I've been playing for a very long time, since one of the earliest releases. At first I used a mod only to allow crafting, I stopped using mods many months ago. It did help me get a jump start on my base, but I'm an experienced enough player now that I don't need them. I embarrassingly admit that I have spent a lot of money buying things. Early on you could buy just bulk stone and wood. The sheer amount of money I've spent on weapons packs is embarrassing as well. Plus I've spent endless hours with an axe and Pick, probably 100 times more effort gathering material than actually going out and exploring. I don't I don't recommend using mods to anybody. but if you want a Cool Base prepare to spend every waking moment and a lot of your savings account, to build it.