View Full Version : Variable Racing Line Theory

RJ O'Connell
18th August 2008, 06:14 AM
So here's an epiphany I had recently.

Venom Class is really slow. So slow that going over a speed pad can cause your speed to double. So, rather than using the shortest racing line, you more or less follow the speed pads. Even if they're on the outside of a tricky S-curve. It's faster if you don't hit the wall, eh?

But Rapier Class is much faster, you can maintain max speed much easier and the acceleration effect when flying over speed pads isn't as great, unless you're exiting a really sharp corner where you lose a lot of speed. Therefore, you almost always fly the shortest route, hit all the apexes spot on, and don't mind the speed pads quite as much.

Feel free to confirm or refute this. Meanwhile, I'm going to go to bed before I think up more silly theories.

18th August 2008, 03:22 PM
I try for the shortest line that goes through all the speed pads. :g

18th August 2008, 05:20 PM
I would agree with that in general, Rory, but I`d say that the aim of the game, and on Venom especially, is to keep that engine tone "singing" as much as possible - which means you`re going fast. Pitch control, line and speed pads are all used for this of course. I think every speed pad has its own character and requirements. Some pads are so far off the best route that the distance and line needed to hit them actually cancels out the benefit they give, or getting them is actually slower. So each one requires you to make a cost/benefit and risk analysis. Maybe I take this stuff too seriously. ;)

Anyway, I think you have to balance out the factors, and in Rapier this analysis is more likely to make you favour missing the speed pad, whereas in Venom you`re more likely to want to go for it because, as you say, the relative speed gain is greater. Even in Venom, though, there are speed pads that are just there to tempt you off the line and are best avoided.

I`ve noticed on Venom Firestar there are so many speed pads you can almost reach Rapier speed. I find Venom harder than Rapier on this track because of the fast/slow nature of racing it. There also seem to be a few "magic" speed pads scattered through the game, that seem to give you much more of a push than many of the others.

RJ O'Connell
18th August 2008, 05:47 PM
I put it to use this morning (or evening in the other side of the pond) with my latest Altima VII Single Race time. The only pad I avoided was the one on the outside before the uphill ascent, the one on the right side in the hilly section (if I picked up a turbo beforehand).

Thanks, Stephen, for also bringing up pitch as a factor - if you're bouncing around like the average female Dead or Alive fighter you can't possibly expect to go fast!

If I had the recording equipment I could try it on a course like Terramax, where I know for certain it'll be hard to keep the engine at maximum speed without speed up pads.

18th August 2008, 07:34 PM
Yeah, I can`t think of any pads you wouldn`t want to hit on Terramax. With a Qirex on Rapier, though, there might be a few I would chicken out of :cold

Some speed pads are suicidal in a Qirex/Auricom, or you have to brake so much or be flying sideways so much that you`re better off forgetting them. So I think the ship is yet another factor.

That speed pad you mention on Altima is a weird one - the first speed pad in Wipeout history, and a great example of really being in the wrong place!

18th August 2008, 07:45 PM
I think your theory is nearly spot-on, RJ. Like they say, there is an exception to every rule. So basically I say, yeah I confirm your Variable Racing Line Theory! :nod

One more factor to add in there is the way the ship "keels" (if that's the right expression) from one side to the other. I found this more of a factor in the heavy ships - so if steering to get to a speed pad made the ship keel too much, it seemed to slow and lose more time getting to the pad than it gained by going over it. Sometimes just being smooth with the steering could overcome it, but not always.

RJ O'Connell
18th August 2008, 07:48 PM
There's a lot of oddly placed pads. It's like they're daring you to go off the racing line.

23rd August 2008, 04:43 AM
I think I need to spend some time with this game next...