Sunday, June 16, 2019

Sometimes you just need more

Continued from Where have I been?

One of the neato things about playing multiplayer is you get to see other people struggling with the same thing. Where am I going with this game in my life? What are my limits? Can I achieve a personal nirvana?

Another neato thing is getting to see behind the scenes building and configuring, the constant push and pull between plugin updates and manually coded settings, the messy layers of stacked mods code smashing into each other. I see people learning to bend these to their wills nearly every day.

The absolutely neatoest thing I have learned is that mo creatures and pokemon can fit together really well via pixelmon. They have the same basics and don't mow each other over so much that the game must stop to be fixed, unless you want to tweak configs here or there.

My %appdata% > Roaming > .minecraft > mods folder looks like this.

The mo creatures downloads come from here, and I think the pixel with pokemon features comes from here. It makes a fun singleplayer combining so many creatures, plus the extra kinds of blocks get incorporated as well, so you have a much bigger variety of armors, tools, and weapons, and of course more kinds of blocks and other things to make on your crafting table. The ruby, sapphire, amethyst, and crystal blocks are a really nice addition without having to incorporate another modpack.

I play basic default, mostly because I see so many people bumping heads with modpacks that sometimes don't play well with mo creatures or sometimes require manual config just to do so. For me, it's enough that I'm playing survival. Well, I did get advice as staff on how to see without slowing down for viewing obstacles. In your .minecraft folder go to options, then to gamma. If you set it to 10000 you'll be able to see through just about anything in the dark.

Survival is actually really rough sometimes on more emotional days when I'm trying to get away from real life, but I finally figured out how to do '/gamerule keepInventory true' so I wouldn't have to grind back to where I died so hard only to see it all despawn as I arrived. Yes, I know you can change the tic countdown, but I'm just wanting easy play without having to do so much homework first. Multiplayer had the added luxury of '/gamerule mobGriefing false', but after trying that on a few singleplayer worlds, it took too much edge off for me. Survival is even more excruciating in mo creatures singleplayer since you get so many more destructive mobs than creepers and slime blocks, but it's still part of the strategy and planning that goes into block usage for more than just decor and aesthetics, plus it's a great challenge for wiki study finding out block strengths.

One of my goals is structures and layouts with enough integrity to protect and yet delight the eye without sacrificing the adrenaline of conquering and the fulfillment of accomplishing. I've seen so much overkill with cobble and torches on multiplayer that basic 'camp' almost galls me now. I'm really great at hole in the ground and rock hut survival, or super fencing, but the sheer work going into that kind of reinforcement is ridiculous. It's really not hard leveling up enough to reach glowstone or sea lantern lighting, leaving room open for more decorative torch lighting without feeling the overkill. After that, a pleasing mixture of a variety of blocks can create the distance you need from play being blasted or shredded to smithereens. It's amazing what kind of power a single stick of glass just hanging in the air at face level can do. Color it for sweet glitter effect.

Other goals are to work my way up through breeding fairy horses, making a portal staff to get to the wyvern lair, and then flying those pets around the End after I find a stronghold. Yes, I can do most of these in multiplayer just fine, but sometimes I just want to chill in a quiet place on my own without watching the chat while dying gruesome deaths and creating beautiful things against all the odds on my own time where my head can roam free.

Let's talk world creation. I like choosing survival with cheats on. I've tried just about every which way making new seeds, and I seem to last the longest in a world where I'm challenged and on my toes but can still pause and switch to creative so I can fly back to a spot I forgot to mark coords down on for teleport. Part of the frustration that I think gets more players giving up is losing something and feeling that facepalm regret. Simply being flexible enough to allow oneself that '/gamemode creative' fix once in awhile is enough for me to keep going in survival. I think we can all agree it's no fun working really hard on something for 3 days and then suddenly just losing where it is on the map. One other nice thing I like with cheats is allowing myself to grab a shulker box once in awhile without having to spend a week or two finding a way to go fight for one and dying a lot along the way. I love fighting shulkers, but sometimes getting a load of overmined coal home is crucial when you're racing a clock in real life before you have to slam out a door for something like work or picking up a kid from school.

World Options is very important. Having created at the very least a hundred different worlds, I have developed a pretty good sense for ores. Current default is pretty worky, and although I love survival, I don't have time for that. I pick Worldtype: Customized and pull up the World Settings. I have played with all of it, and can say with profound experience that what you might think you love can become pretty wretched when you overdo it. Part of the draw of minecraft is that the human brain thrives on anything that alleviates boredom, which means you need a change of scenery and tasks every little bit if you aren't going to burn out. I've learned that most of the default settings are about right, but I do tweak the ores.

I've had several worlds where the ores were more prevalent than dirt. I don't advise that. I actually got sick of it, and ores became meaningless. Yes, it's pretty here and there, but everywhere...? NO. Nothing like diamonds becoming flat out boring. Nothing will cure you of diamond greed like making a diamond world. Anyway, I usually leave page 1 where it's at and move on to page 2.

You need dirt, leave it. You don't have enough green and bushy stuff to break up the blockiness if you don't have dirt. Sometimes I minimize the gravel a smidge, but it's harmless and actually useful once you figure it out. Granite, diorite, andesite- you'll miss it if you reduce it and hate it if you increase it. I have learned to skip it. Coal and iron- I usually raise the heights on these a bit, especially iron, and I do increase the spawn size OR tries a little. If you increase both size and tries, you start looking at your watch wondering when a vein is going to run out so you can move along. Gold, redstone, diamond, and lapis are all surprisingly pretty when you raise the height, and I definitely slighty increase spawn size or double the tries on diamonds, simply because you really need it for so much stuff, particularly in mo creatures. Pet amulets are made with diamonds, for example. Otherwise don't go too overboard or after awhile you'll be tired of ores, kind of like how you see rhinestones and at first they're pretty and after awhile it's ridiculous.

Sample pix of ore settings being slightly adjusted to appear higher up once in awhile.

I don't even mess with pages 3 and 4. After I click Done on World Settings, I make sure Allow Cheats is on. Bonus chest is up to you, I don't even use that any more when I start a world.

Coming up with a seed is fun. Capital and lower case letters make a difference in world generation, as do numbers and figures. My current play and build singleplayer world is called SantaClausConquerstheMartians and I originally landed smack in a jungle surrounded by snakes, panthers, a manticore, and loads of poke plants making it really colorful and extra jungley. I started with the basic hut collecting everything I could get hold of, including getting my enchant table, bookshelves, and anvil set up.

After that I branched out and got my nether portal going at my next hut.

A creeper did take out a good chunk of this second place, so I got more diligent on keeping my tp coords handy and getting another bed set up to hold creeper spawns down.

One sweet deal with pixel is that you quickly realize you can cannibalize way more than villages, lol. Also handy for setting up more teleport points.

I have another singleplayer called SlimShadyHarleyQuinn that I use mainly for testing. Even though it's set up for survival, I stay in creative and fly around and test commands. You can see how nicely pixel melds the best of both worlds, and mo creatures adds the extra mobs, like that fox down there on the right.

Sometimes the poke seem a little overdone, but the sudden fight sessions still amuse me to no end, so I'll probably keep the settings they came with. Now my real life is turning into little chores around the house being like That was super effective!

I'm currently leveling up to a more aesthetic work area. I love the feeling of being able to look out on the world, so I am using a bit of glass now.

Eventually I'll have a stable of fairy horses and wyverns down there.

To be successful, some of the breeding must be at or higher than cloud level. I'm not fond of clouds cutting through builds and fogging up my vision, so I'm getting ready to build up higher. This roof will probably become a floor for other exotic pets just below cloud level, and then the floor above will be the sky breeding.

This is still just a basic start. Total time on is only at one earth day (minecraft days are only around 20 minutes). I know it looks like I got a lot done, but I've played with people who are so good that they build really sweet really fast, so this looks nooby to me by comparison. Once I reach the wyvern laid and the End I'll be expanding my variety of blocks and have a lot more to create with.

Guess we'll see how far I get in another day or so.

:edit: 6-22-19 Removed link, spam issues on other end.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Where have I been?

I have been busy!!!

The last time I blogged here, I was playing on a multiplayer server under the mocreatures tag here on the blog. About 8 months after that post I was promoted to tech-moderator on that server.

Watching other players took on a whole new perspective. I'm not terribly gifted creatively, or maybe I just never made the time to develop being creative, but I'm fascinated with others creating in all their unique ways around their individual interests.

I started experimenting with singleplayers, pretty much went through world after world the way people go through racks of clothes in a store.

My real life was also changing pretty drastically, babysitting a little kiddo quite a lot. She insisted on making this one day. It looks pretty basic and very typical of the little girl unicorn genre, but I realized standing inside looking at the desert through all that pink glass that real life could have been so different for all of us in this real world if we'd been given more options. We are so standardized that it actually hurts to think about that. No wonder people flock to gaming.

After that, I really cut loose on playing around in my singleplayer worlds, realizing how much I could really control more and more situations in real life as I learned to expand and control them in game. I wanted to play survival, but default survival is so extremely frustrating that you really do have to level up your strategy skills to wizard just to stay ahead of all the fail. Which I did, by the way, and then did something very stupid and banged my head on the keyboard.

I realized I was in a horrible rut of doing the same thing over and over and not really learning anything new, so I updated and started learning new ropes, which were still fantastically frustrating. Simple basic stuff takes for-ev-er in survival. I think this was the breaking point, the huge hole over a loot chest that was actually a couple blocks over and nearly right on top of the sand. Whee, new things!

So I started bouncing in and out of creative, and after a dozen of those worlds I figured out I'm super easily bored with no frustration knocking me off track, so it boiled down to fine tuning the right mix of survival, creative, and configurations. It was like being strung out on minecraft crack, world after world after world.

I went on these crazy bipolar benders of all creative and all survival in between the fine tuning. I really did try this and I gotta say, I'm so super good now at surviving on next to nothing that I almost never die any more.

And still I kept searching for my answers.

I'd spend a couple weeks hammering out one world, slam through another, work tirelessly through still another... What was I trying to find? Why was I even doing this?

What in the world was I trying to accomplish or prove to myself? How many worlds have I left in my frenzied wake?

I was consumed. I usually don't cross the streams but I even started talking about it on multiplayer.

Don't get me wrong, I love multiplayer and all the unique stuff going on there, but sometimes even the mobs just go, Why are we here, man? Is there more out there than this?

Multiplayer keeps me extremely busy with inventory and timestamps, which I love. But some days you just wind up with a litterbox on your head.

It all started sifting out- I love both worlds. I want the mocreatures but I want the kinds of staff controls that allow me to set the environment. How can I create so that I'm not bouncing in and out of 'cheats' yet still not stifled with frustrating environments?

My heart and head are always in minecraft. I'm so consumed with it now that no matter where I am in real life, I'm in game in my head. I don't know if anyone has ever compared as such, but minecraft is like living in a high level chess game, playing all the pieces individually. The strategizing feels the same to me. I used to imagine my pawns and court pieces winning ragged battles across broken terrain for king and country, and now I'm building the entire world.

My worlds have become so intertwined that my years long anxiety levels have gone down dramatically. I'm not saying minecraft cures stress, but it's certainly helped me deal with a long list of stressors and think my way through real life problems in ways I never did before.

I used to be amazed at how well minecraft mimics the real world. Now I wonder if we are mimicking minecraft. If you go a little deep thinking about holographic universe and living in the matrix, yeah, minecraft has a lot of answers in it. I won't go there with the whole 9 thing yet, that's not really for this kind of blog, but I do think a LOT about real world science, pseudo science, esoterics, religions, physics, and especially quantum AI while I'm deep in the game.

And I waxed poetic. Lyrics.

I always needed a raison d'ĂȘtre, well. It's time to settle on a world.

And it needs to be flexible enough to allow me a little fun.

It needs to integrate without becoming rigid or mundane or overwhelming. I love that I can do this, but I'm not happy here.

I love the freedom, but I don't love the disappointments that come from that.

A new understanding is sifting its way into my mind about experiencing as a being, about finding ourselves and losing ourselves and having to get a grip on ourselves to find our ways back again.

My mind is part of a much bigger network of minds, which is part of a much bigger network of worlds of minds. We are layered together, incognizant that we aren't alone, a deep dive into a dark abyss by many individuals to see if we can find each other and learn to love each other even in the dark.

Some of us are realizing what is real and what is junk, what is purpose and what is distraction corrupting our purpose.

Could I really be learning this all from a game?

I was getting so chill that the frustration started melting away. Playing for the sake of just doing stuff, whatever I wanted, was finally becoming fulfilling somehow.

Hilariously, I got bot swarmed in real life, and spent two weeks feeling very ill. The cool thing about brain germs is the weird new thoughts you get.

It got pretty rough.

I stayed busy through it all, though.

Get it? Like waking up to a cat in your face.

You guessed it, I kept starting singleplayer worlds, but I felt closer to my goal, whatever that was. Something about finding myself or something.

I felt like I wasted too much time on this one, but I got it out of my system. It hit me maybe that's what we're doing with our lives through eternity.

And then my entire spring just went gestalt on me. The more I suffered in real life, the easier it was to see where I was going in my head. Funny how that works.

I began realizing I wanted to change the cycle I kept repeating.

Maybe it was time to think bigger. Maybe it was time to be responsible for something more than just beating survival.

And after that I stopped...

And thought about stuff...

And the next post will be what happened.