Firstly – a massive thank-you to all of you who raced DRS with us in Season 5!
We knew timing it in parallel with ZRL would be a challenge, but we never set out to be the biggest … but of course we’re trying really hard to be the best … at least in your eyes! 😉
And frankly, the most key ingredient to that is your feedback, so thank-you to all who took the time to respond.
- An absolutely MASSIVE 91% of you felt you were racing in the right category.
We’re just gonna take a moment to reflect on that … that’s a pretty awesome number! And doubly cool that 4.5% felt they were too high and 4.5% felt too low. Sounds like that’s gonna be hard to improve on!
Combine that with the fact that a similar 89% of you felt that you were competitive in a race that suited your phenotype … and we think DRS has the OG, and justified, right to claim the most competitive team racing on Zwift moniker. 😎
- The majority felt that it was right to allow a little upgrade threshold for riders, but most votes wanted a lower threshold than 75 vELO points from last season. Also, most people wanted downgraders to have to wait until the next season. We will reduce the upgrade threshold to 50, and require downgraders to wait until a fresh season.
- Whilst the majority felt we balanced points (66%) about right in the races, a sizeable minority of 20% wanted more weight on FIN points, with 10% wanting more weight on FAL points. We will reduce FTS points just a little for this season to achieve this.
- You’d love us to work on getting results out faster (really tricky without a Zwift API but we feel we can have a really good go at this next season). We are gonna do our best!
- But overall – An impressive 96% of you would recommend DRS. So what are you waiting for? Get out there recommending it and we can’t wait to see you again next week! 😍
Anyway, as always, keep reading down for more of the details – and some important Rule Changes:
Looking at riders categorisation – as well as the overwhelming 91% of you feeling you are in the right category … an equally astonishing 70% felt you could compete in the top half! For us this shows that vELO categorisation and mixed terrain races really are delivering the competitive racing we hoped they would!
We also asked you about how the categorisation affected your racing if the stage was your sort of thing. And it was great to see that our highest ever 89% of you felt you could be competitive there!
When it comes to stages that aren’t a good fit … as per last season, it was more evenly split. As it should be … sprinters should struggle on the hilly stages, just like climbers should on the flat ones! HOWEVER – because of the tightness of the vELO categories we are using, the majority still did feel they could be competitive on a good day!
We are really pleased to see how the vELO categorisation is working in practice … and this season’s results are the best we’ve ever had!
Rider Upgrade/Downgrade Thresholds:
With the below results showing that whilst there is clear support for an upgrade threshold, there is only a narrow majority wanting a reduction. Therefore we will reduce the threshold by only a small amount to 50 for Season 6.
We’ve reviewed all the racers from season 5, and the impact of this change seems appropriate for the level of responses received, so we hope that feels like the right fine-tune by the end of this upcoming season.
What surprised us a little bit however was that a reasonable majority also felt that downgrades within a season shouldn’t be permitted. This is significantly simpler for us to process and so for Season 6, the team category that you register or race for whenever you join – is the minimum category that you can race for that season. We will survey again at the end of Season 6, and be keeping an eye that this doesn’t make it too hard for riders to be in the right categories.
And on the points allocations … the vast majority feel it’s well balanced, but if anything you’d prefer more FIN points.
This is consistent feedback from last season so we are going to have a tweak.
What we have decided to do is reduce the top of the FTS points slightly. This of course means that by definition there becomes a greater weighting on the FIN and FAL points.
Reducing the maximum FTS points to 15, and smoothing down from there, will hopefully be another good fine tune that helps balance it out even better for everyone.
Other Rules Changes:
This is the hardest topic for us as race organisers on Zwift. Fair eRacing.
Fair eRacing has always been hugely important to us – and it is why we were one of the first race organisers to consistently act and DQ for “Sticky Watts”.
But we have never lost sight of the fact that false and/or public accusations of cheating can be really hurtful to the human beings behind the avatars! And isn’t something that we would ever take lightly or would allow to toxify our community.
The level of discussion about “Microbursting” or “Sprint-Coast” has gone off the charts recently. And we have seen it toxify FaceBook, Forums and other Discord servers. It is for this reason that we are not surveying on this matter at this time and we are prohibiting discussion about it on our Discord server. There is not one other community that we haven’t seen this discussion blow-up and we don’t want that to happen to ours.
We have spent days and days of time over the last few weeks, analysing, discussing and even arguing as we try to work out what the right and balanced thing for us to do is. And it has been HARD.
Recently WTRL published the definition of what “Sprint-Coast ” is and the point that triggers a DQ in Zwift’s own team racing series. And so, in order to try to build some community cohesion on this extremely sensitive topic, we have decided to adopt the same definition for Season 6.
Sprint Coast Technique Definition:
- Cadence rapidly increases to >100rpm and above with power increasing to >400W over 2 to 4 seconds.
- When the rider hits their maximum power, cadence is seen to drop to <40rpm and power <100W for 2 to 4 seconds.
- The above cycle is repeated 4 or more times per minute for sustained durations.
We don’t know if that will be the “right” place to draw the line when we look back in hindsight … but we do know that we have to have something quantifiable in order to be able to act fairly as race organisers. It is best to start conservatively and then measure, review and move forwards from there. And as someone said on the Zwift Forums about the WTRL definition:
I don’t see any other person with any authority offering a better one. It’s a liberal definition because accusations of cheating are serious and they have to be certain
We promise to continue to review what all the other race organisers do, and work collaboratively with them and Zwift, to improve our ruleset every season – but our ask to all of you is to please work positively and collaboratively with us too. DM a Race Control member to request a review, and when the decision is given, please respect that we will have done all we can and taken considerable of our own personal time to review before giving you a response. 🙏🧡
Fair eRacing also means treating our fellow Zwifters well too, and so we will be expanding our overriding principles to make it clear that communicating with respect and empathy is as important to us in-game as it is on our Discord server. Any breach of our overriding principles may result in race disqualification (DQ), season disqualification (SDQ), or permanent expulsion, depending on the severity of the violation.”
Bullying and harassment have no place in Zwift and no place in the DIRT Racing Series.
And to finish off on a bit more of a positive topic – here’s a few of the other graphs that we feel are you guys saying that we’ve got these things about right.
Thanks again to those of you who took the time to respond, and we hope you can see that as always, your voices are heard and that we continue to work hard to keep the DIRT Racing Series as the most competitive team racing on Zwift.
Team DIRT Racing