Community Event / Creation The Buckyball Racing Club presents: The Magic 8 Ball Championship


We've been quiet for way too long but the Buckyball Racing Club are back baby, with a whole new championship consisting of 8 races run at monthly intervals throughout 3308.

The idea with this championship is that we will re-run 8 of the community's favourite races from the past 6 years of Buckyball Racing Club history (and there were 79 to choose from).


(note: this collage only shows a selection of the 79)

Each race will run for a week or two (remember, our races are all time trials run over a period of time during which people can enter whenever they want and as often as they want) as entirely standalone events. But, in addition, competitors will be awarded points according to their final placing in the race that will count towards their overall championship standing, with our 3308 champions being announced at the end of the season. To allow for the fact that not everyone who enters the championship will necessarily be able to take part in every race, only your best 6 results will be counted.

Good news! Since writing the original OP for this forum thread we've now had 8 volunteers step forward to run these races so the following plea is no longer needed and the Magic 8 Ball championship can officially go ahead! Maybe just move on to post #2 where you'll find more information about the championship.

Here's the catch tho' (and where we need your help).

We need 8 volunteers to each pick a race they like the sound of from the #past-events channel in our DISCORD SERVER and agree to run it. For those that are happy to really get involved with this, running a race could include coming up with a name and banner for the race, posting a forum thread for it, taking in people's submissions (typically a set of screenshots) and verifying times, maintaining the leaderboard for the race (typically just in a spreadsheet) and posting the results in the forum thread on a semi-regular basis so everyone involved can see how they're doing. It's actually more fun than it sounds, is a great way to really engage with the racing community and has made the Buckyball Racing Club what it is. Don't worry if you're not sure how to do parts of this, we'll help as much or as little as you need.

There's a bunch of core members of the BRC who are still around (myself included) who'll be picking a race each to run but without the community's help there's a real risk that we won't have the time or energy to run all 8 of these so if you still love Elite and want to see its community events section continue to thrive then this is your chance to help and to become a part of a club that's been here since the beginning and is strongly represented within the in-game universe.


To register your interest in hosting one of the events let me know in this forum thread and then hop into the discord server linked above and come and choose a race. I'd like to get these started in February but am happy to host the first one myself to give people a bit more time to decide.

And if you have your own communities (or just groups of friends that you play with) then PLEASE share the above banner and a link to this thread in order to make as many people as possible aware of this.

P.S. I'll probably do more of an FAQ later but one thing to say is that we like to try and make our races as inclusive as possible so in general we plan to let people run in either Horizons or Odyssey, unless the race involves an SRV section, in which case we'll restrict it to Horizons (which everyone can still run) since those races will have been designed around the original Horizons terrain.
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Race calendar

Championship scoring system

Participants in each race will be awarded points as follows according to their final position in that race's leaderboard:

1st - 10 points​
2nd - 9 points​
3rd - 8 points​
4th - 7 points​
5th - 6 points​
6th - 5 points​
7th - 4 points​
8th - 3 points​
9th - 2 points​
everyone else - 1 point​

The final championship score will be the total number of points from each racer's best 6 scores. That means commanders can miss 2 of the season's races without incurring an obvious penalty.

Each event will include two race classes, an Unlimited class where they can fly any ship they want (within the rules of the individual race), and a Regulation class which will require use of a specific ship and loadout as specified in the individual race's rules. Note: at the time of writing we're considering coming up with a single Regulation class ship and loadout which will be used for the entire championship (although individual races may require small loadout changes to suit the requirements of that particular race).

There will be two championship leaderboards, one showing points earned from competing in each race's Unlimited class and one showing the points from the Regulation ship class. Racers are allowed to submit runs in both classes for each race and thereby have qualifying scores for both championship leaderboards.


Q) Is this for Odyssey or Horizons?
In general racers will be able to compete in whichever mode they prefer and/or have access to (the mode and platform used will be noted in the leaderboard but we don't plan to run separate leaderboards for each). We don't envision either mode offering a distinct advantage and certainly not one that outways general piloting skill. That said, any races which involve an SRV or other surface based component will have to be done using Horizons since the original courses will have been designed with Horizons terrain in mind.

Q) Can I take part on console?
Yes. As with the Odyssey/Horizons question we don't plan to run a separate leaderboard but we will note in the leaderboard which platform was used for each entry.

Q) When are these races happening?
The idea is that we will have one race a month starting from Feburuary (so the final one will happen in September). I would suggest that each race start in the second week of the month and that they run for at least a week (so typically from Saturday to the following Sunday), although there's been a fair amount of interest in running the races for two weeks. Ultimately this is up to the host of each race - there's a certain amount of work involved in being a race host and I don't want anyone to feel obliged to run their race for more than a week.

Q) I haven't done a Buckyball Race before, how does this work exactly?
Buckyball races are time trials. Essentially each race has a prescribed set of waypoints (e.g. perhaps a set of 5 stations, or a start station and some installation tunnels to fly through, or a set of planetary features to race between) and some other rules (e.g. do as many laps as you can within a time limit, or turn off life support and go as far as you can and back without suffocating, or a whole myriad of other possibilities). When you decide to have a go you set yourself up at the start line, take a screenshot and then head off. You take further screenshots at each of the waypoints and a final screenshot at the finish line. Your time is the difference between the start and finish times in those screenshots as displayed on either the HUD or station services clocks. To submit a run to the race organiser you send in the set of screenshots for them to check (the intermediate screenshots are to prove you followed the correct route, didn't accidentally omit any waypoints, etc, etc). The organiser will compile all the submitted times into a leaderboard which is regularly updated on the race's forum thread. You can try again as many times as you like during the period the race is on (e.g. because you made mistakes and know you could do better or because your chosen nemesis has posted a faster time than you and you're damn well not going to let them win without a fight).

Q) Are race hosts allowed to compete in their own race?
Previously it's been considered bad form for hosts to compete in their own race. This time around however we're going to allow it - A) because the races are already a matter of history so the host doesn't have any significant advantage (e.g. being able to practice ahead of time) and B) because many of the hosts are picking their favourite races and thus would naturally want to be able to take part. In order to verify the times claimed by race hosts in their own event they will be required to submit the evidence of their runs publicly in the race's forum thread for peer review. Where such evidence would give things away to the other competitors (e.g. routes used), this evidence may be submitted only once the race is over. Obviously in theory the race hosts could crib information from other racers submissions but I'm going to leave it up to the honour and integrity of the hosts not to do so.

Q) Will the races be exact re-runs of the original version?
To some extent this is up to the race hosts. If they wish to introduce slight variations to the original rules (e.g. to prevent things like winners of races where route optimisation was a factor simply re-using their original routes) then that's fine.
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Put me down for one - no idea which one (yet), but it may be one of those (? - don't know if there are more than one, though) you left out from the title collage.
There are 79 to choose from in our #past-events channel, not sure they're all in the collage.
Wow, only 1 hosting place left ... I'm amazed and somewhat humbled by the enthusiastic response to this! :D

Note - if anyone turns up who's really disappointed they didn't get a chance to host (especially if they've not done so before) then I'll gladly give up my place. I only put myself down to get the (8)ball rolling.
Wow, only 1 hosting place left ... I'm amazed and somewhat humbled by the enthusiastic response to this! :D

Note - if anyone turns up who's really disappointed they didn't get a chance to host (especially if they've not done so before) then I'll gladly give up my place. I only put myself down to get the (8)ball rolling.
Although I was willing to have a go to ensure a full calendar, I do lack the confidence to run a race well. As it stands it will work out for the better I think. One day I will be ready to host. I will be at all of the races however and will also gladly assist any newbies who are around. This is looking like a great series of events. o7 Commander Turner.
Championship rules and FAQ are now up in post #2. Any other questions please post them in here and I'll add them to the FAQ.

I've also updated the table of hosts and races in post #2 so each of the races that's been chosen by their hosts is now linked to the forum thread for the original race so everyone can take a sneak peek at what's in store for this championship. I have to say it's a really REALLY exciting prospect, we're in for some terrific races!
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Question @Alec Turner … In the original rules for last gasp, plantary landings were out due to Horizons being an add on…. Given Horizons is now technically the base game, are they going to be allowable for this championship?
Question @Alec Turner … In the original rules for last gasp, plantary landings were out due to Horizons being an add on…. Given Horizons is now technically the base game, are they going to be allowable for this championship?
Ooooh, good question ... I guess one problem is that it would mean restricting the race to Horizons only since Odyssey players would have the advantage of more planetary bases being available. Also - I'm not even 100% sure that's the race I'm going to run yet (I'll try to decide today tho).
Before I forget (again) I just wanted to say a massive thank you to all the race hosts who've stepped forward to help run this championship. When I created this thread I really didn't expect so many volunteers to step forward so quickly. A game like Elite can live or die by its community involvement (especially in the wake of a "difficult" update like Odyssey) and it really warms my heart to see that Elite still has such an enthusiastic and thriving community.

So, we've got the races, we've got the racer organisers ... all we need now is for some racers to turn up and actually do some racing.

If you're reading this and are theoretically interested in taking part in at least some of these races then could you just post a quick comment in this thread. That will serve several purposes - it reassures us that's there's interest in these events, it gets you subscribed to this thread (so you'll get to hear when precise race dates are announced), and it helps to break the ice a little bit ... friendly banter about the races is a big part of what makes Buckyball racing such fun (go and read the forum threads linked to each race in post #2 to see what I mean).

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