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Why did I even bother to buy other games?

Having sweetened my mod mix to include a great deal more overall building capacity, it was time to begin another game in Minecraft with Large Biomes enabled.

After a couple false starts (I sort of regret not sticking around that jungle start), I found myself in a nice forest biome.  I explored it briefly, whacking a few cows along the way because, after all, I need to eat.  It was then that I hit paydirt for a starting player: a nice deep ravine.
Ravines like this are great for starting characters in Minecraft because they are laden with lots of visible mineral riches.  I built an ugly-looking hut out of wood to hide from the monsters in at night and, after a few visits to the bottom of the ravine, I had recovered enough iron to have a full suit of armor. 

Now I was heavily armed, well fed, and ready to explore the surface world, and even the monsters wandering at night were unlikely to be a problem.  Where to go next?

Looking upward, I could see a benefit of the Natura mod, some kind of islands in the sky.  Maybe clouds.
I think I'd have to nerd pole hundreds of blocks up in order to reach them.  Fortunately, I don't have to, I've got the Archemedies' Ships mod installed...

...but that could wait until later.   First, I needed to set up a place to call home on the ground.  So I left the ravine and wandered around a bit until I ran across my first Millenaire village, a Norman Religious Village.

Well, you lucky Nordic buggers, your prayers have been answered: I'm moving in and taking on a side-project of helping to upgrade this village to a full-sized, flourishing town.
I found a promising looking hole in the ground about 150 blocks away from the center of the village.  Perfect: close enough to visit the village, but far enough that they won't try to build over me.

My new home was half a nearby cave with the other half sealed off by wood.  Somehow, this felt soul-crushingly bad.  Is man not meant to live in such accommodations?  As I was helping to even out the surface of the nearby Norman village, I ran across a great big patch of quarried stone (a Railcraft addition) and decided to build a massive wall around the town and live inside of the wall.
The caves beneath my choice of home turned out to be nice and sprawling, so I was able to cobble together enough resources for my first Steve's Carts minecart.  A crude iron drill on an iron chassis with automatic bridge building and rail laying proved to be just enough to help me perform landscaping up above.  (Though I wouldn't dare set it loose underground without a liquid detector to prevent it from running afoul of lava.) 
In this way, I was now using the cart to help me build my new home.  Etched quarried stone made up the outside walls, birch wood planks made up the floor (bit of a fire hazard, that), and standard stone bricks made up the inside walls and ceiling.

The eventual goal of this project is to have the wall completely surround the Nord village, each section of the wall divided into a room dedicated to a specific task.  So far I have a central storage room, a bedroom, and a room for Tinker's Construct item crafting.  Honestly the Nord village will probably be full expanded long before this wall is completed... but then, I can go discover another Millenaire village in need of support and probably travel between it and my main base with some high speed rails.

Throughout it all, the monsters are being a real pest, especially those grief-happy creepers.  (Somehow I died at full health and wearing full iron armor when a creeper snuck up behind me.  It surprises me they can do that much damage considering how often I tangle with them and block most of the damage.)  I'll probably be building a proper trap mechanism to be rid of them, eventually.

I'm thinking maybe an Advanced Shooter cart from Steve's Carts equipped with a cleaner to collect their remains.  Probably solar powered but parked on an advanced detector rail hooked up to a reversed daylight sensor to prevent it from running needlessly during the day.  Being able to come up with cool ideas like this is why installing these mods is worthwhile!

All this building I've been doing has been making me want to do it on a larger scale.  I saw a video of the new SimCity and kinda want to play it.  I wonder if I can get it for cheap and without that draconian DRM?  Probably not.  Looks like this might change soon, though.
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