Defense of the Flowers takes Botania and centers the entire pack around it. Quests, magic, and technology all stem from the use of Botania and Aura Cascade, although Thaumcraft has been included for fans of other types of magic. This modpack was originally made for Jampacked 2, and it doesn’t get nearly as much attention as it deserves.
Out of all of the skyblock packs, this is one of the best. Many restoration-type maps are limited in their progression tree. You start off with a tree, get some silk worms, and eventually build your way out and start automating things. Defense of the Flowers takes that standard setup and throws it out the window. You start off with all of the items you essentially need: a huge carrot farm, Dayblooms, and a mana pool already set up for you to use. Water is plentiful, but trees and flowers are not. It’s up to you to restore the world using only the magic inherent in the plant life you are given.
In a way, this modpack focuses on Aura Cascade. While it greatly resembles Botania, it is not an add-on, and simply takes inspiration from the mod. It has all the workings of a tech mod, but at its core, it uses magic. Different items generate different kinds of magic, and you can use several different mana-themed items to move and store the magic. It’s incredibly refreshing to pursue something other than an automated grinder in the early game. Getting resources relies less on creating them and more on building to them. There are large platforms that contain a plethora of resource blocks. Among the important ones are Lapis Lazuli and Redstone, if you can believe that.
Defense of the Flowers is not without its downsides. Since the game relies on plantlife, daylight is essential for starting up. Rain and night will hinder your attempts to create mana, and beds aren’t available until you can convert Livingwood to Wooden Logs long after you start. During your first few days, there is very little to do other than wait. If you know what’s coming, you can generate some flowers using the plentiful carrots, or you can start organizing your farm and begin crossbreeding. Crossbreeding is essential to anyone using the quest book, and it can take quite a long time to make, so it doesn’t hurt to start early. Unfortunately, the majority of that time is spent waiting rather than occupying yourself, so you might find yourself going AFK frequently as you wait for mana to charge or plants to grow. There are a few graphical errors in the quest book itself, as well as a few quests that will not allow you to pick certain rewards, but that’s to be expected in a Jampacked entry.
This modpack is somewhat lacking as far as variety goes. With very few tech and magic mods, it essentially works as a showcase for Aura Cascade. What it lacks in gameplay variety, it makes up for in gameplay innovation. While different people are likely to use the same strategies during gameplay, they are unlikely to have ever used the mods in the order that the quest book provides. It can be a quick learning experience and a fun way to kill some time when you’re playing solo.
If you’re looking for a skyblock game that isn’t as intimidating as Agrarian Skies 2, then this is the one you should work on. It’s enjoyable to play it alone or with friends, and the tech advancement is unique compared to other mods. There are a few pieces that were neglected during Jampacked 2, but these can be easily addressed in future updates. Anyone interested in a completely new experience should stop reading this instant and pick up the pack. Its short description and fast logo hide its depth and complexity, but a few minutes of gameplay will show you that it’s anything but a simple modpack.