Having played now for about 20-30hrs, I have to say I'm very impressed and appreciative. Although some vehicles and equipment did not make the transition from FS17, many did, and the new lineup with vastly more wheel choices and accessory options is very good. Yes there are bugs to fix as always, but that will come mostly in time. When FS17 was originally released, it was nearly unplayable too, as was FS15, and the forums relentlessly bashed Giants over that, as they always have with every new rendition, but it didn't take long to morph into the wonderful experience we're all come to know and love. For whatever team worked on the big Jenz chipper, thank you so much. For the first time since it was introduced as a mod back in the LS13 days, it is a pure joy to use in its vanilla format. It is stable on the ground, the claws clip into the ground slightly, making multiple log pickup much easier, and the feed tray works flawlessly. The only real issue is log physics are still poor, and they still slide all over, (hopefully someday that'll finally be fixed so I don't need to rely on "strongman" or "locking script" mods), making it very difficult and frustrating to grab anything more than a single piece at a time. I VERY much miss the small FS17 chipper. I always started my FS logging career with that little guy, doing all the work with chainsaw and by hand. Many a trailer load of chips was created and sold when money was tight and my tractors and wagons were still small. Hopefully that little chipper will make an appearance again, either in an update or in mod form.
So many people are complaining about the US map, while I agree the whole place looks run down and dumpy, and not typically USA midwest farmbelt looking terrain wise, it is quite well done, with great attention to detail. While doing transport contracts, I often stop and just look at scenery, admiring the many intricacies the creators incorporated. I live in the upper midwest, in the heart of corn and beans country. Sure, this map doesn't even remotely look like the sprawling, wide open, pretty much flat region typically associated with US agriculture, but there's no sugar cane or cotton around here either. Nothing but corn and beans, with a splash of sugar beets and wheat or oats here and there, with virtually nothing to break up the view. That would make an awesomely boring map! Goldcrest Valley from FS17 appeared to be set in the northwest of the USA, making logging and alongside of the various agriculture aspects of the map believable. The new FS19 USA map appears to be set in what looks to be the southwest, with a spattering of conifer trees at the higher elevations and palms on the beach. While it'd probably be difficult to actually cultivate sugar cane here, at least its believable. I play this game to role play, and I prefer at least a little bit of reality for better immersion, so although the maps is not "table-flat" Kansas, with nothing but wheat as far as the eye can see, it's a good map, and well made. As far as the "dumpy" aspect? Again, I refer to my own real life experience. Most of these little map dots around here look an awful lot like the virtual town in the USA map. Yeah, there's money here and there, but jobs in these tiny 500-1000 population towns are few and far between, and the income is generally pretty low. My RL job takes me to many of the rural farms and town homes of these communities. What you see in the map more often than not is pretty much what I see in RL, junk in yards, old siding falling off some homes, rusty and occasionally abandoned cars, and MANY old, used up tires seemingly "living" everywhere they can be relatively hidden ("Everyone needs old tires for the county fair demo-derbies right? Why pay $2/ea to recycle when we have a perfectly good grove to dump them in"...lol) Yes, yes, yes, not everywhere looks that way, but it IS pretty common, at least around here. I had to laugh at the old bath tub laying in one of the starting areas. Forums complaining about being "homeless" and "sleeping in the combine"? If Giants wants to be realistic, they need to put in a rundown, old AirStream trailer in the placeables group for about $500, just enough to keep the local volunteer fire departments from buying it and using it as burn practice.
Thankyou so very much Giants for this newest version of your most excellent and very enjoyable work. I look forward to seeing FS19 grow into something even more wonderful than the masterpiece FS17 is, especially as the mods begin to roll out. Please keep up the wonderful job.