Today I needed a specific car for a seasonal championship. It had limitations on performance. So, I bought one at the auction house for cheap and left it stock. It was still fun to drive.
I think I hold a widely unpopular opinion on regulations in racing (in general, not just in gaming). I think regulations are there for a reason, and both logically and fundamentally, they are. First reason, to keep everything fair. Reason number two, they’re in place to create competition both between racers and manufacturers. Let me explain my reasoning behind why I agree with both and if anyone would like to chime in, agreeing or not, go ahead.
To keep everything fair, limits are put in place. In Forza, the case is the system classes. I don’t much have an issue with them, as they serve their purpose. That, and there isn’t much deviation from nor are there any bugs within the class system… or if there are any, I haven’t noticed them. Not just for FH4, I’m talking all the way back to FM2.
As for creating competition, PI classes designate specific cars with specific upgrades to perform in only specific races that allow those classes. Many cars in the FH4 roster can race in various PI classed races. Since low PI’s usually means slower cars, a lot of people never learn to appreciate races in lower class cars, i.e. A-class and below (maybe even S1 to some extent), because they want to go fast. Fast doesn’t always mean efficient, though. I figured that out not too long ago. Fairly recent, actually. About four months ago, I started up FH1 for the first time in a long time. I began the race that only uses RUFs and realized that I’d forgotten the value behind restricted races, not necessarily only by class.
Because that race is class and car-restricted, players (and racers alike) have to adjust their style to fit the situation at hand. FH1 doesn’t have tuning (which in my opinion is a downside but it adds even more to the competition factor anyway) so players can’t just tune their car to be better than the rest. Coming from that perspective still, there’s the excitement that comes from racing, i.e. overtaking other racers, maybe moreover being passed but then quickly regaining your position, etc. For me, and I can’t explain exactly why so don’t ask, that feeling is not so much present with higher classed races. It’s like it kind of dwindles away when you get into S1’s and above.
For comparison and as a prime example: racing a well-tuned AWD S1 (900 PI) Honda S2000 is a piece of cake for most players. However, on the flip side, racing the same, well-tuned RWD A (800 PI) S2000 is, might I say, likely a LOT more difficult for most casual players. It is for me and I’d like to think I’m not alone on that, lol. But in that sense, it makes it more challenging. In the AWD S1/900, you’ve got a lot of straight-line speed and, if it’s decently tuned, quite a bit of grip. In the RWD A/800, you’ve got a bit less straight-line speed but apexing turns is much, much easier. BUT, it’s much, much easier for EVERYONE. That’s where the fun comes into play. It’s something different. Something to adjust to… it’s always kind of refreshing in a sense if you ask me.
Nowadays, it seems like 90% of Horizon players just care about speed and speed alone. I don’t play much of Motorsport myself, but I find a lot of fun in a challenge. And specifically restricted races bring that to me. Having complete freedom in FH3 and 4 took away from that aspect when it’s still present in FH1 and 2. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy being able to create completely custom races, with custom paths and everything. But having to adjust my racing style to specific cars, tunes, or classes that I don’t normally use is what I like. It sounds super contradictory, but that’s the best way I can explain it.
In your case, you just happened to use a stock tune from the Autoshow and enjoyed it. I’d like to think more people would realize that super high classed cars aren’t always what’s needed for every single race. To some extent, I think PG/T10 have done a very good job on pushing that in FH4, with separately deemed championships for every race type.
Just my two, or maybe three cents worth, though.
Make it two. FM7 is a favorite of mine because of its Race Driver GRID-style divisions.
Unfortunately, FH4 is not made for stock cars, especially when you begin to visit lower classes. One extreme example is the Ferrari 365/4 GTB. It starts at B641 and Street tires will take it to B691, almost preventing it from having adjustable parts in B class since brakes cost so much. Its engine and slippery body provide it with good enough straight line speed for even A class with only minor modifications, but with stock tires you can’t take advantage of it because the bias ply compound provides poor lateral grip and requires you to dance with the car all the time. This means that when racing against the AI you have a large advantage on the straights while struggling in the corners, since the AI runs preset upgrades which may include the better Street/Sport tires you don’t have in a standard 365/4 GTB.
Another example of how the game caters to fast cars is how the “Cult Cars” (Beetle, etc.) are all terrible to run in stock form. The Morris wagon they added in Fortune Island was losing speed in the uphill street leading to Edinburgh Castle, in 1st gear! You have to run it at D500 at the very least to make it enjoyable. Meanwhile, in FM7 there’s the E250 division and appropriate tracks for it (Catalunya School, VIR Patriot, etc.), and it’s a lot of fun, more fun than certain other high-powered divisions, in fact.
I agree that Blueprint needs more customization. It’s odd because FH4 has the options I want to see in FM7 (pick individual cars, autoupgrade), whereas FM7 has options I want to see in FH4 (power and drivetrain limitations). Another restriction FM7 needs, with the appropriate presets for the AI, is tire compound.
I am really hoping FH5 gets more PI classes. FM7 has 2 more PI classes then Horizon, and I think the performance class balancing is much better form it. I like racing slower cars in Horizon, but D500 is still almost too fast for some of the races I want to do. So adding one more class between S2 and X as well as an E and F-Class at the low end and balancing the PI so there isn’t has high a performance gap between each class, Especially at the high end, would help greatly.
Ideally I’d like to see,
That’s exactly the issue, though. Most players want to take off quickly from the get go. It’s not disheartening to start a Forza game in a relatively slow car, but rather challenging (or annoying, depending on how someone takes it and for most people I think it’d be the latter). It seems like a lot of people don’t appreciate a challenge. I understand why and for a long time I was that way as well, but over the last few months I’ve been racing more tricky routes in FH4 and lower classed races in FH2 and 3. When FH2 came out, the “class match” system was introduced. The algorithm that auto-upgraded AI cars (or “drivatars” or whatever you wish to call them, lol) to match the player’s car, with higher or lower auto-class adjustments made according to the player’s set difficulty. Racing X class cars on unbeatable in Goliath on FH3 is a breeze if you know how to tune well. However, I’ve found that racing (likely the same) unbeatable drivatars on Goliath in FH4 is much more difficult. It’s like the corner’s don’t even bother them, they just whizz on through full steam ahead. I’d like to think I’ve got a very good F50 GT RWD grip tune, but it’s been taking a lot more to beat them in FH4. That, I like.
In comparison to the earlier games, starting the player off in a lower class car forces them to adjust. I think modern day game theory suggests that the fun to be had in playing games is in the challenge, not the grind. But completing race after race gives the player more and more freedom. Not only in the world overall, but even in race restrictions. Faster cars have to be worked up to and aren’t given to the player from game start. In some sense, it’s kind of sad to see so much of the Forza community turning to the norm.
And more options for restrictions would be nice too… if they were usable. With so many people being the way a majority of them are, it’s unlikely anyone would join if you started a RWD, race tire, 800HP max race. I had a hard enough time getting people to join the drag strip so I could get the showdown achievement. I must have spent ten minutes just to get one other person to join.
Still, even in offline, it’d be nice to have. The AI only racing cars under 800HP, having to use RWD auto-tunes, etc. I’m kind of curious now that you mentioned that because I don’t know whether or not auto-upgrade for AI cars puts drivetrain swaps on.
Not a whole lot of people either know how to tune or want to learn how to tune. Not even well in that matter, just to know overall. With all of the downloadable tunes for every car in the game, I completely understand why most people probably don’t tune their own cars at all. Horizon is meant to be a fun, open-world racing game where players of all skill levels can have a blast all in the same lobby. But having that hodge-podge system (seamless press-to-connect) generalizes everything so much that the challenge disappears and becomes absent everywhere.
Not to mention how team adventure lobbies have gone downhill over the years. It seems like it started around when FH2 came out. Having more choices is always nice, but takes away from the fun. With how many choices I have in FH4, I almost feel like I have to make my own challenges. (As a matter of fact, I actually do.)
The main and likely the sole problem with keeping the freedom of choice but trying to use those choices accordingly, namely in online, is that hardly anyone seems to want to join those restricted races/events. Just a few days ago I started an anything goes A/800 infection event. No one joined. I started it a second time… still nothing. I changed the class over to S1/900 and… one person joined. For me, infection, CTF, etc events aren’t fun when it’s just PvP. I love when there’s eight or ten people in a game and it’s just chaos the entire time. I.e. someone in a Trailcat chasing around a dune beetle meanwhile I’m shaking everyone in the lobby in my B/700 Mugen Civic. Those are the times I find most enjoyable. Like I said, it’s the excitement in those games.
But I’m very glad to see I’m not alone on this.
I totally agree. I totally agree with you. The playerbase has ruined the competitive nature of Horizon because there are so many players that think they “gotta go fast” and max upgrade everything they drive without any thought. I do hope the Next Horizon game goes back to a “work your way up” mentality like FH1. Start the players off in something slower and progress through faster races over the course of the introductory hours of the game before giving the players too much freedom.
I do like that Horizon gives players the freedom to do whatever they want, But FH4 especially gives the player too much freedom too quickly, and it hurts the since of progression. More Class limited events, Especially early-game, would help.
ALSO, More restriction options for Blueprint! Let us set up races with FM7 Homologation style restrictions if we want! I do want to set up races in Horizon that limit Drivetrain, HP, or Tire Compound.
More online rooms. Take a little from FM7 with either class based rooms or stock car rooms orrrrr even ghosted online racing. Right now the online options we have just arent sufficient for longevity. I would play some stock car events if everyone had to do so also