1. Do you need support for Assetto Corsa Competizione? Please use the proper forum below and ALWAYS zip and attach the WHOLE "Logs" folder in your c:\users\*youruser*\AppData\Local\AC2\Saved. The "AppData" folder is hidden by default, check "Hidden items" in your Windows view properties. If you report a crash, ALWAYS zip and attach the WHOLE "Crashes" folder in the same directory.
  2. FOR ASSETTO CORSA COMPETIZIONE: If you report issues with saved games, please always zip and attach your entire User/Documents/Assetto Corsa Competizione/Savegame folder!
  3. If your game executable is missing, please add your entire Steam directory to the exceptions in your antivirus software, then run a Steam integrity check or reinstall the game altogether.

COMPETIZIONE 1.2 - Competition Server changes

Discussion in 'ACC Blog' started by Minolin, Nov 4, 2019.

  1. Minolin

    Minolin Staff Member KS Dev Team

    With the new 1.2 update, the last/highest rating and the underlying Competition (CP) servers move into the form we originally designed. So far they operated as pickup servers, allowing to re-use mechanics - now they will run in their dedicated implementation as booking servers in a regular schedule.

    upload_2019-12-16_3-2-46.png

    Quick overview
    The Competition servers are meant to close the (quite huge) gap between more casual public multiplayer and serious, dedicated racing organised by private leagues. While we can find good racing in public MP without doubt, it's usually a series of 20 minute races for the fun of the moment. Inside league racing we can find highest competition, long term tracking by championship points (or similar) and the full use of immersive features like pitstop rules - by the cost of committing to a schedule and attend on the races every few days/weeks.

    In between (and not as a replacement of either side), you will find the Competition servers. Running a low amount of races every day during the region's peak time, they should allow us to have a good race in a league style without ever joining any other league than the ACC community. The Competition Rating will track our progress through every race, and also allow us to be sorted in a competitive grid.


    Schedule and variants
    We will try to offer both an easy-to-memorize schedule, but still apply different variants of the race and settings in order to get an interesting mix, and of course try different aspects to see what we simracers like and how we can evolve the system in the future.

    Basic schedule

    Every day, we will see 3 races with the corresponding sessions:
    18:00: Q 10, R 45 minutes
    20:00: Q 15, R 60 minutes
    22:00: Q 10, R 45 minutes

    upload_2019-12-16_3-32-13.png

    The registration will start 5 minutes before the event start, and will have a 5 minute "join" phase where the servers run a 5 minute Free Practice. In the example of the 18:00 race, this means:

    1) During the day, you'll see the countdown towards 17:55
    2) 17:55 - 18:00 you can sign up
    3) 18:00 the servers start their 5 minute FP1
    4) 18:00 - 18:05 you can join the server
    5) 18:05 - ~19:05 Q and R session

    This will happen every day. The time corresponds to the local region time:
    EU - CET (UTC+1)
    US - CST (UTC-6)
    (yes we are looking into another region between UTC+8 and UTC+11)


    Variants

    upload_2019-12-16_3-20-48.png

    1) Weather conditions
    All servers will run dynamic weather with a target rain chance of 10% (rainy weekend) and 20% wet/changing conditions during the race. This is accomplished by specific, static setting in the event configuration - just as you already know it.
    The Q and R sessions will overlap, so the track state and weather situation for the race start is known.

    2) Race weekend configuration
    The Q (and therefore the R) session will start at a random time of day on the afternoon, with a roughly 20% chance for a night race. Also the time multiplier will be randomized between 1 and 4. Usually the race will happen on a sunday, which should result in very high grip levels right away - but there is a 30% chance for a race on saturday, resulting in evolving track grip.

    3) Pitstop rules
    For races with 60 minutes duration, there is a 50% chance for active pitstop rules following the Blancpain Sprint setting: one mandatory pitstop inside a 10 minute pitstop window. This pitstop is valid if you changed the tyres; refuelling is not allowed during this race.

    For races with more than 60 minutes duration, we will limit the driver stint time to at least 65 minutes. This means you do not have to do anything except resetting your stint time by entering the pitlane.

    The pitstop rules will be known before the registration.

    4) Track
    Un-even days of the month (like the 1st, 3rd, 5th, ... 31th) will run the 2019 schedule with Zolder attached to the end. For even days, the track is unknown until the registration phase is over. Additionally, you have to use the car selected when registering to the event.
    The season will always be 2019, as we see the best BoP here.

    5) Special variants
    Every 1st sunday of a month, the three races are replaced by one 2h endurance race at 19:00 local region time.
    We will collect experiences and look at numbers, possibly changing the formats and/or adding even more spice (looking at you, day of the week) in the same pattern of intersecting different date components.

    In the result, we should see an interesting mix of various features and aspects, which still can be fully described by a handful of rules. Additionally, you will see the configuration of the first race during the whole day, which is exemplary to the rest of the events.

    upload_2019-11-6_15-53-37.png

    Remarks:
    1) 1st sunday/month are marked orange (= 2h race)
    2) this calculation shows dec 2019 / jan 2020, this is why we skip Zolder once a year


    Rating requirements
    One big advantage organized league races have is the active race control, and therefore comparably good racing standards. For the open CP servers, we have to rely on our tools to enable as clean races as possible, and therefore use three Track Medals and fairly high Safety Rating as requirements. While this is limiting the already small driver pool, it is necessary to enable clean racing. Of course data shows that both have a quite drastic correlation with driving ability, so we do expect to see clean racing in the high splits (once the CP rating has settled to the corresponding target values).

    upload_2019-12-16_3-26-9.png

    SA will be adjusted based on numbers and experience, the current expectation is 70-90 SA requirement. In case of doubt, we will use a higher number, as it's more important to have clean races over having a race with a full grid which ends in T1. Additionally, the SA Rating was further improved with this update; additionally the CP servers may or may not be spectated by us, which may result in penalties for careless/reckless driving (or a 3 day ban from the CP system for deliberate/revenge actions and language).

    upload_2019-12-16_3-26-50.png

    For predefined tracks, we will set 3 track medals as requirement. For unknown tracks, it will be a Track Competence Rating (TR) of 99 instead.


    Competition Rating

    The highest rating in ACC will play a big role when visiting the Competition Servers. As-is, the moment you enter the Q session you are on the grid and leaving will result in a huge loss of CP Rating (or the other way round, finishing the race will make you "win" against everyone who left the race). It is mercilessly oriented on the race result, so hotlapping pace is not the only component you will need in order to get a low race number on those servers.

    Speaking of race numbers: They are assigned by the world rank of your CP rating, if you are in the top 900 (otherwise it'll just use the numbers 900-9xx, where lower is better). This way the strength of any driver should roughly be visible by the race number, and you know what you did today if you raced the car #1.

    upload_2019-11-4_12-24-17.png

    Update: CP Rating changes

    Buildup
    The CP will be globally recalculated this night, resulting in a one-time change. It can go both ways, but will decrease CP ratings for users that have their rating only from the times before 1.2. Important notice: Your "rating behind", the Elo value did *not* change, and will keep the epxression of your relative strength.

    So if you've seen your Rating dropping now, don't hesitate and go out and race - it will come to you soon(tm).

    What actually changed is the way we build up the rating. Given the Elo number, everyone would start in the middle => meaning a CP rating of 50. This is quite boring, and would also mean that roughly half of the users would only see a descent in their Rating once they join CP races - not good. Instead everyone starts with 0 and needs to contribute to get to his target value (this may take days or even weeks).

    Fadeout
    CP Ratings won't last forever now. Starting at 7 days since the last CP race, the rating will lose one point a day. This way we a) get rid of inactive drivers sitting on low race numbers, and b) prevent the situation that drivers stop participating because of the fear of losing their CP Rating.
    Here again, this does not touch the Elo value behind; to restore the CP Rating you just have to participate in a race, and all fadeout mechanics are undone.


    Splits and sorting
    Servers will run a maximum grid size of 25 cars, and registered users will be distributed across different splits by a function of:
    - CP rating
    - SA rating
    - amount of rejections
    - other ratings

    upload_2019-11-4_12-20-55.png

    In case we have more registrations than server capacity, we will try to include the best drivers and distrute them according to their strength and safety. Whoever does not get a slot will be rejected, which increases the chance to be accepted the next time. So it'll be highly unlikely that you get rejected multiple times in a row, just keep trying. Of course improving SA, CN and CC (max values of all time) will help you to find a spot.

    The amount of servers and the precise configuration (especially race length) of course is going to be constantly reviewed and re-adjusted, with the goal to get the servers we have filled while keeping everything in a reasonable budget.


    Reasoning
    We expect different opinions on most elements and are looking forward to a good discussion. For our thoughts involved, we'll try to cover frequently asked questions and delicate thoughts/restrictions here.

    1) Daily events vs. hourly races
    Having not too many users (that qualify to the high standards), we run daily events to focus the participants into a certain timeframe. Running hourly races wouldn't change too much compared to the old CP server state; users would pick one or two of 5 or 7 hourly slots resulting in a distribution - more races, less participants/race.

    2) Long vs. short races
    One goal we try to achive with the CP servers is to offer an experience that simply is not possible without joining a league right now. If we stripped down CP servers to 20 or 30 minutes, this would for sure increase popularity and participant numbers (which of course is great) - with two disadvantages. One is that we probably lose the competition in a 1h race, in a trade of something that is too close to a public MP experience. The other aspect is that we still do not have unlimited resources to run a big number of servers on top of the current backend infrastructure, and the race length is regarded as the major "population control" option.

    So we will start in this configuration and look at the numbers and feedback. If we hit the target to see longer races used by a reasonable amount of users - very fine. If we have to decrease the event length to increase the server population, we'll do it. For sure we will be on our toes and apply adjustments as necessary.

    But the last reason is that we do have not-so-few reports that we shouldn't touch the 1h race length even on the current CP servers (that clearly do not have the population we are looking for), just for the reasons we already touched: This is the only way outside a league to actually see a race over a non-casual distance.

    3) Random tracks

    We already know that not everyone will like the unknown tracks. Let's cover a few elements where this can shine:
    In ACC, we try to put you in the role of a race driver (opposed to regular simracer). A real race driver does not have the chance to select his car based on the track, he just sticks to whatever he has. In a positive side note, this also reduces the effect that you would see a certain set of cars dominating the race - even if the 2019 BoP really is a lot better and car differences do not matter as much. (Still simracers tend to look at tables of hotlap results, and decide based on a few hundreds - especially on CP servers where we really talk about competition and race results that matter).
    Additionally, real drivers only have a fraction of our practice time. In simracing, we are counting hours or even days; real drivers (extreme case Pro drivers in a Pro/Am team) have surprisingly low track time before the qualyfing sessions start. Even the longer P sessions are divived by the team members, usually preferring the weakest driver over the others. So with an unknown track, you are asked to jump into the car, do your thing and that's it.

    This of course requires different skills; being able to get into a competitive state within minutes is a completely different story over being able to get a certain pace after days of practicing a track/car combination - but that's much closer to the real thing, and it is the same for everybody. Of course preparation and dedication still can pay out, but in a different way.

    And after all, if you don't like today's unknown track - yesterday and tomorrow the track was set the whole day. We will see how the popularity between the two modes distributes and may change the ratio based on the numbers (but this can go both ways).

    4) Short Q sessions
    With only 10-15 minutes, the Q sessions are very short. The reasons are similar to the previous:
    A real race driver does not try to hotlap for 30 minutes until it's fine. Q sessions / driver are short, additionally they do not teleport to the pits and have instant work done. Real race drivers are asked to deliver within very few laps. Again it's a different set of skills required, but again the same for everyone.

    The other reason of course is to put emphasis on the race, and achieve the best race/time ratio for the efforts invested. In theory this could be extended to run a FP1 / R weekend only, with a grid based on the CP Rating (straight or even reversed), possibly this will become an option later on. Still, we will need some track time to prepare and adjust to the track conditions.

    5) Only 50% chance for mandatory pitstops

    While the Blancpain races only run 60 minute races with a mandatory pitstop (and we cover this for 50% of the CP races), the main reason may be the team aspect and driver swap - especially spicing up the midfield by reverting PRO/AM qualification results. Adding a pitstop is like a dice roll, it can make a race more interesting, but it also can tear apart groups - so it's not necessarily benificial.
    Instead, a 60min CP race is a unique oppertunity to experience the full lifecycle of a tyre, and use a car's fuel tank. ACC has so much depth when it comes to the tyre wear and the corresponding dynamics, it would be a shame to always skip that.
    Here again - going for a complete stint will reward different skills, but also bring some interesting effects on the table and even balance out different car aspects like fuel efficiency or being nice to the tyres.

    7) Why is the server capacity limited?
    Simply because ACC is a (quite fair) one-time investment, in no way can we extend the running cost of the backend infrastructure for years based on the revenues. Yes, there are other simracing titles doing so, but they have different numbers both in price, users and subscription fees.

    8) Is this now matchmaking?
    What we do with the server list and quickjoin is a quite advanced matchmaking algorithm, while this CP Server change adds a schedule and the corresponding registration infrastructure. It uses a comparably simple but effective sorting algorithm to assign drivers to the splits, based on how we rate their competitiveness.

    To quote myself from the initial matchmaking discussion opening post: "I do not say we are not looking into our own interpretation of a non-pickup, and more competitive Multiplayer addition. Still, this would have the character of distinct events and being an addition, not a complete move from the Multiplayer system we chose to go for."
    The first step was the CP server concept ran in pickup mode like a public server, now we finally could close the preparations necessary to run it as daily events and hopefully increase popularity and gravity.

    However this is what many users understand as matchmaking, so the answer can be "technically no" or "yes".

    9) Will we see other regions?
    No promises, but we do see that at least one more region in East Asia, not too far from Australia may have a chance to get populated. Other spots may depend on the feedback, if we see a criticial mass of regular users not being able to race on the region assigned it could be considered - although adding regions immediately comes with the disadvantage of a) finding and managing servers there and b) splitting the population that can run on this server. If we for example get US running halfway decently, we could break this by adding a region for South America.

    10) Will this solve "no CP servers in region"?

    While the new system uses different methods for the region assignment, we will have to see how this practically works for the users who have this particular connection issue.

    11) What race number will drivers outside the Top 1000 have?
    The rank assignment only works for the Top 900 drivers. If your world rank is 413, you'll have the #413 car.
    If your world rank is 913 or 4235, you will be simply sorted into the numbers of 901 - 9XX. So the best driver outside the Top 900 will get the #901, the second best on this server will have the #902 and so on.

    12) Will different race lengths have different CP rating changes?
    Yes, for the sake of clarity a 1h race will have twice the effect compared to a 30min race, and half of the effect of the 2h event.

    13) How much CP rating do we lose when quitting during the Q session?
    Most likely a lot, but there is no special penalty/calculation. Technically, quitting during Q or R just means "retired", you will be sorted at the bottom of the leaderboard and not taken out until the CP rating evaluation at the end of the race.

    14) What if <insert xy reason for quitting>?
    The usual answer in competitive simracing - having software errors, bluescreens, screaming husband/wife, power outages or hardware fails are "our" technical/mechanical issues. Deal with it.

    15) How do we cancel a pending registration?
    The sign-up phase is only 5 minutes, there is no cancelation. If you discover you can't join within the next 0-5 minutes after the registration, just don't click "Join".

    16) There are 25 slots per server, if there is 55 drivers registered, will the splits be evenly spread on 3 servers or is one left with 5 drivers?

    No, drivers are will be evenly distributed, so 55 would leave us with 2x 18 and 1x 19 drivers on three servers.

    17) How about ICTG dlc tracks?
    They will appear in the schedule, non-DLC owners won't be able to register for those days. The random track days are yet to be decided; both ways are possible and largly depend on the numbers we receive. Considering the tracks we are talking about it's not improbable that basically everyone who qualifies for CP servers also will have the DLC.

    18) Will one or more events be livestreamed somewhere?
    We do not plan to do so officially/automatically, but it's quite likely that there will be occasional streams if developers or trusted streamers are up to it. If you are interested and have a broadcasting track record, let me know. Maybe after a few days of having a break

    19) Can I join the CP server as a spectator?
    Sadly server resources (next to administration and attention) keep being the ultimate limit for this effort. So we cannot possibly hand out the spectator passwords (exception see #18).

    1x) Can we have ...?
    While I can see a whole array of cool ideas, the answer is most likely "sorry no". After years of good and not so good experiences within this project, we are happy and proud to arrive here. Especially the rewrite of the gameplay and multiplayer core one year ago forced us to reconsider many aspects and find a good compromise between what we can do and what we would love to do - otherwise we would have risked to never see the final state at all.
    So yes, seasons, locked setups every tuesday, team registrations and endurance races with driver swaps, leaderboards - there are many obvious improvements from here, but for now we are happy to see the huge investment and effort paying out by actually going live.

    So if you have suggestions, please leave them here; it is close to impossible to tell what is maybe an easy thing and what is surprisingly hard (from the outside). But please be aware that there's a good chance that we had the idea before, and were forced to decide against it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2019

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  3. Minolin

    Minolin Staff Member KS Dev Team

    Important notice: First set of CP Servers will start tomorrow 18.12.2019 at the 18:00 slot. You will see the corresponding countdown and requirements, enough time to collect a few track medals

    Edit:

    Known iusse 1: When the CP race is over, you will find your CP page in the rating profile having a bar for this race, but it shows the rating/elo before the update. Will fix this, but can take a few days

    Known issue 2: Apparantly the CP rating may not get updated, so even a few minutes after the race you may have the same than before. This will also be fixed, but no worries; the ELO rating behind is updated properly, and is the only state we need. So once fixed, this will automatically consider all races done
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2019
  4. Etherival

    Etherival Gamer

    THIS is matchmaking and thank you all, Kunos! Great move :)
     
  5. baboon

    baboon Hardcore Simmer

    Excellent! You have chosen very well on the different elements for my taste :)
     
    ralf.sfb and Minolin like this.
  6. eracerhead

    eracerhead Simracer

    Does this mean that the CP servers won't be open at other times during the day? Up until now, US Central Sat/Sun mornings (while the wife's sleeping in!) have been optimum times to attempt the long-stint CP races. But I know that's not true for the majority of other folk...
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2019
  7. eross

    eross Rookie

    I bought acc before the release and didn't feel complete and left the game, but I keep following what kunos was doing, and I saw this update and I think is really really nice, I will go back in to this sim! Keep doing this updates, you doing really nice! Thanks
     
    ralf.sfb likes this.
  8. Andrew Dobler

    Andrew Dobler Rookie

    Well merry Christmas to you too
     
    ralf.sfb, Piret2000 and Turk like this.
  9. PLebre

    PLebre Hardcore Simmer

    My two cents.
    Incrase the registry time window and CP penalty for no attendance.
     
  10. luxsteele

    luxsteele Rookie

    Fantastic! Thanks for the update.

    I wonder if you are even remotely thinking one day to have official series (with a track per week) with divisions (in which you start based on some form of rating at the beginning of the serie).
     
    Willsuhr77 likes this.
  11. Turk

    Turk Alien

    This looks really good. Seems to cover everything we've been asking for in the forums. I can't wait to try it all out.
     
    Piret2000 and eross like this.
  12. ignission

    ignission Simracer

    I dead.
     
  13. Tobias Queck

    Tobias Queck Racer

    I think increasing the signup time for all 3 races would be a good idea. And it would also be awesome to have the possibility to check the signups on the forum here and sign up/sign out via this website. This way Simracer1508, who is bored at work, surfing the kunos forums can already see with how many people he can have fun on the CP servers this evening and decide if it's worth dropping the aerobic session in the afternoon and simrace or not.
    Also I think, the longer the signup time the more people will signup over the day and chances are higher that people looking to race and seeing already X amount of people have signed up are more likely to signup as well which could lead to a somewhat exponential increase in attendance!
    Otherwise i really like the short qualifying sessions, as it is racing what we are looking for (not hotlapping)!
     
  14. f.e.negroni

    f.e.negroni Racer

    This is exactly what I always wanted. Thank you all at Kunos and @Minolin.
     
    ralf.sfb likes this.
  15. PabloVND

    PabloVND Racer

    Congratulations Kunos!
     
    ralf.sfb likes this.
  16. Maciej Malinowski

    Maciej Malinowski Hardcore Simmer

    Kevin you are a god
     
    ralf.sfb and Piret2000 like this.
  17. david m

    david m Racer

    awesome decisions and changes. thanks a lot @Minolin for all your work regarding multiplayer and ratings.
    well , thanks to all kunos simulazioni.

    As you say it in your last paragraph that you guys are open to discussion I will add two little suggestions/questions with the intention of colaboration in make it bigger succes.( being conscient that you have explained in your initial post that many cool things have been discussed before and dismissed because it cannot be done or not worthwhile or any reason) but anyway, I will say it.

    1. Would it be possible to see the results of this 3 CP races of each day somewhere out of the game?

    2. Will it be possible to see this world rank of CP drivers somewhere ?apart from in the numbers of the cars inside the game.

    and last thing, If point 1 is possible(acces to results of CP races), what I see to make it even better is to do some some kind of league/championship .For example:
    1 month league of even races, and non even races, separately classifications.
    Each driver can score points in any of the 3 races of each day (you can participate in all 3 races, but your best points will be the ones that counts for the league/championship).
    After 1 month of even races(or non even races) the driver with the most points win(it can be added XX race results discard for your bad races or the days you can't race)
    Simple, and it can be done outside of the game totally. It will add some extra motivation for drivers to keep racing CP servers. And is a thing that if kunos developers can't do it, probably it can be done for some enthusiastic simracer and with the necessary motivation and knowledge to do it, just they need the point 1.(race results archives accesible).
     
  18. iltrex

    iltrex Rookie

    If there is the risk to stop Competition servers to be available due to costs not covered by revenues, please consider adding a low monthly fee. You could make a survey to check how much people would be willing to spend. I think that a few euros per month could be affordable for the fun we get from your service.!
     
    Cefirofun, Typer, Batch and 6 others like this.
  19. thebaz

    thebaz Rookie

    Wonderful. I second the idea - after the coming testing months - to have a monthly/yearly fee to be paid. Clean races (whenever it's possible), it's reason why I stay on iRacing. So, please, keep in mind and consider it
     
    Piret2000 and f.e.negroni like this.
  20. f.e.negroni

    f.e.negroni Racer

    I vote for fees too. We already pay for cloud services of all kinds these days anyway. If it means ACC becomes a simulation ‘service’ with a regular update, even with a beta programme to try new game engines or features.

    Call it ‘ACC Servizio Corse’
     
  21. eracerhead

    eracerhead Simracer

    I thought at some point the intention was to allow independent CP-level servers. Is this still a while out?
     

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