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Games That Are Currently Ruling My Life (And Why)
Going through the first part of this year, I was stuck in a gaming slump. I wasn’t playing as many games as I had in months and years past, and I was having an identity crisis. I went through musical genres to fill the void, and I tried out new games to try to find a new calling. I went through Top Spin 4 and NBA 2K13, Borderlands 2, and even tried getting back into Skyrim. (Side note: I bought Skyrim when it came out, and played it for over 110 hours in the first week. I am still suffering from burnout.)
Then I decided that something that may bring more excitement into my games was streaming live and hanging out with friends in game and in chat. I played Minecraft with a friend while listening to music, and streamed it live on Twitch. I later played some Puzzle Pirates and did the same thing. I tried streaming The Sims, until I was interrupted to play Minecraft.
After a few days, a friend of mine asked me if I had heard of Minecraft’s Feed The Beast modpack. I hadn’t so I looked into trying it out. This is what rejuvenated my gaming over the course of the last month. I’m going to go into detail now about the three games that are presently holding my collective gaming attention.
Minecraft Feed The Beast (FTB) Ultimate Mod Pack
This mod pack is a combination of other recent mod packs that fall under the collective Feed The Beast system. It is a Minecraft Forge Mod Launcher (FML) pack with dozens of included mods, notably:
- Not Enough Items (NEI) – Essentially a system built into the inventory system in Minecraft to keep track of items included in the current pack, as well as recipes to make them and recipes in which each item is used.
- Buildcraft – One of several mods in the pack that adds complex and advanced machines including hole-digging mining wells, transport pipes and engines, and even a fully functional strip mining quarry.
- Computercraft – Adds computers and other related devices like floppy disks. Also adds a computer based robot called a turtle that can be automated to fulfill many different tasks from woodcutting to mining to lumberjacking, given a limited knowledge of LUA scripting or an ability to peruse pastebin.
- Equivalent Exchange 3 (EE3) – Allows the use of a Minium stone created with items dropped by mobs to transform items into equivalently valued objects or upgrade items by combining them into higher value items. (For example: four gold bars can be combined with a charge from the Minium stone to create a diamond)
- Forestry – Adds bees and beekeeping, as well as several other interesting mechanics like tree breeding, automatic farms, and a mail system, in addition extra portable storage backpacks.
- Industrialcraft 2 (IC2) – Adds other advanced machines (some of which perform similar tasks as Buildcraft machines) that run on electricity generated from generators rather than Buildcraft engines.
- Mystcraft – Allows the creation of dimension shifting link-books to travel to created realms based on pages placed into the binding of the books.
- PortalGun – For those familiar with the Portal games, this adds several usable Portal guns with few limits, which can be used to travel between two alterable locations at will.
- Railcraft – Fleshes out the minecart system to include steam powered locomotives as well as more advanced train systems.
- Thaumcraft – Adds magic to the game, allowing the controllable enchantment of several pieces of equipment, in addition to other interesting effects like aura and flux creating wisps (both friendly and hostile).
- Twilight Forest – Adds an entirely new dimension to the game with interesting bosses to kill and loot to be earned.
This is only a list of mods that I’ve experienced first hand and of which I recognized the influence. The pack has dozens more mods that affect the play of the game, and adjust the difficulty balance (GregTech), that to list them here would take all day.
The draw of this mod pack for me was the massive amount of new content that is in the game to utilize. While playing on a standard Minecraft server, you don’t realize how truly barren the underground world really is until you play a pack that adds so much. The feeling of always coming across something keeps mining interesting, and finding things that can be used to make huge, powerful, or fantastic devices like armor and mining equipment is what kept me playing this game all night and into the next day on several occasions last week.