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Getting started with Feed the beast

Discussion in 'General FTB chat' started by Kariko83, Dec 17, 2012.

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  1. Kariko83

    Kariko83 New Member

    I have lurked here and there on this forum for a while now and have come across a common thread among new players to the mod pack, they are overwhelmed and do not know where to begin. After seeing others on the server I frequent do the same thing I decided to help them get started. I figured I would put the information up here instead of keeping it to myself so here goes.

    Don't Panic
    I know this one seems a bit self explanatory but I feel it needs to be stressed. This mod pack has a lot of additions and there are even things in it that baffle me on how to use them, I'm looking at you Fusion reactor. This is not because these items are so complicated but instead are the result of a lack of familiarity. The more you use a mod and it's associated items and blocks the more comfortable you will be come with them.

    NEI is you best friend
    NEI is a wonderful tool and should be your first stop when try to figure out recipes. Some mods in the pack change the recipes of other mods a bit and a recipe may change between versions of the the same mod. The individual mod's Wikis may simply not 100% reflect your version of the Feed the Beast but NEI will.

    Power in Minecraft?
    A large number of the more useful devices in the various mods in Feed the beast require some kind of power. In the pack there are two main types of power that you will use, Energy Units (EU) and Minecraft Joules (MJ).

    EU is the power units used in Industrial Craft 2 and is carried along cables of different metals most of the time covered in rubber. EU is made with various types of devices from the lowly generator to the more advance nuclear reactor depending on how much you need. EU is easily store-able with many devices with ranging capacity for storage, from the batbox to the Interdimensional energy storage unit, and associated build costs. You can directly convert EU into MJ through the use of electric engines.

    MJ on the other hand is the power source of of buildcraft and is produced through the use of various engines. MJ are transported to their associated machines via direct contact or redstone pipes and conduit. MJ is not nearly as easy to store early on but once you have Redstone energy storage cells and redstone conduit the systems efficency will be much better. There is no direct method to convert MJ over to EU but there are a few indirect methods like like using a magma crucible to generate lava to then use in geothermal generators.

    To begin with pick one type and get used to it because the both have their positives and negatives. You will most undoubtedly use both in any major setup so you should plan accordingly.

    Pick a starting mod.
    When first starting out with Feed the Beast there are two mods that are good starting points, Industrial Craft 2 (IC2) and Thermal Expansion (TE). Both mods have a good progression for increased productivity and align themselves with one type of power or the other, IC2 uses Energy units while TE uses Minecraft Joules. Personally I start with IC2 but I have recently familiarized myself TE and find it just as nice of a mod to start from. Below are a series of flowcharts and information for each mod. By request I have also added a section for factorization.

    In no way are these progression charts optimized for pure efficiency. They are simply meant as a starting point for new players and minimize crossing into other mods unless there is a very good reason.

    IC2 takes a larger amount of resources to get going than the other mods but it also has a wider range of tools and devices to go along with it. It also has the largest range of power options including nuclear power.
    *Note: As of writing this FTB Beta A still uses an old version of Gregtech which heavily relied on the centrifuge. This has changed in later versions
    Thermal Expansion
    Thermal Expansion,while not having the depth of IC2 makes up for it by with convenience and flexibility of the machines. All sides but the front of the machines can be configured for inputs and outputs and if you put the output of one machine next to the input of another or a chest it will automatically move it over. if you like setting up automated assembly lines than this is the mod for you.

    If you are feeling brave, factorization can be use quite well along side the two mods listed above as it requires no fuel so beyond the resources used to create the machines it is quite self sufficient. It is also the only way to get a 300% output for metals.

    Wait, where do I go from here?
    Now that you have a foot hold in the mod pack I suggest branching out to another mod or securing a more permanent power solution, can anybody say drain the nether. The choices are really up to you and are beyond the scope of this starters guide. Let your creativeness breed efficiency and never be afraid to ask for help.

    For reference here are is additional information for IC2, Thermal Expansion, Factorization, Buildcraft, and Railcraft.

    I Hope that this helps those that are just starting out and will be adding to this thread in the near future to flesh it out a bit more and refine it. Please let me know if there are any errors that need correction or if there is something I should add.
    Gotolei, natkoui, Asnareth and 24 others like this.
  2. Scghost

    Scghost New Member

    wow, i wish this was up when i started out~ thumps up!
  3. SilvasRuin

    SilvasRuin New Member

    It's probably worth pointing out that a Generator requires the Redstone of two Stirling Engines and the iron of 8 of them, and that a Pulverizer will consume much less fuel than a Macerator will to process a stack of ore. (To the point that I really think it needs a fuel efficiency nerf.) Implying that the two choices to start with are equal is misleading as the numbers are greatly in the Pulverizer's favor... You also neglect a third option that is my personal favorite for powered smelting, the Furnace Heater. It takes more time to set up, yes, but most of what it takes is Lead and Clay, which does not get in the way of your early development in other areas and synergizes well with the clay hunt to make Coke Ovens. I also would NOT recommend someone convert all their Coal to Coke and use it as fuel as the ability to process a stack of it into diamonds is invaluable early on, and remains an appealing option through most of one's technological progression.

    I would also think the fuel efficiency (per log) of scaffolds should be mentioned, but the fate of GregTech is currently in question, and if it is kept in the pack, the efficiency of scaffolds as a fuel will diminish considerably. There are implications here and there (such as a certain post by RichardG elsewhere on the internet) that it is being considered for removal, but none of the team members have actually come out and said anything about it that I've found.
  4. lindyhopfan

    lindyhopfan New Member

    When going the ic2 route, I like to add in a few thermal expansion machines. First, I like to upgrade my generator to a geothermal generator + liquid transposer as soon as I can. I also spend an extra few minutes on rubber acquisition so I can make an early hazmat suit. Then I go back down into my mine with a couple stacks of tin cells and fearlessly swim in the lava to quickly fill all of the cells. With the liquid transposer, I'll get my cells back. It is plenty of power to last me until I have been to the nether and can set up the magma crucible method of lava generation. A side effect of doing this is that it makes it easy to get to the nether since I can build an igneous extruder and hook it up to my liquid transposer to fill it with lava. Then I just need to dump 10 buckets of water from the infinite water source in my base to get my 10 obsidian. A lot of beginners make an early diamond pickaxe primarily for the purpose of getting to the nether, when saving those 3 diamonds can help you get your quarry set up that much faster. (or get you a mining turtle, if you prefer)
  5. Kariko83

    Kariko83 New Member

    You are quite correct but efficiency is not what this guide is striving for. Instead I am aiming at demystifying a new players first few steps into working with the various mods in the mod pack, hence why I am trying to stick to one mod up until the quarry stage. I think I will add a "mix and match" section for those that are brave enough to do more than one mod at a time.

    Nor would I so I will add a little note on that.

    This is actually why I don't mention scaffolding as a fuel source because there is much doubt surrounding it's future.

    I like this quite a lot and will have to add a bit on it.
  6. ICountFrom0

    ICountFrom0 Forum Addict

    I like this, I like this so much that I'm going to snag this into the guide collection. I hope to see this stickied.

    I'd love to see you give factorization the same treatment. Don't be afraid to submit something at the wiki, they need people like you.
    Odenite likes this.
  7. 1ManleyMiner

    1ManleyMiner New Member

    Only thing I'd change to this is; While a quarry is great later on, a turtle (much cheaper) with the diamond pickaxe at level 12 will gain you more diamonds faster. Just takes a little more Minecraft type work on the players part. ;)

    To the OP, WELL DONE! :D
  8. Ldog

    Ldog New Member

    Nice guide. I have some tips to add. Sorry that I tend to ramble on at length.

    Mining turtle over quarry. That is where my first 3 diamonds go. Then I go down to 11 from the center of where my base will be and run these programs- http://www.computercraft.info/forums2/index.php?/topic/6766-mlg-mining-circular-branch-mining/

    Recommend NEVER using coal as a straight fuel. I know others have said this but it is one of those things I wish someone told me when I started using IC2 (and later versions of Railcraft).

    Macerator ALWAYS for netherores (netherores in FTB? I roll my own) and Monazit ore the yields are much higher for those than the pulverizer. Otherwise the pulverizer is better, since there is a chance for bonus ores (favor TE more than IC in general).

    Induction furnace is also good because rich slag provides more bonus ores. I smelt iron and gold in it always (since they dont provide a chance of bonus in the pulverizer). Later on when you get going a dedicated igneous extruder producing cobble for a dedicated pulverizer producing sand directly for the furnace (use another furnace for slag). I've got a logistics pipe network usually by then, so that is a bit more advanced I suppose.

    TE thermal engine or magma (if lava is convenient) is better than the sterling. Use an aqueous accumulator (with the water blocks around it) instead of a pump. If oil is convenient, combustion engines still provide a lot of bang for the buck. 1 refinery produces plenty of fuel. An accumulator for every 2 to 3 combustion engines, or they will run out of water. Forestry biogas is excellent but more late game.

    Depending on your early rubber supply and how much you are using IC2 the extractor is important enough to build early (sometimes before the macerator, but definitly before the furnace). Also sticky resin is useful for torches.
  9. lindyhopfan

    lindyhopfan New Member

    Whether to use the first three diamonds for a mining turtle or to save up for a quarry, for a newer player, depends on how the player is planning to play computercraft. I am a programmer, so I'm planning on writing my own computercraft programs, I just haven't gotten around to it yet. If you are comfortable with downloading programs other people have written, sure it is insanely efficient and cheap. If you are planning to figure out how to program good turtle mining programs on your own, it is certainly not quicker to build the mining turtle first. When I do work on computercraft programming, I will spend hours, and come up with something awesome that is my own thing, which I will then be able to post to the computercraft forums. For now, though, I want resources sooner than that because there are other mods I'm still enjoying playing with first, hence the quarry.
  10. Ldog

    Ldog New Member

    Your argument is completely pointless.
    Whether you are going to learn to write your own CC programs or not, the turtle costs a lot less resources to build and operate so it is most certainly quicker. Even if you dont want to use someone elese programs just type "excavate 9" and you've got the same functionality as a quarry. One might argue the turtle is overpowered. You could build 2 turtles for less diamonds and have one dig while you learn to program with the other. For someone just getting started the turtle wins hands down, and that is the stated purpose of this guide.
    Flipz and 1ManleyMiner like this.
  11. lindyhopfan

    lindyhopfan New Member

    Again, it depends on the preferences of the user learning the mods. If you are comfortable with using computercraft as a "black box" you can build a mining turtle and type "excavate 9" or download a better program and run that. If instead you are the kind of player who wants to understand how things work before you use it, computercraft represents a bigger time investment. The time it takes to read the buildcraft wiki to the point where you can say to yourself, "Ok, I think I get how this works, now let me try doing it" is less than the time it takes to read the computercraft wiki to the point where I feel comfortable in the same way, since for me, as a programmer, I'm not content to tell myself that I'm ready to start using computercraft until I have learned the syntax of lua and the methods and functions of the turtle api. So, even if I was to run the "excavate program" on one turtle while playing with programming with another turtle, I would want to read and understand the code of the excavate program first, which means I would still start by learning lua. So, if I was to stop doing other minecraft stuff right now and focused instead on the research and learning that would prepare me to be able to read and understand the code of the excavate program preparatory to running it, it would still take me a few hours, by which time I could have started a new world and got a quarry up and running.
  12. Omicron

    Omicron New Member

    Correction: that is your opinion on what a guide should include, and not the stated intention fo the author. Don't mix them up.

    You are not doing a new player any favors by showing them the most efficient route. In fact, it's often counterproductive. The best thing a new player can do is try out one mod at a time; that way they'll learn how the mods work instead of how a single block of it works. We're getting enough "why can't I power my quarry with a solar panel" threads as is.

    Plus, showing the most efficient way is like telling someone the ending to a movie that's just started playing. More than half the fun is figuring out sich things for yourself.
  13. lindyhopfan

    lindyhopfan New Member

    Well put. Personally, I want to hold off on using computercraft until I have the opportunity learn how it really works. I think recommending the same to new players is not a bad idea.

    If computercraft turtles were non-configurable machines that do what the downloadable tunneling program mentioned above does by default, it would not have been included in the pack because it is too OP. Instead it is a tool and a fun toy for learning programming, with the in game benefit that once you have overcome the challenges of making your very own program, you'll have an efficient way of getting resources. That goal is designed to motivate the task of learning to program, which can be very difficult for those who have not done programming before. Relying on other's programs, even the built in "excavate" program, doesn't teach you anything and bypasses the progression of discovery and accomplishment that I think the mod author intended. The "excavate" program is IMO included as an example to help you learn and understand how the turtle api works, not as a simple way to hand resources to you on a silver platter, no work required.
  14. Kariko83

    Kariko83 New Member

    I have updated the original post to be more thorough.

    On the subject of Quarry Vs. Turtles, I agree that turtles can be the most efficient method of mining, baring a redpower 2 frame quarry, when programmed correctly. The downfall it that they need to be programmed and for a new player who may or may not have programmed before this can be a bridge to far. Even wit an internet downloaded program to run it is still generally easier for a new player to wrap their head around a quarry's setup and management.

    Done and wait, there is a wiki?
  15. SilvasRuin

    SilvasRuin New Member

    Beautiful. I'll take a closer look in a minute, but I do have one critique already. for the screenshots, it is probably best for your purposes to use the "vanilla" textures, so new players will be more certain of what they are looking at.

    Edit: Would you like a proofreader? I'm noticing several typos and such.
  16. Kariko83

    Kariko83 New Member

    Very true, I rarely play in vanilla textures so I thought nothing of it till you mentioned it.
  17. SilvasRuin

    SilvasRuin New Member

    For Factorization, it is probably best to put the yield percentages at its final chart rather than in the tech order. You should probably point out that using the Slag Furnace by itself is a terrible idea compared to the other ore yield options except to obtain the necessary Lead to get started.

    The Diamond Shard Craft Packet can be made even on the vanilla crafting bench. This may be a bug that will be removed eventually, but it works for now and saves you from having to make both machines (which are useful for very little else). The bit about the Crystallizer is misleading as it can share a Furnace Heater with a Slag Furnace and/or vanilla Furnace just fine. The bottle of acid for the crystallizer never runs out, so a steady supply is not actually needed. The Mixer can't accept water directly and needs a steady supply of Water Buckets, specifically. There should probably be mention that several batteries are needed in the Factorization power network to keep it running through the night and bad weather.

    Your Thermal Expansion line is in need of some work too, but I don't have any concise corrections for now other than it REALLY needs mention of the Aqueous Accumulator for use with the Steam Engines as there really is no better method for supplying continuous water.
  18. Captain Neckbeard

    Captain Neckbeard New Member

    The times for smelting in Thermal Expansion machines seem to be quite a bit different than any other kind of Furnaces. Powered Furnaces will plow through food like no tomorrow, but isn't anything special when it comes to ores or dusts except for a boost in fuel efficiency. Coal Coke in a normal Furnace will smelt 32 ores or cook the same amount of food, a Powered Furnace with Coal Coke in a Stirling Engine will smelt 40 or cook two stacks of food. The Induction Smelter sucks a big one when you feed it raw ore, but smelts dusts four times as fast and efficiently as the Powered Furnace. Faster, if it's powered-up to full. They're not much different in material difficulty either, they just are meant for different things.
  19. gusgillis1

    gusgillis1 New Member

    You guys should PRAISE this guy, we didnt have all these fancy starting guides back in the Industrial Craft 1 days, along with that we didnt have Red Power, Factorization, Thermal Expansion, - Wait, am I sounding like an elderly blabbering about their young days?... Yeah I am.... Ok... Ill stop...
  20. Kariko83

    Kariko83 New Member

    The changes have been made. I am not surprised that there are errors in the charts or my post, I just come off finals week and my brain is mush.

    I find that I tend to use the Induction smelter for one thing only and that is to make hardened glass for use in conduit and energy cells.
    1ManleyMiner likes this.
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