It’s finally time for us to lift the covers on something which will transform the way people use Simracing.GP, welcome to our new ranking system. One of the most requested features from both communities and drivers is to have a ranking system that works across different sim racing titles and across the platform. This is still in early stages of development but we need to start collecting data to improve and iron out any kinks before deploying the full system.
the TLDR is that communities can create ranked events and contribute to a platform wide ranking as well as developing their own community leader board. So, how have we done it?
The easy thing to do would be implement an Elo based ranking system. Elo is great for games and sports where the variables don’t change, like Chess and Tennis. In fact, Elo was specifically designed for Chess, and I'm not sure if you noticed but we’re not playing chess. The variables change from game to game, hell, even from race to race. That’s why we have built a brand new ranking system designed specifically for Sim Racing (and motorsport too if we were to dream big) and we call it Pure Performance.
The challenges we faced were creating a fair and accurate ranking system which could take all of the potential variables of a motor race into account and it needed to work for all of our communities on the platform. We believe we have built something which delivers on both these aspects.
The first challenge was certainly the toughest. Like I said we could have used Elo, but it fails at the first hurdle of addressing the multiple variables we find in sim racing and Motorsport.
Elo rewards and punishes players based on who they beat or lose to. This is great for Chess as the rules and conditions don’t change, it's just one person Vs another. Problems start to arise when you add more players and more dynamics. For example, Elo can’t take into account things like How many cars were in the race, was the track wet or dry, how complex is the track, or how cleanly they drive. These are all things which hide the true performance of a driver. To make sure the system is fair we also built a mechanism which decays a drivers ranking if they stop racing. So if someone jumps to the top of the ranking and then disappears, so will their rank.
We are lucky to work with two highly skilled data scientists in Ruslanas and Robert. Between them they have many years of experience working with machine learning technology and used these skills to deliver the Simracing.GP Pure Performance ranking system. Pure Performance analyses multiple aspects of a driver's skill during a race, not just who they manage to beat on track. It will allow us to fairly judge a driver’s skill based on the scenario they faced. For example, If someone like Jardier is carrying 50KG ballast and is beaten by someone with zero ballast, is that a fair representation of Jardier’s skill? Does Jarider deserve to be punished twice? We don’t think so. We think a ranking system should take these variables into account.
The best bit about Pure Performance is that it works across multiple titles. So it doesn’t matter if you play ACC or RaceRoom, the ranking will still work. This is great news for communities which run races and championships on other games like AC, R3E and AMS2. You will be able to host ranked events straight out of the gate. As previously mentioned, Pure Performance could even work in real world motorsport too which is kind of cool.
The next challenge was making this work within communities. From today communities will have the ability to select their events as “Ranked Events”. This means communities can start to build their own ranking and contributing to the global ranking system. Everyone is starting from zero so no need to worry that you are already falling behind other drivers, we are wiping the slate clean in that respect. The good news is that if an Alien in community X decides to race with Community Y, the admins will know instantly, exactly how quick this driver is, so no more sandbagging.
This is an optional choice leaving room for more casual fun races but we recommend selecting “Ranked Event” for all competitive racing as it will help you with categorising drivers for future events and championships.
So it’s good news for community owners who spend hours on excel managing their own ranking system trying to categorise drivers. From today you can rely on the Simracing.GP Pure Performance ranking system. Just head over to your members list and sort by “Rank” to see who comes out on top in your community.
Some additional benefits in the new member tab. You will see how many races a driver has taken part in, what their average position is and how often they DNF. This will give admins more information about which drivers are eligible to join events.
There’s still more to come.
You can consider this feature to be Version 1.0 but the aim is to build on it rapidly. Version 1.0 gives communities the ability to sort their drivers by rank and make better decisions about their championship spits. It also allows us to start using data generated by ranked events to iron out the kinks (and there will be kinks) and prepare for the next phase. Version 1.5 will see community admins add limits to events, championships and even communities. For example you could say this community is only for drivers Rank X and above (or below). Or this race is only for drivers with a rank higher than X, drivers with rank lower than X simply won’t be able to join. Then finally Version 2.0, the full blown competition system. Unlimited number of entries on events with fully automated server launching. Ensure all your drivers race against people at their skill level with zero manual interaction needed from event organisers. Once again, working across all sims that are available on SGP.
That’s it for now. This is by no means the finished article, we are just getting started but Be sure to keep up to date with the latest updates coming in the near future. Happy (ranked) racing!