So, SCS have broken with tradition! Last Thursday they announced that the New Mexico map expansion for American Truck Simulator will be released to an expectant computer truckers community this coming Thursday. I can’t remember SCS ever giving an actual release date for an expansion – at least, not in recent times. Usually we get teaser posts on the SCS blog and then one day we see a game update downloading on Steam and the new DLC is available in the store. You get in the habit of estimating how long the open beta testing will take based on previous experience 😉 To be actually told when an expansion will be available??? Never in a month of Sundays – at least until now!
New Mexico will bring some important changes with it. Perhaps the stand out change will be the arrival of Random Events in the game. Until now things like road works and broken down trucks have been hard coded so you know where they are. If this new feature works the way I hope then we will see such things appear from time to time at random locations. Quite how random remains to be seen but it will make each trip a little less predictable which is a good thing. We’re also going to see potholes and the like as we drive along – I wonder if they will cause damage if you bounce through them?
Not content with bringing a new state and random events into the game, SCS are also revisiting some of the existing states and adding sections of road that were missing from the original rescale of the map. We’re going to get CA-190 through Death Valley! US93 is getting extended south from Kingman down to Phoenix. All-in-all a total of over 600 miles of new road are going to be added to the existing states when version 1.29 drops in on Thursday! The AI is also getting ‘improved’ – which could mean all sorts of things. I do know that we will see cars parking at service stations. But out on the road, I think I’ll wait and see what the experience with the programmed nutters is once we start driving 😉
All these improvements will mean that certain mods will stop working pending updates by their authors. Cyrus’ Kenworth K100 will almost certainly need a new download as the author usually ties his versions to the game versions. Whether Viper2’s Peterbilt 379/389 will be affected I don’t know but I anticipate problems in the first couple of weeks. Much of my driving in that period will probably be in my main profile with the official SCS trucks as they should have been tested by the developers.
And once we’re driving in New Mexico, I wonder if we’ll see aliens around Roswell? And will we meet Road Runner and Wile E Coyote going about their cartoon capers? Beep, Beep…