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Things that Turn 10 Dev's should know, but don't.

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Things that Turn 10 Dev's should know, but don't.

Post by GTDon2 on Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:19 pm

I have to say as one of the original users of Forza going all the way back to FM1 and the infamous Che Chow, that T10 has more than lost its way when you see where the game was and where it is today.  It's not that FM7 is bad or not worth the money or time, it's just that it falls well short of the outstanding experience it could have been by now.

For those of you who weren't around, the playability features of FM1 remain superior to any of the sequels to this day.  Sort of like movies, the first movie tends to be best while version 2,3,4,5,6 or 7, tend to miss the mark and be lesser watered down versions.

Perhaps the #1 missing feature that has forever stolen the very thing T10 says they are after, is host controlled public lobbies.  Their reasoning was that the community had too much power to control lobbies and that this was negative in their eyes.  They felt that it just wasn't fair that for any reason at all a host could eject you from a lobby on a whim.  No doubt the members of T10 were themselves victims of this "unfair" practice from time to time and were determined to change it.  What they didn't know (probably because they weren't true users of the game) is that there was a huge positive side that clearly outweighed the negative.  In fact, there were many positives that outnumbered the one and only negative, like self-regulation, diversity of racing types, free association, justice, reputation building, creativity, impromptu organized racing, meeting new people and building a friends base, and just plain fun.

The majority of my Forza friends were actually derived from FM1-2 when public lobbies were regulated by the host, and before the evil we know today as the 'public hopper' was instituted.  This says a lot about the journey of Forza.  It says that later versions of the game have done very little in the way of getting people to interact or forge friendships with each other as was so prevalent back in the day.  Basically what T10 did is say, "We can do the job of public lobbies much better if we remove the host and regulate the play with set hoppers. That way everyone can play, no one gets booted, and everyone will have to play what we think are the best types of racing. And this will bring more people together."  

Instead what happened as an unintended consequence was total mayhem and lawlessness.  That small segment of any group of people known as the 'bad guys' saw a wonderful opening to cause problems with impunity.  Without a host to control a lobby and dispense justice, almost anything goes, including the fun. It used to be that only about 10% of host controlled lobbies were bad and 90% were relatively good to some degree.  You never knew what you were going to get back then and that was half the fun.  Every time you turned on the Xbox it was always different with different people if you wanted it to be, or you could go with what you knew and your regular friends too, the choice was yours. Today it's practically the opposite. 90% of the public hopper lobbies are junk and only about 10% are good.  Out of the 10% that are good, they only last a few races before someone starts crashing into people on purpose and ruining the lobby.

The hoppers which are intended to be better forms of racing with a diverse range of classes and types, is but a finite number compared to the creative host-controlled public lobbies of the past.  Back then there was an unlimited number of ways to race, and easy to find a format that you liked, or make one that others would like.  Drivers of like-mind would eventually discover each other and new friendships would be formed.  Over time, large friends lists would be created to where you had a rotation deciding who best to keep and who had to go due to the 50-100 friends limit.  There were many clubs that numbered over 300 members back then.  This massive interaction hasn't been seen since, even though more people play Forza today then back then.  Also a clue something is missing.

The whole story is analogous to a clash of philosophies. On the T10 side, you have the good intentions of a "benevolent government" determined to mandate a utopian society even if by regulatory force.  On the end-user side, you have fiercely independent free thinkers who are not asking to be governed or controlled or told how to play.  It is essentially the difference between big government social regulators vs free market capitalists.  This is why Forza has lost its way over the years.  Instead of concentrating on what made the original so fun the majority of the time, they have instead concentrated on what made the game not so fun a minority of the time.  Yeah, it wasn't fun getting the boot for no reason at all, or for being too fast for the host, true, but even this was itself fun as it offered some intrigue and challenge at times to get into a certain lobby. A far better proposition than being allowed in any lobby just to be wrecked the entire race.

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