable.
 
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yes, i have been doing skip barber for seven years now and only having time for one event each week, i am still not tired of it. by now my iRating is such that i am in split 4 of 10 or split 2 of 5 there, and - yes - just as everyone says, the standards are much better on average, e.g. on tuesday everyone on my grid got through radillion / eau rouge at spa fine and dandy in lap1 and overall only 2 of 20 cars ended up next to the track in lap01.
 
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All in all its the best buck for sim racing always improving things and a very very stable sim as opposed to some other
i racing is the best forget the rest
 
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I thought this was worth clarifying as missing this key feature would be a deal-breaker. I believe this is such an important reason why iRacing's multiplayer is successful.

SRS already has hourly races but they're different series, some of which not everyone will like.

Yea SRS has different series and classes each hour. AND they run some realy odd cars instead of doing it as a propper class series that you can get into over time. As soon as i find something i like on SRS, they switch it out. You don't need to drive every single AC mod that's available on RD. Do a select few realy good ones and keep them going as a core. Then you can sprinkle the odd ones around it. People like me needs enough time to get to know a car before we go join an online race.
And please. There are other tracks than zandvort to drive on.

Raceroom is doing the same mistake with their ranked servers. Not sure if they have changed it recently but last I tried it, they were just switching cars all the time and switching tracks every race, which makes me simply not join in as I don't get time to learn a track before racing it.
 
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