After my operation in February I have been slowly but consistently been getting better. A slower than I would have liked but at least I can spend more than 10 to 15 minutes at a time sat upright now and with this new level of ability comes my return to a bit of gaming.
More to the point the Beta version of GT Sport.
What it has consisted of so far are Qualifying laps and daily races, The daily races are at set times during the week and weekends.
Qualifying laps can take place at any time and your best time is saved for the given track, then when you are matched against other players of a similar level your best time is counted and you are put in with players of a similar skill set.
You are also measured by your driving ability and sportsmanship rating which can go up and down depending on how you drive and this is where I think Polyphony need to take a long hard look at things and try to make things a bit fairer.
At the moment if you run off track your SR (sportsmanship rating) will go down and it will also go down if you crash into other cars. The main problem here is that if another car collides with you both suffer an SR point drop. This in my opinion and as somebody who has had his fair share of been rammed off track is a little bit off.
Remembering that this is still in beta I am quite forgiving as most of the time things seem to work OK.
When a car goes off track it appears to turn into a Ghost car till it has spent a certain length of time back on track however this time does not have a set length it would appear and cars seem to become solid again the moment they appear in front of me on track. lol
At the moment it seems that about 50% of the people playing the beta get it, and I have had some very enjoyable races where everybody is playing ball and trying to race properly but the other 50% have been demolition derby type races.
The graphics whilst still unfinished are lovely and the physics of how the cars handle is very good however the matchmaking does leave a fair bit to be desired.
As mentioned earlier it goes on qualifying times and driver rating etc.
So this can be manipulated by simply qualifying slowly you will getup into an easier group that you can then spank and win all the time.
I have found however this is not the best tactic. From what I have experienced the faster and better the driver the less chance you have of getting rammed of track and you tend to be matched up with better drivers that play properly.
One of the best tactics I have found is to take it easy into the first turn and 2nd and 3rd just to hold your line and watch everybody fly past you into a heap in the gravel trap. :)
The transition from qualifying to online seems to loosen everything up a bit, the general feel of the cars on track simply feels a little more loose. (best way I can describe it). You do get a warm up time of a minute or so to get a bit of a feel for things on the server as it is a noticeable difference.
I have a Netduma R1 router and so can see where in the world I am connecting and for the life of me I cannot understand why Polyphony are running a European Beta test on a server on the East Coast of the USA. This is not a misplaced server either as I ping between 94 and 99 MS to it which is about right for that distance.
Now to put this in context, A very good friend of Mine Richard or Bev as he is affectionately know (that's a whole other story) used to game with myself and several others most nights on GT5 and we would race for hours having much fun. He is marginally better than I am and would on most races beat me but only just and I would beat him occasionally.
He doesn't have a wheel for the PS4 and as a result on Brands Hatch Qualifying times he was 10 seconds off my pace simply as he was using a controller.
He will be getting a wheel soon and so I expect normal results to resume soon. lol.
I'm using the G29 wheel and pedals and it seems to work well with the beta so far.
You can see some in game video of the beta on my YT channel on the links below.
Sometimes I have found that after the qualifying countdown as soon as the matchmaking starts I will get disconnected from the servers but I cannot complain to much about it as this is a beta and that are probably stress testing server load as well.
All in all so far I have been thoroughly enjoying the beta and am looking forward to release in the UK, I think I recall a release date of November 17th 2017 or there about however previous versions of the game have been set back on numerous occasions including this one.
Anyway enough of my half assed ramblings I think its medication time so I will leave you with this,
"The peace of society is obtained by force." and "You can lie down for people to walk all over you and they will still complain you ain't flat enough."
Peace Out Y'all, THE BAGSTAXXX