@aimlessaj: Top man! I wasn't able to listen to the full trip so thanks for this.
TJUK's forum posts
I like the new look. It has elements of GB and Polygon which to my mind, must only be a good thing. Still I can't see myself coming anywhere but GB for my gaming needs. GB with a bit of Eurogamer on the side that is.
Hi Drew. I'm from the UK and an avid F1 fan. I'll take a shot at answering these.
- Lewis Hamilton got the pole position, but the commentators made it sound like it was a long shot for him to win. Hamilton himself seemed doubtful. Why?
Lewis and his car are currently great at qualifying, but the car lacks the pace over the whole race distance to compete with some of the other teams. Tire wear plays a big part in this.
- Qualifying times determine where you are on the starting grid, right? Mark Webber was 10th on the grid at the start, but it appeared that he didn't have a qualifying time. Why, then, wasn't he gridded in last place?
Qualifying is split into 3 parts. Q1 lasts 20 mins and decides the bottom 6 places. Q2 lasts 15 mins and decides the next 6 places. Q1 lasts 10 mins and decides the top 10 places. If a driver gets all the way through to Q3 but doesn't set a time in Q3, he still maintains 10th place in qualifying.
- How different is each car allowed to be? Obviously this isn't NASCAR where each car has to be pretty much the same, but how much can a team deviate from the rules? I guess what I'm asking is, how much of a team's performance is determined by their drivers versus the money they've poured into the car? Is Red Bull the Yankees?
The teams must develop their own car but the guide lines are very strict. F1 is as much about the development arms race as the drivers skill. Though it does not neccesarily mean the team with the most money always wins. Innovation is the name of the game. Past a certain budget, the key to success is the right personnel; I.e. the best designers and engineers.
- What are the rules regarding defensive maneuvers? Can you just continue to block a guy all the time to prevent him from passing you?
You may block once to defend from being overtaken, but not a second time. This is to prevent weaving and dangerous driving.
- You can only use DRS if you're close enough to the car ahead of you, right? How is this determined? Sensors on the cars? What if you press the DRS button outside this range? Will it still activate and give you a penalty or does it automatically lock you out when you're out of range?
There are sensors in the cars and the track. The distance between two given cars is measured between two points on the track just before the DRS zone. It is possible to open DRS when you're not allowed to. The driver or team may be penalized for this. The driver will hear a 'beep' in his ear when he is allowed to use DRS. It will automatically dis-engage when he hits the brakes (usually for the next corner).
- I saw teams switching from soft tires to medium tires. Are they accounting for the fact that the track heats up as the race goes on, and thus they can use a stiffer tire?
All cars must use both the prime and option tire during the race. One is softer than the other, as you say. Depending on the track and conditions, the softer or harder tire may be the better one in terms of performance. Also some cars may suit one tire over the other. Track heat is a factor in the tires wearing out slower or faster, but isn't the key factor on switching compounds.
- Anybody know how they get their onboard audio for the broadcast? I'd love to know what mic can withstand that decibel level.
I don't know what mic the drivers use, but I understand the sound is not so loud from within the cockpit. It is within the drivers helmet obviously so that helps. Plus the engine is behind the driver and most of the noise it being pushed out the back of the car. The same is probably true for the TV broadcast mics on the cars. They are probably heavily defended too, from wind noise etc.
- A couple of times drivers had to go outside the course to avoid crashing, once on the outside of a turn and once in a chicane, cutting the course. Are they penalized for this? I mean, sure, you were going to crash if you didn't do something, but you DID cut the course, giving you an advantage.
If you cut the course and are deemed to have benefited, depending on the severity you may get some sort of penalty. This is more likely if you do it several times. If you cut the track and gain a position, you must give the place back or face a penalty.
- Red Bull said the phrase "fail 22" over the radio to Vettel and Webber near the end of the race. What does that mean?
This is team code and the exact meaning is known only to the particular team. They have other codes like "multi 21" which means stay in position (1st and 2nd place) and don't try to overtake each other. "fail 22" could be related to some sort of mechanical failure on the car, or could be a similar "hold position with your teammate" order.
- How do the points work? It looked like the guy in 6th place got zero points but the guy in 7th got four.
1st : 25 points
2nd : 18 points
3rd : 15 points
4th : 12 points
5th : 10 points
6th : 8 points
7th : 6 points
8th : 4 points
9th : 2 points
10th : 1 point
April, 2005. I had bought a copy of Trackmania for PC and wasn't really feeling it. I took it back to the shop to exchange for another game (wow yes, I'm surprised they let me return a PC game thinking about it). Anyway, the game I exchanged it for was World of Warcraft. I had seen some video clips of it. I'd never played an MMO before and wasn't sold tbh. I couldn't get my head around how combat could not be real-time, but button clicking based. I had tried to buy it a few weeks before but it was completely out of stock in the whole of the UK at that time.
So anyway I picked up World of Warcaft. My wife was away at the time, so I had to wait until I had gotten the kids into bed before I could start looking at this new game. I started installing at around 7pm in the evening. I had some problems with my ASDL router where it wouldn't allow WoW to update so I remember having to swap it out for an old ASDL modem I had kicking around that plugged into the PC via USB. So after at least an hour and half of patching I think it was about 9.30pm when I was ready to start playing. I was about 2 or 3 beers in by this point, so that might have contributed to what I will describe now. :)
Loading up the game for the first time and creating my first character, I went for a Paladin. My theory being that I could wear strong armour and do healing spells so I wouldn't die very much. What makes this my most memorable moment in gaming is really the way I felt from the moment I got into the game. The interface was just so intuitive, it felt like I somehow knew what to do, running around, clicking my spells, collecting and putting on loot, talking to quest givers, it felt like I had always known how to play this game, though I had never played an MMO before. It just clicked. And the music and the graphics. I was a dwarf in the Dun Morogh starting zone. So it was nighttime, there was snow on the ground and the stars were out. It was just magical.
Also this was the first time I had ever seen other real people running around in a game and I remember really getting a kick out of that. There is a cave in the back of that area and at the beginning of WoW those mobs were all hostile, so we were forming groups to try and get in there and kill the main npc in that area. It was just so cool and new.
I have created many dwarf characters in WoW over the years, trying to rekindle how the game made me feel that first time. Of course though, you can only ever have your first time once.