Wheel Spin and Brake Fade Balance Issues

I am not sure if this is the right place to post this, because one could argue it is a technical issue, but considering it is a game balance issue I consider it more a suggestion.

If you are willing to sit through a 32 minute video this demonstrates the problem perfectly: youtu.be/86s3qaQE0Aw

If not, said briefly, there are some definite issues with wheel spin and, since the change with brake pad type effecting brake fade, brake fade.

Wheel spin is not balanced at all, front engined rwd cars are crippled by it, while mid-engined rwd cars and awd cars have little to no issues with it if designed properly. When I say that the front engined rwd cars are crippled by it, I mean even family sedans packing a whopping 110 hp will struggle with wheelspin. As seen in the video, slap awd on the car with no other modifications and bam, suddenly wheel spin disappears allowing you to setup a much more aggresive gearbox, shaving an incredible 2 seconds off the 0-62 time and giving you better stats across the board. If that isn’t a major game balance issue I don’t know what is. Last time I checked, in almost every case of a real car model sporting a rwd trim as well as an awd trim, the awd trim is slower. Every advantage an awd car might have over an rwd one is usually cancelled out by the increased weight.

Brake fade on the other hand has become much harsher since the change with brake pads aggressiveness impacting brake fade numbers. Seeing as how brake fade is a massive penalty to drive-ability I see this as major problem.

As for the wheelspin, I too sometimes wish there were a bit more longitudinal grip but I’m happy with the overall balance of the game. That said, I think you’re wheelspin comparison is a litle unfair due to the fact that the AWD version of the 4.9 has dramatically shorter gear ratios. That, combined with the all-wheel drive is what enabled such comparatively low 0-60 times. For a real life example, my green Mark VIII was a full second quicker in the 1/4 mile thanks in large part to the 4.10 gears (vs the stock 3.07s). If you had kept the gearing exactly the same while switching to AWD, I’m sure the difference would be as negligible as you pointed out in the Porsche example. Try it!

Please also have in mind that your acceleration times usually are lower if you have wheelspin > 0%. If you just want to go for acceleration you just have to sacrifice a bit of drivability if not using AWD.

I don’t think either of you got the point I was making. Yes I modified the gearbox, because the lack of wheelspin allows you to. If I set up the gearbox the same way in a front engined rwd car the wheelspin would be insane and would effect the stats of the car dramatically. And yes taking on wheelspin allows you to have faster 0-62 times, but have you ever checked how much of a drivability penalty you get for 10% wheelspin it is quite a lot. Worse stats=worse car as far as the game is concerned. Why would I build a muscle car when I could build a mid-engined sports car that is a lot less powerful, cheaper, and statistically better in every way. I can and did build a mid-engined sports car that had 0% wheelspin and although I used a V6 it was faster 0-62 than any car I have ever built with the front engined rwd layout in my campaign series as well as being better in drivability and fuel economy than a lot of my nonperformance builds. So if one particular way of building is much more rewarded than another, it speaks of a lack of balance.

Mid engine cars take on higher service costs, it possible to set up a FR car to have very little wheel spin with the proper limited slip and enough time spent tweaking the tires, wheels, brakes, gearing, chassis, and weight balance. Fr cars generally have the best balance between handling, service costs, weight, and useable power, but if you look at the fastest accelerating cars in real life almost all of them use awd.

I think there is an issue with some of the drawbacks of these unconventional systems not being modeled.

On which note, there might already be some good news: when Killrob was talking about fuel economy nerfs in Topic #3 in the latest Little Dev Update, he mentioned that Kubboz has just added drivetrain losses. One of the things I found when looking up AWD systems (and drivetrain power loss more broadly) is that increased drivetrain loss is one of the major disadvantages of AWD - the engine has to deal with the angular inertia of spinning those components up and it has to deal with added friction losses - so it’s entirely possible that the next update will have the AWD acceleration penalty that we expect from real life.

(As for mid-engined layouts: I think what we need to really capture the disadvantages of those is modeling of dynamic steering behavior like snap oversteer, and that’s a bear and a half. Depending on how the meta develops, it may be necessary, but for the moment, probably not.)

(That said: FR cars have much, much more cargo space. I think Practicality is the stat that captures that.)

I agree nialloftara that wheelspin can be mitgated by some of the settings in the game. I will point out as far as I know there is no way to really change the weight balance of your car in the car builder other than incrementally by for example having lighter brakes up front than in the rear ect. And sometimes weight reductions/additions have the opposite effect than you would expect in the game. For example I put a premium entertainment and interior in a mid-engined car, which you would think would improve the weight balance as most of that weight would be added up front in the passenger compartment, but instead it made the car even more rear heavy. It seems your weight balance is mostly locked to the car body you choose, some are better than others. I am not sure how brakes have an effect on wheelspin other than weight balancing mentioned before.

Yes a lot of modern ultra cars are awd, but I am talking about normal every day cars. Let me put it another way. I am building a pickup truck. 4wd (not in the game) and awd are quite common in pickup trucks, but most base pickup trucks are either rwd or fwd depending on the maker or era. So I am building a good old American pickup in 1986 with a typical pickup truck v8 engine (all about the torque). Now torque is good for a pickup because it allows you to haul some nice heavy loads, what is bad when you want to pull something is a bunch of wheelspin, because all you end up doing is digging yourself so far into the ground you will need another pickup to get you out. So what happens in the game? You end up with a pickup truck with gears so long an ice age will pass before you can get your pickup and trailer up to highway speeds and that is with the widest tires the game will let me put on the body. I hope you aren’t suggesting I should put ultra low profile sports tires on a pickup truck.

You can adjust the body to adjust the weight balance, extend the trunk or bed for more rearward weight, more hood more front weight. As for trucks how much drive ability are you looking for from a 1986 American pickup? They did spin plenty of tire if you popped the clutch or just mashed the gas, in game it’s a penalty to have to modulate the gas to prevent wheel spin, for a v8 pickup from the 80’s I’d expect a 25-35% percent wheelspin penalty to be fair as they were meant to have a load in the bed, that’s why everyone who had to drive them in snow kept sand bags in the bed.

The drivetrain losses have been included in the acceleration calculations since a long time ago. You can see that by comparing the power at the wheels graph switching between the two drive types.

I don’t think the wheelspin effect is miscalculated or blown out of proportion. Building a modern 380 kW muscle car with RWD and NO traction control in the game gives you a some 37% wheelspin rating, leading to a drivability penalty of 10.6%. Compare that to having the same car with an engine from a Fiat 500 and tell me that it would be less than 11% easier to drive in that regard for that. :stuck_out_tongue:
Switching traction control on lowers the penalty to less that 3% in this case. Traction control is one of the major reasons for why sports cars have become so powerful in the last 25 years. The game does not go overboard highlighting this aspect, IMO.

So what is an acceptable wheelspin percentage because I am for 0% thinking that it is the best for the car but is wheelspin needed in some situations.

Also, how is it calculated? like what is the percentage of?

Wheelspin is never considered to be a positive. I think it is calculated as the time spent in a state you could spin the wheels within the first 10 seconds of full acceleration throughout the gears, excluding first gear. :slight_smile: Yeah, sounds complicated, but isn’t that bad. :stuck_out_tongue: So basically how much wheelspin you potentially have in gear 2+.

So having a 10.6% penalty is not a big deal? So, if I put an engine in a front engined rwd car and get 45 drivability and then put the same engine in a mid-engined rwd car and get 50 drivability, thats no big deal? When the difference between two models is often fractions of a point I think 5 points is a pretty big difference. I assume that the different stats have a purpose, as in they are used by the game to determine which cars are better, right? So if I am playing the tycoon game and I want to build a sports car why would I ever build a front engined rwd car if it is going to be penalized so heavily?

I don’t believe I said at any point that super powered cars should be more drivable. I said that ordinary every day cars like the one used as an example in the video and all of my other examples are being effected by wheel spin. Which is fine if that precedent is evenly distributed, but mid-engined rwd cars and awd cars negating wheelspin penalties is not an even distribution. So as the title stats “Balance Issue”. If one style of play is rewarded and another is penalized that is a game balance issue.

I think you’re missing the big picture. Mid-engined cars have plenty of disadvantages that don’t manifest at this stage of game completion just yet. Weight on the driven axle is extremely important, of course mid-engined and rear-engined cars have big advantages there.

10.6% is a big deal and should be a big deal. The wheelspin numbers come out of the simulation like this, it’s not perfect but pretty accurate. If something that is “realistic enough to be believable” (acceleration stats are very accurate and come out of the very same simulation calculations) doesn’t fit YOUR desired playstyle, then tough luck. :wink:

If a car that spins its wheels all the way through second and third gear when you put the pedal down only gets 10% penalty to drivability… I consider that to be on the low side. Cars are driven in non-perfect weather too and we need to consider that, don’t forget that.

In a mid-engine, RWD car, more weight is on the rear wheels.

As for why you’d build FR instead of MR in the tycoon: Service Costs. MR is for your super-cars, not your sports car for the general public.

I think the wheel spin is, perhaps, a bit too enthusiastic, but then again, if you plant your foot in, say, a Ford Mustang GT, you’re going to light the rear tires up unless you have traction control. If you plant your foot in a Ford F150, you almost certainly will light the rear tires up. Heck, planting your foot in a Honda Civic can light the front tires up if done aggressively enough, though only for a brief moment.

And for a more aggressive example, look at the Tesla Model S. It’s a vehicle that’s all torque and a good bit of horsepower, and launch videos are all over YouTube, in a car where all you hear is shrieking tires. Yes, it’s electric, but the purpose of torque = wheelspin is more obvious when you’ve got loads of it all in the low end.

Yes, I think there is a mild balance issue, but even still, it’s only mild and this is a game undergoing constant changes.

Oh, and other possible reasons for the MR getting better drivability: Better weight distribution, different suspension tuning, different suspension system, different tires, more aerodynamic, etc. There’s no body in game (yet) that allows both FR and MR mounting of engines to do perfect identical setup testing with just the engine location as the difference.

Essentially, as it currently is, if you’ve got a lot of torque, you will have wheelspin. Trucks are very light in the back, so they’ll have more wheelspin than a sedan or hatchback of similar size. Mid-Rear engine mounting puts more weight on the rear wheels, reducing wheelspin. Countering wheelspin involves wider tires, grippier tread compounds, adjusting the gearing with the Spacing slider and top speed slider, adjusting the rim diameter, and trying to shift the weight balance toward the driving tires.

And as for AWD saying you have no wheelspin, I have several designs that can, and do, carry significant wheelspin penalties. Yes, they’ve got lots of power, but they do spin, even the Mid-AWD has wheelspin. They tend to be more tolerant of it because it’s harder (like in real life) to break all four tires loose for any significant distance. Mid-Rear is used for similar reasons in real life, because of better weight distribution, more weight on the driving wheels, thereby less wheelspin. Front wheel drive gets its own fair share of wheelspin, and that’s in a design with all the weight possible on the driving tires (in the current design of the game, anyway) because of simple weight transfer.

Perhaps the numbers are a little high, maybe they’re a little low, but that’s why it’s early access testing. Plus, we don’t know the exact way the game calculates wheelspin. It could be the equivalent of “I dropped a brick on the gas pedal and counted how long it did a burnout for” all the way to, “This is the upper percentage of the throttle that can’t be used in the first (2, 3, 4) forward gears due to breaking the tires loose.”

And I got ninja’d by Killrob, who pretty much confirmed what I spent the last 4 or 5 minutes typing out. MR has more weight on the drive axle and higher service costs, which will undoubtedly kick it in the butt during Tycoon mode. AWD should cancel a significant amount of wheelspin penalty due to it powering all four wheels at the same time. FR has less weight on the drive axle, lower service costs, and higher wheelspin. Trucks make lots of torque, torque leads to wheelspin. Trucks are light in the back end, being light on the drive axle leads to wheelspin.

I just tried this. The mid-engine car has virtually identical drivability (actually, 0.2 less than the front-engine car), with a 5 point difference in sportiness (47.4 for the mid-engine, 42.3 for the front engine). All of the other main stats (comfort, safety, prestige) are within less than 0.5 point of each other. I tried to keep the cars as close as possible in terms of performance/stats etc. The mid engine car was 0.3 seconds quicker in the 0-60 and 1/4 mile tests, with identical 1/4 mile trap speeds, and nearly identical top speeds.

Depends on the market you’re aiming for. Or you can be like Ferrari and build both mid-engine and front-engine sports cars. :stuck_out_tongue: While we’re on the subject of Ferrari, note how the mid-engine cars are the “sportier” versions, whereas the front-engine cars are more “GT” type cars. If anything the penalization is geared more towards sportiness, not drivability based on my test.

I still think the example in the video is contrived. So I went ahead and did my own experiment. I used the same body, same model year, and a 4.9-liter Ford Windsor inspired V8. Very similar to your setup, but I used different gear ratios (top speed 218mph, gear spacing 87) and kept them constant. All else equal, adding all-wheel drive and a 40F/60R power distribution resulted in the following stat changes:

]Weight increased 118lbs/:m]
]Drivability went up from 22 -> 29.1/:m]
]Sportiness dropped from 5.9 -> 5.6/:m]
]Prestige increased from 25.2 -> 26.5/:m]
]Wheelspin dropped from 22.4% -> 0%/:m]
]0-60 was slower: 9.1 seconds vs. 8.5/:m][/ul]

Yup, big difference in drivability. Makes sense to me since all-wheel drive is more all-weather friendly. Sportiness dropped because braking, and cornering took a hit (added weight). And the slower acceleration is due to the drivetrain losses/added weight.

I think the same could be said for all-wheel drive as well. The added expense and fuel economy penalty of adding AWD isn’t very noticeable now, but will certainly be a factor when the tycoon part is out.

Well said Madrias. I get what you guys are saying and I had to sit down and really mull this over in my mind. Perhaps I am looking at this the wrong way. I guess when I think about it I get hung up on what the different stats mean, which unfortunately the abstract nature of them isn’t helping. So we have drivability, which I assume means how the car handles under normal everyday driving. Then we have sportiness, which I assume means how the car handles on the edge or under extreme stress, like what you might experience on a track. Now if that is true, why is wheelspin and brake fade a factor in the calculation of drivability? Wheel spin is what happens under pedal to the metal drop the clutch acceleration, which no one would do in routine driving. Brake fade happens when you stomp the pedal as hard as you can, stop as fast as possible conditions, which no one does in routine driving. So, I can see why gearbox setup and overall braking distance would matter to drivability, but not wheelspin and brake fade. I think having wheelspin effect two stats, both drivability and sportiness is where the imbalance may lay. A 10% penalty to just sportiness I can live with, it makes perfect sense, but a 10% penalty to both drivability and sportiness seems a bit steep. I can see where maybe wheelspin effecting drivability can be linked to bad weather handling, but perhaps an actual inclement weather stat would be a better way of handling that. Taking into account maybe a combination of the offroad stat (snowy conditions) and wheelspin (water and ice) and also the fact that bad weather is an occasional event so maybe not weighed as heavily.

IIRC the maximum grip from a tire is when it is moving 25-30% faster than the tarmac.

Mrfuzzy, you raised a good point regarding the things people wouldn’t do in routine driving. However, there’s that unpredictability factor in real world driving. Sometimes someone passes you on the highway, then nearly cuts the front of your car off to go up the exit. Sometimes you’re hauling a heavy trailer down a hill with a ridiculously low speed limit, making you ride the brakes down the hill. Sometimes the guy driving the truck behind you keeps nodding off and threatening to drive into the back of your car. Each of these little things adds up, and if you can’t rely 100% on your brakes to stop you or rely 100% on your car to put the power to the road and go, then the car should suffer a penalty. If you’re stopped at an intersection and suddenly have someone barreling down on the back of your car in a huge dump truck, blaring the horn because his brakes have given up, would you rather be in the car that can put 100% of the power to the pavement, or the car that can only put 90% of the power to the pavement, and that 10% is going to be spinning the tires, making smoke and noise, and not going anywhere? If you’re going down a hill, hauling a trailer, and someone in an insanely expensive luxury car brake-checks you, would you rather be in the car that can guarantee you will stop, or the car that has mild brake fade increasing the stopping distances?

On the flip side, for sportiness, would you rather have the car that has 300 horsepower at the wheels and can put 100% of that to the ground at all times, or the car that has 300 horsepower at the wheels and occasionally breaks the tires loose in first and second gear? Would you rather have the car that can make a full lap of the race track and still stop like it did when it was cold, or the car that loses braking efficiency halfway around the track and takes half a mile to stop from 60 miles an hour after crossing the finish line?

Now, to help eliminate brake fade, very small amounts of more aggressive brake pads can help. You might not lose too much, in fact, might gain some drivability and sportiness by adding more aggressive pads. Just use enough to wipe out the brake fade. Try different amounts of front and rear pad types to see which one gets rid of the fade while minimizing damage to the remaining stats.

To help eliminate wheel spin, spacing, top speed, and differential can make a big difference. Tire compound can make a difference, a point or two of increased tire quality might help, wider tires might help, adjusting sidewall thickness (bigger/smaller tire diameter, bigger/smaller wheel diameter) can help, possibly changing your rim material (I’ve found I get less wheel spin using steel rims than I do when using alloy, for example) and adjusting your downforce can also help with wheel spin. These are all the options I’ve found so far, but I’m far from an expert.

Either way, I agree that the penalties can be a bit severe, but so are the circumstances in which these items can come into effect. I’m surprised, honestly, that brake fade or wheel spin doesn’t also affect Safety.

Safety is “How safe is the car when it crashes.”
Drivability is “How easy the car is to drive/handle. How good is the car at avoiding crashes.”

Good point, Killrob. That also explains brake fade and wheel spin affecting drivability. Wheel spin harms the ease at which the car can be handled, and brake fade makes the car more likely to crash.