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Sufficiently Advanced Science Is Indistinguishable From Tragic

If I've learned anything from the last 5 days of dabbling with Minecraft, it's that putting together your own custom mod mix can be risky business.
My home base towards the end of this game.  The nephew was over for a visit and really liked the Modular Powesrsuits module that launched portable lights, so he had me pepper the side of my base with them (among other things).  I had to take this screenshot after removing Universal Electricty, so the camouflage blocks that made up the walls on the upper story are all missing now.
This was mostly when working with Universal Electricity, as Calclavia is furiously attempting to keep several different mods running, and the result is apparently several mods with broken bits.  I've been using the latest versions marked "stable," and today marks the third time I had to start over because "stable" would seem to be a very relative term.
  • The first restart was because Resonant Induction's filter blocks were causing the game to crash, and somehow this happened in such a way as to break my saved game.  (I think Optifine might have been saving an autosave at that exact moment, but it's hard to say.)
  • The second restart was because I liked Resonant Induction enough to try to use it, even without the filters working, but I found the game was crashing when I was knocking out gears in the gearworks sometimes, so I decided I should just back off from using that mod entirely right now.
  • Today, I spent most of the day moving my base to a new square kill box covered by ICBM sentry turrets with a Steve's Carts 2 minecart running through the square to collect mob remains and ejected shells.  After leaving the chunk and coming back, I found that all four turrets were broken, apparently drawing an impossible-to-satisfy amount of energy from my generators.
I really don't see the point of using Universal Electricity right now.  Mekanism is quite capable of being the go-between energy source for everything.  ICBM's sentry turrets were all I wanted from that mod, but they're broken.  Resonant Induction has some very cool features, but it's too buggy to use right now.  Maybe Atomic Science works just fine, but I have plenty of energy input from Mekanism generators anyway.  Modular Forcefield System might have had what I wanted... but I actually can't even run the latest "stable" builds of the core mods of Universal Electricity anymore: I tried downloading the latest versions of all of the Universal Electricity mods I have, and there are now missing functions that prevent Minecraft from launching.  I think I should probably stand back and let Calclavia work on settling the bugs for a bit.
A view from the roof of my old base at what would have been my new base.  It featured an outer wall opened in the middle of each side and an inner wall opened on the diagonals.  The intention was that the mobs would try to pursue me inside, only to be gunned down by the turrets at the four corners between both walls, and then a Steve's Cart equipped with a cleaner would capture their remains and take them in to my inventory.  A pretty slick operation, overall... or, it would have been, if those turrets weren't bugged!
The worst part of all this is that I went through all this effort to have my own custom "high tech" Minecraft mod mix when, in the end, I might as well have just used Tekkit, which was updated to the same version of Minecraft I'm using (1.6.4) anyway.

But, even before the ICBM sentries broke down, this mod mix had a rather strong strike against it.  I've been going back and forth about Modular Powersuits.  In my first impressions of it, I thought it was too powerful because I seemed to be getting free energy.  Then I reconsidered: if I have to power the suit, surely it would be better balanced, right?

Well, having just finished spending about a week in a game where I was playing with the modular powersuits with a mod mix that supported powering the suit parts correctly, my verdict is that Machinemuse's idea of "balance" is far different than my own.  I did not get to install all of the modules for the suit, thanks to many of them requiring ender pearls, but I installed enough suit modules to know a raw deal when I saw it.
  • There was no need to mind the wear on my tools: the power fist could do everything at a very high speed with minimal energy cost. 
  • Nor a need to craft torches: a power fist tool shoots out unlimited torches.  It feels cheap: exactly where is the substance for these lamps coming from?
  • 20 diamonds upgraded my armor to such a level that most sources of damage were completely negated, and a few leg modules almost completely removed the weight as an impediment (crossing ice was still quite slow).   I no longer had anything to fear from monsters, although the heat from swimming in lava could overheat the suit and cook me inside of it.
  • The retractable blade upgrade is cheap, and grants unlimited, rapid-fire ranged attacks, albeit with fairly slow projectiles.  There went the bow and arrow balance.
  • Thanks to the shock absorber module, I could (and did) throw myself haphazardly down to the bottom of chasms without needing to worry about taking any damage from it.  
Do you see the problem here?  Basically, having a modular powersuit removed any sense of risk from the game; egads, the suit made things boring!  On top of that, it was incompatible with enchanting, and that's sort of a bummer: I'm earning all these experience points, I want something to do with it.

If I could say anything good came of this particular mod mix, it was that I got to play with Mekanism some more.  The advanced ore processing gave me something I cared to achieve (I got up to tier 2 this time, probably could have done tier 3 easily enough).  The transport pipe mechanisms are a marvelous implementation of something sorely missed from Redpower2.  It's a real winner in terms of the presentation, too; I don't know who did the sound effects for Mekanism, but they deserve kudos for it.

If I have anything against Mekanism, it's that it offers too many avenues for cheap, safe, and unlimited power generation using renewable resources, which makes its balance fall out of alignment with Buildcraft.  But, once you've gone Galacticraft, you've crossed that bridge already (the coal generator is basically a more efficient Stirling Engine with none of the risk or work to pipe water in, and solar energy is always just free energy for building and placing something).  It's entirely possible that Mekanism matches up to Galacticraft better than Buildcraft does, because I'm pretty sure that electric pump will work with oil just fine, and everything else it offers is on the same balance level as Galacticraft.

Anyway, it seems this is a bust.  At this point, I can see one of two major mod mixes being done:
  • If I still want to go to the damn moon with Galacticraft, I can either do it with by customing Minecraft 1.6.4 or I can do it using Tekkit.  I'm leaning customization because Tekkit does not have Mechanism, does not have Mars, and because it does have those overly trivializing Modular Powersuits.  On the other hand, if I did go Tekkit, at least I can leave the technical headaches to them, and I would be able to run an unrelated mix of my mine on the side...
  • Lets say I decide to leave going high tech to the Tekkit crew.  In that case, maybe my own Minecraft client can be customized to be a "fantasy" custom mod mix that focuses on Thaumcraft, Tinker's Construct, and Minecraft Comes Alive.  I could see that as being relatively balanced, but there emerges a certain question of what my actual goal would be, if not to go to the moon (which is, thematically, too high tech).
 I'll sleep on it.  Honestly, at this point, I should seriously consider playing something else for awhile.


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