Hello everyone, my name is Aegaea. I'm a reporter for a couple small newspapers in my area, and recently, I've been having some fun with interviews. I'm not exactly the best at interviewing people, but I realised that I had an excellent medium for practice right in front of me, in my favorite pastime, Modded Minecraft. So, I reached out to one of my favorite pack makers, @Gideonseymour, about a pack he's been teasing recently on Twitter: Pathfinder. Gideonseymour is a member of the Phoenix Team, a group of mod developers and modpack creators that have been working together to produce some quality Third Party Packs such as PhoenixCraft or Phoenix Reborn. Gideon has been the lead on the more recent one, Phoenix Reborn, and is currently leading the way on Pathfinder. Although the trailer didn't offer much insight, Gideon was happy to offer me a press copy of the pack, and, as I was delighted to find out, it most certainly held up to the high standards set by the other Phoenix Team projects. Not only did they continue with their trend of turning a fun idea into a completely unique pack, but they also continued with the meticulous level of tweaking that they have placed into every one of their packs. The new HQM pack is set in space, aboard the U.S.S. Pathfinder, NCC-74562. The Star Trek references are abound as you move through the pack's starting space ship. There are very few materials available on the ship, and nor is there any land, anywhere to be seen. Aside from a couple reward bags, the quest book does not have much to offer the beginning player either. However, to alleviate this, the Quest Book guides the player through the base mechanic of the pack: Dimension Building. Hailing from a Mystcraft-like dimension construction, RFTools shows it's merit. Dimensions are created by inserting a series of "dimlets" into a tab, which you can then "Realise" in a Dimension Builder to create the dimension. Pathfinder starts you off with a couple of basic dimlets that allow you to create a fairly normal world that will be good for starting off. In a very Star Trek-like fashion, the player must then make use of the teleporter pads on the floor to transport into the dimension. Hunger Overhaul, Spice of Life, and Iguana Tweaks come into play in this pack, but I was delighted to find them not as restrictive as they normally are. For one, Iguana Tweaks for Tinkers' doesn't even change the mining levels in this pack, as flint isn't needed to mine Copper, and Iron can mine diamonds without any levelling - it seems it's only there for the tool leveling bonuses and swapping parts. As well, the dreaded Spice of Life doesn't even effect Hunger Values, only saturation. From there, things don't cease to be interesting and fun. The book slowly but surely teaches the player how to build dimensions of all shapes and sizes, how to research new dimlets, and even how to take apart individual dimlets and reconstruct them into whatever is needed. As well, several new mods were introduced to me, such as Clockwork Phase, Fluxed Crystals, Progressive Automation, Agricraft, and the controversial ProjectE. I found what I played of the pack to be a very fun and new experience, with an attention to detail I've come to expect from Phoenix Team packs. Now, I'm sure you're all eagerly awaiting my drawl to end, and for me to begin what I came here for: the interview with Gideon. Don't worry, that time has arrived. Aegaea: What brought about the development of this pack? Gideon: Well, I had an idea like this being tossed around in my head ever since I saw RFTools Dimension Building for the first time. RFTools is a brilliant mod, but the Dimension Building really stuck out to me as amazing. The reason I never really enjoyed Mystcraft was due to it's instability mechanic, but RFTools sacrificed that for power usage, making it much more server and player friendly. When the Phoenix Team began discussions about adding the creator of the mod, McJty, to the team, that's when I proposed it to a few of them and began development. A: What was your inspiration for the pack? G: My inspiration for the pack itself definitely came from packs like ME^4 and Crash Landing, which are both brilliant, tech-based packs. More important, they both take the base game and completely change it into something new and unique, which is something I try to do with all of my packs. As for the plot - it's a combination of several things. For one, I've always been a Trekkie, and this pack has finally given me the opportunity to express that. For instance, the names of the quests and sets are those of various Star Trek ships. As well, I've always liked the idea of those long voyages across space. I mean, when there's not a lot out there, what are you going to do with your time? Building new worlds is as good as a pastime as any. A: Why are you including the mods you are in the pack? For instance, Clockwork Phase and ProjectE seem rather out of place with the other technology mods. G: See, that's one of the fun parts about making packs like this. In making them unique, we can do things people wouldn't expect. We've included a bunch of new, fun mods, such as Fluxed Crystals and Thermal Smeltery, that are tech mods, and obviously make sense in such a pack. However, people complained about something similar with Running Red. They said that building all the machines from Thermal Expansion and Mekanism didn't make sense in the context of the magic pack, to which I replied: "Why don't they make sense? Sure, the whole place is magic-based, but that doesn't mean the character has no knowledge about machines. He seems to be obtaining knowledge about rituals from nowhere, why can't he get the knowledge of pulverisers from the same place?" Admittedly, we had some discussion about including those mods in Pathfinder. But, the mods were eventually included. The character you play as discovers how to manipulate matter to form whole new worlds. It would make sense that the character could learn how to manipulate time and the energy that makes up things as well. A: What led you to implement the laid-back style of Iguana Tweaks, Spice of Life, and Hunger Overhaul for this pack? G: I've never really enjoyed any of those mods, being honest. As much as I like progression, certain repetitive tasks such as levelling up your pick in order to mine the next tier or difficult tasks such as keeping yourself fed with huge varieties of foods bothered me. I like to cut straight to the more fun stuff, and being perfectly honest, as fun as they are, IT, SoL, and HO really change the amount of time that needs to be taken to reach other mods. I was about to not include SoL in the pack, but I decided I wanted at least some reason to breed crops in AgriCraft, so I included it, but made it only affect Saturation. A: That makes sense, but there's still something from that area I'd like to address. You've decided to make all of the inventory except the hotbar unusable for this pack - why is that? G: One of the more interesting things I've seen people struggle with is Inventory Management. How to keep what you need on you at all times. I've always found that interesting, and with Pathfinder, we've been playing with limiting the player to only their hotbar. Suddenly things like going mining require forethought and managing all your seeds suddenly becomes just that much more difficult. It's not the same as needing to level up a pickaxe or include hundreds of foods in your diet, and it certainly makes you put more thought into your every action. It doesn't remain that way the entire game, though. Just around midgame, you'll be able to open up more slots and realise just how much you took your inventory for granted. A: Another interesting choice I'd like to ask you of is the fact that the pack is peaceful - no hostile mobs anywhere. Why did you choose to do that? G: Well, it's not like there's many animals on a spaceship. As well, we wanted to focus in more on the building for this pack. It's not quite so much about fighting, it's about creating. It's about exploring what makes the universe work. There's no creepers sneaking around or zombies making noises to distract you from that search for answers in this pack. It doesn't mean the world is completely safe, though. Night and caves are literally pitch-black, and hunger and normal health mechanics still apply. Just because there isn't any mobs doesn't mean you won't die. A: One of the things the quest book talks about is "Distortion." Would you mind summing that up for me? G: Oh, that's one of the fun things we've been toying with. As you shape the world more and more, you begin to distort it. It's only minor things, such as new terrain generating or new ores appearing, but we wanted to have it feel like there was something happening with each new world you ventured to. The quest book has three sets of reputations which you build up, but then there's Balance, which slowly goes down as things become distorted. It's entertaining to see the effects of the things you've been doing appear as time goes on, and it's a mechanic I've been enjoying implementing. A: Where did you get the name of the pack? G: At first, I got it from a song called "Pathfinder," by Kubbi. It was a really nice song that was calm and relaxed, but still gave you this sense of exploring something new, and that's what I want the pack to be like. As you might expect, I was also more than delighted that it was also the name of a Star Trek ship. A: What has your favorite part of working on this pack been? G: Heh, the part I've found most enjoyable has definitely been all the Star Trek and various other references I get to sneak in. It's not often I get an opportunity to express my inner Trekkie. A: When can we expect the pack to be released? G: We're hoping to have it done by the time we stated in the trailer: March 10th. As you saw, we're just finalizing the quests and recipes, and then it'll just be playtesting. If nothing goes wrong, it should be out then! Gideonseymour can be found here on the FTB Forums, as well on Twitter, Youtube, and Player.me.