Create: Astral is a mainly Create focused automation modpack, which follows the more traditional difficulty curve of expert modpacks instead of the approach Above and Beyond took (that being specific progression-gating recipe chains which directly feed into each other.)
I’ve watched a server die running Create: Astral by my own hands, but the player base behind it was already made of corpses. This is not an experience exclusive to the modpack, as everyday people continuously burn out from Minecraft automation packs. It may be wise for some to ditch them and move on, but I’m here to talk about how to enjoy Create: Astral again, or to ignite a spark which will help get you in and through the pack. Some spoilers will be included, but likely not enough to unveil the surprises that are part of what makes this pack unique.
The first thing I noticed before the collapse of the server in question is burnout and real-life occurrences. Nobody wanted to play anymore, and people got sick of doing the same thing over and over again. (They were also sick of Create itself by the end of it…) This makes you look and feel like this:
Burnout is not unique to Minecraft, or even games, as burnout is a widespread problem many have to deal with. The main thing that was causing it in this pack was the repetition since everyone was focused on machines and nothing else. I never finished Chapter 3 on my single-player world, and it was quite daunting to complete on the server I was playing on at the time. Although biofuel was relatively new to me, so that may have been why…
As a reminder, the previous two chapters thus far had been mainly Create focused too. More than half the modpack up until this point has been Create.
I recommend players to explore a bit, and even push back the nomadic playstyle into midgame. It helps break up the monotony of building multiblock after multiblock structure to process some arbitrary material from yet another “generic” planet. (Although admittedly, Mars in this pack didn’t live up to my expectations after I finished exploring its landmarks, so that isn’t completely the fault of its pioneers.)
As for early game storage, Applied Energistics 2 (AE2) isn’t accessible until you leave Earth. There’s also numerous changed recipes and integrations from other mods. What I recommend doing is exploring your options, as building a giant chest-wall just won’t cut it for this job. Try out using toolboxes from Create to store more than just machines, or Tech-reborn storage units to store fluid cells! (It works too well, just watch out for the tin cost) As a reminder, toolboxes can store parts other than Create machines…
On the topic of exploring, you should check out the world with its complimentary shaders. Go exploring for Taigas, Mesas, or even underground lakes made of an astral material. The world is yours, and you may not have seen it all just yet.
(At the time of writing this article, the creator of Create: Astral, Lasky, has also started up a structure competition featuring “man-made” structures. It seems like the submissions have a chance of getting added into the game, and people have posted some really good builds.)
If you want to go exploring, it’s easy to make a self-railing minecart (I made that term up on the spot and I’m going to stick with it). Heck, I’m quite sure the in-game questbook even tells you about this. If you’ve ever played with trains in base Create though, you’d know how much you can do with them. Use a train tunnelbore? Maybe use them to cut down your trees… or enemies. Maybe make a coal-refuelling station or gather crops with them. The possibilities are (almost) countless!
Finally, there’s a few restrictions which can be bypassed entirely with some knowledge about the mods in the modpack, and how they interact. Note that this bit is *very* spoiler heavy.
- Get scorched stone in the overworld via naturally generating magma blocks and flint.
- Skipping using wire-mills by casting wires and rods directly.
- Skipping needing the Ad Astra compressor for early game by using the Tech Reborn one for Desh Plates.
- Using the Create pipes to remove the need for casting faucets and channels almost entirely (or the other way around, hehehehehe.)
- Going to the moon for a moon-stone generator by using a Moon Stone (can’t be cobblestone) block below the spot where water and lava touch. Note that Desh requires Crushing Wheels to process, so you can’t skip that far ahead.
- (Likely intended by the developers) Using the Create: Additions tesla coil to charge Shimmer into Calorite and Desh into Electrum. You can get a LOT of both materials, so you’ll be swimming in Shimmer and Electrum afterwards.
- Lots of power-generating blocks will output to adjacent blocks, so you may not even need wires to run your base.
It isn’t always the fault of the player when they get burnt out. Part of it lies on the developer(s) of the modpack, as they play a large role in shaping the experience into what it is. As players though, we should be more conscious of what we’re feeling about their game/mod and if we can do something to better enjoy it or play how the devs intend. If you ever feel lonely next to your machines, look into starting a modded server, or consider joining a public server however daunting it may seem to catch up with giants. Everyone plays at their own pace. (Which I learned the hard way by locking my friends in a basement and forcing them to build farms for me.)
Personally, I need to stop spamming funnels anywhere and everywhere I can… I might be addicted to watching their animation.