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Forza Motorsport 4: Week in Review 8/10/12

Brian Ekberg
Friday, August 10, 2012

The world just gained another Forza fan. Well, to be accurate, the world has probably gained a number of Forza fans over the past week or so, but I can personally attest to the fact that one little boy, born just after midnight on Friday, August 3, will grow up to become a Forza Motorsport fan.  I’m referring to Lawrence Mason Ekberg, the newest addition to the Mechberg family and, yes, a car-lover in the making. Don’t believe me? Check this out:




As someone pointed out to me here in the office, it looks like orange car on Mason's shirt is chasing a ghost car. Perhaps he's a Rivals Mode specialist in the making?


Thanks for the kind words of congratulations that so many Forza players have sent me this week. All of those sentiments are much appreciated and I look forward to sharing more with you all about Mason in the future. This week, I’ve been thinking a lot about fatherhood and the lessons that I want to pass down to my newborn son (and my daughter as well). I’ve been lucky enough to get lots of great advice over the years from family and friends but I also believe that if you look closely enough, you can learn from almost anything. In fact, there are great life lessons tucked away in the Forza series. You know, things like “Smooth and steady wins the race”, “Choose the right tool for the job”, and, of course, “The Corkscrew giveth and the Corkscrew taketh away.”


What about you? What has the Forza series taught you over the years about cars, driving, or life in general? Tell me about your favorite Forza life lesson in this thread in the forums. My favorite responses will earn their authors a unicorn car—so put on your thinking cap!


And now… on with the Week in Review!


August Playseat Pack
The August Playseat Car Pack is here! As John mentioned in last week’s edition of the Week in Review, this pack includes some real gems. I’m particularly excited about the Scion FR-S, if only because I’ve seen several new FR-S models rolling around here in the Seattle area over the past few weeks. And each time I see one I overreact—ask my wife, who is always putting up with me excitedly yelling, “Look honey! An FR-S!” every time we pass one on the street. In fact, I’ve probably ruined my prospect of ever getting one by overselling it to my ever-patient better half. So it goes…


At least, I’ll be able to drive the FR-S in the game, along with the other cars in the August Playseast Car Pack. If you want a taste of the latest DLC Pack for Forza Motorsport 4, as well as a chance to win some awesome prizes, you can download the free Lexus GS350 F Sport and take part in the August Playseat Rivals Mode Challenge. The overall top eligible player in this month’s event—which features the F Sport turning laps on Motegi—will win a new Playseat Forza Motorsport 4 sim-racing chassis; the next four drivers will win free Playseat swag.



Community photo contest honorable mention from GhostlyJP, Then and Now theme.


In addition, if you’ve been thinking of purchasing a Playseat sim-racing chassis, now is a great time, as Playseat will be offering free codes for the August Playseat Car Pack to those who purchase Playseatproducts on throughout the month of August! You can look for code giveaways this month on the official Playseat Twitter and Facebook accounts, so you’ve got multiple ways to win.


Crash Teams Update
As I mentioned in the July 20th edition of the Week in Review, we’ve been investigating ways to deal with so-called “crash teams” within Forza Motorsport 4—folks who’s only goal is to come online and grief other players by incessantly causing accidents. After a lot of discussion with key members of our community, we posted our official plan for dealing with crash teams in the forums earlier this week. Here’s the process we’ve put together for those who want to report “crash teams”, as stated in the official announcement on the forums:


If you come across a "crash team," or an individual crasher in Forza Motorsport 4, save the replay at the end of the race, upload it to your storefront and send a report via PM with the replay Filename and the Description/keywords to: T10 CrashTeam


This process is not for public discussion or debate, so do NOT put "Crasher Report" in the description - use something innocuous such as "race at Sebring" or "Friday race" or "coo coo kachoo," and do NOT post about it in the public forums.


l SMVl Split_15023276 

Community photo contest third place from l SMVl Split 


When filing your report, feel free to include comments about what to look for. Keep in mind, though, that we're looking to clamp down on the crash teams and intentional wreckers. "This guy spun me out on the final turn" does not qualify. If it's not clearly obvious who is doing the crashing, and you have to be really detailed and precise to point out an incident, it's probably not an appropriate replay to submit.


And now for the "preachy" part, because we want this to improve the situation, not make it worse:


This is not "vigilante time." We don't want to hear that players are jumping into lobbies and immediately threatening to file reports.


Avoid retaliation, which is always good advice anyway. If a replay is submitted with two or three players "going at each other," it's going to be very tough to determine who the "crasher" is. Finish the race, encourage other players to just ignore the crasher(s), and then save the replay.


Do not get into arguments with the crasher(s), or send them messages. File the report, and let us handle it.


Not everyone follows the forum or reads the news section, so spread the word to your friends and club members.


Watch your saved replay before submitting a report. Make sure it is obvious that intentional crashing is going on. Be aware that "lag" can often make it appear that someone is ramming; players can be bumped into other players; races in the hoppers are short, and first-turn carnage is common even without intentional crashers; and so on. A good rule of thumb: if you're thinking "hmmmm... should I submit this replay or not?" the answer is "probably not."



Thanks to everyone who has brought this problem to our attention as well as to those who follow this policy and help us identify and weed out crash teams. I’m happy to say that we’ve already had our first crash team bans this week, thanks to the diligent work of our dedicated community members. We hope this process will go a long way towards making Forza Motorsport 4 online play a better place to play.



Community photo contest second place from Th3H3llDriv3R 


Community Created Rivals Events Are Coming!
Starting this month we will be featuring a community designed Rivals Mode event chosen from Fred’s recent Community Bounty side contest. A few months ago we had a Community Bounty Hunter around the Among Giants rivals event in which players were tasked with weaving a small car through a maze of behemoth SUVs; many people claim this as the hardest Rivals Mode event to date. Now, with the help of oXI ENIGMAZ IXo, the community gets their revenge on the track with "Revenge of the Giants". Look for this event to go live on August 14th in the Community Monthly section in Rivals Mode.


Community Bounty: Japandru 


This week’s community bounty is another Turn 10 staffer: Andrew (Gamertag: Japandru), our Lead Track Artist. Andrew started as Environment Artist and is now in charge of designing track layouts, establishing visual moments, and, of course, leading a team of artists.


Since Andrew designed the Alps Club Circuit in Forza Motorsport 4, you can count on the fact that he knows the track and will be laying down some respectable times. Not only does the guy know the track but he is a fair hand behind the wheel as well. He has come out of the gates and dropped the gauntlet with some hefty trash talking. From Andrew:


“I’m the fastest driver on the track team and I guarantee I’ve driven more laps around the Bernese Alps than any of you. If you think you can beat me on my track, I’ll send you back to Sidewinder where you belong. This is my mountain.”


So if you think you have got what it takes and want to give Andrew a run for his money, then step up to the plate and let’s see what you got! As a side contest, Andrew also wants to know what you think is the most important characteristic of a race track. Unicorns will be awarded to the best answers. Check out the Turn 10 Community Bounty thread. Here are the monthly Rivals event specifics:


Event: High Noon Saloon
Gamertag: Japandru
Start: Thursday Aug 9th
End: Thursday Aug 16th 8am PST. 



Community photo contest winner from SilencedMykham 


Made for Mech
As John mentioned last week, we do have a list of winners from the previous week’s Made for Mech contest—and, for posterity’s sake, here’s the list:



HyPeR x DreAMZz 

Speed Beer 250  

elefant hide us 




This week, we’re heading to Indy to tackle the “Hoosier Daddy” Rivals Mode event (found in the Community Monthly channel). We’ll be using the 2013 Scion FR-S from the August Playseat Car Pack this week, so get your tunes in as quickly as possible because I can’t wait to tackle this event. Put your best FR-S tune up on the Forza Motorsport 4 storefront with the keyword “MECHBERG FRS” and, as always, I’ll try as many as I can and award unicorn cars to my favorite tunes. My bone-stock time is a very weak 3:04.485 so there’s little doubt I’ll be quickly moving up the leaderboard once I receive some good tunes.


Hot Off the Presses 

A few weeks ago, we mentioned the upcoming relaunch of the fan-created Forza magazine, Forza Nation. I’m happy to report that the first issue of the magazine is now available and is a great read for Forza fans. With some great photography and stories covering a wide range of topics--including car reviews for the 2013 SRT Viper and the 1966 Ford Country Squire (a personal favorite); head-to-head comparisons (including the Ferrari 458 Italia vs. the McLaren MP4-12C); and more. Take a look at the first issue and give the guys your feedback in the Forza Nation discussion thread.


Show Off August Playseat Car Pack 

If you love the August Playseat Car Pack, John created a thread for you to show off your creations, photos, videos brag about fastest lap times. So if you have got a killer tune for the 1962 Lincoln Continental that makes it drift like a dream post about it! If you got the 1989 Mercedes-Benz #63 Sauber-Mercedes C9 flatlined at over 240 mph on the Mulsanne straight, post about it. Maybe you have a Camaro ZL1 vs. Mustang Boss shootout, share it in the Showoff August Playseat Car Pack thread. We will be giving out unicorns to the best submissions. And don't forget if you have a community event that you would like to get the Rear View Mirror spotlight on, post it in the Johniwanna Want Ads.


So, now it’s time for me to head out—I think there’s a diaper or fifty I need to change. Have a great weekend everyone!