Thursday, December 11, 2014

Things Come and Gone

There's so much happening last month- November 2014; while the 30th marked the end for Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 3DX+ card transfers to MT4 for the Indonesian version, which I don't even care because I don't have any tuning cards left, the same exact day Tom Kristensen officially retired from the racing world after finishing his last ever race in Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace a.k.a Interlagos in the final round of FIA World Endurance Championship. He did announce his retirement moments before the Brazillian six-hour started, and we knew that it is indeed a "right in the feels" moments for motorsport fans, especially looking at his career, most prominent being a nine-time 24 Hours of Le Mans champion with Audi, the constructor he's comfortable with within the endurance racing fandom since 2000, save for his years with Bentley Speed 8 in 2003 which gained victory.

This month also marked the new versions of games. Among them are Turbo Sliders with its new version with promised features I have posted in separate posts way back and MiniRacingOnline with the new SDL2 graphics plus the day/night cycle (it's currently a beta for the time being). The new Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 5 also arrived in Indonesia yet the MT4 cabs will be updated to MT5 by 17th December. For the latter game, however, there's a caveat to note: in the International version, features found in the Japanese version such as the Maxi.NET subscription service and the Maxi G system for purchasing Dress-Up parts, are absent. It is more likely that the Indonesian version would have the same absence found in the International version, looking at the condition. Other than the absence, everyone gets to try new cars such as Toyota 86 and its clone Subaru BRZ plus cars from BMW and Mercedes Benz, adding the roster of foreign names after RUF and Chevrolet. Also worth noting that new tracks, such as Mount Taikan pass, are present in the new version.

As the 2014 is on the edge with 2015 draws near, let us enjoy the last weeks of 2014. On a personal side, I'm trying to recover from my old HDD's crash while trying to find a way to get money faster.


A Farewell Immortalized; The #1 Audi R18 e-tron Quattro livery for the final race of FIA World Endurance Championship added a special touch to commemorate Tom Kristensen's last days in motorsport. (Image: Audi Motorsport Blog on Twitter)

Tom Kristensen is one of the names you would frequently hear in the motorsport fandom, especially if you're into endurance racing. The 47 year-old Dane has racked up victories in countless racing series, especially in Le Mans 24 Hours and ACO-sanctioned FIA World Endurance Championship. Speaking of FIA WEC, Tom Kristensen did announce his retirement after the Bahrain 6 Hours race. There, endurance fans were shocked to see the fact that his days within his motorsport career is numbered by his own accord in order to spend more time with his family, not to forget to help Audi earn its motorsport honors within its machineries. The Dane's career doesn't limited to only endurance racing though as he did touring car races too, Deutsche Touring Masters for exact, driving for, wait for it, Audi. And, not to mention that he did open wheel races in his younger years.

He will be missed, not only by his fans, but also those within the Audi family, including Loïc Duval, who did write the open letter to him, to let him know that he would have a hard time to let go one of his precious family members in racing.

"I will feel like an orphan..." -Loïc Duval. Full letter can be found on

Tom Kristensen may not be one of the most popular names within the Sebastian Vettel and Marc Marquez level, but he is, and will always be, one of the respectable motorsport faces. Take a note though that, while he won't be anywhere within the cockpit of Audi's future Le Mans racers, he would dedicate his time helping the development for its future cars. In short, he will be Audi's ambassador. Mange Tak, Tom Kristensen.


Spotted in one of Timezone's centers in Indonesia. MT5 (Indonesian server) set to launch 17th December (Image: Haryanto W on Facebook)

On 30th November, the 3DX+ Tuning Card transfers to MT4 has ended. Days later, this happened: Maximum Tune 5 has landed in Indonesia, albeit started with a custom change, with the game itself will launch on 17th December. Long-awaited features include new addition of cars from BMW and Mercedes Benz, two new manufacturers, new cars from existing manufacturers such as Toyota 86, Subaru BRZ and Mitsubishi Galant VR4, and finally new tracks such as the Mount Taikan pass, a mountain pass with a totally different personality in contrast to Hakone. Unfortunately, all this comes without the "key" features exclusive to Japanese players like the Maxi.NET subscription service and the Maxi G feature, where the overall gameplay core of MT5 lies in which the currency is used to buy Dress-Up parts normally obtained by only winning Ghost Battles. The latter feature really helps a lot since one can truly pick his/her desired part normally obtained in a long time due to the conventional level up system. With the fact that we follow the international version software-wise, I'm afraid that there would be a subscription service and a Maxi G...

"ATTENTION: If at any time the steering wheel breaks when playing in purpose, the player must pay the cost of the damage"; Sounds right, but DOES IT? (Image: Mathius S on Facebook)

Meanwhile Indonesian MaxTune players are faced with this somehow-silly rule in which that for every time a steering wheel goes off from the cabinet, one will pay a hefty fine. This hefty fine will be used to order a new steering wheel; the steering wheel price + the shipping cost from Japan. But then there's this question: Is it worth? Does this mean even the INNOCENT ones who doesn't push hard on the steering wheel will be fined too for a single steering wheel problem mentioned? Sounds like a feasibility problem.

The thread starter (this is originally posted in the Indonesian WMMT community on Facebook) stated that if you are unlucky enough, which the "unlucky" in question is the mentioned innocent moment, you would be fined. One of the commenters stated that this did happened to him when he just played normal, meaning that he doesn't do the "steering abuse", yet the steering came off and he was fined for that. Another did comment that players in Hong Kong did have more steering wheel abuse frequency and that a more extreme case happened in an Australian game center where there are times that things like this happen not just once, even twice. This is the first case the steering problem happened in Indonesia, and is in a certain game center within a cinema at a certain mall in South Jakarta. And, for your information, the fine is 7 digits long, in Indonesian Rupiahs (duh), based on the comments.

The problem is how bad the execution is; fining an innocent person who plays normally for a hefty fine (and try assume the innocent person does NOT have enough money to pay the fine) is not a good idea. Even this problem is part of the machine's "wear and tear", and that there's a better way to fix the certain machine in a simpler way possible rather than this rule. Cluelessly fining a random innocent person for steering breaks just shows how poor its maintenance system is, and yes, every game center really needs an arcade maintenance staff. How hard is it?


The new MiniRacingOnline: Even cooler with SDL2.

Finally the highly-anticipated MiniRacingOnline version with Day/Night cycle and SDL2 graphics has been released, but it's a month ago (exact release date is 6th November) and that I did found it out in late. But after trying the new version, the two aforementioned features aren't the only ones; all BMP instances become PNG via conversion, good news indeed! Expect better graphics on cars. Also not to be missed are the options to turn off DRS and KERS, the option to enable map rotation or not and the 64bit version. Damn, I wished I brought my McLaren F1 GTR WIP with me...

The only downside though, apart from how the actual race feels like the game's resolution is lowered, is that mapping the direction controls with D-pad is problematic. Even if you try to break the D-pad keys, they won't work. There's a tendency that they would move in a delayed rate, and that delay won't satisfy you. Despite that, it's still a beta and let's hope that this will be fixed in the next release. For now, enjoy the download; it includes one track (Bahrain), complete selection of community-made cars and a hefty amount of F1 bots of different seasons to play with.


F1 Speed League 2014 mod brings most of F1SL's best creations, from tracks to cars, old and new. This image demonstrates F1SL's Le Mans LMP1-HY cars racing on F1SL's iteration of Suzuka

And at last, the new Turbo Sliders version is here! Celebrating its 10th year of the game, it is proud to present you the 2.5.3, with features like tire wear, drafting, maximum track size of 4K, new handling parameters plus an ability to have even more rotations for cars plus the ability to have green colors in place of red for color changes, free camera view, newer library and the new license purchase options. Macintosh OS X users be happy, because Turbo Sliders also provided its Macintosh version too, packed by the TS community. The wait is over now, so indulge yourself with this new version! (and not to forget the downloadable add-on cars too made by Whiplash and the F1 Track Pack by the community on the same page!)

But if you think that even F1 tracks and custom cars aren't enough for you, there's F1 Speed League mod! A little about F1SL, it is a Polish racing league for Turbo Sliders as opposed to America's SCARTS and England's British Speedway Sliders. The community is established somewhere between 2008-2009 as an F1 racing league and has encompassed many other race types as time passes by including Rally events (Polish Rally and Dakar Rally), Porsche Supercup, Endurance races (GT3 Endurance Series and Le Mans races) and Touring Car events (WTCC). With the release of the new version, F1SL is proud to present its "F1 Speed League 2014 Mod", adding tons of tracks and cars to the game, instead of being a single, stand-alone mod like any other seasons whose downloads can be also downloadable on the same download page below. The 2014 pack contains all contents served in the past seasons with additions such as older F1SL tracks, unreleased ones and tracks from the league's other events. Also included is the big car roster encompassing everything the league has mode, with new additions like the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans's GTE and LMP1 cars and 2013 European Le Mans Series (ELMS) LMP2 cars among others.

Also provided in the same page is the Rally Mod you can try with all rally stages made by the league. All this and more are available on the Downloads page!

On a personal side, I have built new 4K tracks from scratch, and as the result of the old HDD's crash, these are brand new tracks. For now, I can't tell you what they actually are, so guess and speculate when you're at it ;)


Last but not least is the GeneRally prospect within the end of 2014 and the early 2015. It's been a fun year for me in the GeneRally career, having a racing career of a roller coaster and almost snatched a Track of the Month podium. I have been able to get a hold of my joined competitions albeit the partial absence due to my dealing with the real life. GeneRally Touring Car Challenge Season 3 is the first one to end with the Enna Pergusa race. Thankfully, Marcinho, the organizer, gave the rule change of driving 3 AIs instead of 5, taking off the extraordinary burden and excessive emotional breakdowns completely although that one must not hit the hay bale barriers to achieve the best result. My first ever race is the Monza race where I cannot get a hold of myself with all the coming togethers, and so did the first Enna Pergusa race. However, the second race of the finale saw myself finishing 3rd (yes, third. I'm not lying), earning myself my first event podium in the GeneRally racing career. I'm pretty glad that my second race went well, but I kept thinking to myself why I couldn't deliver the same performance in the first race.At last, I ended the season with as little as 4 points yet with a podium in hand, out of three races. Despite that, RobertRacer99 did a good job in keeping my team strong even when I'm gone, for long until the Monza race where I barged in.

Endurance Series 2014 also marked my first victory (class victory tough, but is victory a victory for this matter?) in the Interlagos 6h (15 minutes) race. Only three GT3 starters; me, Googol and my teammate DanRos, and I did show my supremacy did shine in the first lap and continued on that I finally earned my first win in the career. However, I had mixed feelings for this win, and that I would dub the victory a "Go Figure" one. The last is the Nurburgring 24h (one hour race) with the circuit used being the GP Strecke instead of the too-stressful-for-racing Nordschleife. Yup, I'm going to shine in this final race, and I won't disappoint nobody for this final race.

With the two other competitions coming to end, my GR Formula Cup season will be all smooth, unless that there's a part of me whether I would pass out another race due to my college organization works, with Semester Finals drawing near and will commence on 29th December, 2 days before the New Year's Eve. I still aim for the Top 10 finish, although that I failed snatching another point in the Sunlake race. For other ventures like trackmaking and carmaking, considering that all my WIPs are lost, I would work on new stuffs, yet I'm still thinking what would it be. I'll let my thoughts think what I should do. However, I'm thinking about taking hiatus from competitions just to do trackmaking and carmaking, but if I still don't have any ideas, then I might join another batch of competitions. The only thing that's on my mind when trying to pitching in ideas for my next track though is to surpass Tapio as well as getting a ToM podium.

In the end, I'll make sure that I am able to kick buns in the end of 2014, recovering myself after the HDD crash.


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