Cave Clutter: RimWorld, ME1, Wildlands, and now Project Ozone 2
I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this before but I usually have two different games going (not at exactly the same time but you get my meaning). Lord Crumb and I will be playing some sort of co-op game together and then when our schedules don’t work out, I’ll play a solo game. For a good while, Ghost Recon Wildlands was our co-op game and RimWorld was my solo game.
My dive back in RimWorld came because I was watching Aavak’s Alpha 16 Let’s Play and also because…it’s just a really fun game. This time around, I decided not to go with the live tweeting and naming pawns after Twitter folks. As fun as it is, I feel like I have to perform/entertain (for lack of a better word) and it can get in the way of my enjoyment of the game if I’m stopping to take screenshots and tweet them every 10 minutes. Plus I wonder sometimes if I’m annoying the heck out of people who have characters in the game with all my mentions. But anyways, I got so into it that I even made three mods for it.
Then Mass Effect Andromeda came out and everyone was talking about it. While I did indeed end up buying it (20% off through Amazon was pretty nice), I still have not played it and probably will not play it for a while since they’re still working out bugs and making improvements. It did give me an itch to play something Mass Effect related though, so I opted to do something I rarely do with non-sandbox games: I started a new save in Mass Effect 1.
The graphics looked a little dated but after cranking them up, turning off the film grain, and installing improved textures, it was looking pretty damn good for a game that’s nearly a decade old. It still plays pretty well too, even though sometimes Shepard has issues using cover correctly. UltrViolet over at Endgame Viable mentioned on his ME1 replay post that he thinks FemShep doesn’t move like a woman but I didn’t see that at all. I’m not even sure what “moving like a woman” even means, unless he’s referring to the hip sway that comes from wearing high heels (which thank god Shepard is not). To me, she moves exactly how you would expect of a confident, skilled, and high-ranking special forces solider. In other words, she is so badass and I love every minute of it.
So while those were my solo games, Lord Crumb and I were playing Wildlands. Neither of us had ever playing a Tom Clancy game before (beside the short stint in The Division open beta), so it’s something of a novelty to us. The story isn’t amazing but it’s still interesting to follow; the graphics are gorgeous; the world is large, open, and varied; and there’s so many different guns to play with, as well as toys like vehicles, night vision, explosives, drones, and explosive drones.
There was a slight problem though. Long story short, Lord Crumb has only his phone’s data as internet access every other weekend. In most games, it’s not an issue but in an FPS like Wildlands, it makes for some rather large and annoying lag spikes. Traveling is especially laggy and not good when Unidad likes to launch missiles at you.
So the other weekend, I made a suggestion. Froggy and Phenix, a pair of Minecraft Youtubers that I watch, had started a series where they played the modpack Project Ozone 2. They gave out the seed they were using and were encouraging others to play along and share their progress and landmarks they found. Lord Crumb and I quite liked the first Project Ozone so I figured we’d like this pack as well. I set up a server for us on my second computer and we got started.
Project Ozone 2 is a skyblock mod so usually you begin in a void with only a small piece of dirt under your feet. However, Froggy and Phenix went with a standard Minecraft world this time. So as is standard with this type of map, we began with the punching of trees and built a wood hut pretty close to spawn.
Which Lord Crumb exploded once by opening a chance cube in it and we had to rebuild.
We spent quite a while building up our initial resources, which was made slightly more difficult by the fact that vanilla Minecraft tools have only 1 durability, making them mostly useless. Instead we made paxels (pickaxe/axe/shovel combo tools) until we could make tools from the Tinkers’ mod. On the flip side, the game throws lots of loot bags at you and many of them contained some pretty nice artifact armor with different effects. So we were able to armor up pretty fast.
Once we had enough resources and were beginning to outgrow our hut, I mentioned that I wanted to set up a base around one of the giant redwood trees that sometimes spawn in the plains. So we both went searching far and wide, and it was Lord Crumb that found the perfect spot.
(The windmill and wires attached to the leaves were not originally there, I added those.) This area is unusually in that it’s a plains biome that has 4 redwoods in almost seeing distance of each other. Typically the redwood are quite spread out and you’ll only see one or two per area.
I picked the redwood furthest south for our base because it has a river making the area into a peninsula, thus giving us a natural barrier from hostile mobs once we lit the place up.
On the side not cut off by water, I built a wall to keep mobs out, which Lord Crumb amused himself with naming.
At ground level is where we currently have pens of the many fluid cows we’ve found.
A mod called Moo Fluids makes these randomly spawn through the world and instead of giving milk, they give buckets of whatever fluid they are. The different kind of cows we have include lava, oil, fire water, molten silver, molten nickel, destabilized redstone, energized glowstone, gelid cryotheum, blazing pyrotheum, and molten manyullyn. Manyullyn is one of the best metals in the game so we were very quickly able to make the best tools you can get. And the lava, oil, and fire water are all great varieties of fuel.
Next to the cows are my essence farms.
The large field with a few bits of light green tops is my minicio farm, minicio being the base for making a lot of different kinds of seeds as well as other items. The small center field in the front is cotton, which is used to make string and wool (and is the one plant here that has nothing to do with minicio). To make the seeds for the other fields, I just had to combine minicio, regular seeds, and whatever I wanted to grow. Next to the cotton, in their own small fields, are my dye, cow, lapis, and diamond farms respectively. And the other large field in the back is full of redstone and enderman plants. These are all very useful for us: dye essences make different dye colours depending on how you arrange them on a crafting table; cow essence makes milk, leather, or raw beef; and the rest are pretty self-explanatory. The crop sticks you see around the plants lets me cross-breed as well, creating plants that grow faster and produce more essence. It takes a while to breed each plant but in short, we have an unlimited supply of all those things now. And Lord Crumb has already pointed out the irony in using cows to get metal and using plants to get milk.
On the opposite side of the redwood are our 2 sets of 3 waterwheels.
We made them for a quest so I figured we might as well use them to get us power. And that’s exactly what they do, provide the majority of the power for our base right now. We don’t have many machines running yet so I’ll have to get more power generation going soon.
My original plan was to build up and around the tree trunk but when I couldn’t really decide how I wanted that to look, I carved out a large room around the roots of the tree.
I didn’t realize just how deep the roots went until I reached the bottom. I found my Tinkers’ hammer very useful as it allows me to clear out a 3×3 sections of blocks. The tube on the left in the screenshot is a viaduct, essentially a vacuum elevator that allows us to travel to and from the surface rather quickly. Because ladders are slow, man.
The bottom floor was built first and where all of our basics are. There’s our wall of storage drawers next to some crafting tables, a hell furnace, and a grindstone.
Our coke oven (right) produces coke coal and creosote oil, the oil being used to make treated wood, which in turn can make things like the waterwheels. The coke coal going into the blast furnace (left) with iron to make steel.
There’s the Tinkers’ section with its various special crafting stations and smeltery (useful for doubling the amount of metal you get from ore and making alloys). There’s also a bunch of weapons and artifact armor that we store while we’re not using them.
Next to that is our metal storage in compacting drawers.
And finally there’s our farming/miscellaneous storage area with chests of bits and bobs that don’t really fit anywhere else yet. I really need to get this area more organized.
On the upper levels, there’s our portal room which currently only houses the Nether and Aether portals.
Then there’s the machine room that doesn’t contain much right now. Mostly just some power storage and a series of machines that creates cobble, crushes it into gravel, and sieves it for ores.
Lord Crumb has his own room where he’s been playing with the PneumaticCraft mod. I’m not sure what it all contains really. I do know that the machine in front is a pressure chamber for creating compressed iron.
And that the towering inferno in the back actually encases a refinery that he uses to crack oil into various different products. He’s said to me that this mod is Factorio, just in Minecraft.
There’s a fourth room on the upper floor that’s currently empty but I’m planning to turn it into a kitchen and living quarters, mostly just because I can.
So in the end, Project Ozone 2 has taken over as both my solo game and our co-op game for the past 2 weekends. I’m having quite a lot of fun playing it so I don’t see that changing for at least the immediate future. While at first I wasn’t sure about playing a regular world in a skyblock modpack, I’m actually finding I enjoy it now. It has most of the skyblock challenge and complexity without all the grinding and having to lay out a whole lot of cobblestone as a platform to live on. And it’s nice to have a more interesting environment than just a void. I’m finding that I actually want to decorate the place, as opposed to when we played the first Project Ozone and never even built a house. Our beds were just sitting out in the open with not even a roof over them.
I’ll try to write more posts as we progress, hopefully shorter ones because ow, my hands hurt. Oh yeah, and to finish things off, here’s Lord Crumb’s obligatory “I claim this for Great Britain” gesture: