Robopacers Asking Questions (Opinion)

Robopacers, previously known as Pace Partners, have had a lot of changes to them over the last couple of years since they were introduced. One of these changes is the text prompts the Robopacers automatically display as they ride around in Watopia and Makuri. In this post, I want to make my opinion known and I would like to know other people’s views below.

IMO: I am supportive of Robopacers talking. They can provide tips for newer players which can catch them up to speed. However when Robopacers prompt riders with a question such as “Anyone warming up for a race?” It just becomes weird and awkward. And I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. Allow me to explain:

If I know the Robopacer is a bot, why would I respond to it? No one else cares and this isn’t really a prompt that will spark conversation.

If I don’t know the Robopacer is a bot, I wouldn’t get an answer and look stupid. Most likely a real rider will respond with something along the lines of “You know it’s a bot right?”

This creates a jarring experience with Robopacers where they are just ignored and feel awkward.
I know this isn’t a big issue at all and has extremely little to no impact on the experience of Zwift, however, I don’t imagine the ‘fix’ or ‘change’ for this would take much time at all.

Also PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE remove “We are getting some gone!”
What does this even mean??

What do you all think?

You are getting some what….

Yeah, that just sounds odd.

Sometimes the robot talks over other conversations which is a bit annoying then you need to look at the companion app for the chat history (if it hasn’t disconnected again).

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I think there’s a good amount of cheese that can be had with the PP’s and what they say, and it makes for good inside jokes.
I do agree some of the weirder ones like getting some gone is… not a statement I’m familiar with, especially in this context.

Personally, I wish they could have more logical statements, and/or say “advertisements” for upcoming rides.

It just seems logical to me for them to have a better use as they’re surrounded by a lot of folks. Having them be able to say “Want a bigger group ride, check out X starting in 10 minutes!”
Which would be… more handy if links could function in Companion… but that’s neither here nor there.

Even if we got down to basics, having some things that are more fitting per month, would be a nice, I presume not terribly difficult, solution.
Things along the lines of “How is Tour of Watopia going for you?”

I get the bots can be confusing to newbies, and they absolutely were to me for a while as well, so I get that aspect.

But they do also offer that initial push to get some social interaction going, which I would safely assume is the entire purpose.

After hearing the same thing for years on end though, on some days they are certainly more annoying, which is where I wish they had an ability to comment on recent things.

I wouldn’t fully expect this to be easy to do, but again something like “X ride is happening in 10 minutes, check it out!”
It would be awesome to spit out more statistics, stating how many people are signed up for the ride for example.

All these years later it just feels like the chatting bots were put in place with some grand scheme in mind, but… that grand scheme is in a dusty folder somewhere in the basement of HQ, that hasn’t been seen for half a decade.
The opportunity to make pace partner chat actually… good, is huge.

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I agree! Lots of great ideas here.

I’ll add some ideas:

‘There are X active riders on Zwift right now!’
‘Lifetime distance on Zwift is now X kilometers!’
‘Make sure to sign up for X event!’
‘Congrats to rider X.Y for reaching level 60!’

Now that I think about it, this feature is severely underutilized
A complaint many riders have is a lack of communication. Often times you have to come to Zwift Forums to find actual news on zwift. Why not incorporate some of that information using pace partners, or even a news banner in-game somewhere somehow. Lots of untapped UI designs to think about


The cheesy PP talk I don’t really mind. It is what it is. What I like is there is not constant chatter. There’s hardly any klickiness amongst real riders. Probably because most are lone riders. Group rides are so laced with chatter and klickiness that I just can’t bear with them anymore. My preference is for less messaging. Quiet. Peace. Ride.


Robo Pacer text needs an update period.

I created this for Coco the other day :joy:

Coco was an experienced cyclist who had been riding for years. She loved the thrill of the open road, the wind in her hair, and the feeling of freedom that came with pedaling hard and fast. But when she heard about Zwift, a virtual cycling platform, she was intrigued.

After signing up and spending some time on the platform, Coco discovered that she loved the experience of riding with other people from all over the world. It was a great way to stay motivated and push herself harder than ever before.
One day, Coco stumbled upon the pace partner feature on Zwift. Pace partners were virtual cyclists that rode at a consistent speed, making them the perfect companions for anyone looking to improve their endurance or try out a new training program. Coco decided to give it a try and joined a ride with a pace partner named Dax.

The ride was tough, but Coco kept up with Dax’s pace and found that she was able to ride for longer than she ever had before. As they rode, Coco struck up a conversation with Dax and discovered that he was a professional cyclist who had competed in races all over the world. Coco was in awe and couldn’t believe that she was riding with someone so talented.

After the ride, Coco realized that she wanted to become a pace partner herself. She loved the idea of helping other riders improve their skills and reach their goals. She worked hard to become a pace partner, setting a consistent pace and learning how to motivate other riders.

Soon, Coco had a loyal group of riders who rode with her regularly. They relied on her for encouragement and guidance as they worked towards their own cycling goals. Coco loved the feeling of being a leader and inspiring others to push themselves harder than ever before.

Over time, Coco became known as one of the most popular pace partners on Zwift. She continued to ride with riders from all over the world, always pushing them to go further and faster than they ever thought possible. And she knew that she had found her true calling in life - helping others achieve their dreams on the bike.


Daunting. It would require automated logic for each partner that looks at the schedule, decides which events are appropriate (eg: for a cat A pacer vs a D pacer), pulls relevant info and rephrases it for conversation, and can also decide when to start and stop talking about it. Keep in mind that this is an environment where changing simple display items in the companion app or Zwift Power seems to take months, if not years.

If it’s not automated, then an employee would be pulled from something to live update it for every event the numerous pacers mention.

Also PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE remove “We are getting some gone!”
What does this even mean??

It’s what happens when you never have to worry about wanging anchors.

Seeing how all of the data is right there, produced by Zwift themselves; it’s literally just pulling database information, no different than companion app showing what events are coming up including the ability to limit specific event types and categories (again, also already something Companion does).

The questionable aspect is how the PP’s function, and if there’s a way to connect them to that data, or if they’re literally just pulling quotes from a, probably xml sheet like most things seem to operate in Zwift.

Easy; just disable chat, and to make it more peaceful, turn the HUD off!

Both are already supported options.

The questionable aspect is how the PP’s function, and if there’s a way to connect them to that data, or if they’re literally just pulling quotes from a, probably xml sheet like most things seem to operate in Zwift.

Pull the info from the DB and use a template to generate the .xml file whenever it needs to be updated. Easy :sunglasses:!

The companion app isn’t automated. I guess you haven’t heard James mention how much work it is to update events. In order for the companion app to show anything, someone has to log in and put it there. For example, there are more than a dozen (over 20 in fact) events between noon and 1pm EDT today. Just this one hour of events, required James and/or outside organizers to log in and fill out a form 20+ times. If they don’t fill out the form, you don’t see their event.

Remember, the end user has to use the filter buttons. The way it is now requires that someone interact with the app.

There are 9 different pacer levels (2 per level). A zwift employee would have to make 180 live decisions this hour alone for those 20 events. Then an employee would have to add relevant chat content for each event mentioned. Then remove the chat content as each event ages. And keep repeating that process 24/7.

Your idea is great, but Zwift isn’t set up in a way that makes it easy to implement. Maybe I’m wrong, though. James has worked on both pacers and events. He can better clarify what changes would need to happen.

Based on current fuctionality, there’s also the additional complication that changes to pacer text are only applied when they start a ride (which happens once a week). I already get isolated complaints when the pacer goes offline (for one minute once a week) and having them log off numberous times daily would increase that significantly.

Again, just based on present functionality.

Sort of what I imagined. Things end up being way more complicated than they seem.

In that case I’m not totally surprised; anyways that’s really a pipe dream to have that capability.

THAT SAID, I know for a fact we’ve had pace partners at least mention the racing of the month series before.

But I guess if … this stuff is all put in manually, then yeah it’s probably a bit cumbersome to just add another thing on the list of things to change & check, week by week.

Either way; my real point is, they could have a great functionality; just needs implementing.

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They’ve said that for about 6 months :joy:

we’re no bludgers.

I, for one, welcome our new GPT-4-powered RoboPacer overlords.

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From memory it’s all manual needing someone to set this manually.

I had an idea before for the robot to mention the route they were riding on, but not possible because the functions needed to call it automatically doesn’t exist.

I think all Robo Pacers should say, at about 5 minute intervals, “The blue thumbs up button doesn’t do anything other than say ‘Ride On!’ If you want to give someone a Ride On, click the circle around your dot on the Companion App map.”


But they could also act as something of a ride leader or DS or basics coach. “There’s a climb coming up, be ready to put in some effort,” “If your legs are getting tired, work on downshifting and increasing your cadence,” “no one ever faded to a PR”, that sort of thing.

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