Minecraft: Regrowth – We Have Liftoff!

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It figures. I just have a tech kind of mind.

Magic mods a plenty in this pack, and I just haven’t gotten deep enough into any one of them to do the flying thing.

Or the buffing with magic potions and brews thing. Or the fighting badass bosses thing.

All I do is run around, harvest crops aimlessly while watching Netflix in the other screen, and wonder what to do next.

Somehow, it occurred to me tonight that I wanted to fly.

And Mekanism has a jetpack.

Perfect.

Some machinery and messing with gas tanks later (it’s fueled with hydrogen gas, that one gets by separating water into hydrogen and oxygen), I now have lots more freedom to move in the z-axis.

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Bird’s eye view of the base, with farm compound on the left, an artificial mini-lake area that is housing my basic attempts at Forestry tree-breeding (we need the ocean biome climate for bees to function, hence the weird outcroppings over the ocean) and the more haphazard original machine-centric starting area on the right.

I’m in a bit of a weird place right now with most of my games, and Minecraft is no exception.

I feel like I need a more focused goal, except that I can’t really decide on anything, and I’m afraid of deciding on anything because I know it’s going to take a lot longer to complete than I’d like and involve too much focus that I can’t spare right now.

So I avoid declaring that I’m going to do my second map complete in GW2 or build a dedicated room/area/building to properly and fully explore a Minecraft mod like Thaumcraft, Botania, Blood Magic or Mekanism…

…and instead run around for an hour or two, collecting resources of all types and chucking them into storage, awaiting the later half of the year where I can -hopefully- throw center focus back on gaming again.

On the bright side, I am seeing visible progress on the long procrastinated-on decluttering project. Still not as quick as I’d like, but we -are- talking about literal decades of stuff fossilizing and moldering in place and insufficient hours in a week (after work, raids and dailies) to attack the mess.

Ah well, it’s gonna be like building a Legendary in reverse. A little here and there, with occasional bouts of focused effort.

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Minecraft: Regrowth – Couple Steps Forward, Couple Steps Back

I’m not sure what possessed me, but I spent most of the last few nights making the second level of my to-be modern farm looking pretty:

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The stairs down, courtesy of stone bricks stairs and stone brick slabs.

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The second floor with 12 crop beds in various stages of complete.

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The stairs leading down to the next floor, which has barely been dug out yet.

It took a frightening amount of time to decide on nice textures. As in, practically the whole night and then some.

The Chisel mod for Minecraft allows you to make common items like dirt and cobblestone and stone into other blocks with a vast array of textures.

There was a lot of stopping and starting and test-laying of “hrm, is this pretty?” blocks in a row, before I settled on Compressed Cobble-Dirt for the square frame marking the growing areas, and filling in the extra perimeter space with Polished Stone Bricks, lighter in color than regular Stone Bricks.

I actually hit a small watery alcove to the outside in the far corner, and decided not to brick it up entirely. Going to lay in some clear glass eventually and have a window that will let me see if it’s day or night.

The sprinkler system isn’t all the way in yet, but I extended the water tank into this layer and I -think- it will work.

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But then again, what do I know?

My old growing hall has finally hit a snag. Apparently, there is a limit to the horizontal distance that water will travel down these irrigation channels.

I painstakingly made Osmium Seeds the other night, which will eventually produce a metal I need for progressing further into the Mekanism mod. Only to discover that my sprinklers, well, aren’t sprinkling well.

The last sprinkler has a tendency to dry up and not sprinkle. That’s the sprinkler that’s supposed to speed the growth of the Osmium crop.

To make matters worse, checking on the water tank outside revealed that the water was getting sucked out faster than the one poor pump could replace.

I tried a stopgap measure of stacking the wooden tank blocks up to make a bigger water tank, and replacing the piping with a Mekanism pipe with better flow rate (all the better to drown you with, my dear):

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I seem to have made matters worse. The water just whooshes out of the water tank now.

Apparently growing some 50+ crop types with two sprinklers per crop goes through a high water volume. Who’d have thunk?

I am now debating with myself if it’s worth making a few more pumps to see if I can refill the water tank fast enough.

The alternative is figuring out whatever clever means of redstone or Buildcraft programming is available in this mod to shut the irrigation channel valve periodically, say, whenever the water tank is empty, so that the pump can fill it, and to open the valve to activate the sprinkler system when the tank is full.

Or it could make my head hurt and I’d say fuck it and use the manual route of accomplishing the same thing. Which is to just flip the lever that is currently next to the irrigation channel valve on and off, whenever I walk by or want to regrow some crops after harvesting. (After all, it is a bit of a waste to have it always-on when I barely harvest any crops most of the time.)

Either way, it’s still not going to solve the issue of reach, though.

So the other solution is to make a secondary water tank somewhere in the middle of the growing hall, and maybe install a pump system to fill -that- tank up. Maybe that’ll take some of the pressure off.

Who knows. The only thing I do know is that it’s going to take more than one night to resolve.

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The really casual bee breeding continues. I extended out the platform to accommodate more Apiaries.

After perplexing myself with one too many hybrid bees, I managed to force myself to sit (or fast-forward) through a few longwinded Youtube tutorial videos.

While I still don’t really have a clue as to the more industrial, automated parts of bee breeding yet, my take home was that if I was going to climb up to more sophisticated bees, I was going to need some hives producing pure stocks of the lower-rung bees.

So that’s what I’ve been trying to do. For every variant of bee currently in my possession, trying to force them to breed true to each other. And then using a few of those spare bees in crossbreeding attempts to get them to the next rung of bee tiers.

It is still not terribly easy going.

Mostly because Princesses and Queens are limited, I think. As far as I can figure out, you have to pull these breeder bees from wild hives, and I’ve depleted every wild hive in a fairly large radius around my base already.

If I want a pure breeding stock of one line, that’s one Princess/Queen dedicated to the job. That means no more Princess/Queen to crossbreed into another line.

Then I have to breed/mutate a new Princess/Queen up to the same level in order to crossbreed beyond…

…unless I’m missing something. Which I could very well be.

Oh well, live and learn.

Minecraft: Regrowth – The Expansioning

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There’s something about Regrowth that checks nearly all my boxes.

I really like the feeling that I’m solely responsible for populating a nearly barren world with life again, similar to a skyblock, minus the scary stress of falling off a floating island into the void or feeling obliged to put down a -floor- everywhere.

Not to mention, if you gave me creator responsibility for floors, they’ll wind up all flat, because I’m lazy, and I’ll go for the easiest way out.

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Adding trees and grass and plants and flowers organically though, that I can do.

There’s something special about wandering through the dark night and dull brown wasteland and being able to find your way back to your base, because it is the only brightly torch-lit green and growing oasis in a sea of cracked sand.

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It’s the best of both worlds – ample room to spread out (just takes a little filling in and landscaping) yet it bears the stamp of something intensely personal and handbuilt.

I’m especially fond of how organic the process is, since I’m not much of an aesthetic builder. I clear room for myself because I want to put something functional there.

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This tiny outpost across a short sea channel from my original base? Placed there once upon a time for the purposes of Enderman hunting, because I couldn’t find any in my carefully dug moat-surrounded well-lit compound.

Regrowth being Regrowth, I have crops for that now.

It makes you invest effort gaining the initial resource to make the seeds. Then, after the growing and breeding process is past, you’ve unlocked the key to nearly infinite resources… given sufficient planting room, some means of coaxing the crops into growing quickly, and ways to harvest them.

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A dinky little growing and cross-breeding chamber is soon outgrown and obsolete.

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Which leads to something slightly more ambitious… except that further expansion space has been blocked by another room existing behind said wall…

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And so we expand into the next room, dug deep into a convenient side of the mountain (the tallest around, a rare sight as one happened to spawn in a Mountainous Wasteland biome, surrounded by ordinary flat Wasteland and Ocean and Beach biomes.)

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Which has, over time, become one VERY long, sprinkler-fed hallway containing every crop discovered so far, a precious underground seed bank in a mountain bunker far from harm.

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Outside, an incongruous sight floats, against the background of my little hobbit hole in the side of a mountain.

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Functionality overtaking aesthetics, as is the case of most of my machines. I’m unfamiliar with most of the things I try, so it’s all about just getting them to -work-. Functional = success, as far as I’m concerned.

An Agricraft wooden water tank was initially built and expanded, in the hopes of catching sufficient rain. It soon became obvious that neither it, nor the Railcraft water tank originally attached to it, was going to cut it, hence the installation of a Buildcraft pump, powered by three cheap ‘free’ wooden engines, pumping water from a 3×3 infinite water source.

Even the world’s longest crop corridor turned out to be lacking, in the sense that it wasn’t generating sufficient quantities of desired resources.

The second generation, slightly-more-modern, perhaps-one-day-automated farm, became a project on a somewhat more ambitious scale.

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Not even the slighest bit complete, the originally intended building for one’s house/base/inventory storage has been taken over by a sudden spurt of interest in unlocking bits of Thaumcraft4 (hence the magic workbenches visible in the farm.)

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The ground floor has now been hijacked for Essentia distillation and housing in Warded Jars.

Walking to the modern farm compound from the original hobbit hole base is a short trip through several naturally occuring caves.

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Just a couple days ago, I finally installed a functional cobblestone bridge after getting tired of sinking into the deep water of this half-submerged cavern.

The cave before this one used to  be smaller, but got hijacked as an underground peat bog while I was on a peat-fired engine Nether quarry phase.

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Which then got widened out further and little wood frames installed to make harvesting peat slightly more convenient, without getting randomly washed around by the water sources necessary for making peat.

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I’m now in a minor bee phase. It might be my first serious attempt at exploring Forestry’s Bees and Magic Bees and Extra Bees mods.

For now, it’s very low tech, taking up the room previously occupied by some lower-end machines and pipes, but ill-formed plans are already spinning around in my head to develop things on a slightly grander scale.

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The machinery, meanwhile, has moved slightly further inland.

I made a very low-power input system for squeezing crops into fruit juice, which then goes into a fermenter to produce biomass for a biogas engine. (Except the squeezer which used to be there has now been hijacked to produce Seed Oil elsewhere.)

Progress has been more satisfying ever since I realized I’d actually unlocked steel ingots, which then opened up the Mekanism mod, a source of a lot more predictable and reliable tech machines and pipes and RF cables that work much more like the Thermal Expansion or Ender IO stuff I’d gotten spoiled with in prior modpacks.

(I’m sure Buildcraft pipes have a lot more sophistication I’m still failing to appreciate, since there are apparently gates that allow for some really complicated and specific programming.

But you know, most days, you just want your tap to work when you turn the faucet knob and don’t really feel the need to -have- to program an Arduino-controlled garden sprinkler cum fish tank aquaponic system just to get some water.)

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There’s still plenty of room for haphazard machinery, of course. Mostly brought on by the fact that I don’t actually -have- that much -safe- building space, nor much of a plan where machinery is concerned.

In the foreground is a legacy experiment to process Oil into Fuel. Said Fuel was successfully produced, and then hoarded, since the original resource is limited and I don’t like non-renewable power.

Somewhere in the center is my slightly larger 2×2 Liquid Fueled Firebox at the base of a steel 2x2x3 High Pressure Boiler tank, with some parts cannibalized from my original mimum size experiments with liquid fueled boilers.

The really nice thing about it is that it burns up Creosote Oil, an otherwise nigh-useless byproduct of Coke Ovens, which I use to make Coal Coke (necessary in the process of steel-ingot production) from an absolutely renewable source of Coal grown from Regrowth crops.

It produces a sizeable quantity of steam.

This was originally directly hooked up to an Industrial Steam Engine, except that I noticed a fairly noticeable quantity of Creosote Oil was being burned up to heat the firebox to steam-producing temperatures, and that the Engine wasn’t quite coping with the amount of steam produced and was threatening to overheat, necessitating the steam supply to be shut off and left in the boiler “wasted.”

Enter the fairly ambitious (for me) Steel Tank project to hold a large quantity of steam in reserve.

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This multi-block structure can hold up to 10,976 buckets of steam. (And yes, I ran out of space to put it, and thus decided to float it.)

It can probably power a whole array of Industrial Steam Engines, except that I’ve still been too lazy to make more, nor do I have the need for that much more power just yet.

It’s likely just a matter of time though.