It´s that time of the year again: as a new milestone update rises on the horizon, excitement is in the air, caffeine is being abused and crunch time is in overdrive as AMS2 is expected to hit v1.5 within the next few weeks.
Previous AMS2 milestone updates all represented big leaps in quality, features and content for the sim - among other highlights, AMS2 V1.2 introduced Real Weather, seasonal foliage, customizable championships & Racin´ USA Pt1, the first AMS2 DLC as covered in the May 2021 Dev Update; AMS2 V1.3 introduced the VW / Acelerados Demo, a critical driveline physics development to LSD differentials, a major FFB upgrade along with the initial step in AI modding support as covered in the November 2021 Dev Update; AMS2 V1.4 was the latest leap, bringing oval racing & full course yellow support, AMDM, and an overhaul to tire carcass, tread & thermodynamics modelling as covered in the August 2022 Dev Update.
AMS2 V1.5 represents another such leap - in fact there is so much to talk about V1.5 and beyond that we will break this Dev Update in two parts - Pt2 to come closer to actual release day.
Automobilista 2 V1.5 Physics Development
One of the major highlights of V1.5 of course is the latest top-to-bottom physics overhaul, courtesy of the tire findings we commented on in the April Dev Update. The latest V1.4.8 release provided a taste of how significant this revision is, as an initial batch of classes in it already received the revisions.
We are pushing to conclude revisions to all other classes in time for V1.5 - although the tire updates are at the core of the overhaul, the revisions go more in-depth than that with adjustments & refinements to all elements of the car, so to avoid bloating this dev update too much we will detail that process in another dedicated v1.5 physics development update - those of you who enjoy getting technical better buckle up!
Adrenaline Pack DLC to introduce Rallycross to AMS2
The time has finally come for AMS2 to branch outside of tarmac and get dirty, as with V1.5 we will also be releasing the Adrenaline Pack DLC, bringing a variety of off-road and extreme cars & tracks to the sim.
Rallycross racing is bound to be one of the highlights of the Pack, with the Madness engine already presenting built-in world-class support for it, as LiveTrack handles deformable terrain and blending transitions from dirt, gravel to tarmac and back beautifully, along iwwth an in-depth rule set that includes the use of joker laps.
On the car front, we can already confirm that the Mitsubishi Lancer X and VW Polo RX as pictured in these previews will be on the grid, with at least two more models assured to join them.
Adrenaline features several other Dirt-focused classes beyond the typical RX cars - one of them being Rallycross Karts, which are bound to shot up right to the top of the charts in terms of fun factor.
On the track front, Adrenaline will introduce several RX layouts from existing Grade A tracks, including Barcelona, Hockenheimring, Nürburgring & Spa-Francorchamps (whether the buyer of Adrenaline has those specific DLC tracks or not).
Besides these, old favorites from AMS1 have been fully revamped for a AMS2 return, including Ascurra, Foz and Tykki, pictured below in full DX11 glory:
There is a lot more to Adrenaline than what is previewed in this little teaser - we´ll dig deeper into its content and core features along with what you may expect from it in term of gameplay in Pt2 of this Dev Update.
Further AMS2 V1.5 Developments
Besides the Adrenaline Pack, there is some free content coming with V1.5 - the Sigma P1 G5 already previewed in the April Dev Update was originally planned for V1.4.8, but we decided to hold that for V1.5 so with it we could also bring along its direct rival Metalmoro AJR, which as of 2023 also has had extensive updates relative to the version that currently features in P1 class, as can be seen in the picture below.
On the track front, a couple of valuable improvements as we have developed the option to increase pit slots beyond what the pit building can hold, and set start / finish points in different positions which weren´t previously supported by the engine - this among other things will allow us to scale up tracks that currently are restricted to fields as small as 17 cars (such as Cadwell Park), to a V1.5 target of a minimum 26-car field, with the prospect of eventually maxing them all out to the current max grid size of 32. Longer term, this will also allow us to also start gradually increasing that 32-car ceiling, to whatever extent it doesn´t cause substantial reliability issues.
We are also pushing hard to bring more AI improvements for V1.5, with further behavior adjustments that resulted in some noticeable improvements already in V1.4.8. Just as if not more importantly, a heavy push towards improving AI calibration on both dry and wet weather for all classes as we go through the physics revisions, with parallel efforts on the track front to improve AI lines and iron out performance discrepancies between them.
The efforts likewise continue on the Multiplayer Development front - although the digging through the net code that has been ongoing for a few months now is unlikely to result in significant improvements in time for V1.5, we do expect to sort a couple of potential sources for client disconnects as well as some valuable commonly-requested QoL improvements such as expanding of voting options, support for auto-advancing sessions without host interaction and adding option for host to join as spectator
One of the cool immersion boosts already secured for V1.5 is the addition of a Visible Safety Car to lead the field in rolling starts as well as whenever a full-course yellow is triggered.
Another immersion booster is the addition of diverse pit crew sets - out goes the generic fully overall and helmet suited pit crew, in comes class and period-accurate crews with the appropriate attire.
On the quality-of-life front, we can also confirm the added option to set the HALO pillar transparent on the F-Ultimates Gen & Gen2, with a neat emulation of the actual optical effect drivers experience with it in rea life.
This is some of the good stuff coming with V1.5, but not all of it - we will cover the remaining highlights in Pt2 of this Dev Update later this month.
Le Mans is Coming for Automobilista 2!
After months of speculation and a few forum whistling emojis, we are delighted to finally confirm that Le Mans is coming for AMS2 later this year!
It has been a long time coming, but earlier this year we finally concluded a negotiation that started way back in 2020 to bring the Mecca of Endurance racing to AMS2. And we intend to do the sacred venue justice: the modern track is being modelled with laser scan data, and we also plan to offer a couple of historical versions from the 70s and 90s.
Endurance racing is the next frontier we are looking to explore with AMS2, as along with the track and some dedicated endurance features users may expect a very exciting list of new cars to come to the sim, including some 2023 LMDh Hypecars & LMPs along with a fresh batch of 2023 GT3 cars.in anticipation for next year´s event.
On the historical front, plans are just as much if not more exciting - AMS2 already features several Group C cars from the late eighties and GT1s from the late 90s, and we plan to complement AMS2´s Endurance timeline with several prototypes and GT cars ranging from the early 70s to the mid-00s.
Although the track is already in development it will not be ready until much later this year (with historical versions and associated cars most likely going further than that), so don´t be mistaken by the announcement with the V1.5 previews above - this is just to celebrate the good timing of this year´s milestone race from last weekend marking 100 years of the event to share the good news, and also to demonstrate that the future for AMS2 is looking bright well beyond V1.5.
Introducing the AMS2 Paddock Club
With the release of Adrenaline Pack along with V1.5 soon to fulfill the last remaining item of the 2020-2022 Season Pass (even if those who own it can still look forward to a Racin´ USA Bonus Pack beyond it), it is finally appropriate to discuss what the plans are for further DLCs and how users looking to contribute to that future can do so.
As mentioned in a Dev Update later last year, we do not plan to offer a new Season Pass to cover these future DLCs - simply put it has proved not to suit our way of doing things, and it wouldn´t be right to further push the good will of our users by selling DLC bundles with content and schedules we can´t possibly fully assess before-hand - if one such bundle package ever comes, it will be much later in AMS2 shelf life when all DLCs are either released or well under way.
We are aware however that many passionate users are comfortable giving us such "carte blanche" with their support and are urging for a way to contribute to whatever else we may have store for the future, and some of you also wish to engage with the development process through AMS2 Beta which hasn´t been available for new members since before AMS2 release early in 2020. At the same time, although we don´t need the extra funding to fulfill our existing plans for AMS2 it can always help either expanding or speeding up the realization of those plans.
Taking all that into account, we decided to launch the AMS2 Paddock Club - you can learn more about what it is and how to become a member HERE(if you have questions or any feedback on this specific topic please also redirect to that thread).
That is all we had to cover for Pt1 of this dev update! We will catch up again soon for Pt2 to cover the remaining highlights you may expect to arrive with AMS2 V1.5.
Edit: Pt2 of this dev update should be published at some point later next week, a few days before V1.5 release. With July being well under way now it will be titled July Dev Update, so the thread title has been adjusted accordingly.