General Discussion

The Future of Specialists

Hutch_RobinHutch_Robin Administrator, Hutch Staff Posts: 818 admin
edited September 2018 in General Discussion
Background

Cars that are effective under a specific set of circumstances are underrated in the RQ and Rarity ranking algorithms. The result is car ratings don't tell the full story, allow you to find hidden gems, and ensure there is more diversity in the kinds of cars available in each tier. However, certain cars can be unrivaled in their category, far surpassing the 'next best' option. It can mean some events are stagnant during the event and hands between different events are too similar.

I wanted to open a discussion on this issue, with some examples and potential solutions.

Case Studies

Honda Beat - Common (F) - 3 RQ
Chevrolet El Camino SS 454 - Rare (D) - 14 RQ
Datsun 240Z Rally Car - Super Rare (C) - 17 RQ

Solutions (from easy to difficult)

1) Increase RQ by 1 or 2 (and allow Rarity to change)

Honda Beat - Common (F) - 5 RQ
Chevrolet El Camino SS 454 - Super Rare (C) - 15 RQ
Datsun 240Z Rally Car - Super Rare (C) - 18 RQ or Ultra Rare (B) - 19 RQ

This feels like the most natural change - we apply a minor or major RQ penalty to the car in the next rebalance. Specialists can get their time in the spotlist before we move them to a more reasonable RQ, sometimes increasing rarity, and allowing other cars the chance to shine. The second best car is likely to be closer to rest of the cars available.

2) Increase RQ and Rarity to the bottom of the next tier

Honda Beat - Uncommon (E) - 6 RQ
Chevrolet El Camino SS 454 - Super Rare (C) - 15 RQ
Datsun 240Z Rally Car - Ultra Rare (B) - 19 RQ

This is a more drastic implementation of the first idea. It's ensuring any change, e.g. to the Honda Beat, materially changes a car's usage.

And we could make the changes based on community selected cars.

3) Include more specialist challenges in the RQ ranking process

Adding in more 'single stat' races, e.g. drag races, slaloms will result in these cars having higher RQ ratings. Will likely affect a lot of cars in small ways. It allows us to include some new challenges in the ranking tool, too.

4) (new feature) Some events run with 'No Duplicates' as a rule

You could see a hand of 5 different specialists, but it would be harder to have an unbeatable hand. However, which events do and don't have this criteria? It feels like players will always be unhappy when this rule works against them and it makes it harder to prepare for events if you don't know this rule in advance.

5) (new feature) Ban lists in events

This would result in cars almost being retired from the game, after all, in which events do you have ban lists - presumably any event where the car is relevant. Also, ban lists, if they are not standard, are hard to clearly message to players.

6) (new feature) Formalise Specialist as a car tag, and have a limit of a certain number of cars of this tag in events to 1 or 2.

This is an interesting idea, to have limits on an entire class of vehicle, which would mean players have to decide which Specialists to use. However, if there is only 1 specialist relevant in a Rare event, all that means it you would be limited to 2 of them, which may not be a huge change. However, it puts hidden gems in plain sight. It's also a longer term solution than rebalancing cars.
Post edited by Hutch_Robin on
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Comments

  • lemmings99olemmings99o Member Posts: 1,174 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Option 1 seems most sensible as those cars do significantly out perform most similar rq cars in specific circumstances and then will never be used in circumstances that don't suit them. This option still allows them to be used but more thought must be taken as the when and how many to use due to increased rq.

    Option 4 is the 2nd best option as it still allows us to freely use them in challenges and in events but stops hands being 5 el camino's on a drag set etc. Making us rethink our hands or strategy.
  • benbqbenbq Member Posts: 590 ✭✭✭✭
    Thanks for opening this discussion to the forum! By now we are all guilty of owning garages full of beats and caminos so it’s an issue that affects everyone. Personally I think an RQ change is the most natural way to balance these cars. It would make them used a lot less, of course, but would make them better reflect their winning capability. If too many people are against RQ change, then I think the “specialist tag” would be a good 2nd option.
  • ManUtdTobbeManUtdTobbe Member Posts: 1,380 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    Love this topic, personally i love option #4 because i already try to play without dulpicates (i sometimes stray from my beliefs in the bigger events). 

    The only option i think is bad and will hurt the game is #5, that seems too extreme. 

    Maybe go with one of the least extreme options and then add in a few "no duplicates" restrictions on events here and there?

    Edit: red Escort should be RQ23 if you go with the #1 or #2, been key in almost every event the last 2 weeks.
  • UncleGaryUncleGary Member Posts: 175 ✭✭✭
    I like option 6.

    It makes it easy to change or disable according to the level of whining so you can hit a good balance. No RQ rebalancing needed. Just add/remove tags and go from 0-5 specialist cars allowed as it fits, and/or more or less permanently incorporate a standard value for future events. It's easy for people to understand as well.

    I like the idea of "good" cars (or specialist cars as you call them). It makes people buy packs because they might get lucky and pull one. If RQ matched performance exactly, then much of the appeal of the game would be gone IMO.
  • greddygreddy Member Posts: 1,383 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I dont like option 2 or 5, that would kill this cars.. Beat as uncommon will be worthless, such as Datsun as Ultra rare. Other options are fine.
  • ManUtdTobbeManUtdTobbe Member Posts: 1,380 ✭✭✭✭✭
    UncleGary said:
    I like option 6.

    It makes it easy to change or disable according to the level of whining so you can hit a good balance. No RQ rebalancing needed. Just add/remove tags and go from 0-5 specialist cars allowed as it fits, and/or more or less permanently incorporate a standard value for future events. It's easy for people to understand as well.

    I like the idea of "good" cars (or specialist cars as you call them). It makes people buy packs because they might get lucky and pull one. If RQ matched performance exactly, then much of the appeal of the game would be gone IMO.
    This is true, the game needs cars that are "better" then their RQ, though there has to be the right balance. Adding a specialist tag (and maybe going with no duplicates too? atleast on some events) would help solving the balance issue. Some cars might still be too broken though but time will tell.
  • OzzmanOzzman Member Posts: 1,051 ✭✭✭✭✭

    When I started reading, the first thing that popped into my head was: "Specialist" tag, and "No specialists" criteria for certain events. So thats kinda the 6th option you mentioned. Of course that would mean that these cars would be easier to find, but I think that we already know most of them anyway.

    Also the "No duplicates" criteria seems fun, could be used not only against specialists.

  • flight4590flight4590 Member Posts: 550 ✭✭✭
    I’m cool with option 1 as long as you bump the first level of challenges to a slightly higher RQ requirement.  In general I’m fine with it but my main reason for using the Beat is because I’m basically forced to use it for challenges, sometimes even in the third stage due to how harsh the RQ limit has been.  Luckily Mazda has seemingly fixed the issue in later stages.

    as for the El Camino, this car needs at least RQ16.  I saw a comment that stated the El Camino was only D because of its terrible grip.  This was a few months back but I have the thought “if that is the case, why aren’t half of the TVRs in C class?”  But I’m so glad this thing may get the nerf hammer it has needed since the Porsche update.

    the Datsun...  it’s not even that great to me.  Maybe it’s because I don’t upgrade the ones I have, but even at 033 its really underwhelming.  Low ride height absolutely kills it for me, and due to the swift power spike to the 240RS and Escort Rally Spec at B.  I always end up excluding it from my off road hands unless it’s RQ limited, or rain dirt is prevelant.  I’m not against a bump to RQ 18 but this car will be borderline pointless at B, just as the Murano CC has, as well as the Mustang GT, C350 4MATIC, and the Lancer Evo 4 and 8 260 I’ve been arguing about.  Heck, remember when I said pushing the Fiat 124 to C was a terrible idea after the Italian update’s little fiasco with the rarities?  Someone seemed to agree with me and now it’s at the top of D after a stint of complete uselessness.  Rant over.

    If you up the ride height, which, it’s a rally car, it has no reason to have low ride heigh, I can see a bump to 18.  Just do not make it B.  
  • BoxtaSBoxtaS Member Posts: 1,374 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Just use the bonus points feature. 

    If the current rare event had 1.5x or 2x points for basically anything that the el Camino wouldn’t qualify for, you’d have a much more interesting event as people could mix it up and try stuff out. 

    Same for the ubiquitous Datsun, escort rally and 240RS - 1.5x points for 4WD or all surface tyres in those events would render them more vulnerable but not completely useless. 

    The Beat is a different story - people use it as an RQ saver, not as a race winner. It should be more like RQ5 or 6 to make it slightly less powerful in saving RQ. 
  • ManUtdTobbeManUtdTobbe Member Posts: 1,380 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Some kind of combination of #1, #4 and #6 should be good?
  • UncleGaryUncleGary Member Posts: 175 ✭✭✭
    This is true, the game needs cars that are "better" then their RQ, though there has to be the right balance. Adding a specialist tag (and maybe going with no duplicates too? atleast on some events) would help solving the balance issue. Some cars might still be too broken though but time will tell.
    Yes, I think a rule about no duplicates (or to allow a certain number of duplicates) would be fine as well. It would make it much easier for the developers to create new events without thinking about track sets so much.

    We would actually get more variation this way. For example, a week or so ago there was an event where you could basically run 5x RQ13 Mazda BBR's and have an optimal hand (or very close to it) because all the tracks were twisty with a few exeptions.

    So with some more rules about eligibility of cars we would be able to run these kinds of events with ALL twisty tracks and let them unfold in a much more interesting way without having to throw a test bowl into the track sets.
  • greddygreddy Member Posts: 1,383 ✭✭✭✭✭
    More competition for this cars! :smiley:
  • Destroyer2k11999Destroyer2k11999 Member Posts: 1,278 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I don't know guys, this reminds me of the talk about rq restrictions and how it wouldn't be applied to everything, but now that's kinda what this game is about, restrictions. If we are OK with the occasional ban, or occasional specialist event, I'm sure down the road every event will have bans and specialists. IF we have to raise RQ on cars good at only one thing even if your simulation tool says otherwise then I guess that's the best way, however does that mean we will start raising RQ on all cars that are used the most for what they excel in? That doesn't sound very balanced either when human error is allowed to take over. 

    In short I think we use specialists because they are good value at their current rq for whatever restrictions we face, not necessarily because they are so OP in their current class
  • evilprofesseurevilprofesseur Member Posts: 1,193 ✭✭✭✭✭
    First off - it's great that you're asking the community for the opinion. We really appreciate it. 

    I like the tag option, seems least drastic, will introduce a bit more strategy, shake the events up and will still allow us to use the cars in question. 
  • PulsatingstarPulsatingstar Member Posts: 139 ✭✭✭
    A lot of good points have been raised already.  Its difficult to get this right, as often a small change renders a car barely used anymore.  Example being the Elise 135 - a must have at Class C which now doesnt get used at Class B apart from specific events.

    There is always going to be a fastest car for a class/event type.  If we look at the specialist event currently running as stale (which I think we can agree it is), what has caused that?  Its not the El Camino.  If that car was moved to Class C wed all just run the Corvette.  The problem with this event is the tracksets imo.  You have space for one non UK car and all the sets have a drag, acceleration or top speed event.  Despite recent nerfs, drags still award too many points so you have to prioritize towards it, so your one no uk car is the best dragger you can get. 

    Then all sets have 2 off road courses, so immediately we look to escort rally cars as the best of this type.  That only really leaves two places for grabs, and at this point we are nowhere near having to worry about RQ requirements either.  So we needed a trackset that shakes things up more.  Sets with 1 offroad or 3, or a couple of sets with no power event to punish that El Camino pick.  Maybe if there was fast twisty instead I could have used that Std Tyre E Type and used me non uk option elsewhere?  With so many events running I think we just need to accept from time to time some of them will just turn out to not be that fun, as its probably unrealistic to expect them to be tested so much prior to release.

    The Datsun sits in a different place, in that its not easily attainable as it needs to be pulled from a pack and it feels bad not to have one, and that it lacked competition.  The later is slightly less of an issue now, as you can at least use an Abarth or Swift Rally against it.  Sure, you will probably lose that round but only by 50pts and you can aim to recoup that with the 2 RQ saving elsewhere.

    The Beat isnt really used to win races unless its common only.  Its used as it doesnt drop lots of points for low RQ allowing you to run a bigboy somewhere else.  Is it that the car outperforms though, or is it that points for some twisty events are out of sync with the relative performance difference on drags again?  If you make this car RQ5, you just make someone play that RQ28 legendary rather than the RQ30 and it might not change anything.  If you resemblance the scoring on something like indoor karting then you may achieve the same leaving the car alone?

    I do like the idea of the specialist tag and non duplicate clause, although if events remain only able to have 2 criteria you may still not be able to get that specialist tag in (eg at the moment, we already have rare x5, UK x4 - can you also really add specialist - 1 onto that).
  • Hutch_RobinHutch_Robin Administrator, Hutch Staff Posts: 818 admin
    edited September 2018
    Gsearch said:
    You can change the RQ, but wouldn't we just find a replacement?  I know these fight way out of their weight class, but the fastest dr4ag car in the D class will just change.  what ever the next fastest is, will become the new Staple.  I think that mostly the Camino is used to get the lowest 0-6 and straight away speed WITHIN your RQ budget for an event.  moving it up would only make us choose a different car that fits the bill.
    There is always going to be a fastest car for a class/event type.  If we look at the specialist event currently running as stale (which I think we can agree it is), what has caused that?  Its not the El Camino.  If that car was moved to Class C wed all just run the Corvette.
    Right, but the second best car might be less of an outlier, meaning even without reducing the points from drag races, the points earned should be less. Just looking at 0-60, the difference in goes from 0.8 seconds to 0.2 between the 'best' model and the 'second best' model.

  • mikesmikes Member Posts: 3,774 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I like option 1 and 4. They both seem sensible

    I would also add the RQ13 Mazda MX-5 BBR and RQ15 Mercedes 280 GE as specialists that punch above their weight.
  • milewski1015milewski1015 Member Posts: 1,931 ✭✭✭✭✭
    An RQ bump because they do extremely well in a very limited amount of situations seems a bit unfair. Drawing off what @Gsearch had to say, we’d just find the next best thing to take the place of these specialists if the RQ changed. I think the specialist tag is a good route. I don’t feel that a specialist restriction would be necessary in any events other than maybe class-specific events (super-rare only, etc). But even then, often times, the RQ limit prevents you from utilizing multiple specialists anyway (again, the relatively recent super-rare off-road event comes to mind). In the events that aren’t restricted by class, I don’t think any specialist restriction should be implemented. The benefit of a using a specialist car is knowing that it will punch above its weight in a particular area (and therefore saving RQ). By putting specialist tag restrictions on events not limited to one particular class, you run the risk of eliminating a good variety of hands. Take the current RWD event for example. Some people are opting to run multiple legendaries and utilizing low RQ twisty specialists to round out their hand. Others are opting for a more traditional approach, with a more well-balanced hand. I just feel that limiting specialist use in events like this RWD one (and other events not limited to one particular class) will prevent people from using hands that pair very high RQ cars with very low RQ cars, and I think that would hurt variety.

    TL;DR: Bumping RQ of specialists seems unfair because they only excel in a very limited amount of situations. Specialist tag (Option 6) is the way to go. Utilize specialist tag restrictions only on events limited to one particular class (commons only, rares only, etc.)
  • greddygreddy Member Posts: 1,383 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    To be fair i really doubt that there will ever be an event 5x drags and rare class only. For me having 5x el camino is nonsense.
    Post edited by greddy on
  • grandvachegrandvache Member Posts: 1,853 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Option 6 sounds particularly interesting and gives another criteria that can be used to construct interesting events, particularly if you can modify things so events can have three or more entry criteria: eg a rare event could be 5 rare, 3 UK, 2 FWD, 1 specialist.

    That could presumably be changed at different levels so newer players with smaller garages face less severe restrictions?

    Option one is the easiest to implement.  I might start hoarding Datsuns and el Caminos now?
  • LittleEnosBurdetteLittleEnosBurdette Member Posts: 2,642 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    Imo it’s only the beat that needs an RQ change, if all these RQ limit events are here to stay why not re-evaluate the whole system? Add an RQ2,  bump the truly awful cars that are never getting used down to that, finish the commons at 7, uncommons at 11, rares at 15, super rares at 19 and above that left the same. 
  • TNThomasTNThomas Member Posts: 539 ✭✭✭✭
    In my opinion, a change in RQ is not needed if option 4 or 6 are applied. Those option seem better than changing the RQ, which might result in other cars being better than others in their RQ value... All in all, option 4 and 6 seem nice!
  • LordNelozLordNeloz Member Posts: 145 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    I agree with most people that Option 1,4 and 6 seem the best. Just pls don’t do the ban list. Many people worked for their garages and maybe had some luck drawing cars. Having these banned would just feel unfair. 

    Edit: profanity 
  • hillclimberhillclimber Member Posts: 2,093 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    having a car rated by fixed criterias seems to be the fairest, to rule out by naming it or taging it the unfairness approach. 

    I wonder what would happen if you would keep the consisting algorithm but scratching out a car's worst let's say 30% of the results and than rate it. i think this could bring that better balanced rating you're looking for and nobody could complain since it's a logical system. 
    Post edited by hillclimber on
  • ElPurtzoElPurtzo Member Posts: 43 ✭✭
    Ozzman said:

    When I started reading, the first thing that popped into my head was: "Specialist" tag, and "No specialists" criteria for certain events. So thats kinda the 6th option you mentioned. Of course that would mean that these cars would be easier to find, but I think that we already know most of them anyway.

    Also the "No duplicates" criteria seems fun, could be used not only against specialists.

    That pretty much sums up what I am thinking.
  • O__VERO__VER Member Posts: 1,394 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I don't really have a problem with the El Camino being bumped up to the next tier, or the Beat for that matter. But that's maybe because they will still be top picks within the next tier.

    BUT the Datsun pushing up to RQ19 sits it right behind the RQ20 Escort Rally which is far superior. The Escort Rally would then need to be bumped even higher, meaning the Porsche 924 needs to be higher, etc. Perhaps if all off-road tired cars were simultaneously pushed higher (ie. an RQ penalty applied to all), it might make more sense, but I don't think this is an ideal solution.

    If the Datsun was RQ18 and events were RQ limited a bit more, it might be a better option.
  • James_PearceJames_Pearce Member Posts: 1,015 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I agree with those who say that excluding certain cars completely feels inappropriate. RQ feels like the best solution, although using a ‘Specialist’ tag as a limiting factor is also an interesting prospect.

    I also agree that when you shift one car up then it begs a lot of questions about other cars. The Datsun 240Z is not as good as the Escort, Porsche or even Silvia, and would become instantly uncompetitive in general use. 
    Edit: red Escort should be RQ23 if you go with the #1 or #2, been key in almost every event the last 2 weeks.
    I don’t think it should move up, as it’s significantly worse than the RQ21 Porsche 924 GTS. However, the Nissan Silvia 240 RS shouldn’t be RQ21 as both the Ford and Porsche are significantly better. Aside from top speed, it should be (currently) RQ19. 
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