I've decided to start a new single-player survival game and re-evaluate which mods to use, but I also have some questions.
Note: I play Minecraft to relax, not to challenge my skills, so I generally stay in peaceful mode and single-player. Also, I have a 4k screen, so I'd prefer not to have to settle for 16x textures. I have been using 128x textures (from bdcraft.net), since 256x or 512x tends to run out of memory, even though I have 16 gigabytes of physical ram (and I've tried giving Java up to 12GB for running Minecraft). I've gotten 256x textures to work when I play with no mods (including in version 1.8).
1. Can someone suggest a layout for setting up IC2 machines automated via AE2 crafting cpu(s)? (including some ME controllers, and some room for ME storage drive(s) and expanding other things as needed)
2. Is there a mod (or combination of mods) that would allow me to automatically tap rubber trees (in a farm I'd make either manually or automatically of just rubber trees with leaves removed) for the sticky resin and put it in a nearby chest of some sort, wait for the tap hole to refill before tapping it again, and stop when the chest is full?
3. Which matter conversion/exchange mod is best? AetherCraft, Balanced Exchange, Equivalent Exchange 3, or some other similar mod? Please provide reasons, and if there's a feature comparison table already posted somewhere, I'd like to look at it. (or are they all so overpowered that I shouldn't use any of them?)
4. If I don't use some other mod's way of obtaining iridium ore, am I better off making more via mass fabricator and replicator once I find some in a chest (last I checked, iridium ore requires 120 mB of the liquid UU-matter), or looking for more chests with it?
5. Which minimap mod is best, and why? A comparison table for them would be good too.
I was going to list my feelings on all the mods listed at http://modlist.mcf.li/version/1.7.10, aside from ones that were server-side only, dependencies for other mods that didn't do much on their own, or addons to mods I don't plan to use, but that would have put me way over the 10k character limit for forum posts here.
In general, I like mods that reduce the risk of my character dying or having my stored items and machines I've set up destroyed, but I don't like mods that make it trivial to obtain materials that are normally limited (I don't mind automating the gathering of renewable materials like wood from giant spruce trees or sticky resin from IC2 rubber trees, though). I'm okay with semi-automatic crafting, but I think it's more fun to do the mining myself than to use some sort of automatic miner. Also, I'm usually not interested in mods that add decorative blocks that don't have other uses.
Here are the mods I'm planning to use so far (with 1.7.10, at least until such time as most of them have 1.8 versions):
IndustrialCraft 2 Experimental
Not Enough Items
Too Much Loot
Too Much Rain
Waving Plants (shader pack)
Please let me know if you can answer any of my questions, or if you want to suggest a mod to remove from or add to the list above, and we can discuss, thanks.