I went on an Amethyst mining expedition in the Promised Land, flyting around the sky islands there looking for it. I got 111 of it, thanks to my Iridium Drill, which comes with Fortune III on it. I can craft all of the items made out of it. I can also make an anethyst bucket, which is the only type of bucket that can transport spring water.
While there I picked up some saplings from Loftwood trees and a bit of Magic Wood. The tree I got that from does not appear to drop any saplings. In addition I got some Arcane Essence from Ars Magica 2. The mobs from that mod appear to be spawning in the Promised Land, with Dryads on the surface and Mana Creepers and Mana Elementals spawning under surfaces. I killed quite a few of those, while others trying to come after me just fell offf into the Void below. Witchery's Coven Witches are also spawning here.
To make it easier to get back and forth, I made a Linking Book back home and another while I was there to get there without having to use the portal. Here are some screenshots:
This structure forms when the portal to the Promised Land is created. One is created at about Y=155 in the Overworld above where the Ancient Staff is used, with the other one created as shown above.
A closer look at the portal itself.
The Promised Land. The sky islands here form somewhat below the portal and several items not found anywhere else can be found here, such as Celestial Crystals and Amethyst.
In later versions of BoP, this dimension and all ot the resources found within were removed from the game. I believe that it was removed around 1.7.2.
I fought the Wither again in my warded obsidian room, and got two Inactive Division Sigils, a yellow heart and another Nether Star, which I used to build a Beacon.
I located it in the center of my base, but had to cut down 12 of my IC2 rubber trees to make room for it. This was not much of a loss as I had plenty of saplings to replant the ones I cut down. For my primary power I chose speed, and for my secondary I chose regeneration. The base layer I made out of iron blocks, with the interior of the other 3 layers also out of iron blocks. The outside of the 2nd layer I made out of gold blocks, the outside of the 3rd out of diamond blocks and the outside of the top out of emerald blocks. I used 115 iron blocks, 24 gold blocks, 16 diamond blocks and 8 emerald blocks.
I also automated the collection of eggs from my chicken farm using 4 Vacuum Hoppers from Open Blocks. These have only a range of 3 blocks from which they can pull in items, and I needed 4 of them to cover the entire pen. I connected Item Transfer Nodes from Extra Utilities to each of them and ran Transfer Pipes into my base to a gold chest. I then connected that to my AE system with some ME Cable and a Precision Import Bus. This was relatively easy as there was an existing cable in the floor nearby. I am occasionally seeing raw chicken showing up in my AE system, so animals are still getting suffocated in the ground, though not as bad as in 1.4.7.
I did some more bee breeding and got another Imperial Princess and Drone, while the others I was trying to breed up stayed at Cultivated, Noble or Majestic. I had kind of wanted at least one pair to go to the Industrious branch, but that did not seem to happen.
Then today I went back to my emerald mining area in the extreme hills NW of my base. I started digging at Y=23, above where I had previously started in this area, and covered about half the 100x99 blocks in it. I got around 20 or so emeralds; I'm not exactly sure how many I got as I was not keeping track and did not check my AE system before leaving to see how many I currently had.
I've gotten into making custom block models and i've been attempting to bring people suggestions for some things on the minecraft forums into minecraft itself, but it is a lot harder than it looks and I've failed more times than I'd like to admit.
Finished the 3rd and 4th sections of Pathfinder, despite lots of derpiness. I only have the 5th section which looks like all ProjectE stuff. I had several issues with RFTools--crashes, trouble making the dimensions I wanted--but am slowly warming up to the mod, and I enjoyed the Clockwork Phase section, although I've only barely explored that mod. The Celestial Compass multiblock structure from Clockwork Phase is very pretty, and I love that it has lighted blocks:
I got all my inventory unlocked, got some villagers and figured out how to get more Harvestcraft fruit trees in this modpack. Unfortunately i don't know how much further I want to play this world after i finish the questbook. I'm already thinking of what i want to do next.
I finished mining at Y=23 in the Extreme Hills NW of my base, and now have 135 Emeralds and 17 Emerald blocks. 16 of the Emeralds are being kept in my Goilden Bag of Holding for trading with villagers. About the only ones I am trading with are the Apiarists, and then only when they have Proven Frames. I am going to continue mining here at Y=26 and Y=29, then that will be it for the area.
I have gotten another pair of bees up to Imperial, making a total of 3 so far. The others are staying at Noble, but what I would really like is to have at least one more pair in the Industrious branch. I currently have only 2 of these, and will need more Pollen to make the Alveary blocks. As for my other bees, I have been getting enough Honey Drops to allow me to switch permanently to Honeyed Slices as a food source. I am also getting a lot of Honeydew from the Dripping Comb that the Noble and Imperial bees are making, and all of that is going into my honey tank, which currently has aound 44 buckets of it.
I activated another Division Sigil, and this time placed stone bricks around the Enchantment Table, with a center 5x5 of grass. I then placed stone bircks out another 4 blocks, but found that the Cursed Earth forms out 6 blocks with the ritual is done. I did not need any more of it, and did this mainly to reduce the number of mobs spawning from it.
I also fought the Wither again, getting two more Inactive Division Sigils, another yellow heart and the Nether Star. I now have 10 of the yellow hearts, and can increase my health to 30 hearts. That is going to require 40 diamonds and 80 gold blocks. The latter i am finding a lot of in the Large Hollow Hill I have been raiding, along with some emeralds (30 on my trip there) and diamonds. Most of the mobs there are now gone; the main thing I have to deal with are the Wraiths. And flying up high inside the hill to get the ore stalactites means I have a greater chance of being attacked by them.
Lastly I got started with Ars Magica 2. I had already made the Arcane Compendium some time ago, so I made the Occulus (where you learn spell components), the Inscription Table (where you assemble the components and write the spell), and the Crafting Altar (where the spell gets created). The Altar can be made out of various materials, each of which gives a number of spell effects than can be crafted. I chose Nether Quartz and Emerald blocks. Here is what it looks like:
The object on the right is a lectern. This is where the spell about to be crafted is placed. The lever is used for spells which require Essence. I have a tank of this in the opposite corner of the room; it is currently holding about 145 buckets of it. The translucent blocks are Magic Walls, made using Vinteum Dust and stone. The block at the top center is the Crafting Altar itself, using one Vinteum Dust and stone.
Spell components are learned in the Occulus using green, blue or red skill points. Skill points come from Infinity Orbs, dropped from AM2 bosses or found as dungeon loot. I've found 5 blue ones and 4 green ones, 2 of each which I used. There are 3 categories of components, offensive, denensve and utility. For my first spell I chose a projectile which does physical damage. The Altar allows up to 11 components/effects per spell (+3 for the Nether Quartx and +8 for the Emerlad blocks). The only greater effects per spell are from Moonstone and Sunstone. While I have enough Moonstone to make the Altar out of it, I liked the look of the Emerald blocks better. And Sunstone is only found in lava lakes, mostly in the Nether. I have only giotten 18 of it, and would need another 27 to make the Altar using it. I don't think I am ever going to need a spell with 12 or 13 components, so the Altar is it is now will do OK for me.
I finished Pathfinder today after a loooong session last night and playing from 7 Am to 2 PM today.
While I enjoyed a lot of it and appreciated the chance to explore mods I had never used before, it got very, very, very grindy in the 5th section, in part because a lot of ProjectE recipes are grindy and the modpack made many of those recipes grindier by disabling your ability to add diamonds and things crafted from diamonds into the transmutation table and requiring a more grindier, more expensive recipe for the dark matter tools that required you to use base tools in the recipes that relied on Redstone Arsenal items, including an ingot I could only craft using the Flux Crystals. And all ways of automation that i could think of was either not possible with this modpack or too time-consuming to pursue. Ugh. It's why I pretty much did a marathon to the finish line because I knew if I stopped I would quit and never finish. And I confess I may have taken a few shortcuts when it started getting seriously tedious, like with crafting the Klein Star Omega. All in all, while the ProjectE Alchemical bag is the bestest--with three of those, a jetpack, a master-level Tinkers hammer and a few OpenBlocks dev nulls, mining was a blast--the rest of ProjectE I found surprisingly meh. I mean, burning everything you can for EMC is fun for about five minutes, but there was some glitches with this mod that didn't leave a good impression, like the same item would have two or more EMC values and so wouldn't stack, which it was super annoying (and it happened a lot and for no apparent reason) or having to restart to reload the mod scripts when the ProjectE recipes went missing. Overall, I found ProjectE very OP--as was expected--but not a fun kind of OP.
I did manage to die one more time before it was all over--had to go mining to collect more coal and ores because I had depleted the Transmutation table and needed stuff to make more precious alloys to ramp up the EMC. I mined quite a ways from my base and tunneled up into the middle of an extreme hills mountain. And then, in the Hardcore Darkness darkness, I mis-toggled my jetpack engine and fell to my death. It was a fun romp through the hills to get my stuff back.
I don't know what I'll do next. I want to do something where I can build a nice base and set up tech stuff and farms in a proper fashion, but I really liked following a quest line for a change. A lot of the questing modpacks are hardcore types and I'm not really looking for something that's hard in a Super Hostile kind of way, and after all this ProjectE, I really would prefer to go back to farming and tech. The Regrowth modpack is enticing but I may just take Etho's Pack and customize it and do my own thing, like I usually do. Just, something that, if it has to be grindy, it's a fun kind of grindy, and not ProjectE Klein Star Omega grindy, please.