Wednesday, November 30, 2016

loling at the numerology in minecraft

Was dinking around some villages in creative and ran into my first llama.

That house is at the tippy top of a steep village on the ocean and just across a ravine from another village, so naturally I'm going to set up a metro district.

Fairly close by is a super extreme area, and I ran right into this.

So, since I've made all kinds of evil temple stuffs, I decided this area is sanctified and marked it as such. This villager metro area is blessed. I put a ring of roses on the highest tree and more roses on all the floating dirt blocks.

Maybe it'll be fun to build some kind of stained glass temple down below, but it'll be a bit since I'm still fencing off and lighting up the villages enough to be able to work in them at night without the villagers coming to any harm. Oh, and I found a third village just a skip away, so -30,000/30,000 will be a really busy metro area on StarrStrukk. Btw, 30,000 is 'Tribe of Blood' in numerology, if you're into that kind of stuff. I'm not, personally, but I grew up around people who take it very seriously, so I'm amused at this showing up in minecraft. Take from it what you will.

Apparently several players have built Solomon's Temple and other religious structures in minecraft. Kinda neat reconstructing archeaological stuff so you can actually do walk-throughs, hadn't even thought of that.

It's occurring to me that I need to name my villages (growing into metro areas and cities) so their designation coordinates on my communication fence at world spawn will have more meaning. I'm really not good at naming things. I'll have to think about this one.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

parkour practice

Saying goodbye to my cool stuff.
Scott asked me what I was thinking yesterday and I launched into about 30 minutes of minecraft, lol.

I started StarrStrukk for survival, wimped out after a few weeks' frustration and ran away to Mo Creatures multiplayer, came back to StarrStrukk and remodeled into survival realm with cheats and creative building, and have happily been waiting for the new Mo Creatures server to come back on.

It hit me over Turkey Day that I have NEVER successfully made it through survival on my own. I'm a seasoned pro now. Let's do it! So I dumped all my stuff, typed in a random teleport coordinate out in the great wilds beyond my thousand block origin, and braced for impact.

Awesome, a real challenge. Yes, I allowed myself one starter torch.
Rule of thumb is very first stuff you do when you land (unless it's night, then you just hole up and wait out the mobs for daylight) is pummel a couple of trees, run around mowing grass for a few seeds, and punch out enough dirt to hang out in a rudimentary cavelet, but keep it really small if you don't have light so aggressive mobs can't spawn on top of you in the dark and kill you while you can't even see what's going on. Wikis suggest keeping underground work down to 2 squares wide.

If you have enough daylight left to do some of this before you have to hole up for the night, great, but it's crucial you do this as immediately as possible. Make a crafting table out of the wood you got, turn some of the wood into sticks, make hoe, and plant some seeds so they can start growing. I can usually last about 3 days on my realm without food, and as you can see in the tundra pic, there was absolutely no other food.

While you're making tools, also make a pickaxe and a sword. Don't waste your wood on anything else until you have made these. Until you can get stone and start working up, you will be grateful to have these.

Try to get some dirt blocked around you and your crafting table before sunset so you'll be in a tiny cavelet where aggressive mobs can't get to you and kill you. If you haven't had time to find coal to make a torch, keep your safe zone really small, no more than 2 blocks wide so that nothing hostile can spawn inside with you and kill you without you even being able to see it. If you have any wood left, you can make a piece of fence to use in place of glass as a window so you can see when daylight comes without having to break a dirt block and risk a zombie falling in or a skeleton shooting you in the face or even a creeper standing right there on the other side of your dirt suddenly blowing up.

Those are the basic first landing survival steps. Everything from there is using your brain to outwit the game, almost like being a lost soldier surviving a war by learning to live off the land. But one thing you do need to hold frustration down and not quit is a bed...

3 block of wood planks & 3 blocks of wool gets you a bed.
It took me a long time to get a bed made in the tundra because I needed 3 blocks of wool and all I could do was collect spider string because there were no sheep around. Fortunately, I ran right into a mineshaft below my tunneling, but that is a dangerous way to get string for wool and I was getting desperate for food and didn't have enough torches to keep looking for loot chests hoping for a crust of bread or an apple or some kind of seeds. I decided to just stash my stuff and took off running one day, and after about 10 minutes of running in one direction, finally ran into sheep. That was the first actual food besides one loaf of bread I had eaten the whole time (wheat grows very slowly in the tundra), and I finally had enough material to make a couple of beds, one for the original landing point, and one for the scout bunker. And then I went out and got killed before I set respawn on the scout bunker bed...

The dying and losing all your loot scenario is heavily discussed all over the webs. If you get killed for any reason whatsoever, until you get that bed made and change your respawn point, you will respawn at world spawn or the last place you had a respawn point set. If you play without cheating, you have to get that bed made or you wind up guessing where you were and trying to tp back to the general area, then have to run around looking for it, only to see all your stuff vanish before your eyes, because there's a 5 minute countdown after drops before they go *poof*, and it's even sadder if you manage to get there just in the nick of time and then get killed again immediately because the hostiles are still there.

I was in this really super cool sorta cave way up on the side of the mountain, and right at the opening were lava and water and tunnels branching both ways, and without warning a zombie and 2 witches spawned right on top of me, and between being poisoned, bitten, reeling into the lava, and blindly climbing out trying to find the water, coming back to my death scene looked like I exploded, because my stuff was so scattered from dying on the run and being washed around in the water. When you're in survival and all the stuff you're carrying amounts to nearly all you own and you've worked really hard for it, it super sucks losing it.

SO GET THAT BED CONSTRUCTED!!!!! And then make sure you jump on it before you take off again doing stuff. I was stupid and epic failed that part.

The learning curve is pretty steep in single player or realm, but I learned loads of tricks on multiplayer that help me outwit the hostile mobs way faster now. I mostly just needed to know I could make it hitting the ground running without anyone helping me. After that particular death scene I did another start-over, this time without even a single torch, and wound up doing really well. I'm tightening up and tweaking my thought process and response timing more than anything. Sometimes the funniest thing in multiplayer is that announcement scrolling by that some noob is dying over and over, and I really don't want to start the new MoC like that.

And after a couple high intensity days, I switched back to creative and did a little recon mapping. This is the first ice city I've found on StarrStrukk, so I'll be going back to it to play.

Some really creative players I've seen turn ice cities into North Pole type worlds, or use only one other color to create a beautiful sort of 3D cross stitch pattern type of town, but I have no idea yet what I'll do. (Totally -->click this<-- for super cool neato ice city builds.)

I think ice cities look kind of like futuristic spaceport cities like I used to see in comics as a kid, so maybe I'll go with something like that, make it look like I landed on a high tech alien world or something. I wrote the coordinates down to come back to.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

the castle wall digs

Too much?

I think I just had to get it out of my system. Btw, that room lies far below the field contained inside my 'castle' walls.

This is the weird dark magic room above. It will eventually hold portals and an enchanting library.

And hallways around the outside of it so I can make a tunnel system to other places.

Tunneling is my fave thing when I need breaks. This little guy actually turned his back and tried to ignore me for a long time.

Coming back up to lavish.

And going back up on top.

Down this hallway

to this room. The windows are part of the hillside.

I finally did finish the castle wall. It has one opening on the far side. My biggest problem is trees, they go all monster sized on me here for some reason.

That's right, whatever castle this is, all of it seems to be underground. I've got already got 10 separate rooms just inside this perimeter.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

remembering old fairy tales

Deep under my flower forest chateau, I'm like Oh great, I've made a quilt pattern...

If I made a huge headboard now, it would look like a giant sleeps under the mountain. This view is looking toward the feet end. Not sure if I'll really do that, but the idea might be sticking.

Meanwhile, several hundred blocks away, I've discovered possibly the most perfect Avatar island ever.

I'm afraid to even put a torch on it. I did that once and nearly an entire sky island fell into the sea because it had so much gravel in it.

Endless possibilities, and still within the first 1000 square blocks.

Friday, November 18, 2016

le château de fleurs

I'm one of those weirdos who loves running into accidental patterns in nature. Or in this case, in code-driven logarithmic video games.

I've been tunneling out about 1000 blocks along latitude and longitude lines from a new bunker base to get a feel for the lay of the land. For some reason, I'm able to orient on top more easily if I've been below first. If I can overlay the two topographies in my head, I'm good to go.

And I am finally learning to enchant, yay! I mostly stay survival, but doing tutorials with a little creative helps me recharge when survival becomes a bit of a drag. I managed to get 3 silk touch pickaxes almost in a row, which, if I'm given to understand the odds, is kind of unheard of.

I'm developing an idea for the new moc multiplayer when it goes live- I only need to claim up to 10x10 (5x8 would work fine) to get a ton of unbreakable storage space on a main base until I can afford a more luxurious spread. I can platform all the way up and down in one tiny grid claim and have tons of room for major storage, enchanting and portal rooms, etc. I won't need a door at all if I can tp to home base, and no one would be able to break a block to get in on claimed space. I can't wait to test it in multiplayer.

I found a sweet spot right around 1000 blocks to the north of that bunker base, a convergence of flower forest, plains, and swamp over a mineshaft, and a witch hut right there, as well. I've never built a 'castle' before, which is something a lot of people seem to do, so I'm practicing with thinking bigger, materials, balance of structure vs environment kind of thing.

I think minecraft would be a great tool to teach planning and zoning. It helps 3D thinking. You've got karst topography, sort of have sinkholes, you can do planned mining digs like archaeology before construction. You can even lay down roadway and electrical tracks.

My plan for this area is hopefully the wall will keep creeper damage down while I play inside with construction.

I am discovering I love flooring. One of my boyfriends a long time ago was a math wiz (srsly) who showed me a tiny bit of the math language for the topology problem he was working on. Most of us would understand better if I said that the basics were like figuring out jigsaw puzzle pieces or tile patterns, which is called tessellation. I seem to be able to create complex repeatable floor designs, but I could never do the math explaining them. I do have to really think about them, though.

I'm also learning to use natural underground contouring to shape features into my walls. I've noticed that some of the build masters I've lurked around also follow and enhance natural minecraft patterns. The land above is completely intact and you'd never suspect this is underneath.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've been clearing out a room where the cows keep getting in...

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Yablo's Planet in the StarrStrukk system realm

All righty, thanks to Mo Creatures closing for remodel and upgrade, I went back to my own realm worlds and got a few things fixed up. Executive decisions resulted in combo creative/survival, with emphasis on switching to creative in other people's construction zones unless shared survival stipulated. I don't have a lot of players, we're all rarely on, so main thing is communication. I reset world spawn, extended the spawn protection, and spiffed up my communication fence.

Of all the worlds I've ever spawned in singleplayer, 'StarrStrukk' was the one I put my heart, soul, blood, sweat, and tears into attempting to actually stick to survival, and weirdly hit the bonanza with goodies. There are at *least* 4 villages, a desert temple, a witch hut, and multiple biomes all within the first thousand blocks, much of it within 500 blocks. Pretty sure there's a wicked mineshaft underneath but I haven't been underground enough to find one. I have yet to spot a mesa or ice anything, but I've stayed pretty local with rare sporadic teleport to distant coordinates, like the ocean city I'm going to build.

I've got experimentation spots, like tree farming. I adamantly do not want to have to load mods and plugins just to do stuff, I'm still tackling this pretty raw, so I'm figuring out it's much easier to grow trees in depressions or along steep hillsides so I can climb on top and then just chop my way down. I love the power feller command in Mo Creatures, but part of this game is about using our wits to accomplish goal-oriented tasks, and efficiency is a pleasant result of thinking through actions.

Because of Mo Creatures, I've become very proficient at saving villages. Recall that my whole focus and disappointment on original singleplayer StarrStrukk was about doing everything wrong and all the villagers being attacked and killed, or in other worlds it was horrible slime attacks taking out all my gardens on a daily basis (daily being every 20 minute daylight interval). I've learned to light villages up during daylight hours and vacate the whole area during mob spawn time (night time), and if I want to hang around in a village all the time I have to take extreme preventive mob spawn measures, which is a LOT of work. SO, I switch to creative now for that. I still vacate during nights so my presence doesn't inspire creeper and zombie spawning (the game doesn't play itself if you're not there), and spend the day redesigning. Since several of these villages are so close, my long term plan is to create a metropolitan center, grow it the same way towns grow into a central city.

I've never studied urban planning, but I have studied resource planning, and I think it will be fun developing the outlying locals into a sprawling city with a business center, retail and industrial zones, and residential areas. I'll probably be playing on this realm world for a few years doing stuff like that. Since I've made it multiplayer, and since there is so much room to play, it might get interesting to see several heads come together playing around with this.

I've also been scouting a few tunnels and chasms in creative, throwing torches down as I go. One of my biggest challenges in pure survival was never having enough light, so the torches are freebies for anyone coming in playing survival and mining. Note about that- since this world is big, and since players can switch from creative to survival and back, x-raying straight to diamond ores seems a little pointless. I keep running into players in multiplayer who seem to only want to do that and nothing else, and all I can say is srsly? If your life sucks so bad that you can't do anything else on a game besides make it less fun for other people by taking away the most challenging part, even if everyone else has cheats turned on, too, then what the hell, your life sucks.

I've been asked about texture packs and mods and stuff- I'm pure default and my Planeta de Yablo realm is the latest updated version, nothing fancy, no major tweaking on biomes, structures, mobs, etc. I've tried a bunch of different things in singleplayer, and I still keep coming back to StarrStrukk, so I dumped all my other stuff to stick with this one.

If you're a minecraft player and I know you from somewhere, ask me privately for an invite. I'll totally cover who you are, won't talk about your real stuff, won't bother you publicly or show off your minecraft skillz unless you ok it, and you can hang out and talk to me whenever I'm on my realm world (or not talk, it's all cool). I'm not looking for a big crowd, just offering. Sometimes it's fun to not feel alone, maybe go off somewhere and create something cool for other people to stumble across later and go coooool, whatever. Or totally show off with walk-through tours, I love doing that. Anyway, I find minecraft very soothing when the world feels a little too crazy, so if you don't see me on the medias, that's probably where I am.

When Mo Creatures comes back up, I'll be back on that, too.