You’re correct. It took me quite a while to find the right combination of mods that made the game interesting for me.
Vanilla Minecraft runs out of goals very quickly. There’s just not a lot there beyond the facility to make 3D sculptures. Which is in sharp contrast to Terraria, which has a large number of cascading game goals, mostly centered around defeating a series of bosses, but there’s also a mechanic of an increasingly hostile environment as you dig deeper.
Most of the mods I fiddled with didn’t really change that. They made the game easier, rather than providing additional challenges. Gregtech provides a wealth of layered challenges, from making the early game harder, to providing a variety of later-game things that are difficult to make, to giving you real reasons to venture into places like The Nether other than “just because.”
It’s an unpopular mod both because it’s hard, and because the creator’s a little screwy. Gregtech 6 goes too far for me - it makes the early game very hard, and frequently punishes player ignorance with death and loss of materials.
I strongly suspect the “Material Energy / Natural Capital” modpack linked in this thread would suit me better, but I’ve got a lot of time invested into Gregtech 5 Unofficial right now, and I feel the need to “finish” it. Whatever “finishing” means with something like this.
Oh, good then. I was starting to think it was too far removed from people’s interests. I’m very aware I’ve been playing the same game for months now, and that my periodic writeups might sound repetitive.
The bees introduced by the Forestry mod have genetics. There’s a fairly deep tech tree that you traverse by mating bees of particular strains together, and hoping you get a mutation to a new species. Bees also have stats which seem to have a random element to them as well, and you get better bees by analyzing your bees to see which drones have better stats and should produce better offspring.
Part of this is that bees have two sets of genes, one of which is expressed, and one of which is not. You want to know both the expressed characteristics, of which the only trait visible without analysis is species, and the hidden ones which a drone carries.
It’s slow, and not really that interesting on its own. If it weren’t for the fact that Gregtech adds a bunch of bees that produce odd and useful products - eventually - I probably wouldn’t bother.
For example, I just recently got my first Clay bee. Which is my first bee that produces something that’s not a honey variant or Royal Jelly. As the name suggests, it collects clay. Which isn’t that interesting, but there are branches that produce all sorts of minerals that are useful in Gregtech.
Bee breeding is something I do when I’ve got something going through a machine that’s going to take some time, and I don’t have any other tasks to do. Tree breeding is worse, because it’s slow and much more random. Bees cross-pollinate trees, but I have virtually no control over which trees the bees pollinate. Beyond proximity and hope.