GT5's Game-Breaking Online Flaw (OP Updated: 11 Feb)

Discussion in 'Gran Turismo 5' started by MGR, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. MGR

    MGR

    Messages:
    298
    Updated 11th February 2012
    Progress!

    Seems we've finally generated enough noise to bring this issue to PD's attention. In the recent GT5 V2.04 update the first line of the release notes states:
    An initial test by GTP member cicua has demonstrated a full grid 16x car race at Suzuka (no weather) being run without the bug present. The test subject was using a FFB wheel but all voice chat was disabled for the race.

    Early signs are promising. However more testing is needed - especially while using voice chat.

    *****

    Updated OP 20th January
    Gran Turismo 5 suffers from a serious online bug which results in abnormally long lap times for those affected.

    Symptoms

    The bug manifests itself by way of the competitor’s vehicle having reduced grip, poor acceleration and poor braking. It is also associated with a noticeable drop in frame rate or stuttering. The amount of time lost will vary depending on several factors which influence the severity of the bug.

    Contributing factors

    Race Only
    This bug does not appear to effect free-run mode. Competitors are able to make consistent lap times regardless of how many people are practising at any one time. These free-runs laps can be used to benchmark the severity of the bug when it occurs in racing.

    Number of Competitors
    There is no magic number here but based on sample data and feedback from other GTP Members the bug can appear with 11 or more competitors and becomes more severe as competitor numbers increase.

    Controller method
    The bug has consistently proved to affect FFB wheel users much more than Dual Shock users.

    Headset use
    The bug has also proved to be more prevalent with those using voice headsets.

    Track choice
    Some tracks demonstrate a tendency for the bug to appear with fewer competitors compared to other (smaller) tracks. For example you’re much more likely to encounter problems on Grand Valley Speedway than Tsukuba.

    Premium cars
    This is based mostly on anecdotal evidence but the bug seems more common with many premium (highly detailed) model cars in use. Races using standard model cars (like shuffle races) seem to be slightly less affected.

    Recognising the bug

    Firstly, it is important to remember this bug does not appear to affect free-run mode. Lap times made in free-run mode seem to be consistent no matter how many users are within the gaming lobby and can potentially be used as the benchmark to determine when you’re affected by the bug during races.

    Seasoned drivers will (in free-run mode) be able to punch out lap after lap within a few tenths of each other. However once the race starts, should those (clean) lap times suffer by several seconds right from the start of the race then it’s highly likely the bug is adversely affecting the driver’s pace.

    However there is a method of checking post-race whether a particular driver has definitely been affected.

    Replay time discrepancy

    It has been established that replay data provides a window into which races are affected and by how much. To check suspect replays simply watch the replay and use a handheld stopwatch to time the recorded laps manually. The difference in time between the clock as shown on the replay and the stopwatch recorded time appears to be an accurate indicator of the amount of time lost due to the bug.

    Example:
    [​IMG]

    The first table shows the lap time differences between the game clock and stopwatch in a replay that was noticeably affected during the race by the bug. The data is from a driver using a Logitech G25 FFB wheel. The dual shock users in this race seemed to be unaffected.

    The second table shows the lap time differences between the game clock and stopwatch in a replay that seemed (to the driver involved) to be unaffected. Each lap (with the exception of the first and to a lesser extent the second) is virtually the same time on the game clock and stopwatch. The one tenth could be accounted for in the accuracy of the stopwatch in question (in this case an Ipod Touch). It should also be noted this replay data was from the pole sitter – whom led from the start and quickly pulled a reasonable lead. The slight time difference from the first lap could be attributed to the amount of heavy traffic (graphical data) being processed.

    As a video demonstration of the time discrepancy please view this video provided by GTP member Filip_Ovik. As you can see the game clock shown in the video seems to be running much faster than the timecode on the youtube video:



    Analysing contributing factors

    Number of Competitors

    As previously stated there is no magic number of competitors which will always activate this bug. Although I have seen the bug affect races with only 11 (standard model) cars on Grand Valley Speedway. Given how there are many factors which can influence the bug I wouldn’t be surprise if the bug could affect races with fewer competitors.

    The following replay data was supplied by the pole sitter of this particular race. The driver was using a Logitech G27 wheel but did not use any microphone/chat communication.

    [​IMG]

    As you can see the bug was having a significant impact on his lap times with 12 competitors. Once that number dropped back to 11 (at the start of lap three) the bug was still present but only affecting lap times by just under half a second. It wasn't until the numbers dropped back to 10 (early in lap 5) that the bug was gone.

    Below is some sample replay data of races held on the same day using the same lobby/group of competitors. All races were conducted on the evening of the 16th June 2011.

    [​IMG]

    This data illustrates the relationship between the number of competitors and the severity of the bug. I have much more recent (and severe) examples but I wanted to demonstrate that this is not a new issue and I suspect has been going on much earlier than June 2011 – possibly since the game launched.

    Controller method & headset use
    When competitor numbers reach the ‘tipping point’ and the bug appears it’s the FFB wheel users and to a lesser extent those using headsets that are first affected and suffer the most time loss.

    In a very recent one-make race with 14 competitors on the Nurburgring GP/F using premium model Mazda MX5’s we suffered an incredible amount of time-loss right from the start. However this did allow me the opportunity to test using different peripherals and turning the headset on and off during the same race.

    [​IMG]

    You can see from the table above that by switching from the Logitech G25 to the dual shock controller and by disabling the official Sony BT headset the driver is able to gain back a massive amount of time lost. Despite these measures the bug is still hampering lap times in this extreme case but to a far lesser extent.

    Below is a video compiled by GTP member Speedy6543 from a race on Tokyo R246 reverse. It graphically demonstrates the difference in pace between the different cars depending on controller method.



    Track choice
    Tracks such as Tsukuba seem less susceptible to the bug while tracks such as Grand Valley Speedway have seen significant time loss with only 12 competitors using standard model cars. I will use this particular Grand Valley example in this next point.

    Free-run vs. Racing
    As previously stated this bug doesn’t seem to affect free-run mode. However there is a key difference between free-run and racing – that being the PS3 is not recording anything in free-run mode. It would also seem that the recording of replays not only contributes to the bug, but may contain clues as to how much time is being lost during the race.

    For example;

    Grand Valley Speedway - 12 competitors – all using the Viper GTS ’99 (Standard Model)
    Qualifying lap (Free-run mode) - 2:11.8 (game clock)
    Clean race lap - 2:17.6 (game clock)

    Although the driver is able to set several laps within a few tenths of each other during free-run, come race time the lap is nearly 6 seconds slower. But here’s where it gets interesting;

    If you play back the recorded replay of this race and manually time the clean race lap the stopwatch gives a lap time of 2:11.7 – only 1 tenth difference between the free-run lap and race lap. The replay of course will still show 2:17.6 on the game clock.

    This is only one of many examples where the manually timed replay lap all but matches the time achieved in free-run mode. I suspect the time difference recorded in the race replay is directly related to the amount of time lost during an actual race.

    Physics theory

    The following is my own personal theory. It may not be 100% accurate but it does go a long way to accounting for all of the symptoms suffered and is based on the data collected.

    Loss of power, braking and grip combined with a frame rate drop or stuttering is the symptom describe by racers experiencing the bug. To the driver it feels like the physics have changed. But I propose that the time discrepancies shown in the race replay and the strange physics are one in the same problem.

    First, let’s cover some basics. The game clock is accurate while racing. That means 1 minute on the game clock during a race is 1 minute in real life. It is only when a bug affected replay is played back that the game clock progresses faster than real life.

    It has also been previously noted that the time discrepancy in the replay seems to directly correlate to the lap time achievable in free-run mode. ie – If a clean free-run lap is 2:00, and the bug affected race lap is 2:10 then the stopwatch timed replay race lap will be 2:00.

    Given the close links to the PS3’s workload (# of competitors, replay recording, FFB effects, headset voice processing, highly detailed premium cars & high draw tracks) and the occurrence/severity of the bug I propose that in some circumstances the game (or PS3) is simply unable to process data for every frame quickly enough and is causing the game of those affected by the bug to suffer from (for lack of a better term) ‘micro-pauses’.

    Earlier in this thread I posted some replay timing data from a bugged replay;

    Qualifying lap (Free-run mode) - 2:11.8 (game clock)
    Clean race lap - 2:17.6 (game clock)
    Replay race lap – 2:11.7 (stopwatch)

    Around 6 seconds lost.

    Working on the assumption that GT5 is running at 60fps (obviously it's not solid 60fps but the actual framerate is not really relevant) then the 'stuttering' effect could be from the ‘bugged’ individuals game pausing frames 2 or 3 times per second while it catches up on it’s workload. Tiny pauses of this nature should be detectable to the naked eye and will of course be even more apparent should greater time loss be experienced.

    The game timer clock continues to run and each recorded frame is time stamped. However during these 'pauses' the frames are not recorded by the replay data. This would account for the time difference between the game clock in a bugged replay and stopwatch time.

    So while the ‘bugged’ car is pausing 2 or 3 times per second (each pause less than two hundreds of a second) the unaffected car has moved on up the road just a little.

    [​IMG]

    In the example above the race lap was 6 seconds (approximately 4.5%)

    Now consider the car is travelling at 100km/h - but the game is 'micro-pausing' 2 or 3 times per second. Because of these added paused frames the driver perceives or 'feels' the car to be travelling slower than it actually is in the physics engine. Because the driver perceives the vehicle to be moving 4.5% slower (say 95.5km/h) than it actually is then they will brake at an appropriate point - based on their perceived (slower) vehicle speed.

    However, the car is not travelling at 95.5km/h in the game engine. It's actually travelling at 100km/h and the braking point selected by the driver will almost certainly be too late. Not only that, but now that the driver has hit the brakes (and the game is still micro-pausing) the car is now taking 4.5% longer (in perceived time by the driver) to pull up for the corner.

    Cornering will have the same 'slow' feeling. Due to these micro-pauses the car is perceived by the driver to be travelling slower than it should. And relative to the rest of the unaffected cars racing - it is travelling slower.

    This theory would explain:

    - The slow lap times
    - The framerate stuttering
    - The lost replay data
    - The perceived loss of grip and power.


    Other key points

    This is not a Spec 2.0 bug.
    It has been around well before Spec 2.0 as demonstrated from the data recorded in June 2011.

    This is not an online vs. offline physics discussion.
    Yes, they are different. No, offline lap times do not match online lap times. We know.
    This thread is about the discussion of this specific bug.

    Room settings are not a factor.
    Boost on / off, Grip low / real, Tyre wear on/ off, normal or shuffle race, whatever.
    It does not matter. The bug can affect racers regardless of the room settings.

    Network connection speed is not a factor.
    Doesn’t matter how good your connection is. This particular bug does not discriminate against good or poor connections.

    Lobby spectators are not a factor.
    For example if you have 10 cars racing and 3 or 4 spectators the race will not suffer the bug. Normal network lag may increase as the amount of bandwidth required to service the additional client (spectator) consoles will increase – but this will happen in any room or lobby.

    Credits

    I would like to thank everybody in this thread for their input and a special thanks to Famine and Jordan for highlighting the issue and posting on the front page of GT Planet (although I like my OP title better :p).

    I hope this finally brings to the fore the seriousness of this bug.

    Once again, thank you to all contributors.

    Cheers
    MGR
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  2. Mac K

    Mac K

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    Any chance you went into a sand trap or the dirt/grass? I noticed after the last update, The car will handle odd for a few seconds after an off track excursion. It's kind of cool actually.
     
  3. diptob79

    diptob79

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    One person with nasty connection will bring the whole room down

    edit 16-Jan-2012
    Now this topic become even hotter than before.:tup:
    Great job and contribution from all GTP users, kudos.

    Now I'm consideing to limit the participants on my league, sigh.. :nervous:
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2012
  4. Dormie

    Dormie

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Canada
    same here,
    after hitting wall hard or off course hard,
    wheel is not centred,
    + steering is a bit random or loose,

    enjoy
     
  5. MGR

    MGR

    Messages:
    298
    Nope.

    We always run our rooms with the grip set to 'real'. If you take to the grass or sand you'll pick up crud on the tyres but it only takes a corner or two to clear it off again.

    I'm talking about a massive time difference here. I can usually punch out lap after lap within a few tenths but come race time the car suddenly loses a massive amount of grip and speed.

    That's just it. This glitch doesn't bring the whole room down. Only those using steering wheels.
     
  6. dr_slump

    dr_slump Premium

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    Maybe it doesn't hurt the DS3 users, because of the steering assist (and probably more than just that) they have.
     
  7. matty_234

    matty_234

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    121
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Don't know if this is related to this glitch but I was racing on Spa a couple of months ago. I use a G27 And so do about 3 of the guys. The room had about 12 people in it and I had been racing with about 6 of them all night. We were shuffle racing And I got dealt the M3 CSL which along with the Esprit 350 is one of the fastest cars in the PP range of 460.
    I had one a few times in that car. I did a quick lap in free run and then went onto the race. Suddenly my car was 10+ seconds a lap slower than normal with no explanation. It was a 6 lap race and for the first 4 laps i was lapping 16+ seconds slower than the leader who I had beaten many times that night. On the 4th lap I then went 15 seconds faster than my previous best lap and the car became noticeably faster and better handling. I went on to win the race. And before people say "it was your driving" I very consistent and run quick and competitive lap times.
    I think this could be related to subject but it was extremely weird.
     
  8. GODfreyGT5

    GODfreyGT5

    Messages:
    3,266
    OP, I have had the EXACT issues as you! Atleast four seperate night's races over two different series has been ruined by this shameful bug!

    Guys, it's not dirt on tyres or messed settings, I raced D-max's BTCC series one with no issues, but starting series 2 post SPEC-2 I have come under huge trouble, souch as falling from top 5 to last within less than three corners of Cape Ring inside due to a sudden loss of power and traction, loosing a good 4/5 seconds of what were consitent qualifying times. The frame-rate changes are also horrid, but noticed by other racers also. As one of few wheel users in the series there us a strong correlation. I was surprised this hadn't been brought up before in such a thread before.

    Chris.

    Edit:
    A possible cause may be the number of cars on screen to render straining the ps3, and not allowing GT's physics engine to fully funtion, but it's weird the bug has only uncovered itself in recent months.
     
  9. will-i-am

    will-i-am

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    I have seen this once. I didnt believe it to be a wheel problem though. I thought it was an inconsistency online.

    While practicing for the WSGTC in the same car and track setting for a couple days it happened.
    My lap time were low 2:09's as long as i stayed on track. If i messed up a bit it was 2:10. I went from one room to another and was running low 2:10's and with mistakes 2:11. I was thinking I was off. Then the room was reset and my times were back to normal.
     
  10. BWX

    BWX

    Messages:
    2,005
    I've noticed this for a long time, pre Spec II. I use a G25, but I don't think it's wheel related, I just think GT5's ONLINE physics and netcode suck horrendously, and are completely inconsistent and full of huge problems that never get fixed. PD simply doesn't care, end of story. I hardly ever race online any more because of it.
     
  11. H20HYBRID_GT

    H20HYBRID_GT

    Messages:
    1,747
    This.


    I find it incredible OP thinks it has to do something with wheel use, seriously...

    Maybe PD fix online as a whole sometimes, but yeah, unlikely.
     
  12. spyrrari

    spyrrari

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    Location:
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    I have done hundreds of online races(limited pp/hp,shuffle,racecar cups,etc etc...)since the last update and never experienced this "problem" at all...also i never heard anyone mention it ever...also not in full 16 player rooms!!!

    So i am not really sure what to think about this...maybe you guys race with "boost" on or something??...and this boost is not consistant???...

    I really doubt it has anything to do with using a wheel instead of a controller,cause if this "problem" really is there,it is a software thing and not a hardware one...!!

    I will pay extra attention tho next time i am online,



    Spy.
     
  13. MGR

    MGR

    Messages:
    298
    OK, lets clarify a few things:

    - Boost is 'Off' and Grip is 'Real'
    - This has nothing to do with tyre wear.
    - Only users playing with FFB wheels are affected.
    - This is not a recent. This glitch has been a problem for some time now, well before spec 2.0.

    The wheel (hardware) itself is not causing the problem. But there's no doubt of a link between using a FF wheel and the glitch. At this stage I have more than enough sample data to be sure of that.

    My most recent example was couple of evenings ago. We ran several one-make races using the Toyota 86 GT '12 with Sports hard tyres & tuning prohibited. Was running 1:55's in qualifying but couldn't break 2:00 in the race. Every wheel user reported the same 5+ second lack of pace. The three dual shock users all managed the same lap times as qualifying.

    So what is the cause exactly?

    Poor Netcode almost certainly plays a role as the bug will not show itself until the lobby has grown large. But not the sole reason as this only affects FFB wheel users.

    The amount of data sent to the PS3 from either the dual shock or wheel is likely to be very similar. However the console is probably working harder calculating FF values for the steering wheel and this may be a contributing factor. That coupled with a notable drop in frame rate would suggest the PS3 is having a hard time keeping up.

    Whatever the reason I was hoping that others had experienced the same problem and found a work-around for it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2011
  14. spyrrari

    spyrrari

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    Location:
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    Hmmm,strange....as i said i have never experienced this at all...

    Will pay extra attention to it and report back here if i do encounter this problem!




    Spy.
     
  15. GODfreyGT5

    GODfreyGT5

    Messages:
    3,266
    I have been running a RWD 135i in the series, with most other cars being FF, so your point is invalid.

    I have not had the issue once before SPEC-2.

    The issue is very much present in my case.

    It's not just GT's online physics, it's only once the race begins. My times deffinately drop by a dramatic amount compared to the consistent times I was putting in less than a minute ago!
     
  16. spyrrari

    spyrrari

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    FF=force feedback... :)



    Spy.
     
  17. HF_NOS

    HF_NOS

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    Location:
    Netherlands
    Haha I thought the same thing. FF is Front wheel drive.
    FFB is force feedback
     
  18. spyrrari

    spyrrari

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    Location:
    Netherlands
    LOL i know mate,but the OP meant ForceFeedback wheels in his post...thats why i replied the way i did.

    Maybe the OP can change or correct his posts.. :idea:




    spy.
     
  19. JaySin85

    JaySin85

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    269
    Guess this would explain why Im always having a hard time racing online. Seems that no matter how hard I drive, I can barely keep up to people online. Even as I see them makes mistakes every corner, while I fly through them almost flawlessly. It is very frustrating as it makes me feel as though Im not getting any better.

    I recently raced in the one make spec 86 races this week. Online the car feels numb and understeers a lot. I then went to arcade time trial, and startes smoking my times right out of the pit. I also noticed the car was much more predictable and the understeer was no longer an issue for me.

    I refuse to play with a ds3, so it would be really nice to see something done about this. It's hard to believe this is still a problem. Maybe there just is no fix and it has to do with the lack of ram in the ps3.

    I have also noticed at times that Im online, I will completely obliterate the competition and have great feel of the car. Thought those were just me driving good, but maybe its how I drive and the online issue just isnt showing up at the time.

    Same goes with drifting. Can do mad drifts in SP, but rarely online.

    Oh, and I use a G27.
     
  20. NFSCARBON1

    NFSCARBON1

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    Location:
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    I don't think this has anything to do with the use of wheels. I use a DS3 and have experienced the same thing. I've managed to qualify on pole in the free run and my car feels really grippy and planted. Then in the race I can't keep up and my laptimes are way off, even when the tyres are up to temperature.
    I think it relates to the amount of people in the room and the room quality.
     
  21. spyrrari

    spyrrari

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    Location:
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    The difference between online and offline has always been there...but thats not what this is about!!
    This appearently is about a difference happening online and in particullar between freerun and race.



    Spy.
     
  22. MGR

    MGR

    Messages:
    298
    It's been established there's two different physics engines operating in GT5 between online and offline. There's a number of threads and plenty of evidence on this topic so I don't think anybody's debating that fact. This specific issue relates the the consistency of the online physics.

    How consistent are your laps in free-run? (ie how much do your lap times vary in a 3 or 4 lap stint)

    And how much did your lap times suffer because of it? (examples of lap times?)

    Cheers
     
  23. nealcropper

    nealcropper

    Messages:
    4,420
    This is exactly the problem i am having, I race in the mrc, i dont expect anyone to know what that is. We are a GT500 race leauge, i am not the fastest racer in the leauge, but I firmly beleive that this is the reason. We run practice races and free run sessions almost every night, and I am very consistant, last night for example;

    I was im my own lounge with 1 other leauge member for about a hour in my petronas lexus sc430, on tokoyo, no tcs, no abs, 502 hp. My lap times were always 1 34 2xx to 1 34 6xx. Now these may not be the fastest times but they are consistant. Then race time in my lounge just 2 people, times were well into the 1 35's. Not a big differnce i know but still. Then I joined another leauge members lounge for some spot races, there were only 4 of us. First track suzuka, the car felt completly different, almost like an nsx. Second race was ment to be suzuka with weather, but one of the drivers kept getting disconnected, like 10 times maybee, but that is a whole other topic. So we decided to goto tokoyo. I was glad as this was the track that I had just spent over a hour on, free run lap time was low 1 34. Race lap time 1 45, needless to say I quit. I use the dfgt, and if it is a problem with the ps3 and the wheel then im gna b proper pissed off. This game, and the leauge im in is the only reason i spent a hundred quid on the wheel, because a lot of people have told me that I would be a lot faster with it. I think that are 2 problems here the one that has been explained here already, and the differnce between lobbys. There is no way that I can be over 10 seconds slower on a track that i know like da back of my hand.
     
  24. rams1de

    rams1de

    Messages:
    451
    From my first online race, there has been a marked difference between Free Run and Race. Less grip and slower lap times, this always seemed to affect everyone as I will usually finish by a predictable gap behind the fastest qualifiers :grumpy:.

    However, +10 seconds is a much bigger differential than I've witnessed (carnage aside).
     
  25. JaySin85

    JaySin85

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    269
    Guess I didnt need to include my finally realizing the huge difference between SP and online. I did mention my varrying results of online racing though. It's very discouraging when I am pumped to race online only to find handling extra numb and everyone else pulling of lap times that are impossible for me with the way my car is handling.

    Online is where I spend most of my time(racing AI is mostly boring to me), which makes this issue even more frustrating.
     
  26. spyrrari

    spyrrari

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    3,159
    Location:
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    LOL,doesnt matter about the online/offline thing :)

    The wierd thing is still that i have never ever noticed this problem we are talking about here....

    For example last week we @ TCR racing were doing virtually the same laptimes in freerun and in race all the times(except ofcourse at the end of a race were tire wear is coming into affect...)and i have never seen or heard anybody complain about a sudden unreal drop in laptimes...also in the many shuffle races i have raced in with mostly full rooms -same story!!

    I will be online again from January 3rd and will test this with some other racers i know,will report back the findings of it a.s.a.p.

    Again,it is very odd that this has never really been mentioned anywere on this forum untill now!!!....


    BTW,i am so interested by this because i also almost only race online and if this problem is real,than we have a big ,uuhhh yeah,problem!!!




    Spy.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2011
  27. nealcropper

    nealcropper

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    4,420
    sorry i also forgot to mention that our tyre wear is off because of the debacle that has happened with 2.02. thats y we turned abs off
     
  28. Stradivis

    Stradivis

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    307
    Location:
    Brazil
    I experienced something very similar today. I use the DS3. Went to a 'ring race, using a 370z I have tuned for 500pp Nurburgring. I slided all over the track, and would lose traction mid-turn.

    Mind you that I tuned it online, since the difference between physics in online and offline is already known.

    Even went back to check the car's settings, just to be sure, and it was all ok.

    It was very odd.
     
  29. w-g-e

    w-g-e Staff Emeritus

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Netherlands
    I posted this in another thread.

    Also notice the difference between my qualification lap and best lap of the race.
     
  30. nealcropper

    nealcropper

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    4,420
    there really is something goin on here, and its ruinin this, quite frankly awesome game. Now i know that pd look at these forums and othes like it, but something has got t b dun. I would gladly give all future dlc's up if it ment this was gna b sorted.