Dawn Over Donner

Rolled Gold crests the summit of Donner Pass with the rising sun behind the trees and fifty-five tons of Transformer in tow.


The Lone Star Project

Ironman is a style of computer gameplay in which the player endeavours to survive without losing a ‘life’ throughout the game. Players generally try this in games like Call of Duty or similar shooter games. You can do a variation of it in Elite by avoiding losing your ship. I have been thinking of doing something similar in Truck Simulator. The issue is, of course, that you don’t die in Truck Simulator. Your truck doesn’t get shot at by marauding aliens – although that may change when New Mexico arrives 😉 You can only go bankrupt and it’s even really difficult to achieve that!

So what is the Lone Star Project? Simply put, it is playing as a solitary owner-driver with no company employees. In the normal game your personal truck fleet is financed by the money your employees bring in. As your company increases in size, so your cash income grows – exponentially! I have got so much money in my main profile that I could buy a garage in every city in California, Nevada and Arizona and still have enough left over to treat myself to some more personal trucks.

And that brings another issue that I have been experiencing. I can only drive one truck at a time so when I want to change to a different one I have to try to find a job that takes me to the city where that truck is garaged. And sometimes the jobs don’t go where I want them to 😦 For the record, it’s possible to relocate your truck and your self direct to any of your garages but to me that defeats the objective of realistic play. I much prefer the ‘struggling to get home to the family’ situation of the real life trucker. But what this means is that in a mixed fleet of trucks where many are favourites I find that some of the trucks are missing out on being driven. I’m hoping that the Lone Star Project will partially resolve this issue.

So, I started out much the same as in our Euro Truck ‘Build a Company’ series by doing the driver for hire jobs only my gameplay was slightly different. I chose Flagstaff as my base – handy for the upcoming New Mexico release 🙂 I decided that I wouldn’t be taking out loans to buy my trucks, so all the money would have to be earned. As a solitary owner-driver I will be buying older vehicles. This is where this new profile will help with the issue identified in the previous paragraph. I will build my cab-over fleet in this profile and run the modern trucks like Nightshade, Rolled Gold and Angel in the main profile. Although most of the ‘old’ trucks are priced around the same as the modern trucks there are a couple of them that are sensibly priced as if they are second hand. One of these is the Kenworth K100 coming in at just over $50k and I targeted that as my first truck.

In American Truck there is an insurance system which removes the majority of the risk of accidents wiping you out. So when I had $56130 in the bank I popped into the Kenworth dealer in Phoenix where my last hire job had conveniently taken me and bought her. She’s a Kenworth K100 Aerodyne. I had to go with a Detroit Diesel engine to keep the cost down so she has an s92 V-8 rated at 450HP. I also went with the 10 speed gearbox as that was cheaper too. I couldn’t afford to put on my preferred tyres so we took the supplied Dynamix boots on delivery. She really is ‘no frills’! The game magic’d us back to my HQ in Flagstaff and here she is outside our ramshackle garage…The first job took us to Tucson with a mechanical digger for some roadworks outside town. That netted just over €11k because it’s a high value cargo and I took the opportunity to upgrade the tyres to Goodyear KMAX’s. The second job was a delivery of 20t of Diesel to the fuel station at Ehrenberg hauling a rather nice Sunoco tanker…That looks like one of the cars I’ve been working on in Car Mechanic Sim passing us in the fast lane 😉

If you’ve been keeping up to speed with my Euro Truck series you’ll realise that we now have a parallel situation in both profiles as the next target here and in France is to upgrade our garage. The only difference is that in France I’m busy paying back that bank loan. I hope you will find the journey enjoyable whether you’re rooting for our Volvo or our K100 🙂

ps – if you’re wondering why the screenshots look different compared to the ones I shared from Euro Truck, it’s just that I decided to process these using Affinity’s tonemapping tool.

Where are the Kenworths?

With my recent posts concentrating on Euro Truck and building a company from scratch it may seem that my American Trucks have fallen by the wayside. Indeed, I haven’t been as active in the US recently as I was in the past. My main Euro Truck profile was lagging behind my ATS profile in terms of Levels but in the past month has overtaken it. I achieved Legend in Europe first which was a surprise and I’m now level 65 whilst in ATS I only just passed Level 60. Why?

Several things have conspired to bring about this situation. Firstly, I completed all the original Steam Achievements for ATS some time ago. Five new ones were added with the Heavy Cargo pack and I have cleared out two of these. I completed a third one requiring a drive of over 1000 miles with Heavy Cargo but it didn’t register as complete so I’m guessing that one is broken or has to be done with a Freight Market job rather than an External job. The other two outstanding achievements are reliant on getting the Transformer as a load and that cargo just isn’t dropping in for me – curses on all RNG’s.

The elephant in the room all summer has been the long awaited state of New Mexico. Without it, setting up the over 1000 miles achievement is really difficult. Also, although some minor stretches of road remain to be driven, most of the map of the existing states has been covered and there is little new to discover. The game is crying out for new content. That’s an observation rather than a complaint – it’s clear that SCS want to get the content right and that they are putting a lot of effort into making New Mexico very different from Arizona. That is a good thing – it would have been so easy to go down the Copy Pasta road. But it does mean the wait has seemed interminable. The good news is that New Mexico has entered Beta testing so we have perhaps 4 weeks to wait.

Another factor was the recent Trade Connections – France event on World of Trucks. That required a lot of driving in Europe too. I completed the challenge in 6 days and I may put together a quick post on that later in the week. But concentrating on the event also took me away from ATS.

My activity in ATS is not entirely dead. I continue to go for a drive in the hope that the Transformer will drop in. I’m in Rolled Gold specifically for that reason as she is one of my heavy haulers. A couple of days ago we took a Walmart double trailer overnight into Bakersfield……And yesterday having spotted a Transformer job up in Elko we drove up there with a 9t load of cars in the hope that another one would spawn. Using a 625HP truck to shift 9t is overkill and not very fuel efficient! We’ll see if we can coax a Transformer out of the electrons later today.

I have also started another project in ATS that I will tell you about in the next post 🙂