Better Group Ride functionality

(John Polchlopek AATC) #1

Hey, all.  I think it’s not a controversial statement to say that group rides need a little more love.  The overwhelming consensus seems to be that group rides are less “group rides” and “rides that start out in a group and end up scattered to hell and back”.

The reasons for this are varied and not always because there’s a bunch of tryhard showoffs who immediately blow by the ride leader, in order to show off their e-phalluses (note: “e-phallus” should be read as a gender-inclusive term).  Sometimes, the same mechanics which make races so good are working against group rides.

Note that a lot of this is cobbled together from other suggestions, mixed in with some of my own. 

  • Drafting - On group rides, you can often end up drafting someone not in your group.  As a result, you can end up way out of the pack, even though you are technically under the W/kg limit.  Ideally, the group leader could remove or reduce drafting from riders not in your group.  (Possibly by having the “isPlayerDrafting” code check to see if the draftee is part of the group, first).
  • Overtaking the ride leader - This is probably the most common complaint, and there are a myriad of ways to deal with it:
  1. “Force field” - if the user passes the ride leader, resistance increases until they are forced back into the pack, at which point it gradually returns to normal
  2. “Teleport” - users in front of the ride leader are teleported back into the pack, possibly an increasing distance behind the leader for each violation (i.e. first 5 seconds behind the ride leader, then 10, then 15, etc).  Bonus if the ride leader can assign the number of penalty seconds, from 1 to 10, or whatever, and if the penalty should increase with every violation.
  3. “Warn then kick” - users receive a “Ahead of group leader” warning for X number of seconds, followed by a “Return to group” warning for Y seconds, followed by being removed from the group, where they continue to ride normally (not receiving credit for any miles ridden with the group).  Bonus if the ride leader can choose between just “warn” or “warn then kick”.
  4. “Hard limit” - no matter how hard they pedal, group members can never overtake the ride leader.  I have no idea how this would be implemented, as it would require the game to effectively set a user’s W/kg to that of the ride leader, or less, if they’re at the leader’s position along the course.
  • Identify group riders on minimap - Sometimes you simply have no clue where you are in the pack, so it would be nice to have the “pips” on the minimap for other group riders be a different color.
  • Dis-identify non-group riders - Have the rider (not the group leader) be able to turn riders not in the group into variations of the AI riders – transparent, undifferentiated (i.e. no custom gear or bikes) player models, so it’s easy to see who is part of your group and who isn’t
  • “Group” chat vs “Global” chat.  Online games have had this since the beginning.  You have chat that will go to everyone within 500m, but then chat that will go to everyone in the group, regardless of distance.  A separate key / mobile app button for each.

Again, none of these ideas are very novel, and I’m sure this is the n+1th post about making group rides better, but I’m hoping that putting it all in one place and making it as organized and well-written as I can will get it some upvotes and some attention.  

Thanks for reading, everyone!

(Peter Daulby WBR (c)) #2

I couldn’t agree more after my first group ride yesterday. I was fit enough for the 2.5w/kg ride at 1630 yesterday but was utterly smashed trying to stay in a bunch. It never felt like I ever got 30% draft and so many riders were ahead of the leader. My biggest disappointment was at the end where I guess I dropped too far back because I lost the yellow line to follow and there was zero commaraderie at the end. On the plus side I smashed my legs to bits and the training value was awesome.

(Ignatias Robot) #3

No quibbles with any commentary in the vein of “respect the leader”, but seems like implementing some/all of the above would prevent the leader from ever drafting, making it a very taxing ride?

(John Polchlopek AATC) #4

It’s true, Ron.  But at the same time, if the leader can draft, then they’ll end up leaving people behind, because then they are actually going faster than whatever the rest of the group is going.  I other words, if the ride is SUB-2 W/kg, but the leader is drafting, then other riders have to go much faster than 2 W/kg in order to keep up.  

So, yes, a “no drafting anyone not in the race” rule would mean that the ride leader could never draft.  I’m not sure that that would be a problem, necessarily, as it would just require the leader to be the most fit / qualified, and I’m not sure that that’s a bad thing.