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Resonant Induction Really Grinds My Gears... In A Good Way

From about 2pm yesterday until 8pm today, I've been dabbling with my latest custom mod mix for Minecraft 1.6.4, which is this time very much Universal Electricity focused.
"What's that?" you might ask.  Oh, just a system of gears that connect a windmill to a pair of giant grinders that render ore for me.  Yes, I get to customize it.  Yes, gear differentials determine speed and torque.  Yes, it's absolutely flipping sweet to see working gears in Minecraft.
Aside from the usual GUI enhancers and Somnia, the primary contenders in this mix were:
  • Calclavia Core - Of course: this is the base of the Universal Electricity system.
  • Resonant Induction - This seems to be largely focused on increasingly more advanced methods of refining ores divided across 4 ages of technological progression.  It also includes some really cool things such as assembly lines.  I'll primarily be talking about just a few blocks out of this mod today.
  • Atomic Science - A mod dedicated to generating more of those lovely universal electricity volts via the power of splitting the atom.  Build your own nuclear reactor!  Deal with nuclear meltdowns!  You maniac!
  • ICBM - A mod dedicated to generating more destruction using those lovely universal electricity volts (and more than a little gunpowder), it certainly gives you something to use stockpiled anti-matter for.  Lacking anyone to blow up, I largely grabbed it for the automated turrets: die, creepers, die!
  • Modular Powersuits - I panned this mod a bit earlier, describing it as "basically legitimized cheating" based on the suit taking upgrades that allowed you to become "Superman."  Of course, that's stupid: clearly, this is more like Iron Man. Anyway, I think maybe it is a lot more balanced in a mix that includes Calclavia Core because I was playing without that before and it was giving me free energy every time I stood near the Tinker Table to make up for that.  If that free energy goes away, it actually becomes pretty balanced, or so I imagine!
  • Galacticraft - Of course, this adds the biggest, most important goal to everything I was doing here: GO TO SPACE.  It also adds a number of blocks that play very well with Calclavia.  Edit: Nope, I was mistaken, Galacticraft is not a Universal Electricity mod, its blocks are capable of taking energy from Buildcraft or Universal Electricity, but it's not a two way street; Galacticraft blocks that generate Galacticraft "KW" are not capable of powering blocks from other mods.
I also took a few mods that have little to do with Universal Electricity but are still pretty fun to have around:
  • Archimedes Ships - Because being able to build pilotable vessels out of blocks is pretty damn cool.  I guess this might be redundant if I've got Modular Powersuits, which also provides a means to fly, but still... it's cool!
  • Steve's Carts - There's very few things these lovely little custom mine carts can't do.  They can milk cows.  They can harvest and plant crops.  They can plant and cut down trees.  Why, these mine carts can even be customized for mining!  By using completely self-contained power systems and requiring no special ore blocks, there's no question Steve's Carts would be compatible with any mod mix... the only question is if these custom mine carts might be too powerful... and the answer is, "Probably; yes!"  I find this mod to be a great springboard for early productivity, and laying mine tracks is fun, so I tend to make a beeline to this mod first if it's installed.
  • Minefactory Reloaded - This mod certainly has some interesting mechanic ideas, such as using machine blocks to differentiate baby livestock from their parents, fire a laser into bedrock in order to recover random ore in exchange for the energy needed to power the laser, harvest strange fluids, and this is just the tip of the iceberg of all the cool things Minefactory Reloaded can do.  Its compatibility with all kinds of power, including Universal Electricity, makes it a shoe-in, despite all the fancy world bloat it adds.
  • Minecraft Comes Alive - Does Minecraft come alive if you tweak the villagers to be more like real people?  Maybe, maybe not, but it's worth a shot.
  • Mystcraft - Visiting other dimensions with Mystcraft is undoubtedly a cool adventure.  Another cool thing about this mod would be the ability to get back from the moon with a magic book, without being trapped there!
The first thing I did in this lovely new survival mode game was look around in about a 200 block radius around 0,0 to see if there were any nearby villagers.   I had the idea that I would eventually set up some nifty sentry towers around them to obliterate any hostile monsters that came by.   Well, as it turns out, there was no villages that close, although there was a nearby desert temple which proved that the pre-generated structures were, indeed, generating.  (The loot inside that temple was a bit disappointing, it seems one of my mods might have glitched treasure chest contents... oh well, given my heavy mod mix, it's miraculous Minecraft hasn't capsized completely!)
My hollowed-out hill of a main base is looking less like a hill the longer I play.
With no village to be found, it seems I was alone, a stranger on this strange world.  Disheartened, but not really lacking anything to do anyway, I decided to set up my base of operations in a hill near 0,0, pretty much on the corner of four biomes: hills, tiaga, ocean, and jungle, with a desert biome not far away.  What a diverse little archipelago this was; you can tell I'm definitely not playing with "large biome" mode enabled.   I marked the top of my base of operation with torches so it could be seen from afar, but it's not hard to remember where 0,0 is.

Before I dug my way into the hill, I placed my first smelter next to the entrance and began cooking the chicken meat I had collected during my wandering.  I ended up building spiral stairs down the inside of the hill to avoid breaking out of any one side of it, and eventually reached about 14 squares above zero before deciding that's where I will be strip mining.  I then built my central base out of the collected cobblestone, around where the entrance had been dug.   There, the abundant wood from the nearby jungle provided all the chests I would need for the immediate future.  Later, I dug from my stairwell out into the foot of the hill, and that became my main entrance.
A pretty nice pattern of tracks for a Steve's Carts farmer.  Eventually, I could get the upgraded farming tool and snag an extra row outside of the one next to the tracks.
Hunger was turning out to be a problem, so I decided the first thing I would do is set up a farm at the base of the hill.  I dug it in a pattern that would have plenty of coverage by a Steve's Carts farming cart, which I was still quite awhile from getting the necessary materials for, but I could certainly harvest here manually.   I spent the days beating down nearby grass and finding seeds to plant here.

During the night, I would be inside the hill, to mine.  I did not want to spend too much time mining by hand - that can get really monotonous - so the first goal was to build a Steve's Carts cart assembler so I could at least get some rudimentary help.  Strip mining is the absolute pits, so it was fortunate that my would-be strip mine immediately ran into an existing cave.  This lead directly into a zombie infested dungeon with a single (bugged) treasure chest.  I also ran into a vein of 4 diamonds: not bad!  The cave network branched further as I followed it, providing many nice minerals for my hungry pickaxe.

I now had enough materials to build my first Steve's Cart.  It was a simple wooden hulled model with a rudimentary iron drill and tiny coal engine, the only addon being a torch placer.   Frankly, I built this sucker with full intention it wouldn't be missed much if it took a header into some lava, only to end up too afraid to use it at greater depths where lava was more likely to be found.  As it turns out, I probably should have given that cart another frill or two, because I learned that Steve's Carts will run right off the end of placed rails unless you have them fitted with a railer or a track remover.   To make up for this, I laid my tracks in a circle.

I ended up with was a cart that assisted me strip mining, I dig out a 1x3 area, and the cart dug out the remaining 2x3 on the sides, and the cart would often be running while I was relaying its tracks for the next stretch.  Spacing the tracks 7 blocks apart left an undug 3x3 area in the middle of the circle of the tracks, leaving a 1x3 area hidden in the middle, but any ore would likely be exposed because it's rare that ore does not run in veins.  All things considered, not a bad little partner, although continually reloading that tiny coal engine with fuel was a bit of a hassle.
I built a small cobblestone hut next to my farm, a museum to the process of Archaic ore processing.  As you would expect from something a caveman could do, it's quite simple and only requires very basic resources.
When I was growing tired of digging and farming, it was time to investigate a new mod I haven't played with before: Resonant Induction.  As it turns out, this mod is heavily under development, and its existing documentation is as much a design document as it is a work in progress.  However, I basically figured out that the parts that made up this mod were divided into four "ages":
  • Archaic Age - You hit ores repeatedly with a hammer to make rubble.  Then you hand-grind this rubble in a millstone to make dust.  Then you wash the dust to make refined dust.  Then you smelt the dust to make ingots.  This results in about 2-4 ingots for every block of ore.  (The randomness might be a bug.)   This is balanced by these interactions impacting your hunger bar: processing ore by hand is hungry work!
  • Mechanical Age - According to the current version of the documentation, first you grind ore in a "crusher" (the crusher block does not seem to be implemented yet, but the grinder can do this), then you take the resulting rubble and wash it in a "washer" (also not implemented, but there is a mixer) and it becomes "clean rubble" (which has not been implemented yet) which can be smelted on a hot plate placed on a firebox. 

    It doesn't seem to work that way right now.  I tried using a mixer for my "washer," but it does nothing to the rubble, and dust will turn the water into a slurry that I have no idea how to productively use.  I scoured the Internet, but my Google-Fu failed to render a solution to this.  It seems the Mechnical Age is still a work in progress.

    Despite that, I love the Mechanical Age, because it allows you to build networks of gears that route mechanical power from the lines of windmills, watermills, and engines.  That's so much cooler than any other power generating method I've seen in any other technology mod!  Interestingly, many of these parts can be merged together into larger gears, windmills, and watermills.  It's a balancing act between torque and speed that can be exchanged with gear differentials, with different machines benefiting from different balances.

    There are also pumps and sawmills here I could experiment with.  That could prove to be fun.
  • Electrical Age - I think this is about where the mod got its start, as it is the most complete set of blocks. 

    Here's where we've got our cool electrical generators, conveyor belts, and other neat things.  There's even programmable robotic arms to do your item sorting off the conveyor belts, how cool is that?  I haven't got this far yet, but it's where I should be if I want to play with the most working parts. 

    I'm heartened by the knowledge I can actually route things from the mechanical age into electric motors to power things in the electric age: I don't think I ever want to stop messing with the likes of water wheels and windmills.
  • Quantum Age - Generally the futuristic age of extreme badassery, there's not a whole lot of blocks to play with here yet.  However, combined with the likes of Galacticraft, Atomic Science, and the Modular Powersuits mods, you won't be lacking in futuristic endeavors.
You know, I might have been wrong to say that the Tekkit ore balance is overly skimpy for everything you want to build.  Although Resonant Induction is not in that mix, they have other machine blocks that have a similar benefit of grounding ore into dust in order to get more ingots out of the ores you dig up, such as the pulverizer.  Having twice the ingots per ore would make a big difference.
Is that a water wheel, hooked up around the corner a series of gears that convert its torque into a pretty good speed that drives the mixer on the left?  Yes, yes it is, and it is awesome.
I quickly turned the increased productivity from the Resonant Induction ore production methods towards making a better Steve's Carts mine cart, this time for the purpose of mining.  3 out of my 4 diamonds went to the basic farmer's tool, a lot of iron went to the iron hull, and pretty much all of my gold bars eventually would go into the circuits that drove the parts.

I decided I was definitely going to want this cart to be solar powered, so it was time for a trip to The Nether.  I built a portal out of obsidian ore blocks collected by the wooden mining cart I mentioned earlier, and lucked out that my portal was generated in a cave rather than out in the open, where it would be a target for ghasts.  I lucked out again that following this cave downward lead to a lava pool where several glowstones were hanging nearby.  Fantastic, I built a bridge over the lava with some cobblestone and was back in the overworld with over a full stack of glowstone before the ghasts found me.

I stayed up late yesterday to verify that the farming cart worked fantastic.  Playing today, I see that food is no longer a problem, but the glut of wheat (and soon, potatoes) might be.   I had used the last of my gold to include a smelter on that cart, so I now have a solar powered, farming, and smelting mine cart!  Steve's Carts is just a tad too powerful, I admit, but so long as I had other mods that provided me power by harvesting the likes of sun, wind, and water, I really couldn't fault it for that. At least this unlimited power is just being harnessed to do work... in Equivalent Exchange 2 there was matter:energy item fabrication!  Equivalent Exchange 3 is not making that same mistake, but maybe the real problem with the idea was mostly a matter of cost: producing atoms from energy is much more expensive than it was balanced for.

Today was largely spent dabbling with the Resonant Induction mod.   I had largely finished the Archaic Age last night, so now it was time for the Mechanical Age.   There, I built an ore grinder hooked up to a windmill and a mixer hooked up to a water mill... I probably should have done that in reverse, as the windmill had more speed and the water mill had more torque, or so I assume.   Using my glut of wheat, I attracted some nearby wild sheep to provide the wool I will need for windmills.

Then things fell apart, just a bit:
  • I was stumped by how the Mechanical Age doesn't seem to complete ore processing.  However, I noticed that the "washer" seems to produce slurry, and ended up cheating just a bit, trying to figure out how it's supposed to work now.  I eventually decided that it's not really finished, yet, and if I want to refine my ore I'll just have to use the grinder twice to get the dust and then wash the dust by hand.  I could be wrong about that, and it's just that the documentation doesn't reflect the right way to do it at the moment.
  • I discovered that there has been two major version reiterations since I first downloaded Resonant Inductions, just 2 days ago.  Wow, that Calclavia is a mod-making machine!  I tried upgrading to the newer versions, to see if it would fix the mixer, but it turned out to be incompatible with my saved game.  It's just as well, the mixer isn't listed on the change log, but quite a few things that would be nice if fixed are...
  • It turns out that the newest version is just a bit unplayable unstable, so I reverted back to the previous version.  The saved game still works.
Alright, if I keep playing what I've got, I'll probably skip right to "the Electrical Age" and it'll work just fine.  Once I have some good electrical generation up, it will be time for Modular Powersuits.  Then the sky is no limit: I'll try going to the moon.

I am a bit bothered about those bugged dungeon chests... it suggests something might be out of whack in the background.  I might just start over, again, since I cheated a bit, and with a thinned out mod selection that might just fix those dungeon chests.

Update 3/13/2014:

Well, looks like I'll definitely be restarting.  I played from 2pm-8pm today just trying to figure out how to get the mixer to clean my ore.   I saw an interesting video (below) that showed it might be doable using filters.  I'm not sure what version he was using, but that didn't work for me.
I started with upgrading my grinder to be two grinders, one atop the other, so I could get dust right away instead of having to manually pick up and throw the rubble back into the grinder.  While I was at it, I moved my wind turbine a lot closer and upgraded it to 5x5 size.  It was gorgeous.

I built a multimeter.  It was easier than I thought it would be, and did not require a battery charge despite having a battery as its core component.  That multimeter became my best friend, I rather enjoyed seeing the power output of all the components.  That 5x5 stone wind turbine of mine was generating over 10 kilowatts!

Then I built a 3x3 grid of filters underneath my mixer, with plenty of room underneath for the water to go.
  • I pointed all the filters straight up into the water.  Nothing happened, the water didn't drain, and slurry was generated in the usual manner.
  • I pointed the filters all the other directions.  Nothing happened. 
  • I did notice that the pipes wanted to connect to the filters, and their contents changed color to that of the slurry on top of the filter.  According to the documentation, filters only work with "negative pressure" applied to them, so that's a good sign: I need to pump them.
  • I built a pump and pipes and tried to pump things out of the filter.  Nothing happened, pump power measured at -1/+1 pascals next to the pump but no other pipe registered anything. 
  • I tested the pump with a tank filled with a bucket of water.  The pump seemed transfer water from the tank to a pipe and back to the tank (after reversing the pump) just fine.  I decided maybe I just need more power.
  • I hooked the pump up to my 10KW wind turbine and routed some long clay pipes all the way down to below the mixer.  That accomplished nothing, possibly because the clay pipes weren't able to transmit power that far.  Besides, in retrospect, I probably only accomplished a fraction of the power being routed to the pump because did not dismantle any of the gear works going into the grinder.
  • I built an electric motor and coal generator... turns out they're not compatible!  Silly me, Galacticraft is not a Universal Electricity mod, after all.
  • I rebuilt the pump and pipes as close to the filter as possible without being directly under it, and experimented with various ways of routing power to the pump.  Eventually, built a water-wheel just two blocks away from it, and routed power directly into the pump.  The multimeter measured a good 500 watts of power going into the pump.  Once again, pump power was just 1 pascal.  The multimeter showed it was sucking directly on a pipe that was colored with the slurry-like liquid from above the filter, but it just wouldn't move through the pump and into the tank.
  • I decided maybe I needed even more power.  I still had that electric generator, but I needed a compatible means to power it.   How much power does a thermophile generate?  I built the thermophile and was in the process of demolishing the second water wheel I had created to power the pump... 
  • Then it happened.
It being a nasty crash that murdered my saved game.  Perhaps Optifine was doing an automatic save at that exact moment?  In any case, I can't reload.  Comparing the file structure of my save direction with that of a two-day old backup, I'm noticing the level.dat and level.dat_old files are missing.

Should I go back to two days ago?  Nah, might as well restart.  Guess I should have kept more recent backups!  As much as I'd like to get started on my new Minecraft game, it's going to have to wait a couple days, which belong to my job.

I'm left wondering how I feel about having invested my free time in Minecraft over the past four days only to have my saved game go "poof."  Well, on one hand, I have to say that playing with mechanical gears in Minecraft is extremely cool, and I was glad to have the opportunity to do that.  On the other hand, I spent a ton of time just trying to figure out how it worked, and ultimately I have nothing to show for it but a deleted saved game... except memories, I suppose.  It's interesting how my Minecraft memories are more poignant than most games I've played...

That said, while Resonant Induction may be the coolest mod I've played in a long, long time, it seems I've been playing with some very new features of the mod that are far from stabilized.  Version 329, the last stable version I've been playing, apparently has a major crash bug related to the use of filters.  Version 330 and 331 fix a some things, but break the world generation.  I should probably wait for a stable version before I give it another spin.

It's time to reconsider my mod mix.  I'm still thinking Galacticraft might be the most worthwhile endeavor in Minecraft, but it seems Galacticraft blocks that generate power are only useful for Galacticraft things.  I also wouldn't mind keeping those ICBM sentry turrets, just for the glamor of having automated methods of massacre obnoxious mobs.  But If I'm dropping Resonant Induction for now, I will require some form of ore processing... Hmm... what to do?

Comments

Dalton Potter said…
Not sure if you know this, but Rotarycraft seems to be a reborn version of Resonant Induction
geldonyetich said…
Rotarycraft has the torque mechanics in common (being a mod built completely around it) but aside from that Resonant Induction does a lot of things pretty differently.

One of these days I should give Rotarycraft a serious play. It's a tough mod to get into, but a powerful one.
Dalton Potter said…
I play it a lot and maybe if we could, in the slightest chance, play together, we could go far. Aside from that there is Reactorcraft and that is harder.
geldonyetich said…
Thanks much for the offer, but I have very little free time and prefer to spend it alone since I am such an introvert.

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