Farming Simulator 17–Looking Ahead

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October has been an important month in the Farming Simulator franchise.  As it has historically been the month in which the new version of Farming Simulator has been released.  Farming Simulator 11 was released on October 29, 2010, Farming Simulator 13 was released on October 25, 2012 and Farming Simulator 15 was released on October 30, 2014.   Unless Giants runs into delays, we should expect Farming Simulator 17 to become available this coming October.  That’s less than 8 months away.  WOW….can you dig it?

 

Here’s my Top 10 List of improvements/enhancements I’d like to see in Farming Simulator 17.

Better Wheel Support

Of all the things I could think I would be interested in seeing in the new FS17, better wheel support was on the top of my list and I would almost be willing to bet that it is probably near the top of your list too.  Especially if you use a steering wheel to enhance your FS15 game play.

FS15 was my first entry into the Farming Simulator franchise.  I have absolutely no experience with FS11 or FS13.  But it is somewhat apparent (at least to me), that Giants really, really, REALLY missed the boat with regards to wheel support in FS15.  While it is very much possible to do everything that needs to be done with a mouse and keyboard or like a XBox stile controller, this is a simulator.  If Giants is to be serious about calling this game a simulator, then it truly needs better wheel support in FS17.  I’m not suggesting a little bit better….I mean a lot better.  If FS17 isn’t on par with that of Euro Truck Simulator 2 and/or American Truck Simulator (with regards to wheel support) then in my mind, I don’t see the need to upgrade.  Period!

Considering one of the more popular wheel units (Logitech G27) has been available since 2010, and only a small portion of the buttons work in FS15 and even the wheel and pedals is very problematic at the best of times in FS15 suggests to me that Giants didn’t take wheel support serious enough with FS15.

Final thoughts about wheel support and FS17.  Yes…Giants did team  up with Saitek and co-developed the Farming Simulator wheel, pedals and console controller.  Before I purchased my G27 (spring 2015) I debated on waiting until this unit was available.  I’m so glad I didn’t wait.  I’ve watched plenty of YouTube “Unboxing” videos and the lack of quality really shows with this controller.  While it is “Plug and Play” and automatically configures itself to the FS15 game…I’m really, really glad I own the Logitech G27.  But just because Giants partnered with Saitek shouldn’t mean they should only care about Saitek users.  Time will tell….

Better First Person or “In Cab” Experience

I almost rarely drive any of the equipment from inside the cab or in first person view.  The reason for this is because the first person view along with functional mirror use is seriously lacking in FS15.  While I hate to keep comparing FS15 to games like ETS2, but considering ETS2 was released in 2012 and features a wonderful first person “in cab” experience with functional mirrors and it’s a year older than FS15, it just proves that FS17 needs to really step up their “game” in this area.

Vehicle Mechanics

I personally think it would be cool if the equipment needed to be serviced.  I’m not necessarily calling for a “Car Mechanic Simulator 15” process….but something better than what we have in FS15.  So in FS15 we pay a price per day for equipment maintenance.  This is automatic and we’re not required to do anything.  The only maintenance we are required to do is re-fuel and occasionally wash the vehicles.  I  think this should be expanded into more.  For example, (referring to ETS2 or ATS) over time our trucks develop a certain amount of “wear and tear”.  This can be caused by crashing our truck into something or it can also just be from driving.  In ETS2/ATS we are required to drive our truck to a repair shop or dealer for this repair work.

In FS17, it would be great if this type of function could be implemented.  I’d suggest two different approaches.  First, initially all work would need to be done at the dealership and at a higher price.  Then, a good option for a placeable object would be a repair shop.  Let’s face it,  most farmers are extremely good at being self-sufficient.  Then in purchasing a placeable repair shop, the work done would still have a cost (oil, filters, tires etc.) but the cost would be lower as the work would be handled by the farmer.

TrackIR Integration

I’m going to call out TrackIR integration as an area I hope Giants puts into FS17.  While it is true you can get TrackIR to work with FS15 through their mouse look emulator, it’s not the same as what we enjoy with other simulation games.  I believe with a better first person experience AND TrackIR, it will truly make Farming Simulator 17 a great simulation game.

Better Camera Support

While this may be available from mods, I’d like to see better camera functionality in FS17.  We should have the ability to pre-set various camera views which can either be selected by keyboard or controller button assignment or simply cycle through the list.  If you are familiar with Flight Simulator X (FSX) or Prepar3d (P3D) and the add-on called EZDok.  EZDok is a 3rd party application (mod) which allows the user to establish a series of camera views (internal or external).  You might have one view setup from the pilot perspective, another view of the CDU, a wing view etc. etc.  Unfortunately the camera view in FS15 tends to have a mind of its own unless you correct that with a mod.

Better Game Physics

I think we all hope to see improvements in this category with FS17.  I’d like to see the issues which causes a tractor to leap off the ground when connecting an implement be a thing of the past.  Also, I’d perhaps enjoy forestry work if the logs didn’t jump around as if they were possessed.

More Crop Types

While mods certainly offer us a “sky is the limit” experience regarding crop types.  For those who enjoy this game on the console platform, I’m sure they would love to have more crop types from the standard barley, canola, wheat, potatoes, sugar beets etc.

More Animal Types

Like with crop types, I hope FS17 brings us a bigger variety in the animal husbandry department.  Having the opportunity to raise elephants, giraffe and the occasional monkey should be at the top of Giants list of priorities.  Of course, I’m joking…I’m just checking if you are paying attention.  I suppose with exception to goats, horses and perhaps emu/ostrich…most typical barnyard animals are represented in the FS15.  I’d like to see Giants enhance the visual textures and perhaps offer a wider variety of textures.  I’d love to raise Longhorn cattle on my farm/ranch.

Better AI Traffic

OK…I’ll admit that AI traffic is a pain in the backside in all areas of simulation based games I enjoy.  To me this is a very low priority as I’m happy to just leave my AI traffic turned off.  Yes, this means I don’t see other cars/trucks driving around…but then again, most maps I play I’m more focused on the actual farm aspects of harvesting, planting and raising my livestock and don’t really care about seeing other cars.  But I know some people really are hoping for better AI traffic, so I’ve included it on my list.

Better Textures (Ground/Dirt especially)

Of course there is a fine line to walk with regards to just how much can be done and not seriously sacrifice computer performance.  For the most part the crop textures look pretty good in FS15.  But the field/dirt could use a bit of a upgrade.  But as far as I’m concerned there are much bigger areas of need and the reason why I’ve listed this one last on my list.

 

Well….What do you think?  Is this a valid top 10 wish list?  Or is this a pipe dream?

 

Until next time….

Happy Farming!!!

J

Farming Simulation News

header I know some have been anxiously awaiting the next version of Farming Simulator from sometime shortly after FS2015 was released in the fall of 2014.  As a matter of fact, I began seeing postings in the forums asking this very question within only months after the release.  Yea, it’s safe to say that Giants Software really has a hit on their hands with this franchise.  I would even go as far to say the popularity and success of Farming Simulator very closely rivals that of what Microsoft had with Flight Simulator.  Time will only tell if Giants repeats the mistakes Microsoft made.  But that is a different story for a different article.

Am I looking forward to the new version?  You betcha!  Farming Simulator 15 was really my first experience with a simulation style game that WASN’T Flight Sim based.  So this will be my first experience with making the transition from an older version to a new version and all the pains that may be part of that process.  Like in the example of Flight Sim, when moving from Microsoft FS9 to FSX, nothing really worked initially.  It took some time for the add-on community to begin to make the transition and I’m sure the same will apply for Farming Simulator.  I wouldn’t necessarily expect many of the FS2015 mods to immediately work in FS2017.  I suppose DLC might be a different story.  But then again, I’m really not sure.  The only FS15 DLC I currently own is the JCB pack.  But I find it somewhat interesting that we are perhaps less than 6 months away from the release of FS2017 and Giants is taking pre-order purchases for their Holmer DLC.  Will the Holmer DLC purchased in March 2016 be usable in FS2017 when it is released later this fall?

Yes, you’ll most likely find me purchasing FS2017 the day it is available to download via Steam.  Yes, you’ll also most likely hear from me via this blog (and perhaps via Twitch) regarding my first opportunity to play FS2017.  Of course, we are still several months away from all this.  But the good news of course is Farming Simulator 17 is coming….

While I’ve known about “other” farming base simulation games such as Pro Farmer and Farm Expert…and I’ve watched YouTube videos showcasing these games…I didn’t see them as competition for Giants and their Farming Simulator franchise.  But competition (real competition) is about to come to the virtual farming world.

In addition to the news from Giants regarding FS2017, we are also learning about a brand new entry into the “all things farming simulation” genre with a new simulation game titled Cattle and Crops.  You can visit their website here.  They also have a Facebook page here.  Cattle and Crops is due to be released sometime this calendar year (2016) and boasts the following (and I must say impressive) list of features:

Simulation – Detailed machinery and realistic harvesting techniques.

Management – Your employees will help you take care of your farm, your animals and your estate.

Vegetation – Plant growth and health depending on multiple ground conditions.

Weather – Advanced weather system influencing your farming strategies.

Brands – Supported by our license partners in the industry.

Multiplayer – Join your friends in conquering the maps.

Modding Support – Enhance the game with your own vehicles and maps.

Made with Passion – By Gamers – For Gamers

You can view a short “pre-alpha” video which was released a few weeks ago below

In closing, like me…I’m sure you have many questions regarding the new release of Farming Simulator 2017 and of course, questions about the new Cattle and Crops simulation game.  With FS2017, I think we sort of know what we can expect from them.  With Cattle and Crops, well…this truly excites me.  While the jury is still out, my opinion is that the folks behind Cattle and Crops have been listening to many Farming Simulator users and have taken many of the requested enhancements which Giants may have been slow to implement (or not wanting to implement at all) and are planning to provide what we all want into the new game.  But again, the jury is still out.  But I say competition is good…and competition will help bring us forward.

Until next time…

Happy Farming!!!

J

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