Over the past few months I have been thinking about what I would love to see in ETS2 and of course looking long term for ETS3 whenever that may by.
One of the first things that comes to mind would be the in game companies. To me this is something that needs a complete overhaul.
We first need more companies. For a game that spans most of Europe and expanding into the missing areas with DLC, the small amount of companies is quite noticeable. So not only would it be nice to have more, it would be amazing if there were also country specific companies. We all know that some companies are quite prevalent in the EU, where as other companies aren’t generally seen out side of their country of origin. Even Stobart who are quite well known in the UK are not that big outside of the UK. Yes they do EU runs and they are expanding into the EU, but they really don’t hold much of a presence out side of the UK at this time and this is something I really think needs to be looked at for the future.
Having companies that are very popular within one country but rare in mainland Europe would be a good way of replicating real life. The thing about this is, it could be done in ETS2, it would be very easy for them to add new companies that only have depots in specific countries, though it would be harder for them to limit deliveries from that company to stay within a certain area with only a few rare out of country drops.
Along with the addition of companies I would like to see a greater array of company styles. Right now the company models are pretty basic, there’s a couple of factories, a farm, a lumber yard, the quarries, building site, and then the ones that just look like warehouses and they don’t vary too much. The only real stand out of the bunch would be Trameri that resembles a postal office depot.
What I would like to see is variety and better replicated depots/loading bays. When it comes to approaching companies in real life, they nearly all have gate houses where you need to stop both on entering and exiting to show your papers. This is completely ignored in ETS2 and something I think would benefit the game in a realism sense for having it added. The best part about this is that it would be a fairly easy add to the game if SCS wanted to do so as the mechanics of it isn’t that dissimilar to the toll booths.
Going back to the variety side of things, we have several drop points that look similar to warehouses but nothing that even remotely resembles shopping centres. Kaarfor and Sellplan in the default game I believe are meant to be shopping centres which is why they only have incoming cargo and no out going. But they look like no shopping centre I have ever seen. We need some variety there, 50keda’s Aldi/Lidl mod is a great example of a supermarket, as is the Bauhaus used in Promods. We also need more in the cities in the game which brings us into map size.
Finally I think for the variety side of things, we need airport and rail depot drops. Not all companies chose to ship their freight exclusively by road. Some overseas cargo, particularly mail, is often sent by air. Then there’s the rail containers as well. All things that need to be looked at more closely and improved upon.
Map Size & Cities
One of the biggest flaws in ETS2 is the map size. On the surface the size looks pretty good, but when you start to look deeper and focus on cities specifically you start to see issues creep in which is all related to map size. Now, I am not one of those 1:1 ratio nutters looking to sit at the PC for 6 hours just to drive from London to Manchester, but I do feel the map scale needs to be re-evaluated for any future ETS title.
In most real cities, regardless of their size, there are several areas. Deep in the centre we have the commercial sector, usually off in one corner is the more industrial areas with some residential as you move out and away from the city. While the residential aspect is unnecessary, I do feel there isn’t much of a commercial/industrial split and I would love to see a more commercial city with varying levels going from your more shopping centre style areas to warehouses and a separate area that is purely industrial. To do this on most of the map would require a slightly large map scale, and while the current style is okay for some cities, when you get to the big cities like London it just comes off as underwhelming.
One of the things that really need an overhaul are the game trailers in general. We need some more variety in the types, some SDC trailers, Tear drops/aero efficient trailers, different style of fridges, and brands will all add to the realism. I understand that is more of a licensing issue, but as SCS grows these things become more of a possibility.
One of my biggest gripes for these trailers is the way they have been UVmapped. Now admittedly this is more of an issue to the mod side of things, but the UVmapping and skin linking is extremely limiting when it comes to skinning. We are stuck with trailers that you can only paint a single side and it’s one file fits all for a company meaning you’re very limited in style as you have to make sure that the skin suits each type of trailer. In UKTS each trailer in a company had it’s own skin style and you could paint each side of the trailer individually, for any future title SCS really need to go back to that style of mapping.
While on the trailers thing, UK law is currently ignored in ETS2. For the rest of Europe the trailer is registered separately so has it’s own number plate, but in the UK it is considered as part of the truck and as such is legally required to have the same number plate as the truck. This is something that really needs to be added into the game.
While we have a pretty good selection, there are mods out there that just show how much better this area could be. One of my biggest gripes for trucks are aero kits. We simply don’t have a choice. Taking Scania as an example, the Highline R has no wind kit what so ever, where as the Streamline does. What I would like to see is this stand removed and have the wind kits as accessories that we can choose to have or not, add to this the front grills and side windows panels of the Scania. Some versions are plastic, some are painted and some in the case of the Streamline are chrome. Give us some choice here, give us the ability to select what type of grill or side panel we want and when we want painted variants the ability to fully skin it.
When it comes to skinning I would much rather have some separate dds files for parts like wing mirrors than having them all mapped into the bottom left corner of the main file. I don’t always want my wing mirrors to be the same colour as the painted strip on the sun-shield. Throw the skinners a bone please.
Pre-Allocated Jobs/Quick Jobs
Now this one is something that really could improve realism. In the early stages of the game when you don’t have your own truck, you pick a quick job, complete it and then are zapped back home. It would be far more realistic if you are given a job, and then have two or three more jobs lined up that will bring you back home. So for example, lets say I am based in London I may get a job from Stokes, they want me to take a load from their London HQ to Carlisle. While on the road you will get an email letting you know that your next drop will be from X company in Carlisle or a near-by city like Glasgow, to somewhere else or back to London. So after dropping your first load, you have to drive to the next pick up and move on. Once you return to London you can then choose a different company to do a delivery for. The best part about this is that you really have to manage your time well, because if you are late with one drop, it would filter down to the later drops.
I would also like to see an option for non-return jobs. For example: Lets say I want to do a job for Posped, but the nearest Posped depot is in Birmingham. On selecting my Posped job option, a quick list could come up asking me if I want to quick travel or take a non-return job from a London company to Birmingham.
When we do finally get our own truck, we should be able to pick our next job while on a job. So when we reach our destination we can immediately pick up our next load if we are on time with our previous delivery.
Something many people want is the ability to do multidrops, multidrops are very common in real life, particularly with supermarket/shop drops. I don’t think I really need to go into detail with how multidrops would work, but a larger map size would also benefit this option.
Since we can buy our own garages, give us the ability to name, skin and use our own trailers. In these cases rather than dropping off the trailer we keep it with us and can travel with an empty trailer to pick up a new load elsewhere or even at our previous drop point. It’s a much asked for option and one I certainly would like to see as well.
When it comes to missing features, the ability to track your hired drivers is a huge one. I would love to be able to switch to a page in the manage section that shows the maps and little GPS dots for the location of your drivers. If they were to implement this, they could then go one step further and add in Hired Driver trucks on the road. If the game was to be able to generally track your hired drivers, it could then spawn them, complete with custom parts and skins, on road in the event you caught up with them or pass them going the other way and then allow them to “flash” you as acknowledgement.
Another part of the hired drivers is the unfortunate limit, for those who want to buy all garages and hire drivers, sooner or later you will hit the limit. What I would like to see is the ability for us to create new drivers within the UI that allows us to name, age and give an avatar for new drivers. The game could then give the new driver randomly assigned stats to avoid people modding drivers to a 10 rating and making them cheap to hire.
Paintable AI Traffic
Since we can skin trucks, it would be wonderful if there was an option to allow AI trucks to use random skins that are part of our game either as the game defaults or our added mod skins. While it would mean changing the UVmap of the AI models, it is possible and really shouldn’t be too hard to implement. However, it would increase the performance needs of the game so it would need to be a togglable option and this could also be extended to include buses and transit vans.
Oh god. Even after the big AI update, the AI does some shocking things. In some cases they completely ignore right of way which leads to being t-boned on T junctions, roundabouts and merging lanes.
First lets discuss Merging lanes. In the UK if a lane is merging you are meant to move in to the lane at the earliest convenience. In reality most drivers are ignorant and just drive all the way to the end, which is the reason we end up with tail backs when lanes merge much of the time. In ETS2, when a lane merges, if you are in the existing lane and the AI is next to you, 70% of the time the AI will drive into the side of the trailer because it waits until the last moment to merge and instead of giving way, just ignores your presence and hits you. In reality, what the AI should do is slow down if along side and merge in behind you, not try to drag race you to the end and merge regardless.
Roundabouts. In the UK you give way to the right. In the game, the traffic gives way randomly to random vehicles. At no time should a driver stop in the outside lane, but for whatever reason in the game, AI vehicles will stop in this lane if a vehicle is in the inside lane blocking their exit. What they should do is either adjust their speed so they can filter in behind them, or if need be, drive around the roundabout again. Likewise I have seen AI traffic stop on the inside lane because a car on the outside lane crossed lanes to exit, and even though there was no reason for the AI to stop (in some cases it doesn’t even need to slow down) it does so.
In other cases, I have been coming through a roundabout and the AI and the next exit is completely ignorant of me and either pull out causing me to t-bone them or wait until I have passed and then t-bone the trailer.
At T-junctions I have had cars give way as they should until I start to pass them and then just pull out into me as if they had forgotten I was there at all.
For the most part, the AI isn’t too bad after the 1.9 patch, but these issues still exist and need to be addressed.
One of the biggest flaws in the realism aspect is that there is no working tachograph. Right now we are given X hours to drive and then we have to sleep for X hours. In real life there are of course a lot of rules in regards to breaks and driving times. One thing I feel needs to be done is have a working tachograph so that any time you turn off the engine, the driving hours stop counting down. This will not only allow us to have breaks after few hours, but it will mean that we can get our full driving hours as well.
If they wanted to take it further, they could even include a selectable time option for your rest break to wiggle the time on rather than just the default 9hrs.
I’m sure if I really thought about it, I could add a lot more to this, but I think this post has gone on long enough.