Gran Turismo fansite GTPlanet recently caught up with Polyphony boss Kazunori Yamauchi to ask him some questions on GT Sport's matchmaking and reputation systems.
Anyone who's played Gran Turismo 6's online component will attest to its chaotic nature with players taking shortcuts and ramming all too common with little to no ramifications. With the release of GT Sport all of that will be set to change with the title's new reputation and matchmaking system which takes cues from a certain PC racing simulator known as iRacing.
GT Sport's driver rating structure is broken down into two components: “Sportsmanship” and “Driver Class”. Whereas the Driver Class is simply based off of your overall speed and race performance the Sportsmanship component is where it gets really interesting. The Sportsmanship points are calculated from your overall etiquette on the racetrack. That is to say your basic behavioural tendencies and your general racing manners. Players will be put into any one of six categories known as a “Driver Class”, these ratings are split into the follow letters: S, A, B, C, D and R.
“These two scores will affect your driver rating. For example, if your Sportsmanship Points go down because you have been driving very rough in some races, you will only be matched with other players who drive rough on-track. On the other side of the spectrum, people who run clean races, will be matched with other clean drivers,” says Kazunori Yamauchi.
It seems like the ultimate solution to the problem of playing with players that have little regard for any racing etiquette or fair racing without having the hassle of organising private lobbies and that's a great thing for those who don't have the time or energy to go to those lengths, people like me then. Of course GT Sport will still need a decent damage system to punish those sloppy drivers during the race and to put the fear of crashing into players to ensure they keep their cars in tip top race condition thus avoiding risky maneuvers.
Yamauchi has even shared the conditions for players to increase and decrease their driver class. According to Yamauchi, race distance, race category and course difficulty will be the criteria to increase your class. The factors for a decrease in class level however are much more plentiful. Driving off-track, ignoring flags and speed limits, making contact with a wall, entering restricted zones, pushing others off track and general collisions will put your driver class level into question.
It seems like a fairly complicated system that could frustrate players, how many times in Gran Turismo 6 have you had a time penalty imposed on you because someone else rammed into you for example? Polyphony will need to make sure the system is robust enough to make the correct decisions and to avoid punishing innocent players which remains to be seen.
No doubt over time the system will undergo updates and improvements, however we really need to see a system that works at least 90% of the time at launch. We'll bring you more on GT Sport's etiquette system and more as soon as new details come to light.
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