Well I never had problem with starter crate in the several starts I had to do. Bosses aren't until much higher game stages.
Have you found class trader? That was my only issue at first, only having one or 2 on map.
Haven't used on a server, but I do use mod launcher. Did you add to client side to?
Might do full wipe to start over with new update, and let you know if I find any from creature packs he added.
Oh, and you can craft engines but they are loot wrenched also. I never crafted them.
Well creature pack entities are in experimental. Found some right after loading in new game. Tried to install stable, but it deleted my saved game. So if the copy you downloaded said beta, its old one.