You’re better than that…
The good and the bad of racing random people
One thing that really got me hooked on Forza, and generally made sim racing a whole lot more interesting to me, was when i started playing online with other serious drivers.
I was gennerally beginning to feel pretty confident in my driving, and could often beat the Forza AI drivers, even when i set them on higher levels (i was having trouble doing it when they are set to unbeatable though). All in all i was feeling that i was getting better, so i decided i was ready to take up the challenge of driving against real people. I had only tried this once before, on Projec Cars, and it was terrible. It felt like trying to learn how to swim, by jumping off the Titanic.
I joined some public lobbies on Forza, to figure out how they work, and what kind of races were going on. It was terrible. I found out two things.
- I was not as good as i thought i was. All the time i’ve ever spent on sim racing, now just felt like a Tutorial or an introduction to racing.
- Unlike the drivatars i had been racing up untill now, these real drivers really didn’t care about how you experience the race. They just want to get to the finish line, no matter who they wreck or how they ruin the race on their way. I got a weird feeling of simply being a drivatar myself, in somebodys elses race.
I had really expected that the people racing online, would have been better drivers than the drivatars i had been racing up till now. This might be true, but they were not using their skills to race fair.
Probably 60% of the races, i didn’t finish, because somebody wrecked me. The other races i either wrecked my self, trying to avoid other crashed, or finished at the back of the pack. My hopes were not high, because each time i got hit, i got to the back, and had to fight my way through the traffic of often worse drivers who are at the back. My only hope, was to either start at the front, or at least escape the back of the grid, and gennerally run away as fast as i could.
After some very frustrating races, i could hear that other racers where equally frustrated about this, and would often rage on the microphone about having their race ruined by rammers and drivers who simply don’t care. I was not using the microphone, because i had never tried this, but i was listening to (and often surprised by) what other people would say/scream during the race.
It turns out that the open lobbies, hoppers and leagues are the worst place to find decent racing. I was by no means a good racer my self, but i was at least trying to keep it clean. If i did a mistake, i would rather crash into the wall, and ruin my car, than hit an other driver and ruin their race.
I did a quick research on Google, and ended up at the Forza Motorsports forum, where people discuss racing, settings and many other interesting things about racing! For the youngest people in here, a Forum is like the grandfather of Facebook and Twitter.
In a short time, i was part of two groups of people (2O4F and ICR) who were regullarly racing in private lobbies, did official leagues and events and needed new drivers for their teams. They did not have any minimum skill standards and were open to any level of driver that wanted to keep it clean. Later on, i joined TNGC who also are quite serious about their racing (and other games as well).
I was stocked!
From now on, sim racing got serious for me!
I bought a headset, and started talking with people, asking them questions and listening to what they were discussing. My learning curve gained a very steep climp, and i learned some pretty interesting things, while having fun with some very nice people. But they were fast!
At this moment, i am still at the back of the field, but i am getting closer and learning things i would never have figured out myself. This was also the time of conception for this website. I understood that there was really a whole lot more in this, than simply racing around the track hopping that the other drivers screw up.
My best advice for your racing: Find other good racers to race with and against