Farming Simulator 19 – Are We There Yet?

I recently read a few comments on an FS19 Facebook Group.  The comments were comparing FS19 with FS17 and basically the original commenter summed up FS19 as “finally being on par with FS17”.  Of course, this individual was referring to the fact that in the last several weeks we’ve seen some truly awesome mods get released which have helped to narrow the gap between where we left off with Farming Simulator 17, to what we have now with FS19 and also the long awaited 1.3 patch.  But I beg to differ with his opinion…as the delta between FS19 and FS17 is still fairly wide.  Wide enough Evil Knievel might think twice before attempting a death defying jump on his trusty John Deere tractor.

Now before I wade off too deeply into this blog posting.  Just allow me to state for the record that this is an opinion piece and most importantly, it’s MY opinion.  As my blog postings do often appear on a few different forums…the opinions expressed here are my very own.  With that out of the way, let’s lace up the boots and go wading into these weeds.

Vanilla Comparisons

I believe if you strip away all the mods from Farming Simulator 17 and also do the same with FS19, and conduct side-by-side comparisons in their vanilla or default states, Farming Simulator 17 would out shine Farming Simulator 19.  While FS19 touted many enhanced features including horses, a dog and John Deere…to quote Shania Twain…”That Don’t Impress Me Much”.  The horses are meh, the dog doesn’t really do anything (why can’t he ride in the back of my truck?) and I’ve had as much John Deere equipment I’ve ever could have wanted since my first intro to Farming Simulator with 15.  Of course, I know those who play on consoles haven’t had that.

The one thing which (again…my opinion) narrows the divide between vanilla FS17 and FS19 is Cotton.  While we’ve had modded cotton before, GIANTS have done it right (for the most part) and given us cotton and some equipment to work with it.  Hopefully they will continue and give us even more.

The Patch

Many (even including myself) had hopes the 1.3 patch for FS19 was going to solve all the problems with the game and half of the problems in the world.  While “the patch” did resolve an issue I had been having with my Logitech G27 controller and I suppose a few other issues, I still believe a vanilla FS19 is still lagging behind that of its predecessor.  One of the many factors that drive this position is what my ears tell me.  The sounds in FS19 just don’t seem to be on par with that of FS17.  I’ve heard the reasons for this are due to a change up with the individuals who were part of GIANTS with FS17 were no longer there when FS19 was being developed.  As I don’t have time right now to do a side-by-side comparison, I did find another YouTube whose ears are telling him the same thing mine are and here’s a video he made.

Light at the end of the Tunnel

Farming Simulator 19 was an absolute lemon for me for the first few months after release.  As more mods were released including quality maps, Courseplay, Guidance Steering (GPS) and just a few weeks ago FollowMe showed up…it’s becoming once again apparent that it’s our wonderful modding community that will end up saving the day.  I suspect by mid-summer (hopefully not any later) we’ll see the Seasons Mod show up which is expected to bring even more goodness to Farming Simulator than we had in FS17.

I’m really not sure why GIANTS (and they are not the only one) relies on the modding community to keep their franchise games propped up.  As I’ve said before, if it wasn’t for the modding community…Farming Simulator would have already been uninstalled from my PC.  While I’m not optimistic GIANTS will do anything about the sound issues I pointed out earlier, I can (and will) look past that once Seasons comes out.

The Microsoft Phenomenon

Perhaps all this can be likened to what I’m going to call the Microsoft Phenomenon.   If we look back a decade or two, the various Operating Systems Microsoft have developed could resemble a rollercoaster with highs and lows along the route.  Windows XP once service pack 3 dropped was a fairly rock solid OS, then along came Vista.  As we made the turn and proceeded up the next hill along came Windows 7, but then we took another drop and fell with Windows 8.  While Windows 10 is causing a few gray hairs in my professional life…we seem to be on the uphill once again.

So perhaps this is happening with GIANTS.  Who knows…and I could go on and on and on…but GIANTS really needs to hit it out of the park with Farming Simulator 21 (if there will be such a thing).  Farming Simulator is such a fantastic simulation game and truly has so much potential and I believe there’s no one better to drive this franchise forward than GIANTS.  So….just do it already!

Until next time…

Happy Farming!

Jerry

Realism through Simulation

I play a lot of simulation based video games.  Actually…if the game doesn’t have the word “simulation” in the title, I’m very much liable to pass it by.  I also have an extremely narrow definition of the word “simulation” and there are some very popular game titles using the word “simulation” in their name.  Some of these titles have absolutely earned the right to be called “simulators” and some have not.  In addition to playing simulation based games, I also enjoy watching others via Twitch and YouTube.  There are a lot of really good gamers out there and likewise there are a lot of not-so-great gamers.  It may surprise you to know that my views of what makes a great simulation gamer versus a not-so-great simulation gamer may have little to do with regards to controlling an aircraft, backing up a truck, seeding a field or driving a train.  The reason?  We’re all a noob at some point.  The majority of the great simulation based gamers don’t have a pilots license, they’ve never driven a vehicle larger than a car and the closest thing they come to running a farm is when they walk through the produce aisle at their local grocery store.  For the most part, what makes them great is how much they strive for realism in their gaming style.

Realism through Simulation

I’m not sure if the tagline “Realism through Simulation” has been adopted by anyone.  I did Google it and I searched using that phrase on YouTube and nothing really relating to video game play or video gamers popped up, so I’m adopting it for my blog.  Realism through Simulation will become my goal as I not only play the various simulation based games I enjoy, but it will also become the threshold for what I write about and how I write about it here on GrizzlyBearSims.com.

Mods, Mods, Mods – The root of all that is evil?

One pitfall I see many gamers fall into with regards to realism has to do with mods.  Before I go any further, let me say this.  I absolutely love and support the modding community.  While you may disagree with what I’m going to say next, I truly believe the modding community has been instrumental in the success of many of the simulation based games I play.  Said another way, many of these game titles would have been dead a long time ago without a strong modding community supporting them.  Imagine what it would be like to play ETS2, ATS, FS15 etc. without mods?

But some mods are perhaps the root of all that is evil…or certainly go along ways towards breaking realism.  Again, before I go further….let me just say that I’m NOT writing this article to instruct anyone how they should play their simulation based games.  If you want to haul in the wheat crop pulling a loooooooooonnnnnnnnggggggg train of tippers that is your choice.  Likewise, if you want to cultivate a field with a cultivator measuring almost 150 feet, again that is your choice.

Perhaps the reason why I’ve been thinking about my own game play style and choosing to write about it has to do with a Twitch channel I watched recently.  I’ll keep the identity of the streamer to myself, but he was clearly struggling and I (and many other viewers) were trying to coach him on a few things.  Most of the issues he had were caused by some of the mods he was using.  But towards the end of his broadcast he mentioned that he was bored with Farming Simulator 15 because it was too easy.  Yes, he was cultivating his field with a 150 foot cultivator.

As I try to wrap this up, no I certainly don’t count the rivets or bolts and I don’t compare color swatches.  But for me and how I choose to play these simulation based games…I do strive for authencity.    I believe playing simulation based games as authentic as possible, goes a long way towards keeping the level of play from becoming boring.  It’s one of the reasons why I will routinely plow AND cultivate a field before harvest.  It’s also the reason why I don’t use a 150’ cultivator.

Realisim thorugh Simulation works for me.

Until next time…

Best of luck with your simulation adventures….regardless how you play the game.

J

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