Remove Power Indicator Icon


(Shane Randolph) #1

Although a really cool feature, the icon next to a players w/kg seems to be causing a fuss among the community. It seems as though, if you don’t have a power meter or smart trainer (so no lightning bolt) it is assumed that you should not be able to get a jersey and if you do, you must be cheating. I propose that the indicator be removed so as not to differentiate between player types (zPower vs Power Meter). There have been numerous discussions (on here, on facebook, etc), surrounding the ideas of segregating the two groups. That, to me, is ridiculous. However, it occurred to me that this has already been done to some degree. By having the indicator players that use zPower are “exposed” to ridicule from others. I am a rider that uses zPower. I believe my setup is “close” to what I would experience in real life. I don’t fight for jerseys (unless it is reverse on Watopia and even now that is getting harder) but it is tough to work up the motivation to get on Zwift when, just because I don’t have a power meter or smart trainer, there are people saying that people on zPower are nothing but cheaters.

I honestly believe that if the indicator was removed, nobody would be able to tell who was on zPower and who wasn’t (except for when you see a ‘flier’) and thus these discussions of “cheating” would be tempered. They wouldn’t necessarily go away but they could at least be lessened. 


(Jason Buccellato) #2

Shane, you’re not viewing this objectively.

“it is assumed that you should not be able to get a jersey and if you do, you must be cheating” - Shane, sorry, this is a strawman argument. The simple fact is that an unusually high percentage of the cyclists obtaining jerseys, as well as flagged fliers, are Zpower riders. 

“I believe my setup is “close” to what I would experience in real life.” - A perception of close is not the currency power users are trading on. Simply put, Zpower users, unlabeled, dilute the online training/racing experience we have invested in.

“I don’t fight for jerseys” - this in no way addresses the problems Zpower riders bring to Zwift.

Separate leader boards allow Zpower riders an environment to “not have a problem” and exercise “tolerance” towards other fellow Zpower riders. The user base is enormous, and will quickly grow as winter arrives. Support for two leaderboards is a non issue.

It is the very riders who have invested in accurate equipment that have laid the foundation for the online cycling software we enjoy. Accuracy is progress. We all understand this.  

 


(Shane Randolph) #3

Jason, I feel like we are both fairly biased. Me from the perspective of being a zPower user and you clearly think zPower is bad (“the problems Zpower riders bring to Zwift”).

So, with that in mind, let’s focus on the feature that is being requested. The only time you seem to mention it in your comment is when you say, “Simply put, Zpower users, unlabeled, dilute the online training/racing experience we have invested in.” As far as training, how is this true? How is my performance affecting your performance when you are training? How is my dumb trainer causing your training experience to be diluted.

Also, how does labeling me (or more specifically not labeling me, but labeling you) help you not have a diluted experience? How is knowing that I am on zPower affecting your performance? 

“Separate leader boards allow Zpower riders an environment to “not have a problem” and exercise “tolerance” towards other fellow Zpower riders.” - I am sorry but this is ridiculous, since, other than fliers, this isn’t a zPower user problem. I don’t see why there needs to be a separate “area” so as not to have “a problem.” Why can’t everyone just exercise “tolerance” toward their fellow riders. Yes the user base is large but as the group has grown so has the complaints of cheating.

“It is the very riders who have invested in accurate equipment that have laid the foundation for the online cycling software we enjoy. Accuracy is progress.” I don’t disagree that accuracy is progress, however, this argument reads as follows: those who spent more money should be given priority. Counter-argument, lowering the “cost of entry” allows for larger audiences. Hence why Zwift took the route of not requiring smart trainers or power meters. They want as many people as possible to use their software. They are in this to not only enhance the indoor cycling experience but also make money. You can do that much better when you don’t limit your reach.

If you don’t like the proposed solution don’t vote it up, but I seriously fail to see what benefit it has other than creating separate groups in the app.

 


(Michael Hancock (Quarq)) #4

Honestly, when I see a rider putting out impressive numbers (Cat1 or higher level) with the powermeter indication, I’m impressed. When I see a non-powermeter user put out the same numbers, I’m dubious. Sure, you can cheat on either method, but it’s just far easier for the data to be manipulated or otherwise influenced with zPower.

The only jersey I “chase” is the green jersey, because of my power profile and the types of workouts I’m doing now.

We’ll see what happens when the service becomes a pay-to-play deal.


(i SteveMQ [Kura-1%PM]) #5

I’m also a zPower user and have no issues with the current Zwift setup where there is a Power indicator (differentiating the zPower & Smart-trainer/PM players).  However, a separate leaderboard is just plain ridiculous… that’s just further alienating a large playerbase of zPower users who don’t have a lot of $$$ to invest in an expensive trainer or PowerMeters. I login almost everyday, and I see both zPower & non-zPower flyers every now and then.  It’s easy to tell by their low HR #s (or not using an HRM at all) once they sustain ridiculous amount of wattage for a long period of time.  

My take on this is, why not disqualify the ones who don’t use an HR meter to win any of the virtual jerseys?


(Michael Hancock (Quarq)) #6

Then you’re just alienating those that don’t use heart rate monitors, you elitist snob. :wink:

Does a jersey really mean anything? Not really. I can’t see in my activity log any indication of what jerseys I took and how long I held them for. They expire in an hour or when someone else takes them. In other words, they really only exist for a very short time and then are essentially nothing. That could change in the future, though.

By having multiple leaderboards, you’re not excluding, disqualifying, or alienating anyone. You’re segregating them into groups based on equivalent standards (male or female, zPower vs power meter…). People will still cheat, because some are like that. However, it will level the playing field somewhat and compare apples to apples- even if they’re different varieties of apples. zPower is just too easy to affect in various intentional and unintentional ways for it to be even a marginally reliable comparison.


(i SteveMQ [Kura-1%PM]) #7

LOL, this coming from the somebody suggesting different leaderboards… who’s an elitist snob?  ;)  It’s a matter of perspective. 

I suggested the HRM requirement so it’s easier to tell who’s obviously cheating… i think the HR tells a lot more for those who are really putting out an effort (or not).  An HRM is also a much cheaper piece of gear vs. a power meter or a smart trainer.


(Alison Kubota [Vision] CVR) #8

I think that if there is going to be a separate leaderboard, that it should be for specific races that are somehow segregated from the other normal riders, just so it’s easier to see what’s going on in a race.  

What happens on the regular leaderboard isn’t too important, since you can have the one-lap all-out sprinter going up against someone who is doing a century, zpower vs power meter, old vs young, all mixed in there, and even the occasional person who cranks down the trainer resistance during sprints/climbs, but regardless, the jersey times can only hold for an hour anyways.


(i SteveMQ [Kura-1%PM]) #9

What Alison is suggesting makes a lot more sense =)  Perhaps an invite-only event (with say a maximum 100 riders) where a rider leader/organizer forms something like a BIG group (like a “raid” in MMO terminology) and this group will have an exclusive leaderboard for the invited riders only… separate from the world (Watopia/Richmond) leaderboard.  The invited riders are of course pre-screened by the organizer(s) to have a) good reputation; b) properly setup equipment; c) HRM, etc


(Jason Buccellato) #10

The Zwift beta feedback forum’s most active thread is, of course, about Zpower with the title, “Don’t be a flier”.

I find these threads fatiguing as many Zpower respondents employ logical fallacies to advance their own interests. Interesting, as separate leader boards and races will serve to protect the community, and shield dumb trainer users from animosity, especially when we move into the paid subscription phase. In an online competitive cycling environment, dumb trainers and smart trainers will mix like oil and water…we all know that. Whether or not we choose to acknowledge the fact is another matter.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7Plvl803u4

Watch a portion of this pre recorded live tube cast of a Zwift online race hosted by Nathan Guerra. Nathan certainly would not be interested in hosting a race comprised of Zpower cyclists, that would just be comedy! 

Zpower riders want to compete with those of us who have smart trainers due to the general stability our wattage numbers will provide. However, when the topic of them competing or being ranked as their own group with dumb trainers they balk. They want us to tolerate their chaos, yet won’t accept being classed in the group of chaos they represent.

Online cycling is about accuracy. Accuracy is progress. Accuracy is the default.

The fallacy that since we cannot eradicate all cheating, we should address nothing, needs to be dropped. We are smarter than that.


(Michael Hancock (Quarq)) #11

It _ is _ a matter of perspective. Usually the argument boils down to “I have X, and X works for me, so X should be the standard. Any more would be elitism, and any less is cheating”.

Compare apples to apples with leaderboards, that’s all I’m saying. I’m not advocating kicking anyone off or having separate courses for different riders.


(Matt Canna) #12

No one wins this bit of turmoil.  I have been harrassed off the zwift riders facebook page because of this issue.

It all boils down to one thing.  Accessibility versus honest competition.  Now people are making power meter emulators, to feel good about themselves.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCLws3vwBXA

 

 


(Michael Hancock (Quarq)) #13

…and that’s the funny thing, because real power meters don’t make anyone feel good about themselves. They’re a brutal reality check. The ability to easily skew the data to match self-perception or make one appear stronger than they are in reality is the antithesis of what a power meter is designed for.


(Matt Canna) #14

They do if your a strong rider LOL.

I have a kickr, if i want to feel bad about myself i will put on a sufferfest on trainerroad set that to erg mode and see how long i can last.

 

I think zwift has tough road ahead of itself, accessibilty vs segregation.

Winter i feel will be highly popular, if they retain about 75% of member base, it will be a tough sell to those that have to succumb to the soul stealing trainer.

But heres the thing virtual power vs real power it all boils down to what you want to do with it.  As far as a training platform, zwift offers the minimal amount of power profiles for casual trainer riders.

Where as something along trainer road can supply so much for a singular tool to build performance.  As you only have yourself to cheat or enhance.


(Michael Hancock (Quarq)) #15

I have yet to meet a rider so strong that there isn’t someone stronger/faster/whatever. Even the pros realize this.

Right now we’re transitioning from the southern hemisphere to the northern hemisphere. Eventually the Aussies and Kiwis will thin out as their cold months end, and you’ll see more Europeans and North Americans as our cold months start The pay-to-play model will thin out crowds somewhat, but for the trainer crowd this is (IMHO) pretty much the next level of trainer motivation tools. For those of us coming from years of old race videos and similar visual stimuli, this is quite a step up.

For your traditional trainer user, the only person affected by a bad trainer setup was the user. They got inaccurate data that may or may not have been consistent. If that person didn’t mind (or was ignorant), there was no issue.

Once you start affecting the experience of other people, potentially altering their motivation to continue with a service, then there’s a problem. How the folks at Zwift work to resolve this issue will likely impact the long-term viability of the platform. Will they be MySpace or Facebook?


(Liam Mapson) #16

 

Jason Buccellato .TGIF hits the nail on the head every time!

“Zpower riders want to compete with those of us who have smart trainers due to the general stability our wattage numbers will provide. However, when the topic of them competing or being ranked as their own group with dumb trainers they balk. They want us to tolerate their chaos, yet won’t accept being classed in the group of chaos they represent.”

Zpower riders get the climbers jersey, green jersey and orange jersey all on the same lap while averaging 8 watts/kilo.

I want to see a Z beside their name or on their jersey so I can ignore them.


(Liam Mapson) #17

The majority of Zpower riders on the course are genetic freaks of nature able to put out 9 watts/kilo for hours at a time. I am jealous. They need there own leader board so that mere mortals can wallow together in their mediocrity.


(Alison Kubota [Vision] CVR) #18

The majority of Zpower riders on the course are genetic freaks of nature able to put out 9 watts/kilo for hours at a time. I am jealous. They need there own leader board so that mere mortals can wallow together in their mediocrity.

It’s true!  Plus, many of them are able to pedal at 300rpm cadence!  Most of them fail to report their HR because it’s too low to be picked up by the monitor anyways.

Just don’t piss off a Zpower flyer.  They are so strong that they will leave a turbulent wake that knocks you off your wheels.


(A rider) #19

Zwift is a game with gaming severs for athletes - end of story. There will be the same issues with running these servers as there are with running a server for Call of Duty.

 

You will have jerks that cheat, you will have people with lousy equipment, crap PCs, and rubbish internet connections. 

These people will ruin, either on purpose or just because they don’t have the money to invest in better equipment, the experience for people that have integrity and the money to invest in a premium experience.

There should be a gateway for those with smart trainers, integrity, good PCs and internet connections to have a premium experience.

I hope everyone knows that all the leader boards could be cleaned up IF the false reports were deleted by these user on Strava. But, as we all see, they are liars that don’t care that their stats are a lie.

NO ONE averages 1200 watts for an entire lap or length of any course on Zwift, CycleOps, or TrainerRoad.

There is NO ONE over 50 years old, weighing over 200lbs that has a chance of having the top sprint time, KOM, or lap record in ANY online cycling experience. I have directly contacted some of these people and 1 admitted that the data was completely inaccurate and yet he still has not deleted the time.

After all this rant, I still really LOVE Zwift and I have amazing workouts on it. I just hope they get their act together (all the companies) and come up with a gaming model that works.


(Jonathan Panoff) #20

You could cheat with a power meter as well. With an SRM it would be as easy as putting in a different slope so that it displays greater power. Also can put in a lower weight to get a higher w/kg. Every system you can cheat. You can even cheat on strava. I saw a program where you just put in what percentage a boost you want with your power etc and it will just fudge your data. Digital EPO it is called. I say just go out with your mates and kick their asses in the real world… I don’t believe anything int he virtual world or in the pro peloton in the EPO era… I may even be fudging my power downwards to give my rivals a false sense of superiority over me and then make them look slow in a race where it counts hehe