Livetrack Seeding | ApexOnlineRacing.com

Livetrack Seeding

Yorkie065

SMS Representative
Staff Member
PCARS Coordinator
Jan 19, 2014
1,297
1,109
#1
Ok, time for an informative (and very long, sorry) post for everyone so they can understand Livetrack better, and know what to expect and working as designed, and what could be a potential bug.

So Livetrack 3.0 is a seriously dynamic system, and unique to other games that you'll be familiar with. In and around Livetrack and weather, is some of the following things:
- Track and Ambient Temperatures
- Wind Speed and Direction
- Track Saturation (Wet weather): The amount of wetness/dampness on/of the track.
- Track Water Levels (Wet weather): The amount of standing water on the track.
All of the above, can be different each time you create a new session to practice in or whatever, even when it comes to using exactly the same Time of Day, Time Progression, Date, Weather Setting and Weather Progression. So don't be surprised when you do a practice session and manage X lap times, then do another practice session with exactly the same settings yet you're doing Y lap times. Everything is effected by the weather, with more cloud cover resulting in cooler track temps, and localized cloud cover keeping certain parts of the track cooler than others.

Obviously, Track Saturation and Track Wetness only comes into play when there is rain and where the rain falls is also localized, with a few rain clouds moving across the track, wetting the areas below. These rain clouds can be in the same place, spread out, overlapping...they move independently so on larger tracks like Le Mans or the Nordschleife, you will more than likely come across parts of the track that are dry and others that are wet. Over the course of the race, this may change depending on the location/movement of these rain clouds moving across the track environment.

So with wet weather, you will find that as a session goes on and rain is continuing to fall, the track will get slower as saturation and water levels increase. The amounts of saturation and water levels can be different when doing multiple sessions, where you could have so much standing water on a corner in one session, but then another session, that standing water isn't there. But due to the water simulation, locations of pooling water will always be the same, it just needs that water to fall and collect in those lower parts of the track. As long as it continues to rain, the amount of pooling water will continue to increase, track will continue to get slower. There is a limit but it is high and depending on how heavy the rain is falling, will determine how quickly it gets there.

The water levels will only start to drop if the rain becomes lighter or stops, either due to one of the rain clouds moving away from that part of the track or a change in weather conditions (i.e. rain > heavy cloud), and of course cars driving the track. Now this bit is important, as the cars driving around the circuit will remove the water from the track surface, pull it from the puddles and drag it across the track from puddles. The more cars on track, and the closer the cars run the same line, the greater this effect is. In race situations, you will find lines with the large puddles that paths will form through them because of cars pulling and dragging that water out. Of course drying lines will form depending on the lines, with thickness and dryness of those lines depending how consistently drivers run that line. In terms of heavy rain conditions, although a 'dry line' may not be obvious, there will be one which has more grip as there will be less water with cars driving around the track.

So, one last thing I'll say with how the wet levels work, going from a dry track, you will find the following sort of patterns:
- Dry track > Rain starts to fall > Saturation levels increase; with this you will see the dryness disappear with the track get darker. As they increase more, the track will start to become glossy/reflective. > Saturation levels hit a certain point and water levels start to increase; at this point, the track will be pretty damn glossy/reflective and wet looking, and you will start to see small reflective puddles starting to form. > Saturation levels hit their limit, water levels continue to increase and the livetrack puddles start to form. > Water levels continue to rise, livetrack puddles increase in size and depth.

These livetrack puddles are the ones that cause aquaplaning. Now whether you aquaplane depends on the following:
- The depth of the puddle: The deeper it is, the higher the chance of aquaplaning.
- The speed you go through the puddle: The higher the speed, the greater the chance and effect of aquaplaning.
- The type of tyre and it's amount of grip/tyre wear: Wet tyres deal with standing water a hell of a lot better than a slick. But this does also depend on the type of car too. For example a GT3 or LMP wet tyre is going to deal with standing water better than a road car wet tyre.
Generally, you want to try and avoid these Livetrack puddles where you possibly can. Some tracks and locations, this could be impossible and you have to go through the puddle. The shortest, straightest and shallowest route through is generally the best. Even still though, there might be times that the water is so deep you have no other option than to decrease speed and take it slower to either avoid aquaplaning, or at least reduce it's effect and maintain some level of control/ability to save the car.

When the rain stops though, you will notice the following sort of pattern:
- Wet track > Rain stops > Cars driving around the track will disperse water levels where the cars are driving and a drying line starts to form. > Depending on whether the clouds disperse and the weather conditions are being transitioned into, determines how quickly saturation levels will start to decrease. > Drying line becomes more predominant, saturation levels decrease but livetrack puddles will remain. > The clearer and the hotter the conditions, the faster water evaporates from track surface and livetrack puddles. > Eventually, track will be dry by livetrack puddles might still be around, and then eventually they will disappear altogether.

So hopefully, the above will be useful in this weeks upcoming league race, but also in the future, and people get less frustrated that they're not as fast in races as testing sessions. Things can be different each time, so don't expect it to be 100% consistent every time. Obviously this is new and a lot more dynamic than what people will be used to in other games or what they may expect. This is all done in the pursuit of realism, being closer to real life where there is huge, and even greater amounts of variation.
 
Nov 2, 2017
70
27
#2
Great explanation of the weather/track simulation.

We will see how well pCARS2 Devs will resolve the issue that in multiplayer session the track and weather conditions should be the same for everyone in the race. From my point of view way to much data to be sent frequently (bandwith) thus they need to insure that the calculation of conditions isn't depending on hardware and or performance. Based on the rumors that pCARS2 currently have issues to guarantee identical wheather I doubt that this is in place for multiplayer session so soon.
 

iBreMbo

Formula 4 2nd Driver
Mar 15, 2017
305
123
#3
Brilliant post on explaining how this works!

I have noticed however, that when setting up Brands to the correct lobby/date/weather settings that for the first 1/2 flying laps (first 5 mins of session) you can go almost 2 seconds quicker per lap than after that. The track still seems very dry as you can hear tire squeal which is unusual in wet weather. I don't know if this is how it's supposed to start off as I would have thought it would have been wet and slippy. Yes it is still 3-4 seconds slower than dry times, but it's still a couple of seconds quicker than when the track is actually wet. After that, times drop of a lot slower. But those first 2 laps are a LOT grippier than the rest.

Can do a low 27 in first few laps, after that it's 29s.
 

Mazy CZ

Assetto Corsa Coordinator
AC Coordinator
Jan 14, 2014
1,381
1,379
#4
For me, at Brands Hatch, I had puddles on different parts of the track after each restart.
In session 1, I had deadly puddles on the outside kerb/astroturf at exit of T1 so I had to avoid that. The rest of the track seemed ok.

Restart 1
Outside puddles at exit of T1 were gone, but there were new "rivers" across the width of the track at T1 exit. And new deadly puddle on the apex of T3 and T4 aswell.

Restart 2 -> some puddles stayed, some changed.

In dry conditions this livetrack is not that obvious (at least not for me) but that wet weather is preety awesome :)
 

Jeff[NL]

Formula 4 1st Driver
Premium Member
Sep 15, 2016
284
135
#6
Thanks for the info good stuff !

so what is it called when the conditions are not the same for everyone :D? I had it once but i think it was because the weather was changing but not the same for everyone. i.e for me T1 en T2 wet T3 dry ... for others T1 dry T2 wet T3 dry
 

Vernux

AOR PC GT3 Elite S8 Champion
Dec 16, 2016
79
52
#7
Had the same few times. Also those goddamn puddles are in different spots for everyone as i said. So race will be intresting :D
 

Mazy CZ

Assetto Corsa Coordinator
AC Coordinator
Jan 14, 2014
1,381
1,379
#8
Hmm, then that is not good then. If some drivers have that deadly autospin puddle at apex of T3 and T4, they will be slower than people who don't have that puddles. :( Well, we will see then
 

Wizard

1-time AOR XB1 GT3 Pro Champion
Mar 20, 2014
3,066
3,262
#9
Hmm, then that is not good then. If some drivers have that deadly autospin puddle at apex of T3 and T4, they will be slower than people who don't have that puddles. :( Well, we will see then
I think all the driver will have same condition of the track running in the same lobby. Yesterday I tried with @StubbornGymnast and we did very similar laptimes detecting same puddles on the track and then same slow-sectors
 

Yorkie065

SMS Representative
Staff Member
PCARS Coordinator
Jan 19, 2014
1,297
1,109
#12
Yorkie, does time progression affect track saturation and water levels?
In a way yes, but they're not tied together. So Livetrack is separate to weather acceleration (as of patch 3) and time acceleration, so there is no accelerated effects on Livetrack, but it does get effected by the two. For instance it rains and then stops, the track is wet, but the rate at which it dries is dependent on the amount of sunlight, temperature etc. So in this case, a slower time acceleration would allow the track to dry more than a faster time acceleration, where the sun may disappear and the drying of the track will be much slower due to less heat.
 

areqq

Formula 4 2nd Driver
Sep 22, 2016
250
79
#13
Good explanation. For me this system is awesome. On Brands Hatch rain race in GT3 League there was a period in about 2/3 length of race when there was significantly less water and lap times improved 2-3 sec per lap and after some time this disappeared. Plus standing water is another good thing to increase the realism.