Minecraft: Regrowth – First Thoughts

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Minecraft: Regrowth is a modpack with an interesting premise. You awaken in a wasteland of nothing, dead trees, dead rock, dead everything.

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If you’re lucky, you find a pool of oil near your front doorstep / spawn point.

From this auspicious beginning, your task (if you choose to accept it) is to bring life back into the world.

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That mini-forest and grass patch is entirely man-made.

It’s a modpack that doesn’t believe in hardcore pwning you the minute you walk out your front door (which is a very strong point in its favor after trying out mods like Crash Landing or Void World, where I tend to lose patience with urban city fighting fending off an army of crazily modded zombies and skeletons, never-ending thanks to strategically placed and nearly impossible to find spawners)…

…but cleaves to a philosophy of removing the (often easier) standard “go-to” tech mods like Minefactory Reloaded, Thermal Expansion, Extra Utilities etc. in favor of walking you through less explored mods of a nature and magic flavor, such as Botania, Agricraft, Magic Crops and Witchery.

A few tech mods are still present, but mostly of the less explored, slightly more tedious/grindy variety, Buildcraft, Railcraft, and Mariculture being some of those you’ll be asked to learn and progress through before reaching the ability to comfortably make a Tinker’s Smeltery.

It’s quite a well done progression, helped along by a very comprehensive HQM quest book that walks you step-wise through unfamliar mods and always provides multiple goals to be working toward at any one point.

The overall feeling is that of a relaxing, growing/farming progression, that gives you sufficient time and space to build however you wish.

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In my case, that’s still pretty much a functional home of the ‘hole in the ground’ variety.

I find it quite impossible to break the habit somehow. I vaguely considered flattening out a huge open space on which to grow squares and lines of crops out in the world, but my spawn point happened to be in the Arid Mountains biome and the landscape was just too daunting to consider massive terraforming.

Besides, a gigantic walled compound was so… ugly.

(I ended up digging a 3 deep moat around the outside of my base to demarcate a relative safe area with torches to prevent monster spawns. This has the advantage of being almost invisible to the eye, if you’re not looking directly at it.)

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While the experimental industry is left outside, most of the really valuable stuff happens inside:

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My initial hobbit hole with resource storage / crafting chamber and a lower room for initial experimental Botania flowers and crop growing.

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A week later, it’s significantly more upgraded, and starting to reach the limits of its confines.

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I was perhaps a little foolishly optimistic in thinking this tiny chamber would be sufficient. It’s now been more or less converted into the initial crossbreeding zone – one produces new crops/seeds by crossing two existing crops such as those dandelions produced by crossing sugarcane and melons (don’t ask.)

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It turns out that seeds can increase in strength and growing speed and yield, and the easiest fire and forget method of propagation (since weeds are disabled in Regrowth and you don’t have to hover anxiously over the crops ready to smite them) is to stretch them out in a long line.

By the time the seeds propagate themselves to the end of the line, that last seed is often at the ideal 10/10/10 stats, or close to it (whereupon you start the line again.)

My second growth room was stymied by my poor architectural planning. I couldn’t widen it any further because there are mushroom corridors along the right wall that don’t appreciate any light being let in, and on the left, those windows pretty much overlook the sea.

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Third time lucky. (We hope.) Left and right views of the slightly more industrial sized underground farm.

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The sprinkler system is newly installed. One is still working out the kinks. Several water tanks are connected to it outside but it’s been proving really hard to create an infinite water supply in Regrowth without my standard easy way out of an aqueous accumulator.

I think my only hope at this point is to use a Buildcraft pump (which requires me growing redstone) and a 3×3 infinite water source.

It will also involve some wrangling with Buildcraft pipes, which I honestly quite loathe after getting used to the more flexible and intuitive Itemducts and Fluiducts from Thermal Expansion via Agrarian Skies or the conduits of Ender IO via Wanderlust Reloaded.

Buildcraft pipes feel like a massive programming throwback to something decades earlier where you have to specify -everything-, starting from the extraction wooden pipe (that apparently has to be powered by a separate engine, which in turn has to be powered by a redstone lever – unless I’m misunderstanding something) and then the actual transport itself requires differently colored pipes made out of different materials specifying the speed at which it travels and then god forbid you want to do something complicated while stuff is in the pipes because that requires more pipe colors to sort/divide/filter and so on.

Well, we’ll see. Regrowth leaves me with no choice but to learn how to manage it (or forcibly custom install another mod, but that feels like cheating) so manage it we shall, for the time being.

It’s like how I’ve started wrangling with Railcraft’s Steam Boilers and really primitive-feeling steam engines (which I hear can explode if you treat them badly, like pour water into an empty overheated steam boiler) because I don’t have anything more modern on hand and I need -some- amount of RF power.

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The beginning of the experimental ‘machines’ phase. I decided to do a more Agrarian Skies-like floating cobblestone platform to house the machine experiments.

I figure if things really go badly and explode, everything will just fall into the ocean and I can do recovery from there.

No doubt I will have to widen it further as time goes by, but at least there’s potential for a nearly infinite flat space in this direction.

Definitely a modpack worth trying.

Just don’t say I didn’t warn you if you go silent for several weeks and no one hears from you in a while. *coughs*

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4 thoughts on “Minecraft: Regrowth – First Thoughts

  1. TeriShelly says:

    Have been thinking of giving this modpack a try. Looks really interesting. I get a bit overwhelmed if there’s a lot of technical stuff though – keep having to read and re read the HQM to remember what to do which gets a bit annoying. That said after reading this I’m tempted to download it and at least try it out.

  2. asiekierka says:

    Heh. BuildCraft’s pipe system is, indeed, designed to be rather explicit in terms of having the user think about the process of transporting items.

    For transport itself, you don’t actually need anything more than a wooden pipe for extraction and a stone pipe for transport. I do admit that the amount of pipes can be quite overwhelming at first, but for a lot of things you really don’t need much more than the “wood/stone/iron/gold/diamond” set BC originally started out with. (Of course, BC can be far more powerful – lenses, filters, gates, filtered extraction, etc.!)

    Thinking about it in terms of a rules-based machine helps – that is, “Pipe X does process Y on every item traveling through it” (wood extracts, cobblestone/stone/quartz moves, iron moves everything to a specific side, gold accelerates, diamond sorts, void destroys, et cetera.) Admittedly, there are a few too many pipe types, but some (sandstone) are kept for aesthetics and some (lapis/daizuli/emzuli) are kept because while there are better methods out there (lenses and filters for color-tagging items), they do not have 100% coverage of the pipe types’ functionality.

    • Jeromai says:

      After some study of it, I don’t mind the explicitness that much per se, as that probably allows for more flexible and powerful applications down the road. Design choice is design choice, though cuboid multicolored pipes do kinda look aesthetically ugly. 😉

      What -does- still drive me nuts is that every wooden extraction pipe appears to have a need to be powered, in order to pull out from inventories or pull fluids uphill.

      At the early stages of tech, the only thing that I can come up with is a cheap Wooden Engine (think it’s called Redstone Engine in non-Regrowth places) attached to each and every wooden pipe. That engine in turn needs a lever, so two extra blocks of space are taken up, making the whole machinery look unwieldy and inelegant.

      • asiekierka says:

        That is a true sentiment indeed. (And I do agree the pipes are aesthetically lacking, however you can colour the glass inside pipes nowadays for added aesthetic effect and easily separating pipes! We’ve been looking into different textures for quite a while, but I guess we’re just too used to the current ones.)

        Our current solution in BuildCraft for the “power problem” is the late-game Gates with an Autarchic Pulsar expansion, letting you use a Gate to control the feeding of power to a pipe.

        The reason engines are used instead of direct connections is primarily because other RF producers can give you far faster extraction – the Gates do as well (if you enable the “Energy Pulsar” action multiple times, each time doubles the speed). I do know that an average RF producer in just BuildCraft creates far more energy than necessary for just one pipe (and there’s no capacitor/battery system in BC), however, so BC 7.1 brought a Power Adapter, letting you use a Kinesis Pipe to split one Stirling Engine’s power between multiple pipes. It’s probably still too expensive to be something used too often, though, as for most early-game use cases Redstone Engines are enough.

        I am aware that the whole idea of even using (small amounts of) power to extract items is archaic, however I do not see it going away any time soon – especially as it is primarily an early-game issue, due to the availability of Autarchic Gates in the later game. What BuildCraft really needs is an up-to-date manual, but designing one hasn’t really been easy: I believe that neither WAILA nor an in-game book are the perfect solution.

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