FF2: Filling in the Suburbs

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krigl
Posts: 1059
Joined: 19 Oct 2015 18:46

08 Mar 2024 15:28

Ending the tour of ProMods Greece + Cyprus today.

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Spent the night at the SCS Budget Hotel in Nicosia after driving up there from LImassol yesterday afternoon.

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We're going to be heading from Nicosia back down to Limassol today, but this time down a long stretch of country road - a rarity in PM Greece+Cyprus.

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We're picking up an 8 ton driller to take to Lyon in France.

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Another checkpoint for those wanting to head over to the Turkish-speaking part of the island.

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A long and pleasant tract of countryside lies ahead, with I think the Troodos Mountains on the right-hand side.

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Here's the driller.

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A baby cargo for the baby DAF.

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Well, I wouldn't want this baby to run over my foot, it's not that small. 8 tons is 8 tons. Comparatively small, then.

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A pleasant drive indeed.

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Cheer up, it's lovely out.

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This might be the Germasogeia Reservoir, or it might not.

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Limassol hoves into view around the bend.

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And onto the ferry we go.

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Bit of a squeeze past those cones.

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So what's next? Henri will head over to Lyon and prepare for the next European tour - Italy.

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Back in Thessaloniki.

Meanwhile, I have another freakmungously huge tour to complete - the Texas DLC for ATS. In my other thread - MidAmerica Tour - I will be touring the Gulf Coast, aka 'The Best Bit', which promises a lot of spectacular coastal scenery. And then moving on to northern Texas - the roads not directly leading to Oklahoma.

So, maybe see you in there?! Thanks for looking in!
Krigl

krigl
Posts: 1059
Joined: 19 Oct 2015 18:46

15 Apr 2024 10:31

Today we start the Italy Tour.

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Henri's ready to get going in a shiny not-exactly-new Iveco Hi-Way at his garage in Lyon, France.

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We're actually going to spend this set touring Lyon, as it was refreshed by SCS not long after I visited it when touring France a couple of years ago. It was a ProMods city back then, pretty nice. I'd like to take a look at it now.

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It has some cool new buildings and the overall standard is up there with the 2020s SCS style, I guess.

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Quite a bit of the 'city' is actually made up of roads running close to it. A ring road, maybe. Not very 'au fait' with Lyon's layout, to be honest.

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The River Saone joins the Rhone in Lyon. Not sure which one this is.

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Looks unusually blue for a river, though.

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This one seems smaller and more river-like in colour, so perhaps this one's the Saone?

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Anyhow, the plan is to drive from Lyon across the north of Italy past Turin, Milan, Verona and Venice all the way to Trieste, which is still ProMods if one has the latest version of PM installed. We're going to take a final look at that city (I visited most of it when touring ProMods' western Balkans) before starting the Italy DLC proper via a drive from Trieste through Venice down to Ferrara.

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A bit of a slow start to the DLC tour, but I'd like to review the 'state of the art' in the region first.

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Then the plan is to cover roughly half of the DLC, touring the mainland of Italy down to somewhere around Naples and Bari, and then take a break by touring Oklahoma in the MidAmerica thread. Then I'll return and finish the Italian mainland, plus Sicily, plus ProMods' Malta, plus Sardinia. Plenty of nice stuff to see in this part of the world!

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One of the main landmarks of Lyon, at least in-game: Le tunnel de Fourviere. I remember it well from the PM version.

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Passing through it.

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And out the other side.

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Lyon is a beautiful city with a prominent river running through it.

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It's also the HQ of Renault Trucks, which may be why SCS made an effort to improve it ahead of the planned and desperately needed refurbishment of the rest of the region. Sorry Renault, Italy feels like an 'Iveco country'.

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And, it also hosts the Museum of Confluences, a science and anthropology museum built in 2014.

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It looks like the architect screwed up their 15th failed design sketch into a ball, threw it at the bin, missed, cursed, picked it up, looked at it and said ''Wait a minute..."

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Apparently it is ''deconstructivist'' and ''is said to resemble a floating crystal cloud''. Not sure about that, but it's quite interesting to look at.

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We've seen pretty much everything, and it's time to pick up our first cargo of the tour. We'll do that... next time.
Cheers! Krigl
Last edited by krigl on 15 Apr 2024 19:04, edited 3 times in total.

krigl
Posts: 1059
Joined: 19 Oct 2015 18:46

15 Apr 2024 11:12

This time, Henri leaves Lyon and France behind and ventures into the vanillin-soaked north of Italy, reaching as far as Milan.

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We picked up a flatbed loaded with colourful plastic cables. Relatively light, which is good, as this no-frills Iveco has the smallest engine available, just so I can look forward to upgrading it gradually as the tour goes by.

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Setting off. We're going to cover those 415 km today.

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Approaching the mountains between France and Italy. So, what's the 'state of the art' in the region going to be like, I wonder. Let me guess. Hmm.

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Sharp intake of breath...

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Oof. Like this. A surprise indeed. Still in France for now, I think.

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Another tunnel lies ahead...

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...and now we're in Italy. North Italy, not part of the DLC. The bit that was released in 2012.

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As is known to even aliens twiddling their thumbs in orbit, the core game was released for a niche market back then by a tiny team who aimed to cover a large area with cookie-cutter roads and cities just so that it could exist at all to be bought by (they fondly imagined) a few tens of thousands of people who for some reason enjoy driving trucks from A to B on their computer. More than 10 million copies have been sold up to now, I think. An incredible success. How much of that is due to ProMods and other mods? Who can say, but certainly such mods kept interest in the game going through the early years. Anyhow, ETS2 wasn't 'up there' graphically with the games of 2012-2013. Because it reused assets from earlier games, which themselves were not cutting edge when they came out, and because since then SCS has not seen fit to allocate more staff and funding to fix these ugly areas, well, this is basically an area with maybe 2004-ish era graphics. 20-year-old graphics. Still. ProMods have done little to the area besides Trieste, I think, probably on the assumption that surely SCS are going to upgrade the area soon. And due to the fact that nobody's interested in the region as well, if I understand correctly.

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Thankfully, the region (north Italy) is relatively small, and with France to the west, the Western Balkans to the east, Italy to the south and newly remade Austria and Switzerland (coming soon) to the north (thanks for the Geography Lesson, Henri), anyone travelling though is spared too much unpleasantness. Surely it's next on the list for the Austria/Switzerland team to fix? Here's hoping.

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Started late in the day, pulled in at a rest stop to get some sleep. Just waking up now.

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SCS did refresh Milan at least when the Italy DLC came out in 2017, plus some of the roads connected to that city, probably as an 'advertising' freebie to anyone not convinced by the never-before-seen-from-ETS2 quality of the screenshots hitting the blog back in 2017. So the route across the north of Italy to Trieste isn't completely horrible, though I think a couple of the cities still are untouched. We'll see.

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First Italian tollbooths.

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Exit to Turin (Torino).

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Turin.

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Approaching Milan. We're going to pass to the north of the city.

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With proximity to Milan the scenery starts to improve.

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Milan on the horizon.

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Next time we'll pass Verona and Venice, and almost reach Trieste.
Cheers! Krigl

krigl
Posts: 1059
Joined: 19 Oct 2015 18:46

16 Apr 2024 07:05

Continuing across the north of Italy today from Milan almost to (ProMods') Trieste.

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A familiar sight.

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Still in the improved region near Milan.

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Heading eastwards. I don't have time to read the entire Italy development thread, but it seems that ProMods developers may have done some work in the northern vanilla region, but it was a long time ago. Perhaps that's part of the reason why, all in all, it's quite a pleasant drive from Lyon to Trieste.

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Suzzara, Bologna, Verona. The first two in the DLC, the latter vanilla. We'll be visiting all three in the next few sets.

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That's Verona over there on. I can imagine Romeo and Juliet standing, one on each tower, yelling their immortal words across SCS's 2012 rendition of their historic city...

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Outside looking in.

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Luxuriate in that Italian vibe. I can imagine this might be ancient ProMods work from 2015 or something, doing their best with existing assets.

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Those half-built tower blocks mark the road down into DLC country.

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Here's Venice.

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Onward to Trieste now.

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Not sure what river this is supposed to be. The Tagliamento? The Stella? The Soca? There are a few candidates.

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Similarly, this could be a few places, which I'm not even going to try to guess.

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Aaaargh. I hates it, I does, it burns...

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Approaching Trieste now.

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We'll tour this ProMods city next time. Cheers! Krigl

krigl
Posts: 1059
Joined: 19 Oct 2015 18:46

17 Apr 2024 07:13

This set focuses on ProMods' Trieste - we arrive, get a change of clothing and prepare to leave for DLC territory.

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Entering Trieste from the Italian side. ProMods' Trieste is connected to the Western Balkans by many roads, and it's also a great piece of work - two reasons why in game version 1.49 with the latest PM installed, Trieste is not the new SCS city but PM's version with all its attached roads to their magnificent WB, also still there.

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I suppose that when PM manages to integrate the WB DLC into their map (it's taking a very long time, so I can only imagine they are adding a lot of stuff back from their version into the new one - I mean, I hope so, that would truly bring the best of both worlds), Trieste will be a combo of the SCS and PM versions. That will be interesting to see. For now, we're going to visit the parts of the city that I didn't cover so thoroughly during my PM WB tour.

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We're delivering these Plastic Tubes or whatever they are to ExxonMobil in the city centre.

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I exxpect they need them for pumping Heavy Fuel Oil off of supertankers, or something.

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Actually, as with most of my trips in this DLC, it just seemed the most likely destination from the choices available. Getting bona fide paying jobs for the short range routes I want to take is almost impossible.

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Mind you, this was a reasonably long route, but still there was nothing available from Lyon to Trieste. I really wish you could create your own routes in game, like in flight simulator.

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Italy is very thin, and the limited space packed with lovely places to visit, so the problem's going to be worse than usual. Well, my employees can pay for my expensive job cancelling habit.

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Why not? They already pay for my 2 yachts and my golfing trips to Bermuda.

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I think it's an exxcellent idea.

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Anyhow, here's our destination.

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Now to see a bit more of this lovely city, and get a change of clothes.

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It would be nice to have Udine in the game, I've driven past it many times IRL.

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PM's Trieste has a lot of great convoluted roads, it's very fun to visit.

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Time for a tune-up.

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The next morning we were raring to go - the next trip will take us into the territory of the Italia DLC.

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Great feeling of massive scale here.

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Rush hour traffic.

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It's the Salmon Job again. The Italian Salmon Job. Salmon for Venice.

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PM's Trieste makes a fantastic starting base, and is only going to get better once 1.50 comes out with the changes to Switzerland, and PM finally integrates the WB DLC into the mod.

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Next time - we travel to Ferrara, briefly popping in to ''Venice'' to drop off the Salmon and have a quick look round.
Cheers! Krigl

krigl
Posts: 1059
Joined: 19 Oct 2015 18:46

17 Apr 2024 08:04

Heading to Venice and then Ferrara this time.

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On the way out of ProMods' Trieste.

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Great work PM, looking forward to the next version!

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Retracing our steps back to Venice.

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Arrival in Venice. Or rather ''Venice'', as it bears zero relation to the Venice that most people know around the world. It would be nice to at least get a glimpse of the lagoon and the glorious fish-shaped city. But yeah, it's an industrial area. Venice as the inhabitants know it, kind of, as only 1/5 of them live on the island city.

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It seems to be an 'improved vanilla' location, not sure if it was originally made like this in 2012 - seems unlikely - or SCS updated it, or ProMods long ago. It's not great, but nice for old vanilla.

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Salmon delivery under the watchful eye of a 2000-2004 era vaguely crane-shaped asset.

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So, what can we get to take to Ferrara?

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Something from LKW at the port. I've made two changes between dropping off the last cargo and picking up this one. The first is that I've turned off the 'Real Companies' mod I'm using, as I want to experience and show the interesting design work of SCS in their DLCs from now on. I'm still going to use real companies in ProMods areas though.

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I just really wish they had paint jobs available for the cabs for the different companies.

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Passing that building site on the way to DLC territory.

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The second thing I've done is to install Itarevamp WIP Version 0.9 by lelux, found on these forums in the 'Other ETS2 Maps' section. If one looks at the development thread for Italy since 2017, there are two general types of post. The majority are ProMods fans with suggestions, requests and demands, and the remainder are replies stating that no one is working on Italy at the moment. Occasionally someone suggests that no one can force devs to give up their free time to mod an area they're not interested in, but if a requester is that desperate, they are welcome to try modding new stuff for Italy themselves. Lelux has done just that, creating a mod that adds 'landmarks, power lines, antennas, scenery cities, etc' to the Italy DLC, where he finds a 'certain sense of emptyness'. He's also added some small new towns and industrial areas, redesigned landscapes, introduced new mountains...

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It all sounds great, and I'm very happy that lelux has put in the time and effort to improve Italy. Unfortunately, I've only visited Italy in-game a couple of times since 2017 (too busy touring what my obsessive brain tells me to tour and posting in this forum), so I'm not going to be able to recognise what lelux has actually changed. Still, I'm grateful for any improvements to any parts of the map, and I hope others may be able to spot the developer's changes at least.

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No time to stop, Ferrara lies ahead.

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And here it is.

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Ahhh... this feels like Italy.

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One of Ferrara's three jobsites - a farm located at the end of a narrow road.

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Done. Next time - we check out the rest of Ferrara and then drive to Bologna - our first complete trip within the DLC. Let's get things started!
Cheers! Krigl

krigl
Posts: 1059
Joined: 19 Oct 2015 18:46

18 Apr 2024 07:37

Today we see a little more of the small town (in-game) of Ferrara and then move on to Bologna.

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Evening mist as we leave the farm.

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Town centre at dusk. Looks like someone kitbashed a streetlight together with the top of a communications tower. SCS? ProMods? Lelux?

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Found a place to sleep.

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The next morning we set off to the local chemical plant to pick up some Sodium Hypochlorite, which apparently is used in disinfectant or bleach.

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Ready to go with a nice-looking tanker trailer.

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It's not at all far from Ferrara to Bologna in-game. Just a couple of minutes. From what I've seen so far, it seems that the old SCS policy of just having people drive from one industrial estate to another without showing much that's recognisable and special about the destination was still in place when they made this DLC. Justification - that's what truck drivers normally experience. It allowed them to pack a lot of 'cities' into the DLC, and the 'Italian feeling' is conveyed by the scenery and occasional villages. That's what I'm expecting based on what I've seen so far. If that's the case then lelux's mod is very welcome indeed.

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The problem with this policy, or at least with applying it everywhere, is that ETS2 doesn't really have much by way of gameplay. It's about picking things up, driving to another place and dropping them off. And that's about it. And if the places you are travelling between all look the same, you don't have the feeling you're actually 'going' anywhere. It's a mechanical and pointless act bereft of joy, once you've got used to the simplistic management stuff, unlocked all the 'tuning' parts and made so much money you don't know what to do with it.

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I'm glad they've moved away from this approach in their later DLCs. It's wonderful to see something of a town or city, some interesting monuments, custom buildings, and so on, and feel like you've actually travelled to somewhere real. Makes the 'game' feel far more realistic, and less pointless. Sometimes SCS get criticised for just making a 'scenery simulator', but if pumping out new map DLCs is what they've chosen to focus on instead of improving gameplay in a variety of areas, they might as well do it right. And I definitely support their drive to cover all of Europe and the US, it's a very cool idea and I want to see it happen.

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See, Italy is an Iveco Country.

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Cool bridges en route also help with the realism and wakefulness...

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Approaching Bologna. Of course, 'it's early days yet' and perhaps there will be some properly realised cities later in the DLC. But right now I'm not expecting miracles. I'd rather they'd picked one place in the local region and done it properly, instead of 3 not-very-interesting jobsite zones with distant scenery packed in close together. But back then SCS were still expanding, and they probably just didn't have the staff to make unique-looking destinations yet.

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The Italian vibe is still very well done, and I'm expecting some picturesque roads with villages, a few landmarks, and motorways with attractive backdrops. I've been looking forward to this tour for 7 years! I'm not going to let the slight dated-ness of the DLC get me down.

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Delivering to a site just outside town. Then we'll see some of what Bologna has to offer, scenery-wise.

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Yep, they wanted it here, honest. The cistern bubbling with Sodium Hypochlorite is, er, parked just round the corner.

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Bologna airport. Fully functioning, I appreciate it.

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Local train and fire truck.

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Green and leafy road as we re-enter Bologna.

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Off to get the next cargo.

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Bologna has several parts, and we'll be back soon to see more of it. Right now we need to take these cars to the Comoto plant in Suzzara. Maybe they've been recalled due to some fault.

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The road fixtures and vegetation have a nice look.

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Off to Suzzara, then. We'll visit that town and possibly vanilla Verona next time.
Cheers! Krigl
Last edited by krigl on 23 Apr 2024 07:24, edited 1 time in total.

krigl
Posts: 1059
Joined: 19 Oct 2015 18:46

23 Apr 2024 07:19

A bit overloaded with 'other stuff to do' right now, but here's another set from northern Italy, driving from Bologna up to Suzzara, and then towards Verona.

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Leaving Bologna.

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It's another short hop to Suzzara.

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??!! Well, if you put it like THAT then yes, I may buy some.

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And a macaw to go with it.

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I've seen a fair amount of ruined buildings in fields in northern Italy myself. I guess knocking them down to increase the plantable area isn't financially worth it, or the locals like the ambience, or something.

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Suzzara is a DLC city near the border with vanillaland.

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Leaving the cars at CoMoTo.

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Not a lot in Suzzara in-game, but it's decent enough. Basically industrial buildings. CoMoTo seems to be the only actual jobsite there.

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And a service centre.

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Service complete, we got some rest.

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Off to find the next cargo, this time for Verona.

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CoMoTo it must be.

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Good urbanised feel.

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Short stretch of countryside before Verona.

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Nah, I'll get a coffee in the ancient city of star-crossed lovers.

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That's the turnoff. We'll check out Verona next time, and then head back to Bologna for more explorations.
Cheers! Krigl

krigl
Posts: 1059
Joined: 19 Oct 2015 18:46

26 May 2024 09:58

Back again after a month away, my apologies. Time to continue mooching around north Italy with our arrival with a look at Verona and then a trip from Bologna to Parma.

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Making our way to Verona, looking forward to a nice black espresso or two.

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Here we are.

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Listening to Nina Rota's beautiful Romeo and Juliet (Zefferelli 1968) film theme as we approach. Hear it once, and you'll never forget.

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A nice view of one of the better original cities from ETS2.

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More Nina Rota on the 'box as the skyline looms.

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Ahhhhhhhh... I do loves me a bitta Rota.

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And here we are. Last image in 1.49.

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Glorious 1.50. ProMods doesn't seem to have changed anything within the area of the DLC as far as I can make out, and lelux has upgraded his mod, and there's weather and AI traffic stuff out, so I'm switching. Because of the summer holidays, it will probably be a while before I need to have PM installed again - for Malta.

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One last view of Shakespeare's Unforgettable Verona.

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And we're back in DLC territory, in southeast Bologna. The lighting sucks, and having been away a while, I forgot that in situations like these I usually just pick a different, brighter theme and stick with it until the weather improves. So I got a lot of very dark shots, most of which I had to ditch. Well, we'll be back.

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We're off to get a cargo from Exomar for Parma.

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Solar panels at the petrol station.

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Leaving town - starting to brighten up.

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Bologna to Parma is all DLC territory.

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A 'Scout Cars' trailer in the background.

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Passing Santiago Calatrava's radical wavey-roofed Mediopadana railway station - on the high-speed link between Bologna and Milan.

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Makes me think of a 'slinky spring'.

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Colourful...

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Arriving in Parma, munching a luxury ham sandwich. I love ham. It doesn't seem right that access to such a crucial foodstuff should lie in the hands of a few obscenely rich conglomerates.

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Keep ham out of the grasping hands of Big Parma, that's what I say.

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Anyhow, we've arrived. The next trip will take us from Parma to vanilla Turin.
Cheers! Krigl

krigl
Posts: 1059
Joined: 19 Oct 2015 18:46

27 May 2024 09:35

Today we’re starting off in Parma, visiting Turin, and then heading south towards Genoa.

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I’m not sure, though she does look familiar.

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The cargo’s just out of town at a small place called Ponte Taro.

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Someone left this trailer full of grit here for me. How nice of them.

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Heading for Turin now.

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The whole area is really urbanized, but there’s still some countryside to be seen as we head west and northwards.

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Altogether a pleasant region, though Turin is back in the vanilla bit, of course.

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Time to turn off.

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Lots of details. SCS really upped their game for Italy.

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Back in default territory now, I think.

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Arrival in Turin. Gloomy again. The new lighting really seems to exacerbate dark conditions. So, more darking than lighting. When conditions are right 1.50 brings an improvement, but when they’re not, then you can end up with semi-night in the middle of the day.

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The sights of Turin. Being a default city, it has a ‘classic’ layout.

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And classic jobsites.

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New paintjob, lovely sunrise.

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Off to get something to take to Genoa.

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I think we might have met once or twice. Ah, a JCB! Another cargo DLC full of very nicely modelled stuff, that was an insta-buy.

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Leaving town.

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The route south turned out to be default all the way, so I didn’t take many shots. Functional, rather than spectacular scenery.

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It’s a Nice road, but I think we’ll take the other one. Next time: exploring Genoa.
Cheers! Krigl



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