GT5U isn’t really that Factorio-like. While it eventually supports automation, it’s very automation-hostile in the early stages. Deliberately so. There are things you can automate in vanilla Minecraft that early Gregtech machinery intentionally doesn’t allow.
For example, a big step up for me was when I transitioned from the bronze-based Coal Boilers to a single Large Steel Boiler, because you cannot feed the bronze-era boilers automatically, and they also produce ash which must be cleaned out by hand - you can’t extract it automatically in any way. The Large Steel Boiler, on the other hand, is automation-friendly, expects you to feed it fuel automatically, and can be turned on and off with Redstone logic. Which I do, regulating it based on my steam storage.
I’m getting something of a Factorio-like experience now, but that didn’t really happen until I hit 512-volt tech and had enough material wealth that I could afford dedicate individual copies of machines to specific tasks in an assembly line. In the early stages of the Steel era I often tasked a single machine to do several different things, since I couldn’t afford a second one.
I still hand-carry around a lot of stuff. Wires, insulated cables, metal plates, pipes - those things I generally make on an as-needed basis, carrying the material to the machine and picking up the results later. The power plant and ore processing are heavily automated, as is plastics, Teflon, and TNT. Electronics I’ve automated to a limited extent.
I’m not playing a modpack. I’m playing a set of individual mods that I’ve chosen. A “home rolled” modpack, I guess you might call it, with about 30 mods. Gregtech has a very definite, planned progression to it, which is why it’s much more interesting to me than most other mods or modpacks. Where most mods are “add this feature,” Gregtech is essentially a total conversion, changing the game into something else.
Where most mods make Minecraft easier, Gregtech makes the early game harder, re-writing some vanilla wood crafting for example so you get less if you don’t use tools. I have that complicated production line for Industrial TNT because you can’t make TNT with the vanilla recipe if Gregtech is installed. There are a lot of mods w
Gregtech does not include Forestry. It requires Not Enough Items and IndustrialCraft 2, but otherwise includes nothing. It does have built-in support for a fair number of other mods. For example, I build all my Railcraft items using Gregtech machinery.
Some things I’ve added or modified myself, using Minetweaker 3 and a Gregtech-specific addon for Minetweaker. I re-wrote the electronics recipes for Railcraft to use Gregtech electronics, rather than the vanilla-like recipes where the color of wool you used (yellow, green or red) altered how a circuit behaved.
If I were to start Minecraft afresh, I’d take a stab at “Material Energy / Natural Capital.”. It’s advertised as “factorio like,” with a definite progression.
If you’re still interested in Gregtech specifically, I’m playing 5.09.28pre. 5.09.27 is available here. There’s a link to the “in development” versions. I’m running .28pre instead of .27 because .27 has a bug in Titanium production that’s fixed in the pre-release version, and .26 has a bug that prevents the Seismic Prospector from working correctly.
This requires Minecraft 1.7.10. Gregtech 5.10 is for 1.10.2, and it’s highly unstable, and not remotely finished. Gregtech 5.09.xx continues to advance, 5.10 doesn’t supplant it.
The other mods I’m using are:
Nuclear Control 2
Projected Red: Base, Integration, Lighting
Simple Fluid Tanks
Thermal Dynamics (requires Thermal Foundation) - for certain pipes only
IC2 NEI Plugin
Xaero’s World Map