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9841  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Car porn (Forza 2) on: June 13, 2007, 04:10:54 PM
GAH.  Getting tempted by the Microsoft Wheel.  Gogamer's at $100, but with shipping it'd be $115, meaning it would just be another $15 to have instant gratification buying it at a B&M store, so $130 it would be.

Fun - I'm loving Forza, wheel would add to the enjoyment and immersion
Drifting - I think it'd be fun to learn how to do in a sim, and although I'm getting better at it with the gamepad, the ability to more precisely countersteer with the wheel would make it much more doable.
Future usefulness - At some point I'll be buying DiRT, and rally racing is just incredible with force feedback.  Other racing games sure to follow.

Empty wallet - I really shouldn't be spending another $130 on a peripheral.
Build issues - Accidentally downshifting twice instead of once doesn't sound fun.
Mortality - Fiancee will kill me.

9842  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Forza 2 tips and tricks on: June 13, 2007, 02:34:32 PM
Weird, I don't think I've noticed any reduced handling on the last laps of an 8+ lap race.  Are you guys using upgraded tires?  I don't think I've had the high end racing slicks on any of the cars I've raced 8+ laps with, but I would think that even those would last much longer than 6 laps.
9843  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Going hiking in Southern California on: June 13, 2007, 02:02:09 PM
I don't think you're going to find the experience as intimidating as you seem to think it might be.  California has an excellent State Park system.  Unless you're planning on going backpacking or climbing a summit, you'll do just fine even with just a pair of sneakers, a few granola bars, and a bottle of water.  Just go your own pace, stay hydrated, and you'll do just fine.
9844  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Forza 2: COOL CAR PIC'S....... on: June 12, 2007, 10:55:28 PM
Move over Ferrari, go home Lamborghini, there's a new beauty in town.  I give you, my Plymouth Barracuda:

9845  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Forza 2 tips and tricks on: June 12, 2007, 08:47:34 PM

Quote from: Geezer on June 12, 2007, 08:20:02 PM

Quote from: wonderpug on June 12, 2007, 03:47:41 PM

Quote from: juniordan on June 12, 2007, 02:10:20 PM

Whats the Fix [to understeer]??
To reduce understeer, raise front tire pressure/lower rear
'cept the bolded part is backwards slywink
Woops, fixed it above.
9846  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Car porn (Forza 2) on: June 12, 2007, 06:40:02 PM
I have got to remember to take a picture of my AWESOME ghetto Plymouth Barracuda that looks like something you'd find eternally resting on cinder blocks on someone's driveway.  Its overall color is a hideous late 60s green, but the front left fender and right door are colored primer.  It's got rust behind most of the wheel wells and on the roof, some bullet holes on the hood and one door, "WASH ME" written in dirt on the trunk, and a spraypainted "JOE WAS HERE" graffiti on one side.  It's a thing of beauty.
9847  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Car porn (Forza 2) on: June 12, 2007, 06:17:28 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on June 12, 2007, 06:11:14 PM

Just wait until I turn my Fairlady 280Z into Prowl of Transformers fame.   icon_cool  I'm already working on a Jazz replica. 

Let me know if you want my Autobot logo, I'm happy to share it.   (as long as you lock anything you use it on that you're going to sell on the auction house!) 
9848  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Car porn (Forza 2) on: June 12, 2007, 06:07:25 PM

Quote from: Starshifter on June 12, 2007, 03:21:53 PM

What did most of you do with the cars you unlocked?  For example, I unlocked quite a bit of cars while doing the Proving Grounds and now I'm not sure what to do.  Should I sell them?  Upgrade them?  Will they be useful later?  I tried to sell one and I was only offered 100 credits.  Do you guys basically focus on a few cars, upgrading them, or do you try to upgrade all the cars?  I'm really lost.  My cars are piling up and I don't know what to do.

I personally just like collecting everything I get.  As far as I know, you don't have a limit to the number of cars in your garage, so as far as I'm concerned the more the merrier.  Not only do I have more cars to choose from if I want to try something different, I have a better chance of having something I can already use for a race with unique car restrictions.  For example, I was able to complete a Corvette-only career race with an unmodified reward car, so I didn't have to spend any money buying and upgrading a new car to enter.

And it's easy to seperate the cars you've upgraded, tuned, and painted from the massive collection you might obtain, just mark them as favorites and they'll show up first in the garage.

If you do want to sell your reward car anyway, you should try selling it on the auction house where you have a good chance of selling it for $5000 (which I think is the minimum list price.)  I think the Lancia Stratos is a reward car for people that chose Europe as a region, and I've been buying them 3 or 4 at a time for $5k each to slap my paintjob on and resell, since I can't buy them in career mode myself.
9849  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Forza 2 tips and tricks on: June 12, 2007, 05:57:03 PM
I found some great pictures illustrating the late apex concept:

This first image illustrates the difference between a plain geometric line around the turn and a standard symetrical racing line.

Here we see the advantage of a late apex.  You have to slow down more to make the sharper turn-in, but this line flattens out a lot sooner letting you get on the gas sooner, providing a faster exit time.  Your moment of slowness in the turn entry will more than be made up for by the speed advantage going into in the straight after the turn, as per the math & physics example I posted earlier.

I tend to think that a late apex is preferable for most turns even if you're not trying to pass someone as gellar mentioned, but especially in turns that are followed by a long straight.
9850  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Forza 2 tips and tricks on: June 12, 2007, 03:47:41 PM

Quote from: juniordan on June 12, 2007, 01:55:24 PM 2 wins because he was able to accelerate at an earlier point than car 1?
So taking a turn wide and cutting the edge on exit is better ?
Because if you follow most on the breaking lines your hugging the inside you get a shorter line on exit..right?
Car 2 could be going 5mph faster out the turn because he accelerated earlier.  This could have been from entering the turn slower, or by having a later apex than Car 1.  The 5mph difference could be brought about other ways as well.  Maybe they took the same line but Car 1 rode on the bumps on the inside curb a bit too much.  Maybe Car 1 didn't turn the steering wheel as smoothly and his tires squealed just a bit more on the turn.

Quote from: juniordan on June 12, 2007, 02:10:20 PM

Whats the Fix [to understeer]??
Gellar posted a list with a bunch of over/understeer corrections.  To reduce understeer, soften front shocks/stiffen rear shocks, lower front end/raise rear end, soften front sway bar/stiffen rear, raise rear tire pressure/lower front, or simply drive differently and take a different line.

Quote from: juniordan on June 12, 2007, 02:10:20 PM

Also last night I was doing the Corvette races, I went the the 2002 back one you win I forgot where. I supped it up to like 10speed, 8.6accel, a 6.4for breaking, and 5.1Handeling. give or take. Car topped out at 241mph. However the car could not be controlled, I tunned and tested till I couldn't anymore. On the straights the rear of the car acted like it wanted to pass the front it would stat fishtailing with no controller input. Let not even talk about making a turn...just wouldn't happen. Is the car just to fast for this type of racing? I cant even say it could drag race because it cant even hold a straight line...... What are the tuning recommendations for this? 
If you create a monster like this, there's a few things you can do to tame it.  One, upgrade the tires by improving the tire compound and/or making the tires wider.  I really wish the game would let you have different sizes and compounds in the front and back.  Two, add a rear wing and tune to add a lot of downforce to try and keep that rear end on the ground.  Three, if you took some of the weight reduction options, think about undoing them.  The extra weight can help you stay on the ground.

Quote from: Booner on June 12, 2007, 02:13:41 PM

You always want to make the smoothest arc possible from the outside of the turn, to the inside at the apex, then back to the outside on the exit. You keep your maximum velocity this way and minimise the chance of spiking your lateral Gs and swaping ends.
Another thing to remember is that the apex is not a set point on the track.   It's easy to look at a turn and assume the apex is the point right in the middle, but most of the time a late apex is preferred.  A late apex pushes the apex (the point where you're closest to the inside of the turn) closer to the end of the turn.  This shape goes hand in hand with the "slow in, fast out" philosophy, as the late apex means you were taking a sharper, slower turn at the beginning in order to have a less sharp, faster turn at the exit, thus getting on the accelerator sooner.
9851  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Forza 2 tips and tricks on: June 12, 2007, 01:53:27 PM
If anyone's a little fuzzy on the concept of understeer, I dove into the time trials for the first time last night and there's a perfect example of understeer right at the beginning.

In one of the first two time trial races in arcade mode (I think it's the very first one) they have you driving a front wheel drive Ford Focus on a track that has some long turns.  Take the Focus for a run, start into the turn, and when you're in the middle of the turn really give it some gas.  You'll find that instead of your back end sliding you out into a spin like you might be used to, you'll plow right off the outside edge of the turn.

The reason understeer like this is so common with front wheel drive cars, (and often with all wheel drive cars), is that your front tires are already doing double duty in the turn.  They're both working to keep you turning, and they're being used for any acceleration you're trying to do.  If you overdo it on the acceleration, they lose traction and can no longer help you steer, thus you plow towards the outside edge instead of keeping in the turn.  And that's understeer.
9852  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Are there any 56k-friendly MMORPG's? on: June 12, 2007, 12:13:19 AM
I'll bet The Realm would run pretty well on 56k.  icon_wink
9853  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Wii vs. Guitar Hero II - the non-gamers decide on: June 11, 2007, 08:50:14 PM
He did have a 2nd nunchuck so that people could box, but we weren't even able to get past the title screen of Wii Sports.  It would've been really interesting if he had a 2nd TV in his basement so that both GH and the Wii could've been running at the same time.  If a non-gamer walked downstairs and saw two people being rock stars on one side of the room, and four people jumping around swinging remotes at Wii Tennis on the other, I wonder which one they'd be more curious about.
9854  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Wii vs. Guitar Hero II - the non-gamers decide on: June 11, 2007, 06:45:40 PM
As a group of gamers who're interested in the flow of the gaming industry, as well as just the games, it seems like we're often curious how the casual gamers or non-gamers are receiving these games.  Last Saturday I got to see a big group of non-gamers be presented with two options that are known for being casual-friendly: Guitar Hero and the Wii.

Saturday night a friend of mine had a big all-night party with at least 50-70 people that came.  In his basement, he had a TV that was ready to play either Guitar Hero II, with two guitars and all songs unlocked, or the Wii, with either Wii Sports or Warioware ready to go.

Guitar Hero was booted up first.  I set it to co-op, thinking that people would have more fun playing on the same team, but the person playing rhythm/bass always had a hard time understanding which notes of the song they were supposed to be playing.  I switched it to face-off, and people did much better.  Not only was it easier to understand since people were playing the more familiar lead, there was no chance of an audience meter dropping and making people lose a song.  We kept it on this mode for the rest of the night.

Everyone was hesitant to try it at first, they all thought it looked too complicated.  Indeed, most everyone had no clue about the concept of holding down a fret and strumming.  One person even made it through half a song before he realized he wasn't supposed to be strumming the whammy bar. (We would've corrected him, but he was accidentally hitting the strum bar often enough that we didn't realize what he was doing.)  As more and people started gathering around, and more people jumped in and gave it a try, the easier it was for newcomers to give it a shot.

It was a huge huge hit.  Even though people had it on Easy mode the whole time, they were jumping up and down in the song, doing "rock moves" like playing on their knees, and laughing the whole time.

People played for hours before the basement crowd died down a bit.  With nobody really interested in taking the next turn, I thought it was a good time to try and switch things up to the Wii.  I booted up Wii Tennis, put the box of four remotes out, and...


Despite whatever hype we think people are seeing in the news and media, none of the half-dozen people that were still downstairs wanted to give it a try.

So the rest of us went back upstairs to join the rest of the party.  After a little bit, though, the host wanted to give a more concerted effort to get people into the Wii.  After all, he had just bought the Wii, 4 remotes, a 2nd nunchuck, and a 2nd game all for this party.  He led a dozen people back to the the basement to show them how fun the Wii is.  How can you go wrong with 4 people playing Wii Tennis?

I headed down to join them a couple minutes later and....they had switched the TV back to Guitar Hero II, which everyone ended up playing for another several hours.

So in this case, Guitar Hero won the hearts of the non-gamer by a huge margin, there wasn't even a single swing of the wiimote.

Admittedly, Guitar Hero had a big head start.  People that had already gotten over the learning curve for the guitar might have been too intimidated to try and learn the Wii.  If we had started the Wii first, I'm guessing it would've been a bigger hit.  I think it speaks to the easy universal appeal of Guitar Hero.  You're holding a guitar, you're playing songs you've heard of before.

Even with GHII's head start, though, I was expecting people to be more curious about the Wii, and that the Wii would be more approachable.

We'll see what happens at his next big party this Christmas, but by then he'll probably be upping the ante with a full set of Rock Band equipment.
9855  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Forza 2 tips and tricks on: June 11, 2007, 05:41:15 PM
The Importance of Exit Speed, the physics:

So why is the exit speed of a turn so gorram important?  The short version is that your speed at the exit of the turn is going to be amplified by the length of the straight after the turn.  Here's the mathematical explanation:

Let's say we have two identical cars that accelerate at a flat 5 meters/second/second.  Average cars accelerate somewhere around 3-4m/s/s, so our car is pretty good.

We have a turn followed by a long straight.  Car 1 exits the turn at 25mph (11.25m/s), Car 2 exits just slightly faster, at 30mph (13.5m/s).

Our distance travelled (d) is equal to our starting speed (v) times time (t), plus 1/2 acceleration (a) times time squared (t^2)
d = vt + .5*a*t^2

Elapsed Time   Car 1 distance   Car 2 distance   Difference (m)   Difference (ft)
1s                  12.5m              17.5m              5m             16.4ft
3s                  52.5m              67.5m             15m             49.2ft
5s                 112.5m             137.5m             25m             82.0ft
7s                 192.5m             227.5m             35m            114.8ft
10s                350.0m             400.0m             50m            164.0ft

After just 3 seconds, that 5mph difference exiting the turn has given Car 2 a 50 foot lead.  Even though they're accelerating at exactly the same rate, at 5 seconds the distance between them increases to 82 feet, and after 10 seconds Car 2 is a whopping 164 feet ahead.

Same exact car, same exact acceleration, but by leaving the turn just 5mph faster, Car 2 has gained a big advantage.  If they keep this up over many turns over several laps, Car 2 is going to win by a big margin even though he's driving the exact same car.

So every time you come up to a turn, you should be thinking about what you can do to make your speed as fast as possible when you exit.  If there's a series of turns one after another, you want to plan your line through the first turns to give you the biggest advantage exiting the last turn.  In a 3 turn series, even if you have to take the first two at completely odd angles, if it lines you up for a speedy exit in the 3rd turn, it's going to give you a better lap time.

You know how they say a race is won in the turns?  This is why.
9856  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Forza 2 tips and tricks on: June 11, 2007, 03:44:38 PM

Quote from: IkeVandergraaf on June 11, 2007, 01:55:14 PM

Ok, question on tuning the transmission.  Do you tune all the gears or just the final gear?  Somebody was saying that it's pretty easy and there's some deal with looking at some graph?  Help.

Power, Torque, Dyno Graph 101:

Dyno Graph - When you buy engine upgrades in Forza, you'll see a graph of your engine's power raising and lowering according to your changes.  This is the equivalent of a "dyno graph," which real life car tuners obtain from running their car on a dynometer.  A dynometer is a platform you park your car on that has a pair of big cylinders that your car's tires rest on, sort of a car treadmill.  You bring the car up to speed and then floor it while the dyno measures your power over your RPM range.  The result is a dyno graph like we see in the game, which charts your horsepower and torque.

Torque - Torque is your engine's twisting power.  This is the real measurement of your engine's strength, in each gear you're going to be getting the most acceleration where the torque is the highest.  So why should we care about horsepower?

Horsepower - Horsepower is "power," or your energy delivered over time.  Essentially, it means how fast your torque is getting delivered to your tires.  For cars, time = RPM.    So the torque is the raw energy of your car, but the horsepower lets you see how fast that energy is being delivered to your tires.  So when your torque is at its peak, your HP won't be its highest because the engine isn't spinning fast enough to quickly deliver that energy.  To the right of your torque peak, although you're getting less energy, your engine is spinning faster in proportion to the loss, so you're gaining more power (HP) overall, maxxing out at your HP peak.  Past your HP peak, your torque is decreasing more than your increased RPM is compensating for, so your HP starts to drop.

How to read the graph - Since the equation for horsepower is: HP = torque * RPM / 5250, your HP and torque curves are always going to meet at 5250 RPM.  Your power band, or your car's "sweet spot" is generally going to be the RPM range from a bit before your torque peaks, to a bit after your HP peaks.  This is the range you want your tachometer to be in for most of the race.  For a naturally aspirated engine, the curve is usually much broader, giving you a wide range of useable RPM.  For a turbocharged engine, the curve is usually shifted much more towards the higher range, with a smaller "sweet spot." 

Upgrading - As you pick and choose your engine upgrades, keep an eye on how it changes the graph.  Changing your intake or exhaust is generally going to give you more power overall, shifting the entire curve up.  This is nice and reliable, as you're getting more power across the board without changing your car's characteristics too much.  Adding a turbo, or adding a bigger turbo, is generally going to increase just the high end of the graph, meaning that your "sweet spot" is now in a higher RPM range.  With this kind of upgrade, you'll want to make sure to change your gearing to better take advantage of this new power curve.

Tuning - Once we obtain our power band (reminder: RPM range from just before your torque peak to just after your HP peak) we turn to the gear ratios.  The Y-axis of the gear ratio chart shows the RPMs, while the X-axis shows the speed of the car.  The X-axis is the easiest, change your final gear ratio so that your highest gear doesn't stretch to the right of the highest speed you need to go.  For the Y-axis, we want the white lines for each gear to match up with our power band, so if our power band is from 5k-7k RPM, we want each line to likewise go from 5k-7k.  A turbocharged car will often have a very narrow power band, very high in the RPM range.  It'll likely move very quickly through the gears in order to keep the engine in, say, the 8-9k range.  A naturally aspirated car, especially something like a classic American muscle car, is going to have a much broader range and might not have to shift through the gears nearly as quickly.

"I hear you can get better times if you use manual transmission, why?"  There are other advantages to manually shifting, but I'll stick to what's most applicable to the power curve.  The game's automatic transmission will shift as far into the red line as possible.  For some high revving high pitched whining turbocharged car, this might be ok, but for many other cars (American muscle, I'm looking at you) the red line might be well past the car's power band.  Sure, your 800hp Shelby Mustang beast can go up to 9k RPM, but if your power band ends at 7500RPM then you're not accomplishing anything.  You're better off shifting at 7500RPM (well short of your red line) and bringing your engine back all the way down to 3000RPM which is well within your power band.

Whew, ok, short version:

Power band = RPM range from torque peak to HP peak, you want to tune your gears to keep you in this range as much as possible.  Also, tune your final gear ratio so that your last gear red lines at the highest speed you need.  Having a 6th gear that goes to 200mph isn't going to do anything for you if you never go past 150mph in the races you're running.
9857  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (6/11) on: June 11, 2007, 02:05:58 PM
I'll surely get Prince of Persia sometime soon, but I'll wait for my Forza addiction to wane just a bit.
9858  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Car porn (Forza 2) on: June 10, 2007, 11:37:21 PM
Wow, the auction house seems to be the way to go when you want to get a new car.  I needed a Porsche for a career race, and got a 911 Turbo upgraded to S class for about $6k.  Even better, turns out the owner had already used it in a number of races, so I instantly gained the "car level 5" achievement as well as a Porsche parts discount for the car level.

Was then able to get a suped up VW Golf for $5k to clear out some VW only races, and now I'm trying to win some upgraded Audis.
9859  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Car porn (Forza 2) on: June 10, 2007, 09:45:09 PM
The manual's pretty worthless, I wouldn't worry about it if the disc is in good shape.
9860  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Forza 2: COOL CAR PIC'S....... on: June 10, 2007, 04:04:53 PM
Couldn't resist turning my Alitalia into Wheeljack:

9861  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Car porn (Forza 2) on: June 10, 2007, 04:04:01 PM

Quote from: Chaz on June 10, 2007, 03:47:15 PM

I think I figured out that part of my problem was that I was driving a RWD for the first time.  Forgot about that, and boy is it a different beast to handle.  I spent some time this morning learning to handle it and playing with some tuning adjustments.  Not sure if I want to keep working with a RWD, or just keep on with F- and AWDs.

Some time when we're all multiplayering, let's both pick the same stock FR car and I'll follow behind you and try and give you pointers on how to improve your driving.  Or even better, we should pick some quintessential FR race car in the D or C class to use as a tutoring car.  We (and whoever else might want some lessons) would buy the same car and buy all the platform and handling upgrades.  That way, in between races I can give give some recommendations on how to change the tuning to help compensate for the problems you're having in the turns or whatever.
9862  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Forza 2: COOL CAR PIC'S....... on: June 10, 2007, 07:12:09 AM
Very nice!
9863  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Logitech Racing Wheel for 360 on: June 10, 2007, 07:05:06 AM

Quote from: Harkonis on June 10, 2007, 06:50:31 AM

ah, ok.  If it's just a progressive shifter then I'm not interested.  I'd prefer paddles for progressive shifting, I just want a true gated shifter for the 360 like the Act Labs wheel had for the PC.

Logitech has a gated 6-speed shifter on their G25 wheel (PC only I think?), but sadly it runs a hefty $300. 

9864  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Logitech Racing Wheel for 360 on: June 09, 2007, 10:38:09 PM
The Logitech wheel doesn't have force feedback, it's just rumble.  The rumble jerks the steering column instead of shaking the hand grips or something like that to make it a better feeling rumble, but it's still not force feedback.  Also, the Logitech wheel only turns 180 degrees (90 each direction) compared to the Microsoft's 270.  I admit fifty bucks is a good price point, but it's just another fifty for the Microsoft wheel.  ($100 at Gogamer)

If I were going to drop the bones on a wheel I personally would have to go with something force feedback, but if you're on a budget I think the Logitech wheel would still treat you well for such a good price.  I believe the Logitech was originally $100.

I keep getting tempted by the Microsoft wheel myself, especially with the price down to $100, but I think I'm going to make do with the controller until Logitech comes out with its own FF wheel for the 360, hopefully with a stick shifter instead of paddles: 

9865  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Forza 2: COOL CAR PIC'S....... on: June 09, 2007, 09:55:20 PM

Quote from: Calvin on June 09, 2007, 09:28:51 PM

Brilliant!! Will you take requests?

What'd you have in mind? 


If anyone wants any of the stuff I've done, or a la carte pieces of what I've done, just gift me the car you want it on and let me know what you want, I'd be happy to stamp it on however you want.
9866  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Forza 2: COOL CAR PIC'S....... on: June 09, 2007, 07:05:11 PM
After successfully selling the Alitalia for 100k, I thought I'd take a stab at another car to try and auction.

I thought a Penny Arcade Cardboard Samurai car would sell well, but he's proving a bit too challenging, so I practiced by making a PvP car:

Now to spend a little more time racing and a little less time drawing.
9867  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Are there any 56k-friendly MMORPG's? on: June 09, 2007, 03:26:07 PM
Does World of Warcraft not work on 56k?  It's lists 56k as the minimum requirement, and I would think you'd be fine for soloing or small groups, just might have some trouble in the big cities or in giant battles.
9868  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Car porn (Forza 2) on: June 09, 2007, 03:24:26 PM

Quote from: Farscry on June 09, 2007, 01:54:45 PM

Hey, awesome, thanks for the info on those settings, Pug!

Sure thing, keep the questions coming.  I'll admit I'm not an expert on these things, though, so if I get something wrong I hope gellar or Geezer or someone will chime in with a correction.

And as for making money, holy cow is there money to be had in the auction house.  On a whim I bought a few more Lancia Stratos last night and slapped my new Alitalia paintjob on and put it up for 20,000 with a 100,000 buyout.  Sure enough I logged on this morning and had 100,000 waiting for me in my mailbox.
9869  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Car porn (Forza 2) on: June 09, 2007, 03:13:58 PM

Quote from: Arclight on June 09, 2007, 12:53:13 PM

No porn, but I do have a question. Do you guys basically stick with one or two cars in single play? Souping them up and just progressing with them? Or do you use the cars as they become un-locked?
Not sure what I should be spending my cash on.....Play it by ear I guess.....

I have a handful of favorite cars which I prefer to drive.  They're cars that I like in real life, so I spend more time souping them up, getting them handling just right, all that jazz.  Every race that they can participate in, I use them, even if it means adding or subtracting upgrades to make them fit a certain race restriction.

But the nature of the game is to have all sorts of different themed races, so to win those I'll pick whatever prize car I happen to have that fits the category.  I'll try the race with the car stock, sometimes I can get the gold as-is so I don't have to put any money into the car.  If I'm having trouble, I'll try buying just enough upgrades to be competitive, but if that's still not enough I'll end up buying a new car.

In some cases I have no choice but to buy a new car.  Since I've mostly been purchasing light Japanese cars, I had nothing for the 3850 lb so I bought a heavy car just for that race, figuring I'd continue to use it for any other heavy category races down the line.
9870  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Forza 2: COOL CAR PIC'S....... on: June 09, 2007, 06:36:23 AM
I forget who it was tonight that asked "what the hell that was" catching up in their rear view mirror, but here it is, my Silvia S13 trying to pretend it's an Initial D AE86:

And my newest pride and joy, trying to imitate this famous paint job:

My Lancia Alitalia:

Next upgrade I'm trying to get for it:
9871  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Wild rc helicopter video on: June 09, 2007, 06:28:28 AM
And I have a hard enough time keeping track of which way my vehicle is oriented in RC Pro Am.
9872  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Car porn (Forza 2) on: June 09, 2007, 03:24:28 AM

Quote from: Chaz on June 09, 2007, 12:43:31 AM

For example, I know I can change my tire pressure.  However, why do I want to make the front tires a higher pressure than the rear?  What happens if the opposite occurs? How does that effect camber, and why should I care about my camber settings anyway? Why does the telemetry screen display tire temperature at three different points on the tire, why would I want those to all be the same or different, and how do I make it so?

I know you just meant these as examples, but I think I'll take a stab at answering them anyway.

Tire pressure: Lower tire pressure makes more of the tire hit the pavement (imagine a half deflated basketball) giving you more grip but also more friction.  The increased friction causes more wear and also hinders your top speed.  By having your front tires higher pressure than the rear, you make your car grip a bit better in the rear than the front, making your rear end less likely to slip out (increased understeer).  If you do the reverse, you'll instead be increasing oversteer.  You don't want to change this too extremely, or you'll end up riding mostly on the middle of your tire (overinflated) or on the outside edges (underinflated.)

Camber:  Tire pressure won't really affect camber.  Camber is the amount that your tires are tilted to the left or right, or in other words the top point of your left and right tires will be closer or further apart.  When you take a turn, your car will lean towards the outside edge of the turn.  If your outside tires were perfectly perpendicular to the ground before the turn, they will be leaning towards the outside of the curve when you make your turn.  This is bad, less grip.  That's why some negative camber is usually good, it makes it so that your outside tires end up (ideally) perfectly flat in a turn to maximize your grip.

Tire temperature: Knowing your tire temperature at three different points helps you tune the pressure and camber mentioned above.  If it's much hotter in the middle than the outside edges, your tire might be overinflated.  Hotter on the outside edges might mean underinflation.  If the inside edge is hotter than the outside edge, you might have too much negative camber.  Outside edge hotter, camber might be too positive.
9873  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Forza 2: COOL CAR PIC'S....... on: June 08, 2007, 09:55:41 PM
Here's my new MR2 Spyder for C-class stuff, with an attempt at some kind of general racing paint job:

I decided to spend the extra $/year to the DMV for a vanity plate that will hopefully cut down on the number of times I get rear ended in an evening:

Here's my new car for our B-class races, a shiny red Ferrari:

Ok, so it's one of those special budget Ferraris with a more, uh, wolfish stallion logo...the engine's in the right spot, though!
9874  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Car porn (Forza 2) on: June 08, 2007, 07:50:41 PM

Quote from: Thin_J on June 08, 2007, 07:48:44 PM

If anyone wants an upgraded car I'm sitting on over 2 million credits and I've run out of things I really want to spend them on.

If you happen to be Euro region, I'd really love a Lancia Stratos.

Never mind!  Took my first venture into the auction house and got one for pretty cheap, despite a minor bidding war.

Lancia Alitalia, here I come!
9875  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Car porn (Forza 2) on: June 08, 2007, 07:04:51 PM
Chaz is right on the money, but I don't think racing mostly untuned stock cars is the best solution.

A number of people have indicated that they are interested in learning more about tuning.  If we're all racing the same untuned stock car, all we're going to be able to help each other learn is how to adjust tire pressure.  I find tire pressure as thrilling as the next guy, don't get me wrong, but it's kind of limiting.

By getting everyone in the same car chassis with at least some standard tuning options, we not only gain a lot more ability for beginners to get help with their setup, the game will let us do this in between races.  People can look at the myriad of tuning options and have people answer their questions and give advice right over their headset.

In addition to beginner tuners, we've also got beginner drivers.  Allowing tuning will help them as well.  Besides making the cars easier to handle right off the bat (upgrading your springs lowers your car and helps you turn even if you don't touch the tuning adjustment), by getting help on how to adjust the tuning the beginner drivers will find their cars much easier to keep on the road.

For these pre-planned car races, we could even institute a sort of handicap system, like have it so beginner tuners and drivers can tune their Fairlady up 75 PI, but more experienced drivers and tuners only get an extra 50 PI to work with.

edit: and yes, the host can automagically set it so that everyone's car will be stock parts and tuning, no matter what they had on their car when they chose it from their garage.
9876  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Car porn (Forza 2) on: June 08, 2007, 04:40:34 PM
I enjoy the tuning aspect.  In a B-class Maple Valley race last night, Hark's Lotus handily beat my Toyota MR-2 by a wide margin.  It would be easy to simply say that his car was superior, but I just see a chance for a rematch.  He clearly has the advantage in the turns, but on the track's straightaway I had a good 30-40 mph top speed advantage that really helped close the gap.  In fact, our "best lap" times weren't that different, despite his total time being much better.

So I start thinking of how I could beat his Lotus next time.  Maybe drop the power a bit in order to free up the PI for better tires so I can keep up in the turns more.  Maybe I keep the parts as-is but do some gearing tweaks to get some more out of my horsepower advantage.  Maybe I could try adding front and rear spoilers to help cling to the corners.

With tweaks I think my MR2 could beat his Lotus, but of course he'll be tweaking his Lotus as well.  We'll just have to see what happens the next time we're at the track.  This is a big aspect of the fun of tuning. 

To the folks that want us to be mostly racing untuned cars: Is it that you don't want to touch the tuning aspect of the game in any way shape or form, or that you don't want the winner to always be determined by who happened to buy the better car and parts?

If the latter, I think the compromise is to have everyone choose the same car and have a hard limit on the PI index people can tune it to.  That way everyone stays on an even playing field, with some individuality allowed to come out.  And I think this is what Hark is going for with his suggestion.  If it seems like the tuning still gives people an unfair advantage, we could just make even stricter restrictions on the amount of parts we're allowed to purchase, like limiting people to just 30 PI points over stock, for example.

If, in the event that someone really does manage to develop some unstoppable beast within the restrictions, we can always just have the host disable the tuning options for everyone at once with the race settings.  Best of both worlds.  And then at least everyone will still get to keep their paint jobs so we don't all look like clones! smile
9877  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Forza 2 tips and tricks on: June 08, 2007, 01:42:37 PM
TIP: The 4 secret achievements are:
Spoiler for Hiden:
Collect all Production Cars
Collect all Race Cars
Collect all Tuner Cars
Collect all Cars
9878  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Car porn (Forza 2) on: June 08, 2007, 03:20:52 AM
For this victory, I'd like to thank: the wall, for it's timely destruction of the mercedes' engine allowing for a come from behind 2nd place victory. smile  The closeness doesn't show too well in the pic, but we're going at 150-160mph and that's less than .2 seconds between us.

And Hark, this is the closest moment I could find in the first lap of the Fairlady race that resembles the side by side drifting you said you saw:

9879  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Car porn (Forza 2) on: June 07, 2007, 09:11:28 PM

Quote from: Chaz on June 07, 2007, 09:04:50 PM

I think the bigger advantage of the wheel is being able to make smaller steering corrections, and thus maintain a straighter line, and smoother turns.  Mostly that would help on the wide, sweeping turns.  Also, I would think the force feedback might help a bit with feeling when the wheels are about to lose traction, but maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part.

One trick that some people use to gain extra precision on the analog stick is to keep it pushed along the top edge of its range of movement.  The game will only read the x-axis of your position, of course, but by sliding it along the upper edge you're determining your steering position with the full force of your thumb instead of trying to balance at a specific point against the stick's spring.
9880  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Car porn (Forza 2) on: June 07, 2007, 05:24:46 PM
Microsoft Wheel for $110 through 6/13
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