Polyphony Digital has taken the rather unusual step of announcing a raft of changes coming to a future game update well in advance of the update itself.
There’s no mention of any additional vehicle or track content, rather the update focuses on what could be significant changes to aspects of Sport Mode. That includes tweaks which may upset the established order heading into the 2020 season, and other adjustments that respond to fan concern.
Top of most people’s lists will be the game’s penalty system. This was the subject of many complaints over the past four months, with matters reaching a head earlier in March. PD has toned the system down somewhat, and promises further alterations to improve how the system judges incidents.
Players have also been withering about the implementation of slipstream. The strength of the slipstream effect — when a car ahead creates a low pressure region behind it, reducing air resistance for a following vehicle to improve acceleration — has been the subject of some discussion. In essence, it has created a qualifying format in which no-one wishes to take a lead because the slipstream is so beneficial. The update will reduce its effectiveness.
Also significant for qualifying is a change to the fuel and tire degradation rates. In high-wear races it’s also proven advantageous to burn fuel in qualifying sessions to make the car lighter. That’s resulted in some chaos, as people crawl around the track at max revs in a low gear to burn off as much fuel as possible for as long as possible before heading out onto a one-shot qualifying lap. As of this update, the fuel and tire use levels may be different in qualifying as compared to the race, allowing for more sensible qualifying sessions.
A further change may bring more manufacturers into play too. The update will make handling and fuel consumption changes across the Gr.2, Gr.3, and Gr.4 car range, but it will also adjust the tire wear on front-wheel drive Gr.4 cars. These vehicles particularly suffer in high tire wear races, as they must make additional pit stops compared to most other cars. A change may make them more competitive, increasing variety. There’s no note on the four-wheel drive cars that have a similar issue however.
In addition, players will now be able to change their chosen manufacturer before the 2020 season starts again at the end of April. Those players who picked up Star Player status ahead of the aborted first round of ten races will still retain it into the new full season, along with those who qualify from the current Exhibition season.
The official update announcement makes no mention of a date, however. Given that some of the changes will come into effect ahead of the new first round of the FIA Online Championship 2020 Series on Saturday April 25, it seems reasonable to expect it on or around April 21.
Featured image courtesy of sems4arsenal.