Focusing on exploration, foraging, and survival, Life in the Woods is a modpack by Phedran which emphasizes the aspects of Minecraft often considered the most interesting. Lots of mods work together in this pack to create a wonderful experience you should definitely check out. Here’s why…
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately,
to front only the essential facts of life,
and see if I could not learn what it had to teach,
and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
The exploration element is probably my favorite part of the mod. The acclaimed Biomes O’ Plenty mod is complimented by a ton of smaller mods (and the beautiful recommended shaders don’t hurt) to make the terrain in Life in the Woods the most beautiful I’ve ever seen, and I’ve tried a lot of mods over the years. The trailer shows this perfectly:
The small visual mods like Better Grass & Leaves and Dynamic Lights make it all the more prettier. There’s even underground biomes and new ocean content to make the great blue less blue and more colorful. Every biome is new and exciting and it makes exploration truly wonderful.
Next there’s the foraging element, one that the creator of the pack emphasizes. It incentivizes a self-sufficient vegan lifestyle – you forage, farm, and cook to survive. You can still hunt animals, but it is not nearly as emphasized as it is in the vanilla game. As the creator put it:
Life in the Woods is all about exploration, simple living,
self-sufficiency, creative expression and veganism;
a Minecraft love letter to the writings of Henry D. Thoreau.
The focus is on exploring, foraging, manual farming,
hand crafting, and living in harmony with nature.
Survival goes hand in hand with foraging, though the Life in the Woods pack offers a special “Hungry” edition for those who like the hardcore survival mechanics. This version includes the Hunger Overhaul which works together with some of the foraging mods that add new flora to the game, and these work with Biomes O’ Plenty to create perfect synergy between the mods, and a truly refined experience that is very hard to achieve while modding on your own.
The finishing touches to this amazing experience come in the form of mods that enhance the other aspects of the game like building. Furniture courtesy of Bibliocraft as well as tons of little touches like the Antique Atlas mod and new tools and weapons to make the tiered progressions system a bit more interesting.
I was afraid new mod packs would be impossible to put together since some of the major mod creators locked their creations down and made them exclusive, but Life in the Woods blew me away with its quality, it proved me wrong and I couldn’t be happier about it. Since the only way this pack was possible was through the efforts of the talented creators of the individual mods in the pack, here’s the whole list:
Overall, this is one of the best mod packs I’ve ever played. While packs like FTB and Technic offer advanced blocks that allow you to build complex contraptions, Life in the Woods focuses on something else entirely and succeeds beautifully. It comes through for the player in many ways, improving upon the natural aspects of Minecraft like exploration and crafting a refined experience through mod synergy and focus on tiny details that make it all feel so great.