Anti sandbagging and other areas that need development and communication

There’s nothing to stop someone setting up a new, independent forum. (Or Reddit, etc.) It’s not like Zwift have (or can) stifle conversation and discussion of the things that irk people free of any shackles imposed by an official forum.

That can still happen too. It just takes someone to want to do it. As it is, there are race series I know of on other platforms.

But the incentive isn’t as strong, I think, because Zwift is already the default. The one with the critical mass of users; and thus the biggest draw.

They’re a business, it’s in their interests to protect themselves. The onus is on the competitors to provide a compelling alternative to lure people away. Or maybe for some notable people in the Zwift community to “defect” to another platform; but that’s not any guarantee of success either. Just look at Ninja and Twitch/Mixer.

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Thanks for the reply @Mark_Cote. So are we likely to see any material development this year in terms of sorting the massive sandbagging issues that are prevalent in racing (especially at the lower levels) or a different rankings based system that would negate that altogether?

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“That can still happen too.”

Is that true though? Aren’t they covered by exclusivity / non compete clauses?

I don’t mean WTRL or ZwiftPower specifically. Anyone can write a similar system. I did it 20 years ago for a Quake 2 CTF league I used to run, for example. (On a much smaller scale, of course, but the basics of teams/rosters/leagues/events/cups/results/seasons/promotions etc. are all the same.)

Right, that’s my point indeed. Critical mass, and hence virtual cycling competitions all together, belong to Zwift now, which is an unfortunate and unhealthy situation (and let’s be clear, something resembling the zp forums won’t re-emerge anytime soon, right?)

But I agree with you, it’s their right, as a private company, to try and maximise their profits, but as fans of virtual cycling, we’d better be wary of this.

And it’s our right, as paying customers without proper alternative due to the market structure of these type of platforms, to demand a decent service. For many of us, this is becoming wildly expensive software.

Zwift’s actions in the e-racing sphere (and more specifically, their antics with zwiftpower) so far have accomplished the opposite. Nothing racing-related has improved over the past years. Categorisation and sandbagging have gone unadressed, as well as fraud. It took a year to sort out zwiftpower issues (and still not finished). The fraud reporting system hardly has any effect (because “they are in a bind because fraudulent riders complain when being caught”). None of these things are rocket science, and it’s clear that money is the only thing driving this inaction. The only thing I notice moving are 2 guys commenting every other month here, keeping up appearance that they devoted even the slightest bit of manpower to this…

So indeed, forgive me for getting a bit cynical here. I like e-racing (even though i’m not terribly good at it :wink: ), and because of community-driven efforts (! 100% !) the only place to properly compete is on Zwift. So yes, as a paying customer (> 500 euro and counting!), it deeply frustrates me to see ZHQ trying to actively tear down parts of the racing eco-system, presumably just to create a tiny bit of additional shareholder value, without putting anything in return.

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I don’t really care about the corporate or financial aspects. It’s the nature of business. Or that Zwift becomes increasingly dominant. It might even be a good thing in some ways. There are two sides to that coin. Communication style/customer relations? Well, I do have preferences there, but it’s actually not really crucial either to me. I’m used to getting pushed around a bit as a mass-market consumer. Can’t say I like it, but as long as I get what I need in return… The thing is:

As long as Zwift delivered in racing I would be happy.

Because it is absolutely core to the product, regardless of whether Zwifter so-and-so races or not. Many - both subscribers and Zwift employees - seem to fail to get this. So many things, so many non-racing things in Zwift depend on a solid racing platform. It would send waves.

Business secrets? No one is asking you to divulge the minute details on future solutions. Of course you couldn’t. But I would like to see you make a promise. I think you owe us that. Could you promise to deliver on the following within a foreseeable future:

  1. Cat enforcement… [YES/NO]
  2. …without cat performance ceilings [YES/NO]
  3. …and a results-based categorization (pick your weapon, any model is fine really) [YES/NO]

I myself would happily swallow at least two chill pills and be more patient and well-behaved (at least until a foreseeable future ran out) if I could get a YES on all three above.

Those three couldn’t be considered business secrets. They are how any other sport is run. It’s a commitment, rather, to conform to proven and fair standards from the grass roots and up through the rider ranks, and that’s what separates a mere consumer product from a true community movement Who would you rather be, a product manager, a community manager, or someone who manages a new positive movement while getting paid? You need to understand that Zwift is so much bigger than Zwift. [sic!]

So will you? Do we have your commitment?

/Zwiftcruiser

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I like this so long as there are enough racers in bigger events. I don’t want to race when it is less than 10 in my Cat, preferably 20 or more. During peak Zwift season in big events this makes sense to have more Cats.

Still, bring a results based system.

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TFC and SZR are already doing this for their Monday (TFC) and Wednesday (SZR) series.

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@Mark_Cote

This thread and topic is in serious need of an update given the big news about removing rider data visibility. Reducing transparancy threatens to make community racing on Zwift absolutely pointless without genuine and significant efforts to combat cheating on the platform.

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and I would add IMMEDIATE since those changes mentioned today go in effect next week I believe.

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What is this about reducing transparency?
Where can we read more about it?

I just found it.
Unbelievable.

For the benefit of others who may be wondering: Community Welfare and Anti-Harassment Update [April 2021]

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Essentially, the right to cheat is more important than you want for transparency.

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I’m hoping the explosion regarding the latest announcement makes Zwift realise what a problem they have with communication at the moment, and why they really need to change it up.

You have to take with one hand and feed with the other.

If that announcement was made (and it’s the right change to make IMO) alongside some comms on how they are developing a rankings based racing system and tools for race organisers (or Zwift themselves) to DQ cheaters, the reaction would have been completely different.

PLEEAASSEEE @Eric @Mark_Cote take this on board. The whole racing community feels like you are working against them and not with them at the moment and for many it’s the final straw already.

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Are you able to explain why its so complex?

Two guys built a results-based ranking a system from scratch in their spare time in under two months for another platform yet Zwift with its numerous employees and millions in funding have done zip in 12 months.

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Please just provide some crumb of comfort that you are looking into rolling out category enforcement or a rankings system?
I have taken to scrolling through random C and D races and it’s farcical. You are hard pressed to find a winner (sometimes even a top 10) that is within the category limits.

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“We are talking about these issues at Zwift every single day”

“Can’t we just float this thing and get the ■■■■ out of here”

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I joined Zwift in 2016 and really enjoy the platform. Races during Covid-19 have turned into a joke, but I was excited to see Zwift, start anti-sandbagging races. I am a D rider and don’t see the point, if the Top 5 finishers are rewarded for riding out of category? People cheat in CAT D rides, because they know the ride won’t go 20 minutes and trigger the 20 min ftp. We need to get rid of baggers, make the race 8 laps not 6.

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Totally agree about the UI customisation. (The last thing I need to see in real time is my heart rate!)
The remarkable thing about Zwift is actually how few new features and QOL improvements they have provided since launch. Obviously they have opened up new areas, but there really seems to be so much low hanging fruit that they could tackle. Maybe they have a heap of spaghetti code that they need to avoid changing.

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