Welcome to the rating module for singleplayer. This module brings rating, usually used in multiplayer games, to the singleplayer environment. This allow you to track your longterm performance, and always run with the appropriate difficulty. It also increases the value of mid-field battles, as each place could be the difference between a gain or loss of rating.
This tutorial will guide you through your first rated single player race, from the time you first time start te application, to the finish line. During the tutorial individual aspects of the application are explained. The tutorial might seem long, but, as you will see, very little manual interaction with the application is required. Lets begin.
Enabling Rating Module
The first step is to enable the rating module. Start the SecondMonitor application and open the settings window using the button in the bottom right.
Here, you can enable the rating module. This will enable the ratting application view in the bottom right. Enable also the Rating column for races. This setting will allow you to see the generated rating for the AI drivers.
And, if this is your first time running the application, you might want to take a look on the other settings as well, like various units of measurements, and change them to your preference.
Your first race
Setting up singleplayer session
Now start one of the supported simulators (currently, rating is supported for r3e, rfactor2, Assetto Corsa, AMS and Project Cars 2). The application should detect the simulator, and show its name in the bottom left. Some simulators may require additional plugins to be present for the second monitor to work, if this is the case, you'll be informed about these prerequisites.
Once in sim, select your desirable track and car. For the purpose of this tutorial, set-up a single class race. Choose AI difficulty you're comfortable with, and note the difficulty you've chosen. While the rating module can suggest difficulty, it doesn't make sense to use that functionality from the start, as this difficulty is based on your rating, which on this stage will be a initial, and the difficulty most likely doesn't match your performance.
Setup your session to also include practice and qualification. The module works with quick races, but for the purposes of this tutorial, we will run the full race weekend. Nwo, lets start with the practice session.
After you load into practice, the rating module will come to life. So let's take a closer look on it and explain the information visible.
The topmost information are your two ratings valid for the session. With the simulator rating (SR) being shown first. This is the rating for the simulator you're currently playing, and all races done in this simulator will contribute to that rating. This rating is also used as a initial rating for all classes you play. Each class has its own rating, and the rating for the class you're racing now is shown below (CR).
The application uses Glicko2 rating system, variation of which is used i.e in Counter-Strike Global Offensive. Each rating is composed of four numbers, but in reality, most of the time you only care about the main one:
1500 - This is your main rating, and for most cases, this is the number you care about. This is the equivalent to iRating, or any other rating you're familiar with. This is the number that will raise and fall based on how you well you do in races. This number is also used to determine the difficulty you should be racing at.
XYZ - This is the suggested AI difficulty level. For simulator, this is based solely on the simulator rating. For class this number is based on a separate, difficulty rating, that is tracked for every class. This difficulty rating is only updated when you finish a race (not on DNF), so you don't get weird difficulty swings just by crashing out.
350 - This is your rating deviation. The number indicates how certain the application is that your rating is "actual". This number is determined only by the number of races you play, and is not affected by race results. The smaller the number, the more certain the application is, and the lower the rating changes should be after each race. This number is set to the maximum value initially, to allow you to quickly proceed to the rating range you're comfortable with. When you don't play, the number will decay (increase in value), as the application cannot be sure if your true skill hasn't changed within the time. The changes are small, and it takes roughly one year for the number to decay back to the maximum value.
0.06 - (Currently Disabled) This is rating volatility. The number will change based on your performance swings, i.e. a chain of loss streak after a period of stabile rating. This is used by the Glicko system to better keep your rating true to your skill.
0 (below the three numbers) - This is the rating change. This is updated after each race, and shows how much rating you gained/lost in the last race. It is show only in menus and practice sessions.
Below the ratings is the name of the class you're currently racing. When you're outside of a session, you have the possibility to select each class you've raced previously, to see ratings for each, and the suggested difficulty. Once in session (practice, qualification, race), this is locked to the class you're currently racing.
Final textual information is the difficulty. Now, it shows the difficulty that is appropriate to your (initial) rating, and most likely doesn't match the number you've chosen, so select the difficulty you're using for this session. Manuall synchronization of difficulty between the rating module and the simulator is the only thing you need to take care off. This is necessary because there is no way for the application to read the difficulty you're using from the data simulator is providing. The application also remembers what manual difficulty you've chosen for each class.
Now lets talk about the two weird "traffic" lights at the bottom. The color of the left light is based on the session you're running, and the light on the right on the session state.
The left light should now be red. That means that you're in a session that has no effect on the rating (basically the module doesn't care about this session), this includes practice, warm-up, timetrial, etc.
The right light is green when the session is running, and red when the session has finished, or has not started yet.
These lights will have more use in the following sessions.
And at last, there is a checkbox at the bottom. Unchecking the checkbox will disable the rating application, without closing the view. So you don't have to jump to and back to settings, when you want to run a non-rated session.
Now, you can either run your practice session, or skip to qualification. The only thing to be sure before jumping to qualification is that the selected difficulty is correct.
As you jump into qualification, two things will change on the rating module. First, the left light will turn to orange. This indicates that you're in a qualification session. There is now also a number between the two lights. This is the difficulty that was selected when the qualification session was started, and it is the difficulty used for computing AI ratings before race.
Now, run your qualification as usual, just make sure that at least 50% of AI drivers have a qualification time (which, shouldn't be a problem if you run one or two qualification laps). This is to make sure the module can use qualification results for AI rating calculations.
Now, lets move to what this is all about, the race,
After you jump into race, the rating application will, once again, change (in some simulators this change happens sooner, in the pre-race menu). If you have the rating column enabled, you should see that AI racers have their own rating (the column is refreshed every 10seconds, so you might have to wait a little to see them ;) Driver with greater rating, than your, will be shown in red. Those with lower rating in green.
And the lights also changed, the left light is now green - indicating a race with previously run qualification. That means, that the AI qualification times were used to fine-tune their rating, the bigger the gap in time, the bigger the rating difference. But the ratings aren't solely time based, as there is some random noise added.
If you would run a race without qualification, then the light would be blue, and the rating would be computed with set difference between places.
Now, lets talk about what will happen when you start the race, because I doubt you plan to read this tutorial while racing.
So, as the race starts, the right light will turn blue.
Blue right light is present only in races, and indicates a "grace period" during which you can restart/quit the race without any rating hit. This is to avoid punishing the player for first lap incidents that may happen because of the AI quirkiness. This grace period expires when you start the second lap, and at that point the light will turn green. From this time restarting or quiting the race will be equal to finishing last, and your rating will suffer.
Once you cross the finish line the last time, the lights will start to flas and a new rating will be computed. You don't need to wait for all drivers to finish, as the application only needs to know if you beat or didn't beat them, and that is known at the time you finish the race.
And that's all that's to it. Enjoy your first rated rate, and good luck.
How much rating can I earn/loose par race?
The amount of rating you can earn/loose per one race is limited to amount of rating points that equals 5 difficulty levels. This should really be experienced only when starting using the rating application.
The module fully supports multiclass races (if they are supported by the simulator). Only the players class will be rated, and only the position within this class will be taken into consideration when computing a new rating.
This module is focused on singleplayer, and, by nature, doesn't work properly in multiplayer environment. In some sims it is possible to detect multiplayer session from the information they provide, and in those the rating module will disable itself automatically. For the rest you have to manually disable the module, either in options, or by using the checkbox on the bottom of the rating control.