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View Full Version : Just discovered one of the reasons that make the AI so inconsistent



Nint
29-09-2017, 13:04
EDIT 14/10/2017
>>> FIXED WITH PATCH 2.0 <<< (http://forum.projectcarsgame.com/showthread.php?53612-Just-discovered-one-of-the-reasons-that-make-the-AI-so-inconsistent&p=1396184&viewfull=1#post1396184)

Before I start, I wanted to say that If this is old news, I'm so sorry! :D

So, we all know how the difficulty of the AI can vary greatly according to which car, track and weather you choose, even if their settings are kept the same for every race.
And we also know how lower framerates (which most of the time are caused by racing with a large number of opponents) can impact the player's ability to register good lap times, especially compared to the ones registered in pratice mode, when the player is alone in the track.

What I didn't know, and I'm pretty sure it's the same for a lot of people, is that the AI's speed isn't affected by lower framerates, meaning that their lap times are the same regardless of how many opponents are driving in a given race.

To prove this, I started a race with Karts on Le Mans with only 6 opponents, at 20% difficulty (I'm bad, I know) and 25% aggression.

--- RACE 1 ---
Video (http://xboxclips.com/Darth+Nint/98171498-36d8-44bf-82e5-f09ca72f5e86)
Results (http://xboxclips.com/Darth+Nint/screenshots/ad0a6ea5-ecc4-42dc-8997-90d849746719)

As you can see, I got the second place and I had no problem keeping up with the AI. My best lap time was perfectly in line with the other opponents, which is something between 1:06:00 and 1:11:00.
Then, I upped the number of opponents to 15, which is exactly the number suggested by the prefet for Kart races, and I tried again, with the same AI settings.

--- RACE 2 ---
Video (http://xboxclips.com/Darth+Nint/af5c55d2-9be1-4b9d-9398-c7b8100ffbf2)
Results 1 (http://xboxclips.com/Darth+Nint/screenshots/48d6de27-86a7-4dc0-8f8b-061c7fe17f1d)
Results 2 (http://xboxclips.com/Darth+Nint/screenshots/0162839c-e046-481f-a5e5-4b8b65b90907)

As you can see, my best time was 5 seconds slower then my previous record, surely a combination of the lower speed due to the lower framerate and of the general instability of the Kart, which became a lot more sluggish to drive compared to the last race.
The AI, however, drove exactly as the last race, hitting the same best laps. This means the game got harder, even if I didn't touch their settings at all, adding to their overall inconsistency.
Then, I made a last test, upping to the max the number of opponents.

--- RACE 3 ---
Video (http://xboxclips.com/Darth+Nint/818d63f2-3db5-422c-bec6-a4b4fe767d3b)
Results 1 (http://xboxclips.com/Darth+Nint/screenshots/19e71339-060a-444e-b401-223d5aa0c7e4)
Results 2 (http://xboxclips.com/Darth+Nint/screenshots/cdcb22d7-68db-4c43-87df-4e0862d246a0)

Even though it looks like I'm driving bad on purpose, the Kart by this point became so undrivable that I had to do my best to keep it on track. Just like the previous race, I drived with the "car info" screen to see if my controller inputs were correctly accepted by the game: there are no words to describe how awful it felt to drive that thing at that framerate.
The AI, of course, isn't affected by all of this.

I'll be completely honest, even at the cost of being banned:
I don't see this bug being fixed anytime soon, if ever.
This bug is tied to the physics system and to the framerate so much that it would require a lot of work to fix this, if a solution is even possible.
Call me pessimistic, but if the team couldn't fix it in the two years it took them to make this game (there's no way they didn't know/notice), then I have no hope for the future.

The only workaround would be to play the game with a Xbox One X, a PS4Pro or a high-end PC, but the majority of the player base is screwed from this point of view.

Hope they can prove me wrong, of course. There's so much to love about this game that I want to see it succeed, not crumble due to its ambition.

TopAirspace
29-09-2017, 13:44
I think unfortunatly the XBO and Original Ps4 are just too limited GPU wise.. only 1.2TF is prehistoric by todays standards..

I am really enjoying this game on the Ps4 Pro, and I'd expect the One X to be up there with a high end PC in both performace and looks.

Djuvinile
29-09-2017, 13:50
i'm on a normal PS4 and i get none of the issues you have..

Siberian Tiger
29-09-2017, 13:52
XBOX (Standard) Issue with to many AI is affecting Lap-Times is logged as a Know Issue.

I don't have Details on this but it should be fixed with Patch 2.0 (1.2.0), which will soon be released on PC/Console

Nint
29-09-2017, 13:56
XBOX (Standard) Issue with to many AI is affecting Lap-Times is logged as a Know Issue.

I don't have Details on this but it should be fixed with Patch 2.0 (1.2.0), which will soon be released on PC/Console
So it's just Xbox, and not any kind of underpowered systems, as I previously thought? Good to know!
Can't wait for the patch, then!
My hope is slowly restoring! :D

TopAirspace
29-09-2017, 14:00
It does seem like a bug given the frame rates apparently only dip into the 40's at worst on Xbox? I wouldn't think that would be low enough to slow down time.

What i was getting at in my original comment is I'd not be to sure on whether the frame dips can be eliminated altogether on the original Xbox.

Nint
29-09-2017, 14:11
It does seem like a bug given the frame rates apparently only dip into the 40's at worst on Xbox? I wouldn't think that would be low enough to slow down time.

What i was getting at in my original comment is I'd not be to sure on whether the frame dips can be eliminated altogether on the original Xbox.
Yep, that's why I was so sure this bug couldn't be fixed in the case the physics system was directly tied to the framerate.
We'll see with the next patch if the devs have truly figured out how to untie the two, because you are right, the frame rate drops can't be eliminated.

Mad Al
29-09-2017, 14:52
Yep, that's why I was so sure this bug couldn't be fixed in the case the physics system was directly tied to the framerate.
We'll see with the next patch if the devs have truly figured out how to untie the two, because you are right, the frame rate drops can't be eliminated.

Physics isn't tied to frame rate, it runs at 600Hz.. that doesn't mean when the CPU is overloaded you may get to the point where the frame rate drops and there isn't enough time to finish off a physics pass as well (the physics is written so that when the CPU load goes above a certain level the physics rate changes to compensate)

Quatzu
29-09-2017, 15:07
then I have no hope for the future.


Wow. Things aren't that bad.

Nint
29-09-2017, 15:07
Physics isn't tied to frame rate, it runs at 600Hz.. that doesn't mean when the CPU is overloaded you may get to the point where the frame rate drops and there isn't enough time to finish off a physics pass as well (the physics is written so that when the CPU load goes above a certain level the physics rate changes to compensate)
Thanks for the in-depth explanation.
So does this mean that the only way to fix this would be to let the game go under 40 fps (which seems to be the worst case scenario on Xbox One), so that it has time to calculate the necessary physics?
Which would be fine to me, of course! I like that it runs better than PC1, but not at this price...

@Quatzu: I was just referring to this bug, not the future in general ahahaha

Siberian Tiger
29-09-2017, 15:11
No, i don't think so.

I don't know the Solution, but SMS seems to have found the Core of this Problem and fixed it for the next Patch.

Nint
14-10-2017, 11:44
Holy shit!
They did it!

After the patch 2.0 dropped, I went back to those track/car combinations that gave me trouble with an high number of AI opponents... and I believe they fixed it.
I didn't experience any slow lap times at all!
Even the handling of the cars was a lot better: maybe not as good as when I race alone on practice mode (it's just a feeling, I have no proof on this), but it was certainly 1000x better than the sluggish mess it was before.

So, yeah, amazing job SMS.

And to think I said this in my OP a few weeks ago:

I don't see this bug being fixed anytime soon, if ever
Eating crow has never felt so delicious! :D

Roger Prynne
14-10-2017, 11:50
^ Good news but don't jump to conclusions so soon like in your quote of yourself.