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My Minecraft Mod-O-Holcism Rages On

Contrary to the issues I had earlier, I'm getting bored enough of Minecraft that I'm warming up to the idea of cutting corners.   However, I don't want to straight up cheat because the lack of challenge is sort of boring.  What I'm going to do instead is change my mod mix to be less survival/balance focused and more building focused.

Frankly, I've maneuvered myself into a corner, here.   I do most of my work in Steve's Carts, and am finding that I need a means to intelligently load and unload the content from the cargo managers in order to have more complete factorization going on.
Steve's Carts might have spoiled me a bit.  Here's a minecart that can tunnel, lay its own
tracks, avoid lava, build its own bridges, and even plant torches.  It's the only way to
mine.  It's more interesting than Buildcraft quarries, but no better for the balance.
Still, I like Steve's Carts enough to make it the new standard in which I'm setting my mod package balance.  It's a mod all about building nifty custom minecarts that can do everything from digging their own tunnel to milking a cow.  I really enjoy that, although I do have one point of complaint: you can't disassemble the carts you've already built, and this inevitably results in obsolete carts hogging a lot of cool cart modules I'd really like back.  Still, I suppose that's ultimately a resource sink, and consequently a factor that gives additional things to strive for.

I'm going to need Buildcraft pipes to utilize the cargo managers needed to move items out of the Steve's Carts cargo managers.  (Too bad Red Power isn't being updated, I rather liked the pneumatic tube implementation of this idea.)  Adding Buildcraft will somewhat necessitate starting over because Buildcraft adds resources (mostly oil) that the old chunks won't be able to benefit from.  Adding Buildcraft brings the benefit of some other cool things that mod does besides the transport pipes, and I might also put Railcraft in the mix, since Buildcraft + Steve's Carts + Railcraft mixes so well.

Thaumcraft 3, for all its marvelous attention to balance and magical presentation, is not quite as convenient as Steve's Carts, so I've unfortunately modded myself out of balance with it.  Looking at Thaumcraft 3 in terms of the end result benefit for participating with this mod, all that's left is the items of power, and frankly they're too gimmicky for me to care much about.  I wish the arcane seals from the first game were still around, now those were unquestionably useful and fun to play with, and much more versatile than golems.  I'm going to miss Thaumcraft 3's touches to the atmosphere, it really creates this palatable feel of greater goings on with all the nodes doing things in the background.  Thaumcraft 3 would be a great mod if I were just running it alone, or possibly with Millenaire, as then the harder balance would be preserved... as it is, it's sort of hard to justify ruining the magical atmosphere doing magic when you can get the same result without the consequences from virtually any other mods.

I think I'd like to use Tinker's Construct again.  Though I was belly aching earlier about how it made the existing Minecraft tools and weapons obsolete and circumvented the need for enchantment, I've since since decided Tinker's Construct genuinely offers a better alternative.   First, because I'm tired of constantly replacing my tools in Minecraft.  Second, because since I've dropped the Modular Power Suits mod there's really no reason I can't just invest my experience levels in enchanting my armor, instead, so this re-institutes some stock game compatibility for me.

I want to keep Millenaire because building up those towns introduces a purpose that Minecraft lacks on its own.  Aside from creating a simulation of more compelling life in the game, Millenaire also introduces a vital economic benefit to the game: on its own devices, stock Minecraft leaves you with a lousy excess of cobblestone, sand, and dirt that Millenaire allows you to trade with its villagers for money that can then be traded for things you need.  To full on transmute them, like in Balanced Exchange, seems a tad too easy to me... putting a restriction on exactly what you can get for your cobblestone bloat is important for balance purposes.

Running Millenaire and Buildcraft simultaneously involves resolving some block conflicts.  It's not too hard if you follow the instructions in this thread, which leaves you with just having to switch a few byzantine blocks to the 1600s range.

Overall, my new 1.6.4 choice of mods will be the same as before, except I'm adding Buildcraft, Railcraft, and Tinker's Construct, dropping Thaumcraft.   Ah, what the heck, I'll throw in Forestry too.
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