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July 25, 2024, 12:13:05 PM

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MAJOR PHYSICS ISSUES and current state of the community.

Started by Some_Doofus, July 13, 2022, 01:28:59 PM

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Some_Doofus

July 13, 2022, 01:28:59 PM Last Edit: July 13, 2022, 03:25:55 PM by Some_Doofus
I've had several things on my mind about some key physics issues and the general state of development at the moment, and I think they all need addressing. Starting with the physics issues...

While testing some new tyres I made some discoveries about the ground physics of the game, specifically the issue of being able to bar drag on a flat corner. For a long while I thought this issue was caused by the traction model having too much grip, allowing you to lean all the way over without sliding out like on tarmac irl. But while testing a tyre with very low grip I found this wasn't the case. Here's a video to demonstrate:


Despite having almost no traction, you can still bar drag on flat ground. So obviously the issue isn't traction. Rather, it's more likely due to the "legs simulation" holding the bike up at unnatural angles (thanks to Ruubs for bringing this to my attention initially, he's known about this for ages and has asked for fixes multiple times in the past). From my experience the legs simulation causes a lot of weird "slow physics" behaviour, like the bike flopping from side to side without falling, standing itself back up after falling over, drifting across the ground on it's side, allowing you slide sideways while upright without high siding, allowing you to land jumps completely sideways without high siding, I could go on. Basically it stops the bike from falling over in many situations when it absolutely should. It does make the game easier and less punishing in a lot of ways, but sometimes it causes the bike to behave unnaturally and actually makes things harder. So I propose some major reworks to the legs simulation to fix this.

Legs simulation should be either disabled or heavily toned down at any speed above walking speed. It does make sense to allow it when riding very slow so simulate the rider putting his leg down, but this could still lead to a lot of weird behaviour and typical slow physics issues, so I'd even tone it down or adjust it at slow speeds. At medium to high speeds it should be largely disabled. This will mean flat corners will become entirely dependant on traction and body positioning, and landing sideways will make you high side and fall off realistically. The game will be a lot more difficult with it disabled in this way, but it will be a simpler physics system overall, and once you learn to balance yourself properly it will be more predictable and realistic. I think it's a necessity in the pursuit of realism because this heavy use of the legs simulation seems to be doing the lion's share of holding the bike upright instead of relying on player inputs and tyre traction. Irl the only things holding the bike up at any given time are the combined effects of traction and rider balance. Take either of those away and the bike will fall. Evidently that's not how the game functions at the moment. EDIT: Also, calling it legs "simulation" isn't exactly accurate because irl the legs don't do anything to hold the bike up unless you're stopped. So i'd say if the goal is a simulator, this "simulation" needs to be removed.

Of course, making these changes will mean more reliance on the traction model, and because that still needs a lot of work as well you're likely to slide a lot more until then. I'd suggest some changes will have to be made to the "intelligent" virtual rider to help manage this. At the moment, the way the virtual rider corrects oversteer can often make it worse. Here's another clip demonstrating that:


Obviously this is a serious issue. The way the virtual rider is able to steer the bars in an attempt to stabilise the bike actually makes the situation worse more often than not. It's the reason we have never been able to do hill climbs in this game, which is just absurd for a dirtbike simulator. Following the trend of my previous suggestions, I and others believe the way to fix this is to make the rider physics more simple rather than more complex. Remove the virtual rider "intelligence" and replace it with a simple, unscripted spring and damper system on the bars, so unless the front wheel is on the ground, the front wheel will simply return to a straight position. Ruubs explained this idea in the discord the other day:

"AFAIK, the 'virtual rider' has 'intelligence' of what to do with the handlebars. This virtual rider also turns the handlebars to achieve the bike lean angle we put in on our joystick (direct lean). What I'm trying to say is that as far as I know, the virtual rider has 'logic' for when to turn the bar and when not to

"I don't think the virtual rider should have much hard-coded 'intelligent-logic'. The fact that the virtual rider is aware of the front grip and does actions depending on this sounds very unpredictable and 'clunky' (and that's kinda how MXB's front end feels to me)

"What I think is a better way to keep the front-end stable, is a spring and damping system on the front-end/handlebars. The damper would dampen any sort of forces on the front-end and could be seen as the rider's arms absorbing the forces. This will help in situations where the front-end/handlebars tend to lock-out easily now, like at sharp terrain transitions.
The spring would basically be the virtual rider which at all times tries to keep the handlebars straight. This obviously means that the forces which the rider applies to turn the bars should be increased due to having to work against this spring. But I don't think that's a problem."

These two mechanics appear to be the cause of the most significant physics issues that have plagued the game since its inception. Us long time players have been asking for these issues to be fixed, or at least investigated, for years, yet still they remain. We've already offered a lot of feedback and potential fixes for a lot of the physics issues, and we tend to know our stuff because most of us have been riding irl for years, but most of this feedback is just refused or ignored with no elaboration. Ruubs, Insane, Jesse, myself and many others know a lot about the physics of riding a bike on dirt, and not to offend, but with your background being in road bikes you could use our insight.

Honestly, we are starting to lose patience. We know the pandemic and life in general has made development very difficult, but it's incredibly disheartening to see you putting time into unimportant things like freestyle tricks, particle effects and backfire sounds instead of fixing the fundamental issues the game has had forever. The community does so much for this game, giving it an endless stream of free content to attract new players and keep existing ones interested, but there's only so much we can do ourselves. We have even resorted to trying to make a full set of new tyres to make the inadequate traction model manageable on each different soil type, but this is difficult because we're working blind with values we don't understand. Collectively we have put thousands of dollars and tens of thousands of hours into making content and organising the community for this game, yet development seems slow and misguided with minimal communication of what's even happening. It's getting very hard to justify putting this amount of time, effort and money into a game that will supposedly never be fixed. And now there are other games on the horizon with very active and transparent developers who implement player feedback the day they hear it. They're in very early days now, but give them a year and at this rate their games will be easily competing with MXB.

I hate to say it, but the bottom line is this: if we don't start to see either progress in fixing the major issues in the game or at least much greater communication of what's going on behind the scenes, many long time players and modders will leave for other projects. And without the free bike packs, tracks, skins and web services provided by these people the rest of the player base will soon follow. So please, use these points as valuable constructive criticism and spend some good time fixing these major issues with the physics and the netcode, or if that's not possible, tell us why not.

I wish you all the best

- The Community

Some_Doofus

TL;DR, I've found what's probably causing the slow physics issues, flat corner bar dragging ability, and other weirdness, and have offered potential solutions. I've also said we're getting sick of waiting for fixes to these issues, so if we don't see progress soon we'll probably leave.

If anyone else has any other concerns please feel free to share here. Gotta be heard somehow.

Ruubs

Great post and great explanatory videos.

Piboso doesn't seem to listen to me as an individual, so I hope now that more people are reporting the same issues - and provide explanatory videos - he will understand the importance of the problems and fix them.

Off course joining online servers are a pain in the ass in the game's current state as well, but even when we're finally in a server the game is barely any fun with all its random physics glitches (and once you have an idea of what causes the random physics you'll hate it even more). I join online servers consistently enough that I'd rather have physics glitches fixes. But connection issues are still huge for a big lot of the community, and that needs to be addressed as well.

fridgedollar

commenting just to give the post some more visibility - here's hoping some things start to change/evolve from where we're at now

GreenLenux

Great post, I hope things will change for this game.
If you want a custom graphic kit, feel free to contact me with Discord: GreenLenux#2125
Want to support me? You can buy me a coffee here!

Feitosa

Very good Post.

My biggest issue on the game is the high ping experience, i do race with 250 ping on european servers and 180 on american servers. When your battleling for positions, you may think on your screen that your in front of your opponent, but the reality your not, and you ended up being dragged with some big glitches, wich is very frustraded if you dont get a good start. So if your trying to get in a competitive level, its almost impossible to be competitive without getting very mad at the game. And if were talking about big championships, your barelly gonna have any chance to win ever because this glitches causes so much trouble that ruins the race for you. (I know that the ping is a common problem in any game, but mx bikes seems very unforgivin compare to mxsim for example.) I hope they tried to fix this someday.

PS:idk how they doesnt fixed the game crashes when trying to get on a online server yet.

iNsane

From the POV of a MX Bikes lover, modder and creator - this is the best summary of the whole situation.
Thank you for your time, Doofus. This must've been said.


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PizzaChet

While Pibs certainly doesn't owe us an explanation other than "personal issues" to excuse the increased silent periods and development lag, it would help if he increased the development progress report frequency. Even if it's mundane little everyday things like... "today I tried different connection protocols to improve online play etc.". Of course it takes precious time from dev work, but goes a looong way in keeping the restless natives from rage quitting. Just a thought. P.S. I do hope all is well PiBoSo. Cheers!
Quote from: YodaIf no mistake have you made, yet losing you are ... a different game you should play.

Oneshot929


KeltonYK

Well put! Hope something changes in the future for the betterment of the game!

Some_Doofus

Just wanted to add that I absolutely didn't mean this post as an attack on PiBoSo, and that I only want to (sternly) encourage him to spend his time wisely fixing the most significant issues, especially if that time is limited due to outside factors. As well as this, I think the community would greatly appreciate a rough roadmap outlining when and possibly how some of these issues are planned to be fixed.

We would like to know what's being worked on, or if something isn't being worked on we would like to know why. If someone offers a suggestion of how to fix some part of the game, we'd like that suggestion to be seriously considered, and if it's decided that the suggestion won't work and won't be implemented we'd like to know why exactly, and have some discussion with the community if that's the right choice.

The goal is transparency, good communication and cooperation between development and the community. I'm not asking to be updated on every little thing as soon as it's done, but we'd like to know a few more details and specifics about what's being worked on. Maybe even a less frequent but more comprehensive dev log instead of the daily dev log we (sometimes) use now. 

nathanmiles

Very well said, Doofus. Hopefully this is taken into account with his future updates.

v0x

Oh baby you... you got what I neeeeeeed.

Thanks for the post, very well said as others have pointed out. 

Pibs plz