With NTG: IL and 2013 out of the way and receiving what will likely be the final DLC/patches that they’ll get. I’ve had quite a few threads in the last year of suggestions for the future game, and I’m gonna try and make this the last one. This is “NASCAR '14 - Thoughts and Ideas”.
I’m going to start with racing physics and mechanics, and it’ll largely be based off a past thread of mine…
First, I'll talk about drafting. With this game I think a lot of people were hopeful for pack racing, even with the 2012 cars. We didn't get that. After a lap everybody is in tandems or pairs of tandems and it's basically 21 tandems and an unlucky car going around the track. I've had very few finishes at Daytona or Talladega where the finish picture I took legitimately looked like a pack finish, to do that I basically have to be leading and be blocking every lane to slow them down. I think that, especially with the new Gen 6 car, tandems should be taken off, to the extent that in real life tandems only work for a lap or two, and generally cars stay in a pack. The 2013 challenges did a good job using telemetry data to recreate that pack, but I'll talk a little bit more about that in the next paragraph. Basically cars should be perfectly capable of reaching their maximum speed without BUMP drafting, just normal drafting like they did with the Gen 4 car.
Next, I want to talk about driving lines, and specifically plate tracks. Strangely, drivers will use the outside on straightaways, then either the outside or inside in the turns. If you watch a real life plate race, the winner often blocks the INSIDE lane, if someone took the outside lane they'd be an idiot, in real life anyways. But basically the AI prioritizes the outside lane, then the next furthest lane to the outside, and so on. The only way a car will go to the absolute inside down the back stretch is if they're pushing you and you slowly move down. Another is Dover, the outside lane stays so far to the outside I can literally gain 6+ positions in the first two turns by going in between the two lanes. I say we use the telemetry data as the BASE to programming the driving lines, which would make it cool to see different drivers driving their preferred lines at any given track.
Also, fix setups. The two main things I want to yell about is how we can have our tire pressures at 12 and run unbelievable times and not shred the tires, and how lifting the front end of the car somehow makes us faster at plate tracks because "it takes the spoiler out of the air" which is dumb. If you look in real life, they basically run their front end as low as they can to where the splitter is hardly above the ground. I also think the default setups should be a bit better, because some of them just suck. Either that or make a "Driver Pro Setup" for EVERY track, that will be purchasable in career mode. Here's some good ones.
Daytona - Danica Patrick
Martinsville - Jeff Gordon
Homestead-Miami - Carl Edwards
Talladega - Kurt Busch
Darlington - Matt Kenseth
Watkins Glen – Marcos Ambrose
Bristol – Kyle Busch
Dover – Jimmie Johnson
Sonoma – Kurt Busch
Another one I want to talk about is car contact. More often than not when you attempt a bump and run move on another car, they'll stay in their lane like a rock, I'm not even talking about the telemetry challenges, I'm talking about any random career race. I want to refer to a 2010 Martinsville finish, on the very last restart we were seeing the bump and run displayed over and over to the win.
I also want to say that cars should be more aggressive for the win. Literally if you're the front car and an AI is pushing you, they won't try at all to slingshot for the win. Cars won't bump you out for the win or intentionally spin/wreck you. It's kind of boring. All you have to do is block the specific driving line they take and you win.
Cars should also be able to flip easier, especially in a high-speed spin where the rear end gets air under it. I know it doesn't happen often but even with the Gen 6 car we saw Kurt Busch prove to us that you can flip a Gen 6 car. As such, DNFing should be easier, I've flipped and gone on to win the race, shouldn't happen. With full damage, I think engine damages too easily front bumps etc, but the car should be totaled from other things like flips.
Just a few things I wanted to point out that I feel would make the racing more realistic. Also, could we possibly do anything with telemetry data to help "mimic" amazing finishes like the 2012 Watkins Glen finish on a semi-regular basis? I don't mean in challenges, I mean that in career mode the AI will drive off-line to make up as much ground and as much time as they can to win the race, like if it was done on lap 5. Imagine Marcos and Brad sliding through the grass on lap 5, would be kind of stupid if it wasn't for the win, AI should really try hard to win it. I'm sure I don't have to put it here, because everyone has seen it and knows how awesome it is, but just in case, here's a fun video with Brad and Marcos talking about that finish:
Okay… Next up is all about career mode.
What would you guys think of multiple primary sponsors? Yes, it is a thing. Most of you probably know, but primary sponsors buy their spot by race, or they’ll buy a set number of races that will be met in a season. I think a “Silly Season” period in between seasons would allow us to sign sponsors and they would give a maximum number of races they can appear for. On top of having, say, up to three primaries, you could make two schemes per sponsor, since we can now make schemes, and then assign the schemes to a race, so those of us who want to stay true to NASCAR can make a NASCAR Unites Scheme for the Charlotte and Daytona patriotic races.
Primary sponsors not being displayed on a certain scheme should be assigned to the next best spot, being the side or rear of the cars.
This one is a bit of a longshot, but being hired by other teams. We know many teams that either have a number open or could potentially have a retiring driver. We could then assume the position of driver and not owner. Jeff Gordon is retiring soon, eh? So who takes the #24? Nobody, I think they’ll renumber to another number Hendrick Motorsports owns, the #25, then you could become teammates with Junior, Johnson, and Kahne.
Paint schemes. Do I have to say more? I think every NASCAR Unites paint scheme has to be in the game for Charlotte and Daytona, any paint scheme that won a race should be in and obviously the more popular drivers should have more of their schemes put in. I mean, let’s be honest, nobody cares about Travis Kvapil, but many people care about Danica or Junior, NASCAR’s top-2 popular drivers. Another thing about paint schemes, assign them to appear by race, not by track, and be more consistent with it, in season mode if you pick a scheme that scheme is used for like 90% of the races. Assign each scheme to MULTIPLE races, not just one, because right now every scheme is guaranteed to appear at only one track (up to two/three races).
As far as upgrades go, I have no complaints. It should be the same as it is. We have Engine, Transmission, Chassis, and Brakes. Also, I loved the development packs. Make it so you have to maintain cars and maybe if you blow an engine or ruin your brakes at Martinsville/a road course you have to buy a replacement set.
Pit boxes should be assigned somewhat based on qualifying, and the first stall should truly give an advantage that we earn. The race schedule should be in more of a calendar format like Dirt to Daytona had. So in the future, when we have more than one series, we see which races overlap and have to pick between them.
AI should DNF easier, although I must admit. I see some strange DNFs from time to time. Stewart was pushing Kenseth in my career mode and Kenseth’s engine blew up. Bringing up this, I also want to say that damage should be more consistent. How can I still drive after slamming the wall front first at 180 mph but then scraping the wall at 80 mph coming off the corner at Martinsville completely shreds the right side of my car, Darlington stripes look more like a Darlington explosion.
Also on the topic of sponsors. We need more of them, with NTG: IL’s release, within the first few days we quickly realized everyone was getting the same primaries and many of the same secondaries. I’ve gotta say it, but we really do need 30+ primaries to make it feel more individual when we get the schemes.
Another big thing people want is a career statistics. Dirt to Daytona had an Almanac with quite a bit of data, including points finish, money earned, Top 5s, 10s, how many wins or DNFs and poles. But I want to take it a step further, the names of which races you won in each given year. There should also be separate sections for important wins like the Brickyard 400 or Daytona 500. A trophy room would be nice, and I thought of something. Maybe they would appear in the garage like how in NTG: IL we can buy garage decorations, many of which were associated with a race.
For pit stops, instead of getting some low-level crew to wear those fancy connecter things that copy their movements, put those on a pit crew that’s in a Cup race, and use all of their pit stops in the race, so you’d have two tires, four tire, no tire stops, and maybe even a pit mistake or two. It would give us a real time frame pit stop along with the occasional mistake.