Thermal Expansion 3 is boring (actually just RF)

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Suterusu

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I planned to make this a very log thread detailing my thoughts on the recent release of TE3. Instead I just want to talk about RF.

RF is reinventing the wheel, except this time it's less round and less fun. We already have so many other ways to generate power. As an add-on to BC, TE was great. It added quality of life items such as redstone energy conduits and tesseracts. On it's own, Thermal Expansion just goes to show the downside of modded minecraft, everyone can generate their own content, regardless how many times over it's been done before.

Someone on these forums commented how RF was a much superior power source than MJ or EU. It's vanilla at best. The fact you can slap a dynamo on an aqueous accumulator and add coal for end game is just boring. Other mods have tiering of power, complexity and diversity in power generation and distribution of power to other machines.

The fact that RF is being pushed as a be-all end-all for modded minecraft is a real shame. Every mod seams to be adding it, since the trend is to hate all other sources of power. Now we're left with a dull, boring and vanilla feeling power source that leaves a lot to be desired.

If needed I can upload some builds of power generation I've done before. Four of us spent nearly a month in creation of complex and unique power generation systems for both EU and MJ. I didn't even spend four days playing with TE3 and RF before I was bored of it. Some people like the game to be easy. A few dynamos with some coal is more than enough. As a technical individual, I prefer the beauty in the complexity of the most simplest of tasks. That's the real draw to modded minecraft. It's not about making it "hard" or "tedious", it's about making it interesting and rewarding in the time spent on complex and innovative builds.

This mod adds some great features (many of which it added when it was part of BC), but as it reinvents the wheel for the nth time now, it is apparent that there is no originality in it's design. Add coal, add lava (wow, really?), add liquid coal, add a blaze rod... The idea of the independent and already-done-before power generation this mod adds feels rushed, unoriginal, boring and vanilla.
 

Zenthon_127

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I.....how....what....where do I even start?
  • The reason RF is being pushed as the end-all for power is......oh wait. It's not. The reason so many mods are moving to it is because many dislike IC2 Exp. and BuildCraft decided to force its loss mechanics on everyone using MJ, which just as many people dislike. Then a new power system comes out and it doesn't have any of these issues, and it works on all the same fuels that the other mods do. Not a tough choice here.
  • The power generation is solely YOUR issue for not trying. You have been able to power TE, BC and IC2 off of coal since they have released, for the exact same values as current TE (and the generators are way cheaper in other mods). And I don't know what the hell you think end game is, because I can barely manage to upkeep my base on 18 Steam Dynamos, and I'm not even close to having it all. You can create incredibly complex power generation methods for TE3 that are much more powerful than a simple Steam or Magmatic setup (I'm going mass Compression because the only good mob spawner in 1.6 is the MFR one), it's just that you personally aren't bothering.
  • TE3 never tried to reinvent the wheel. It's TE2 with an extra zero added onto the power numbers and a bunch of new tiers and stuff.
 

InThayne

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I miss the IC2 feature of free generator production. When I used to attempt to move my machinery (which I do all the time) there would often be a magical poof and a free generator would appear! The oddity was that my original equipment would often glitch out, 'it was there, I just made it- dang it' and have to be cheated back in. I hope for this to be implemented in TE3 for machine blocks.

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Not_Steve

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I miss the IC2 feature of free generator production. When I used to attempt to move my machinery (which I do all the time) there would often be a magical poof and a free generator would appear! The oddity was that my original equipment would often glitch out, 'it was there, I just made it- dang it' and have to be cheated back in. I hope for this to be implemented in TE3 for machine blocks.

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I hope this is a joke...

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PierceSG

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... And I don't know what the hell you think end game is, because I can barely manage to upkeep my base on 18 Steam Dynamos, and I'm not even close to having it all...
I'm running my base on two Fusion Reactors from Atomic Science and I'm still craving for more power.

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Suterusu

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I.....how....what....where do I even start?
  • The power generation is solely YOUR issue for not trying. You have been able to power TE, BC and IC2 off of coal since they have released, for the exact same values as current TE (and the generators are way cheaper in other mods). And I don't know what the hell you think end game is, because I can barely manage to upkeep my base on 18 Steam Dynamos, and I'm not even close to having it all. You can create incredibly complex power generation methods for TE3 that are much more powerful than a simple Steam or Magmatic setup (I'm going mass Compression because the only good mob spawner in 1.6 is the MFR one), it's just that you personally aren't bothering.
Yes, and powering everything off of Coal is boring. My point is more the fact the dynamos themselves are boring. There is no tiering of power generation. The only difference is how much total power you get out of your fuel. You are never working towards bigger and better power generation solutions at all with this mod. IC2 at least gave you the ability to work towards bigger and better machines with more power requirement while having you work towards bigger and better means of power production. Hell, look at the crazy "power" introduced/used by rotary craft, that's damn more original.

I saw a let's play where the player said the best power generation for this mod is to just put an enderthermic pump in the nether with a tesseract. He then lined up 20+ magmatic dynamos and said that his power needs were solved. It took him less than a day less than a few hours to have all the power he needed. In IC2 you'd play for weeks and not have power for half your machines yet.

The power generation is easy and not diverse at all. It's not that I haven't tried, it's that I find no purpose in it less it at least pose some challenge.
 

ShneekeyTheLost

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Yes, and powering everything off of Coal is boring. My point is more the fact the dynamos themselves are boring. There is no tiering of power generation. The only difference is how much total power you get out of your fuel. You are never working towards bigger and better power generation solutions at all with this mod. IC2 at least gave you the ability to work towards bigger and better machines with more power requirement while having you work towards bigger and better means of power production. Hell, look at the crazy "power" introduced/used by rotary craft, that's damn more original.
You're citing a feature and calling it a bug. Also, dynamos are not un-tiered by any means. Magmatic requires Invar, which means getting up at least some power already. It literally cannot be your first power supply. Steam is a copper-hog, but otherwise easy to make. The newest dynamo is a lot more involved to create.

IC2 had Geothermal Engines or HV Solars. Nothing else was used except either as a stepping stone or an emergency stopgap.

I saw a let's play where the player said the best power generation for this mod is to just put an enderthermic pump in the nether with a tesseract. He then lined up 20+ magmatic dynamos and said that his power needs were solved. It took him less than a day less than a few hours to have all the power he needed. In IC2 you'd play for weeks and not have power for half your machines yet.
In IC2, you'd just put an enderthermic pump in the nether with an EnderTank and line up 20+ geothermal generators and all your power needs were solved (until you start making HV Solars from UUM).

The power generation is easy and not diverse at all. It's not that I haven't tried, it's that I find no purpose in it less it at least pose some challenge.
There are none so blind as those who refuse to see. You actually have a far greater selection of fuels in TE3 than in either BC or IC2, particularly with the Reactant Dynamo. If you choose not to take advantage of that, it isn't the fault of the mod.
 

Not_Steve

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Yes, and powering everything off of Coal is boring. My point is more the fact the dynamos themselves are boring. There is no tiering of power generation. The only difference is how much total power you get out of your fuel. You are never working towards bigger and better power generation solutions at all with this mod. IC2 at least gave you the ability to work towards bigger and better machines with more power requirement while having you work towards bigger and better means of power production. Hell, look at the crazy "power" introduced/used by rotary craft, that's damn more original.

I saw a let's play where the player said the best power generation for this mod is to just put an enderthermic pump in the nether with a tesseract. He then lined up 20+ magmatic dynamos and said that his power needs were solved. It took him less than a day less than a few hours to have all the power he needed. In IC2 you'd play for weeks and not have power for half your machines yet.

The power generation is easy and not diverse at all. It's not that I haven't tried, it's that I find no purpose in it less it at least pose some challenge.
The power generation can be diverse BUT it isn't forced upon you. You can have a line of steam dynamos fed by charcoal OR you could have fully automated witch and ghast farms that are used to make energized glowstone and ghast tears to feed reactant dynamos or maybe use sludge instead of energized glowstone and have a fully automated animal farm. The power is in your hands. You can be as bland or as exciting as you want. Or you could use engineers toolbox and generate power using hydrogen that you made using mekanisms hydrogen generator and rotary condensentrator. RF isn't boring, you just aren't using it right.
 

casilleroatr

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As Not_Steve says, Engineer's Toolbox and Gascraft have a few interesting RF producers and I am sure that there are many other mods already out there or in development that are adding more exotic means of power generation. Furthermore, what I have heard about the new TE dynamo is very interesting and I can't wait to give it a go.

I am undecided about IC2 exp but I am a happy fan of buildcraft and anticipate playing with that mod alongside RF mods in the future. I like how buildcraft comes with its own set of challenges to use power effectively and it can be fun to play around with. I wonder if an RF mod will come along to give a similar player experience one day.
 

Suterusu

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As Not_Steve says, Engineer's Toolbox and Gascraft have a few interesting RF producers and I am sure that there are many other mods already out there or in development that are adding more exotic means of power generation. Furthermore, what I have heard about the new TE dynamo is very interesting and I can't wait to give it a go.

I am undecided about IC2 exp but I am a happy fan of buildcraft and anticipate playing with that mod alongside RF mods in the future. I like how buildcraft comes with its own set of challenges to use power effectively and it can be fun to play around with. I wonder if an RF mod will come along to give a similar player experience one day.
Kind of off topic, but yes, BC adds it's own set of challenges. The power drain/loss over time was meant to be. You were never supposed to be able to store MJ. TE gave you the ability to store MJ, it was never meant to exist in such a way.

I've not tried mods outside of TE3 to generate RF. I'll have to try them out and see what they have to offer.
 

snooder

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While I disagree that the whole system is "boring" I do understand where the OP is going about RF production in TE3.

See, making 20 steam dynamos and creating a tree farm to power them is great. Making another 20 when you expand your base is fine too. When you get to making 60 of them or 100 and simply repeating the same design over and over again, it can get somTewhat stale. Interesting as a "ooh how much power can I get from spamming this in a bedrock to sky chunk" project. But not very interesting as an upgrade path for increasing power production to meet consumption. Especially if you happen to prefer smaller and more aesthetic bases.

Where I differ from OP though is that I see RF as the best of several lackluster choices, and I have real hope for it in the future. The basic system is great and extremely well-planned. (Although considering that 10000RF = 1000MJ, I really think there needs to be a conduit with greater transmission rates than redstone circuits. People are already suffering issues with MFFS bumping into the limits of how much power the circuits can transfer, even if you can stack dynamos to create it.) The only problem is that having every dynamo produce the same amount of power means that there's no way to create more space efficient designs for power plants. You can play around with fuels all you want and design whatever fuel creation system catches your fancy, but if it's all going to produce 80 RF/t there's not much real gain on the power production end. Even if you get a more efficient fuel design, you still have to put down more dynamos to take advantage of it.

I think overall that's a remnant of TE's origins as a BC mod. BC is a very "low power" mod and no engines produce more than 8MJ/t.
 
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casilleroatr

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Kind of off topic, but yes, BC adds it's own set of challenges. The power drain/loss over time was meant to be. You were never supposed to be able to store MJ. TE gave you the ability to store MJ, it was never meant to exist in such a way.

I've not tried mods outside of TE3 to generate RF. I'll have to try them out and see what they have to offer.
I am not trying to make a diversion. I am just interested to see what mechanics evolve out of the whole RF thing. The buildcraft bit was an illustration, an example of a mod which makes a whole game out of power production. That isn't Thermal Expansion's goal (at least it isn't at the forefront) but it sounds as though the RF API is pretty flexible. I expect that coal goes in:power comes out style generators will account for only a small part of the RF power gen scene, in fact even the basic TE dynamos are are not exactly devoid of gameplay.
 

ShneekeyTheLost

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Kind of off topic, but yes, BC adds it's own set of challenges. The power drain/loss over time was meant to be. You were never supposed to be able to store MJ. TE gave you the ability to store MJ, it was never meant to exist in such a way.

I've not tried mods outside of TE3 to generate RF. I'll have to try them out and see what they have to offer.
Mekanism runs on RF as of 6.x and has several 'passive' energy generation methods, although they generally either require expensive components, or some infrastructure to support it continuously.

For example, the Hydrogen Generator requires Hydrogen Gas, which is made in the Electrolytic Seperator (which DOES require power, btw) that needs a constant supply of water to electrolyze into hydrogen and oxygen gas. So you're going to need something like an Aqueous Accumulator for the water to supply to the Electrolytic Seperator to make the Hydrogen Gas to fuel the Hydrogen Generator. You also need to power the Electrolytic Seperator, so if you lose power, you will actually need an external power supply to jump-start your power network.
 
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PierceSG

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Imo, TE3 is fine at it's power gen options and even limits. For mods that consumes power at a greater rate best come up with their own form of higher tiered power generation.
I mean, KL could probably give us a multi-block high tier power generation option but what is in TE3 that requires it? If we talk about just within TE3 itself, 10, 000 RF/t is already too high for it's own use.

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Not_Steve

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Mekanism runs on RF as of 6.x and has several 'passive' energy generation methods, although they generally either require expensive components, or some infrastructure to support it continuously.

For example, the Hydrogen Generator requires Hydrogen Gas, which is made in the Electrolytic Seperator (which DOES require power, btw) that needs a constant supply of water to electrolyze into hydrogen and oxygen gas. So you're going to need something like an Aqueous Accumulator for the water to supply to the Electrolytic Seperator to make the Hydrogen Gas to fuel the Hydrogen Generator. You also need to power the Electrolytic Seperator, so if you lose power, you will actually need an external power supply to jump-start your power network.
Like Redstone....

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Suterusu

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While I disagree that the whole system is "boring" I do understand where the OP is going about RF production in TE3.

See, making 20 steam dynamos and creating a tree farm to power them is great. Making another 20 when you expand your base is fine too. When you get to making 60 of them or 100 and simply repeating the same design over and over again, it can get somTewhat stale. Interesting as a "ooh how much power can I get from spamming this in a bedrock to sky chunk" project. But not very interesting as an upgrade path for increasing power production to meet consumption. Especially if you happen to prefer smaller and more aesthetic bases.

Where I differ from OP though is that I see RF as the best of several lackluster choices, and I have real hope for it in the future. The basic system is great and extremely well-planned. (Although considering that 10000RF = 1000MJ, I really think there needs to be a conduit with greater transmission rates than redstone circuits. People are already suffering issues with MFFS bumping into the limits of how much power the circuits can transfer, even if you can stack dynamos to create it.) The only problem is that having every dynamo produce the same amount of power means that there's no way to create more space efficient designs for power plants. You can play around with fuels all you want and design whatever fuel creation system catches your fancy, but if it's all going to produce 80 RF/t there's not much real gain on the power production end. Even if you get a more efficient fuel design, you still have to put down more dynamos to take advantage of it.

I think overall that's a remnant of TE's origins as a BC mod. BC is a very "low power" mod and no engines produce more than 8MJ/t.
I think you may have actually better stated what I originally thought. The entire 80RF/t regardless of means is the biggest thing for me. This is what I meant by diversity. I'd like to see tiered power generation much like IC2/BC offer. The fact that, per tick, coal and other hard to get fuels are equal just doesn't seem right.

Mekanism runs on RF as of 6.x and has several 'passive' energy generation methods, although they generally either require expensive components, or some infrastructure to support it continuously.
Not saying the methods you mentioned aren't valid, but I steer away from passive energy sources as they are boring. A setup and forget that has no moving parts.
 

King Lemming

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The point of TE is to show the basic ways of using RF, and possibly establish a solid base for some tech mods. Do not confuse that with RF, however.

Dynamos aren't necessarily meant to be amazingly innovative, I'll go ahead and admit that. Although, they do have local feedback which helps to keep the system running at a steady state. And redstone control settings. They're quite a bit more capable than you might think, especially if your baseline is really going to be BC engine or IC2 generator.

The thing is this - TE3 doesn't currently have anything with a *massive* power draw. It'd be stupid to add tiered generation without having likewise tiered machines. Or vice versa. Neither option is fun - requiring 1000 dynamos for a single machine is dumb, and powering 1000 machines off a single source is also kind of dumb.

As far as RF goes...RF itself is freeform, quite flexible, and lightweight. Can a conduit be made that is > 10000 RF/t? Sure. Should it be? I'm not sure. If MFFS is running into the limit there, then I question if MFFS is scaled properly at all.
 
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