I was never one to enjoy Minecraft mods, at least not at first. The modding process was lengthy, often frustrating and totally unsupported. When I first started playing Minecraft, most mods were single-player-only, so as a multiplayer fanatic they just didn’t hold much appeal. I recently started playing Minecraft again just to see what all had changed. In browsing some of the forums I stumbled upon something called the Technic Pack, a group of mods that had been compiled to be distributed as one pack. The mods mostly focus on industrialization of the Minecraft world, introducing machines, new redstone recipes, alchemy, advanced minecart systems, and so on. Yeah, it added a lot. The best part? It was all available for multiplayer.
I wasn’t quite ready to jump in with all the mods, but Buildcraft, a long-standing mod from the community, caught my eye. The mod is pretty simple – it adds machines that, with a bit of planning can automate many of Minecraft’s tasks. The most notable is the use of quarries, which mine out giant chunks of the world when attached to an engine. There is also a very cool pipe system that allows for transportation of goods and liquids. It’s capable of supporting a player-built power grid. That’s right. Power grid.
After playing a mod like Buildcraft, I can’t believe Mojang hasn’t spent more time with a real modding API. The modding system just needs to get easier. For all that Notch loves about Bethesda, how has he not picked up on this part of the business model. People will improve your game for free if you just give them the tools to do so. Granted, they’re already doing that, but imagine if mods didn’t break the client with every update. Imagine if they could all interact reliably for both multi- and single-player. Wouldn’t it be a beautiful, blocky world?