Welcome to the home page of Faelandaea. Here you will find information about me personally.

Category: Game Reviews

The Best of the Best – Aircraft for P3Dv3

During my streams I am asked often, “What is your favorite aircraft?” To be honest, that depends on my mood. However, I suppose it is more easier to assess the question as “What aircraft do you recommend?”  Now THAT is a different story altogether, because when it comes to recommending aircraft for others, it goes beyond mood … now it becomes a matter of quality and simulation.  And let’s face it, this IS a simulator, so simulation IS what we all truly want.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at which aircraft I would recommend for any category …


Single Engine Land – The GA Pilot

When it comes to the basics, and the passion, our roots always lie in General Aviation.  I took my introductory flight and a few lessons in a Cessna 150.  But the bulk of my PPL training took place in a Cessna 172M – N9614H.  She is no longer owned by the FBO I trained at, AND she has even been repainted, but I will always have her in my heart.  It is with that in mind that I fell in love with the closest possible thing in the Flight Sim World – A2A’s Cessna 172 Trainer:

She may be another model, but her numbers … her performance … everything matches right up with the Cessna I learned to fly in, right down to weight and balance.  With full simulation of wear and tear on systems, as well as a dynamic passive system that actually simulates the aircraft in the hangar … with your PC not even on … it is truly remarkable.  If you do not fly this bird at least once a month, it will let you know, and you will likely be looking forward to an extra oil change if that happens.

Once you get the GA basics down and get your PPL, you can move on to more complex versions of SEL aircraft.  For this I VERY highly recommend the Cessna 182 from A2A …

She has a full array of options, including integration for the AWESOME Flight1 GTN650 and GTN750 systems.  And she handles so beautiful.  She makes her way into many of my streaming adventures.

For those who like low-wing operations, A2A also has a VERy wonderful pair for you … the Cherokee 180 and Comanche 250 (Screenshots not included here, but their web site can show you what you need).

To take a look at these beautiful birds, hop on over to A2A simulations HERE!

For the Twin Engine GA Pilot

While A2A simulations dominates in the SEL (Single Engine Land) category, Flight1 came in on top for my twin engine aircraft of choice.  This covers both prop and jet transition, with their B200 and Mustang fitting the bill quite nicely.

The B200 is an outstanding simulation, not only being an esier learning curve in the Turboprop range, but also carrying that responsibility and complecity that comes with the basic operation of any aircraft.  Mismanaging your flaps, engines, gear, brakes or other systems will yield in failures and extra maintenance, so take good care of her.  But, take good care of her and she will indeed take good care of you.  And she is a dream to fly.

Once you feel you are ready for jets, transitioning from the B200 into the Cessna Citation Mustang becomes a breeze, as Flight1 has integrated the same G1000 avionics system into both aircraft.  This alone clears a huge learning curve between the two categories, as not all you have to work on is the dynamics and procedures of jet training.

Oddly enough, the fact that the mustang flies really no faster than the B200 makes it easier for me to decide what mood I am in on a given day … Prop or Jet.  And the fact that the Mustang is not a speeding bullet makes her an easier choice for jet transition.

I’d also like to include ESDG here as their Mustang has some great reviews, but I have not had the pleasure of flying that one since the old FS2004 days, so I do hope to be able to try V2 out in a few paychecks from now.

In the meantime, have a gander at the Citation Mustang and Beechcraft King Air B200 over at Flight1 Software.

Into the ATP World – Regional Airliners

It is absolutely, positively, no contest when it comes to deciding my choice for regional turbo-props.  Majestic Software nailed it right on in all aspects with their MJC8 Q400 Turboprop aircraft.  One would be hard pressed to find a single country in the entire world that does not see one of these fine aircraft flying somewhere within it at some time or other.  She looks cool, she sounds cool, and she handles cool.  I started with the Pilot Edition and very quickly ended up upgrading tot he pro edition, which adds on a HUD and some extra back-end options.

As for regional jetliners, I have been searching high and low and have yet to find one that I even like … BUT … Aerosoft GmbH has recently announced they are in testing phases on a CRJ series.  I plan to hold out until this comes to light, but rest assured with Aerosoft quality that CRJ will most likely end up in this list for sure.

In the meantime, stop on over to Majestic Software to have a go at their Q400.

And of Course … The Airliners

To be honest, I am a lover of both Boeing and Airbus aircraft.  However i find myself flying Airbuses more and more, not because of any preference I have to the aircraft, but because of the outstanding customer service I receive from the developers.  When you buy an aircraft from them, they treat you like a customer.  PMDG, which is where the niche is for Boeing Aircraft … well … they developer fantastic simulations, but they have absolutely no human regard for their customers at all.

I drop close to 100 bucks on their 777, then a few moths later make the switch to P3D.  All other developers, Aerosoft included, easily accommodated my transfer and I managed to keep the products I own and love.  Even majestic gave me a license for both.  However, PMDG’s stance on someone in my situation is, “We don;t care how much money you’ve given us … you don;t get so much as a discount on anything at PMDG!”  Wow.  just wow.  So I get the “honor” of dropping ANOTHER 100 bucks … wait … MORE than 100 bucks … for some BS “license” to use the SAME product in P3D.  Utter BS indeed.

Thus, it is with customer service and how we as customers are treated in mind that i am NOT going to include PMDG and Boeing in this article today.  Sorry, PMDG.  Even other developers who do have separate product licenses at LEAST offer a discount.  Oh well.  Instead, I will stay on the Airbus side and show you the wonderful world that is Airbus:

For those wanting to get into the heavier long hauls, they are currently developing an A330 that I will be very excited to open my wallet for.  But in the meantime, you can sink your teeth into their Airbus Bundle, which includes the A319, 320 and 320 for a great price.

That’s all, folks.  I know I fly lots of other aircraft in the simulator, but these are the ones I would take seriously when recommending to any avid simulation enthusiast.

American Truck Simulator – The Review

One thing that has always been a constant in my life is simulation games.  I take them very seriously.  Simulation games have actually been responsible for real life career moves I have managed to get into.  Years ago, flight simulation resulted in my curiosity leading me to take a flight lesson in real life.  About 6 years later I was a commercial pilot and working hard in the aviation industry.  Now, due to medical issues, I have had to leave the commercial aviation business, although I still fly as a private pilot locally.  I have gotten into other simulation games such as Farming Simulator 15, Euro Truck Simulator 2, and Scania Truck Driving Simulator. Most recently, American Truck Driving Simulator has grabbed my attention.  Notice a pattern there?  It seems I have taken up a love for driving commercial trucks.

American Truck Driving Simulator has grabbed a LOT of controversial reviews from the internet.  Whenever SCS posts a blog about something, there are the usual trolls and all-out attention seeking crybabies that thrash around looking for attention on every single post – from Akula being his usual “I supposedly hate this game so much but I am posting here more than even the fan boys do,” to someone else posting for Hungarian paint jobs on literally everything, even if it is not even related to Europe.  It’s amusing, to be honest.  However, there is a disturbing trend as of late of even loyal SCS fans starting to cry out against American Truck Simulator.  What is happening here?  Well, let’s take a look.

One of the primary out-cries focuses on the same, outdated game engine being used.  For the most part, ATS is being looked upon as just a re-hashed ETS2 map with American textures applied.  When I play ATS, I love the American feel.  California feels like California, and the scenery feels like America.  But, when it comes to prefabs and the game engine, those crying out are actually correct.  There are SOME original prefabs used in ATS that were not used in ETS2, but for the most part, over 75% of all the prefabs are just reskinned ETS2 Scandinavia DLC assets.  Admittedly, with all of the new engine technologies out there for simulation games, I was surprised SCS stuck to their old engine to create a new software title. 

When confronted about this, the stand by SCS is that using the same engine and file structure enables the modding community to easily make mods for both ATS and ETS2.  At first I supported this, and was actually very excited about the idea, but once the release came and the game went live, I was quickly plagued by the worst part of this idea ever.  The modding site I like to download from – http://atsmods.lt/ – was plagued almost instantly with people slamming piles of European crap all over it.  Scanias and other cab overs, European trailers … pretty much everyone went rampant with trying to port over every ETS2 asset they could into this beloved American environment.  I had to sift through pages of useless, unrelated Euro models just to find a mod that was actually American.  I’m not racist, and I love Europeans.  But this was supposed to be an American game, and it took literally over a month before the mods on that site started to match the theme.  It was frustrating.  Even today people keep trying to upload mods that convert the game to Russian languages, etc. trying to convert it into another ETS2.  So I have officially gone from excited over cross-compatibility to being seriously disappointed and regretting my support of the idea.

Another outcry of the community, and this one I am a part of, is the scale of the map.  One of the things I hated the most about ETS2 was their map scale and how time flows on that game.  I literally refused to move the truck until I opened the console and typed in “warp 0.8” so that I could at least somewhat move the truck without feeling like Mario Andretti.  ETS2 was on a 1:19 scale, so it felt like there wasn’t much detail at all there and that getting between cities just took too long.  I always felt more like a short-haul package delivery guy than an OTR driver in the game.  A lot of people argue that making a simulation like this 1:1 would be far too boring and that “No one does that and succeeds” … for those who say that, I’d have to draw your attention to great flight simulation games that game me HOURS upon HOURS of enjoyment, such as FSX and Prepar3D, among others.  Those were 1:1, real-time simulators with great realism involved.

So what was so great about 1:1 simulation games such as the flight simulators I mentioned?  More choices.  People on the “keep the scale small” side of the debate argue that if the scale is 1:1, they won’t be able to drive any routes and the game will quickly become very boring.  However, in 1:1 scale simulation games, we get the chance to make that choice for ourselves.  If ATS were 1:1, we could make our own choice:  drive a short route, or make progress on an long haul route.  One of the most satisfying things I did in flight simulation was to make a flight around the world.  I’d spend a few hours per day on a leg of the flight, not only performing all of the procedures of a real world pilot, but taking in scenery that I will probably never have the chance to enjoy in real life.  Once I started growing tired of being in the game, I’d land, and the next day or so I’d plan my next leg and continue from there.  The very same could be done with ATS. 

So do you remember how I stated above that ETS2 was on a 1:19 scale and bugged the heck out of me?  Well, get this.  If you are not already aware, ATS is on a 1:35 scale.  What does that mean?  That’s right – time flies … fast.  I have to literally struggle to drive the truck any distance at all before nighttime sets in.  I never get the satisfaction of doing a long drive because even driving all the way across two entire states takes a total of maybe half an hour.  No matter how much I try to immerse myself into the simulation aspect of driving in a game like this, I literally cannot spend more than a couple of hours in ATS due to boredom and frustration over the scale.  At this point, even if they reverted to the 1:19 scale they used in ETS2 I’d jump for joy.  1:35 … that’s simply too small.  I can understand such a scale in ETS2.  But in ATS, we really need the feel of long-haul OTR driving.  Even when other states release, trying to get the feel of a long drive isn’t going to happen, because every few minutes the sun is going to set, and even with HDR on I absolutely hate night driving in the SCS game engine.  I play ETS2 and ATS to take in scenery while operating big trucks.  It is hard to do that when daytime is so short.

This next issue has gotten mixed responses on the forums, but to those of us who actually drive in real life, it is a HUGE issue.  The infrastructure in the game is far from realistic for an American environment.  Freeways NEVER come to an intersection – ever.  You will never come to a stoplight or intersection on an interstate freeway.  In order to access a freeway, even out in rural areas, you need to use an exit/overpass.  In rural areas, we have small roads called “frontage roads” that go along the side of the highway for local traffic to access farms, businesses, homes, etc. that lie alongside the interstate.  For someone there to access the interstate, they need to get on the frontage road and drive until they come to an entrance ramp for the interstate. 

Speed limits are also a huge issue, and are actually related to what I mentioned above.  On an interstate, in every state in America, the MINIMUM speed limit is 55.  On average in populated areas it is more like 65.  Then when you get out into rural areas, it becomes more like 70 to 80 miles per hour.  This is also tied in with the map scale.  Even with a high horsepower engine, on my longest haul I can NEVER get to an actual truck freeway speed limit before having to slam on my brakes due to some ridiculous low speed coming out of nowhere for any number of reasons.  There are sections where road construction brings freeway speed limits down to 30 MPH.  That never happens in real life.  Here in Colorado, unless the road construction is REALLY major, speed limits in a construction zone drop to maybe 55.  The lowest I have ever seen it is in the middle of Denver, where the major T-Rex project occasionally had sections that dropped traffic to 45.  And that was in the middle of a metro area.

Speaking of intersections and speed – that brings me to two other things which I have found I am not alone on in ATS – signs and wrong signs.  I’ll start with the wrong signs.  NEVER in my many many years of driving all across America have I seen a stop sign at an intersection that has a traffic light.  In game, however, you’d think we had this at literally every intersection in America.  All intersections in the game, regardless of if they have a traffic light or not, have a stop sign.  Now, I suppose this could be considered a small cosmetic issue and could be ignored, except you have an aspect in the game that does NOT ignore this – the AI traffic.  I have had to sit through MANY green lights, not able to move, because the AI traffic in front of me ignores the traffic light and stops at the stop sign, treating the intersection as if it is a 4-way stop.  I posted about this on the forums, and out of many people involved in the conversation, I had only one individual reply that stated he has ever seen a sign at a traffic light like that.  I did Google searches, and researched as much as I could, and although some light intersections have stop signs NEAR them which sometimes confuse drivers because of frontage roads, etc., there has never been a stop sign actually posted AT an intersection that has a light.  It makes no sense, it is confusing, and confusion on a roadway makes driving dangerous.  SCS absolutely needs to get rid of these signs or at LEAST program AI to ignore them when a traffic light is there.

The other sign issue is size.  In order to not add too much excessive length to this article, I’ll simply refer you to this forum thread I started on the issue:  http://forum.scssoft.com/viewtopic.php?f=185&t=202823.  Speed limit and other critical signs on freeways are far too small.  Based on the models used in the game compared with the scale of trucks, it appears that the developers chose to only use residential signs for everything, and DOT standards in the US clearly make this not a safe issue.  Freeway signs are huge compared to residential signs, and when you are going at freeway speeds, regardless of if you are in a truck or a car, you need to be able to see a sign coming up with PLENTY of time to react to that speed change.  In ATS, I find myself looking at my Route Advisor almost entirely to get sped information, as I often do not even see the signs on the freeways.  I have no problem on the 2-lane roads, but on freeways, SCS really needs to start using a scaled freeway size sign for speeds.

So with all of these apparent drawbacks to the game, you might be asking, “What makes you stay?  Would you recommend this game to someone else?”  I am going to have to be completely honest with myself here – the only thing keeping me interested in ATS at the moment is the fact that it is a sandbox for my own creativity.  I make models in Blender – PRIVATE mods used only for myself in the game.  I do not upload any of my mods.  I tried that once and almost immediately my work got drug into a major AI traffic mod by an author I actually respect, but received no credit and not so much as an email asking “hey, can I use your stuff?”  But, I digress.  As far as ATS goes, creating stuff, and then seeing it come to life in a game environment, seems to be the only thing holding me to spending any time in ATS at the moment.  Arizona is supposed to release soon, and I suppose I’ll take a break from Blender and drive the roads of it for a few days.  But, as with California and Nevada, due to the scale I’ll quickly run out of roads, and get bored again.

Would I recommend ATS for a new customer?  Possibly.  Even with these drawbacks, there are people out there who might enjoy ATS as a game.  We have to remember a VERY important note that just because the word “Simulation” is in a game title does NOT make it a simulation.  “Simulator” is now a game genre that simply says, “Okay, this is not an MMO, FPS, racing, TPS or 2D arcade game.  The only thing left is “Simulator” for the genre, so let’s put it there.”  I have had some people argue with me on that regard, to which they quickly shut up when I link them to the web site for “Goat Simulator.”  Anyway, with that in mind, if someone is looking for a casual gameplay experience and simply loves trucks, I might recommend this game for them.  If someone wants a more in-depth actual simulator experience, with detail, long hauls and total immersion, then ATS is definitely not the game for you. 

Unlike Flight Simulator, this is a game, not a simulator, and should be treated as such.  Only when we gain features such as 1:1 scale, system failures resulting from lack of maintenance, varying economy and much better time scale will this game come even close to being considered a simulator.  The only realism feature that some folks have asked for that I support SCS on NOT including is visual damage, mainly due to licensing.  No truck manufacturer is going to license their truck to see it utterly destroyed all over YouTube, so for the purposes of getting more brands into our game, I completely understand not having visual damage. 

In conclusion, I have to say that I am a hardcore SCS fan who desperately wants to support and see the Truck Simulator franchise succeed.  However I am disappointed thus far in how ATS has turned out, and hope with all hoping that in the future, SCS listens to serious fans such as myself and brings this franchise up to par. 

American Truck Simulator PROS:

  1. American environment
  2. American trucks
  3. New environment with new textures.
  4. Good game for the casual gamer who seeks more quick fun than immersion.
  5. Recognizable landmarks, such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Las Vegas Strip, etc.


American Truck Simulator CONS:

  1. Map scale way too small.  1:35 is ridiculous.
  2. Re-hashed engine from an already outdated game.
  3. Simulation speed still unrealistic.  Have to use “warp 0.8” to get an accurate feel for driving.
  4. Same game structure is allowing the mod sites to be flooded with unrealistic European stuff from ETS2.  Scanias do not belong on American roads, even though in ETS2 I am a Scania fan.
  5. Graphics becoming dated for today’s gaming technologies – again due to the decision o keep the same outdated game engine.
  6. Stop signs at traffic lights making AI mess up any experience of immersion.
  7. Speed limit signs on freeways too small.
  8. Road infrastructure highly unrealistic, with crazy speed limit changes, intersections on freeways and scale making it almost impossible to keep a steady speed before one of these obstacles forces you to slam to a halt.

Parents: Take Responsibility and Moderate Your Kids on the Computer

While possible all around the world, in America particularly there is an epidemic problem of parents not wanting to parent or discipline their children at all. They expect everyone else to do it. One prime example of this is when I was playing Everquest way back in late 1999 to 2002. I was also a GM for that game (I played on Vazaelle and was a GM on Mith Marr). A headline news incident occurred at that time concerning Everquest. Shawn Woolley, who had a character named "iluvyou", shot himself at the computer over something that happened to his character in the game. The mother, liz, made a remark of ignorance and typical of parents that are ignoring what world(s) their kids are in online: "He was so upset. And then I was trying to talk to him about it, and I said, ‘Well, Shawn, you know, those aren’t people- they’re not real people.’ He was so upset. I mean, he wasn’t angry, he was hurt." Really? So your kid is real but the rest of us aren;t? I understand you are trying to help, lady, but educate yourself about what your kid is involved in or DON’T let him play it – period. Anyway, moving on . . .

The issue there lies with parenting. Liz did not properly educate her child to reality, and did not give him the discipline needed to separate reality from gaming. I happen to spend an average of 6 to 8 hours PER DAY in games, and due to my parents raising me with at least a shred of common sense, I still know it’s just gaming. People troll me, say harsh things, and do the typical things people do in the real world, but more harshly so because they know I can’t hurt them through a bunch of pixels. And they are right. As such I also know they cannot hurt me, either, so I shrug off their immaturity and continue playing with my friends and enjoying my experiences. I keep track of the time, I have prefect attendance at work, I take online instruction to further educate myself in real world skills, I communicate with family and I give my cat attention. Okay my cat DEMANDS attention, LOL, but I do love her. The point is, I am this way because my parents taught me that I must always keep reality in check, and that no hobby or game or anything else should ever take precedence over my real life responsibilities.

Knowing I spend so much time in game you now picture me as some fat guy in a big chair eating piles of food and not dating – just spending all his time on a game. Actually, I also exercise (I weight 150 pounds soaking wet), I have friends, I LOVE to go out regularly, and I have a wonderful fiance who also loves gaming and other hobbies/activities outside of the computer.

However, the judicial system of the United States is actually set up to SUPPORT irresponsibility of parenting. They have carefully planned and executed laws and bylaws to enable most of the political powerhouse, who also have kids, to be lazy and complacent, feeding their fat mouths and living in sloth while everyone else is expected to raise their families for them. This was proven fact when Liz, among other lazy parents, successfully sued Sony Online Entertainment and other MMO companies for their kids’ addictions to their games. one such result of those lawsuits are games such as Guild Wars spamming your chat every hour with "You’ve been playing for x-hours. Please take a break." Really? Do you REALLY think your kids are going to listen to that and just magically get up from their chair and take a break? No. Parents, how about you go into their room and tell them, "Hey, your time is up. Shut off the computer now." Or COOL parents like me look over their shoulder, "Tough fight eh? Hey after you get done with this dungeon it’s time to call it a night. If you need a good healer to make it go faster I’ll join you."

The thing about gaming is that it is just that – gaming. This is not reality. I definitely want to point out another good example of this from an experience a couple of nights ago in the game I currently play: Final Fantasy XIV. This individual, not worth naming (though I logged the name in my list of auto-kicks should I ever see him in a party), had a very typical reaction that represented an all-to-common concern psychologically among undisciplined players. I am a healer by trade, as i am in every game I play. I have always preferred the healer role because it represents my personae – the desire to accomplish my goals and save lives in a non violent way. I know that was a slight digression, but I wanted to make a point that not everything in gaming is about violence. Anyway, so here I am, queuing for Snowcloak for the first time ever. i had JUST unlocked the quest as i was working on the story line at the time to get it done before 2.5 patch went live.

The queue pops (which was, of course, instantaneous since I am a healer) and the first thing i say when i pop in was "hello, all. This is my first time here so if there’s anything special I need to know at the boss fights as healer I’d appreciate knowing. Thanks." That’s actually a macro I have made for anytime I am new to a fight – it saves typing it over and over again. Anyway, the tank, being a team player, responded with "No problem. Since you’re new here I’ll make smaller pulls." So far, this entire encounter is the prime example of teamwork and cooperation. As a well geared healer, I could have probably healed the bigger pulls, but not knowing the terrain or common tank-pulling behavior of this particular dungeon, the tank was absolutely correct in being cautious and assuming I needed to start slow, which made me feel less stressed and appreciative that he was willing to start slow. If I perform well, he could always gradually up the pulls as we go along. Again, great example of teamwork and cooperative gameplay. It was a 4-man team, with the tank, healer (me) and 2 DPS. The first DPS also agreed to the smaller pulls.

And then the second DPS changed the entire atmosphere. In all caps (as typical of these types of children, who are left alone by their parents without any sort of moderation of their gaming habits), this individual called me a liar and a troll for saying I am new and having the tank believe me. Huh? Well, apparently his basis for that accusation was the fact that the dungeon was not awarding a bonus amount of tomes for my being new. Apparently he didn’t remember from his first 50-levels of gaming that not all dungeons give bonuses just because someone is new to the run. This is evidence that this individual most likely did not level his character, and that he either bought the account off eBay, or he paid a power-leveling service to have his character leveled for him (yes, there are multiple sites that offer this service).

This individual then starts going off on the tank for apparently not having the best gear in the game. Now, bear in mind as I mentioned above that this is a storyline quest dungeon. This is not a raid level dungeon. It’s not even a side-dungeon. it’s part of the storyline. There is nothing elite or overbearing about it at all. Part of the process of getting better gear is to finish the storyline THEN start gearing up through intermediately tiered dungeons (normal, then hard, then expert, then extreme). However, apparently we offended this DPS guy because the tank did not have the max level gear in the game, so another tangent came about – again in all caps, as these kids like to do when crying for attention due to seclusion and social awkwardness due to bad parenting in real life.

All the while this was happening, the other DPS, tank and I were fighting through trash mobs while this kid sat at the spawn point just going off in chat. After he ran out of things to say about me being a liar and the tank being a noob for not being in all elite gear (uhm . . . by the way the tank wouldn’t BE here if he had max gear – WTF?) the kid then started going off about how we totally ruined his night for me being new and the tank being under-geared. We ruined his night because he was farming tomes (the items you need to get better gear – oh! But wait! You have to have the best gear to be here! What’s wrong with this picture?) and we decided to play as a team and not some automated plow-through like he was used to.

The entire time this was happening, my main thought was, "Wow, where is this kid’s parents? Aren’t they monitoring his behavior on the internet? Aren’t they aware of his social habits online? Shouldn’t someone be correcting him on etiquette?" Or, maybe a parent WAS there and it was okay for him to speak like that because, as Liz would say, "we’re not real. We’re just fictional." If we’re just fictional, then my cat has some very serious dungeon programming because her aggro is off the charts when it’s feeding time.

To any parents that take offense to this article, you are guilty of that which I accuse. Stop expecting the world around you to raise your kids for you. Believe it or not you actually CAn raise your kids to have a grip on reality. My sweetie is a heavy gamer but knows what reality is. Her parents must have done something right. I am a heavy gamer yet here I sit, not in a game, writing an article about reality – I would think my parents did something right. If your kids are so addicted to something on a computer that it is upsetting them, making them depressed, effecting their school grades, job, and/or responsibilities in life, then how about this? "PULL THE PLUG!" get them off the computer and get them back in check.Don;t wait for something bad to happen then run to the media about how "this took my poor poor child away because it is addictive". News flash, parents – ANYTHING, and I mean ANYTHING can be addictive to anyone for any reason. No one marched into your him, gave your kid a chemical injection and forced them into the MMO you hate so much. YOU let your kids into that world. if you are going to let your kids into a game, MONITOR them. Here, I’ll provide some assistance:



  • to oversee, supervise, or regulate:
    "to monitor the administering of a test."
  • to watch closely for purposes of control, surveillance, etc.; keep track of; check continually:
    "to monitor one’s eating habits."




  • punishment inflicted by way of correction and training.
  • a set or system of rules and regulations.


  • to train by instruction and exercise; drill.
  • to bring to a state of order and obedience by training and control.
  • to punish or penalize in order to train and control; correct; chastise.

OH! Here is a GOOD one:


[pair-uh n-ting, par-]


  • the rearing of children:
  • the methods, techniques, etc., used or required in the rearing of children:
  • the state of being a parent; parenthood.


  • of or concerned with the rearing of children:

The last time I checked this was your responsibility, am I wrong?

Well, all, at least this article is short. You wouldn’t want to know the length if I chose to go off on how parents in modern times look upon spanking a kid . . .

The Truth About ETS2 Multiplayer

I think it is hilarious how people expect so much from this silly mod, and of course the people who play it think they are very high and mighty over SCS. Part of the motivation for my writing this article was when version 1.11 came out, and the SCS forums were slammed with people actually DEMANDING that SCS fix their game to work with their multiplayer mod. So I am going to make a bullet FAQ just for people to know exactly what true facts there are about ETS2 Multiplayer:
  1. Euro Truck Simulator 2 does not support multiplayer.  This multiplayer mod is just that – a mod – made by a selfish third party developer that is entirely into himself (more on that below).
  2. You will NEVER see any security or banishing of ramming and trolling in the multiplayer mod.  The author has specifically designed the mod so that griefing is as easy as possible to do to other players.  This was done by assuring that AI is never included, and that no scripts are included to stop such actions.
  3. You will never see any AI traffic in this multiplayer mod.  The author has specifically stated that he is more than happy seeing nothing but trucks on the road, and that he believes that realism is not an option for his mod.  All he cares about is seeing how many people he can get to follow him into the server and doesn’t want to be distracted by AI while playing God.
  4. You will never see the ability to use custom maps with a multiplayer session.  See next point
  5. The author has specifically stated that he wishes to hold a complete monopoly on multiplayer, and has stated he is strongly against players having their own servers.  When I asked him about this, he stated that the reason is because he only wants players to play on his server and only his server.  The author has been assessed as a lonely individual, apparently.  His screenname is RootKiller by the way, and regardless of what he tries to say in the forums, he is the only individual on this project.
  6. You are not allowed to drive with people you know.  He has stated that he has specifically designed the mod to spawn you at random locations in order to keep people as scattered as possible.  Loads will not be available in one spot for your friends and you to pick up and convoy.
There are far more points, but this gives you the basics.  So, folks, stop screaming at SCS to change their game for a completely unrelated mod, made by a third perty that has no connection to SCS whatsoever.  And if you want to deal with the children on that server, go for it.  The rest of us will be driving peacefully – especially since the AI drives FAR better than the keyboard-using rammers that make up the population of that mod. So now you are looking at this and thinking, “Wow, he must really be sore at this mod – he must have been kicked or griefed on it.”  Nope.  The truth is I have never downloaded or tried this awful mod.  Just reading the crap all over the forums about this mod and how self-entitled the author as well as the users felt they were was enough to keep me from it.  So this is merely a rant post about all the useless clutter of the forums about something that really should fade into the dust . . . . and because this is my web site and I can post whatever the fuck I want to on it.

Euro Truck Simulator 2 Mods I Am Running

Good morning, folks. I have been so immersed in doing web sites that I have not blogged in a while, but over the last few days things have slowed down just a tad and I had a chance to review some new content on the gaming side of things.

Before I get started with this article, I want to do a shameless plug and invite you all to visit whatever site I run that may prove to your liking. If you are into the Renaissance, I started a site that has already started becoming a great success in the Rennie community – http://renaissancedirectory.com – as it is a directory of EVERYTHING in the Renaissance community. Not just a list of faires, but actors, merchants, non-profit groups, SCA kingdoms, and much more! Or if you want to just keep up with me personally visit http://faelandaea.com – and I also help with code for a site a friend of mine runs to sell clothing that is gothic and steampunk (and renaissance also) – http://fantasylifeclothing.com – go check it out, and tell him Faelandaea says Hi!!! (I am hoping for a discount if he finds out I am promoting, so help me out here LOL)

All right, so on to the article. Yes, Goths DO drive trucks in real life, and it so happens that I love driving them in a virtual world. This week there is a FANTASTIC sale going on at Steam, and I managed to get my claws on a bundle package of Euro Truck Simulator (ETS), ETS2, ETS2: Going East, Scania Truck Simulator, ETS2 Halloween Pack, ETS2 Ice Cold Pack, ETS2 Metallic Pack and . . . gods I know there was another DLC in there, but you get the drift – a lot of stuff for $19 USD. Separately that’s like $65 worth the stuff, so I grabbed it in a hurry to try it out.

Now one thing that bugged the CRAP out of me in ETS2 was that, in some European countries, the traffic signal turned yellow then green when I was stopped at a red light. That’s so bloody ridiculous! So I contacted the developer and reported this obvious bug, to which they replied this is working as intended. They work as I intend them to in the Netherlands and some countries, but as I head East into Germany, they do this stupid yellow then green bit. WTF? So I hit Google . . .

Apparently the combination of red/amber “warns drivers that the lights are about to change green and gives them time to release their handbrake and prepare to move off as soon as the light is green. This was introduced in 1958.” What the hell? Now as an American (an unwilling one at that), I always considered Europeans MUCH smarter than Americans. Out of everything I have ever written articles on comparing the two cultures, this is honestly the FIRST time I ever had to shake my head at those countries and ask, “Really???” 1) Why the hell would you need a hand brake just stopping at a traffic light? Do you REALLY need to forget about driving and do other things, like make a sandwich or do your makeup?

So, even though I now know that this is NOT a bug and this IS intended, it drives me absolutely bonkers. Even in a truck with a heavy haul with manual transmission and clutch, I am still okay to, oh I don’t know, GO when the light turns green. If I need to get off the controls to go make a sandwich I’ll pull over off the road, thanks.

EDIT: Now THIS bit of information DOES make sense. This information came to me after I wrote this article, and THIS does make sense for such a system. Both are quotes from a conversation in a forum I read:

  • “In some countries you are encouraged to turn off the engine on red (to reduce pollution), so the yellow before green tells you that you can turn it on again and prepare to go.”
  • “As long as you are wating for more than about 15 seconds, most modern cars save petrol by turning the engine off. The starter should cope just fine. Older cars – not so much, maybe :-)”
  • “I would find such an indication helpful. My car shuts the engine off at stops automatically, and having a bit of advance warning before the light turned green would permit me to restart the engine (by easing off the brake) a bit sooner, making for a much smoother start.”

However this was also debated by another answer in the same thread that also is a logical observation that I agree with:

“To play devil’s advocate, the Red-Yellow > Green pattern of lights can be more dangerous than a plain Red > Green. With the Red > Green pattern, When you are approaching a red light, unless you know the intersection very well, you must make the assumption you are going to come to a full stop.

With the Red-Yellow > Green pattern, you are given warning that the light is about to turn green, which in turn means that you can anticipate the green light and not brake as hard, or perhaps even realize you have time to speed up or not brake at all, which means you would reach the intersection sooner than you otherwise would.

This is a problem if someone at the crossroad is impatient and runs the red light at the very last second. If a Red>Green scenario, the driver approaching the intersection will typically have a much lower speed, meaning that the impact of any accident is severely deceased, perhaps even avoided. If the approaching driver anticipated the green light, the impact would be much worse for both parties.”

Okay I have ranted about this silly thing for long enough. You started reading this because of the title . . . it is a Mod article . . . so I will get to it.

I have only had ETS2 with the expansion and DLCs installed for about 48 hours. But I have already come across some absolutely OUTSTANDING mods that make it a LOT more immersive. If you are like me, when doing anything simulation related you love having logos and such that you recognize present. Not fictional names and logos that remind you that you are just in a game, right?
The following mods are all installed and activated in my game, and have no conflicts or crashes, but I will start with one I am currently troubleshooting that is NOT working:

Upgrade for Scania v2.0http://www.etsmodding.com/upgrade-for-scania-v2-0/ : This mod is supposed to add a number of additional features for your Scania trucks. For example, you would get new chassis options (8×4/4, 8×6/4 and etc.), 4 exhaust pipes, roof-bars, side-panels and many other things. My guess is that this mod came out before Going East, so I may have to edit the mod to point it to the new filename Scania.streamline instead of Scania.r

Okay that said, on to the ones that DO work:

The following mods are all by a modder who goes by the name “Jazzy Cat”, from Russia. His/Her site can be found at http://jazzycat.ucoz.net/

Trailers and Cargo Pack v2.4: This Pack adds in game 230 new cargos and about 1500 skins for default trailers. All standalone. Works on default map+DLC, TSM Map, ProMods, Poland Rebuilding, Map EU by MsHeavyAlex. Tested on and 1.9.22 by the modder, but also tested on Going East and 1.10+ by me and it works beautifully.

Military Cargo Pack v1.4: Pack adds in game 90 military cargos. All standalone. Works on default map+DLC, TSM Map, ProMods, Poland Rebuilding, Map EU. Tested on and 1.9.22 by the modder, but also tested on Going East and 1.10+ by me and it works beautifully. Now one thing I have to say about THIS pack is WOW! Holy warzones batman! I can;t drive a quarter mile without seeing some military equipment on a flatbed being hauled! I feel like I am driving through Ukraine or something at the moment – but – I think it’s bloody cool and it makes driving more interesting and fun so I love this pack!

Railway Cargo Pack v1.4: Pack adds in game 60 railway cargos. What this means is that you will see trailers hauling railway cars and even engines! I think in the game the engines are rated too light – they should be heavier and need more horsepower, but hey – the pack still rocks! All standalone. Works on default map+DLC, TSM Map, ProMods, Poland Rebuilding, Map EU. Tested on and 1.9.22 by the modder, but also tested on Going East and 1.10+ by me and it works beautifully.

AI Traffic Pack v1.1.1: Pack adds in traffic 20 new AI cars: Hammer H2, Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Avalanche, BMW E36, Citroen C8, Alfa Romeo 159, Citroen C6, Renault Master, Dodge Grand Caravan, Bentley Arnage T, Ford Scorpio, Renault Master Cargo, Harley Davidson, Lexus IS350, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter(903), Subaru Legacy, Mercedes-Benz C63, Volvo 850, Toyota Yaris, Chrysler 300C. Included painted default Opalin and Ford Transit, 3D logos by Srele. For version 1.9.22 or higher. All standalone, works on any maps. This is definitely a go-getter. The roads feel a LOT more alive and dynamic with this one installed.

Painted Truck Traffic Pack v1.3.1: Pack adds truck traffic with about 400 skins of real companies. For version 1.9.22 by the modder, but tested successffully on 1.10+ by me. All standalone, works on any maps.

Truck Traffic Pack v1.2.1: This pack adds in traffic different trucks. All standalone. For version 1.9.22 or higher.

Russian Traffic Pack v1.0: Adds Russian traffic model cars and trucks. For versions from 1.4.x and above. Stand alone.

All I have to say is THANK YOU, Jazzy! Even if I had no other mods, these packs alone make my game experience totally alive. Not only does it REALLY enhance my AI surroundings, but it also gives me as a driver a LOT more options for cargo to haul!!!

Now that I have Jazzy’s collection out of the way, let’s get on to the rest:

Agricultural trailers pack v1.0http://www.etsmodding.com/agricultural-trailers-pack-v1-0/ : This mod adds 6 agricultural machinery trailers:

  • – Amazone Pantera
  • – Buehrer 6135A
  • – Deutz 6095hts and Agrofarm
  • – Fahrm 66
  • – Grimme Maxtron 620
  • – Kuhn SPV Confort 12

Mod tested on version 1.9.22 by the author, but tested on 1.10+ by me and they work fine. Trailers are fully autonomous.
Trailer mod pack v3.0 – http://www.etsmodding.com/trailer-mod-pack-v3-0/ : Changes in version 3.0: Added new trailers and oversized cargo: Large tank, dual tank, drilling rig, house, wind vane. You will find much more here. So download and enjoy. For version 1.9.h. but tested in 1.10+ by me. By the way that drilling rig is bloody huge. I have yet to pull it but if I do I hope no overhead bridges exist between me and my destination!

Trailer Skin Pack v1.4http://forum.scssoft.com/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=123 – Mod replaces all default trailers skins
Profi Liner Pack v 1.0 – http://ets.modhoster.com/mods/standalone-profiliner-pack – a pack of six standalone trailers, which are to be found with its own charge at several companies. They have individual scs files, so I like being able to select which ones I install. Of course – I installed all of them: Burger king (love this one), Ikea, Euronics, DHL, Bose and Audi

Drivers v2 . . . oops you can;t have the link to this one. It’s a mod I made for myself using all goth faces to have an entirely goth driving crew. I used random faces from around the net so i will not distribute this one as I do not have permission from any of the models. But I wanted to slap this in here as it IS possible to change the driver avatars from those pedophile images that the devs included. The game has some CREEPY default faces – I HAD to replace them.

ETS2 Essentials V3.5http://forum.scssoft.com/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=2630 – THIS one is HUGE. You just have to click the link and read the list of everything it does. Now the thing is, I’d rather use the Trailer Skin Pack listed above for my reskins, but the GOOD news is this pack separates everything into 3 different scs files, so I was able to install the real logos and game fixes, but leave off the trailers. Don’t worry: the fix scs, not the trailers scs, will have your AI pulling all the trailer types!

Nightwish Trailers packhttp://www.modhub.us/euro-truck-simulator-2-mods/nightwish-trailers-pack/ – 3 standalone trailers featuring the band Nightwish.

New Concept Route Advisor Mod Collection v5.0 by Hemil http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bauWJDll158 – For those like me who uses triple monitors and even some with preferences on single monitors – this is an absolute MUST!

Scania Fantasy Pack – Again my own mod I created that has various Anime girls on the sides of the Scania Streamliner. I am not publishing this one, but I’ll do some screenshots later on just to show them off. They turned out just beautiful.

Silver transports Trailer Packhttp://ets.modhoster.com/mods/silver-transportetrailerpack-by-dark-silver – The 11 trailer was made by the modder from GTS / ETS, and ET to ETS2 konvertiert.Es Here are 11 standalone trailer with 31 cargo Tested under ETS2 patch 1.8.xxx. This works in 1.10+ as well, as just last night I pulled the Silo from Hungary to Slovakia.

SimuNews Year Trailer http://ets.modhoster.com/mods/simunews-de-1-year-annyversary-trailer – made by one of the admins of Simunews for the 1 year anniversary of SimuNews.de

Crown 4Axles Jumbo curtainsider http://ets.modhoster.com/mods/krone-4axles-jumbo-curtainsider – I have yet to see this trailer in my missions list but the game hasn;t crashed so I hope to see this trailer soon.

TSM Trailer Pack Heavy 1 of 3 http://ets.modhoster.com/mods/tsm-trailerpack-schwerlast-1-3-by-roadhunter-convert-by-man-trucker-trucksim-map
TSM Trailer Pack Heavy 2 of 3http://ets.modhoster.com/mods/tsm-trailerpack-schwerlast-2-von-3
TSM Trailer Pack Heavy 3 of 3http://ets.modhoster.com/mods/tsm-trailerpack-schwerlast-3-von-3

All of these heavy packs work great and I love them – just be careful pulling that damned house on skinny roads with crazy AI traffic coming on . . .

Audi Trailer http://ets.modhoster.com/mods/audi_trailer

Dryliner crown http://ets.modhoster.com/mods/dryliner-krone-version-3

Well that’s all of them. Thanks all and take care. This article was written for a couple of friends who wanted to know what mods I am running and reccomend. I might edit this later on if I add more stuff.