I like to make myself laugh. Of course, I suppose this implies something kind of pathetic, namely that I like to laugh at my own jokes. Be that as it may, in the highly personalized world of a single-player Minecraft survival game there are lots of opportunities for me to do things for no other reason than that it pleases me. Most of my builds are driven by two complementary concerns: function and form. I don’t tend to spend time on something unless I think it will have a function, maybe not now, but conceivably in the future, at least. But if I’m going to spend time on something functional, I want it to be aesthetically pleasing or personalized in some way. I can’t stand having a bunch of perfectly built but ugly Redstone systems strewn about my survival world. That’s what a creative-mode test world is for. Nor am I satisfied simply replicating a build I see on YouTube. Where’s the fun in that? No. Everything I do takes what I see and puts my own personal stamp on it, a stamp that often betrays my version of a wry sense of humor. Continue reading
Sometimes I wonder whether the benefits of Thaumcraft outweigh its frustrations.
Case in point: whereas my base’s garden area was formerly all a Green Hills biome (ExtramBiomesXL), it is now a checkerboard pattern of Green Hills, Eerie biome, Magical Forest, and, most bizarrely, Ice Wasteland, all thanks to Thaumcraft.
First of all, Happy Valentine’s Day to my wife, CoffeeGirl.
Up until recently, the one major obstacle to fully automating a Factorization Ore-Processing system has been the lack of an easy way to distribute reduced metal chunks evenly among the available slots in a crystallizer. When a crystallizer receives items, it simply puts it into the first available slot. When that slot is filled up, then items go into the next one. The problem with this is that crystallizers are extremely slow. One pass takes 15 or 20 minutes of real time (I’ve seen people say both, but I’ve never timed it). Each pass can crystallize reduced metal chunks from five slots at the same time – but only if there are reduced metal chunks in each slot. So if you’re just pumping items into a crystallizer, you are extending your already nearly eternal wait time. This wait time is precisely what makes Factorization non-competitive with other tech mods’ ore-processing systems, even if you get at least 50% more ore from Factorization. Continue reading
In my last post about my Factorization Building of Ore-Processing Awesomeness, I noted that I used Thermal Expansion Fluid Transposers to refill the water buckets that the Factorization Mixers need to do their mixing business. I did this for two reasons: 1) to save space and 2) because I’m not really a Vanilla MC Redstone stud. But something (conscience? curiosity? manic obsession with all things Minecraft?) wouldn’t let it slide. So I spent some time in my 1.6.4 modded test world and worked out a system that, if I do say so myself, is pretty sweet … if bulky. Continue reading
Factorization is one of the cooler, more think-outside-of-the-box mods I’m familiar with. Recent versions have been changing things up a little bit, and, to be honest, my first reaction to these changes wasn’t positive. It’s not that I’m philosophically or brain-chemically opposed to change. For the most part, I have welcomed the changes in vanilla Minecraft (I started playing the day 1.3 released) and in many of the mods I play with. I suppose my trepidation about recent versions of Factorization was that I didn’t see the immediate sense or benefit of some of the changes. Specifically, I am talking about the very significant change in auto-crafting from the craft packet system to compression crafters, the move away from routers to sockets and servos, some of the changes to the Factorization barrels, and, to a lesser extent, the change from the Grinder block to the Lacerator socket. These changes seemed to make the mod even less intuitive than it had been (which wasn’t very). Furthermore, the servos just felt like a totally different mod. In other words, it didn’t feel at first like the mod was moving forward but sideways. Continue reading
While I haven’t been posting Minecraft updates, it’s not because I haven’t been playing. Oh, no. It’s because I was finishing a PhD and doing my best not to descend into insanity brought on by extreme anxiety. Playing Minecraft was a big part of that effort, even though blogging about Minecraft wasn’t. Now that the PhD is over with (I wrote a pretty darn good thesis, if I do say so myself), I feel like blogging again. So much has happened in my various Minecraft worlds that I think it’s best just to focus on highlights for now (the last time I posted was prior to the 1.5 update, and we’re already nearing 1.8!!!). Continue reading
Regardless of what mod you play (TerraFirmaCraft being the main exception), the beginning of every new Minecraft game is the same: (1) survive the first night, (2) get a steady supply of food, (3) get resources. This is where most of the larger mods start. But getting anything beyond the most basic parts of big mods like Buildcraft, Redpower, and Railcraft will require diamonds, obsidian, and few trips to the Nether (obviously in that order). I haven’t had a chance to explore the Universal Electricity mods, but from what I can tell, it’s not much different. In other words, the technology trees of most of the big mods are weighted toward the so-called endgame content
Unlike most of the other big mods, Industrial Craft 2 has some really valuable tools and machines that become available without the need for any diamonds or Nether material. These include especially the macerator and the mining drill. The macerator doubles your ore output by converting every ore block into two ore dust, each of which smelts into one ingot. The drill replaces your pickaxes and shovels and is as fast or faster than the diamond versions of both. Both of these devices are going to need redstone, so you’re still going to have to dig your way down to the bottom 20 levels, but that’s easy enough to do. Continue reading