Get It Right

I’ve been watching little bits and pieces of Soaryn’s Forgecraft (this will be gone in 2 months, fyi) and it was funny to see him retracing the same steps of ChosenArchitect.

Soaryn is testing Neoforge on 20.4, so dealing with MI, whereas ChosenArchitect is on 20.1, dealing with GTCEu Modern.

Exhibiting the same issues and ultimate aversion to this flavor of tech…

Both start steam age with full AE2 systems. They start at the end, so to speak.

The interesting part here is that they expose an inherent flaw in GT design. Soaryn was adamant NOT HAVING a compressor for the plates. Why? Because he’d rather order tons of hammers and then craft as many plates he needs at once. This type of behavior cascades on everything else. Why have all these machines all sort of nested recipes, with big motors containing smaller motors, containing other components, in a neverending microcrafting spiral?

This problem is made worse in modern iterations of GT. Originally, and still in GT6, the mod is designed around the concept of scarcity. It takes effort to go mine ores with a pickaxe, so you care about ways to squeeze out more from the same amount of material. But in modern contexts with resource generation, large veins and 3×3 fast hammers, the problem of scarcity is gone. And not only is gone, but the math is all wrong. You will speedrun through the early game much faster by SKIPPING the intended way while consuming materials inefficiently. Because you don’t care about lowering the costs, you care about crafting speed. Production speed.

The good old problem: machines have crafting times, the crafting table does not. You can always produce faster by using a crafting table than the “competing” machine.

What is the point of AUTOMATION when doing work manually is more efficient?

That’s why I’ve been observing, and making my own design experiments aimed to fix certain problems. In the context of infinite resource generation, making a mod progression turn around improved processes that utilize materials more efficiently is a pointless mechanic. Because there’s no difference if a plate costs one or two ingots: they are infinite. To fix this, my intention was to start progressively removing recipes from the crafting table. Remove the convenient option to better guide toward the intended path.

The “on boarding” has always been the real problem of GT with new players. The wall that you immediately meet, with the number of resources and micro crafting ramping up immediately. The first LV circuit being a hurdle because of the number of small components that go into it. But my own goal here is not to reduce the scope, but to shift it around. You get told to do STACKS of circuits, and if you spend time CALCULATING the costs all the way up the processing chain, you end up with big numbers that feel daunting.

Taking recipes away from the crafting table means setting up machines that do the job. And once you have those machines, you can also go the minor length to connect them for proper automation. At the end of this you have a processing chain that delivers circuits to you. One or a thousand.

Repetition is what is necessary for automation to exist. But if the manual path is more time efficient, then you’ve defeated the purpose. The “meta” of the game has broken the intended design, and the result is not improved. You are just giving players the wrong expectations, and deserve their complaints when they say GT is not fun to play.

As a general rule: everything that’s constantly on demand can be as convoluted as you like. It’s all automation. Whereas everything that has single uses, or occasionally required, should have be craftable in one step, or as close as possible to that. (and btw, rules are then made to be broken, you just need to be aware why they exist so that when you break them you know what you’re doing)

People sometime make fun of the fact that in my modpack I “merge” large parts from previous GT versions, but I always saw what I was doing as a kind of GT Greatest Hits Remix. (Originally I intended to go from GT2 onward, and then out, including Vintage Story, or Pyanodon and AngelBobs). I’m experimenting and moving around the wider context of how the different parts connect and work together. Using Create or even Farmer’s Delight cutting board because it forces a player to process items one by one manually. No batch crafting. Leading to a more natural adoption of machines. Using machines becomes MORE efficient, not worse. And once you jumpstart this process, everything that is part of production will happen in its own processing branch, and never on the crafting table. You either automate, or stop to play.

But just as a music remix is made of samples of other songs, the same applies to what I’ve done. Take it and remix it yourself any way you want. Change one thing or many. Take inspiration or copy. Do whatever you feel like doing.

My modpack was never meant to be an end. It was meant to be a platform. Whether or not it is used that way, that’s what it was intended to be.

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