Category Archives: Digital Playground

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Magic the Gathering JumpStart First Impressions

Introduction

I’m only giving my JumpStart First Impressions. I’ve only played through two trial runs of the set on MTGA. I noticed that it was live yesterday and was so excited that I texted Chris. I waited until today to play, though, since I had to do weekly quests. The TLDR is that the set is fun if you play it as intended.

You didn’t hear much from us over the last week. You also won’t hear much from us the week after next. Next week, I will do my comics reviews. Last week, we were in Vermont at a friend’s vacation house. Next week, we are doing our annual Cape trip.

Captain Trips ain’t so bad if you just wear a mask, folks.

Getting back to JumpStart, what do I mean by it’s fun if you play it as intended? Well, as Chris and I have discussed via text, there are some cool cards in the set. As a result, speculators are buying up the set for resale. I mean, it’s a free country and you can do what you want. However, this goes very much against the spirit of the set. Trust me, I will shun you for it. Now, with that nastiness out of the way, let’s talk about my JumpStart first impressions.

The Great

Fun concept – I’ve been frustrated with Magic the Gathering for the last few years. I’ve been working so much that I haven’t been able to get out and draft with real people at all. Chris and I have done a few sealed matches together and those have been fun. However, we haven’t been able to get together as much as we’d have liked. Now, with Covid, we hadn’t been able to get together at all for a couple of weeks. Christine asked why we hadn’t tried since things have settled a bit in our state, but I didn’t have a good answer.

What does that have to do with anything? Well, since when are we above non sequitur here at 2GG? However, this isn’t that. Because I haven’t been able to draft as much as I’d like, it’s made me frustrated. Drafting on MTGA takes some time that I don’t always have. JumpStart remedies that by allowing me to pick two packs, smash em together, and go. No fuss, no muss.

The Good

It’s Still Magic – When Chris and I were texting about JumpStart, he said something about fixing in the decks that would help against mana screw. While that is true, mana screw can still happen. One game in particular from my trial runs, I got screwed pretty hard on mana. However, my informal analysis is that mana screw will happen less on average than in a typical MTG session.

Well, I mean, mana screw is a metaphor. But, I guess this is cool, too.

The reason this is in the good and not the decent section is that there are good synergies in the various packs. I played Doctor Wizards in the first run. Talrand got me at least 5 drakes. I’ve never gotten that many when trying to build a deck around the card. The second time I played Berzerking The Skies or something like that. I didn’t see much in the way of berzerking, but I did fly over my opponent for the win.

The Decent

Speculators – I already touched on this earlier. Those who are regular readers of the page know that Chris and I are no fans of speculators. Sure, some of that is I’m a bit jealous of them and their ability to make money off of the misfortune of others. A recent example is that Chris texted about rumors of Twin being unbanned. So, speculators went and bought them up at a high rate. I wish I’d been able to spike that and make some extra cash.

Relating this back to the topic at hand, it seems that speculators are buying out boxes of the set and driving up the price. 200 bucks for 24 packs of cards is pretty steep. Especially since I still need to buy Ikoria product. However, JumpStart might be a fun way to try to get the boys playing Magic again. And, now I’m a speculator, but for a very different reason.

The Verdict

My JumpStart First Impressions are that the game mode is as fun as I had hoped. The only thing I didn’t like about the MTGA version is that I didn’t get a chance to flip through my deck to see what was in the deck. Actually, I guess there are a few things that I didn’t like. Secondly, you don’t get to keep your cards. You do get two cards as a prize, but you don’t get to keep your deck. Finally, it costs gold or gems each time you play. I thought it might be a promo thing where you paid your admission and then could play through various combos. No such luck. But, the good heavily outweighs the bad and I’m probably going to end up overpaying for a box. Thanks for reading about my JumpStart first impressions. Hope you see yo in the game!

Minecraft Review: Nether Update

Introduction

Welcome to our Minecraft Review: Nether Update. I feel like Quinn has been talking about this update for a while now. Some of the YouTubers he watches must have gotten early or beta access and were showing it off. Every couple of days when we loaded up the game, he would remark, “I wonder when we’re ever going to get the Nether Update.” Well, we finally have.

However, I have to admit that we haven’t been able to explore the nether as much as we hoped. We actually tried the other day and it ended quite poorly. First Quinn died with a bunch of good armor and gear. Then, I went to help him and I died with a bunch of good armor and gear. Rinse and repeat a few times.

So, we did discover one thing. Mobs in the Nether now spawn much faster than before. I don’t think that they are any tougher necessarily, but there are so many of them that you can become overrun very quickly. So, a word of warning there. However, bear in mind that our experience was in a Nether Fortress. Outside of the fortress, all we encountered were zombie pigmen and I think Quinn called them striders.

So, apologies that I haven’t been able to do my due diligence on this update just yet. File in under “U” for “unsurprising”. In the meantime, I will work on some recon and also the videos of worlds promised a few weeks ago. And stay tuned for an actual Minecraft Review: Nether Update soon.

Hearthstone Trial By FelFire Review

Introduction

Hearthstone Trial by Felfire just proves that someone at Blizzard is a frustrated poet. And that they want the entire world to know it.

Hey, I’m not one to cast aspersions. After all, I have written my own version.

What is all of this rhyming about? Keep reading and you just might find out.

The Great

Free: Normally there is a fee. This time, the adventure is free. I am glad there is no charge. I didn’t want to pay 20 large. sure, I could have used gold. However, using it for that instead of packs gets old. And so, I played. And discovered the true prize is the friends I made.

Packs: Actually, the adventure comes with a quest. And, what is there in that chest? For your trouble, you get three free card packs. They can be won without any hacks. Simply complete Chapter 1. There, now you are done.

The Good

Variety: There is a variety of fights. It isn’t all about might. Sure, some are a race. That require you just to go face. Others require a different tact. And, that is just a fact. Against one boss a fatigue strategy works well. After drawing his last card he faces the death knell.

Length: Even though this adventure is free. There is plenty in Outland for you to see. Four rounds of four bosses. Be careful for some may cause losses. Then, at the end. You face off against one who was a friend. In order to escape Outland, you must take a stand.

I was prepared…

The Decent

Reward: Other than the cards, all you get is a card back. Compared with other adventures, that’s kind of wack. Again, I realize that it’s free. But it just seems like to me–that they could give more. Instead they put a bundle in the store. Like a sucker, I paid. But it included some packs, so better decks can be made.

The card back isn’t even that good of a design.

The Verdict

Overall Trial by Felfire is fun. Even if you don’t do the adventures, you should try this one. The story is decent. You won’t be sad you went. To the plane of Outland. Just make sure you have a plan. You wouldn’t want to get lost. And captured by some demons and tossed–into a pit of despair. Or maybe they’d just set fire to your hair. So pay my warning fair heed. And get on over to this adventure via your trusty steed.

Pokemon Go June 2020

Introduction

I’m back to playing Pokemon Go in June 2020. I started playing when it first released and then got bored. It was an unfinished product, there were many bugs and exploits, and nobody else I knew really played it. I’ve checked back in with the game periodically over the last few years, but never got back into it completely.

Well, that changed a couple of weeks ago. I noticed that my older sons were playing the game. There was also a community day around Seedot where the appearance rate of the Pokemon was increased. There was also an increased chance of shiny. Aiden got like 4 of them that day. Liam grabbed one or two. I…got zero, of course. Nevertheless, I had so much fun that I’ve been playing Pokemon Go again daily.

Well, that’s not entirely true. I did take an unintended week long break. Other than that week, though, I’m back into the game in a big way. In case you’re not entirely sure what Pokemon Go is (and if you’re here, I’m not sure why you wouldn’t), it is a mobile game that allows you to catch Pokemon in the “real world”. You can also hatch eggs, defend gyms, and complete quests. It’s not exactly Pokemon, but it’s pretty dang close.

It does have an AR function, too, but I don’t use it much.

The Great

I’ve already gone into this in the introduction. You walk around and you catch Pokemon. As you walk, you can incubate and hatch eggs to get more Pokemon. Various tourist destinations are Gyms or Pokestops where you can fight to control the gym or receive items to help you in your journey. A professor approaches you periodically to offer quests for experience and loot. It’s not exactly a Pokemon game in real life, but with every addition it gets closer and closer.

The Good

Whereas Pokemon is traditionally a 1 player game, Pokemon Go really requires you to have an active social life to truly appreciate the game. Many of the raids require several players. Your friends can send you gifts for more items to help you level and level your Pokemon. This is partially me being a socially anxious person who lives in a small town. However, I can’t help but feel that I’m missing a big part of the game.

The Decent

As a follow up to the previous post, certain Pokemon are only active in certain parts of the world. There have been spoofing programs that people used to “travel” to get some of the more rare Pokemon. Thankfully, Niantic and Nintendo worked to ban people who did that. However, I can understand the frustration at having to travel across the world simply to find a digital monster. Sure you could trade people. But, see above.

I don’t think that all of these are region specific anymore or maybe the regions change. Still, it’s one of those details I wish the developers would have ignored.

The Verdict

Pokemon Go in June 2020 has me walking more. It gives me another topic of conversation with my two older kids. My youngest son has also expressed an interest in playing. It’s a fun diversion. That’s all I ask from games lately. Will it entertain me and let me forget for a little bit about everything else?

MTGA Cube First Impressions

Introduction

My MTGA cube first impressions are that it is decent. There’s your TLDR right at the beginning of the article. See you in a couple of days for hopefully some Mortal Kombat content. I’ve been meaning to talk about the new expansion for a few weeks now, but it keeps getting put on the back burner for other material. Who knows? This week might end up being MTG and Pokemon again because I’ve been playing a ton of Pokemon Go. Plus, the expansion for that is coming out. Mortal Kombat coming soon(ish).

When I texted Chris about this after he told me that he was facing peer pressure to play MTGA, he said that his other MTG friends had just texted him the announcement. Guess we’re all excited.

I’ve only done one draft so far on my smurf account, so these are truly my first impressions of the cube experience on MTGA. I’ve played cubes before, mostly on xMage. However, I have done one or two on MTGO and I’ve watched numerous cubes on streams. Mostly, those are Legacy or Vintage cubes, so my sense of power level might be a bit warped. Bear that in mind as you read.

The Great

Trigger warning: I’m about to be cliche. It’s cube! On MTGA! Okay, so what does that all mean? Well, limited formats are my favorite, for sure. I don’t mind constructed, but there’s something about cracking 24 packs and trying to make a cohesive deck from the nonsense contained in those packs. I’m not the best drafter, by any stretch. Hell, I might not even be a good drafter. But, I love drafting.

And, now I can on MTGA. MTGA is my go to for Magic the Gathering right now. When it first got released, I called it MTG: Hearthstone Edition, but I’m eating my words now. I guess I just saw too many digital MTG products come and go with little to no support. This one got support and I’m glad. Especially with Covid-19, I can still play Magic on a regular basis.

The Good

And you draft against real players! Drafting against real players is awesome. The bots will usually just take the perceived best card without regard for what’s open, what you can hate draft, etc. Most people are like me, in the middle when it comes to drafting, but our decisions are based more in our priorities and perceptions of what others are doing.

The Decent

I mentioned that I’m used to Legacy and Vintage drafts. So, I’ve seen cards like Massacre Wurm (back in standard!), Elesh Norn, and Jace the Mind Sculptor. So, it’s a bit of let down when I look at the card pool for the MTGA Cube. Thanks to more powerful recent sets and some strategic reprints, there are some powerful cards like Mirari’s Wake, Thalia, and the pictured Liliana. Overall, though, the power level is what you’d expect for a Historic/Pioneer card pool.

Note: This might change with M21 because as I eluded with my Massacre Wurm parenthetical, there are some insane reprints coming with that set.

The Verdict

Like I said earlier, my MTGA cube first impressions are that it is decent. I enjoy the cube experience and I’m glad that it is in MTGA. With the power level being a bit lower and drafts still costing money if you want to draft more than about once a week, I don’t see it becoming my go to Magic the Gathering experience any time soon. I will still mostly just play Standard/Historic on MTGA and do my cubes on xMage where they are free.

Felfire Festival Week 1 Post Mortem

Introduction

Felfire Festival Week 1 Post Mortem already? Surely, it isn’t dead. Well, yes and no. The week is technically over. However, the ramifications continue to reverberate through the game. At least, I assume they do. I thought I might play the game more now that it’s been updated.

However, I have not. I’ve tried playing a couple of times. I just can’t get into it. Battlegrounds is frustrating and boring. It takes almost all of the strategy out of a normal auto battler game. In most cases, that has worked to Blizzard’s advantage. Without a coherent strategy, the game just becomes ovals banging into each other.

The Great, The Good, and the Decent? No, just a verdict

No, I’m not even going to give lip service to these categories for this review. I could go back to the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly for one article, but that seems suboptimal. And, so, I will leave the reader to decide for themselves if it’s worth it to come back if you left. In the humble opinion of the writer of this article, it very much is not worth it.

There are plenty of other autobattlers out there for you to play instead. I would suggest either Autochess or TFT if you’re on mobile. Underlords is also on mobile, but I’ve found that it is a better PC experience. In any case, don’t waste your time on Battlegrounds.

Thanks for taking the time to read my Felfire Festival Week 1 post mortem. Some of you more astute readers might attribute my snark to salt. Honestly, you’re partially right. I’ve played 3 or 4 matches to try things out and I have yet to crack the top 4 in any of them. So, yes, I am frustrated. But, I also have many other things to keep me occupied. In any case, I hope next week is better!

Hearthstone BattleGrounds June 2020

Introduction

I was taken by surprise by yesterday’s Hearthstone Battlegrounds June 2020 update. But, I put together a quick article with my thoughts. It was close to dinner time and then we were maybe going to go to the lake. So, I didn’t talk about the minions because there were a good amount of them being added. We didn’t end up going to the lake, but I hung out in the front yard with Quinn and his stuffed Pokemon. Therefore, I’m going to take some time this morning to give my thoughts on the minions.

Hearthstone Battlegrounds June 2020 Minions

Deck Swabbie: Reducing your tier cost by 1 is huge, especially if you get it early. It’s like getting a token, but you don’t have to sell a minion to get the benefit. I think that this is going to be one of the strongest early game minions.

Scallywag: This isn’t as strong as the tier 1 murloc token because it doesn’t give the extra gold. However, 3/2 are good early game stats and trade well with almost everything.

Freedealing Gambler: A free 3/3 early game? Sign me up.

Southsea Captain: A bit of a whiff if you aren’t already in pirates and early game is too early to commit to a tribe of minions. This is probably the weakest of the tier 2 pirates.

Arcane Cannon: Aside from being the new tier 2 minion sure to be sniped by your opponent, this one is pretty good early game especially if you can get a token and guarantee first attack.

Monstrous Macaw: There are some decent early game deathrattles. Selfless Hero, Rat Pack, Harvest Golem, Kaboom Bot. Heck, even Ghoul is good against a low health board, but it could backfire against you, too.

Salty Looter: These types of minions are always a trap.

Bloodsail Canoneer: This is a strictly worse version of Deathwing’s old hero power. Hard pass unless you get it late and are already in pirates.

Yo-Ho-Ogre: This is a good card. The stat are insane. You’re virtually guaranteed to get at least 3 attacks from it. Late game, unless you get some buffs on it, it falls off, but this is a great tier 3 minion.

Southsea Strongarm: Stats are decent, but the battlecry is only good if you’re in pirates already.

Goldgrubber: Strictly worse Razorgore and honestly, that card isn’t all that great to begin with.

Ripsnarl Captain: Stats aren’t awful and could potentially get better. Similar to Waxrider and that card falls off quickly. I feel like this one would never get going.

Seabreaker Goliath: This one might be good enough to switch strategies. I guess it depends on how sold you are on what you have and what else is offered in the pool.

Cap’n Hoggar: Reducing the cost of pirates by 1 is pretty good. It’s like having a better Millhouse power if you are offered pirates.

Nat Pagle, Extreme Angler: I don’t know what a treasure chest does. I guess I could always check out reddit, since I got my answer to the digging for a golden minion. But, I’m just not in the mood right now.

The Tide Razor: These deathrattle fiesta cards are either good or bad, depending on what they pull. Right now, pirates aren’t strong enough to make this card any good, in my opinon.

Dread Admiral Eliza: Buffs are good, especially if they’re repeated. But, you’d have to be deep into pirates in order for this to pay off. I guess if you’re pulling a 6 star, you very well may be. Otherwise, this plus Megasaur with no murlocs and Nadina without dragons would be a huge whiff. I get that’s a single scenario, but I guarantee I’ll get it more than once with the luck I have

The Verdict

I don’t see anything in the Hearthstone Battlegrounds June 2020 update that makes me want to play pirates. They have a good early game, a decent midgame and then seem to fall off hard in the late game. I could be wrong. Often, I am. However, it still feels like murlocs, dragons, and even mechs are much stronger tribes. Granted, this is just the introduction of pirates and they have time to adjust or add new minions. See you on the Battlegrounds!

Note: All pictures taken from the official Hearthstone patch page. Please don’t sue me Blizzard. You’ve already taken enough money from my World of Warcraft habit and various pack bundles I’ve bought in Hearthstone.

Hearthstone: FelFire Festival Week 1

Introduction

What is the Felfire Festival Week 1? Well, I’m glad you asked. I wasn’t planning on doing any Hearthstone content for the near future. That all changed when I noticed the trailer waiting on my Battlenet client. If you haven’t already, you can watch the trailer below.

I know I’m not usually in the know, but this took me completely by surprise.

If you still haven’t watched the video, what can you expect from Week 1? Well, it’s a pretty big Battlegrounds update. You may remember a couple of weeks ago that I did an article on Battlegrounds because I was semi-obsessed. Well, that semi-obsession went the way of so many of my other semi-obsessions and I haven’t played a single game of Battlegrounds in a couple of weeks. That all looks to change tomorrow. What’s in store for me? If you want to see for yourself, the patch notes are here.

New Heroes

Captain Eudora: I’m not entirely sure what “Dig for a Golden Minion” means. Okay, I just did some digging and after the fourth hero power, it adds a golden minion to the tavern. This is an interesting hero power that you can set up for over multiple turns and get the payoff when you’re at an appropriate tier for a good golden. It is also reusable, so you could conceivably get multiple minions per game. I like it. Goofy and potentially broken. Right in my wheelhouse.

Skycap’n Kragg: While I like the hero power because it basically gives you a free turn of rolls, I don’t feel like it fits the personality of the character. It’s a utilitarian power on a hero that, at least from Hearthstone, feels reckless. Even so, another fun addition.

Captain Hooktusk: Peter Pan reference aside, this one is tough to assess. Initially, I wanted to say that it is a strictly worse Malygos, which is pretty bad to begin with. And, that might prove to be true. However, the discover mechanic (which is again my favorite in all of Hearthstone), makes it less likely that you will whiff. I need to play more with the hero to see if it is any good.

Patches the Pirate: Patches used to be a hero in Battlegrounds. His hero power was terrible. Then, they might have buffed it to bring him back. But, it was still terrible. He’s back again with a completely reworked hero power and it might be slightly less terrible. With a revolving minion pool, at least you’ll be able to avoid it if pirates don’t show up at all in the pool.

New Minions

There are something like 16 or 17 new minions being added to the pool. I’m not going to go over all of them right. It is getting close to dinner and then we are going to go over to the lake after dinner. If I get around to it later, I will leave a placeholder for the other article. You can see my thoughts about the pirates here.

Other Changes

The Rat King‘s hero power will now hit random minions from the beginning instead of constantly starting on beasts. I’m not sure what this does for the hero power other than making it more random. I suppose, by default, that makes it weaker. Since there are now 6 tribes, you can whiff completely from the beginning much more regularly, it would seem. Putricide has been removed from the hero pool. No big loss there. Holy Mackerel is also out of the minion pool. While everyone agrees that Mack was, by far, the strongest minion in the pool, I will miss it. It’s a fun design that, if properly balanced, makes for cool interactions. I will miss you, little Fishman. In any case, I can’t wait to play around with the new stuff for Felfire Festival week 1 starting tomorrow!

Bye, little fish man. You will be missed.

Minecraft Dungeons First Look

Introduction

Thanks for reading Minecraft Dungeons First Look! I was going to call this a review and, technically speaking, it qualifies. However, I’ve only played through about an hour and a half with Quinn, so it is by no means comprehensive. So, to finish out another Minecraft week, let’s talk about Minecraft Dungeons.

I’m not sure how I learned about the game. I think it came up as a suggestion in the store perhaps. That’s probably it. That’s not entirely relevant other than I learned about the game late as usual. When I told Quinn about it, he said something about a YouTuber he watches talking about the game.

Perpetually, Captain.

The game was advertised as a classic dungeon crawler in the Minecraft style. For some reason, I couldn’t envision that. Even watching video, I was confused. What do they mean, dungeon crawler. Then, I played the game and it clicked. Oh, this is just Minecraft Diablo. I’ve just always put Diablo in the ARPG category. So, labels are dumb, Folks. Now that I’ve played it, let’s take a first look.

The Great

Fun! – The game is a ton of fun. I mean, at least to me, that’s the only qualifier for a game to be good. Sure, story and graphics are nice little cherries on top. But, there’s only one thing that I ultimately care about. Is the game fun. This game is. I had fun. Quinn kept saying during our play time, “This game is so fun!” A friend just texted me last night to say, “Minecraft Dugeons is so damn addicting.”

Familiar – This game isn’t Minecraft. But, it’s not meant to be. With that being said, it’s familiar enough that you will find yourself doing a double take when you aren’t able to mine that cobblestone over there or you take damage from a runaway minecart.

It’s exactly as advertised. Classic dungeon crawler with a Minecraft skin.

The Good

Helpful – We all know Minecraft is a kid’s game, right? Nevermind all those streamers on Twitch. By and large, the audience of Minecraft is kids and maybe their parents. Mojang hasn’t forgotten those roots and includes helpful hints and tips as you play. There’s even an icon that points you in the right direction in case you get lost. Very nice touch.

Tough? – Don’t mistake the game as a kid’s game for one that isn’t challenging. Sometimes, games remove the challenge. That’s incredibly frustrating for me. Thankfully, the Lego games don’t. Mojang seems to have taken a page from their book. The game is tough. Quinn and I wiped multiple times against a particular boss, even with the two of us.

The Decent

Limited – I don’t know if this is true, but the game does feel limited. As Quinn and I were playing, there aren’t a ton of different types of drops from what I can see. The map feels small. And, like any of these games, there isn’t much to combat. X,X,X,X,A,X,X,X,X,A,B,X,X,X. There are two expansions already planned and maybe more will come if the game is popular. Until then, expect to be a bit frustrated by how little there is. Even Quinn said, “Wow, I haven’t played this game much and I think I might already be close to beating it.”

Lego Failure – Mojang took a page from Lego’s book and made the game challenging. They appear to not have learned from the mistakes that Lego once made. Way back when, Lego games forced both characters to be in the same area on screen. This was incredibly frustrating for a young father of young kids. I think it was one of the Batman games. I’m not sure. But, eventually, they allowed for a split screen so that each person could explore individually. That was a huge QoL improvement that isn’t in Minecraft Dungeons. Not a huge deal, but as an explorer, it’s not ideal.

The Verdict

After a Minecraft Dungeons first look, I can confidently say that it is a game that will see quite a bit of play from us here at 2 Generations Gaming. I would, obviously, like to beat the game with Quinn and maybe Aiden if he chooses to play. Then, I’d like to do what I usually do with these types of games and replay it to explore. I was so bummed when they shut down the Torchlight 2 servers. I put so much time into that game. D3 has been a bit slower, but I have times that I’m very much interested in that one. Minecraft Dungeons will join that group for sure.

Mekanism: A Minecraft Mod Review

Introduction

What is Mekanism? Well, as usual, let me start with a story. Hey, give me a break. I’m a frustrated writer who has hasn’t been able to write, except for this web page. Give me this simple outlet. I can’t promise you it will be worth your time, but I will promise to try to make it quick. Deal?

Is that the banker I hear calling?

My favorite mods were utility like a mini map and an inventory mod. To be honest, the mini map is the one thing I miss on the XBox One. Okay, I said I’d make this quick. Well, I soon moved onto visual mods like Thaumcraft and Mekanism. Those were my two favorites and I played through a world on both of them.

Between the two mods, I was virtually indestructible. I had a jet pack, magic armor, plus extra health and armor. I could breathe underwater and convert unwanted items into magical essence. It was fun for awhile. However, the curse of omnipotence is very real, my friends. Soon, I grew bored of being a Minecraft god. Then, my computer took a dump and I lost the world anyway.

A Return to Mekanism

We’ve gotten a new computer. Of course, Minecraft was one of the first things installed. However, I took a second job working nights and there was no time to play. Fast forward to March and the Covid-10 crisis and now I have all the time in the world. There’s only one problem. The XBox One is downstairs and the computer is up in Aiden’s bedroom. Long story, that. Not really, but I said I’d keep this short.

Okay, moving on. Jeez, you are pushy! When I planned Minecraft, I knew I’d do an article about mods. I’ve already talked about Thaumcraft in the past. However, you just can’t have a Minecraft week without talking about mods. So, I did some research to see the status of my old mods. Thaumcraft appears to have been abandoned, but Mekanism was just recently updated. Huzzah! Off we go.

The Great

Ore Processing – The mod introduces new ways to process your ores. As you increase your efficiency with new machines, you are able to take one ore and break it down into “more refined” materials. From one ore, you can conceivably get 5 ingots. Granted, there aren’t many ores in Minecraft that are truly rare, but this still makes for a massive surplus in a lot of cases.

The set up is pretty crazy, though.

Jet Packs! – I’m a big fan of jet packs. Often, when I taught engineering, I used jet packs as a solution to getting from one side of the river to the other. Mekanism gives you the ability to fly using jet packs. It is quite possibly the coolest item I’ve ever crafted in all of Minecraft. Just thinking about it now makes me want to go up and start the process.

The Good

Electricity – Sure, Redstone allows for some circuitry in Minecraft and is a sort of pseudo electricity. However, Mekanism gives you real honest to goodness generators and processors that run on electricity. You even have to craft and run wires in some cases to make it work. Sure, it seems like a small thing and maybe not a distinction worth mentioning. However, it’s one that I found interesting.

New Ores – I have to be honest. I almost put this one in “The Great” section. Then again, I’m the kind of guy who still gets excited every time I run across coal while I’m mining. If you give me new materials that are necessary to build new stuff, that just means there’s more to hunt for when I’m out mining!

Plus, I just like saying Osmium.

The Decent

Not a Full Reskin – The mod isn’t sold as a full reskin and I wasn’t expecting one. It just introduces some new materials and craftables. With all of that being said, I think something like Pixelmon or Parzi’s Star Wars Mod are a lot more fun than something like Mekanism. The main problem there is that those mods are usually too quickly abandoned. Probably because they’re a ton of work to design, develop, and update.

No In-Game Tutorial – I’m going to be honest again. This is really the only thing that bothers me about the mod. I just added the full reskin so that I could have my requisite 2 items in each section. Sure, there is an extensive tutorial online. Also, people have made their own. However, one of the things that I liked so much about Thaumcraft was that you could learn on the go and not have to alt-tab to figure things out. Granted, it’s a small inconvenience, but it is inconvenient.

We need a Mekanomicon. That sounds too much like Necronomicon. I will work on the name.

The Verdict

While Thaumcraft was probably my favorite mod for Minecraft, Mekanism was always a close second. Unfortunately, Thaumcraft hasn’t been updated in a few years. As I remember, it was pretty fully functional, so that isn’t a huge deal. Nevertheless, that means that Mekanism has moved into first place. There is such a variety of tasks to keep you busy. Definitely check it out if you have the chance.