FTB: Bees, and tanks, and hydras – oh my!

One “problem” that Kristal and I have with Feed The Beast is that, with all of the additions the mod pack provides, it’s way too easy to be pulled in several directions at once… For example, I mentioned in the previous FTB post that Kristal planned to look into Thaumcraft. She’s not touched that yet, between upgrading the Institute’s infrastructure and managing to get the Twilight Forest mod working properly!

As for me, I’ve been further expanding my Bee Workshop (the place is huge, now), adding in Iron Tanks for the seed oil and liquid honey. Oh, and with the help of Kristal and tiana, I’ve used the Portal Gun to transport two apiarists into an enclosure in the workshop: partly for easy access to their wares, but also to prevent them being wiped out in the event of a zombie siege. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

The discovery of the existence of Iron Tanks has been a boon, especially to me. Early on, I’d realised that the best way to get seed oil was to make a melon farm. The oil – which is used for making apiaries and impregnated sticks – can be obtained from squeezing the seeds of pumpkins, wheat or melons. You’re going to get a heck of a lot more seeds from melons than the other two. So I set up a 96-melon farm, which provides me with over 7 stacks of seeds, once the slices have been processed – the equivalent number of pumpkins would only produce six stacks.

But I soon discovered that my little four-block glass tank wasn’t going to be able to handle the storage of all the oil I was producing. I upgraded to four four-block tanks, but couldn’t make the oil flow into the extra ones. And then I came across the Iron Tank, got excited, went nuts and built one that was way too large (enough to hold nearly four thousand buckets of liquid). I’ve subsequently reduced its size, and now it’s a more manageable 720 buckets’ worth 🙂

My first stab at a seed oil tank. Got rather carried away...

My first stab at a seed oil tank. Got rather carried away...

My rather more modest setup, with seed oil going to the right, liquid honey to the left, and water going upstairs to a larger tank.

My rather more modest setup, with seed oil going to the right, liquid honey to the left, and water going upstairs to a larger tank.

Since then, Kristal and I created a Tank Room, with tanks for creosote oil, lava, apple juice and water, and I’ve added the honey tank, down in the workshop… It was such a relief, though, to figure out how to mass-analyze my four or five hundred bees without them spraying all over the floor >.<

And in an effort to automate bee production in the style of Direwolf20, I needed to make some basic redstone gates (handy things, they are), and figured I’d use a full stack. All it takes is a stack of redstone, which you put onto an Assembly Table to turn into a Redstone Chipset – which you then run through the Assembly Table again to make the gates.

Thing is, Kristal’s set-up had four lasers, which is plenty enough when you’re making a couple of things:

Pew pew pew lasers! Kristal's four-laser Assembly Table - fun to watch (and the lasers don't hurt, either, phew)

Pew pew pew lasers! Kristal's four-laser Assembly Table - fun to watch (and the lasers don't hurt, either, phew)

But I estimated that it’d take four hours to perform the double-pass, and I had nothing else to do – so I decided to try out an upgrade… sixteen lasers! Rather than tear Kristal’s stuff apart, I decided to do the prototyping down in the Bee Workshop – there was plenty of room, after all:

First attempt at a 16-laser set-up. Blue beams are when it's at its most efficient - though this situation only lasts a few seconds.

First attempt at a 16-laser set-up. Blue beams are when it's at its most efficient - though this situation only lasts a few seconds.

It worked, as you can see, but having to fly into and out of the thing was a nuisance. So when Kristal encouraged me to build the thing upstairs, in place of her set-up, I did some re-jigging – and the thing ended up looking monstrous:

External view of the Version 2 apparatus. FOR SCIENCE!

External view of the Version 2 apparatus. FOR SCIENCE!

It is a lot faster than the original four-laser apparatus, but it’s not very efficient: In an effort to cut out the issue of having to load Stirling Engines with fuel, I switched to using two Electrical Engines per laser, which makes the thing so flipping big and mad-sciency – Kristal commented along the lines of expecting a reanimated corpse to appear, upon throwing the switch… I can’t remember her exact words (and I can’t locate the DM on Twitter), but I know they ended with “AWESOME” 😉

The inside of the monstrosity. Now I've got two banks of eight lasers. PEW PEW PEW LASERRRRRS!

The inside of the monstrosity. Now I've got two banks of eight lasers. PEW PEW PEW LASERRRRRS!

Most recently, though, it’s the Twilight Forest which has been taking up a lot of our time, because in that dimension alone, there are many things for us to discover – and fight… I was having a bit of an off-day the first time Kristal showed me around, but since then, I’ve been keen to go adventuring with her. And Kristal finds it both funny and awesome that her scaredy-cat boyfriend has become rather more gung-ho1, particularly since our first Hollow Hill 🙂

Kristal strikes a noble pose during a break in our adventures in the Twilight Forest.

Kristal strikes a noble pose during a break in our adventures in the Twilight Forest. My heroine... *swoon*

Hollow Hills are amazing things, ridiculously rich in ores, laden with a bunch of loot chests – and many spawners producing a ton of mobs for us to cleave in twain. Spiders, zombies, creepers, skeletons, redcaps, kobolds, cave spiders, baby purple spiders, wraiths… I was getting quite the bloodlust! (For in-game-only enemies, I hasten to add.) Mind you, in my excitement, I’ve still not got the hang of keeping out of the way of Kristal’s sword and arrows… I’ve died a couple of times as a consequence, and I’ll go on the record right now as saying that neither occasion was Kristal’s fault!

Inside a Hollow Hill

Inside a Hollow Hill - admittedly after we'd cleared out virtually all the mobs, and a decent amount of resources. Still, you can see some ore stalactites remain. Wish quarries could mine upwards...

Kristal during one of our first sorties in a Hollow Hill.

Kristal during one of our first sorties in a Hollow Hill. Don't worry, they're just scratches...

We’ve had more excitement since… The other day, while investigating why vines were showing two different colours (biome change, as I suspected), I told Kristal that the biome I was standing in was Fire Swamp… “NO WAY!” exclaimed Kristal. “That is awesome!” (she and I are fans of The Princess Bride, where the Fire Swamp is featured.) I snuck outside, and was presented with the awesome sight of flame jets and smoke plumes coming out of the ground… But that wasn’t all… Kristal suddenly reported, in some confusion, that a health bar had suddenly appeared on her screen – for a Hydra… Kristal quickly discovered that we were stood on top of a Hydra’s Lair!

Enderdragon? Forget the Enderdragon… Hydras are much larger than those, and far more deadly. Sure, they don’t fly, but when you’re dodging streams of fire and fireballs, its inability to fly is the least of your concerns! Kristal got a few shots in on the beastie, but it didn’t seem to be having any effect. So I headed into the wiki to find out how to deal with the thing, before we portal-jumped back to base to prepare for battle.

Once Kristal had upgraded her weaponry to a Nano Saber, and I’d traded in my diamond armour for the Quantum variety, the fight was actually rather anti-climactic, though it was awesome to see the new heads growing… Mind you, Kristal did the majority of the work – I was facing a huge amount of lag2, so I have no idea if any of the blows I struck actually did any good! Still, the Hydra was dead – and we still have to find the Quest Ram (Kristal found it), Naga Courtyard and whatever else the Twilight Forest wants to throw at us!

I’m not sure if Kristal will ever get the opportunity to learn Thaumcraft, after all… 😉

1 I’ve found that solo adventuring is a heck of a lot less scary when I’ve got additional audio playing – a marathon listen-through of The Shaft Podcast is very helpful in this regard!

2 Seriously, lag was the issue: I was laying into the thing with a passion – doing it melee, rather than ranged, too!

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4 Responses to FTB: Bees, and tanks, and hydras – oh my!

  1. thecrystalcrow says:

    Still looking for the Moonworm Queen, over a half-dozen Hollow HIlls, but no Queen…but we DID finds the Glacier, and brought home 2 penguins with the Portal Guns!

    How’s it feel to be a tank?

    Like

  2. Pumpuli says:

    Wouldn’t 96 pumpkins give 6 stacks of pumpkin seeds? (Of course 7½ stacks of melon seeds is still more)

    Like

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