I recently added Immersive Engineering to the list of mods I’m playing with in my current game. I’ve played a little with it before, and gaaawwww-lee is it a cool mod! As a tech mod, it has some basic functions in common with other big tech mods like Industrial Craft, Thermal Expansion, Rotarycraft, Mekanism, and Ender IO. But in its GUI-less multiblock approach and its overall aesthetic, it is completely unlike any other tech mod out there.
It aims for kind of a steampunk style, both in its power system as well as in the machines you operate with that power. Since it uses RF as its energy system (as most mods do, nowadays, for better or for worse), you can operate its multiblock machines using their generators and power storage and transfer mechanics. But you really ought to consider using Immersive Engineering’s generators, which feature some of the most satisfying wind and water generators I’ve ever played with in Minecraft.
Generators have come a long way since the early days of Industrial Craft, when wind and water generators were just bland gray blocks with little to no animation. More recently, Rotarycraft must be commended for all of its generators, including the wind and water turbines, which had excellent animations. Mekanism also has visually appealing wind turbines. But until Immersive Engineering, by far the coolest wind turbines were those in RedPower 2 PR 6. These are some images of a German style wind turbine building I built while TekkitLite (so Minecraft 1.4.6 – ah, the fond memories!).
Unfortunately, we’ll never see another RP2 update for Minecraft. I do hope Eloraam keeps working on her own game. The updates she’s released have looked cool, and whatever she can finish I have complete confidence will be amazing.
But, for the present, there is no standalone RedPower, and I play Minecraft. Fortunately for me, Immersive Engineering came along with its steampunk aesthetic and the best water and wind turbine animations I’ve seen in Minecraft – and it’s an actively developed project that has been updated for 1.10.2.
In my current game, I have been relying for my power generation almost entirely on a solar array from Environmental Tech. I’ve mentioned this mod before, and I want to say again how much I like it. Again, like Immersive Engineering, Environmental Tech focuses on GUI-less multiblock structures. It’s solar arrays are really pretty slick looking, and they take up space. But the power I get from this first tier solar array is just too easy. I was able to build it pretty early in the game, but only recently have I even started to detect a slight need for more power. If you use Environmental Tech’s machines (Void Ore and Mineral Miners), you’ll max out your Tier 1 Solar Array pretty quick. But I was running quite a lot of Forestry and Ender IO machinery on a single Tier 1 Solar Array with power to spare. That’s just too much. For game balancing, I would suggest that they either nerf the Tier 1 Solar Array, or they make it more expensive to build.
So even though I haven’t technically needed to, I’ve been diversifying my power generation. Virtually all my Forestry machinery runs on a self-sustaining system of peat-burning engines, and the system produces biomass which I use in a biogas engine to supplement my main power grid. With the addition of Immersive Engineering, I decided I wanted to add at least one improved wind turbine.
I originally put this on top of my house at the top of a column of treated wood scaffolding blocks. But, honestly, this looks ugly and unlike anything in the real world. So I decided to build a more realistic looking wooden wind turbine. As an added bonus, I am using blocks from a mod I only became aware of: Platforms.
Platforms adds a whole bunch of different platform, scaffolding, and handrail blocks made from wood, metal, and stone. It’s a really great idea, and it works with modded items out of the box (especially woods and metals – modded stones I haven’t had as much luck with, so far, but it is supposed to work with some).
At first, I decided just to go plain-Jane and build everything out of vanilla oak wood. It didn’t quite turn out the way I wanted (which happens pretty much every time I try to build something in Minecraft entirely out of oak planks). Then I decided to try a mix of oak and dark oak. Still a little too visually chaotic. Finally, I used treated wood scaffold blocks as the frame and used Platforms blocks to decorate and connect. The result isn’t 100% to my liking, but it was an interesting first try at this kind of wooden wind turbine structure.
Now I just need to figure out what to do with all this wind energy.