Factorio!

Yeah, but it should be the fun part of complex, because it’s more interconnected and more than one way to build something. Without biters there’s no real pressure.

Sea block? Sea block is just angel-bob but where I think you get minerals and ores from processing water. The real difference is that in the normal game you can build anywhere you want, but then have to deal with the transportation. In Sea block you expand your base area through landfill, but you have to produce that as well, so you are constantly spatially confined and so have to build things in the most compacted way.

I haven’t tried it but it seems more gimmicky and I don’t think it plays all that differently.

Absolutely. It really looks like an interesting mod and seems to be gaining interest.

This is very off topic… But not so much. I’m putting it here for the people who might be looking here… for a suggestion.

I don’t know what’s happening this year, but I’m finding the best games of my entire life, and they seem to appear out of nothing even if they’ve always been there. Earlier this year I discovered Factorio with mods, this summer I got into Rimworld (I, and this forum, we’ve been fans of Dwarf Fortress from the beginning, discussing it here before it was known to the world, I even gave Tarn Adams my webserver for client mirrors when it got popular).

Now everything’s happening this week. Three days ago I discovered Tarkov singleplayer with mods. The following day I discovered a wonderful game that is a DF-like, Rimworld-like, Songs of Syx. This one written in java but running at 20% CPU on my 13+ years old pc. With 70 villagers… for a game with a population cap of 15k. I played it for 18 hours. In the same day. It’s an extremely relaxing Dwarf Fortress that does everything right (DF is a mess of a game that is a masterpiece, but does everything wrong from game design perspective, this one is the opposite, it’s very simple but it’s designed with brilliance). I suppose the game wants you to accelerate some activities, since it allows to speed up the time. But I never hit that button. It’s zen like experience I kept sometime running on its own, just me watching or doing some other stuff while it kept running in the background. It has a beautiful music that never stopped. After 18 hours it’s now seared into my brain and now it continues even when the game is closed.

I’ve read the developer plans to expand it for the next few… YEARS. This now joins the group of games that have a permanent place on the disk. The forever games.

And, speaking about forever games written in Java, I found something that melted my brain. I don’t even know why I completely missed this and how it’s even possible that it exists: Minecraft.

Well, of course I knew Minecraft already, and in fact, speaking of this forum, we didn’t just discover DF when it wasn’t know (and contributed to make it popular), but Minecraft too. Actually I think I also a played a very earlier tech demo where there was nothing to do.

But what I found out yesterday wasn’t just Minecraft, but Minecraft… with mods. But not just mods. GregTech. But not just GregTech, mod packs with hundreds of mods, built as total overhauls (what’s known as “Feed the Beast”). But not just modpacks. GTNH.

So I love these humongous projects that humble human life itself. Same as I was looking for the most complex Factorio mod offering gameplay in the thousands hours. Here comes “GTNH”. There’s a “version” of GTNH that is much simplified and streamlined. A guy on reddit completed this other version, here is what he said:

ewrgfrg

… And here’s GTNH:

photo_2021-09-19_18-07-28

photo_2021-09-19_18-07-37

photo_2021-09-19_18-07-42

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photo_2021-09-19_18-07-52

ergerfg

Now, this is of course a meme of an hardcore mod and its “length”, but you have to believe me, it’s incredible. This is not just artificial extension of playtime, nor it’s one of those insanity mods that are unplayable, messy and broken.

This is… well thought and well designed. Even more surprising for this kind of mods, it has the BEST TUTORIAL I’ve ever seen. Hardcore mods are for hardcore players. Try playing Stalker Anomaly (or Tarkov) or Jagged Alliance 2 with 1.13 and Aimnas, and see how it goes if you don’t already know those games extremely well.

This one is insanity, but it’s also perfectly accessible. Because you spawn with a book. And this book has ONE THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED tutorial quests. It takes your hand gently and explains everything STEP BY STEP, through the WHOLE GAME. It gives simple quests with objectives and rewards, telling you exactly what to do and how from the first moment in the game. It even gives you coins that you can then spend on a page to obtain some other rewards.

It’s tiered. It has 200+ mods, but organized so they are far more than stuff bundled together. They are built into one experience so that they all depend on each other, and they are made tiered so that there’s a linear progression through the whole game. Those are the 4000 hours, because it’s not just one messy sandbox, but it has this linear life quest with linear goals… It just happens to be so huge that it borders on the eternal.

I don’t know how this thing can exist, and why I never heard about it. Because, again, this is fun and incredibly accessible (a few caveats, you have to pull out from the inside a mod titled HardcoreDarkness that makes night too pitch black and it’s a bit overkill).

From the first second in the game everything’s different, because you cannot even make an axe out of wood, and even the crafting table is built in a completely different way. It’s not a huge mod that extends the game, it’s a total overhaul that gives you a COMPLETELY different gameplay right as you step into the game. Actually, the assumptions, the knowledge you have about the game, will work against you, because you will try to do stuff that does not work, and doesn’t need to be done at that moment (for example, I wanted to dig and so I kept trying making torches… but that’s not the right way).

But that’s why it’s brilliant. Here you don’t go and “play Minecraft” as you expect. You instead open the book tutorial, and learn.

Trust the tutorial.

An hardcore, humongous game. With an hand-holding brilliant tutorial. This must be a miracle.

(and I’m off, working on some weird performance kinks that I need to solve…)

P.S.
I still have no idea how to install this. There are some launchers they use, Technic, MC. I’ve just done everything manually, getting the curse 1.7.10 client (because this runs on the older 1.7.10, as all of the GregTech based mods), and then the mod from here: Index of /Dev-Pack/Pack/Client/
And since I’m nuts I got that dev pack test client. For the “stable” version go up a few directories…

…This takes more than 5 minutes even to load. But then it’s AMAZING.

And it’s basically Factorio in Minecraft, but with A LOT MORE.

P.P.S.
I also wanted to add that if I had found out Minecraft when I was young… Then it would have easily become my dream game. But I never got into it, because it’s… Minecraft. It’s not intuitive to play without reading guides, and the bigger problem is that it’s a kind of aimless sandbox. So playing on my own I always reached the point where the immediate “survival” pressures like finding basic equipment (iron → build some armor) and food were solved… and it was game over because I lacked an immediate, interesting goal to pursue (and I’m not the type of player that spends hours decorating, unless there’s something else that sustains the activity).

This mod fixed this. Because, again, of the wonderful tutorial. Now I got stuff to do, and it’s the game that tells me what and how. And it’s still the same sandbox, so I can go at my pace, and can do what I want, if I want. It’s perfection made into a game.

I’ve been wanting to make a post about Minecraft mods for a while, since I’ve been diving in to quite a few of them lately. But this isn’t really the thread for it, so I’ll just add I’ve really enjoyed Engineer’s Life 2 (for a tech-focused pack that also adds farming, new enemies, and a more complex food system) and Valhelsia 3 (for a bit-of-everything pack that has some tech, some magic, and lots of exploration and adventuring). Neither I think are quite as crazy as Gregtech, but they offer a lot to do and are mostly well-documented with quests in the same way.

By the way, this isn’t GregTech. This is a modpack, based on GregTech.

Now… GregTech is on version 6, standalone. It’s now its own thing.

GregTech 6 was basically a brand new start, it simplifies and streamlines a few things, add something else. I’ve read people that GT6 isn’t as good as GT5, because there’s less chemistry, and it’s more focused on industry instead.

So, for some players the “true” hardcore “microcrafting” GregTech is GT5.

Then… GT5 was usually smashed into these huge modpacks, built so they added GT5 together other massive mods, to create these humongous games. And there are the “Feed the Beast” packs. The one “simplified” version I mentioned in the post is “Interactions”, the one that takes ~700 hours to complete.

GT New Horizons (GTNH) is the most humongous of all the modpacks. So GregTech 5 is only one… out of 255 other mods, big (huge) and small. And not only, because this is an extension of an extension of GT5, called CT5U, then maintained by the community, itself extended by another named GT++… plus all the other stuff.

So even if GT5 is the old, abandoned version, it actually isn’t because it lives on… in other forms.

These things take a life of their own.

(other absurd stuff I read about is Psi, a magic mod that creates spells as if they are coded in a mix of icon based grid and assembler, or NuclearCraft… where you build a “realistic” nuclear reactor.)

There’s something I can ask you.

How is this client/server thing working? Because I of course only want to play locally in single player, but I looked up Valhelsia 3 and it comes with client and server. But the client is just 33Mb. So I suppose it needs the server to run locally?

Because I was looking at GTNH and I only used the client. And if I load the server I think it uses up the 6-8Gb of memory just for it, so I probably end up with client+server taking up to 16Gb.

I’m not sure what’s the standard way of doing things (without multiplayer).

I don’t know the complete answer because frankly, I always just use a launcher to install and handle all of that. When you download a mod or a modpack through, say, Curseforge, it basically creates a new installation of Minecraft with a new profile and installs all your mods to it. So each mod is kept entirely separate from the others and there’s no weird cross-pollination, and you can launch the game with whatever mod or modpack right from that client.

But I think you’ve got the right idea. You should just need the client install. The server install would be what you put on a multiplayer server.

This looks amazing! Thanks for pointing it out.

GTHN sounds interesting as well, except for the whole Minecraft part. I personally prefer the overhead/isometric 2D games like DF/Rimworld/etc., so Songs is so much more attractive. Same reason I just can’t do Satisfactory.

EDIT: Has a demo even!

And it’s not just that. Songs of Syx is Dwarf Fortress 1.0.

There was a huge, conceptual difference between first and second gen Dwarf Fortress, and while the game gained a lot of variety and richness, it also lost some magic it will never get back…

Back with DF1 the fun thing was sharing your fortress. There were no “z-levels” so everything was on the same screen. You could build these humongous fortresses and they all fit into one giant map/screen. The coolest thing is that every player ended up with a different construction style, so it was fun to see what other people built.

Songs of Syx is again DF1 style. No z-levels, and it has a UI button that does just that, take a single screen of the whole map.

(Another great feature has been a pet peeve of mine since day 1 in DF. I like more to keep small communities than exponential growth (and also why I’m more fond of Rimworld, that also lets you compartmentalize groups and areas, and even maintain multiple colonies in different parts of the map). In DF you either cap the population, or you cheese the mechanic by killing immigrants. In Songs of Syx you just press a button when immigrants are available, whenever you want.)

Of course people are going quite crazy.

…This is instead mine.

(to notice the L shaped wall slightly on the left, between two buildings, that was built as an attempt to block the noise made by the carpenter above that would invade the dormitory right under it…)

Agreed. I love me some DF (though it’s been a couple years since I gave it a go) and while I absolutely see and respect the vision that the Adams’ have for their game, and I 100% see how adding the third dimension is part of that, I think there’s a complexity cliff that comes with, uh, literal cliffs, and there’s really no going back.

Adding z-levels makes sense from a logical progression perspective and it does add some interesting gameplay, but I agree that I really like the ‘flat’ nature of Factorio/RimWorld/etc. The beta update that just came out for Songs today is pretty huge too. Looks like great stuff.

It was pretty easy to install using CurseForge, but then the very first page of the quest book says there are problems with Curse installations.

I installed it with the Technic launcher without any problems. Thanks for the tip.

I’m now using MultiMC: https://github.com/MultiMC/MultiMC5
https://multimc.org/

This allows to download packages from curse, FTB and Technic. Or manually.

(caveat, with certain packages the installation returns an error about renaming a directory override. This seems caused by antivirus programs, even if they don’t return errors. Disabling it will fix the issue)

Using curse or FTB you can select the version of the pack, but the problem here is that once you have your thing there’s no way to automate an update, when a new version comes out.

In the end there might be some tricky parts to manage updates, like having to update the quest manual. So it still needs some understanding and manual work…

The good thing about MultiMC is that it doesn’t depend on original Minecraft and keeps the whole thing “portable”, without putting files into C:

To upgrade a package you probably have to create a new instance and then copy the directories manually.

I tried a few things. FTB Interaction… I don’t like much because it spawns you in the void and makes you work on tons of absurd recipes before you even set a foot in the overworld.

Then I tried Divine Journey 2… And this one feels a lot more barebone and standard than GTNH. The beginning is a lot more vanilla, but for example here you create the axe before you create the construction bench. This mod seems… another progression monster: https://i.redd.it/huwbtzcbu5k71.png

And since I now absolutely love quest-based progression, this one has 1600 quests.

Then I also got Enigmatica 2: Expert, but I didn’t have time even to boot it once. But these three packs plus GTNH the king is what got most of my attention, reading the comments around, including Valhelsia 3 mentioned above.

(In most of these packs you may want to use Optifine for better performance. Most packs are either based on Minecraft 1.7.10 or 1.12.2, so if you want to use Optifine you can simply dump the jar file into the mod directory of the pack. It should load automatically.)

Oh, and the Songs of Syx patch notes:

  • Children. Walks around and eats your food while contributing to nothing.

…It’s getting a bit out of hands.

(…a few weeks later…)

(all of these VERY important, with “All in One” and “Hundred Days of One Block” being exceptions since I was curious, but they can be removed from Noteworthy List. RLCraft is a popular mod, but also not relevant here since it’s just an RPG-like, not factory/automatization)

I shall keep this widget updated, since I lose track of things myself.

  • Divine Journey 2 and GTNH are the giant progress quest mods.

  • GTNH and FTB Interactions are the two based on GregTech, but Interactions starts in the void and the standard survival gameplay seems diminished. Both are tech-based progress, but Interactions is based on a community port of GT that should be more limited and incomplete. GTNH has arguably the best oldschool, complete and well integrated version of GregTech that isn’t 6.

  • Valhelsia 3 is giant, but is “kitchen sink” style and despite it’s well done and curated, it’s more a giant collection of mods, and doesn’t have quests to structure the progression. So it’s more an open sandbox. (a quest extension seems to be in development)

  • Both Valhelsia 3 and Enigmatica 2 have PSI, a very interesting “magic programming” mod.

  • Multiblock Madness is the only one to have NuclearCraft and QMD (for nuclear reactors and particle accelerators…). It is progress-quest based, but mostly pure tech. Not GregTech, though.

  • Bears Den Surviving Take 2 and Terra Firma Rescue and the only two modpacks I found that include GregTech 6. Bears Den is up to date, Terra Firma is on a few months old version, but has quest based progression.

…So all of these have different things I want to see. I want the quest based progression, I want to see Psi, OpenComputers and NuclearCraft, and I also wants to see how GregTech 6 works.

(A few days later… I’m digging down this rabbit hole. I’m not just expanding the number of modpacks I’m downloading, but now also studying them and braking them apart to assemble a custom one that joins a lot of content + the latest GregTech 6 + all the Reika mods, known as RotaryCraft & companions… Reika having a degree in aerospace engineering, and having made the most uncompromising complex technical mods. Long story short: these are all about design, and the author doesn’t want modpack makers to compromise the radical design quality of the mod, so more or less forbids/restricts modifications to the recipes. The end result is that both Reika mods and GregTech, especially the newer versions, very rarely show in modpacks.)

Hey, guys…

There are reasons for what I do :)

This isn’t about discussing Minecraft, but about suggesting other “games” that directly target the same player-type of Factorio. That’s why I didn’t even know this stuff existed, since I generally do not care about Minecraft. Now I discovered a whole new world.

All those modpacks I listed are all directly tied to the same Factorio type of tech progression. Most Minecraft players, in a similar way, probably know this stuff exists, and do not care.

That’s fair, I guess. It’s just that I’m the opposite. My kids play Minecraft all the time and I’m sick of hearing about it :P

A similar type game coming out in 2 weeks (with free demo out now) that Factorio fans might want to check out.

Riftbreaker

Like a MUCH flashier and polished version of Factorio that plays up the hostile wildlife a hell of a lot more, while moderately simplifying the supply chains.

I’m thinking we play Factorio in very different ways.