Asphalt 8 - Free download?

vbimport

#1

I guess I am, as coined by others, a true “silver gamer” having played games since the late seventies.

Recently, I was challenged by a friend to download and install Asphalt 8 from the Microsoft store. As he put it; “you simply have to!”.
So with a “I’m gonna beat you” kind of grin, I downloaded and installed the game. What I soon came to realize was that it was not that easy and I lost quite some matches against him.

It is in fact one of the most addictive arcade racers I have played in my entire life, but realistic? NO!
If you are after a racing sim, look elsewhere, but if you can enjoy arcade racing, this is your game.
All about reflexes, sliding through curves, nitros, knocking down the opponents and adrenaline kicks, I love it!
The feeling of speed and the aerial acrobatic stunts performed (more often than not by chance) are breathtaking.

Before going further, I would like to give you two hints for the higher levels:
The computer AI cars are tuned to your speed and so once you have passed all cars, stop the nitro, you will need it if one of the cars pass you.
If you crash, the AI cars ahead of you are driving at almost nitro speed and so if you are at the middle of that game, just hit escape and start over.

As I mention in the header, it is free to download and install…
I had not played many minutes before wanting a faster car and then I noticed that while you could race and earn “Credits” to buy cars, many was only offered for “Asphalt dollars” - That is where the micro transaction scheme comes in as they can only be bought or won by racing in online multiplayer cups.

I could not help but noticing and was shocked that they asked more than $100 for the most expensive car (graphic) alone - can that even be considered micro.
I would probably consider buying such an outstanding arcade racer for $100 off the shelf in a shop, but just one in-game piece of graphic? It does not stop there as they offer even “Credits” you can buy to make you able to get the better cars offered for the “currency” without wining games.

I have since calculated that I could have spent more than $1000 so far if I had chosen to. Imo that is greed and nothing but greed and so I decided not to spend a cent.

I checked the net and sure enough, there are ways around that. I will not recommend it of course as any download poses a risk of infection and playing fair is always best… That goes for Gameloft, the (imo greedy) gamehouse as well though.

That brings me to the multiplayer part and kids (I hope) using the aforementioned trainer online. A trainer when used in online multiplayer is ruining the game mode for all and not only for the player using it.
In this case and with the prices asked by Gameloft, I would expect the company to do a better job banning cheeters, but I still play - why?.
Not all out there are cheeters and so I find great pleasure in fighting for third or fourth place against another honest player instead of getting irritated about what I can not do anything about.

A special thanks to the player named Amir K, It was great playing against you. you had my adrenaline pumping :flower:


#2

I’ve no doubt that there must be someone out there somewhere that has paid those crazy prices but they’re really ripping the backside out of things charging those sorts of prices. :iagree:

There’s a lot of great stuff out there for free but the games producers rely on people being too impatient to wait for their lives to be renewed etc.

Everything comes to those that wait. :slight_smile:

[B]Wombler[/B]


#3

Yes, everything comes to those who waits, and due to profession and age, “waiting” has become my middle name :iagree: :bigsmile:

Such a major in-game transaction scheme comes forth as rather odd though. Is it not mostly parents who pay? Frankly I do not know, but a dollar or pound here and a dollar there would be more acceptable than “Mom, can I have $100?” - from a parent’s viewpoint and as I see it.
I certainly did not take the bait and so no harm done, still it comes forth as almost fraudulent.

What struggles me is that Gameloft are promoting the next generation hackers and crackers by their policy :confused: .
According to my daughter, a 150 million years ago when I was young and the dinosaurs roamed the earth, I used to be 14 myself and I still know the feeling of each new achievement or task managed. I learned assembly language by looking at other people’s code through a machine code monitor as we called it (comparable to todays debugger albeit much simpler) :smiley:


#4

I dabbled a bit with native machine code in the early days on a ZX-81 but it was very heavy going and the tools available then were very much in their infancy.

I did get a bit of a kick however out of writing unbelievably small programs compared to those using high level compiled languages such as BASIC.

Mind you my ZX-81 only had 1KB of memory until I bought the “massive” 16KB RAM pack. :slight_smile:

Things have changed just a bit since then. :bigsmile:

[B]Wombler[/B]


#5

Ooooh. 16KB :bow: I know… :bigsmile:


#6

There wasn’t any bloatware back in those days! :bigsmile:

In fact you were lucky if there was enough room for the main program. :eek::slight_smile:

[B]Wombler[/B]


#7

[QUOTE=Xercus;2759882]…these are the computers I can remember to have owned.

Sinclair ZX81 (16KB)
…[/QUOTE]
True, bloat was unheard of.
…and the grief when the program did not fit in that 1K space :eek: A friend of mine had created a picture which was drawn using basic (took more than 2 minutes to draw) - Using a monitor, I saved the screen memory and then created a loader to load it - I believe I could hear my friend’s jaw drop the next day when I showed him my optimized version of his program - took no time to load and bang! there it was on the screen :wink:

Turning in broken computers for service was no option (if I had money at all, they were spent bying new hardware) and the soldering iron was used for repairs on a weekly basis all through the '80s (actually till the late '90s and while I still have my last by then variable heat soldering station I have not used it once this side of the millennium).

Remember my first 20[B]MB[/B] harddrive too (costing $400), thinking I would never be able to fill up such a wast area of space :bigsmile:
Today I have 28TB effective storage in a 16 disk RAID6 solution and am short on space :confused:

[B]We have indeed come a long way in a short time…[/B]

For some reason, I never stopped dabbling though and still use debuggers, hex-editors and Dis-/Assemblers to change dll dependencies, unpack programs a.o.t. to have old programs work in this OS. as well. (I still use Winfile.exe for malware hunting and it is soon to be upgraded to support even file security in Windows 10) :smiley:

Even though I also know a little ANSI C/C++, I do not program much from scratch anymore as it has always been on a need be basis, still I have the latest Visual Studio fully installed in a virtual machine to use the debugging environment.

I wonder why they call me hexaholic and nutcase :confused: :bigsmile:


#8

Ah, it would be nice to have learned programming from scratch in that time period. …Then again, I can barely keep multiple modern programming languages straight, let alone produce perfectly optimized work in each one.


#9

[QUOTE=Albert;2762671]Ah, it would be nice to have learned programming from scratch in that time period. …Then again, I can barely keep multiple modern programming languages straight, let alone produce perfectly optimized work in each one.[/QUOTE]

Produce perfectly optimized code is something quite different and will require you to program a lot in C.

I bought “Learning to Program in C” by Noel Kantaris in 1989 (120 pages) to get started and the ANSI standard “Mastering C Programming” by W. Arthur Chapman from 1991 (300 pages) to add to the foundation. The rest I have picked up from the MSDN library.
To optimize code as much as I am capable of (mostly by removing the odd bug), I just use the debugging environment and no memory leaks or processor hogging is left :disagree:
That is all it takes to ‘get around’ :iagree:

It strikes me that many people seem to think that programming is too advanced for them to learn when in reality a simple introduction and the MSDN library help is all they need to get started. The rest they can pick up by trial and (t)error. :bigsmile:

C++ at least Visual C++ is not much harder to learn than Visual Basic for someone without prior knowledge. Trouble is they never start and so never realize that. The higher level languages are sharing lots between them so knowing C++ I can also read and understand Java code even though I can not program in the language.

Back in the late '80s I used to put it this way:
In Basic, you can ask for a bucket of water.
In C you can ask for a bucket with an exact level of water.
In Assembler however, you will have to start by defining the molecules of the bucket as it does not exist…
I still think it is a good general way of describing the differences. Evidently, the control you have at the assembly level is extreme, but so is the code let alone the learning curve - Two pages of C++ source easily expands to 20-50 pages pages assembler source if you do not use any system libraries :confused: Then again, as Wombler mention, the compilled executable is typically ten times smaller for the assembler version and contains no dead code. :stuck_out_tongue:
With all the silicone we have to back us up today, it can’t pay off learning the language though as the execution time for a compiled C++ executable is more than acceptable… For patching and cracking though…


#10

I tend to think of things on such an atomic level that it would almost be more preferable to code in assembly, were it a viable option for the things I want to do. (I’m sure I’ll end up doing so one day, for one reason or another.)


#11

[QUOTE=Albert;2762692]I tend to think of things on such an atomic level that it would almost be more preferable to code in assembly, were it a viable option for the things I want to do. (I’m sure I’ll end up doing so one day, for one reason or another.)[/QUOTE]

Just do not undertake a large project when you start. That is what puts most starters off programming. Next thing you know, they start telling horror stories about how hard it is - Sure is if you want the world the first day. :confused:

A good introduction to a language like Visual C++ and the Visual Studio interface would be https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd831853.aspx and since most soon like to view some example code, https://code.msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/

I guess the most common start would probably be programming a desktop app first and then I would sugest to start reading here https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee663300(v=vs.85).aspx

Programming should be demystified to an extent from just these links.

Learn to crawl, then walk and one day you will be running - basic principles :bigsmile:


#12

I thought I would bounce this thread to show you something interesting…
Most players know that Asphalt 8 is a pay to win scheme and I have tested it myself using earned ‘Asphalt dollars’ from playing. After filling the ‘fuel bar’ more than 10 times in one cup, I suddenly went from position 600-something to position 1 after a race and won the Kepler Motion car. Likewise, if you play a cup much without using ‘Asphalt dollars’, you can find yourself going from a position in the hundreds to sometimes as low as 15000 and then you have to regain your position on that higscore list from there.

Today I wanted to document how this is done. It has become obvious that Gameloft operates with several highscores that they present to the player at will.

Ok, today’s new cup is ‘The Dragon’s Den Cup’:

As you can see, I have yet to get any ranking as I have yet to play.

Clicking on ‘UNRANKED’ brings up the following highscore table (names removed)

Notice the driver in position 1 has a time of 00:58:000

Then I did drive the cup and ended at Position 998 with a time of 01:11:xxx

Now clicking at 998 brings up the following highscore table (names removed)

Notice the driver in position 1 now has a time of 00:10:001

The time 00:10:001 is the default ‘time hack’ found in a trainer on the net, nothing to do about that as some people will always try to cheat their way in games… maybe in life as well.
The interesting part is that it proves there are several highscore tables.
In other words, if you have gained a good position, stop playing as you will then be stuck on that highscore table. If you continue to play without using ‘Asphalt dollars’ you may risk being moved to another highscore table and get a much worse position.

I think, in this case, I will stop playing this cup as the race was well executed and I will probably end within the top 4000 which gains a few surprise boxes with car parts I can use for upgrading in my garage. Trying to end below 500 is not something I would try to do as the first 100 players at least has a time of 00:10:001.






#13

We as players should skip games promoting such a scheme. It discriminates against serious and skilled players and rewards casual gamers with pockets full of money.


#14

[QUOTE=francisK;2767801]We as players should skip games promoting such a scheme. It discriminates against serious and skilled players and rewards casual gamers with pockets full of money.[/QUOTE]

LOL, I have to say that it is such an infectious game that, while I agree with you on the principal level, I will have to make an exception for this one.

It is very true that it discriminates against serious and skilled players, let alone the price for in-game purchases which are ridiculous. However, as I say above, I have not spent a dime and still have managed to get many great cars.

The ultimately greatest about an arcade racer is that each game only takes 1-2 minutes and so I find time to do a race while waiting for a process to finish which would not be possible with many other types of games. It also relies on reflexes and so gives the analytic part of your brain a rest for the most part :wink:

Here is the official trailer for the last incarnation of the game to give you an idea why I love it:

//youtu.be/siwzYB2dzao


#15

Just a comment to follow up. It even seems as though, if you are at the Pro level for all levels of a car in a cup (like I am for the Ford Mustang in the current), that you get a worse starting point than if you’re not. I do not know at current what is causing this and so have to keep checking to find the cause, but I thought I should mention my hunch. Today, my first race started me off at the position of 15xxx. The next race dragged me down to 35xxx. Then I drove two more races and am at 18xxx at current.
The first two races happened within minutes and I find it hard to believe that 20xxx players got better in that amount of time as I won both races. These races all happened within a two hours, and so I think Gameloft somehow think I am cheating :confused: which I am not.
It does confirm my earlier findings though that this is indeed a ‘pay to win’ scheme way out on the dishonest wing.

I think francisK may be right in what he says, we really should stop supporting dishonest schemes which discriminates serious game-players, and I hink it is time for me as well. Who knows what I will find next…


#16

Time to round it up, this will be the final entry to this thread unless something needs to be addressed :wink:

Part of the micro-transaction scheme relies on that you do not choose which car parts you want to buy. Instead you have to buy a box containing unknown parts and may end up getting only parts you have no use for:

The top left box is the only you can buy for ‘[B]C[/B]oins’ and as you can see, there is no guarantee as to what it may contain. Since ‘[B]C[/B]oins’ is what you earn by driving the game, you can only ‘buy’ one such box at eight hours interval (18.000 turns into a clock counting down 8 hours).
The two most expensive boxes comes with a guarantee of sorts for contents, still no guarantee for actual parts. These can be purchased for [B]A[/B]sphalt tokens only (you earn very few of these driving and so you either have to play much, be patient or pay to get them) and of course, there is no restrictions as to how many you can buy every minute for any of them.
The price, roughly converted is A200≈$2, A525≈$6, A950≈$10.

Not knowing the parts you get leads to your ‘Inventory’ filling up and to expand that more than you can do by earning stars by racing the local tracks (185 parts) can also only be bought for [B]A[/B]sphalt tokens…

O.k, for the actual parts, let me show most if not all of these to you first:

As a general hint, simply disregard the parts labelled [B]S[/B], [B]A[/B], [B]B[/B], [B]C[/B] and [B]D[/B] on the upper three rows. These will generally not be the ones you will be missing. However, the four to the right of the [B]D[/B] parts (Early tech x2, Mid tech and Advanced tech) will be in short supply. the same goes for most of the rest of the parts below it.

The reason is that one ugrade consists of 1x or more part from [B]S[/B], [B]A[/B], [B]B[/B], [B]C[/B] or [B]D[/B] depending on the class of car to upgrade, 1x or more [B]… tech[/B] part and 1x or more for one of the parts on the bottom two rows of the picture above.

Naturally, since almost all car upgrades require a [B]… tech[/B] part or more, they are the ones you will miss the most and if you are impatient, make you spend money. The first part in the fourth row is a “Legendary” part needed for many cars and indeed also for two of the best cars in the game and as you probably can figure out, it does not come along in large quantities when you buy the [B]C[/B]18.000 box :disagree:

A word of advice to anyone finding this thread and have started playing Asphalt 8, be patient and know that there is absolutely no point in owning all cars (there are about 140 available at the moment). Chose one or two within each class and stick with them. It is perfectly possible outrun a [B]S[/B] class car with an upgraded [B]A[/B] class car. Many of the cars behaves pretty much the same and have almost the same specs.

The fastest car in the game is [B]HTT Plethore LC750[/B] with a maximum of 512,5 Km/h without using nitro, but both [B]McLaren P1 GTR[/B] and [B]Trion Nemesis[/B] will obtain top speed quicker and outrun it at the start.

Sell off parts in the [B]S[/B], [B]A[/B], [B]B[/B], [B]C[/B] and [B]D[/B] category if your inventory fills up, the [B]C[/B] and [B]D[/B] parts at least are usually in rich supply in the [B]C[/B]18.000 box.

And finally, don’t use trainers online… Play fair :flower:




#17

Just in case my description above is a little unclear, the below is the actual screen where you upgrade the car. This is an example taken from a [B]S[/B] class car:

Looking at the topmost upgrade above, you can see that I have sixteen [B]S[/B] class [B]tires[/B] available and need three. For the next [B]V8[/B] part I have zero available but need two and for the last [B]Mid-Tech[/B] I have three and need three. This means I will have to continue buying boxes and driving cups until that [B]V8[/B] comes along to be able to upgrade this car.

As you can see above, this car is on upgrade level 1/5 for all and so it is balanced. Upgrading the Drivetrain too much above the rest and the car will become harder to control. so it is best to keep the upgrades balanced and upgrade tires and suspension before drivetrain and exhaust as that gives you a car that is easier to handle and not loose the grip on the road.
The number of parts needed for upgrading from 2/5 to 3/5 and so on rises steadily, and for this I can imagine that it will take six or eight [B]Tires[/B] six [B]V8[/B] cards and four to six [B]Advanced tech[/B] to go from 4/5 to 5/5 aka [B]PRO[/B] level.

Yep, Gameloft spent a lot of time figuring out how to get people impatient :wink:



#18

[QUOTE=Xercus;2768719]Yep, Gameloft spent a lot of time figuring out how to get people impatient ;)[/QUOTE]

That seems to be the key method of generating income these days. :iagree::slight_smile:

And why things like the Candy Crush games are worth a fortune despite being able to play them for free.

If you’re patient like me it’s a lot cheaper. Some people just have to have their instant fix though. :slight_smile:

[B]Wombler[/B]


#19

You are absolutely right Wombler, the psychology of it all makes this big business, but I guess, just like 9.99, 19.99, 49.99 a.s.o, people will get it after a while :wink:

The reason for replying is not that though, but I realize there is something crucial missing from this thread… Controlling the car and especially if you use a keyboard in Windows.

Here the arrow keys are in use, Down arrow and [Ctrl] is brake while [Space] is used for triggering a nitro. For me the [Ctrl] is the method of choice to start drifting through a curve or in other words, the left hand for both Nitro and Brake.
Now the [Ctrl] key is next to [WinKey] and in the beginning, I did hit [WinKey] over and over which pops you back into Windows and activates the Start-menu.

A slight irritation I have to admit… mumble mumble whatever is wrong with [Shift] mumble mumble… Yep, you guessed it, the [Ctrl] key can not be changed.
If you prefer controlling the car like I do, ease the engines and read on :wink:

Solution:
Go to WKey Disabler - Download the tool and run it. that disables the [WinKey] button and place an icon in the system tray you can right-click to exit the utility. The utility works even in Windows 10 x64 and there is no need to run as administrator.
Once you are finished playing the game, exit the utility and your [WinKey] is working again. :flower:


#20

O.k, I routed a friend to read this when he asked me about the game. After reading it he called me with one question: What cars should I choose?

The simple answer… none :wink: How would I know what car fits your driving style? It is down to preference and almost impossible to answer, but I can tell you some of my preferred cars:
D class - Ferrari 308 GTS, BMW M3 Sedan
C class - BMW M1, Acura NSX 2005, Lamborghini Miura
B class - Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary, Mazda Furai, Kepler Motion.
A class - Ferrari LaFerrari, Ferrari 330 P4, McLaren 675LT,
S class - Pagani Huayra, SSC Tuatara, Hennessey Venom GT, HTT Plethore LC 750, Trion Nemesis

Special mentions: The Ferrari 330 P4 is a fun car to drive, The Kepler Motion is a well balanced car, The HTT Plethore LC 750 is a great car if you start behind the rest as it is the fastest car in the game and finally, Trion Nemesis which is somewhat hard to keep on the road as it is a little too fast for its own good will have your adrenaline pumping.

It is, for whatever it is worth a start, but your conclusions may be different as to what are the best cars to drive after you have played the game for a while.
The bottom line is do not become impatient, everything comes to those who waits. First, there are 9 local seasons to attend to to make an income in the form of stars and coins, then there is the TAG season and Mastery. Concentrate on those and do the occasional online race. That should get you most cars you want and the upgrades you need.

Take your time, the individual race only takes one to two minutes, still I have a total playtime of almost a week :wink: