A brand new Cattle and Crops Gameplay Trailer was released today. If you’ve been holding onto your pennies in anticipation of the new Cattle and Crops farming simulation game releasing this year versus pre-ordering Farming Simulator 17, then go ahead and place that pre-order for FS17 TODAY! Cattle and Crops will not….I repeat, WILL NOT release in 2016. Yes…this is disappointing news. But in the past few hours we’ve learned a lot about who’s behind Cattle and Crops and a much better idea regarding their plan.
First, please direct your attention to the brand new game play video which was released today.
I must admit, I’m still mostly captivated by what I see from Cattle and Crops (CnC). For me, this has been the case from the very first video they released. However, it’s all starting to make a little more sense to me. Just as I mentioned earlier in the week when I posted the CnC news regarding the upcoming gameplay trailer, we haven’t heard much from CnC and I had started to hold little faith that we would see this game title actually release in 2016 despite what they stated on their website. The software business (including the gaming world) is all about marketing. We’ve heard practically nothing from CnC compared to GIANTS and their upcoming release of FS17. But again, it’s all making sense now.
I do applaud the CnC folks for not rushing this product out the door. If it’s not ready….then it’s not ready! While I’ve often thought the whole CnC concept was vaporware (not real, just a hoax) I’m now convinced this is an actual product/concept and I will continue to follow its progress. But we still have many unanswered questions. In my opinion, wonderful graphics is only part of what goes into a true simulation based game. The short gameplay trailer really didn’t demonstrate anything more than that. Time will tell just how much focus they have dedicated to produce a more realistic simulation versus an arcade experience.
The Cattle and Crops website has been updated to include much more detail regarding CnC, the people behind CnC and the future plans (including the Kickstarter campaign). Please visit the Cattle and Crops website for more information. When you view the actual Kickstarter page (and I hope you do), please pay close attention to what they are calling “Season Pass”. You’ll find this starting at the €44 level. I really don’t know what this means, but it looks like….sounds like…some sort of subscription “pay for play” model???
In closing, I don’t need to worry about my attention being pulled away from FS17 later this Fall or early Winter. As I’ve stated, I pre-ordered FS17 a few months ago and am looking forward to sinking my teeth into all that is new and different. At this time I’m undecided if I’ll participate in the Kickstarter campaign. I’d really like to better understand what they are attempting to achieve with what they are referring to as a “Season Pass”. I’m certainly not a cheapskate, I support GIANTS (and others) by purchasing most DLC made available for their titles. My advice to CnC is scrap the “Season Pass” concept and just produce affordable, quality DLC (like GIANTS) but please don’t become another Train Simulator.
Until next time…
P.S. In the long run, it’s probably very smart for CnC to delay their release until the Fall of 2017. After all, at that point FS17 will be a year old and unless GIANTS changes their highly predictable release schedule, FS19 will be a long one-year away. This could mean the audience (you and I) will be ready to try something new. If CnC is successful in accomplishing all they hope to accomplish, it should also drive FS19 to be that much better.
As I type this blog article on 28 September 2016, we are less than one month away from the release of Farming Simulator 17. Giants will release Farming Simulator 17 on 25 October. The ability to Pre-order (with incentives) is currently still available. Just about everyone I know have either already pre-ordered FS17 or have committed to making the move. Actually most everyone I know, while certainly reserved regarding the true differences between FS15 and FS17, are actually pretty excited about the new release. I actually fall into this category as well. While I’m trying very hard not to get my hopes up, I am still excited about the changes I’ve seen and read about.
Again, as I’m typing out the words in this article, some farming sim enthusiasts are still actually weighing the value of Farming Simulator 15 and its DLC packages. A fellow FS15 gamer posted a question in the Steam discussion groups asking for opinions if “it really made sense” to purchase the FS15 DLC he is currently missing in his collection. He recognizes the cost of the missing DLC (he confirms to own the Gold Edition) exceeds the price of FS17, but still wants to know if it is really worth it.
There is a saying (at least in the US) that goes like this. “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. Said in another way, what is valuable to one individual, may not hold the same value to another. By the way, I’m certainly not calling FS15 DLC trash. I actually responded to this individuals question with the following statement “I think you are the only person who can really answer this question”. I went on to add some additional content to my answer, but really the true answer is defined in that first statement.
Earlier this week I sort of touched on the economy of the video game market in a post I wrote about the new Schwarzmuller Trailer Pack DLC for ETS2. I explained how the initial purchase of a game like ETS2, ATS or FS15 somewhat covers the developers cost to bring that title to market, but DLC sold along the way continues to keep the lights on and provides further motivation and financial support for future work. This is certainly the case for the DLC we’ve seen released by Giants for FS15. Each Farming Simulator version (13, 15, 17) are unique and unlike in the Flight Simulation market where you may have purchased an add-on for FSX 10 years ago AND that same add-on (or a slightly updated one) can be used for Prepar3D with no extra cost just isn’t the case. The best we can hope for is DLC equipment sold for FS15 (like the JCB as an example) would be part of the default equipment list in FS17. But more about this in just a minute…
Value of FS15 Today
As I previously stated, most everyone I know is truly excited about the upcoming release of Farming Simulator 17 on 25 October. The anticipation of this release has actually caused me to have a renewed interest in FS15. I’m going to announce in a few days a new project I’ve started. In a nutshell, it’s about limited game play on YouTube. But the excitement around FS17, does actually have me playing FS15 a bit more than I had been playing in recent months. However, even though I’m excited about the release of FS17, I also know that while FS17 will most likely dominate my virtual farming efforts….I’m not entirely sure I’ll immediately pull the plug on FS15.
On 25 October (the day FS17 officially is released) there will be absolutely no mods available. Mods that I hold very near and dear in my game play such as Drive Control, Courseplay, Auto-Combine and others will not be available for FS17. Most likely, dates on the October calendar labeled as 26 October, 27 October, 28 October etc. will be just like 25 October. Oh…I’m sure there will be some mods which were originally developed for FS13 which were converted for FS15 which will once again be converted to FS17 start to appear. But, I personally believe many days (perhaps weeks) and in some cases a few months may pass before we see our must have mods available. The main reason for this is the folks that develop a mod like Courseplay will not see FS17 until we all see FS17. Another saying which I believe applies here goes like this….”Good things come to those who wait”
FS15 DLC in FS17
Even at this late date we don’t know all the equipment which will be available as default/in-game equipment when FS17 releases next month. Giants has certainly done an outstanding job in building the suspense all the way to release day. What we do know however, is much of the JCB equipment which was sold in the FS15 JCB DLC will be available in FS17 as default equipment. It’s still unclear regarding the New Holland DLC pack and the Holmer DLC packs. But if I were a betting man, I would say these will also be included (or most will be included). In time, Giants will develop and release brand new and exciting DLC for FS17 and the cycle continues.
For some, it may be worth picking up FS15 DLC (even in this late stage) to continue to broaden and enhance game play in FS15. For those on PC, I might suggest you look into mods…but that of course is a different story with the console platform. October 25th really is just around the corner. But if we reflect back on our childhood memories, the weeks, days and hours leading up to Christmas morning also seemed like eternity. But really….the value of FS15 DLC at this point in time is truly in the eye of the beholder.
The silence from Cattle and Crops over the past few months has been absolutely deafening. The last update on their Facebook page was 26 August and it didn’t tell us much. In contrast, Giants has been releasing news content multiple times a week on the much anticipated release of Farming Simulator 17. But the silence has been broken today with a news bulletin from Cattle and Crops.
According to the Cattle and Crops Facebook Page, we can expect a gameplay trailer to be released on Friday. C&C have also posted a countdown timer on their website which indicates the Friday they are referring to is this Friday, 30 September.
I’ll be honest, much of the excitement I had for Cattle and Crops has dried up. If this game ends up being more than vaporware, they seriously need to re-think their marketing strategy.
I’m not the only one that may have considered waiting to purchase FS17 if the communications from C&C would have been more forthcoming. I’m extremely impressed with how Giants have kept us all informed on the new changes coming to FS17. This is what marketing looks like. Unfortunately for C&C, I made the decision to pre-order FS17 as I really didn’t believe Cattle and Crops actually existed or if it did exist, it wouldn’t be releasing before the end of the year.
Again, I’m not the only one left scratching my head here. A Facebook user named Jarrod, posted “I’m not sure what your strategy is for releasing this game knowing that FS17 is already being released next month and pre-orders are already out there. If I were you I would wait and see the faults Giants are going to have and be so much better than them”.
Like you, I’ll watch the game play trailer on Friday. Will I lose any sleep over it Thursday night? Nope…but I’ll watch it. Most likely I’ll even have some comments to share here.
About a week ago SCS communicated via their blog regarding an opportunity to win one of 30,000 activation keys being given away for a brand new DLC pack. This new DLC pack is the Schwarzmuller Trailer Pack. Unfortunately, all 30k keys were awarded within 24 hours, but the great news is, for much less than a cup of fancy coffee…this brand new DLC for ETS2 can be yours. In US money the brand new Schwarzmuller Trailer Pack DLC will set you back $2.99 and is available from the Steam Store. This trailer DLC expansion pack includes FIVE trailer types including a Food Cistern, Curtain Sider, Refrigerated Trailer, Slidepost Logging Trailer and a Low Bed Trailer.
Do we need more trailer choices in ETS2? Well…perhaps not and I know through mods the sky is the limit. But as I’ve said before, the cost of this DLC is affordable (for most) and most importantly, it helps support SCS Software to further develop our favorite trucking games of ETS2 and ATS. Of course, I know this statement is often subject to ridicule. You’ve already purchased the game so hasn’t that fact alone already funded SCS Software forever and a day? Actually…NO! This is not an SCS Software issue, it is just the nature of the software business and one that I’m very familiar with. But this blog post isn’t about all that, so I’ll get back on subject.
Of course, the other major benefit of this DLC is having more choice of equipment in the multiplayer environment. While these trailers are not currently available in the TruckersMP Multiplayer environment, they should be added in the next release. THIS is great news for those of us who enjoy multiplayer action and of course unable to use mods.
The photos below are property of SCS Software and obtained from the Steam Store for the purpose of this review.
Unfortunately I was not one of the 30,000 lucky winners. By the time I read the blog article all had been awarded. But I did purchase this DLC and managed to do a few jobs in recent days with these trailers. Just in recent weeks, SCS Software has conducted two DLC giveaways via their blog site. I’m not sure if more are coming, but it’s probably worth checking often.
I’m sure you must know the struggle each of us have when just starting out on a new map. Especially if you are itching to get started with livestock. Of course I’m talking about the lack of having any hay or straw on day one. First we must harvest the wheat or barley crop, then rake and either bale or pickup the straw with a forage wagon. In so many cases we don’t have these pieces of equipment when just starting out and equally we lack the funds to purchase them.
Finally…someone has developed the Buy Bales mod which (just as the name implies) allows for the purchase of straw or hay bales from the store. As the mod description reads, you can choose either straw or hay bales and they will appear stacked at the vehicle shop, these bales will function as any bale made with a baler. The purchase of bales include either 8 straw bales or 8 hay bales. These are available under the Misc category. The cost for 8 straw bales is $6,200 and 8 hay bales is $9,600. The rental mod seems to accept these as rentable…but of course that shouldn’t be the case.
It’s unfortunate this mod is coming out in the final weeks before Farming Simulator 17 is due to be released. This mod could very well be one of the more important mods a virtual farmer should consider and it’s been seriously lacking in game play. After all, we as farmers can sell our straw and hay bales, why haven’t we been able to purchase them?
Now at first glance you may think “Wow that seems expensive”! Well….let’s break it down. In looking at the straw bales, 8 bales for $6,200 comes out to $775.00 per bale. If I’m not mistaken, bales when sold by us farmers earn around $600-650 (I’m guessing from memory, but don’t think I’m far off). So yea…there is a price difference. But this would be expected as when we sell a hay bale, we are selling at wholesale prices, but purchasing at retail. That’s business!
The only negative comments I have toward this mod is A. It shouldn’t be rentable. B. Perhaps it should be deliverable. When you purchase a stack of hay or straw bales, you must retrieve them from the store versus having them reset to the farm. Perhaps the mod could be expanded upon to offer two different types. One being slightly more expensive to cover the delivery/stacking charge. The only reason I’m suggested this is because the beginner farmer may not have all the necessary equipment to efficiently move the 8 bales from the shop to the farm.
How can I get this mod?
The Buy Bales mod is located here. I have personally downloaded, installed and tested this mod. The mod works and I use it on all my maps.
As discussed just a few days ago, I started a new map (new to me) called Oklahoma. I have been looking for some time for a map which would fit a farm based in Eastern Colorado and my search results have never been fruitful. While the Oklahoma map is based in Oklahoma, the map (including soil textures) could also be located in far eastern Colorado in what is known as the Five State Region. This region is one of the largest producers of feed grains and livestock in the United States. In addition to the typical crops of corn, barley and wheat, this area also produces large amounts of alfalfa and sorghum. This is exactly how I plan to run this map.
Please note: All photographs are credit to the mod author and obtained directly from the American Eagles Modding website.
Again, this is a 4x map with large fields (51 fields in total) with the largest field at 500+ acres and the smallest about 7 acres. For those of you who are not fans of forestry, trains, missions and don’t want to earn fast money with a BGA, then this map may appeal to you. The Oklahoma map is about farming and ranching, as a result you’ll really need some massive equipment to keep (and help) to stay on top of it all. While this map would be a great map for multiplayer, it can also be farmed solo with the aid of CoursePlay. I plan to farm it solo and will rely (not heavily) on CoursePlay to assist me. After all, a farm this size would employ many employees.
It appears the Oklahoma map was released several months ago and has been updated to version 2. I typically try to stay away from newly released version 1.x maps as these will frequently have bugs and when new versions are released to address these bugs it may require a full restart of the map play. While I’ve done this in the past, it certainly isn’t the desired action.
I’ve played many large 4x maps in the past and some start you out with either a large amount of equipment or as in the case of Graceland, a large sum of money. The Oklahoma map is slightly different as you take ownership of the main farm and own three fields (Fields 1, 2 and 3) which have already been planted and are ready for harvest. The starting equipment you’ll find waiting for you are two Case IH Axial-Flow 9230 Combines complete with large grain and corn headers. One MAN TGS 18.440 Truck with the Krampe SB 30/60 Tipper. Finally you have one white pickup (Piqup) to help you move around the large farm.
No, I didn’t leave anything out. As you are starting out you don’t own any tractors, plows, sowing machines, balers, forage wagons etc. The idea is you’ll need to get your crops harvested and sold and then begin adding additional equipment as needed. The rental mod may prove to be your best asset as you begin building your farming empire.
There are many ways to tackle the initial strategy for making a living on a new map. In most cases the need to purchase new equipment, upgrade existing equipment and purchase additional fields are high on the priority list. Maps which include forestry, missions or a BGA can certainly aid in the fast-track process. However, as previously stated the Oklahoma map offer none of these. I view this as a positive change from the standard maps. As I would frequently use the BGA to quickly build up my cash-on-hand, not having the BGA is making me re-think my strategy.
All 51 fields have been planted and are ready to harvest when you start a new game. As a result, I’ve turned off plant withering and also I’m not using soilmod with this map at this time. My initial strategy has been to harvest crops from my three owned fields (wheat, sunflower and corn). With the wheat crop, I set the harvester to leave the swath and after selling the first few loads of wheat I had enough cash to rent a tractor and large forage wagon. I picked up enough straw to fill the mixing station and managed to place into storage over 500,000 liters. The rest I sold to help generate more cash-on-hand for rental purposes. Next I proceeded to rent a large John Deere 9630, cultivator and Air-Seeder so I could replant the harvested fields.
With regards to the ready to harvest fields which I don’t currently own. Most maps I’ve played which featured already planted crops in un-owned fields, I’ve just left alone until such time I could afford them. With this map, at least in the early stages I’m going to harvest the crops on behalf of the bank with the intention of purchasing afterwards.
Livestock, Livestock, Livestock
The Oklahoma map is really geared towards raising livestock including cows, sheep, pigs, chickens and horses. At the start of game play, you already own a few head of each and all animal types have the necessary feed items available to them. Of course, this won’t last long so it will be important to get started quickly stockpiling straw, grass, chaff (for silage) and get the mixing station processing TMR. To get a jump start, I rented the necessary equipment. I picked up the straw from the wheat harvest using the large forage wagon. I rented the Krone Big X and the EasyCollect header and managed to fill both silage bunkers to 100% (still had corn left in the field) and then rented mowing equipment and managed to collect approx. 250,000 liters of grass. Again, I plan to run a large amount of livestock on this farm and slowly getting everything in place.
Oklahoma also offers fattening of animals including chickens, calves, pigs and horses. The last map I played which offered fattening of animals seemed to have an issue with the way the fattening and selling process worked. Basically when you made your initial purchase of animals (example 10 calves), then once these were fattened and ready for slaughter you still had the original 10 animals. It appears with the Oklahoma map, that once they reach slaughter weight and you sell the animal, then the total animal count is reduced.
Most maps I’ve typically played have offered built in augers for loading stored materials such as grass, straw, silage etc. Oklahoma offers none of that. It’s all done manually with either a portable auger or front end loader. I’ve found a new portable auger which I’ll review soon. I’m sure it will come in handy on this map.
I’ve spent about 10-12 hours or so on the Oklahoma map. I really enjoy it. I don’t tend to farm multiple maps simultaneously, so I figure Oklahoma should keep me busy (and entertained) until Farming Simulator 17 releases. While I don’t plan to document each and every day on Oklahoma, I will occasionally provide updates and details on how I’m playing this map. If you are looking for a challenge, give Oklahoma a look. Good luck!
I don’t always comment on news happening outside of the actual game titles I play. But this latest bit of news will be interesting to follow. Basically Logitech has acquired Saitek/Mad Catz. Personally, I think this is fantastic news. I’ve long been a fan of Logitech. Their quality is far superior to that of Saitek. I own/owned many Logitech products and have also purchased several Saitek items. The Logitech hardware is still running while some older Saitek pieces have long been thrown away.
It is uncertain what will happen with the Saitek Farming Simulator wheel, pedals and side panel controller which Saitek and Giants teamed up to develop. I’ve heard rumors of these controllers being in short supply and Amazon retailers telling customers they didn’t know when they would get new stock. For the record, I didn’t purchase the Farming Simulator Saitek controller. I really had no need for this as I already had the Logitech G27 and a Logitech joystick. But….But…I’ve thought more than once about purchasing the side panel.
I guess this could be classified as a mod review. But then again I’ve already reviewed this mod some time ago. While there are many outstanding mods available for both ATS and ETS2, it is my opinion that the Peterbilt 389 by Viper2 is the VERY BEST! Just to be clear, I’m not saying his Peterbilt 389 is the best truck mod. I’m actually saying this Peterbilt 389 is the BEST MOD PERIOD! At least it is my favorite.
I spent a long, long time playing ATS on the multiplayer servers where mods like this are not allowed. I really…really….I mean I really missed playing ATS with mods. As with other simulation based games I enjoy, the mods really make the experience.
The Peterbilt 389 by Viper2 not only looks fantastic…it performs very well.
Why haul for Walbert when you can haul for Snap-On Tools?
The sun may be setting on this game day, but the Peterbilt 389 by Viper2 will see many sunrises and sunsets.
If you are a fan of American Truck Simulator and you have not tried this Peterbilt 389 by Viper2, what are you waiting for? You’ll find it in the Steam Workshop.
The other morning I was farming along when one of the Steam users I follow messaged me. He was asking questions about Farming Simulator 15 and the level of realism it offers to the virtual farmer. During the back and forth exchange, he was asking if things like season, climate, weather and other regional challenges were factored into the game. Of course I had to regretfully explain that none of these elements are factored into default game play. I did elaborate slightly about how mods like the awesome SoilMod do go a long way in helping to achieve a slightly deeper level of immersion. However, I believe he was really seeking even more depth than what is available through the mods I’m aware of. He went on to throw out ideas such as seasons with the idea that during certain seasons the virtual farmer would be forced to do other tasks on the farm. Take certain aspects of the farming life indoors through the use of greenhouse facilities. In addition, many of us would love to see more realism with regards to ground physics, vehicle mechanics (maintenance, damage, dirt) and perhaps even player fatigue come into play. Of course, there are mods which try to simulate mechanical reliability (the damage mod comes to mind). But there really is no penalty if we choose to never wash our vehicles. Try that in the real world and see where that gets you.
While it would be safe to say the majority of individuals who will read this blog post either directly from GrizzlyBearSims.com, PC-SG Forums or anywhere else it’s being distributed do truly want a more “As Real As It Gets” level of realism from our favorite simulation based games (myself included). But unfortunately, our numbers are very small and for many reasons. First, cost! But more about these things in just a minute.
Of the simulation based games I enjoy (think Planes, Trains and Automobiles – and Farming Too!) Flight Sim (Prepar3D, FSX or X-Plane) is truly the best at delivering the most “As Real As It Gets” experience. Actually, the term “As Real As It Gets” has been the Microsoft motto for their flight sim franchise for as long as I can remember. But if you break it all down, flight sim (again via Prepar3D, FSX or X-Plane) offers the enthusiast a 100% global experience. Want to fly from Denver to London? Want to experience real world weather conditions both on the ground and in the air? Want to experience the effects of windshere or what happens when you mis-calculate the amount of fuel required to complete a flight? Yep….it can be done in flight sim. Take the level of immersion up a few notches with complex payware add-on aircraft which simulate how the real aircraft equivalent performs from a cold & dark flight deck experience all the way to engine shutdown. It can be done! Of course much of what I’ve described is only available through add-ons (or mods). But it is available and they do a really good job of full immersion. But the downside, it costs a lot of money to reach this level of immersion.
A company like Giants is in business to make money and it is my opinion that at the present date and time, they are the best at what they do. Yes, competition is certainly on the horizon. The fourth quarter of 2016 and early 2017 is shaping up to be the year of all things Farming Simulation. Some titles are already here with others to come. While it’s true all appear to offer a little more realism, much of what we may want may never come. Especially at the price point of $19 – 29 USD. But just as important, the audience numbers are also relatively small. Most are just not interested in the full immersion. In the example of farm sim, most just want to plant, fertilize, harvest then rinse and repeat. Factoring in the need to make important decisions such as do I have enough hay, straw, silage to last the winter months…is it too early (or too late) to plant X crop or another number of any of the many other factors which go into running a real world farming empire.
Of course, these are just my opinions. What do you think?
It’s been a while since I’ve released a mod review for Farming Simulator 15. I had just about decided not to release any additional FS15 mod reviews as we are less than two months from the release of FS17. But I also believe many will continue to use FS15 for some time and may benefit from these reviews. As a general rule, I really only write mod reviews for mods which I use. But this works towards your advantage as you can be certain the mod truly works. As I’ve started farming another large 4x map, I have several new pieces of equipment queued up to test and review in the coming weeks. I think you’ll like what I have planned. Finally….YES, I will be reviewing FS17 mods as they become available and as I need them in my farming efforts. As with all my mods, you can find my complete list here.
There are many reasons why we choose to use mods in our games. While Giants has done an outstanding job in providing a variety of default equipment in Farming Simulator 15, a lot of this equipment has more of a European look/feel to it. If you are striving for an “As Real As It Gets” experience and you are also farming on a map set in the USA then this newly discovered 48’ Dakota Spread Axle trailer might just be the thing you are looking for.
I’ve started farming on a brand new (new to me) 4x map called Oklahoma. I know….I know….for anyone who knows me, you know I’m a native Texan living in Colorado. As most native Texans will agree…Oklahoma and Texas have a rivalry that goes back many, many years. Anyway, I was looking for a new map….I wanted a larger map and one that was set in the USA. While the Oklahoma map is situated in the state of Oklahoma, it could also be just about anywhere else (including eastern Colorado). I will release an in-depth review of the Oklahoma map for FS15 in the next few days.
As you can see from the screenshot below, the 48’ Dakota sells for $45,750 (rental price of $152 per hour) and carries a maintenance charge of $75 per day. The capacity of the trailer is 47,572 liters.
These trailers are CoursePlay friendly and work well when using the auger wagon or hauling grain to market. They might be a tad long when using to empty a combine directly as the turning radius is quite large.
They attach well to the default MAN truck. However, I noticed an issue when testing with the default Tatra Phoenix. I’ve tested with other trucks including the International Transtar II (shown below) which I use in my farming operations on the Oklahoma map..
The trailer has a few interesting pieces of eye-candy including a folding ladder, top cover and even Oklahoma license plate.
How can I get this mod?
The 48’ Dakota Spread Axle Trailer mod is available here. I have personally downloaded, installed and tested this mod. The mod works and I use it on all my maps.