It's been a while since we had a club update message so without further ado, here it is!
We'll soon have 3 full AMS leagues under our belt and on the league racing front the club is still pretty strong. 15-20 racers per league race is pretty good and actually compares well to the numbers we got in Project Cars. The leagues have certainly brought some exciting racing along with the added toughness of serious racing in AMS.
While I think AMS is a great racer for running event style racing, it comes up short on 2 things. Drop in drop out casual racing and user base (the 2 are intrinsically linked). With the mid-week racing in a bit of a lull (more on that later) it's really brought into focus how much the club is missing offering that "just turn up and get a race" to its members. About a year ago, on any given night, you could usually get a group of people on racing plus with Project Cars there was always a public lobby available if you wanted one.
So what I am saying is that while league racing is going well, the mid-week events have dried up and we've lost that "every night" racing that used to really help keep the blood flowing in the club.
The solution - TBH I'm not quite sure - I did however want to acknowledge the issue as one I hope we can fix and let you know plans going forward.
The mid-week racing lull is really down to time and energy for peeps to organise things, and turnout. I had to take a step back a few months ago as I was simply spending way too much of my time, organising up to 3 races a week at times. Others have had spurts of putting things up but the fact is we have a lack of people able to regularly come up with and run races mid week and even when we do get mid-week races the turnout is generally poor, often struggling to get 10 people on the grid. For that I simply call out again that anyone with ideas and the motivation to run races is welcome to do so.
On the more casual front I suspect that the appearance of a certain racing game sequel in September this year may well re-fuel that fire. When we moved over to AMS I always knew it wasn't a casual drop in racer. I'd expected Pcars to stick around and fill that gap but people drifted from it way more than expected, leading to it simply dropping off our race radar. While I personally think Pcars 2 will retain some of the things I really don't like about it (the relatively crap FFB for a start) the fact is a lot of people in the club are going to want to play it and it looks all set to be even more popular that the original with the punters. This will mean we have peeps in the club playing it plus a massive user base to potentially re-invigorate the club roster. It's likely inevitable we'll be playing Pcars again soon.
So the short to medium term future plans for the club are….
- Continue with AMS for league and event races - we are about to have a summer break from the league and will run a series of one-off events over the summer with a new league in August/September.
- See if anyone comes forward with some mid-week race ideas and runs them
- Wait for Pcars 2 to try and fill the casual racing gap again
- Maybe Dirt 4 can fill the casual racing in the meantime?
- And it's not all racing racing racing - peeps are into a lot of games and obviously it's great if members can find a gaming fix on other genres. PUBG is obviously the game of the moment for many :)
In the longer term, the next Reiza game is certainly one I'll be watching. If they can make the racing experience and FFB as good as AMS but with modern graphics and other new lovely stuff, it's going to be one hell of a game. It'll no doubt be more of a sim again though so we'll need a Pcars type game too as it's clear that if we are a one trick sim heavy pony that the club slowly suffers so I'm going to do all I can to not let that happen.
I'd love to hear your thoughts about the club, where it is and where it could go. Nothing's set in stone other than a desire for getting great racing experiences and having fun :)