Gregtech isn't too difficult after all

  • Many people say that Gregtech is a bad mod because "it makes everything difficult" or "it makes you have to <this or that or some other thing> a lot", or whatever like that. They say it takes you forever to progress in the game, and once you have progressed there isn't enough reward. Those people are actually wrong, but they don't see how they are wrong.

    Using Gregtech only chances a few vanilla features, usually for balance (logs -> wood -> sticks) or fixing stupid things in the game that are the product of developers' lack of knowledge about the real world (trinitrotoluene -> TNT, gunpowder -> powderbarrel). This may appear to "make the game difficult for no reason" in the perceptions of some shallow-minded people; but it actually increases the reward you get for building machines, since your sawmill is more efficient in producing wood products (relative to the the efficiency of your bear-hands), and TNT is a product of advanced chemical engineering.

    What really makes the game difficult, is the complexity of the crafting recipes, but this is entirely due to how the crafting system works. When crafting, most of the time is used to move items around in the inventory, while making the item is nearly instant. You also have to remember the exact pattern for the recipe, or use NEI to look-up the recipe. This system is a "bottleneck", as you end up spending much more time moving items into the crafting grid than the time it takes to produce the item from its components by clicking on it.

    If this system were replaced by one much like that in the "mobile version' of Minecraft, wherein you get a list of stuff which you can craft instead of a 3x3 grid to place items, you could craft machines a lot faster, by first having the necessary materials and simply clicking on the list-entries for each component, until you have all of the components for the machine's recipe to appear, which is then clicked just once to produce it. However, almost every mod using the existing crafting interface would either break or become deprecated, since the "grid method" would be totally replaced by the "list method". Existing recipes could still work, but they would all be translated to a shapeless form; also, multiple similar recipes could exist, either taking the same ingredients or producing the same item from different ingredients, without the problems caused by those recipes when the existing system is used (they would simply have a different list-entry in the list, instead of overwriting whatever recipe previously used that exact pattern of ingredients)

    If the game has included a list-style crafting system before Forge existed, Gregtech wouldn't be "walked on" so much, since it would be much easier to craft anything regardless of what materials it uses.

    Note that "crafting something" and "gaining the resources with which to craft something later" are distinct and should not be treated as the same. Sure it is more difficult to gather resources - but these are the resources which you use to produce machines and devices which would be overpowered if it were easy to produce all of the stuff used to make them. The reward is greater if it does something which you can't do with your bear-hands, but it is not so much if it is cheap to create or you could already manually do its processes as efficient as it does them. What good is it to get to the "end of the game" in a few days, having powered jetpack suit, laser rifle, rocket gun, missile base, automatic frame quarry miner and all of that, and then realize that you don't really have anything else to do except build houses (which nobody will use) or destroy stuff for no reason? (with GregTech, you can always try to fill that Ultimate Battery or construct a more efficient ore processing factory)

    Note also that "bear-hands" is intended, and not "bare-hands", because bare-hands could not rip wood logs into acceptably-formed planks and rip said planks into acceptably-formed sticks, whereas bear-hands would be somewhat more effective at such a task.

  • It wasn't the complexity, it was the crucible in Gregtech 6 that soured me on it. It blows up, killing you and destroying the materials and itself if you make a mistake. Since it's easy to make mistakes when you're learning, it's extremely frustrating if you don't understand every aspect of how it works. Like, not knowing whether the liquid being the wrong color means you've got the wrong mix, or it's only the wrong color because it's not hot enough yet. Mistake the first case for the second and it's death.

    Beyond that, it's deadly boring staring at the crucible, and slow. One of my earliest projects with most mods is to automate moving stuff into and out of furnaces, so I don't have to babysit them when I've got half a dozen small stacks of different items. The crucible, between the heating time and the danger of touching hot molds, is the polar opposite.

    All of which is why I'm exploring Gregtech 5U now instead. There are things about 6 I prefer, but I'll never play with a version that involves the crucible again.

  • Regarding crucible, you still can change burning boxes. Bronze one has 24hu/t, steel one has 32hu/t, so then you are 1.5x faster. Make titanium one and with 96hu/t your smelting is way faster. But faster heating up makes really smaller place for mistakes, so it is better to be experienced enough to go for fast smelting. Also having thermometer helps a lot, and then later you can even do easy thermostat system that will keep temperature you want. It only needs to get advanced in tech tree.

    Crucible and other in-world craftings are superior to gt 5 system, that is my opinion. And crucible system is pure example of OP's idea of reducing nei searches and actually doing it yourself. And the progress is really rewarding .

  • Whereas I think the crucible is decidedly inferior to regular smelting or the alloy smelter in GT 5.

    While I completely agree with the original poster than the crafting grid is a bad idea, the crucible sits in a spot that doesn't use the crafting grid - smelting. Furnaces only have one slot, and no grid. The alloy smelter has 2 slots, and I'm pretty sure it doesn't care about position (though I haven't actually tested that).

    The crucible still requires NEI, since there are a lot of smelting recipes that aren't particularly obvious. Smelting Magnetite for example, which is important because it's the first thing that actually requires the crucible. Only, due to the nature of the crucible, you're forced to memorize NEI recipes instead of just being able to use them directly. It's user-hostile compared to the crafting grid, and that's quite the accomplishment.

    It's not so much the time required by the crucible, it's that you can't just give it a stack of stuff to do and go do something else. You have to babysit it if you don't want an explosion. You have to babysit it because you have to manually pour the metal into the molds. It's so intentionally tedious that my #1 priority, before it turned me off entirely, was to advance to the point where I could replace it with a machine with a conventional interface.

  • you can't just give it a stack of stuff to do and go do something else

    Funilly, it's the exact reason it exists, and it being GUI-less is the exact reason why I absolutely love it.

    Automation has to be earned. That's what GT is about, for me.

    • Official Post

    If you do it right then you can easily give it a stack of whatever material and wait for it to be processed, and that even without a Thermometer. The Mold can automatically pour molten Stuff into itself. And a Hopper can automatically pull from a Mold above it, once the Metal has cooled down enough. And there is even GT Hoppers that are available even earlier than the vanilla Iron Hoppers.

    And yes, Automation has to be earned, and people have to use their Brain to automate Stuff. GT is like LEGO, not like Playmobil (dunno if the latter is something known outside of Germany).

  • other than a few alloys that are currently crucible only, I have build a smelter/mixer alloy machine and multiple ways to automate crucibles and alloying with a crucible. I enjoy GT6 a ton because you have to think about what your doing and find ways to make automation possible rather than just build another boring "magic block" to turn on thing into another thing. choosing how and what wto use to power a machine, how to set it up to do what you need, and what other machine to pair it with is great.