Trucking Digest

It’s been a long time since I posted a Digest. Initially it was because I was getting to grips with the changes in The Hunter Call of the Wild and I put most of my trucking on hold in that period. Then, back on 17th February I decided to do one of the Steam Achievements that had caught my eye in Euro Truck – Orient Express. This became available with the ‘Road to the Black Sea’ map dlc. It’s a simple enough achievement provided the jobs fall for you. Deliver loads along the route of the famous VSOE train – Paris-Strasbourg; Strasbourg-Munich; Munich-Vienna; Vienna-Budapest; Budapest-Bucharest; Bucharest-Istanbul. Having positioned to Paris I set out on the journey on Feb 18th in my DAF XF……it took me 3 irl days with a small hiatus in Vienna when I couldn’t get a job going on to Budapest but on 20th we finally rolled into Istanbul to claim the achievement…

One thing leads to another and being part of the vibrant virtual trucker community tends to result in a snowballing of things as we spur each other on. One of my friends who was struggling with that same achievement due to jobs not falling for him, tweeted that he’d completed all the achievements in American Truck. That, of course, was a reminder to me that I’d fallen behind on those during the past year of so as I concentrated on the community events. So I decided it was time to get all the outstanding achievements in that game completed too. One of the outstanding ones required visiting tourist sites in Oregon, so off we went to Crater lake……and to Thor’s Well – actually Cook’s Chasm……along with Yaquina Head Lighthouse and Crooked River Gorge. In Washington a similar sightseeing achievement required a visit to Mount St Helens……and the Grand Coulee Dam……seen during a visit for another achievement – ‘Go Big or Go Home’ – shifting oversize loads on all the routes for that type of load. Here we are completing one of those jobs – a Turnkey House, Oxnard-Barstow…

Other achievements included visits to all Oregon’s forestry sites, and shifting every type of forest machinery as well as visiting a lumber site outside Bellingham in Washington. Here we are coming back down the track from that one with a Knuckleboom Loader in tow….

The jobs required for two achievements just wouldn’t fall for me. One required me to deliver a boat to one of the Washington shipyards. In the end I had to take a ‘Hire job’ and wound up driving this ‘Varicose’ blue Mack R from Holbrook to Port Angeles……With no wing mirrors, it was a pain and I was glad to get back in our very own Ol’Dawg afterwards…. That was all the achievements done except one which is still outstanding. Deliver 5 Frac Tanks to drilling sites in Utah. I can’t seem to get any of these to drop in my own trucks so again I’m having to take Hire Jobs between doing normal runs to likely origin locations. Yesterday I took a hire from Ely to Moab in this rather nice Freightliner Argosy……an impressive piece of kit – though I think 600HP was overkill for an 8200lb load 😉 I have three more of those deliveries to make after which I shall be fully up to date in ATS – 22 achievements completed in around 6 weeks. Hopefully that explains the hiatus between Digest posts. I will now be turning my attention to the many outstanding achievements in Euro truck – it’s a good way to keep busy in a time of lockdown!

Stay Safe and Well everyone – Keep the Shiny Side Up!!!

Happy St Patrick’s Day

…To all our Irish Friends…

Birdshot

In this issue…

Actually, I’m not sure what’s in this issue as I’m going to adlib as I go along.

I spent the last 2 weeks testing out possible loadouts for my new profile in The Hunter – Call of the Wild as I wait with many other players for the new scoring system release date. In the course of that wait I’ve photographed lots of Fallow Deer as I’ve re-run the early challenges time and again. They’re still spotty and the males have horns…

I’ve also experienced the missing tracks / corpse issue a number of times. For those playing the game regularly, this has been an issue for a very long time. What happens is… You shoot an animal and you know where you shot it. You go to the spot where you shot the animal and find the blood splatter then, because you saw which way the animal ran after you shot it, you follow where the tracks should be… Guess what – there are no tracks. You circle around because you know they have to be there but… Nothing! I point-blanked a female Red Deer with my shotgun – in self defense I should add (she would have mowed me down otherwise) and this was the blood splatter at the site where I shot her……That looks a pretty major lung wound to me and the little lady should go down within a few yards. In fact, that pink you can see on the hand held device means she’s dead. But – no tracks and no body 😦 Like the rest of the community I’m just glad that consecutive harvests no longer affect your score when you subsequently shoot another animal and actually find the body!

So what happens to the tracks? Sometimes they appear suspended in mid-air – I have seen this myself at night and I’ve seen daytime shots of the same issue from fellow members of the community. Other times they may appear a distance from the actual kill point and the lateral shift seems to also apply to where the body will eventually be found in those cases. And then there will be the no tracks at all variant. In the latter case I have found that moving away from the area where you made the kill and wandering around for a while (10 mins or so) will result in the blood from your victim miraculously appearing for you to track and find the body. This is an ongoing issue that the developers are working hard to resolve and I’m sure they will get there eventually.

It would be wrong to think that only The Hunter – COTW has these issues. I’ve experienced a similar ongoing problem with the fish in The Fisherman – Fishing Planet. Most of the time you sling your hook, suitably baited, and wait for a bite. You hope your choice of tackle, hook size and bait will entice the fish you are seeking. 95% of the time the bite will be a fish that you would expect to take the bait – maybe not the one you wanted but that’s what fishing is about. Then you get the big one… The Really Big one! You find yourself fighting a fish that you tire out… and then it regains its strength and goes on another run… time and time again. You’ve just hooked the Glitch-Fish. How do you know that this is what’s on the end of your line? You check the wear and tear of the line, rod and reel – If they haven’t moved from where they were before then you have a spooky fish and can probably set up a clothing brand 😉 There is only one way out of this. You have to put your line into the red like this……guess what – it won’t snap like it should and after a bit more fight you’ll bring the Glitch-Fish in. At which point you’ll discover another amazing thing about the Glitch-Fish – it then metamorphoses into a run of the mill Bass (for example) that should never have troubled your equipment in the first place!

These are the joys of playing simulation games that do their best to mimic real life – sometimes the behaviour algorithms for wild animals prove to be beyond what the processing can reliably produce. And as for the Truck Simulator games… You can rely on the AI to do some very un-human behaviours – except in France where everybody knows that Cedez le Passage means that some drivers won’t Cedez le Passage 😉 I know the dev’s of all these games are doing their best to get the AI to behave as true to life as possible – my thanks for their efforts.

Earlier this pm, Expansive Worlds tweeted that there will be an important announcement tomorrow – hopefully that signals the release of the new scoring system for The hunter – COTW. I’m looking forward to that release and I’ll then start afresh with my chosen beginners loadout 🙂