I always come back to blocks

These days, other bloggers are talking about VR games and the latest and greatest MMOs. What am I doing? Being obsessed with a game I’ve owned since 2011: Minecraft.

I had been flitting around my game library recently, playing one for a little while before finding it ultimately unsatisfying and trying another. I knew what I felt like playing: a survival-ish game that featured heavily on crafting and building, and not just the pre-fab sort of building. I wanted to assemble something myself. Flipping through Steam didn’t yield anything that fit that criteria, but in the back of my mind, I knew that Minecraft did. But I played Minecraft a hell of a lot previously and although there have been several updates since I last looked into it, I feel like I know the basics inside and out so they would present no challenge. I also never really like the tedium of mining. So I wanted Minecraft but I wanted more than the standard game. Something new and challenging. It turns out that’s possible through mod packs.

I can’t recall where I first came across it but the first mod pack I heard about was Feed The Beast’s Regrowth. It seemed like a cool idea on paper but once I tried it out, I realized that the wasteland is kind of depressing and I couldn’t figure out the best spot to start my base. In browsing videos for tips, I came across the pack Agrarian Skies 2 that looked really interesting. It could have gone with the easy install option through the Curse Voice client, but I like making things difficult for myself so I spent a little while setting it up through MultiMC. I had a false start with the regular “you spawn on a 3×3 platform” map before settling on the Morvy Cottage map.

Morvy Cottage
What an adorable cottage it is.

Now, I have used mods with Minecraft before, but they were small quality of life ones that left the mechanics of vanilla Minecraft untouched. With a mod pack like AS2, most of the basics are still there but there’s so much addition stuff added that it’s practically a new game. The whole premise is that you’re on a small floating island and you’re tasked with repopulating the world or something. You have very little resources so you have to do a lot of improvising. Luckily, the mods give you ways to do so through new machines, mechanics, and resources.

This had led to some…interesting scenes on my island. Like drying zombie brains into jerky for food on the side of my cobble generator.

Drying zombie brains

Or growing a tree made entirely out of slime.

Slime tree

Thank goodness there’s a quest system in the form of a book because I would be completely lost otherwise. For example, I never would have figured out on my own that in order to create dirt, I need to make barrels that I can stuff with string or saplings which then decomposes into dirt. Or that I needed to make a cobblestone generator. I’ve never had to make a cobblestone generator in vanilla MC because you just accumulate it naturally. But smashing and sifting cobblestone and its derivatives is the only way to get ores and redstone in this game. Oh yeah, and the quests give some interesting rewards.

Bee reward
I have some rare bees and absolutely no idea what to do with them

There’s not even regular MC tools that you work with. There’s a whole system where you create patterns (and later casts), which let you make individual parts, which are put together into tools that can be enchanted into unique ways. That green stuff on my tools in the screenshot? That’s moss, which apparently has auto-repairing properties (because why not).

Making a tool binding cast
Using the smeltery to make a tool binding cast for pickaxes

I actually quite like the complexity of everything though, because I’m encouraged to think and it makes things more interesting. I’m just starting to get into the automation side of things, which resulted in me having trouble falling asleep last night because I was too busy planning an auto-cobble-smasher in my head.

It’s been a while since a game has taken over my thoughts like this, and I plan to enjoy every minute of it. I’ll have to keep you updated on my progression.

Jadedcat is creepin'
Non sequitur conclusion: the mod creator Jadedcat is in my basement and I almost attacked her because I thought she was a creeper at first

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