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Automatic or Manual Transmission?


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#1 The Animaster

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 07:22 AM

I've always wondered why the manual transmission (MT) people like to poke fun at automatic transmission (AT) guys. Well -- they have good reason to.

When starting off in Colin McRae rally mac I was always sticking to AT -- first with the keyboard, then with the rumblepads and then even when I eventually bought the Logitech G25 system a few days after the rumblepads (CMR is THAT great). It just seemed that AT was the best choice as I didn't need to worry or "waste time" with shifting.

Ok, so I was a noob.

Just recently (last week) I've switched to MT to see what it was like. I just wanted to try something new as I've already pretty much gotten used to steering on the G25. Echoing what I've mentioned in another thread here: "Boy was I surprised". I started beating my recently set records by (more or less than) 30 seconds! Soon it just made sense to keep to manual transmission and re-adjust my steering skills to cater for 1-handed steering (while shifting).

So I was just wondering... how many people were or are like me... stuck to AT or not? What is your experience with AT/MT?

If you're still doing AT, you should really consider the acceleration advantage of MT when cornering.
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#2 Janichsan

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 07:49 AM

I usually play with automatic transmission. I'm aware that with manual transmission, you can usual get much better times. But I'm playing a gamepad and I never found manual shifting with a gamepad comfortable or natural. It would probably be different with a real steering wheel, but I don't play enough racing games that it would be worthwhile to buy one.

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#3 QuantaCat

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 10:55 AM

..to add to the above of what janichsan said: it only makes a difference in games against other MT people. Otherwise, I see no point whatsoever to play racing games at all.


Maybe I should try burnout. I used to be a great fan of Carmageddon.... when I was 12.
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#4 Eric5h5

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 12:33 PM

View PostQuantaCat, on May 26th 2008, 12:55 PM, said:

Otherwise, I see no point whatsoever to play racing games at all.

You can say that about any type of game.

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#5 QuantaCat

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 01:13 PM

any type of game which I prefer multiplayer of, I guess. But you did get I was talking about "I only play this game because of multiplayer", yes? if not, then I really *really* need to improve my sentence forming again.
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#6 Janichsan

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 01:37 PM

View PostQuantaCat, on May 26th 2008, 06:55 PM, said:

..to add to the above of what janichsan said: it only makes a difference in games against other MT people.
Not quite. In some games, like Need for Speed, you'll have a hard time beating later AI opponents with AT.

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#7 Eric5h5

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 03:28 PM

View PostQuantaCat, on May 26th 2008, 03:13 PM, said:

any type of game which I prefer multiplayer of, I guess. But you did get I was talking about "I only play this game because of multiplayer", yes?

No, sorry.  :)  I didn't play Colin McRae with AT, and I don't and never will do multiplayer with that....  In real life I despise manual, but in real life I also don't slam my car around rally courses trying to get the best possible time, either.

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#8 JaguarGod

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 04:17 PM

I have always played MT. Could always pull faster lap times with it. I have played online with others who solely use AT and have mastered it and they are fast. You need to master whichever you prefer. But there are times when MT helps a lot. Playing the gears to your own timing can really help you go faster.
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#9 Dark_Archon

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 05:35 PM

View PostEric5h5, on May 26th 2008, 05:28 PM, said:

In real life I despise manual
Really? I've found that, after getting used to it, I'd never want to go back to an automatic transmission.
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#10 Eric5h5

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 07:26 PM

View PostDark_Archon, on May 26th 2008, 07:35 PM, said:

Really? I've found that, after getting used to it, I'd never want to go back to an automatic transmission.

Yes, really.  I just want my car to go.  Fiddling around with controls is only good for video games.  ;)

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#11 The Animaster

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 07:34 PM

Actually, in real life I think I'd prefer AT as well. As what was mentioned above -- you don't need to go for speed and slam your car around (unless you happen to be a rally driver afterall) :P

Smashing your car around in CMR is plenty fun though.
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#12 mattw

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 11:58 AM

View PostThe Animaster, on May 27th 2008, 02:34 AM, said:

Actually, in real life I think I'd prefer AT as well. As what was mentioned above -- you don't need to go for speed and slam your car around (unless you happen to be a rally driver afterall) :P

Smashing your car around in CMR is plenty fun though.

I think some of this depends what part of the world you are from. In the USA most cars seem to be autos and it seems many folks never drive anything else. In Europe most folks drive manuals and an auto box is more of a luxury option. It is probably getting more common however. Without offending anyone it is also true to say that many cars have much softer suspension setups in the USA compared to European tastes - not sure why it has evolved this way either.

If you drive in heavy traffic or spend at lot of time on motorways/autobahns/freeways etc then an auto box makes a lot of sense.

A manual transmission is much better however if you drive on more demanding roads or at speed as it is so much easier to be in the right gear for a corner as you can shift before entering it rather than waiting for the software to figure it out. Maybe one day the car will be able to look at the corner first as well? It certainly makes it easier to make more progress and in every type of motorsport that is important. If you want a simulation it has to be manual transmission.
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