Pack Dynamics 3.0 Update [October 2021]

Yeah some of us are racing in well under 24h now and it would be good to know what we can expect tomorrow. Not that another week delay will really matter in the scheme of things but a nice flat start would make life easy. Plus, practice for the ZRL which will definitely use it (as things stand).

I think it was made clear that they are waiting until after this weeks races, so don’t expect any new rollout until next week.

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I could be being too hopeful but I interpreted it as the key bit being “this week’s ZRL events” - which only happen on a Tue - “so that our racing community has another week…” - which suggests it’ll be well before the end of the week so that it gives ZRL racers ‘a week’ to test out PD 3.0

Not a biggie, but as @_JamesA_ZSUNR mentions, it would be nice to at least know for sure IF PD 3.0 will be on France tomorrow for WTRL TTT.

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fair point

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For me this is a key thing to remember - Zwift has said they’ll prioritise fun and what motivates people over realism, and the new system feels really fun to me, so I think they’ve got it right.

In real life, teams can (and do) block the front of the pack, preventing riders at the back from coming through - but that’s not so much fun! If or when the day comes when we can all position ourselves using brakes and steering as well as power, maybe then Zwift might want to look at making it harder to move through the pack again.

But we’re a long way from that point, so I think they’ve found a great format for the way we all Zwift today, so chapeau to them!

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UPDATE Nov 3 18:22 UTC

Pack Dynamics 3.0 is enabled in all worlds.

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Good news!

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Happy days. Notwithstanding some remaining bugs such as the steering thing, and the fact it can never really be ‘perfect’ because it’s a game (though I hope it will continue to be refined over time), I think the changes are a massive improvement to the experience in general. Looking back to footage of events I did last week, the old jerky avatar movements and washing machine effect seem alien already.

Credit to Jon and the devs who have made it happen. :+1:

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Agreed. I was in a group ride this morning, and if you just slightly drift back, you don’t have a chance in ■■■■ to get back in even pushing twice the watts as the bunch… something a miss here… noticed it also for a ride on London when that was the only world with the PD 3 active

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PS: Also really encouraging how it was tested, previewed via @S_Schofield and @Eric_Schlange_ZwftIn and subsequently rolled out. Using the community in a positive and effective way. More of this please.

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Also in a race when you’re on your own and get caught by a bunch then you need to to go anaerobic for a few seconds (much higher W/Kg that the group) to get onto the group, but once you’re on then you can take it easy (it would probably be easier with a drafting powerup).

Neither of those are different to how it’s always been though; lose the draft or get caught out by a significantly faster pack and you’re in bother. Difference now is you don’t get the benefit of sticky draft holding the blob together, which is a good thing overall.

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Well done and thanks to Zwift for the new Pack Dynamics. It really improves the whole experience.

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I’ve experienced PD3.0 yesterday, despite still having tired legs from racing Tuesday. I’m a lightweight rider and was impressed by the improved dynamics. It felt more fair to me. I moved backwards if I pushed less, forwards if I pushed harder and could stay positioned if I kept my pace. I found it predictable enough to be able to pick a jersey in the pack and move up to that rider - which I think says it all. This may sound very obvious, but in the old dynamics I would be pushed backwards regardless of my effort, and even seriously increasing my watts would not result in gaining any pack position. My only chance to move up was to soft-sprint which obvs can only be done so many times.

Happy to experience it in action in the near future on hills and rollers. And of course look forward to hearing the TTT experiences today. Good work!

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Just done the TTT. I liked it. Much easier to move around in the group, less loss due to bumping. It is of course easier to accidentally over-run when closing a gap but that will improve with practice.

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i like the new pack dynamics, thank you for putting the work in on them. solo attackers still get shafted hard on descents though. i really think descents are where all of the biggest improvements can be made as far as incentivising longer range attacks

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We had power chaos this evening in the zone 14 TTT (WTRL). 3 of the 8 riders in our team had power issues. Two of us had no power at the start of the event. One had wrong power. He said it was like riding through mud. Of course this may have nothing to do with the new pack dynamics being rolled out just before the TTT, but it’s an awfully big coincidence if not.

We had a long start delay (11 minutes) meaning that the team was sitting around in the pen for a long time after the banner dropped. At least two of us stopped turning our legs for a few minutes before the end. I think those who were successful were in the pairing screen spinning up until just before start time.

I have a video of the event from my viewpoint is here for what it’s worth. I’ve got indexes to where people start noticing issues. Since I can’t post it here, let me know if you think it would be helpful and how to provide the link.

I’m on an intel-based MacBook Pro, Mac OS 12.0.1 (Monterey). No steering enabled. The event on ZwiftPower is here: zid=2391413 – my ride was too short to record. I do have the local log file on my machine. In case it could be useful, let me know where to send it.

In case this is related, I hope this helps track down the issue.

@Doug_Morris_c
Thanks for flagging it up. Not sure that it’s related to the new pack dynamics, but I’m asking the team about it.

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After racing in todays WTRL TTT… in short, Pack Dynamics 3.0 seems to work well for TTT in my opinion. :+1:

The general consensus is that it makes the overall effort smoother.

The reduction of sticky draft means riders do not need to ‘surge’ as much to push past other riders - this applies to pushing through the pack or being caught by riders dropping back.

Heavyweights can ease more if needed (to not shoot past other riders) and Lightweights are far less likely to get stuck behind riders (and have to do big surges)… So, overall, the effort feels a lot more consistent!

Still need to practice and refine technique, but it seems like teams should get used to this PD 3.0 no problem!

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+1 to all that, and in addition to helping internal team dynamics it also makes it much easier to overtake other teams/dropped riders without the tail getting bumped off.

With two new class records and a few very near misses I think we can discount the theory that it might be significantly slower too.

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