After I've been watching Squirrel's stream quite a bit in the last two days (guess, about 6 hrs, in total) I just felt like I should add my two cents to this discussion here, too.
Well, let me start with the positive things. At the first glance, the game just looks incredibly perfect. SCS really made it to give the impression of a real America in the most parts of the map, especially in the smaller cities. Even though the engine or the weather etc. are the same as they are in ETS2, it looks better. Maybe, just because it's America, but it looks really good. The atmosphere is just so "american" on the country roads and in the small cities.
I also really like the new trailer parking options and the delivery points itself. The delivery points vary a lot and look really good. The parking will be very interesting, especially because of the new parking options and the varying spots, you have to park your trailer. It just adds to the variation and makes the same prefabs and same locations very different every time you deliver your cargo there (I am also really looking forward to see this in ETS2 as well).
Furthermore, they made a nice amount of different cars. What I really like are the new weigh stations. That's just great done.
But of course, I also found some negative aspects, from what I have seen so far.
In general, I got the feeling, that the release is coming too early. Especially the layout of Northern California looks just unfinished. Why did they only add one road to Eureka coming from Redding? This doesn't make any sense! They should have at least added a road down to San Francisco.
Oh, maybe the reason is the scale, what leads me to my next point: Why didn't they build it at the same scale as Europe? A scale of 1:19 would be much better than this 1:32.5 and I would even have waited for 6 more months to get ATS in a proper scale. In California and Nevada, it might look good to have a 1:32.5 scale, even though my first thought after having seen the map was, that California looks like a big city in there. But I am already afraid of the East Coast. How will they ever be able to fit in all those big cities there? I am already pretty sure, that we will get the Baltimore phenomenon there. No Baltimore in there, even though the city has more than 2 million inhabitants, whereas we have small villages like Jackpot with only 1,000 inhabitants. I even doubt, they will fit in Philadelphia. Or will Washington D.C. get a suburb of New York and Philadelphia and the other way round? So, that we have one big city in the East, just my thought about that.
Wouldn't it have been much smarter to make a proper 1:19 scale? I know, they map would have been gigantic, but that would be even more positive, wouldn't it? It would be much more reasonable to add Jackpot in California, they could fit in all the cities in the East, that are important enough to add and they could have done nice looking big cities. I have to admit, I missed LA and Vegas in Squirrel's stream, but I saw San Francisco and what I have seen on the map and heard about LA, it just looks really, really bad, thanks to the scale. Sure, the city could not look much more like a nice medium-sized town, since they lack the space. I really dreamed a bit of a design of the big cities like it is in "The Crew", where cities are nicely created, but still fit on their map (maybe that's why I am a bit disappointed from what I have seen so far).
I also fear a bit, that the feeling of endlessness and vast dimensions will be lost. Driving for quite a long time on a straight American highway, the ideal type of trucker romance. May I give you an example, yesterday, I made a delivery from Voronezh to Milano, 3.000 km of pure driving. Especially the first 1.500 km to Brest, that took me about an hour and a half of driving, were just incredible. Driving through a countryside full of nothing, only passing through some villages and four or five bigger cities, that was just great and that's what I also hoped of ATS to be. Those 1.500 km will be done in about 45 min in ATS, maybe even faster, because of straight highways. That still might sound reasonable, but I feared, that it won't feel as great as the delivery in ETS2 did, because you will get to hundreds of cities, that are squeezed into a scale of 1:32.5, since cities will feel bigger in the game, since they still seem to be 1:3 and therefore, they need more space.
But enough spoken of scale (especially, since the game is not released yet), just allow me a last small (if even unfulfilled, i fear) hope: Maybe, there will find some modders, who remodel America in 1:19. I, as a naive ETS2 trucker with only a bit of experience in the map editor, might think, that it should not be a very big deal to remodel it. I know, it is possible to copy the sectors, so you just could copy the sectors of the cities to their right places in a 1:19 and connect those by 1:19 scaled roads in between, that would do it for a beginning, i guess. I know, it still would be a lot of work to do, but whatelse could map modders do in ATS in the next months besides remodelling the already existing parts? SCS will release the other states in the next years (maybe even the whole Northern American continent, as I recently read somewhere), so it wouldn't make sense to build those states before SCS releases them, it just would be twice the work. That's why modders will first concentrate on rebuilding California and Nevada, and since they already started the work, they could build it in 1:19, couldn't they? Maybe SCS will then realise, that the community wants a 1:19 scale and change their upcoming states as well (and include the already existing mods for California and Nevada to the game, since they plan to add mods to their actual game, as I read in one of their last posts) to 1:19 scale. But that's just my naive wish as a addicted truck driver
I know, this will not happen and I know will buy the game anyways, but having a wish is not forbidden, is it?
But now, I've really written enough. I am looking forward for Feb 3 and will play ATS at least as many hours as I played ETS2 so far and will play in the future.