Server Under Maintenance
We all know what that means
It's a long awaited upgrade
The Iberia map DLC

We're busy getting ready
The hours tick slowly by
A little over 5 to go
The agonising time

Then we'll hit the road
We've a challenge to complete
An event in celebration
To salute the mappers feat

Martin Addison – 08/04/2021

The road calls me
It beckons with intent
And I come
To ignore the call?
That’s a loss of faith! 

Every day I kick those tyres
I check the manifest
And I set out 

We deliver, my truck and I
Whatever you need
It comes to your supermarket
It comes without conditions
Because we do..
What we do... 

I may be virtual
An internet Trucker
But I mirror the world
The real Drivers
Out there – delivering
For you – every day 

Remember... 

That’s what They Do! 

Martin Addison – 04/04/2021

I was going to introduce some of my American Truck fleet this time but SCS Software had other ideas in the shape of an event and an open beta of the upcoming v1.40 release, so perhaps it’s best if I cover those in this post.

The event, called Hauling Hope, ran from mid-January to mid-February and caused some controversy according to PC Gamer and some other ‘gaming’ press sites. Apparently some players thought the idea of celebrating the start of the distribution of COVID Vaccines as being too political. Yes, a few players didn’t like the idea but it certainly wasn’t a case of ‘some blowback from fans who complained about the studio injecting “politics” into the game’ – the insinuation being that a lot of fans were unhappy. The only place where I saw debate around the subject was in the blog post responses to the event announcement and it was a well balanced discussion, if occasionally a little heated. Outside of that forum, most fans just saw it as another excellent event and a good excuse to fire up their trucks! There certainly weren’t any negative comments on Twitter. A storm in a teacup me thinks 🙂

I enjoyed taking part in this short event with Lady Galadriel taking the lead role in Europe…

…and Keystone doing the bulk of the work in the US…

Midway through the event, on February 2nd, American Truck Simulator celebrated the 5th anniversary of its release. So Keystone got a suitably American repaint to mark the occasion…

Immediately after the event’s conclusion, SCS released the next update of both games into Open Beta to allow players to try them out. This will be v1.40 and brings new lighting (daylight, sunshine, weather etc) to the game. This is quite a large change so I’m expecting the Beta to possibly continue into mid-March. Along with the lighting changes, there are additions to the southern end of the France map in preparation for the new Iberia DLC. Updates to Germany continue too, with the Ruhr corridor being brought up to the latest mapping standards. In ATS there are some new truck chassis options coming along with an update to the California map, once again bringing it up to the latest standard.

I took the opportunity to take a look at the new south of France roads in the Beta along with the new lighting and I was quite impressed. Driving in heavy rain is definitely more realistic…

…with the visibility often very poor.

Driving round the new loop from Toulouse via Bayonne to Bordeaux showed some nice new scenery and some hints of the roads to Spain that should soon be open to us…

In case you’re wondering, as it’s a Beta, I’m driving hire trucks in those shots. I also took a brief trip to the remapped Ruhr, noting in passing that the view of Köln from the Rodenkirchener Brücke is much improved…

Some concerns have been expressed about the vehicle lights and how they are showing up from inside the cab. I also noted that the needles on gauges seem to be almost invisible in certain lighting conditions…

…I think some work is being done on those aspects as the Beta progresses. But, overall, this looks like another great update. I haven’t been into the ATS Beta as a lot of others were sharing shots of that and I have to say it also looks good though there were some amusing incidents reported of trucks falling through the road around Bakersfield 🙂

Back in normal play and I thought I’d conclude with a short video of a drive in our Mack R, Ol’Dawg, from Raton to Albuquerque. It was a pleasant run with few things to trouble us, though I did forget to flip the range switch a couple of times 😉 – so just sit back and enjoy the sound of that Mack engine…