The first thing is you don't have to wonder if your average speed for the race is fast enough to beat your opponents. You are racing live against your competitors and know exactly how fast you need to go to win the race. The second thing is the amount of yellow flags that come out in an offline differs per racer and the fewest yellows, usually makes you the winner on an offline event.
In an online race, the yellows are the same for each racer, and sometimes it helps to catch up to the pack to make a sprint to the end for the win. The last major thing I see is much more aggressive/close online racing than you would ever get from the AI cars in Nascar2. I have raced several Taladega, Michigan, and Dover races where I am going bumper to bumper for 20 laps to try to pass or go for the win.
Before the Ten network for Nascar2, there was a network called Hawaii for Nascar1. I wanted to get on this network, but because of the long distance phone bills, it prevented me from thinking about racing online there. There were many leagues and racers that joined for the excitement of online racing and Papyrus proved that multiplayer for racing games could be done. I think the Hawaii network was online for over 2 years. Now that the NRO is up and running, the Hawaii network should be shutting down (if not already).
Two other online services that are available and up and running now are Kali, and the Gaming Zone which are great for up to two or three people(depending on the latency) to do many of the racing/arcade type games. I have been on Kali and that was my first experience with multiplayer and Nascar2 online racing. Since Kali has been out, they have improved there software to run some of the new games and latency has improved over the past year. If you can't afford TEN, this is a cheaper way to get your online experience with Nascar2.
Now with the TEN network and local access numbers, it is more affordable for me to do online racing. Bare in mind, this is not exactly cheap either. There are three costs that you could possibly be spending to do online racing. The first cost is the initial monthly fee to be with TEN, which is $19.95 per month if you do the flat rate. The second is the concentric local access number which is $0.95 an hour for a good quality high connection for racing with Nascar2. I've tried going through my ISP and it is fine for the chat rooms, but TEN will not allow me to race because of a poor quality connection.
Some of you may have good luck with your ISP. The third cost will be your local telephone connection depending on what town has the local access numbers. There are other rates listed on the TEN main web page which is at: http://www.ten.net/. I happened to get in on their TEN grand opening, so I am paying at the moment $14.95. But I am not sure how long I will have this rate.
First off you need a registered copy of Nascar2 and it needs to be loaded into Windows 95 to run on the NRO. The DOS version at this time will not work on TEN. The second piece of software needed is the TEN operating system, which is a free download from their web site mentioned in the last section. Your costs don't start until you log on to the system. The third piece of software downloaded from TEN is the Nascar2 handler software which are several zipped files installed manually once on your computer. A set of instructions come with the software. This software ties Nascar2 to TEN to operate correctly during the start up of a race. This will be explained in future reviews.
Another web page of interest for NRO racers is at http://www.nros.com/ . This was the first web site to inform us that NRO was starting several weeks ago. They have several points of interest and a FAQ link. Also Sim Cyberworld will keep on top of any NRO events and changes that we find out from the TEN network and myself being online in the NRO. We will post weekly reviews and new topics to explain how Nascar2 works with TEN online network.
That's about it for this review. Next time I will get into what you actually see when you get on the NRO system and how races are started and run.
See you on the track,
Dave Thayer (Daterror-TEN handle)
This page last updated Saturday, February 7, 1998