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Continuum, What went wrong?

Discussion in 'General FTB chat' started by Nuclear_Creeper0, Aug 29, 2018.

  1. Nuclear_Creeper0

    Nuclear_Creeper0 Well-Known Member

    I said, months ago, after we got the first looks at Continuum through Youtubers. I said it was going to be a disappointment and I was right. Direwolf20 himself stopped playing the pack, that says something.
    @LordPINE recently made a pack called A Polychromatic World. It's more difficult than anything I got in Continuum. It's more enjoyable too. The recipes are not resource challenging, they're challenging in the things you need from different mods. It has ChromatiCraft in it, which I've never touched before. And that fact alone makes the pack more difficult than anything Continuum had to offer me. Continuum was just a big resource grind, spending hours digging at different Y-levels looking for resources. That wasn't difficult, it wasn't.

    FTB needs to modernize itself and redefine what they consider difficulty. Continuum was not hard. It was grindy and time-consuming, but it wasn't hard. SevTech and Pine's pack are hard because they provide interesting and new mechanics which I have to learn. Every mod in Continuum is known to me, I already understand the mechanics. SevTech has all these new and interesting mods which I don't understand and need to learn while Continuum has none of that.

    In short, Continuum needed newer and more interesting content in order to compete with all these new packs which rely on all of these new mods, instead of large resource grind.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2018
  2. Pyure

    Pyure Not Totally Useless

    Adjust your comments about "grindy but not hard" and I can contribute to an intelligent conversation on this.

    Super casual players : minecraft is hard
    Decent players : Grind != difficulty
    Expert players : Grind == difficulty if the challenge lies in leveraging the various mods to mitigate that grind
  3. Nuclear_Creeper0

    Nuclear_Creeper0 Well-Known Member

    The problem is there are no interesting mods to mitigate, I've already discovered the best use of the mods to minimize the grind. There are no interesting and unique mechanics which I can play with to learn my owns of minimizing the grind. Back to Pine's pack, no Tool Forge, and double cave generation, he's actually changed mechanics so that for the first time in a long time, I'm doing large amounts of caving instead of strip mining. It forced me to rethink how I mine.
  4. Pyure

    Pyure Not Totally Useless

    Now that's totally intelligent.

    I mean I don't know if I 100% agree per se because I know at least some things can be scaled up, but you're also not the first person I've heard mention a lack of clever workarounds or projects to mitigate the grind.
  5. LordPINE

    LordPINE Well-Known Member

    While I haven't played Continuum myself, there is one thing that I did see. It seems quite linear, for example with only one option for power storage. I feel it would have been more interesting if you had something of a choice, instead of being forced into something.
  6. ShneekeyTheLost

    ShneekeyTheLost Too Much Free Time

    I get a strange de ja vu feeling, as though this has been covered before.

    The problems with Continuum, I feel, were as follows:

    * Ham-handed attempt at resource scarcity by simply reducing the resource spawning or resource production, which makes the early game so pointlessly grindy that most people simply won't bother getting past it. Yes, there were eventually ways around it, but you had to get TO that point... and very few actually wanted to bother. For example, two planks per log and two sticks per two planks to dramatically increase the amount of wood you had to chop. This didn't make wood any more scarce, as a renewable resource you can easily farm, it just meant you had to spend five times as much time grinding lumber in the early game.

    * Further missed opportunities in actually delving into the meat and potatoes of resource scarcity. While I just got done complaining about the blatant and ham-handed attempt at resource scarcity, the biggest tragedy in this was that they didn't follow through with it and continue resource scarcity being a theme and requiring an increase in resource acquisition automation from time to time as your factory production increased. For example, take Regrowth as an example where this was handled properly, and let's look at the steel production.

    In Regrowth, Steel production was a multi-step process requiring two different machines. First you had to get the iron done. Then you had to turn iron into wrought iron in that one mod's furnace I can never remember, but it ONLY accepted Charcoal. Now remember, Charcoal is merely wood that has been cooked up. Then it requires cooking in the Blast Furnace for actual steel, which required Coal Coke and ONLY coal coke. So for every piece of steel you required, you not only required iron, you required wood as well. In other words, the wood consumption of steel production was... (sorry, but I can't resist the pun) baked in. You didn't really think about it, but it was there, and needed to be taken into consideration when automating steel.

    But Continuum didn't do this. In the early game, you need to set up a pretty big tree farm, but once you get even the most basic tech, that requirement simply vanishes, not only because you get the lumber mill to increase your wood production but also because things just stop requiring wood to be crafted. So by the time you get to the point where a large automated tree farm is possible, it is no longer necessary. Which felt like punishing a player for doing something right.

    If you are going to have resource scarcity as a cornerstone of your mod, then bloody well make it a cornerstone and not some obnoxious hoop to jump through that is completely ignored from that point forward.

    * Unfortunate misuse of E-Fab. It was used almost exclusively as a time gate which merely upset everyone and a waste of this mod's potential. This is actually kind of most of what was touched on in the last thread, and the comments there are largely valid and standing on their own merits, so I'll just let you go review the last thread to see where this went. Suffice to say... the mod had a huge amount of potential, that was absolutely, completely, and totally wasted.

    * Lack of understanding of what makes an Expert Pack enjoyable vs a 2x4 being applied repeatedly to the back of one's head. Every aspect and component of the pack seems to have been made under the philosophy of "Okay, this mechanic... how can we make it take longer, or require more grinding to get there" instead of "How do we create an infrastructure which takes more time and resources but in an interesting manner". Grinding does not automatically equate difficulty, and unless you introduce it in an engaging manner, it simply comes off as boring pointless grind for the sake of boring pointless grind. This, I feel, was the pack's primary failing, and such a tragic one because the E-Fab system had a solution for you already pre-packaged, if only the devs had bothered to actually USE it! You had a brand new and complex crafting mechanic which could accommodate everything from items to fluids to energy and more, all in the same multi-block format, which could have easily accommodated an enormous amount of resource requirements to produce a final product in a way that was both novel and engaging. Instead it took existing recipes, butchered them, and stuck on arbitrary time requirements.

    In conclusion, Continuum had so much potential that was so entirely wasted. There could have been so much that could've been done with the ideas and concepts that just weren't implemented. So many ideas and options that were played with, toyed with, and discarded like so much dross. A bit more polish, and it could've been THE defining Expert Pack. Unfortunately, it fell victim to the Hype Train and everyone shouting "WHERE IS IT?" until they finally just kicked it out the door. Even later patches didn't really solve the underlying problems, they just made them slightly less problematic. My biggest problem with Continuum wasn't the complexity or even necessarily the grind... it was that these problems could have been turned into engagement for the player with the resources and materials already at hand... but weren't.
  7. Drbretto

    Drbretto Popular Member

    Never, ever apologize for an amazing pun.
  8. Reddis

    Reddis New Member

    The E-Fab turned me off pretty fast.
  9. Cptqrk

    Cptqrk Popular Member

    I feel sorry for that mod... It will now always be infamously associated with terrible gated progression when that's not what it's actually about....
    GamerwithnoGame likes this.
  10. ShneekeyTheLost

    ShneekeyTheLost Too Much Free Time

    I almost feel bad enough to try to remake the mod, fixing those things I mentioned earlier. Call it "To Be Continuued" or something like that.
  11. Pyure

    Pyure Not Totally Useless

    Fixed for clarity I think, since you were specifically responding to a comment about a mod.
  12. ShneekeyTheLost

    ShneekeyTheLost Too Much Free Time

    Err... yes. Quite.

    Also, I think I may have found a shortcut in Infitech2... ran into a village with a smith. It... er... short-circuited the hunt for the small ores. Also an apiarist, but that at least is gated behind the Centrifuge to get anything relevant out of it. I hope that wasn't an exploit...
  13. Pyure

    Pyure Not Totally Useless

    Naw, those particular shortcuts are really tiny and just rewards for exploration.
  14. asb3pe

    asb3pe New Member

    Ultimately, the problem is that Continuum, despite the innovation of the E-Fab device, brings nothing new to the table. At least that's my problem with it. But it's not really FTB's problem, they're just doing what they've always done. The problem lies with me and my boredom of playing yet another pack with the same oregen and the same mod selection and the same mobs to deal with and the same terrain to explore and the same villages to find... see the common factor? We've done this all before - for me, I've done it too many times before. Yeah, when the game was still new to me, every pack was amazing... but after a few short years, all packs began to seem just like all the other packs. That's the problem, and it lies within ourselves, I think - it's not really the "fault" of the FTB Team for making the same packs they've always made, and for TRYING to innovate. But it simply isn't enough to make Continuum stand out from the crowd of modpacks out there.

    That's my take on it anyways. Trying to be fair to the FTB Team who have worked so hard and done so much for us all to enjoy over the years... but if I may be so rude... we need something REALLY innovative and different to light that fire again in all of us! Not just some device to "gate" our progress. That's a big fat "meh" in my book.

    My only suggestion in terms of ideas is to constantly refer people to the GregTech mod, specifically its oregen which is both unique and realistic IMO. Ores are difficult to find, there are lots of them with all sorts of processing possibilities, and thus you're constantly forced to explore and mine (remember this is MINEcraft?) in order to collect all those different ore types (I think GregTech has around 100 different ores to find). Since GregTech has already done it, doing a similar oregen wouldn't be unique... but it sure would be a nice change from the vanilla Minecraft philosophy of "you can find every ore type in every chunk, so you never have to leave your starting area!". Yuck. It's an open world game - give us good reason to use it!!
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2018
    LordPINE, Nuclear_Creeper0 and Reddis like this.
  15. Reddis

    Reddis New Member

    I think there is room to innovate yet, albeit the door is closing pretty fast. IMO SevTech did an incredibly good job with innovation. Not only were there several lesser known mods but they were presented in a logical and realistic way (segmented by ages). You are right though. In the end, we will have seen and done it all. You can only build a castle or automate ore collection and processing so many times before it becomes stale. I have always made it a policy to learn a new mod every time I start a new play through, but pretty soon, I will have learned all the mods I care to learn. (magic mods don't appeal to me)
    LordPINE likes this.
  16. Nuclear_Creeper0

    Nuclear_Creeper0 Well-Known Member

    I think there's a lot of potential in this idea, although I would go a step further.
    I've been playing with a new concept, different dimensions contain different ores. The Overworld could only have Vanilla ores, so no Bronze abuse right off the bat. Maybe the Deep Dark or Beneath depending on what mods you add could have the Thermal ores. The Nether would stay the same, maybe the end could have like the Immersive Ores or something. I don't know, it would unique in a way.

    Back to your post, I think that FTB Continuum had to be like FTB Infinity Expert is. Not with the mechanics or the recipes but with the impact. In my opinion, FTB Infinity Expert is the most well made, and innovative 1.7.10 challenge pack. For 1.12 I'd probably say SevTech but Enigmatica 2 looks really good as well.
    Continuum is not this groundbreaking unique innovation that Infinity Expert was. It doesn't set the bar to this like almost standard which no one has broken yet.
  17. Reddis

    Reddis New Member

    Ores in other dimensions has been done in Galacticraft, Advanced Rocketry, and some fantasy themed pack with something like 25 dimensions that I can't remember the name of. Not that I am trying to discourage you from making a new modpack.

    I will also share that I personally do not like traveling to different biomes to find ores. I like to have my mine shaft and strip mine it.
  18. KingTriaxx

    KingTriaxx Forum Addict

    The problem Continuum ran into, was mod mechanic basing it's progression. They looked at EFab and asked what can this do that other mods couldn't before it. And the answer was add a time component to recipes that were previously, shove in a table and pull out instantly. And worse, because it's a magic block which isn't even that interesting to look at, it only added time. But because it was the mod they were trying to showcase, everything had to use that mechanic.

    Which works only for the sort of person that enjoys sitting and staring at a block, waiting on a timer to run. Compare to IE's metal press. Yes, the hammer for plates is instant, and while it uses durability, the hammer is cheap. And yes, the press requires both time and power to produce the same thing, it's interesting looking, and fun to watch run. It has moving parts, it makes a noise, you can see ingot goes in, gets stamped, and a plate comes out. A factory full of those is incredibly entertaining to watch. A factory full of EFabs? BORING.

    On the other hand, the onus is on the devs to make sure that you want to suffer through the boredom. But this is the equivalent of making thaumcraft the base mod, and then requiring you to scan things, then make a thing, then scan that thing and start the original scanning process from the beginning now that you've unlocked the next thing. It's incredibly tedious, and you get to the following thing and stop to wonder, am I going to have to start the scanning process over again? Then you get there and yup, do it all. Again. Forever.

    If you're going to do a modpack or even a mod, based on progression, then making progress has to FEEL like you're progressing.

    I'll wave the Botania flag here. Feeding the item burning flowers (brain failing on the name) is kind of annoying. The first thing you get access to in the mod though, is the Open Crate, which makes it simple. And it's automatable. A little bit of redstone magic and the system only needs fuel to burn and you're done.
    LordPINE and Nuclear_Creeper0 like this.
  19. Nuclear_Creeper0

    Nuclear_Creeper0 Well-Known Member

  20. Hambeau

    Hambeau Over-Achiever

    As I recall Continuum was a victim of being released when the MC version was fairly new and few mods existed. It was delayed to the point that the forums were full of complaints that it was released long before FtB wanted to.

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