Appreciably ahead of what we’d been led to expect, this year’s addition to Codemasters’ F1 stable received its first set of changes late on Thursday. Adding to the pleasant surprise, the adaptations relate to in-game play as well as an initial round of much-needed fixes to some key problems.
As I repeatedly described last year with F1 2012, it’s worth highlighting that even if not immediately apparent, work will go on in the background for the console editions. What some might call a ‘delay’ for those platforms is due to the approval systems implemented by Sony and Microsoft. In the most basic terms, Valve’s certification process for Steam is highly streamlined in comparison to what at worst could take a few weeks to run its course for the consoles. The key point to note is that except for PC-specific alterations, changes will also reach the 360 and PS3. As before, the difference will be that they will come as compilations – fewer update packs – rather than the PC’s comparatively fast-flowing chain of rolling releases.
Categorised as ‘Priority’ and ‘Minor’, let’s take a look at Round One of the changes.
When creating a game, there is now an added option in the race settings: Downloadable Content Tracks. If this option is turned to ‘Off’, players who don’t have DLC installed will be able to find and join games. This will now allow DLC and Classic Edition drivers to run races with Standard Edition players.
Frame-rate: lap time changes
Improvements have eased the FPS issue where higher specification PCs had a significant lap time advantage over more modest systems. The news release acknowledges that this frame-rate problem isn’t solved yet but the team wanted to make this revision available as soon as possible while seeking further optimisation. A frame-rate cap of approximately 120 frames per second has been used to limit the time advantage of high frame rates.
Codemasters asks that players test this in multi-player races rather than purely AI lap time benchmarks, as there is “variation deliberately built into the latter for gameplay reasons.”
Mid-Session Save fixes
Including cases of incorrect track initialisation, race logic, set ups and crashes. AI will also no longer pit to change tyres when re-loading from a mid-session save.
Equal cars on-line
A couple of issues related to car wheel positions have been corrected.
AI no longer pit immediately after a safety car
AI braking distances have been improved into Turn 1 at Malaysia.
Codemasters again seeks reports should there be other locations where the AI seem too early on the brakes or slow-paced into a corner. Include the track and corner number(s) that raise suspicions and the production staff will look into it.
Players can no longer set leaderboard times or go online if they edit their triggers_pit.xml
This was allowing players to use their DRS outside the designated areas. The leaderboards will be reset as a result.
Updated the tyre compound choice for Korea, Japan & India to reflect the 2013 season
- Added functionality to view Gamer Card/Profile on results screens.
- Steam Achievements are now visible/displayed correctly.
- The Race Director will now be available in co-op if one player retires from the season in Qualification or Practice.
- Multi-player ghosting issues fixed.
- Resolved an issue where a lobby would incorrectly show as being full.
- Fixed a crash relating to a vote to end a session with players that have joined in progress.
- Fixed a network issue where AI would not receive penalties correctly at the end of a race.
- Fixed an occasion where AI cars could exit their box into the pit lane too fast.
- Turning collisions off will now also disable the safety car.
- Audio memory changes, so there should be no audio drop-out after longer durations of play/sitting on the Pause menu.
- Updated collision audio and fixed some cases of audio drop-out.
- Changes to audio mix volumes while on track.
- Changed the car lighting on Yas Marina during the night.
- McLaren Cockpit view texture update.
- Resolved an issue in Split-Screen where Player One’s camera could slightly flicker.
- Updated collision boxes on the Williams FW14B & the Ferrari F92A.
- Resolved an issue where skipping to Day 2 of the Young Drivers Test would make the Day 1 hairpin test very difficult to complete.
- Fixed some instances of the auto drive not releasing the Ferrari 312T2 correctly.
- Removed tweak from the Fanatec ClubSport wheel, updated the Logitech Wingman Formula GP Wheel action map.
Work on the game will again be ongoing and as that continues, it is worth checking feedback or providing a potential bug report on Codemasters’ Technical Assistance forum for F1 2013.