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Tips and tricks for Early to Mid game

Discussion in 'General FTB chat' started by borg286, Sep 28, 2016.

  1. borg286

    borg286 Guest

    Google doc link
    I'm gathering as many of the early tips and tricks to optimize early game. Comments are welcome.
    My target audience is those that know ftb and those that are just starting. I don't like deep build trees, or complex steps. My goal was to find some ability that makes playing more fun/quicker and seeing how I can get the best bang for the buck in achieving that goal. For example Hang gliders > jetpacks due to the upkeep cost, material cost, complexity cost, and opportunity cost (chest slot).
    As you can tell I'm only starting on the automated systems, showing you just how low level I'm shooting for here. More screenshots coming later.
  2. Greystoke

    Greystoke Active Member

    I've become pretty familiar with the beginning/mid-game cycle, actually I'm least experienced with late-game strategy stuff. Just wanted to suggest another option for your Poor Man's ME System; JABBA barrels. Stack a bunch of barrels somewhere, run item conduit or itemducts along the backside, and a chest at the end to dump stuff in. Items go into first empty barrel, locking it into that item type, and then you can just grab what you need from each barrel.

    On the plus side, JABBA barrels are cheap - good for early game. They can also be upgraded, but by the time I'm looking to store a lot of stuff, I'm usually using Compacting Drawers and a Drawer Controller. They're a bit overkill to store just a few items, drawers are much better for that.

    On the down-side, barrels are kind of finicky to integrate into a network system. But for early game? Walls of JABBA barrels are part of every starter base I've built.
    PierceSG likes this.
  3. Pyure

    Pyure Not Totally Useless

    In games with Railcraft or Immersive Engineering, Coke Ovens are a huge boon. Not only can you quadruple the value of your coal and double the value of the wood, you get creosote oil which can be burned by some energy generators given the right mods (Railcraft has its own liquid boiler that can leverage it)

    Depending on the pack, Coke Ovens are often a 1st or 2nd day project for me.
    Greystoke likes this.
  4. Greystoke

    Greystoke Active Member

    Totally agree with Pyure's suggestion above. Coke Ovens are almost always what I build right after a Smeltery. Put a hopper/chest combo on it, dump in excess wood, and pull out charcoal - no fuel required. (Also a good step towards a Railcraft Blast Furnace, if you do decide to add some technology trees to your document down the road.)
    Pyure likes this.
  5. borg286

    borg286 Guest

    Could you walk me through how to build one and what ability it gives you? By ability I mean, since I've already gotten wooden irrigation channel to add 50% burn length, a coke oven would bring that to 100% more burn length. I presume it is an entry into some other tech/ability. What is short on the dependency chain and has high bang for the buck?
  6. Greystoke

    Greystoke Active Member

    The Coke Oven is a great early-game multi-block to build, as it only uses sand and clay (baked into bricks) to make it. The neat thing about it is that it's a multi-block entity, but acts like a single block; you can attach pipes/ducts/hoppers to it like it's a single chest. Attach a liquid carrying pipe and you get Creosote, which can be run into a tank and/or just discarded - I usually make a void pipe to dump excess into.

    It is big (3x3x3 blocks), but can be sunk into the floor, or built into a wall, it doesn't impact the usage.
    Pyure likes this.
  7. Pyure

    Pyure Not Totally Useless

    Check NEI; the coke ovens are, by default, pretty early-game recipes. Generally a few stacks of sand, clay, gravel, and some cooking time in the furnace.

    A coke oven will accept a piece of coal (not charcoal) and transform it into coal coke, for free, over a period of time. Coal coke works in mostly the same machines that Coal work in, but lasts 4x as long.
    It will also accept a wooden log and transform it into charcoal (for free)
    Lastly it will generate Creosote Oil, which is used in some recipes (especially for Immersive Engineering) but which can also be burned as a fuel in some machines (Liquid Boilers, Semifluid Generators, Reactant Dynamos, and so on)
  8. Scottly318

    Scottly318 New Member

    Damn ninjas... was just typing my answer
    Greystoke likes this.
  9. borg286

    borg286 Guest

    Correct me if I'm wrong but obtaining and smelting 104 clay into bricks seems a bit tedious and hard to do when you're competing for a smeltery.
    What are your early IE machines that you do after making a Coke?
  10. Pyure

    Pyure Not Totally Useless

    No, this is a very valid argument when you're playing in packs with Tinkers. Its worth mentioning that most of the packs I play are of the higher-difficulty variety and do not include Tinkers (which creates rather powerful early-game tools).

    (tedium is irrelevant; that applies to everything in minecraft, including cooking grout in this case)
    PierceSG likes this.
  11. borg286

    borg286 Guest

    You'll note that in my guide the smeltery is stalled for much later, instead taking advantage of the early tinkers stuff. I've added the coke section, but I still need help figuring out what to do with it. Notice that I haven't mentioned anything about thaumcraft, even though it is a very big mod. That's because what it actually does is minor compared to the investment cost.

    What do I have to look forward to after a Coke Oven that isn't just "exploration into the mod"? I'm not trying to shut you down, but showing my ignorance in Industrial Craft.
  12. Greystoke

    Greystoke Active Member

    Each world I build in takes a slightly different tack. Sometimes I start with Blood Magic, as it's pretty easy to get to a Sigil of Air (IIRC) that enables inexpensive flight. I tried out Mystcraft once, that was surprisingly easy to get into, although some of the Ages I visited were downright scary. My checklist of early game items usually follows a simple progression;

    1. Shelter - get a decent starter base location. Or a barebones location to keep the mobs at bay, while I explore for a better spot.

    2. Food - do I start a farm or just rely on Pam's Harvestcraft traps for goodies? (Highly recommend those traps, by the way. Great way to get leather, for example.)

    3. Ore Doubling - Tinker's Construct Smeltery. Even if I get into something like Draconic Evolution later, the Smeltery is a part of every one of my bases.

    4. ?? - At this stage I start diversifying.
    • Build a jungle treehouse base, Twilight Forest portal, and get into Forestry/Gendustry beekeeping in a big way?
    • Automate glass production and build a tech-centric base?
    • Try to set up a Witchery altar again?
    • Clear space for a Blood Magic altar?
    Each one of these requires some different mix of resources, so I usually develop the concept first, then build the supply chain to get a steady resource stream going. Railcraft is a classic example - tough to get into from the start, because it just gobbles up iron like it's going out of style. Mid-game it's a great choice, zipping around the map on rail lines is just cool. I try different power options, sometimes Culinary Generators seem the way to go, or maybe build a honking huge Magmatic Generator stack. Solar cells fit well in some base designs. Never built a reactor, but maybe this time I'll try a Diesel Generator, or go big into BioFuels.

    Good base location and/or ore availability is also a factor. Was lucky enough to have a Mushroom Island biome near my base once, used mushroom stew from Mooshrooms to fuel Culinary Generators. Or the jungle base, that had a lot of wood resources, so Furnace Generators were an easy choice for power. Tough to find enough clay for the Smelteries, but still doable.

    It's tough to describe my single preferred technological track, because I like trying different mods, and letting the base design/style choice dictate what machines I focus on. For example; in my current active game - first one for me on a public server - I built a quarry. Never done that before. Find I need a crap-ton of power. Whoops. Now I'm scrambling to ramp up power production, so I can keep the ores flowing in. On the plus side, I don't miss the branch mining for vital resources. Now I'm getting into RFTools, going to try making my first dimension. Finally a use for all those random dimlets!

    tl:dr; I build different early game/mid-game machines depending on what mod(s) I've decided to focus time developing. I find a good base concept drives my creative juices, some mods just work better with some base designs, to me at least.
  13. borg286

    borg286 Guest

    Would you mind guiding me into how to get early flight using blood magic? Because it seems that acquiring a gast tear and emerald is needed, which are totally not early game. Traveller's boots + mountain + hang glider is early game for good enough flight. I'd prefer a cheap way to get height, but the only one i know is a leadstone jetpack. But I only want some height, and more renewable than needing a power supply.
  14. Pyure

    Pyure Not Totally Useless

    fwiw, emeralds are pretty early-game if you have a village nearby. Most villages have at least one villager who will trade emeralds for wheat, and all (?) villages have wheat farms.

    Ghast tear is a bit trickier since you usually need to be able to access the Nether. And then you have to be able to find and shoot down a Ghast who isn't floating over lava.

    Having said that: are you specifically interesting in the blood magic solution? There are other mods that feature flight (obviously).

    Hang glider, as you mentioned, is a great way to do exploration (and to extend the range of other flight apparatus' that require fuel)
  15. Greystoke

    Greystoke Active Member

    Perhaps I should have called it mid-game flight! I build a portal to the Nether quite early on, even before I've found diamonds. For early game portals I use the pour water over lava system, making a frame of sand or dirt to outline where I want obsidian blocks. I didn't know there was an option to pump water and lava into a smeltery to get obsidian, that's a pretty sweet solution!

    Getting a ghast tear isn't a Day One task, but once you have a bow and arrows, it's mostly just trying to dodge fireballs while you snipe at them. First, as Pyure pointed out, making sure they're not over lava.

    Once you have an Air Sigil and some source of blood for the Orb, adding a Hang Glider makes for super cheap flight. At least, quite a bit cheaper than the various jetpack options.
  16. borg286

    borg286 Guest

    I have yet to get an answer on what you recommend to build after a Coke furnace. Would you go for water wheel?
  17. Greystoke

    Greystoke Active Member

    After a Coke Oven I usually start accumulating resources for a Blast Furnace. It's slow, but once it's built I just keep it filled with Coal Coke and Iron to make steel. Rolling Mill (frequently found in villages, in the railroad depot building) is easy to make and turns iron or steel into plates - I mostly use this to build Railcraft Tanks.

    By the way, one tip for Orebushes; they do require stone or cobblestone to start on, but once they're mature, you can mine out the block below and plant another row of Orebushes. I find it easier to harvest if they're stacked that way. I use branch mine tunnels for oreberry farms, with slabs for the floor to keep mobs from spawning. Good use for all the random bushes I tend to accumulate.
    Pyure likes this.
  18. Pyure

    Pyure Not Totally Useless

    Neat tip. :)

    Obviously doesn't matter as much once you have a Harvester of some sort that works with oreberries (the MFR one works iirc)
    Greystoke likes this.
  19. Alumite is useless, steel is superior in every aspect, including the effort you have to put into it. If you can get automated mining, don't even bother hunting nether ores.

    If ProjectRed is into the pack, you can easily harvest a few rubies / sapphires / peridots and craft yourself an equivalent of a diamond armour (and ruby swords hurt. A lot ( and by "a lot", I mean they hurt like Manyullyn). Especially if you throw a bit of Certus Quartz onto them).

    Do you have Thaumcraft and Agricraft? If you do, you can create yourself a quick and easy blaze powder farm with a bit of Agricraft breeding, and an IC2 compressor (it will be slightly inefficient in rod production, but if you need the blaze stuff, there you have it).

    Either this, or craft a diamond dolly ( jabba ) and grab a blaze spawner(or multiple ones) from a fortress. You can then have the blazes spawn into a chamber, funnel them to an Iron Spike, and watch the blaze rods burn into whatever smellter generator you want to use and produce a lot of power. You can also use them into a magma crucible for affordable lava.

    An Auto-Smelt Lumber Axe is very helpful for plentiful earlygame charcoal with xp gain.

    Solar Helmets are good for jetpacks, as they passively regen the energy bar of it. It is also worth noting that they are an undestructible iron helmet.
  20. KingTriaxx

    KingTriaxx Forum Addict

    Very early on, before doing anything at all, I try and find a creeper. Lure it over some stone and let it blow up. If it kills you, that's annoying but you can occasionally survive. What this does is let you get some stone and probably skip wooden tools entirely. Works with vanilla as well as Tinker's but might take a couple of creepers.

    Slab Furnaces are much cheaper than Vanilla ones. 6 cobble to get one, versus 8 for the vanilla one. Which late in the game seems completely pointless, but early on, you can get two furnaces cooking food or charcoal for the cost of one and a half full size ones. Plus they can go on the ceiling and you won't constantly hit your head on them.

    In the latest versions of Railcraft, where you have the Railcraft huts? Those are fantastic because they'll almost always, unless terrain gen has interfered, contain a Hobbyist Steam Engine and a Rolling Machine. I usually start my Coke Oven and then go searching for a village just for those two things, because then I can make iron plates and those can be used to make a small steam boiler that will keep me in power for a long time, and make setting up other power much, much easier. Plus there's usually a chest containing some railcraft items. Often free rails and wooden ties, or creosote bottles. Best of all, the two creosotes are cross compatible, so you can use either one in either recipe.

    I've found Railcraft tends to be more iron efficient for it's early uses than IC2. Most of it gets turned into steel which is largely better. Steel Picks are also diamond level, and last much longer than iron ones, Steel armor is more protective. Most recipes that have a steel option produce twice what their iron counterparts do. Six iron in a rolling machine gets you 8 rails, while six steel gets you 16.

    Once you have 16 steel, it's time to build a Steam Oven. Make 16 steel plates, and put them around two furnaces. No you have a 2x2 block that can cook 9 items in 12.5 seconds. It if butts up against your Steam Boiler it doesn't need pipes to get steam and can auto-fuel your boiler as long as it is cooking wood into charcoal. Super useful for feeding the outputs of any ore multiplication into, since unlike a Tinker's Smeltery, it won't auto-alloy. So no worries about tossing in Iron ore and getting nothing but invar out.

    So in answer: Coke Oven>Steam Boiler>Blast Furnace>Steam Oven.

    If you're using IE only, then: Coke Oven>Water Wheel>External Heater>Blast Furnace.

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