Botania War That Isn’t.

Been a while since I posted here, but there’s an interesting Minecraft topic I’ve come not only into contact with lately, but actually have been in some small way affected by.  For those that don’t play Minecraft, particularly Modded Minecraft this won’t mean much.  Vazkii, the author of Botania recently implemented a change that removes a config file for early ‘passive’ mana generation flowers (dayblooms, nightshades, and hydroangeas) to wilt and die, in roughly an hour of real time, or 2 minecraft days.

The first thing to get out quickly that is the most important, no matter how much rage or angry comments get thrown, it’s Vazkii’s mod, and he gets the final say.  Best case scenario, you put out a well, thought out explanation for why you feel a change is good or bad, and Vazkii reads it, sees logic in it, and implements it.  Worst case scenarios are we drive Vazkii from modding, or Vazkii annoyed from all the comments makes Botania nigh unplayable out of spite.

Here’s Vazkii’s interesting conundrum, he wants to make a mod that isn’t about grind but is more engaging at every level, with lots of progression and automation puzzles etc. . .  Passive generation is good for starting, or for new players to learn the basic mana mechanics without a headache.  Does wilting solve that?  I’m not sure,if I’m entirely new to modded Minecraft, the flowers suddenly dying might put me off to the mod if it happens before I can do anything with the mana, an hour is not a very long time, especially for someone who’s new and only makes one or two dayblooms, hoping that’ll be enough.

The second part of Vazkii’s argument is by spamming passive generation (ridiculously large daybloom farms, hydroangea farms, etc. . ) are bad for servers, they complain to Vazkii, Vazkii says not to spam flowers, that gets ignored, and Vazkii is complained to again, but in almost every scenario I can think of most automation tasks of ‘better’ flowers tend to be harder on the server than the farms.  Imagine all the redstone clocks and timers that go into a decent sized endoflame farm.

But why have farms?  Why the need for so much mana?  I think this is the root of the problem that everyone forgets to ask in this discussion.

Since I can’t answer that question for everyone, I’ll describe my experiences with Botania, right before the decay went in.

For me personally, it’s when I do something engaging with Botania, particularly at any point right past the beginning, it’s -very- mana intensive.
I recently learned 48 hydroangeas, 3 gourmaryllis, 4 kekimirus, and 8 thermalily’s do not keep up with 1 loonium, when limited by elven mana spreaders.  (I was trying to get iridium.)

So the recent times I’ve played, where I’m making a bunch of Botania items, fighting a gaia guardian, and running a loonium, I need a big backlog of mana, or just a lot of mana generation.  As stated, all the flowers I had wasn’t enough to keep up with the 1 flower alone.  So my hour doing botania was always stopped short due to lack of mana.

How to fix this problem?  generate more mana.  How to fix that problem?  2 ways, store more mana generated while I’m offline, or generate -more- mana while I’m online.  The former I can do, the latter is harder since I’m already using many end game mana production plants, I could make larger farms of end game plants, but this is getting back to the first problem, but more-so, so when I’m online, I’m generating a lot more tile entities, effects.

It’s a tough problem to fix.  I also understand Vazkii’s desire to have an engaging mod, but I know I already dread some of the set-ups I’ve already created,  I think my 3 gourmaryllis already cause more lag for the server than my 48 hydroangeas, just due to the nature of the automation surrounding them.

This is my experience though, and perhaps I’m just playing/doing it wrong.  Trying to enjoy Botania in bursts, particularly expensive bursts now that I’m in the end game.

Maybe there’s a middle ground, decent passive generation you can upgrade in some way?  Combining 9 hydroangeas creates a bouquet or something, same effect as 9, but easier on the server?  It’s hard to say, people will generally always fluctuate to the path of least resistance, so I expect the next common choice is going to be endoflame automation or thermalily, after those start getting spammed, will they get decay too?

I know the fallacy of the slippery slope, and while I’m invoking it a little, I think the bigger question isn’t how do i stop players from spamming flowers like this, but the deeper question of, why do they want to spam flowers like this, and can I implement a method/goal that achieves that?  Where do players feel they have ‘enough mana’ and where does Vazkii rate that?  Is generation just too low that these methods are required for enjoyable play, or the cost of things too high?  Or is there some poorly conceived/understood idea that ‘this’ is enough mana when it’s clearly too much?

For me it’s to have enough mana on hand the once a day or once every 2 days I play, and want to create some terrasteel, or use a functional flower that is really expensive, since I can burn up 9 pools in about 30 minutes if I just turn a couple of things on, and my generation just isn’t strong enough to keep up with that.

Either way I still enjoy Botania, and I hope Vazkii and the community can come together to make decisions that makes everyone happy.  Just some food for thought, and the two cents of a random blogger who finds this design problem interesting.

Digit out.

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