RockSolid is a tech mod for Rock Bottom that covers everything from alloying to space travel. Read on for a rough guide on how to progress through the mod.
The very beginning.
Your first day
You've just spawned into a new world. Your first priority should be to find cotton before you freeze to death. It's a tall, white plant which spawns in grassy areas next to water. Once you find some, you can replant it near a water source to grow more. When you have enough, get some pebbles and sticks to make a Spinning Wheel. This can produce Yarn using your cotton, but you will need to manually operate it by right-clicking to spin it.
Unfortunately clothes aren't made out of single pieces of yarn, and you will need a Weaving Loom to produce usable Fabric. Make one of them, and you should be able to craft some clothes with ease.
It's dark now, which is a great time to go mining. Make a Brittle Pickaxe and dig into the stone until you have enough to upgrade your pickaxe. A Stone Pickaxe is capable of mining Copper, Tin and Coal, all three of which you will need to progress.
If you find a Copper Container hidden inside some Copper Ore, you can use it to learn the recipe for a Rudimentary Furnace. With this machine, you can process your raw Ore Clusters into Ingots at a ratio of two to one. Collect at least 10 tin and 5 coal in order to make an Alloy Smelter.
With your new Alloy Smelter, you can produce four bronze ingots using three Copper ingots and one Tin. This allows you to make a Bronze Pickaxe, capable of mining Iron Ore. Collect some of that and smelt it to produce Iron Ingots. These can be used to make Iron Lamps, Blast Furnaces and Separators. Separators allow you to double your ores by converting each Cluster into a single Grit, which can then be smelted for one ingot each, whilst the Blast Furnace is required to make Coal Coke.
Putting a single piece of coal in your Blast Furnace will produce some Coal Coke over a long period of time. This dosen't require any fuel, meaning you can leave it unattended without trouble. Coal Coke can be alloyed with Iron Ingots to produce Steel.
Steel machinery and Automation!
Now that you have access to Steel, you can begin to produce Electricity. Most of the machines you will need from now on require an Assembly Station to construct, and you can make one of these with stone, steel and wood. Assembly Stations work fairly differently to regular construction. Every recipe requires a building material, metal and fuel, and you can many of each to choose from. Depending on the materials you use, your machines will function either better or worse in certain ways.
For example, an Electric Separator built using Soil, Copper and Coal would be very fast, have a high throughput, and store a lot of energy in its buffer, but it would use much more energy than normal per operation, and almost never provide a bonus output item. You can experiment with different materials and compare their stats in the Assembly Station GUI.
For now though, you will need to find some water. Make a Turbine and a Boiler using the Assembly Station, and a wrench, as well as energy, fluid and gas conduits using the normal construction system. You will also need a bucket to kick-start your electricity production. Place the pump underwater, and connect a Fluid Conduit from it to the boiler. The boiler will convert the Water into Steam when provided with a solid fuel, so connect a Gas Conduit from it to the Turbine in order to transfer the steam. The Turbine converts the steam into Electricity, which you need to power the pump. Connect an Energy Conduit from the turbine back to the pump and use a bucket to transfer a bit of water into the Boiler to start the system. Once complete, your electricity generation setup should look something like the image below. There is also a battery in the image, which will store excess power from your Turbine. It's recommended to use one of these as well.
Now that you have electricity, you can construct any of the machines found in the Assembly Station, and connect an Energy Conduit to them in order to supply them with power. To get started, an Electric Furnace, Separator and Blast Furnace will greatly speed up your ore processing.
You have already used several types of Conduits in order to produce energy, but they can do a lot when combined with the Wrench you made earlier. Right-click on any side of a conduit to open an GUI that allows you to configure it. From here, you can change the mode, or completely disable the connection on a specific side.
There are also Item Conduits, which are perhaps the most useful of them all. These will transfer items between inventories, and can be used to automate tedious processes such as ore refining and the creation of steel. Using all of the conduits to your advantage is essential to efficient progression through RockSolid.
Another use for Steel is the creation of Steel Tools. With a Steel Pickaxe, you can mine Magnesium and Rutile Ore. Whilst magnesium ore can be processed into an ingot like any other ore you have come across so far, Rutile will drop the ore tile itself and not a cluster when mined.
You need to put Rutile Ore in an Electric Blast Furnace (a normal blast furnace will not work), to convert it into an Impure Titanium Ingot. Impure Titanium can be alloyed with Magnesium to create Titanium Ingots. Impure Titanium, Magnesium and regular Titanium can be used in the Assembly Station, or used to create Titanium tools.
There is also one other use for Titanium. You can create a Nuclear Reactor in your Assembly Station, and use it to produce much more power than your Turbines could create. In order to do this, you need a Nuclear Reactor, and at least one Tempshift Plate and Uranium Fuel Rod.
To make the fuel rods, you will first need to find Uranium Ore and mine it with at least a Titanium Pickaxe. This can be processed into ingots, but you will need Uranium Pellets to make the fuel rods. Uranium Pellets are produced by a Compressor, which is also made in the Assembly Station and requires power to run. Put some Uranium Ingots into your new compressor and you should have enough pellets for a few rods.
Once you have all the components, you can place your Nuclear Reactor somewhere, and open the GUI to insert your fuel rods. You will notice that there is a progress bar for energy storage, as well as heat. As you use more fuel rods in the reactor, the heat will increase exponentially whilst the energy output increases linearly. Be careful not to let the reactor overheat.
To cool your reactor, place Tempshift Plates next to and on top of the reactor in the world. One plate is enough for a single fuel rod, but you will need many more if you want to use more rods. Once you have your reactor sufficiently cooled, each rod will last for 20000 seconds, or almost six hours in-game. The hotter your reactor is, the less time the rods will last for.
With a Titanium Pickaxe, you can now mine Wolframite Ore. This is the rarest ore found on your home planet, and when processed it produces Tungsten Ingots. You may have noticed by now that when processing Iron Clusters in your separator, you also received Nickel Grit as the biproduct. Smelt these into Nickel Ingots as you will now have a use for them.
Tungsten and Nickel can be alloyed together to produce Nickel-Tungsten Alloy. When this is alloyed with Coal Coke, it creates Nickel-Tungsten Carbide. This is a very storng alloy that can be used to create a Precision Assembler in your Assembly Station.
One small step for man...
You may have found some oil while you were mining earlier. This can be used to create Rocket Fuel, so you will need to locate a supply of it. Once you have some, create a Refinery using an Assembly Station and either use a bucket or a pump to transfer the oil into the Refinery. When supplied with sufficient Energy and Oil, the Refinery will produce Fuel.
To store your fuel, you should construct a Launch Pad using your Assembly Station. Place this somewhere with an unobstructed view of the sky and use a Fluid Conduit to transfer fuel from the refinery into it.
With your new Precision Assembler, you can fabricate very advanced items using Nickel-Tungsten Carbide as well as other materials. Be aware that this takes time, as well as energy. The first thing you can create using the Precision Assembler is a Nickel-Tungsten Rocket. This should be powerful enough to reach the surface of the moon, but lacks the thrust required to go any further.
Once you have a Rocket, you can place it on your Launch Pad. If the launch pad is supplied with energy, it will transfer the fuel into the rocket. Right-click the rocket to check how much fuel is in it, and shift-right click it to board it. Pressing space while in a rocket will initiate takeoff, but you should not attempt to travel to the moon without sufficient preparation.
The Moon is a dangerous place, with no breathable atmosphere. You will need a Space Suit to survive there. Heavy Space Suits can be fabricated using Glass, Fabric and Steel in a Precision Assembler, but as the name implies, your movement will be very slow whilst it is equipped.
Once you have a space suit, you can wear it by placing in there is no such thing as space suits yet. Get in your rocket, and go to the moon! You are ready.