The wait is finally over, today is the big new build update and content drop for rFactor 2!
Seeing as we all like surprises, how about another car too? Yes, the Q3 2022 update and DLC drop will also include the awesome Ford Focus ST BTCC!!!!!!!
Bringing a wealth of updates and improvements to the simulation, the new build update deployed today brings with it some important changes for the ongoing development of rFactor 2. Of the main highlights from this build, the introduction of what we are calling ‘Real Road 2.0’ is perhaps the most significant – as we look to add new layers of realism to the driving experience, introducing dynamic surface temperature changes that will significantly affect how the drivers and cars interact with the circuit and its behaviour – across an array of different weather and temperature conditions. Although this change isn’t immediately visible to players in the way a graphic update would be, for example, we are massively excited to see and hear how these quite fundamental improvement helps to expand the whole rFactor 2 playing experience.
Moving away from the game update, we have also taken the opportunity to continue our expansion of content offerings within the simulation, adding exciting new vehicles and a very different types of circuit as part of this Q3 2022 release. From the high energy thrills of tin top touring cars to the flat out performance of modern endurance racing, with a sprinkling of old school charm mixed in for good measure, we think our new content releases should be pretty popular – and certainly helps us in our quest to ensure rFactor 2 contains something for everyone to enjoy.
We are pretty happy with the way the 2022 Q3 update and content release has developed, especially considering the difficult timings around the natural holiday period for many of our team, and we hope you enjoy the content and build release as much as we hope you will. While we scurry back into the office and start pushing on with our November plans, let’s have a look in more detail at some of the goodies that form today’s release.
As many of you will know, this year we have moved to a quarterly cycle of content deployments. What this means in reality is that every three months, we drop a substantial new build of the simulation, and a selection of new content to play with. In order to ensure we hold maximum confidence in the robustness of our latest code changes, we tend to deploy what we call a ‘Release Candidate’ update around one month prior to full release. Here, players can choose to ‘opt in’ to this early look build, try out the update early, and hopefully catch any unexpected issues that may occur prior to us pushing the final build into the public domain.
This strategy has worked well for us so far, and what it inevitably means is you will see some slight differences between the change note of the RC, and the logs from the new public release found below. Simply put, this is both a mixture of us having worked various hotfix updates into the build since RC deployed, and also the result of having a few extra weeks in order to finalise additional things that didn’t quite make it into the first release. So, let’s take a look at what today’s new update looks like in more detail:
Dedicated Server: 9261942
- Updated Track Limits System taking into account many factors to award warning points for infringements with drivers given a short amount of time post cut to give up any gained time or positions in race.
- Ability to set Track Limits to None/Default/Strict
- Ability to configure number of Track Limit Points before a Drive Through during race sessions.
- Improved calculation of infringement during time off track, taking into account, time gained, distance travelled, throttle application, time off track, speed differentials, positions gained during race, wall riding and more.
- During all sessions invalidate current lap and sometimes next lap, based on how close to the end of the lap and the size of the infringement.
- During race sessions earn warning points, if 3 points are acquired in one go or you pass the cumulative point limit threshold (5 by default) a drive through is given. The size of penalty increases for extreme cuts.
- Pit Lane Exit violations are now logged and penalized accordingly (May require content updates)
- Disabled Pit Exit violations by default on Ovals in none race sessions and added ability to customize which sessions have Pit Exit limits enforced via GDB or RFM.
- Wrong Way Driving calculations have been tweaked to be more lenient when far from the track.
- Strict mode intended for eSports, has harsher thresholds and invalidates all off track laps in non race sessions.
- Improved logging options and ModDev options for analysing cuts.
- Support for up to 16 input devices
- Added chat message indicating when there are latency issues and collision is turned off.
- Added current Track Limits points to Penalties MFD Page in Race Sessions.
- Driver labels now correctly depth buffer regardless of display mode
- Added Light Dust Particle Profile
- Expanded Decal Features on IBL Road Shader
- Fixed orange ambient bug
- The first launch wizard controls configuration can now be re-run from the “Calibrate controls” page
- Moved “Electronics” setup settings (TC and ABS) under the “Engine” heading, which has been renamed to “Engine & electronics”
- Fixed damage multiplier setting description in singleplayer session settings
- Moved damper setup settings to their own tab
- Fixed sporadic empty car list on server join
- Added “Track Limits Rules” singleplayer setting
- Added “Track Limits Points Allowed” singleplayer race setting
- Added Tender Springs to suspension setup page
- Added description/tooltip to Tender Springs setup
- Improved description/tooltip for Traction Control and ABS
- Fixed alphabetical sorting of opponent filters and opponents list
- Fixed race countdown timer format for duration longer than one minute
- Updated Aston Martin logo
- Added a button to refresh the setup list
- Added two settings into the “Visuals” column in graphics settings to adjust the vertical and horizontal position of the Track Limits Info (TLI) screen
- Fixed alphabetical sorting of car selection list
- Dynamic track temperatures based on weather conditions and cars driving on track
- Added a toggle to load temperatures from real road files on main game/moddev/dedi
- Added improved anti-lock braking and traction control systems. (Only available on the TEST version of the McLaren Senna GTR)
- Added Traction Control Power Cut map to control the amount of TC to apply. (Only available for the new TC)
- Added Traction Control Slip Angle map to control the target (maximum) slip angle before TC activates. (Only available for the new TC)
- Added ABS/TC dash LEDs which show the amount of slip and show when the systems activate
- Added Tender Springs functionality (Only available on the TEST version of the Porsche 991 GT3 Cup)
- Fixed ABS/TC aid through settings
- Cars that lag too much or teleport will have collision disabled for 5 seconds.
- Network speeds now enforce the player limit to max out at the highest acceptable number the connection can support
- Fixed loops not restarting correctly
- Fixed loud audio spike when loading into multiplayer sessions
- Fixed random shift sounds in the garage
- Separated TC and Pit Limiter events
- Fixed audio loop points
- Fixed spotter and start lights not playing or being delayed
- Fixed game startup without audio device or with +nosound enabled
- Performance: Sound system now uses another thread, eliminating random frame time spikes and improving game performance
- Fixed tracks with lots of ambient sounds not playing any sound at all in some conditions
- Fixed other cars crashing online playing crash sounds on the player car
- Fixed HRTF selection
- Fixed a rare crash when crashing sounds play
Live Stream Overlay
- Updated broadcast overlay live timing page
- Fixed live timing page not loading
- You can now customize the styling with custom CSS (custom_livetiming.css)
- Added CSS classes: car class for each row and last sticky row
- Added car class and team name columns
- Added car livery images
- Added tire icon
- Added configurable scrolling and multiclass mode
- Batched loading warning pop up messages together for fewer popups (Dev Mode/Scene Viewer)
- Added warning popup for assets exported with default LOD Out for optimization debugging (Dev Mode/Scene Viewer)
- Added cancel button to show no more messages that session (Dev Mode/Scene Viewer)
- Fixed various content issues with Showrooms and Joesville (Dev Mode/Scene Viewer)
- Added Sideview_UI showroom to ModDev for UI screenshots of cars.
- Fixed an issue in MapConverter where it would crash with textures named *_M_<type>.TGA
- Added “FarLight” parameter to IBL Shaders in Material Adjust section. This allows us to set materials to be in shadow beyond shadow cascades.
- Fixed crash when no AIW file present
- UI – Steering lock second bracket is cut off
Real Road 2.0
This is the heart of the racing experience – the track surface itself. In the real world, a racetrack is rarely a static proposition, as a multitude of factors can influence the racing surface at any given time – from atmospheric conditions, through to the simple act of cars circulating around the lap.
With these new changes, we have looked to increase the immersive aspect of driving within rFactor 2, by taking into account some of these varied differentiators and applied that into how our previously static track surface behaves. What does this mean? Simply put, our track surface (on all tracks) now has an element of dynamic functionality, where the surface temperatures, and thus the behaviour and levels of grip they give up, will change and can be influenced by varied factors. These temperature changes can be influenced by things such as geographical location, cloud cover, time of day, ambient temperatures and heat transfer from cars running over the surface of the tarmac.
As a driver, this means each circuit will offer up varied levels of grip, and produce varied amounts of tyre wear, depending on the factors stated above. Furthermore, this opens up the opportunity to us to now expand how wet tracks dry (or dampen) over time, with covered areas less likely to change surface behaviour as quickly as those open to the elements.
In order to ensure our players remain firmly in control of their own unique driving experience, we have ensured that track temperature will initialise at the beginning of a session based on the weather conditions set by the player, and will dynamically change over the course of track running – so you now have the tools to closely align your experience to how you want it to be.
New Traction Control and ABS Feature
The new ABS functionality utilises the same ABS onboard map as the original implementation, however, with these new developments drivers will be exposed to a much more accurate and realistic set of behaviours. Under heavy braking, when the tyres start locking up the ABS will activate and releases the brakes on an individual wheel basis, until grip returns and the ABS turns off again and brake pressure returns – exactly mirroring the mechanical functionality of real world ABS behaviour. ABS working hard? Expect quite a jolt through the force feedback!In terms of traction control, in this new build we now have three onboard TC maps, these are as follows:
- Onboard TC
- Power Cut TC
- Slip Angle TC.
The power cut TC controls how much power is cut when TC activates, with a higher map value simulating a higher level of power reduction. The slip angle TC controls how much lateral (side) slip a car can have before TC kicks in, with a higher map allowing less slip. Not all cars have these two settings, so one or both of these may be disabled, in which case they are controlled by the main “onboard TC” map. Next to this, the onboard TC map also controls the longitudinal (forward) slip the driven wheels can have before TC kicks in, again a higher map means less allowed slip.
Furthermore, additional dashboard ABS/TC lights will be introduced to cars with these features enabled.
Cut Track Functionality
Another significant change brought forward for this build is the introduction of a heavily revised and reworked cut track and penalty detection system. Having reviewed the limitations of the previous iteration, this new system has been developed to both closely mirror how real world circuit racing penalties are applied, whilst also providing a more robust, fairer and clearer way of dealing with on track infringements by drivers. The new cut track and penalty detection system has been optimised for both non race and race events sessions, with appropriate weighting of infringements and penalty issuing developed in accordance to the type of session in which those infringements are collected.
In terms of track cutting, for the purposes of this new system a track cut is defined as leaving the legal bounds of the race surface and re-joining it and gaining a lasting time or positional advantage from it. The system has a number of parameters in which to calculate the severity of the cut, and what type of penalisation will be awarded.
Once drivers re-join the track, the system then takes some time to consider the situation and to see if the driver is trying to correct for their errors, under control or even going quick enough. This will help reduce false detections and receiving warnings for making a mistake
The addition of Tender Springs marks another considerable physics improvement that has been added to this new build update. According to suspentionsecrets.co.uk “There are two main uses for tender springs. The first is for road use and bumpy circuits such as the Nürburgring Nordschleife or Sebring. With the tender spring installed, the soft overall rate absorbs all of the lumps and bumps on the road surface allowing the tyre to stay in contact with the ground instead of being bumped off the surface if only a stiff spring was being used. This keeps the car compliant and maintains high levels of grip through bumpy sections or over potholes etc. Then once the car begins to corner, the tender spring is fully compressed quickly and the main spring rate takes over to provide much better cornering stiffness, keeping the car flat and controllable through the corner“.
This in an important additional mechanical tool for our drivers to extract extra performance, and more importantly, balance within their virtual cars. Tender Springs are used across a variety of different cars already available within rFactor 2, and in the coming weeks and months these will be added as additional updates for the appropriate vehicles, starting the the Porsche Cup car that released alongside the July Release Candidate.
USB Limit Increase
At last! Finally players with more than their fair share of controller inputs on their racing rig can keep everything plugged in when using rFactor 2! For this new build, the development team here at Studio 397 have upped the USB controller limit to 16 – meaning the software can now identify, allocate and utilise up to 16 different USB devices… get those button boxes and other goodies back out the cupboard, it’s time to rock the hardware in rFactor 2!
As part of this new build, and due to our ongoing commitment to ensure all our content adheres to the latest changes and improvements we bring to rFactor 2, we have taken the opportunity to further update a range of existing content with the new improvements recently brought to the simulation. Further to our big GTE and Oreca 07 uplift, the following content has undergone the update treatment:
Toyota Corolla BTCC v1.17
- Fixed logo issue on skins
- Updated camera position
- Fix for drag reduction with rake
Infiniti Q50 BTCC 1.15
- Fixed logo issue on skins
- Fix for drag reduction with rake
Formula E 2022 v1.07
- Fixed right mirror not adjusting
Porsche GT3 Cup v1.41
- Added tender springs
McLaren Senna v1.15
- Upgraded to new sound engine
- Added new TC and ABS
- Added shift protection
- Added new engine cooling
- Minor sound tweaks
- Added ABS and TC LED bars to display
- Made all three TC options say off when set to 0
Oreca LMP2 v3.03
- Added new TC options
GTE Cars v3.11
- Added new TC options
- Updated TC and pit limiter sounds
BMW M8 GTE v3.11
- Removed high poly rear wing collision model
Corvette C8R GTE v3.11 & Ferrari 488 GTE v3.11
- Updated engine starter sound
- Seat height adjustment fixed
Dallara IR18 v1.67
- Fixed numbers not displaying on score tower
- Fixed push to pass working on ovals
- Added talent file
Kart Cup 2014 v2.04
- Removed tilt in cockpit camera
This new build has also provide us the opportunity to go back and review a few issues with existing content within the simulation, giving us a chance to look at some of our previously released circuits and apply a few useful quality of life changes and improvements – details of which can be found below:
- Fixed Start Light Sequencing
- Various AI Improvements including Craner Curves & Old Hairpin (GP & National)
- Various Cut Corridor Updates
- Improved AI lines into Craner Curves & Old Hairpin (GP & National)
- Various minor AI tweaks
- Fixed cut corridors at pit entry
- Fixed Oval Safety Car Location
- Updated Curbs on Modern GP layout T6-T7 for 2021
- Reviewed Cut Corridors on RC & GP layouts
- Adjusted Concrete Road bumpiness
- Minor LOD optimization
- Minor Collision Fixes
- Fixed minor collision issue
- Tweaks to AIW on Road Course layout
- Fixed objects with default lodding
- Updated RRBIN
- Fixed Oval Safety Car Pit Lane Position
- Added new Grandstands and Paddock Assets to GP layout
- Fixed Pit Door Sequencing
- Fixed AI Fuel Calculations
Le Mans v2.83
- Added 2022 Layout with accurate advertisement
- Updated materials on roads, curbs, grass, gravel traps etc
- Added extra decals to surfaces
- Fine tuned night time glare
- Fixed some issues with TDF settings
- Fixed some armco smoothing issues
- Fixed a material error on road lines resulting in some lines not being tar-ed out.
- Fine tuned Cut Track detection
- Stricter cut track on tight turn apexes
- Fixed floating MMA advertisement sign issues before Ford Chicanes
- Updated Specular settings for groove on road and curbs
- Fixed various minor advertising issues
- Corrected some minor GDB issues on 2022 layout
- Updated concrete porsche curves run off on 2022 layout
- Various material updates to Terrain, Foliage and Barriers
- Various minor texture fixes
- Various optimizations to decal object groupings
- Various minor LOD optimizations
- Added CBASH & RRSHD for faster loading
New Content – Cars
Everyone likes new content… so here is new content! As we strive to continue making rFactor 2 the most immersive and diverse product in sim racing, we are delight to present a selection of very, very cool cars for the title as part of this build update. Moving away from our more recent offerings of high speed, intense experience cars, we’ve taken the opportunity with this build to concentrate more on our ground level, hard racing friendly machinery – and because of that, we think we’ve managed to put together some seriously exciting cars to drive.
From our continued collaboration with the British Touring Car Championship and building on the well received cars we released last time out, to introducing 2 new brands to the rFactor 2 family in the form of the Caterham Academy and vintage Mini Cooper, it would be fair to say we are pretty stoked with what’s on offer for rFactor 2 players in Q3.
BTCC Pack 2
BTCC Pack 2 | Steam Store: CLICK HERE
Starting with our ongoing collaboration with the British Touring Car Championship, and following up on the hugely popular release of our BTCC Pack One back in May, we are delighted to be able to introduce the wonderful Hyundai i30 Fastback N Performance and Ford Focus ST NGTC models to the simulation, complete with the full teams and liveries of the 2021 British Touring Car Championship racing season. These two cars represent some of the most recent models to enter the BTCC of late, and two of arguably the most striking looking from a field of incredible touring car machinery. Both running to front wheel drive configuration, the key difference between the two cars, aside from the obvious visual aspect of being from different brands, is the Focus runs a self developed Ford / Monutune engine, while the Hyundai utilises the TOCA / Swindon lump found in the already released Infiniti Q50 and Toyota Corolla.
Caterham Academy (free car)
Caterham Academy | Steam Workshop: CLICK HERE
Keeping in theme with the world of close competition, the free car of the August content drop is none other than the mighty Caterham Academy, a light weight, highly manoeuvrable and incredibly popular club level race car that has pretty much dominated the national racing scene in recent decades. Built with simplicity and weight saving in mind, the Caterham is a car that lends itself perfectly to hard racing, where drivers of any skill and experience level can ply their trade and really get a kick out of charging hard and going door to door with their racing rivals on track. Built with a wealth of technical detail and dyno information from multiple independent sources, this little Caterham is something that we are particularly excited to get into the hands of our players, as we fully expect this to quickly establish itself as one of our ‘go to’ vehicles for online racing, so expect to see this one added to the rFactor 2 Competition System very soon after release.
Mini Vintage | Steam Store: CLICK HERE
Another car that most certainty lends itself to great racing, all be it in a very different way indeed, is the little Austin Mini Cooper S Mk1 Group 2, a welcome addition of classic content that should appeal to many different driving skills and styles. Although not a big car in size, in heart the little Mini is as big as it can get out on the race track. A terror of touring car racing in period, the Mk1 Cooper S remains an exceptionally popular car in historic racing throughout the world, still capable of proving itself a very compeditive proporsition against many varied rivals, and most importantly of all, a car that never fails to thrill drivers behind the wheel.
Short wheel base construction encourages drivers to steer with the throttle and rear wheels, this certainly isn’t a car that requires precision and patience, far from it in fact, if you aren’t going sideways on full lock then you just aren’t driving this thing to its full potential. That said, even though arm gymnastics are required to keep on the straight and narrow, the Mini is still a very forgiving beast, so expect this to be another car that provides exceptional potential to have good, clean and close racing – another little star that should prove one to watch in the months ahead.
New Content – Track
Tracks are an important part of any racing simulation, and here at the studio we’ve been incredibly busy this year working to ensure we can offer some of the most detailed and accurate representations of the venues you all know and love. As you can imagine, the time taken to develop a track is significant, and the quality of our laserscanned circuits is, we believe, second to none in the industry. That said, while we all love a big release like Monza or Daytona, we also need to keep in mind that smaller and more niche venues are also just as important to the overall gameplay experience of the title, and often it is these unexpected choices that end up producing some of the best racing experiences.
As such, for this quarter we have elected to think a little outside the box, and bring a very different type of track to the title – one that should go a long way towards offering something a little different for our players to enjoy…
World Wide Technology Raceway
World Wide Technology Raceway | Steam Store: CLICK HERE
A staple of the IndyCar schedule in oval form, Gateway is one of the lesser known circuits of American motorsport, yet something of a hidden gem in terms of how high speed and quite challenging the layout can be when in road course configuration.
Developed by the Studio 397 track team with the aid of detailed laserscanned technology, Gateway is a circuit that we think may well surprise quite a few people with the unique and interesting challenge it offers our drivers, especially once players get into the groove of pushing the car to the very edge of its potential in the deceptively fast series of sweeping turns deep into the infield section of the racecourse.
Fully recreated in both oval and road course configuration, Gateway joins our rapidly increasing list of American based circuits in rFactor 2, and despite the relatively low profile nature of the venue, should offer our drivers something a little different in terms of look and feel compared to more recent track releases. Perfect for lower powered cars, yet just a suitable for high performance open wheel and GT machines, Gateway is a track that doesn’t just add variety to the content offering within rFactor 2, but is a circuit that features many of its own unique and interesting challenges not found in more traditional European layouts.
Competition System Season 5 Schedule
A new season of the rFactor 2 Competition System is now live, with new cars, new classes, old favourites and plenty to get your teeth into for some good quality online racing adventures! New series for this season include the Mini Challenge and the much anticipated GT Endurance Trophy – so make sure you head over to the Competition System within the main rFactor 2 UI, and get yourself signed up for a race today!
You can find out all about the different events on offer in Season 5 by checking out the announcement article on the Studio 397 website, link HERE.
As always, here at Studio 397 we are incredibly excited to hear what our community think of these new improvements and content releases for our simulation – and most importantly of all, we absolutely cannot wait to join you out on the track in the weeks ahead. Have fun, and see you on the track!
rFactor 2 Q3 2022 Update and DLC – Now Available!