Competition & AI Tech Update: April 2022 Recap

Hey everyone,

Following great engagement and feedback after our category enforcement tests and soft launch in February and March, we wanted to kick off what will be a monthly update cadence for competition and racing.

The goal is to provide you with insight as to what the team responsible for competition and racing has delivered, what’s currently being worked on, and what’s on deck in the coming months.

While this is not an exhaustive list, it is representative of all the major bodies of work the team is focused on.

This will follow the same format as the Clubs posts that have been going for some time. You can find an example of that here.

Finally, we welcome your feedback on this post! To make sure we capture it all in this moment in time, we will be auto-closing the post 7 days from the original post date.

Let’s get into it!

  • What can you expect in the next release?
  • What is Zwift working on now?
  • What is the status of feedback the community provided?

What can you expect from the next release?

The next release - going out May 2022 as v 1.25 - will include:

  • Pace Partners changes*

*Note: These changes will be announced in more detail with the next batch of release notes. You can find all release notes here.

What is Zwift working on now?

  • Category Enforcement Improvements - clearer UI, friendlier UX, women-only categories, and an optional E pen for Zwifters with no data in the last 60 days
  • Event Hardware Minimum Requirements - the ability to race against other Zwifters that are on similar hardware: power meters with power meters and classic trainers with classic trainers.
  • Individual and Team Time Trial Improvements - Improved TT user experience, including a new paddock experience, and more route variety

What is the status of feedback the community provided?

  • Discovery : Early in the process
  • Backlog : It’s on our radar and some work has been done
  • In Progress : It’s actively being worked on
  • Done : Released

Community Feedback & Status

Improving Fairness in Competition

  • Category Enforcement (aka pen restriction) - Done :white_check_mark:
  • Category Enforcement more accommodating for lighter riders - Done :white_check_mark:
  • Category Enforcement for community race organizers - Done :white_check_mark:
  • Removal of Anti-sandbagging events from race calendar - Done :white_check_mark:
  • Segment Leaderboard technical improvements - Done :white_check_mark:
  • Improved time gaps logic in events - Done :white_check_mark:
  • Hardware Restriction - In Progress
  • Better UI for Category Enforced races - In Progress
  • Women’s specific power curve for Category Enforced events - In Progress
  • Extending all leaderboard PR data beyond 30 days - Discovery
  • Category Enforcement as an option in clubs - Backlog
  • Custom category limits when using Category Enforcement - Backlog

AI Tech

  • Improved backend Pace Partners scheduling - Done :white_check_mark:
  • Expand active Pace Partners: more worlds, test - Done :white_check_mark:
  • Extend pedal assist when joining a Pace Partner - Done (1.25 release) :white_check_mark:
  • Pace Partners as event leaders - In Progress
  • Pace Partners Dynamic Paces - In Progress
  • Pace Partners expanded route capability - In Progress
  • Expand Pace Partners: more pace capability in single world - In Progress
  • Expand Pace Partners: incorporate previous tests to global schedule - In Progress
  • More nuance and dynamism with Pace Partner behavior - Backlog

Bugs

A note for bugs: this update is from one team’s perspective, and will not be representative of everything affecting events, segment results, etc. This team’s bodies of work focus most directly on competitive events, Pace Partners, and the future of competition at Zwift.

  • ZwiftPower: rider search fix - Done :white_check_mark:
  • ZwiftPower: “friends” list on riders tab fix - Done :white_check_mark:
  • ZwiftPower: SSO bugs - Done :white_check_mark:
  • ZwiftPower: missing events - Done :white_check_mark:
  • ZwiftPower: when re-activating a ZP account after deletion, account is missing - Done :white_check_mark:
  • ZwiftPower: age of U23 riders not displaying correctly on profile - Backlog
  • ZwiftPower: using “days to show” in filters for series breaks - Backlog
  • ZwiftPower: users with exceptional height are incorrectly DQd - Backlog
  • ZwiftPower: heart rate can show in profile page results but not specific race - Backlog
25 Likes

This is a really positive step and much appreciated, please ensure the cadence is kept up with it!

Few questions from me:

  • What does this ^ mean?
  • How do we get things suggested, which can either be added to the list or actively ‘not considered’?
  • The obvious missing one which I’ll mention before anyone else - a ranking system, which could be used to define the pens in the future?
3 Likes

What does this ^ mean?

It’s essentially for folks to know at a glance when a race is using category enforcement rather than shoving even more text in the race description or making race titles longer. Additionally, it should allow us to show Zwifters why they’re seeing the categories they’re seeing. Lastly, we need quite a bit of Zwifter-facing information to help people answer commonly asked questions about cat enforcement.

How do we get things suggested, which can either be added to the list or actively ‘not considered’?

Right now, no official intake form or anything of the sort (as you’re aware), but because we’re always checking the forums, we’re using that plus other community areas like Reddit, Facebook, etc. to see what overall themes are. It’s not a perfect method right now, and I recognize that.

But discussions like some of the ones you’ve started or been a part of are a huge help for us, James. We also have our research teams helping, data metrics to examine, etc.

The obvious missing one which I’ll mention before anyone else - a ranking system, which could be used to define the pens in the future?

Back to my old cryptic ways: it isn’t in this post, but it isn’t not being worked on.

9 Likes

This is marvelous! Thank you!

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Cool, maybe it can go on the list under discovery :stuck_out_tongue:

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The first rule of Race ranking is we don’t talk about Race ranking. :rofl:

7 Likes

Great post, thanks! More transparency is very welcome.

One thing that I didn’t see in the list - removal mechanism for bad trainer data and similar, for cat enforcement.

Also, where you say you’ll be closing the post 7 days after the original posting, for me at least this post is showing as 3 days old already, yet I think it was only made visible to us non-staffers today.

7 Likes

Thought I had changed the time stamp, but there’s that whole little “save” button that I forgot to click. Should be good now. Thanks, Steve.

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Go on, give us a sneak peak of the TTT changes :wink:

I dont race them and see the massive open goal in front of Zwift by improving that area.

Just on that one… Did I miss the clamour to remove these events?
They were removed, and they were meant to be replaced by CE events (Lunch time Crit anyone?) but the timing was not replaced like for like. they are now an hour later than they used to be.

Who looks after drafting and game physics? Im presuming its not yourself, but a race draft mode might be worth something looking at - loosening off some of the blob effects so breakaways and the like can form and you get race dynamics - Kind of the opposite to double draft.
And you know, that thread that we are not allowed to mention about the broken physics and cheating.

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It would be very helpful to have an event search filter so people can find events where category enforcement is enabled.

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Hi @Paul_Southworth

This is help full.

Just adding my thanks. This is a positive step. :+1:

Something I’d like to highlight here regarding clearer UI/UX (and I realise it’s probably as much if not more to do with new home page development), is that the lack of world/route information on events disproportionately affects racing. The game suggests a bunch of upcoming events and you can filter them by type, but racing is the one where you really do need to know what the event involves.

6 Likes

Thanks for the update. As a Stages SB20 owner, I am hoping that the TTT pen allows us to keep warming up in the pen. Waiting in the pen for 5 minutes or more and not pedalling results in the Stages power meters going to sleep, raising the risk of being stranded on the start line once the team rolls off the line. That’s happened to me a few times!

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It will.

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Looks good! I’m especially looking forward to any TTT improvements.
How about adding back “Ride with…” so you can ride with random friends. (missing from the new UX)

Re. Ride with, this is being active looked into.

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Wait…are you saying there’s going to be a proper TTT pen where we don’t have to do manual countdowns anymore and deal with pairing screen shenanigans?

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Can’t wait the see the changes on pace partner and TTT !

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Bang on.

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Regarding pace partners can you please add a button to click when riding and encountering a pace partner to join their route?

Context/example: I rode a 160km group ride and afterwards decided to do an extra 40km for an even 200km. C-pace partner was nearby so I eased to ‘join’ but then had to constantly manually turn, even though I was clearly riding with it after a few turns. Well I kept forgetting to ‘turn’ and would lose the group having to turn around and chase. There has to be a better way to align with the pace partners route. ‘Join pace partner route’ —-> ‘yes’. No one wants to manually turn once already riding with a pace partner. We just want to ride and not think so much at that point lol

9 Likes