Saturday, October 20, 2012

Public World Download - October 20th, 2012

We are now 7 months on from the time that I've started this world. It hasn't felt like 7 months, but that's what the post dates have been telling me. I've finally gotten back from my hiatus caused by the release of Guild Wars 2, and I've spent a fairly large amount of time doing things in my world. There is a new iron golem farm, so iron is not a problem anymore. The lighting of my base has taken a further step in the final direction with the addition of the lamp posts on the top tier of the base. My base has a new room, which is dedicated to the iron golems. I have finally started on my Nether hub, which currently has two destinations (with working rail systems): one to the still-in-progress zombie pigmen farm and the other to the wither skeleton spawning pad. Speaking of wither monsters, I finally killed my first wither and collected its star (and I left three more heads so you can fight one yourself). also, I've worked on even more terra-forming in preparation for the final touches of my base. Overall, quite a lot for three weeks of work.

Remember, I have been using the snapshots to play on my world. You must use up to at LEAST w40b in order for the world to not corrupt, though I have been on the pre-release for the past few days. With that said, the download is below.

Download iMaelstrom's Survival World here.


October 20th, 2012

So I originally intended on releasing my world on the 14th, but timing worked against me, so I had an additional week to play around with a few things before the world release that will happen after I post this.

First of all, I wanted to finish filling out maps of my world. I already had a map completed, and I have no idea what size that map would be considered as in the 1.4 update, so I'm basically going to have to start over once I finish filling out this one. I finished exploring the top half of the map (which took quite awhile), and generated quite a lot of new terrain. The good news is that there is more than one desert in my world after all. The bad news is that most of them are surrounded by mass amounts of jungle biomes.

This blacksmith is the biggest hermit I have ever seen in Minecraft. I don't know who he sells his goods to, but it isn't the other village that's about 200 blocks away, as they already have a blacksmith. I guess competition is still fierce, even in this abandoned world. This fellow was nice enough to give me some potatoes though, so I won't speculate too much into his reasoning.

I finally gathered the one remaining wither skeleton skull I needed and fought the Wither. Quite frankly, the fight was a cake walk. As you can see, he never even got the Wither effect on me. I had planned on leaving that first Wither fight for you guys who download my world, but I had the time to farm three more wither skeleton skulls, so you guys can still fight him in a battleground of your choosing. Feel free to use the battleground that I used, my old slime farm. The damage that you see in the first picture is literally the worst part of it, and was caused by him exploding after he spawned. You can find the slime farm in a tunnel underneath the mountain with the single, glowing tree on top of it. It isn't a very far walk from my base.

I've added the third last room that I have planned for this base. This one is dedicated to being the official collection point for my iron golem farm. The other spot at the surface had a slight problem with the golems escaping their cells, and they would try and kill you when you tried to kill them. They were all one-shots with a sword though, so I believe that they just glitched through the old collection cell. This new area does not have that problem. You can kill them all with a lava blade by standing on the pressure plate you see in the picture. The iron golems are standing on one as well, but it doesn't do anything except make sure the lava doesn't spread too far.

I've finally had the motivation to add a second archway into my base. As these are the two entrances I use the most, I decided to get them out of the way first. The other two will be coming soon as well, as soon as I collect more wood (these things are not fun to build with how you have to place each of the wood logs sideways).

I've also done a bit of terra-forming work, starting with the river. The river isn't done yet, but I have plans to include it in another project of mine, so I have to do this some time.

The second part of the terra-forming happend on the west end of my base. Originally, there was a big crater here leading to a large cave system. I have covered up the cave with about five layers of dirt and stone. There also was a small forest here, which I plan to bring back with glowing trees to make sure mobs don't spawn in there.

You may notice on the hill on the central left part of the picture, there are randon glowing spots. Those were caused by me burning down some of the trees. The fires apparently turned invisible, and caused random glowing patches that never go out. There are more like it if you head more south, but I thought I'd just point that out.

My goal is to be finished with this base within the next two months, and begin on other projects. I have quite a few farms to do, as well as some landscaping work and decorating around my base. Also, I need to replace the lighting system on the bottom tier, as it is very bugged in 1.4, and will often flicker at night, allowing mobs to potentially spawn (which we don't want for sure). I have not done anything for this world release, so be aware of that. You may even want to go and stick a redstone torch in the beginning of the lighting system so it will perpetually stay on.

That's all I've got. Signing out!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

October 13th, 2012

I'm back! Guild Wars 2 is finally tiring me (along with ArenaNet's tyrannical approach to the "no farming" rule). So what's changed? Well, I'm running the game on snapshots now, the most recently updated being week 40b. So I have many more things to think about and update. Also, no texture pack. It isn't updated for the snapshots, and frankly, I've gotten used to using the default textures once more. It's kind of nostalgic in its own way.

First of all, trading is essentially extinguished from the game. The pitifully small amounts of items that you can trade before the offer becomes blocked now make trading practically worthless. Sure, I could trade away my emeralds for diamond equipment from the blacksmith, but emeralds are now insanely hard to obtain (especially in a world that does not have a lot of local extreme hills generated in the 1.3 version of the game). So I've decided to keep my emerald blocks that I did obtain, and I will use them for decoration, like I did with the lapis blocks.

Second of all, beacons are fun. They are, however, the most difficult thing to obtain in this game. The Wither fight is incredibly gear dependent (though I have that part down already), wither skeletons are not fun to farm, and each maxed beacon requires 164 blocks of iron, emerald, gold, diamond, or a mix of those. Diamond blocks are out of the question as much as emerald blocks now are, so that leaves gold and iron. Of those, iron is by far the easier material to obtain and/or make a farm for. So my world now has an iron golem farm.

It's unwieldy, sure, but I can easily improve the looks of it later. For now, function is all that matters. Thanks to JL2579's server for this design.

In my ever-continuing quest to remove all the torches from my base, I have added even more redstone lamps to my base. These ones are a bit unique, as they are powered visibly, while not being powered by any redstone source. This is done by powering the lamp with a redstone torch or repeater, and then breaking the torch or repeater with a piston while the chunk is not loaded. Redstone signals can still be transported through unloaded chunks with the use of instant wire (which uses sticky pistons to extend a powered block and continue the redstone line). I am having a slight problem with a few of the lamps, however, as they will not remain powered no matter what I do (so for now, you can see a lever on those ones).

The Nether hub is now finally being worked on, and it currently leads to two locations. The zombie pigman farm will be one of them, though for now it is just a work in progress. This area is perfectly safe for now (and in tomorrow's world release), but in future world releases, I will almost assuredly have made more progress in this area, meaning that the island will be very straining on your computer, and I would advise you to stay away from the area if you struggle to run the game. I can't even work on this area during the week, as my laptop will drop to about two frames per second while I am looking at the Nether portals. I need to wait until the weekends to get access to my desktop PC.

The second track at my Nether hub leads to a Nether fortress I found while exploring. This fortress is wonderful because it has a large section of it entirely over lava. I turned it into a giant spawning pad for wither skeletons, though I see a lot of blazes, pigmen, and regular skeletons as well (even the occasional magma cube). This is where I have been farming for wither skulls, so I can hopefully get lots of beacons in the future (I am going to need at least four for my base).

That's all I've got for now. Signing out!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

August 22nd, 2012

Lots of progress with redstone projects was made these last few weeks. I had left the last update with the desire to finish the lighting system in my base, and now I have. Additionally, I used what remained of my redstone supply to add a master reset button onto my End farm, to prevent pistons from detaching their snow blocks and blocking spawns.

At the push of a button, all of the pistons will pulse in the spawner, so they will all get their blocks back and I don't have to keep going up there to replace the detached snow blocks. The wiring for this was relatively simple, as there are only four blocks between layers, so the simple redstone torch and block vertical wiring worked. I had some trouble with the water, but eventually got it to stay the way I wanted to (and stop updating and washing away part of my redstone).

Back to the lighting system. I wanted to have it attached to a day/night sensor, just to make it needlessly complicated and more attractive-looking. I used the version created by JL2579 and it works flawlessly. I ended up having 8 light sensors total, so the lighting system is very responsive.

For a more in-depth guide on how to build this, I would highly recommend watching the video that I linked above, as there are still some hidden elements to this thing that I never edited to show in the picture.

Now that I am out of redstone, it's time to transition into more building, and that will be starting with the Nether. I plan on making a Nether hub of sorts, like how the Minecrack server works. I will have plenty of locations in the future for this thing to go to, but I am still very much in the designing stages of it. Luckily, I have things to keep me busy with in the mean time.

Can you guess why I need this much obsidian?

I'll leave you with this picture to puzzle the purpose out of, and additionally a warning about how few updates there will be for awhile. Guild Wars 2 comes out Friday night at around midnight my time, and I will be very distracted with that game for awhile (I've only been waiting for it for 5 years). On top of that, school is starting up again very soon, so there will be very few updates for a month or two. I'll still release my world on time though.

That's all I've got. Signing out!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Public World Download - August 12th, 2012

The changes that have gone on this month is almost exclusively aesthetic, but it makes a huge difference. The mob tower looks completely different now and its lighting system is now functional (the lever is by the storage room entrance). The minecart track got redone as well. Villagers are now being stored in the base for trading use (with a massive sugar cane field being used as the main trading material). The entrance arch finally gets re-decorated with the addition of horizontal wood logs. Finally, the addition of ice allows me to change out the pattern on the first tier, while laying ice underneath it all. The base is closer and closer to being finished every day now. Hope you guys enjoy it.

Download the survival world here.

That's all for now. Signing out!

Friday, August 10, 2012

August 10th, 2012

Minecraft 1.3 is here at last! I'm sure everyone has had ample opportunities to experiment with the full release now that it is out, including myself. I did a lot of update work around my base just to work in the features of 1.3. That said, for as amazing as the features are in this update, I'm kind of upset that all of the negatives of multiplayer had to be attached to this as well. Chunk errors, more lighting bugs, glitchy textures, laggy mobs, and weird suffocation issues have been plaguing me quite often since this update happened. There are some things I can get used to, but some things I wished didn't have to be included with the price tag. That said, this is how the game works, and we'll just have to learn to deal with it.

For my last project before 1.3 was released, I decided to start tackling the re-finish on the minecart track. I was riding it one day and I got blown up by a creeper. I went back and checked the lighting, and sure enough, I made a mistake and mobs could spawn in the tunnel. Instead of just fixing the lighting, I decided to entirely redesign both parts of the tunnel, and here is the result.

Descending from my base

The actual tunnel

Removing all of the stone around the tunnel chewed through three of my enchanted diamond pickaxes, but I think the end result is definitely worth it. This project brought me all the way into 1.3, with only a few stairs left to place once the update happened. Initially, I didn't understand how placing stairs and half slabs worked in 1.3, but I quickly figured it out once I finished off the collection point for my mob grinder.

An outside view

An inside view

I love sandstone stairs. I'm so glad they are finally in the game. Probably enough said on that subject.

This hill has been through a lot of abuse since I started working on it with TNT. I put a temporary village (with infinite breeding cell) and a netherwart farm on top of here for a period of time. I now have a chest full of netherwart (the beginnings of a potions room), and the village gave me one of every villager type (and even a few iron golems). Both of those are now gone though, and I could finally cover the top of the hill in grass. I'm not sure exactly what I want done with this hill yet (whether I'll add a real village on top of it, or if I will just cover it in trees), but there is still some work for the future.

Speaking of villagers, this is where they ended up. The librarian is especially handy for trading paper for emeralds, and I now have about a half stack of emerald blocks because of him. The priest will also be useful, offering glowstone and redstone if I need them. Other than that, I can't really see myself trading much, and I'll use the emeralds for decoration, or for the upcoming beacons in 1.4. This isn't the final location for the villagers either, but more on that in a later update.

You might have spotted the arch in the background, which has also received a makeover using the horizontal logs. I like this much more than the sandstone and stone, but I'm still not happy about the texture on the front of the arch. I might add a line of horizontal logs in the front, just to add some diversity.

Trading paper requires extensive amounts of sugar cane, but I'm now covered on that front. This sugar cane field gives me an entire inventory full of paper when I harvest it, which I can do every 20 minutes or so. Emeralds are so easy to get because of this.

And finally, we have the second best thing about 1.3: ice! I've made two ice trays now, and they are keeping me well supplied with ice, even if I'm usually not in the area to let them freeze. That is good, because I need close to a double chest full in order to finish off the floor for the top tier of my base (ice under half slabs).

That's all I've got for now. Signing out!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

July 26th, 2012

It's finally done. I was really not satisfied with how the stone brick looked and how unsupported the spawning towers felt. It seems that you can only use 2-3 types of blocks effectively before other things start to look tacky, so I resorted to using sandstone and wood to complete the columns and the new lava blade setup.

First of all, I had to design the pillar that supported the spawning towers. I wanted to keep it mainly as sandstone, and took inspiration from the design style of the ancient Romans. That said, just plain sandstone wouldn't look much better, so I began changing the shape, making use of half slabs, and also accenting the sandstone with different colors to make it more vibrant (and I finally found a good use for lapis blocks). This is the result of that effort, though it was not the final result.

Night shot of the four finished pillars

Day, aerial shot of the four finished pillars

In the middle of the second image, you can see the next part of the refurbishing project: the lava blades. Now, there actually had to be some function to this part, so the shape was sort of out of my control, though the style was not. The style actually changed quite a bit from first conception all the way through me finishing off the redstone for the lighting system.

Yes, you heard right. I finally got the redstone wiring for the lighting system all the way underground. Aside from the siding and the top of the lava blades, there is no redstone showing (and you can't see the redstone on the lava blades from anywhere in my base). The wiring was actually challenging to do, and I'm glad I thought of a few of these things in advance. For instance, the spawning towers actually sit one block lower now than they did before. I added an additional layer to prevent the water from dripping, but it also served to house the redstone without any bulges sticking out on the bottom of the towers.

The wiring wasn't initially below the spawner, where it would creep to the sides and move upwards from there. When I first tried wiring the rest of it, I had it on the side, but I didn't like the additional ring it made around the side. It made the towers feel like they are too close together, and it looked a little tacky.

Day shot of the finished base for the mob grinder

Top-down view of the lava blade section

What the pillar looks like after I installed the lighting system into it

When all is said and done, this project went extremely well. I'm happy with the design, and think they add a lot to my base, which was previously very open. A lot of lines of sight were blocked, and a lot of space was taken up and is well lit from the pillars. This will make it immensely easy to light up the whole base with redstone lamps, which is an upcoming project for me.

Funnily enough, I discovered that I actually spaced out the spawning towers incorrectly. The north and west spawning towers are one block closer to the center of my base than the south and east spawning towers. I randomly discovered this problem when I was just looking up at them, but I still did my best to mask that mistake by making the sides of the lava blade rather plain. You can see the mistake most clearly in my top down view, where two sides of the redstone are three blocks long and two are four blocks long.

That's all for now. Signing out!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Public World Download - July 12th, 2012

I'll keep this short since I just posted an update to my blog.

This is the third month that I've released a download link for my world. Every time, there are more and more changes to the world. This time, I've finally put a roof over Steve's head and began construction on the entrance to my base. More terra-forming has been done on the north side of the base, pushing the hill even further back. My storage room is even more full of goodies than last time, enough to start any project I want. The desert is getting flatter, the minecart track got cleaned up a lot, and I've finally started a cow farm. This time I don't even really need to include signs, as every part of my base is now connected via rail. So enjoy the new additions.

Download here

July 12th, 2012

Last time I posted an update, I had just finished building the giant half sphere surrounding my base. With that mega project out of the way, I was finally allowed to focus on more fun things to do in Minecraft. That said, I haven't abandoned the idea of finishing the doorways to my base, but I didn't focus my entire attention on it either.

So for the entrances to my base, I completely abandoned the idea of using a piston door to get in or out. Instead, I chose to just have no door at all, and rely on lighting up the area around my base sufficiently that I won't be bothered by mobs. I'm not satisfied with this arch yet however, as the sandstone seems rather bland when looking from the inside of the base.

There is also the small problem of trying to transition from the archway's solid blocks to the glass dome surrounding it. I figured I would add supports to the dome all the way down to the tip of the arch, where it would split and follow the side down to the ground. I wanted to be sure of the material I was using for the arch first though, and after sleeping on it for several days, the sandstone hasn't grown on me. Something has to change, but I have yet to figure out what.

Moving onto the next project, I've elected to connect things to my base more. For awhile now, I've tired of going through the stronghold to get up to my desert (which has seen quite a lot of use as of late). I've been sitting on the idea of making a minecart track move over there, when I remembered the design that I showed off in the teaser. Of course, that design wasn't sufficient for what I wanted to do, so I had to modify it slightly.

As you can see, I have two destinations on the right side of my control panel.

Really, the only modification that I needed to make was hooking the top right button up to the piston. Unfortunately, there is no way to avoid completing the circuit, so I had to rely on another small trick, which was the redstone power length.

A view of the RS-NOR latch used to control the direction
you go from the station.

The redstone wiring might look ugly because it isn't very compact, but it comes with the benefit of no added delay to the circuit. I needed to avoid having both ends of the RS-NOR latch activate at the same time when I pressed either button. By having 4 redstone dust between the connection of both button circuits, I was able to move the RS-NOR latch away far enough so that one side was within range of the each button, but out of range on the other side.

With the three button selector working, I had to dig a new tunnel the the surface of the desert. Luckily, it was not a very long tunnel, as I built it by the corner of the old minecart track.

I'll probably add a small hut here, just to store some chests so that I can
stay in the desert for longer and make the whole operation look cleaner.

Now, the minecart actually does stop down at that midway station, so I needed something there as well. I elected to make another branch mine there, thus connecting a branch mine to my base.

The completed station

The tunnel down to the branch mine

Now, I have to be careful about where I dig. The old minecart track ran along y-level 12, so I raised it up six blocks so that the branch mine would not intercept the minecart track. Basically, there is only one orientation that I can't make branches in, so I'm quite happy with it.

This new mine also comes at a perfect time. I have two more redstone intensive projects that I need to finish: the lighting array in my base and the lighting system for the mob spawner. I can't start either project until I refinish the bottom part of the mob spawner and finalize the terrain in my base (I want to add some height difference to make it look natural, and I may even add a tiny waterfall to my base from the river). Therefore, finishing the mob spawner is the next thing on my list of priorities, and I actually have a plan on how I will do it, thanks to the advice I got from my sister when I talked to her about it.

That's all for now. Signing out!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Extending the Rail System - A Sneak Peak

So I've just finished figuring out the wiring for this crazy contraption. What once was Test3891's bi-directional rail station is now a tri-directional, midway rail station. I'm adding on two more destinations to my minecart track, but can you guess where I'm adding them or what purpose they will serve?

That's all for now. Signing out!