Anti sandbagging and other areas that need development and communication

How has season 3 of the WTRL gone - I’ve seen from some chat here and there that there have been fair few issues? Zwift haven’t helped them any more than before (bar picking the courses) have they?
I enjoyed my season 2 (which was my 1st) but we didn’t enter a team this time as couldn’t guarantee 6 of us each week with the better weather and lighter nights. It’s another crazy thing, that Zwift have this team who are doing a huge amount of highly valuable marketing and PR for them, yet they offer a the bare minimum support it would seem.

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The on screen rider position still seems to be rubbish, although apparently it’s worse in fanview.

Have a look at the sign-ups and riders in the wrong category for this race tomorrow.
https://zwiftpower.com/events.php?zid=2041055&sid=27984808c58a1ab28348c672a1f52de5
It’s an absolute cluster ■■■■ and will be a real bloodbath for the legit Bs, Cs, and Ds.
@Mark_Cote and @xflintx what are your thoughts on this race as it stands currently? Not sure it embodies fair play if you ask me.

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This implies that every rider is included in that DB or else many riders just receive error messages or software crashes. Sure, you could hide events for those not linked to the DB or put them in a Penn E, but I personally don’t think it is the way forward as it just divides customers rather than includes them. How many customers are even aware of ZP, or drip off after realizing how cumbersome the whole process currently is? In my opinion a paying customer should not have to go into the trouble of setting up a ZP account and manually linking it to your ZwiftID just to be able to join a race. I don’t have a clue how Zwift and ZP are coded so I can only guess, but my guess would be that Zwift and ZP don’t communicate very well or surely this whole process would have been improved already?

As a general comment:
I would love to see ZP and WTRL functionality (more user friendly event details, event settings, more detailed signup lists and results) integrated within the software as much as anyone here, but this again comes down to the question if ZwiftHQ feels that racing/group events are part of their core product. In my opinion there is a lot of low-hanging fruit when it comes to improving its ease-of-use if the answer would be ‘yes’, especially when compared to building an own trainer device. However fact is they are investing in building an own trainer, which combined with further development of clubs and meetups functionality possibly makes more sense from a Fitness/Gym perspective. Besides the gyms, how many people have bought a road/gravel/mountain bike during the pandemic and might opt to buy a trainer in the (near) future seeing that it is safe, weather-proof and healthy? And isn’t it very likely that the attention to exercising increases post-pandemic - in which Zwift may play a role - and might be stimulated further by for example employers? How many of these potential customers would be interesting in racing, let alone choose a different platform only because the racing is sub-optimal…? This is a lot of speculation from my side, but until something to the contrary is communicated by ZwiftHQ it is how I am connecting the dots.

I do personally think it is a missed opportunity as it should not be mutually exclusive but rather would reinforce each other given the marketing value of developing an active racing scene on Zwift. The ‘problem’ will continue to grow worse over time simply because getting smoked every race will cause a reaction one way or the other. However, over the last year I’ve simply revisited my expectations of things I have no control over anyhow, and stick to enjoying Zwift for what it currently offers.

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I believe riders not signed up to Zwiftpower do have their data pulled through even if they don’t have an account, I don’t know if this happens for all users racing or just some, but either way it shows that a lack of ZP account should not be a blocker to this any more.

Example picked at random, but lots like this when I’ve been recruiting for our team Zwift Power - Login

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If we take Zwifts own statement from the other day

Zwift is all about having fun, rewarding, and positive experiences while hitting fitness goals. Lately, we have heard from members of the community that a few bad actors have negatively affected their experiences

Now apply this to racing, as a paying customer there are a number of bad actors who are impacting many peoples ability to have a fun rewarding experience in these events.

This has been ongoing for ■■■ knows how long but yet Zwift fail to fix or resolve this issue and are now hiding from responding to their customer base.

@shooj
@Mark_Cote
@Eric

Time to stop hiding and provide some feedback…

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Edit: this forum post seems to cover this “Rider has not registered at ZwiftPower.com” - Zwift Power

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from the giant crit crusher blurb - It’s all in the name of fairness, fitness, and fun.

when you have sandbaggers signed up like they are where is the fairness? there also plenty of riders not signed up to zwiftpower, so for them its not about the competitive area and getting points purely its an ego driven thing where they must win

also from the blurb - The Giant Crit Crushers is ideal for new racers - not really as you are going to get people who joining up and new to the whole racing area of zwift whom then getting smashed by sandbaggers and think why bother doing it again, it’s that minority that spoils it for the majority

The fun part is going to be calling out the sandbagging twots in the pen

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That’s true, but I was responding to the idea that the connection itself is difficult. I don’t think it is. There’s already a connection from Zwift to ZwiftPower, and the inverse seems straightforward enough to me.

It’s an unresolved question from our point of view, sure.

It’s fair (and accurate) to say Zwift wasn’t envisaged as a racing platform in the early days. Social riding was very much the core proposition. But we (the community) raced anyway and Zwift eventually threw us a few bones.

But it would seem odd for them to court the IOC and UCI if they don’t care about racing or think it has a future. Maybe it’s just hedging and it’ll be at several years before they decide one way or another.

But I do think there’s a risk that by the time they decide they want to fully commit to community racing the racing community might have moved on.

That’s pants. D is wrecked by people who may be noobs, but have gone to the effort of registering so should probably know better. B and C have a load of people with relatively high rankings so definitely do know better and are just looking to spoil the event for others to make themselves feel better. Genuine racers in all categories being dumped on.

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Yeah, let’s just stick our heads in the sand on this one. The majority know.

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This is an obvious sandbagger’s entire race history in C. (Edit: rider is 77kg)

Zwift HQ, is this fair to those who take racing seriously on your platform?

No one should expect to podium every single race. This is ridiculous.

EDIT: For all I know, the 2 where he didn’t podium could have been TTT

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So how come this dude is still showing as a legitimate C? Cruising?

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Precisely

I race a guy in Zwift Racing League who has nearly all wins other than a few TTT’s. He’s won every ZRL race so for this season. Kinda crazy…

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This rider could be 115kg and only enter flat races. So his w/kg can be very low and still be faster than most riders. That is the problem with the w/kg system and starting all categories at the same time so he can just hang with the next group.

So yes we need something better than w/kg but for now please just put people in the correct cat.

EDIT: After the weight was added this argument is not valid anymore. :frowning: So much for trying to see the good in every person.

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This one is 77kg

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I’m looking forward to seeing the top 10s of this race tomorrow.

Of course there is no urgency to make such a call and in the mean time just leave racing as it is (maybe fixing the odd showstopper bug every now and then). The lack of progress and communication about future plans certainly lead me to believe that this is the current trajectory.

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Are we still talking about this ?

Zwift are only interested in Super league events that can generate brand awareness in the investment community not the grass roots racing community . On the former priority that is of course the world we live in right now , its not a zwift thing . What is quite strange however that they would actively be twanting to dismantle community delivered content by assimilating and not supporting it , I dont see how that benefits the brand to do that , but its a clear direction. Whether that is really a deliberate strategy to do so or just they are not capable of understanding or delivering the alternative , this it is the strategy . Get over it , it is not going to change .

If you are waiting for zwift to solve the problems here , forget it . The only solution possible , is that they see sense and open up the API to the data so we can get creative and knowledgeable people with real experience from the sport itself create some exciting and innovative approaches that are so difficult currently.

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