It sounds like a Bob and Bing movie title and may be it should have been! Back in Europe and driving the Renault Magnum I got bored with France. I have told before of the challenges in the truck sim games for those who log in via Steam. These are different to the challenges to be found in World of Trucks. Both give targets to achieve within the game and therefore, a reason to drive 🙂

My move up to Scandinavia was driven initially by a simple challenge – do a delivery over a distance of over 2000Km. The only hardship involved in achieving this Steam challenge is the timescale involved – minimum of 2 hours driving in the game. Compared with real world road driving that may not seem very long, but eye strain on computer screens leads to tiredness much quicker than the real life road equivalent. It was hard work but successfully completed with a trip from La Rochelle to Oslo. Actually, on the basis of 10km in game per real minute in life for most of a journey, this was a 3 hour drive! Only, I’m sure it wasn’t quite as long as that – at least it didn’t feel that long! The game seems to do a bit of time twisting in that it does vary according to where you are and what you are doing. What I will say is – even the longest drives in the current rescaled US map don’t take anywhere near that long…

After nailing down the 2K challenge I’ve decided that I want to achieve the Scandinavian Sightseer challenge in Euro Truck. That means visiting all the cities in the Scandinavian sector of the map. That will be fun and there is some nice scenery to enjoy. The first run was the road to Stavanger and although I may not have bumped into the ace crooner and his comedian friend, I did enjoy some great scenery which I share below…

…ps. Bing Crosby was one of my Mother’s Heart throbs with the other being Stuart Grainger and I think we both enjoyed Bob Hope’s gags 🙂

I can’t believe that it was only 14th December that I was telling of buying my first truck in the newly rescaled map American Truck Sim. I made the foolish promise that I would share the growth of that truck over time. Time, it seems, is a very fluid thing and difficult to get a grip of. It just flows through your fingers especially when computer games are involved! In the 14 days from buying my Peterbilt 389 I have upgraded the home garage in Bakersfield and bought a new garage in Flagstaff. I’ve hired 4 employees and bought trucks for them. And I’ve bought myself another truck too! How is this happening?

The rescale of the map which brought ATS into line with its Euro Truck equivalent was something that just about everyone wanted – the 1:35 scaling lacked the depth and breadth of the grand scale of America. Driving 1500 Kilometres in Europe was taking two and 3/4 hours – a roughly equivalent 1000 miles distance in the US was around 1 hour’s driving in game. Junctions and cities used to flash by. The rescale banished that. The 1000 mile drive will now take – depending on the roads – close on two hours. An easy (All Interstates) 650 mile journey today took me 59mins. You are probably wondering what and where this fits with me making such swift progress in buying garages, trucks and hiring employees?

Simply put, SCS have altered the economics of the game. If I do a delivery from Bakersfield to Phoenix, I can expect to earn 1.5 – 2 times the amount I would have earned before the rescale. That’s quite an income bonus. What that means is that where I needed to do 20 jobs in the past to achieve a specific level of financial gain I probably will only need to do 10 – 12 jobs. But, the cost of the trucks hasn’t changed – so I need to do far fewer journeys to get the money to buy them though I will need to drive for longer-per-job.

I think I can understand why SCS did this – new game players need to feel that owning their own truck is easily within their grasp But for experienced players like me it is all too easy – perhaps a difficulty option should be introduced for the economics? To add to the standard financial changes in the game that have skewed the economy, there was a Christmas Challenge which required us to deliver gifts for Santa – every job was priced at almost double the normal rate! No wonder I was making money faster than the tax man could steal it! If the economic side of the game was flawed before, it is more so now… But given that most players just want to drive their trucks, is it a bad thing? Probably not – I just like to debate these anomalies 😉

So here I am with 2 garages, 4 employees with trucks and two personal trucks that I wish to show you. The first is Nightshade. You saw her briefly in my last game save before she was overtaken by events. You saw her again as my first owned truck this time around. Now she has had a chance to grow into what she can be. A Peterbilt 389, she is fitted out as a medium load shifter with a Cummins ISX15 505HP engine with a 13 speed Eaton-Fuller gearbox. My experience is that for medium loads 475-525HP is a good balance for fuel consumption and comfortable handling of the task – but I’m only playing a game so whether that applies in the real world requires input from operators of these trucks. Nightshade wears a traditional colorscheme but recent research suggests that this may be a Kenworth scheme so expect it to change! The jury is also out on the visor – should I have one of the deeper ones? No truck is ever fully finished – she may grow to get a 550hp engine too as per a lot of new 389’s I have found on sale on the internet. Anyway – here she is in her present configuration…

Nightshade dropping off Propane in Hornbrook
Nightshade dropping off Propane in Hornbrook
Drifting through the highlands above Tucson.
Drifting through the highlands above Tucson.

I had hoped to bring in the Freightliner FLB or the Peterbilt 351 – sadly not going to happen just yet. As I reported, the FLB has broken mirrors and I found that the 351 crashes the game when you pause with the esc key – possibly a missing file issue. But I only found that after I bought one! Before I discovered the crash issue I did get to play with a metallic red livery which I then tried out on the Kenworth W900 when I bought her – A deep claret, it looked really cool…

Deep Red Metallic on my new Kenworth W900
Deep Red Metallic on my new Kenworth W900

But that color will be for another truck (it was going to be used on the 351). So here is where I am with this truck…

Resurrected - Rolled Gold Rides Again!
Resurrected – Rolled Gold Rides Again!

…As you can see, Rolled Gold has been resurrected complete with her sunset mural. She has the 600HP Detroit Series 60 engine with an 18speed Eaton-Fuller box and retarder. That means she sounds really great and will be the heavy shifter of my fleet 🙂 Only one change to her previous spec – she has wing mirrors. I found these such a useful addition on Nightshade, that I added them to Rolled Gold too 🙂