The Beginning of Roadways

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Somehow my last post got eaten.    Oh well.      Directly underneath the main base, I dug down towards bedrock and hit an abandoned mineshaft.

I love clearing these things out.

I love clearing these things out.

With the new update offering three additional veins of rock, the mineshafts are much more interesting.   I mined out several pockets just to get some granite, diorite, and andesite.     And I managed to get over 100 diamonds out of the whole thing before the mineshaft finally petered out – this partially thanks to a fortune III mining pick.

Clearly with the amount of diamonds I’ve gotten, and the limited amout of gold, you should give serious consideration to the tweaks you might make to ore generation.   Gold does not qualify for the fortune treatment, and this plus its appearance as often as diamond is making it more rare.    This might be a problem in the future, but for now I won’t worry about it.

After clearing out the diamonds, I started heading back towards (0,0).     Pathway built part of the way through the mesa, and I started to run out of food in my inventory.   So now, the current task goes back to building up food supplies.    I’ve trapped my sheep, and I’ve filled up the cow pen to ridiculous levels.     Still need pigs and rabbits I suppose.

Closing in on the origin

Closing in on the origin

And with the new enchanting system I was able to enchant a dizzying amount of diamond and iron tools.

All enchanted.    Two awesome picks, a shovel and an axe even, plus armor.

All enchanted. Two awesome picks, a shovel and an axe even, plus armor.

Establishing Farming

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Farming is starting to get established in Double Ramen.

Wheat Farm.   The door is the chicken coop.

Wheat Farm. The door is the chicken coop.

As you can see, I’ve been farming while starving, which only makes sense.    If I die, I get a full bar once again anyway, and I don’t own anything that I’m worried about losing.   This preserves precious wheat, seeds, etc, while I expand the farming footprint.   I end up dieing twice.

Eventually got enough wheat together to make bread and let me explore more normally.     I then trapped some chickens in the nascent coop.   One problem – I think I put it too close to my planned base, I can’t really expand it without having the dreaded problem of listening to animals make noise inside of my base.   So I’ll probably move the chickens.

Cow Pasture underground

Cow Pasture underground

Planning to make this one pretty big.    I don’t really want the cows getting out through fence glitches, and they give both leather and beef.    On top of this I can always make crop fields as well.

Where I’ll put the sheep is another question I haven’t answered, and I don’t have carrots yet to trap pigs.   Really, not sure I need either of them anyway, these three food sources are probably all that’s necessary.

The new Iron settings are  doing what they are supposed to do.

The new Iron settings are doing what they are supposed to do.

I already have a 64 stack of Iron, so no longer should I feel killed by the idea of making railroads.   Yay !

Sugar Cane is growing well.

Sugar Cane is growing well.

And that, along with lots of cows, leads to item frames and a treasure room.

And that, along with lots of cows, leads to item frames and a treasure room.

Starting Out 1.8

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I couldn’t wait any longer.    I decided to create a 1.8 world and not wait for the final version.    So here’s what I ended up with.

Double Ramen is a seed that spawns you in the middle of a mesa.

Spawned here.

Spawned here.

After careful consideration, I doubled the spawn tries for diamonds from one to two.    Still very rare (I think) but less need to be grindy about it.     Changed iron to much more common, by creating 20 blocks, and max height to 255.

Immediately ran 1200 blocks in search of sheep, and a better place for shelter.   I had scouted this seed thoroughly and I knew a birch forest would be somewhere to the south.    Just how far depends on the size of the biomes you select, with each +1 seeming to increase the size by double.

There it is.

There it is.

Just barely managed to get both before deep dark of the night.    Made a bed, a door, and a hole, and slept well.

Nice looking area to make a base out of

Nice looking area to make a base out of

Scouted this while waiting for some wheat to grow.    Planning to cut into the mountain and dunes deeply, and clear the area for monster protection.   And behind the screenshot, do some farming.

Mobile Gaming update, August 2014

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,

War Worlds is coming to an end.

War Worlds is coming to an end.

War Worlds is coming to an end.

Or is it ?    After hue and cry from the community, the fate of the game is now up in the air.   At post time, the game is still working to a certain degree.

I’m done.   I can hardly believe I put up with the bugs and slowness as long as I did.    I would certainly love another space game of this type, but this particular one is not optimized well enough to handle large empires.   The answer to the question “What if MoO never ended ?” is “The game would choke under its own programming”.

I would like to be around to see “the end”, if it’s going to happen.   If someone gets the code and optimizes it that would be even better, since the game just locks up pretty quick when I try to play.

City Domination, on the other hand, is a mobile addiction.   The game performs snappy as hell, unlike War Worlds.

Some of my conquests

Some of my conquests.   Green has been “Rallyed”, white belongs to me.   Red is available to be rallied.

Doc Burbank’s Crew is solidly #2 in LA County, with a large presence in both Burbank where I work, and Santa Clarita where I live.    The I-5 is a major freeway which runs between the two, and is 3/4 my gang’s territory.

It’s good that the gameplay is fun, as far as it goes – there are few players to interact with.    Most interaction consists of the big nationwide gangs sending out various blind invites and begging you to join their gang.    They do this because your areas do not belong to you, they belong to the gang.

When you start, you are your own little gang and you take over a few territories.    Then you get an invite to join a gang.   Bam, all your territory is transferred to the other gang.   Given the large number of squares I control, they’ve all asked me to join them and I don’t see the need.    Nobody is threatening me.   It would be hard to do so.    And I’d rather see my own accomplishments.

The players near me include :

  • Don Corndog, the newer guy who is probably the 2nd guy playing in Santa Clarita, and who also has presence in Lancaster.
  • Amahoser, who is probably 8 years old and attends an elementary school in Burbank.   Does not respond to messages which annoys me for no good reason.
  • Pezzonovante, the leader of LA’s #1 gang and based in Pasadena.    Chill guy who I like, but not enough to join his gang, Harvesters of Sorrow.
  • Monolicious, a newer player in Burbank and part of HoS.    He popped up right in the area I wanted to expand into.    Well, I can go around him.
  • El Sureno, expanding across North Hollywood and only able to respond to messages with grunts.

After going to war with Amahoser, I was soundly thrashed.   I had hoped to keep the entire I-5 to myself and just muscle this guy to death, but he’s defending his area with strength.     I gave up and am just working around him, and hoping his absence today means he’s uninstalled the game.    You can’t defeat someone who turtles up near his home, he’ll have too many opportunities to attack you, and ride the limits established to victory.

There are clearly many other “gangs” in these areas, but these are all bots – automated setups to give a little spice to the game.   Defend your areas well enough and you are safe from them.

Points in the game correspond to income.   Income is capped at a ridiculous 3000/hr for some reason, leaving your points only useful as a way to climb leaderboards – which I love, of course.    And points in the long term correspond to men in defense in your areas.    You get a lot more based on the amount of conflict that has happened for a certain square, but it decays at 7.5% per day.    This means the long term strategy is to populate your squares with as many men as possible for both defense and points.

So I continue to work on a solid line of squares between Santa Clarita and Burbank on the I-5, and adding 200 men to each square.    This should take perhaps 3 months at the current rate.   The line I’ve established is pretty broken up, but you have to defend each square in strength or the bots will take it back from you.   I’ve bought the upgrades to 120 men and 12,000 in the bank, and if I continue to enjoy the game I might blow some more money on it.

Statistics today.   #2 gang in LA County.    #87 gang in the USA.    #61 player in the USA.   So I’m doing well in every category, and this reinforces just how empty the game is and how likely you are to dominate if you just keep playing.   Keep playing is my strength.

Waiting on Bountiful

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And we now have a release date for 1.8 – September 2nd.    Many changes coming and I’m looking forward to them.   In the meantime, World 117 continues to be improved.

Towers are now mostly complete.

Definitely look impressive.

Definitely looks impressive.

The idea was to build them into the mountains, so I have a castle in the valley end of a mountain, and I’ve succeeded in that.   Each has a stairway, accessed from the inside of the lower castle, that leads all the way up to the top; although, I need to put in actual stairs at some point.   The center of both towers is mostly empty space, which would certainly hide a lot of monsters, and that wouldn’t be good.   I’ve managed to seal both off with doors in various spots along the stairs, and will fill in the empty space with cobble or something as time and interest permits.

Map is coming along

Map is coming along

The bottom map is the area around my base, with the following three going north.   That’s the 7000 block north, and just northeast of that is the closest Ice Spikes biome, which I’ve now added to the collection.

There it is !

There it is !

It sure is visually impressive, but there doesn’t seem to be any interesting blocks in there.   Just ice.   lots of ice.    And since ice melts, unlike snow blocks, it’s hard to be interested in harvesting any.

Much of the week has been spent mining diamonds and collecting a large number of them.    With two full stacks of diamonds, I’m doing very well.     I now have a pick with unbreaking and fortune on it – Iron, but oh well – as well as a silk touch pick.    I can easily enchant more diamond tools however.

It seems that putting spells at Level 30 onto books is for chumps.   I’ve got perhaps 20 books enchanted, and I got a single unbreaking out of all of that.   Many of the enchantments were not wanted.    But I put enchantments directly onto tools and get what I want immediately.    As tough as it is to get diamonds, it’s harder to successfully enchant tools with books, so I think I’m done with that avenue of the game.

Never seen that before.

Never seen that before.   Grass growing near bedrock.

Currently digging out an abandoned mineshaft in the middle of an extensive cave system with tons of good resources.

All the comforts of home.

All the comforts of home.

Digging up diamonds and iron is the first priority; getting stacks of wood products and fences is a nice second one.

Finding the mineshafts

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Thanks to the great tool available on chunkbase.com, I managed to find an abandoned mineshaft.   It’s right near my desert temple, and near my base.

Dug a stairway down to the promised spot

Dug a stairway down to the promised spot, then installed stairs.

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Sure enough, this is a Mineshaft entrance. Right on top of a cave spider spawner.

Once I realized there was a spawner there, I excavated more and more of a pit for sunlight to reach into.    Daytime level sunlight stops cave spider spawners.    When it was not functioning, it wasn’t hard to build in the last steps and neutralize it with torches.     This did cost me three deaths and involved losing everything being carried – none of which was super valuable, at least.

Compared to getting in, adventuring in the mineshaft has been easy.    A creeper got next to me and blasted me – but Diamond Chestplate with Blast Protection IV makes that no big deal.     Past that, all I’ve needed to do is block paths off and excavate all the resources.

After thoroughly looting one, and planning to find more and dig through them, I planted the melon seeds (yay!) I had dug up and began work on making my base more of a castle.

I want to make some towers next to the face of the building/cave, which shouldn’t be too hard given the mountains it is tucked into.    So first step was simply to build up the area around the base, and make it taller.

Temporarily removed crennelation, increased the height.

Temporarily removed crennelation, increased the height.

Now to fill it in with cobblestone behind that, which is a bigger task than you might think -

standing atop the facing brick wall

standing atop the facing brick wall

Thoughts on Minecraft World Generation

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Minecraft is now taking all of my gaming time again.    The new features have me excited, and the building out of a world always was a lot of fun.     Turning on the monsters was not nearly as worrisome as I thought it might be, it’s just making the whole thing a lot of fun.

I’ve done a lot with my world 117.

A very nice treasure room.

A very nice treasure room.

Now I have a good idea how to build this.    I don’t find the idea of a sorting system to be useful as I understand hoppers functions, and limitations.   But this is an awesome setup that should do well for me for some time.

Even Overflow storage gets the trapped chest treatment.

Even Overflow storage gets the trapped chest treatment.

Probably the optimal system includes putting the treasure room where appropriate, with a ladder down into the overflow storage underneath.

I also found out just how useful, and cool, the maps are when contained in item frames.

Only two tiles, but I could easily build this out to be 15 tiles long.

Only two tiles, but I could easily build this out to be 15 tiles long.

At one time I thought the maps had to be held in hand, and were limited to 128 blocks wide.    It appears i was wrong on both of those counts.    A map centers on the square it was first right clicked on, so for me it’s a matter of going to 0,0 and opening it.     That will take care of the area from -1024 to 1024.     Head to, say, 2048,0 and open the second map.   And so on and so on and build a gigantic map in game.

And the question also is, what on earth am I doing spending so much time building roads ?   With these babies in hand, you can eventually map out the entire area you visit.    The coordinate system is enough to keep you from getting lost on the surface, which is enough to make the roads obsolete.   At least from a utilitarian perspective.

Then there’s the fact that 1.8 is coming (soon ?    We can only speculate) and contains a killer feature.

You can tweak all the world-building parameters.

You can tweak all the world-building parameters.

The big weakness with Minecraft as I play it, is the limited amount of iron.   At some point it becomes more valuable than diamonds.   Iron is needed for so many different things, and Vanilla doesn’t have enough to build cool things in survival like minecart train stations.    I suppose with enough determination you just keep mining and you’re good, but I got bored trying that and thus quit playing my iron-dependent Biomass world.    It sure doesn’t help that iron is limited in the “altitude” at which it will spawn.    But not in a customized world.

The settings you can tweak for Iron.

The settings you can tweak for Iron.

Setting the height (for example) to 256 would interesting – it would spawn no matter how high the land was, making mining those extreme hills near 256 interesting.     Increasing the spawn size (double it ?) would also go quite a way to making it less valuable by being more present in the world, and thus enabling a lot more iron constructions.

So it seems diamonds are so rare because their "Spawn tries" are set only to 1.    Might be fun to tweak this too, but not dramatically.

So it seems diamonds are so rare because their “Spawn tries” are set only to 1. Might be fun to tweak this too, but not dramatically.

You won’t be able to pick a world type with customized, because you’re controlling it.     That function is now taken by presets, which will allow you to share and name the variations of the four pages of parameters which you can tweak to build a world with.

The Devs included four presets.

The Devs included four presets.

“Mountain Madness” is probably like Amplified.    The default settings, I expect, are for the default world.    Large biomes is likely simply the Biome Size setting.

So I’m thinking of playing around and trying to pick one of each of those three world types, and be ready to start it when 1.8 is available.

Simply Overeating

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After reaching the Mesa, I chopped into a mountain pretty well, and collected a full load of clay.     I walked back to the beach jump-off base, and dug deep and collected a few diamonds, and the all-important cobblestone.     I used the cobblestone to expand the bridge towards the Ice Spikes biome, west of the mesa.

Then I walked back to the main base, stored the clay, and set upon expanding the farm.   Along with this, I also worked on enchanting books looking for the right enchantments to make my diamond items (and shears, and fishing pole) legendary items.

 

The farm continues to push the roofed forest back.

The farm continues to push the roofed forest back.

By having the cleared land between the forest and the farm, it cuts down on monsters coming out of the forest and attacking.

I knew I had overdone it once lag started happening on the map.   My FPS crawled at 8 FPS due to too many animals.

Too many cows.....

Too many cows…..

And too many chickens.

And too many chickens.

The chickens in particular are a mad XP farm.    Feed them seeds (which I’m drowning in from farming the wheat) and you get XP for them reproducing.    Kill them for more XP, and take the eggs and hatch…. more chickens.

But clearly, I have enough food.    Next project became a better treasure room.

Lots of stuff, for sure.

Lots of stuff, for sure.

I set this up the way I had seen some other people do it, way back when – set up signs next to each chest.   But I’d rather have it set up according to the newish – method.    You set the chests direct next to each other and have name tags set above the chests.    (You need to alternate between trapped chests, and chests, to do this).   This also has the advantage of being compact.

Much better.

Much better.

Walking back to the Mesa

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After several days of concentrating on farming, I was ready to head out again to the Mesa biome.  I had forgotten how long it can take to get farming going to where you’d like it to be.    I’m collecting pumpkins, sugar cane, beef, pork, chicken, and wheat.

It turned out that chickens were the easiest things to deal with.    My chicken coop fits a metric ton of chickens, and I let them reproduce by feeding them seeds – if you don’t, you end up with chests full of seeds.     I pick up a ton of eggs each time I enter the coop, and would head up to a nearby area to hatch them all.    On occasion, I would enter each area and kill chickens for awhile.

Rapid Fire Eggs, creating baby chickens on the hilltop.

Rapid Fire Eggs, creating baby chickens on the hilltop.

Didn’t make much headway with bread, between socking it away and needing bigger fields.   Bigger fields were being constructed waiting for everything to grow.

It's almost hypnotic, harvesting the wheat when its mature and replanting it.

It’s almost hypnotic, harvesting the wheat when its mature and replanting it.

But armed with around 640 food items I headed out.     First I cross extreme hills, on my way to the Great Quagmire (a large swamp).    Next up is the John Birch Forest, followed by plains and more extreme hills.

Quite a big swamp, requires a lot of stone bridge.

Quite a big swamp, requires a lot of stone bridge.

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If you understand that reference, you are old. Or you googled it.

You (presumably) re-enter the John Birch Forest after crossing the plains, followed by more plains.

Exited the Forest and turned around.

Exited the Forest and turned around.

And now, the Icy Hills

And now, the Icy Hills

Eventually the massive Taiga forest is reached.   Walk through this for about 5000 blocks.

Eventually the massive Taiga forest is reached. Walk through this for about 5000 blocks.

More Icy Hills lead to the Mesa Jump-off Beach

More Icy Hills lead to the Mesa Jump-off Beach

And at last the Mesa Clay digging point is reached.

Taking long walks on the beach

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It was quite a long walk, but I made it to the Mesa biome.

Put a little base in that Mesa in front of me.

Put a little base in that Mesa in front of me.

The only problem being, after walking 12000 blocks, I was clearly out of food.     I had enough time and energy to mine a stack of clay, then it was time to walk back to base for more food.

Farming is an intensive activity in Minecraft, so I don’t really want to establish multiple farms in multiple spots.   I have bolt holes established along the path to the Mesa, but that’s generally it.    The idea is to build up the area around the base and accumulate wealth.    So I need to get myself enough food to just haul to the Mesa and then mine its wealth.

I’ve also got access to most of the important biomes :

  • Plains (Horses)
  • Forest
  • Mesa
  • Birch Forest
  • Ice Plains
  • Cold Beaches
  • Taiga
  • Swampland
  • River
  • Roofed Forest
  • Desert

Still want access to these biomes :

  • Jungle
  • Flower Forest
  • Sunflower Plains
  • Ice Spikes
  • Mega Taiga
  • Savannah

So now it’s time to build up more food, and build up enchanted diamond armor etc.     Then I can set off towards a flower forest (about 4000 blocks away).

The one biome I can’t find anywhere in this seed is Mega Taiga.

Went through an absolutely massive Taiga forest.

Went through an absolutely massive Taiga forest.

Cold beach with some hills for good measure.

Cold beach with some hills for good measure.

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