AIE Nomads is a pack that focuses explicitly on technological mods. Similar to Notch’s original vision of the game, there are no magical mods included. It is the official modpack for the Nomads of Alea Iacta Est, a social gaming community that had its start in World of Warcraft. The group has thousands of members spread between dozens of different MMOs. It was only a matter of time until they entered the modded Minecraft world, and with them, they brought a finely-tuned modpack.
Starting off in AIE Nomads isn’t difficult. While they do give you a set of beginner tools, they are practically useless. The axe functions better than the sword as a weapon, for crying out loud! Since this modpack was built for server play, what you start off with doesn’t matter too much. The creators expect you to have allies that can back you up if you need things like food, weapons, or resources at the start of the game. Of course, it’s simple to play solo, if you’re that kind of player. Although the description says that it has added ‘aspects of challenge,’ it is not a difficult pack by any means.
What it does do is set up a streamlined ascension to power. By utilizing the Eureka mod, players can quickly and easily follow a path that catches them up with other players. Because of Hunger Overhaul, setting up a farm and home will be a priority, but that should be no problem. There are plenty of fruit trees and wild vegetables for you to grab in your first few days. After you have that set up, a little strip mining at the lower y levels will get you all the resources you need to start automating right away.
The main tech mods are all staples in the modding community: Mariculture, AE2, Forestry, Buildcraft, Rail Craft, Thermal Dynamics, Tinker’s Construct, and Redstone Arsenal. Big Reactors isn’t quite a staple yet, but it has made its way into this modpack. Since I usually rely on bees as an extremely inefficient means of power, I am happy to see Binnie’s Mods extending Forestry in this pack. Industrial Craft 2 is noticeably absent, but this doesn’t affect the playability of the modpack. There are a few mods focused on decoration that have made their way into the pack—namely, anything related to Bibliocraft. Chisel, DecoCraft2, and FloodLights are also included to make life a bit more beautiful.
Playing without any kind of magic mod is definitely jarring. Thaumcraft is at the core of so many modpacks that it’s surprising when there aren’t Silverwoods dotting the landscape or aura nodes faintly glowing in the air. At the same time, this is what gives AIE Nomads its charm. The game feels more realistic and allows players to pursue many different kinds of technologies, rather than different branches of magic. The inclusion of Eureka makes it easy for magic junkies to catch up with all the different tech mods included (and I have to admit, I am one of those people). That being said, be sure to keep the books you start with this time around!
The modpack is currently a work in progress, but it’s unlikely that any massive changes will be made to it. Rather than that, you can expect mods to simply be added or updated. This pack was built for a server, so ensuring that it is stable was likely one of Stigg’s priorities. If you are interested in playing modded Minecraft without magic, this would be a good place to start. Of course, you should play on a server with friends if you want to get the full experience.