All things Minecraft

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I’m successfully building out world 117.

Turning the homebase into a castle.

Turning the homebase into a castle.

 

Near the entrance, enchanting table

Near the entrance, enchanting table

The treasure room.   First basement.

The treasure room. First basement.

Overflow room.   2nd basement.

Overflow room. 2nd basement.

Currently working on gathering enough diamonds to finish off a set of armor – all I need is leggings.

In the meantime, I made good on my threat to buy a Realms subscription.   This is a perfect thing if all you want to have is a persistent Minecraft world, where friends can play.   And with Minecraft being the 2nd-biggest-selling video game in history, lots of people I know have it.

The spawn area for "piggybank".   We christened this isthmus Italy.

The spawn area for “piggybank”. We christened this isthmus Italy.

So far, the plan was successful – get my son off of Roblox, and have him build things in Minecraft.

The Lighthouse and dock at spawn area.   Gravel road leads to.....

The Lighthouse and dock at spawn area. Gravel road leads to…..

Castle MrrX.    The road continues to.....

Castle MrrX. The road continues to…..

A gaggle of kid built structures, and my build of a road through it all.

A gaggle of kid built structures, and my build of a gravel road through it all.

This is the result of three kids turned loose on the server, and one additional adult.    They all seemed to be having fun and building away.      My buddy’s daughters went and killed the Ender Dragon, which I have no idea how to do.    I believe it’s trivial in Creative mode.

The road continues on towards Taiga biomes, and ends......

The road continues on towards Taiga biomes, and ends……

In a very small village

In a very small village

Everyone was happy to see the village.    The rest of them are builders; I’d rather explore the world.

So far I’m happy with Realms.    Only those I whitelist can get in; it lets multiple people play and doesn’t tie up a personal computer as a server; and I have control over the rough parameters of the world, similar to a single player game.   If you want to use Bukkit Plugins, this ain’t for you, but for a simple requirement it works OK.

Griefing Children

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In my gaming career, I’ve been griefed on occasion.    From idiots blocking the bank in Everquest, to TK’ers and worse in World of Tanks, I get annoyed but I’m good at handling them.      Not so my son.

This ridiculous game Roblox that he really enjoys allows you to create your own world, with the possibility of opening it up to other players.     While it’s meant for kids, who knows who is really playing it – I got into the world and found it utterly boring, though.    It also includes pretty robust 3D world building items with scripting and more.    It’s inevitable that with a fair amout of power, somebody is going to be a jerk.    And they were.

He enters his little world and starts puttering around, when he’s suddenly confronted with a gray screen and a message something like “BobSmith did this don’t get mad at me or else”.      So he can’t play his world.     Clearly, the griefer is someone else trying to get my son to report “BobSmith” by denying him access to his game.

Poor kid.     10 years old and a sensitive soul, as I explained this to him he bursts into tears.     But he toughened up a bit once I make him realize that’s part of what the griefer wants, is to ruin your game time.     Then Dad sat down and tried to figure out if he had enough mojo to fix the problem.     It wasn’t hard – it turns out you are given the last 10 (or more) saved versions of your world, and I reverted back before the griefer attack, and he was playing again.

The whole thing made us end up back in Minecraft again.     While there are griefers here, they can’t really wreck *your* game, just the server they are playing on, and we explored several worlds with all kinds of creative games including Sky Blocks, which he enjoyed.     I’m wondering if I should purchase a Realms server and whitelist our friends to begin building a big co-op Minecraft world, and give my son a better outlet for his creativity.

For me, I was again building a new world, as my Biomass world is getting a bit boring.   I turned the monsters back on and went with seed “117” .

The homebase.   At the end of a valley with lots of mountain behind it.

The homebase. At the end of a valley with lots of mountain behind it.

Planted fields and grew lots of wheat, after I pushed the roofed forest back.

Planted fields and grew lots of wheat, after I pushed the roofed forest back.

1500 blocks away, it's stills swamp in one direction

1500 blocks away, it’s still swamp in one direction.   I named it the “Great Quagmire”.

Similar behind the homebase.    Lots of ocean.

Similar behind the homebase. Lots of ocean – “The Pacific”.

And the third direction is all desert.    The temple is easy to see, but I haven't explored it yet.

And the third direction is all desert (“Sahara”). The temple is easy to see, but I haven’t explored it yet.

Just installed windows and can watch the sunset from inside.

Just installed windows and can watch the sunset from inside.

Mobile Gaming, July 2014 edition

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City Domination is a new entrant in the geo-located category of games.     The game gets a GPS fix (or from Wifi or Cell towers in its absence) and places you in the world where it finds you.     The world has a grid superimposed on it of territories, and you (and your gang) take them over for income, territory, fame and fortune.

Hanging out in Santa Clarita CA

Hanging out in Santa Clarita CA

The gameplay is dead simple, with a number of limiting features.    #1, you can only have $10,000 at any one time.    #2, you can only have 100 men in your “inventory” at any time.      Your men enable you to either defend your existing territories, or attack and conquer new ones, and can be purchased for the low price of $100 each, corresponding with the $10k in your bank.

Start off by spying on a new territory within your circle of activity.     The game will report how many enemy players are there, and attack with a few more than that to take possession of the square.    Then defend.

It would probably be thoroughly boring except for the addition of the “rally” mechanic.     Once per day, you are able to steal a certain number of men from a territory by being in it and rallying.     The reward is 1-3 men, not much, but when you are a passenger in a car this gives you a new way to be antisocial on your phone take over additional areas.     You can ignore the game for awhile and let your money build up, then attack, if you choose as well; or if you’re not driving about.

Doc Burbank and his gang – oh, wait, I’ve not recruited anyone – are in 7th place in Los Angeles County,with a presence in many other states after my recent vacation.      This is turning out to be a much better mobile game than War Worlds for multiple reasons.

Of course, blow real life money on powerups to really take over.

Of course, blow real life money on powerups to really take over.

War Worlds continues to crash often if I scroll the map, which has fed frustration and leads me to pretty much give up the game.    I do have 9 million people in my empire, but the killer mechanics are very simple.

5000 ship limit.    The game only lets you build 5000 at a time.    I am now at the stage of the game where I want a 120 day queue for each planet, and have some systems which can finish 5000 ships in 4 days.     To input that many 5000 queues is just boring drudgery.     Combining so many into one stack from 5000 ships groups sucks too.     I was already questioning my sanity in sitting on my phone playing it constantly, but vacation and a new game really brought it into focus.    So I am barely keeping up with the game drama, and trying to keep starting new queues when I have a few minutes.    And that’s about it for War Worlds.

So many ships.    No movement on population in quite a while.

So many ships. No movement on population in quite a while.

 

Still gaming. For life.

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When you’re not really deeply playing a rich game – it’s hard to blog regularly.    Nevertheless, plenty of gaming is going on.

I have reached the 9 million person mark in War Worlds, and continue to prosecute the war against Germania.    Bugs and memory leaks are on the developers mind but not yet fixed as of post time.    This is making it harder to fight Germania but not impossible, fighters continue to sweep northward and crush stars, but my last reserves are ready to come out sometime on Sunday.   We’ll see how it all comes out – will I make it, and drive a wedge clean through Germania, or will other alliance members ?

Facebook games got a new lease on life for me.    Currently playing Criminal Case; this is in the genre of I-Spy, where you need to find items and the quicker you do it, the more you score.    The pacing is well done, and it’s more of a story telling game, with you being a police detective investigating murders.

Poking around on the docks, looking for murder evidence.

Poking around on the docks, looking for murder evidence.

Having analyzed some evidence, I'm going to find out what it means.

Having analyzed some evidence, I’m going to find out what it means.

The story unfolds at a good pace, since you only get a certain amount of energy per day, and offering perfectionists and competitive types the chance to be better than your friends.    Try it out – I’m enjoying this.

Then there’s Sparta, which is an Evony-like game where you are a Spartan resisting the Persian empire’s invasion.    This one is interesting at the moment, as I build up my city with various improvements, but if I find myself getting an Evony-style stomping I’m sure I’ll drop it.

My City.   Under construction.

My City. Under construction.

Also, the Steam sale is also ongoing.    I am making a lot of cheap purchases, but playing few of them.   I did pick up Banished and Papers, Please, and will probably write about them if I manage to play them for awhile.    Why, exactly, I’m blowing money on games I’m not playing is not something I feel like analyzing.     What I can say is, if it’s still on sale, buy the Stanley Parable.    It’s silly, but completely original.

I’ve begun once again to play World of Tanks.    Much, much fewer matches than I have in the past – maybe 4 or 5 a night.   Completed the goal of getting the Jagdtiger the magic 371 matches to pass my hated VK4502B, and working on a bunch of lower tier tanks at the moment.     There are new maps which I don’t play well; edited maps which trip me up unexpectedly; and the usual fun 15-minutes-a-time gaming.

What is very unwelcome are the HD graphics now expanding outwards for all tanks – this means that all my beautiful skins are GONE !    The process of making everything HD compatible required the file structure to change, so the old skins don’t work.   To skin a tank is still possible, but nobody seems to be doing it, and I’m no artist to be able to do so myself.    I have maybe 5 of them in HD versions, but I’m discouraged that the others may never get anything cool.

Playing my Tier 9’s all the way down the line, I still find myself most enjoying the Tier 1 matches in my Loltracker, which is maybe 50 matches away from 371.    Maybe I should just grind that up to 1000 matches like my MS-1.

Soldiering onward

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Here is your latest War Worlds update.

So close to 9 million

So close to 9 million

The Coricyn front continues to get rolled up.    Managed to get a bunch of ships together and finally link the northern and southern parts of the front.

Smashing that thin little line then it's eastward only.

Smashing that thin little line then it’s eastward only.

And Germania continues to get eaten.

Maybe 1/3 of the way through his empire, straight up.

Maybe 1/3 of the way through his empire, straight up.

Clearly, this is a game of patient accumulation.   In the face of bugs.    A situation I’m uniquely suited for.

Bug Fixes Galore

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Many bugs have been fixed in War Worlds, and the game is running smooth as butter for me, at least.    And the most important bug is fixed – Leaderboards are back.

No Ranking Change

No Ranking Change

I’m getting closer to the 9 million population mark, which is my next goal.    Expansion continues along a few fronts :

Coricyn Front.     As ships get built they are pressed into service to work on and wreck the enormous navy that Coricyn has.   No rush, because he’s inactive, but it’s good practice as it turns out.

Still trying to link up the two areas.   Won't be long now.

Still trying to link up the two areas. Won’t be long now.

Filling in the box – this is boring, it turns out.    Instead, I am making lines of systems across it and subdividing it, which will eventually fill in all the area.

Drew a line across.   Now going northwards.

Drew a line across. Now going northwards.

South of Worst – I began establishing systems here to deter possible aggression and help out neighbor “Worst Empire Ever”.   I plan to continue and move southward in this area because it’s fun.    As long as I go south, I shouldn’t be causing any problems boxing in my neighbor.

Worst is in green.   The dark blue is an inactive empire.

Worst is in green. The dark blue is an inactive empire.

Oh – I almost forgot – the “war”.    More of an extermination plan against an inactive empire, which I have plenty of experience with now.

Pushing on north, establishing colonies, and spending a small fortune.

Pushing on north, establishing colonies, and spending a small fortune.

And with the game running even smoother, it’s much more fun to expand and expand and expand.

Your weekend war update

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The war against Germania is going well.

First off, the combined blitz of three large and active alliances, all hitting him and his alt empires, at the same time – seems to have killed his fighting spirit.    At least at his main empire, absolutely no resistance is being offered, so that’s very good news for me as I attack and expand.    It’s tough enough to deal with the fighters all parked on his many worlds.

I took Omaha beachhead / wormhole.   In honor of the recent D-Day anniversary, each wormhole got named after either a D-Day beach or a similarly WW II – ish name.    And with no opposition my victory was assured.

After the wormhole landed, my fleet started flying.

After the wormhole landed, my fleet started flying.

Initially I took two of his stars in a V , north of the wormhole.    Once conquered, I went after four more stars north and east/west.    These were taken this morning, and I now have fleets on the way to an additional four stars in a roughly northerly direction.

State of the fighting at the moment

State of the fighting at the moment

Gold Beachhead featured a fighter/troopship blitz by Rice Cracker across Germania, wiping out his colonies, with subsequent colonization for a Forward Operating Base, or a “FOB” in alliancespeak.

Omaha Beachhead features my slow and thorough elimination of Germans, at the speed of colony ships.    I was kind of hoping for some counterattack, but nothing has materialized so far.

Utah Beachhead features the guy who was threatened with extinction in the past, S-10 Fury, moving fleets in with lesser strength and taking out plenty of enemy strongholds.

My goal is to go northward, seeing how things go on either side.    I am pretty confident Gold is completely OK and will be dealt with thoroughly.   Utah may be a bit slow, and so we’ll see if I continue to have the strength to move forward and perhaps branch out easterly to continue the destruction.

Detail of flights in progress over Omaha

Detail of flights in progress over Omaha

So far, the only limiting factor is fuel.    I’m spending millions moving all these fighters around.   But with my income rarely being exceeded in the past, why worry ?    At the moment I am trying to burn through funds received from the alliance with limited success; not a bad thing at all !

The crunch will come when I don’t have enough fighters to continue to fight, which will probably happen at some point.     I have alternate wormholes which can be connected to others and send through more fighters, so that is a limited problem.

In the meantime, there are also interesting developments.   Maybe two, three weeks ago I began to submit constant bug reports.   Previously, I had just gotten the crash reports and clicked OK.    I began to wonder, is the information reaching Dean the developer about just how crashy his game is ?

I think I know the answer now.   Nope.   He wasn’t aware, or didn’t have the right information to deal with it.    As of yesterday we received the second bug fix patch which has improved performance a fair amount and has removed some crashes.   Yay !

Still waiting on the leaderboard fix however.

How about a little War over Father’s Day weekend ?

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War Worlds has had an update, a non-game one, which moved the database from one type to another.     And an awesome bug fix – shields do not disappear once you’ve moved a fleet.

However, it’s also gotten another really nasty problem.    The Leaderboard is broken.    Talk about sapping the interest of us players, running up and down the leaderboard is a big part of the fun.     Everyone is begging for that to be fixed, along with the usual requests for crashes as the game does that a lot.

Thankfully, an event got organized which keeps me in game and progressing.     There is a racist pottymouth guy with a lot of “German” empires.    Germania, Austria, Prussia, etc.    He’s apparently created a ton of alt accounts and made quite a big empire, with his main one not too far away from me.    A drawing is in order.

The Nearby Universe

The Nearby Universe

The Worst Empire borders Germania.   He has created a ton of wormholes which the entire Dominion is going through and attacking Germania with the intent of wiping him out.

Black spots on border are future wormholes

Black spots on border are future wormholes

I’m going to participate and create what colonies I can in this area, since it’s close to me, and will break up the monotony of killing native empires.

The early attack comes from the top player Cakies from the North side.

The Hammer is falling.

The Hammer is falling.

Germania got wind of the attack – or some of Cakies fleet has already hit him.    He responded with his usual lack of grace.

Pottymouth.

Pottymouth.

It should be a good, interesting fight.

In the meantime, Burbankanova moves forward on a few different fronts.    Coricyn’s easy to conquer stars are all mine, and I’m waiting for large enough fleets to be built near him to continue the crawl forward.     So many stars with 5-20k fighters on them.     It’s just a matter  of time however.

The box is almost complete

The box is almost complete

When I saw that little green empire (inactive, of course) called themselves the Stoners I knew I had to wipe them out.   And that should finish the final linkup.

No updates for about a week.   I really miss it.

No updates for about a week. I really miss it.

Eight Million

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Have passed the next milestone in War Worlds.    8,000,000 people.    Just 2 million to go until I pass Spinward.

Closing in on Valyria

Closing in on Valyria

Hit the Vodkarians.   Sent a message, but I expect no reply.

Hit the Vodkarians. Sent a message, but I expect no reply.

Destruction of Coricyn

Destruction of Coricyn

I’ve been able to eat many easier systems from Coricyn, but he has several with 5000 ship stacks, and I’ve no easy access to enough force to destroy him.   No hurry.    Several 5000 stacks are being built for that purpose.

Just **this** much left until I have the box outline fully built.

Just **this** much left until I have the box outline fully built.

Once the box is outlined, I could expand and fill it in rapidly, but I don’t think I’m going to bother.    It’s more interesting hooking up with any other actual empires, and wrecking the Coricyn/Genesis/Etc block of empires.

Now, new expansion available

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The weekend was an interesting one in War Worlds.     I probably should start with the obligatory rankings shot.

No change in rankings.   Closing in on 8 million people.

No change in rankings. Closing in on 8 million people.

There was an abortive attempt at a war which resulted in me having about 250k fighters stuck on the wrong side of a wormhole, but which proves my bona fides as far as helping the Dominion to conquer the galaxy.

It’s interesting to watch the politics in this game.      Alliances and drama, individuals and groups, and how it all interacts.    I generally try to stay out of everything and just keep expanding, but I got my chance to go for something I wanted this weekend.

After my suggestion, the Dominion cleaned house on inactive empires, including the guy roadblocking me (to some extent) from expanding my northwestern border.

See ya Coricyn

See ya Coricyn

I don’t bear the player any ill will, but he’s quit playing.    And I want his stars.    So begins operations in the northwest, taking over the former Coricyn empire.    I have two fronts – the areas where our empires meet, of course, and the colony I established in the north edge of Coricyn territory next to Genesis – who is also inactive.    Expanding down from that colony and north from the border should keep me busy for quite some time, and give Coricyn his final chance to react and say something if he still wants to play.

Heading Northwest from here

Heading Northwest from here

And spreading out from here too, trying to link up with the border at some point.

And spreading out from here too, trying to link up with the border at some point.

The Northeast, little by little, I’m moving in towards the Vodkarians and to the Worst Empire.

Moving in.   Worst is mostly north of here.

Moving in. Worst is mostly north of here.

Southwest, I have expanded the bottom of the box as far as needed, just trying to finish drawing the line southward along -54.

Long way to go, still, southwards.

Long way to go, still, southwards.

I’m filling in the box, without a lot of enthusiasm, given the progress on the other two fronts – much more interesting, interacting in whatever way with actual players.   So we’ll see how that works out as I continue to expand in my private little puddle of space, on the way towards 8 million people.

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