Getting Online in GPL(1.2)
Are you good enough yet?
...Or should I say problems plural?
Before I go on with the list of possible things to go wrong, lets first address a more sensitive issue. Are you ready yet? The chances are that the answer to this is yes if you have been GPL'ing for a while but never got online. If you're new to GPL, then the answer is almost certainly no. If you can't stay on track for even a lap at a time, stick to offline and learn some more. The point at which it is safe for you to come online is when you can string several reasonably fast laps together. For example at Monza, you'll want to be doing 1:35s at the very least.
But even at that speed you should be prepared for a shock or two. Some people are very fast indeed, and will be able to absolutely blow you away everywhere and in any of the 7 cars. You will have to face up to the fact that you are going to be lapped at least once if not more even in a short 10-15 lap race, so it's best to know how to deal with that situation. First of all, look out for Blue flags. Second of all, recognise them, but don't take action over them. If you're already trying to fight the car, the last thing you want to be doing is trying to pull off the racing line suddenly, because if you spin the person lapping you will nearly always get caught up in your accident. When you see a blue flag, stay on the racing line and let the faster guy pass you in his own time.
So if you reckon you're ready for online racing, the next thing to notice is that its not at all like racing the AI. Not only are these real people with real tempers, but the cars will appear to be a lot jerkier in their motion and you'll notice them suddenly changing position on the track or disappearing and reappearing.
Visit this link for more information on the workings of GPL online.
Which brings us onto the first real problem. Seen the message 'Client/Server Bandwidth Mismatch' yet? This is because by default GPL only shows 4 cars infront and 1 behind. The Bandwidth Patch solves this problem, but if you don't have it installed you will not be able to join servers which have installed it.
Lastly, a small lesson in etiquette.
Say sorry (SRY) if you cause an accident.
Say Good Luck (GLA or GL) at the start of the race
Use PO to signify leaving the pits, so you don't surprise anyone on a flying lap. PO means 'Pit Out'.
Don't sit there typing inane messages into the chat when you've crashed. Clear the track as soon
as possible before you cause a pile up!
Don't take it too seriously ;-). Cursing at someone for ruining your race doesn't help, but worse than
that your flurry of insults cursing the other guys in-laws spoils everyone else's race. Its not
fair to inflict your anger on everyone else in the race.
Don't quit. Winners never quit and quitters never win. I win a heck of a lot of races these days,
and mostly because I know that most of the field will have quit before the end, so all I have to do is
keep running. Its not over until its over.
Well, that's just about got it covered.
Happy Racing To All :-)