Riding with friends impossible (STILL). Can we finally make some improvements Please


(Ryan Boyd) #1

This is an edited re-post from January this year which has replies from Zwift Admins saying that there was going to be a big feature change coming for riding with friends. It is now October and it seems like nothing has changed. Why oh why is it so hard to ride with a friend. I even was talking to him on Whats App and it still was difficult. There was about 300 people on the screen at any given time and I have no way of seeing him on the screen.

Come on Zwift. This is a basic function for a social MMO riding app that should already be part of something that I pay a monthly fee for. I just started using this app to ride with teammates and the first try for us to ride together yesterday was a complete cluster. No easy way to find other people on the list of 2500+ riders on the login screen. Oh wait, you have to open a PHONE app to friend people so they show up on your COMPUTER app? Well that’s just stupid.

There were 2 of us trying to ride together. We were able to join, select the same course, and drop in at the same location. It quickly went downhill from there. Once you get away from the your riding partner you have no idea how far ahead or behind your friends are. It is very frustrating. We were sort of able to stick together after we figured out the totally non-intuitive mobile app friend process. Riding with other people on Zwift should NOT be so hard. Here are some things that would improve the experience immensely.

  1. Search for and find people you know right from the login screen. You know like a search bar. Like every other social app in the history of the internet has or at least have a friends section with people that you follow.

  2. “Group Ride” creation feature. A button that says “Start a Group Ride”. You name the ride. Then your friends join that ride. Ride leader can boot random people that try to join. Then everyone on the group ride has a special flag above their head (beacon) so you can pick them out from the 100 other riders on your screen. They are also flagged on the little course map so you know who’s ahead and who’s behind if they fall off the group.

  3. Riders list on the right side of the screen should have an options to show only your friends or group. That way you can catch up/slow down as needed to group back up if you get separated. That list is pretty worthless for group riding when there are 100’s of other random dudes around you.


(Jonathon Stacey) #2

Hi, just checking if you follow your friends on Companion because they’ll appear at the top of Zwifters riding and you have the option to select and ride with them before starting and then have pedal assist to make it easier to get riding together. Also if you favourite them they appear as a star on the map so you can see how far ahead or behind they are on the course if they drop off the riders nearby list because it’s busy.

Other ideas are select the same distinctive jersey to help you stand out (try one of the kits that need an unlock code if you want something less common, i do this in races where it’s hectic and crowded - check out this link for unlock codes. https://zwiftinsider.com/kits/

The other thing if it’s busy can be to both do a u-turn so you are riding in the opposite diection to the masses. Try selecting a route that you need to have hit a higher level to unlock eg jungle route where there tend to be less riders so it’s easier to keep sight of your friend. Hope these ideas help.


(Ryan Boyd) #3

Hi Jonathan,

Yes we are friends on the companion app but when he started into a route and was waiting for me on the side of the road to join him he did not appear at the top of my list. Only when he began cycling .2km did he then appear on the list available to join. We tried on 2 different occasions. It seems that friends don’t appear on the list unless they start the workout. We are all about completing Zwift Segments and getting PR’s so if I join him when he is already started the race I miss the full route segment which is the main one I want to compete against and the main reason why I do this.

I did not have him as a favorite but he did show up as a little red circle some of the time on the map but when he got too far behind he disappeared completely. Also I should not have to use my Mobile phone whilst cycling to check where he is. A simple feature that allows you to either.

A) Turn off or hide all non followers from the ride list.
B) Have a separate box for your friends or people you are riding with possibly on the bottom left of the screen so we can see how far ahead or behind they are and what pace they are going at any given time.
C) On the Zwift map the people you are riding with could show up as a bright blue icon on the mini map and the actual avatar could be a flashing avatar or something that is easy to see.

The Jersey thing I will check out but I still think it wont be much use. Today there was a different peleton flying by us every few minutes and a ton of other riders. Even when he was just 5 seconds behind me I couldn’t see him on the list.

We love doing our planned routes and KOM’s so we don’t want to have to U-turn or deviate from the routes because of a lack of functionality with the program.

I don’t have the higher level maps unlocked yet and quite simply I shouldn’t have to deviate to those again for a lack of functionality.

It is a revolutionary program with great potential but I find it has a serious lack of upgrades for the amount of clientele you have. I mean some of these functions are just very basic on most of the console games.

Perhaps we might try out Virtu-GO or Grand Road Tours as we can guarantee it wont be so busy and w don’t have to pay for it.

Thanks,
Ryan.


(Ryan Boyd) #4

I did forget to ask how the pedal assist works? Would that not affect KOM’s and trying to beat segments if you had some sort of in game assist to help you speed up or slow down?

Please explain thanks,

Ryan


(Vincent W.) #5

Hey @Ryan_Boyd, this may not be instantly gratifying but our devs have heard about this for a long time (as you’ve noted) and moves have been made. I don’t have any more info than that but I’ll just say, features take time to test and implement. :slight_smile:


(Richard Walker) #6

Hi. I agree. My suggestion was to have a beacon of light above a friend (maybe different colours for different friends). You would then also see them coming towards you.

Riding in a group workout when everyone is in the exact same jersey in a blob of 80 riders it is impossible to get an idea of where your buddy is. I think a beacon of light above them would be a great idea. They already do a similar thing with the group leader (they get a crown icon above them) which works great.


(Daren Chandisingh [Vision]) #7

TBH I sometimes lose myself, let alone anyone else.


(Conza) #8

Great rationale! Upvoted. Have experienced same issues.


(Marcin Chrustowski) #9

Same here. I can see friend on top of the list.When I click on his name. I can’t see him. We check when he was stoped or riding. I am just dropped on trlhe road and can’t find him on the list or map (as a star) .Before everything works fine.Now something happened


(Lb Hifi Odz [Team Cyclechat]) #10

A simple switch button to switch between “Riders nearby” and “Riders I follow” would be such a great feature.


(Gerrie Delport) #11

Let’s start with the simple things first.

#1 - The ride with button on the stat screen does not work. People get’s dropped in at the spawn point after selecting to follow a friend.

#2 - When #1 work, then keep them on the same route, so when this first one make a turn the follower will follow.

#3 - When making manual route selections remember those selections for the next round. ie. You pick perimeter loop do it a few times but then a friend start riding but he/she is on the 6 train, so you two meet up and ride together but Zwift keep suggesting you turn towards the perimeter loop although you made turns to stay on the 6 train loop.


(Ryan Boyd) #12

So after my Thursday ride with my mate from across the pond I have a couple of updates on some things that I tried that were suggested on this post.

  1. I did manage to get my friend to show up on my list at the top but it took forever. When he loaded in to the game it took around 3-4 minutes for it to refresh and show him in the game ready to join.

  2. We both added each other as favourites on the companion app and when we rode together he did show up as a star on the in game app. In the companion app he showed up as his profile pic on the map. Excellent I thought. This was all thumbs up until we got too far apart and then he would disappear completely from both maps. Come on man. We like to separate on the KOM’s as I’m a better climber so we just go at our own pace till we hit the top then we catch each other back up but when we got too far apart he would always disappear.
    Why Why Why?

  3. We were riding on the NYC map and it was super crowded and bunched up almost 50% of the ride so again even when we were within 1-2 seconds of each other we could never see that on the screen as it would always show other riders nearby and you can’t tell from the map if your ahead or behind so this was super frustrating. A simple box on the left hand side with my friends info showing all the time would alleviate this headache. Either that or the ability to just show people you are following.


(Leon Evans[Cardiff Ajax]) #13

For the non-gamers (just cyclists), Zwift is not ground breaking in any way, shape or form. It is an MMORPG with bicycles.
Every single MMO has the same basic formats:
LFG - Looking for Group
Group Chat
Grouping
Group markers on maps

Zwift is an MMO. How it does not have basic grouping options is a mystery.

Club ride is the Zwift equivalent of a PUG.
Club rides are the heart and sole of grass roots cycling.

How I foresee a Club Ride/PUG in zwift:
Log on to Zwift.
“Create club ride”.
Create password for club ride.
give Club Ride name & password to club mates on chosen social media platform
Club Ride creator chooses route and joins world, has leader beacon.
Club mates join club ride with password and join club rider leader on map with beacons
Right hand rider list switches to only show those in the club ride.
World map in top right only shows members of the club ride.
All other riders in the world switch to a transparent ghost model that cannot be drafted. The ghost model allows other riders to be visible but is a visual difference to give club riders more ‘presence’ than other world riders.


(Daren Chandisingh [Vision]) #14

Surely more like a guild group. PUGs are mostly randoms.


(Leon Evans[Cardiff Ajax]) #15

correct, i was typing quickly. But you got my point :slight_smile:


(Daren Chandisingh [Vision]) #16

Yeah, but I would take it further. Like any MMO worth its salt, guild (team) management should be in the game. It should be baked in, so you can join teams within the game. Make it possible for only team members to wear the team kit, for example. Make it easier to display team colours/icons on the Riders Nearby panel.

Loads of great stuff is predicated on the idea that team management is a built-in feature, rather than a community bolt-on via a thirdparty site.


(Leon Evans[Cardiff Ajax]) #17

I 100% agree, preaching to the choir my friend.

I’m guessing the people who first started Zwift didn’t actually realise they were making an MMO and just thought it was a ‘cycling application’.
They need to realise they are coding an MMO rather than a cycling app and employ some MMO people or do some research on MMO’s and how MMO’s do grouping, instancing of raids/dungeons (read races/events).

club riding (grouping) is the heart and soul of both MMO’s and real life riding.


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(Dylan Crockett) #18

I would love to see a grouping feature added. Friends lists where you can invite people to ride with you. Clubs/teams where you could invite people to join and post group rides and times. Instead of the local tuesday/thursday/saturday group rides ending when the weather turns bad you could hold it on Zwift…I mean the technology for this is like 20 years old…This would take the game to a whole new level. Friends would get their IRL friends on to ride with them over the winter.