I've been aware of Minetest for many years, but only just recently started playing. This was the game of choice for a small five-person server and we've had a blast. Even though it's a big pile of mods, and some of them we don't like, it's a great introductory experience for us to see what's out there.
We've played for several hours and have resorted to installing two other mods: anvil and travelnet. We all hate weapon degradation and found anvil to be a good compromise. We also hated how it took many minutes to go down ladders to Minetest's 4096 resource-dense level.
Eventually we'll probably adapt our world with other mods but this has been a great way to just play. Thanks to the maintainer(s)!
Hello mixer, and thank you for the review. Very glad to hear you and your friends are enjoying the game.
About anvil, we prefered the use of tool ranks. It works similarly to anvil, in the sense that you can repair weapons. Unlike anvil, you don't get infinitely repairable tools which to us, feels like cheating. You need to "merge" two tools, in order to repair the better one, and keep its experience (left/right order matters... not obvious). The advantage is that a higher rank (level) tool will last longer, and be more effective (faster mining, more damage, etc.) Also, you don't need to build anvils everywhere you might need them. You just need to keep a stack of ores and a stack of sticks to build a new one, and then repair your main one.
About going up and down, I personally find minecarts and rails faster than ladders. It's a bit more work to setup, but much more fun to use.
Regarding tool ranks, we really didn't like the "combine two like-items" approach - not in Minecraft, either! We considered turning degradation off entirely as we've played enough minecraft that we're all sick of the drudgery and would rather just build. We felt the best compromise was the anvil, even if it is a bit "cheaty" as mentioned :)
Minecarts are certainly fun and we'll still use them! We just wanted to take out the insane wait for distance traveling. It will also help for when we add new mods that require new world generation - we could just plop a new teleporter down and get the new goodies.