Thursday, April 26, 2012

What I've been up to

Okay guys, first of all I'm sorry it's taking me awhile to get a new post up. In truth, there's quite a bit that's happening right now, but everything is disjointed, and I'm trying to make it as efficient as I can.

First of all, I've been sick the last week, and I really haven't felt like playing much as a result. My last weekend I basically spent sleeping in my hammock (fun fact, I actually don't use a bed). This weekend, a soccer tournament and (more importantly) the Guild Wars 2 beta is going on. It will be very unlikely that I play, and if I do, it's because I don't want to do homework and my internet is being shoddy (again).

Next, I've been working on multiple things at once here. The End farm is progressing. I have the entire base done and I'm adding onto the spawning area now. This entire thing is made of snow, because I don't need to leave the End constantly to go get more materials by using it. I'll have pictures when it's done.

Unfortunately, I cannot gather slimeballs and work in the End at the same time. So I've been splitting my time up, and so far, both of those projects are halfway done. So here are the things immediately on my to-do list:

1. Finish the End farm and get a fortune III pickaxe (I have 30 diamond ore sitting in a chest waiting for it).
2. Design the outer walls of my base.
3. Design the stairs for the third tier of my base (this one is almost finished now).
4. Put in my two-part storage room design I've been thinking of.
5. Do the lighting for the base (not possible until the walls and stairs are done).
6. Gather resources for the next major project after the End farm.

Now, let's talk progress instead of excuses for once.

Like I said before, the End farm is progressing. I have five stacks of sticky pistons now, with only six more stacks left to make. The End farm itself is nearing completion. I really only have to install the pistons, water curtains, and minecart track between the portal and the farm yet.

The outer walls are tough. I mostly have no idea what I want with it. I've been thinking of ideas that allow for different things. I could make the whole base a dome if I wanted to and provide a maximum viewing range, but I think that would look a little awkward, seeing as my base is probably at the lowest area of land around. I could also just make something like castle walls if I wanted, make them three layers thick, and have very nice piston doors to enter the base. If I did something like this, I need a design to make the walls less boring, although I already know how I would do the lighting for the base in that scenario.

The stairs are almost done. I was originally going to have them on the flat part of the inner circle when I realized I put a slime collection point in the way (doh!). So now they are at the diagonal point, which was a nightmare to try and design and make it look natural. I think I did it, though I dislike how the bottom of the stairs look yet. You guys will (hopefully) see soon.

The storage room is going to have two different parts to it. The upper level is going to be a quick resupply point, containing very few chests and very few of each type of resource. The lower level is going to be my larger, mass storage system with 60+ chests and at least 16 furnaces. Additionally, I may create a new room to host a bigger minecart station with a track selector and run it from there. We'll see.

The last two points I can't talk about yet. Both are still in their planning stages.


To wrap up this post, I wanted to talk about planning for Minecraft 1.3. I'm not going to use the snapshots, but I like to keep up-to-date with what is being added, and guess what? Both of my predictions for future updates are correct. Silk touch now works on ice blocks (and glass panes) again. There are also now half slabs for each of the new wood types. This comes at a slight cost of having the wooden half slabs act like wood instead of stone, meaning that they now burn. No big deal, but it's something worth mentioning. Having ice is going to be huge, and I can already say that I'm going to be needing a new farm just to harvest it.

That's all for now. Signing out!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

April 11th, 2012

My primary project that I really wanted to finish today was the slime farm. This one was a full blown farm, with spawning pads, water currents, automated size reducing, and a loot collection point. I gave you a preview of what to expect last time, so I'll jump right into the spawning pads.

There are four spawning pads. The two on the left side are 7x14 and the two on the right are 6x14. Add in nine more blocks in each dimension and you get a room that is 37x22x7 in area (it should be 8 blocks for height, but if I'm considering it to be tile-able, then it is 7 blocks in height). The sandstone ceiling actually looked quite bland and had a few dark spots that were irritating me, so I decided to try and make a picture. Basically, I ended up working from the corners, and at the very center I repeated the design from the corners. I made a model in creative mode so you guys could get a better idea.

When I designed this, I thought the room was only 21
blocks in length, so this is not symmetrical

The water currents force the slimes to congregate in the bottom left corner of the first picture, where it wraps around behind me to end up along the right wall. At that point, I force the larger slimes to downsize into the smallest version, which are then sent up a ladder. Since the size reducer isn't really visible, I also made a creative mode model to show you guys.

Design courtesy of Roboticaust

The ladder used to transport the smallest slimes to my base

The loot collection point in my base

Maybe I'm being a little nostalgic. For those of you who are subscribed to Ethoslab on YouTube, you may recognize how I depressed the floor down a little bit for the area where I get the loot. I may do more with this area later (on/off switch for spawning or a kill/collect option), but for now, this is how it looks.

Well, that's it for the slime farm. I'm now drastically low on iron (less than half a stack), so I NEED to go caving again. After that, I'll probably just do basic resource collecting (tree farm, wheat farm, etc.) around my base while I collect slimeballs.

That's all for now. Signing out!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

April 10th, 2012

Well, I wasn't kidding when I said that I had a lot of time off. There are many different things I'm going to be covering today.

In my quest to get enough redstone to make my End farm, I decided that I was going to kill two birds with one stone. I hate walking through the jungle every time I need to go to the stronghold or the desert that's also nearby. I decided to make a 3x3 tunnel that spans from my base to the stronghold, while going down to level 12. The height level I chose serves two purposes:
1. It gets rid of any chance that I'll run into it later when building underground.
2. It lets me hunt for diamonds.

I basically spent my Saturday digging out that tunnel and my Sunday polishing it up. I also ran into quite a few cool caves, and I got to make use of silk touch to pick up the diamonds I found, meaning I can get more when I finally get a fortune III pickaxe.

A cool double ravine I found

The finished entrance located in my base

A portion of the track down at level 12

I dislike having to use the iron on the tracks, but having it now will pay off in the future. Also, only one of those pillars burned down when I was putting them in the tunnel, so I did a pretty good job at covering up the lava pools around there. The pillars are spaced every 10 blocks in the tunnel, and I have a powered rail under every third pillar. While not the most efficient spacing for powered rails, I needed to do something like this to make the lighting work. Even so, in the very corner between two pillars, it reaches light level 7, which means spiders could spawn there, but the spawn is blocked because of the wall.

That is a lot of pistons

But where is all of my iron?

Now that the pistons are finished, I need to focus on two other materials before I can finish the End farm: slimeballs and redstone. I'm 800 redstone short (and I would still like to get at least 1,000 to have some in reserve) and I have practically no slimeballs. Personally, I'm bored of caving, so I decided to begin work on a second project: the automated slime farm.

Basically, the idea of this farm is that slimes spawn on pads, jump into water on their own accord, go to a collection point underground where the larger slimes are scaled down to their smaller versions (via drowning), climb a ladder, and then go to the collection chamber in my base, where I can kill them at my leisure. At the south side of my base, there are two adjacent chunks that spawn slimes. That works out perfect, as it is relatively close, and I can easily get them to a ladder up to my base.

My progress so far

I don't know why, but I always have to make my spawning rooms look nice. It's just something I've always done. I don't quite know what I'm going to do with the walls yet, but I imagine that the floor will just be stone brick, because it's relatively easy to collect. The ceiling is obviously made of sandstone, and I did manage to sneak in the new type of wood for the spawning pads.

I haven't done an overview shot in awhile, so I figured I'd add one in now. I'm kind of using my base as a tree farm for all different kinds of trees, and I was collecting birch wood for the slime farm, so that's what's growing in there now. You can also see my old chicken farm in the top left, which I'm going to disassemble now because I don't need arrows for awhile. The entrance to my minecart track is underneath the overlook, on the third tier. The slime collection point in my base will also be on the third tier, in the south corner (top right side is south).

That's all for now. Signing out!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

April 8th, 2012

First of all, I'm sorry for the lack of updates during the week. The truth is, I purposely didn't play during this week because I knew what was coming: Spring break. Being on break means I'm stuck at my parent's house with unstable internet, so I made the most of the internet during the week. Also, since the only game I can play is Minecraft and I'm not worn out of playing at all, I am going to make a lot of progress. With that said, let's kick this underway.

First of all, since my failed expedition against the enderdragon, I have been lacking resources for a second attempt. So, I spent a few hours caving and a few more hours increasing my supply of chickens (which also conveniently let me AFK while I watched the IPL4 tournament for League of Legends (TSM fighting!!!).

I honestly think I'm running out of caves to light up near my home. I keep checking the entities tab while moving around, and I'm getting '0/416' for quite a few areas close to my base (especially to the northwest of it, where my old base was). With a lot of caves lit up, we can probably start production of a normal mob trap soon, which I plan on using to collect gunpowder, bones, and arrows.

Interesting dungeon chest I ran across

For resources, I'm sitting at something like 14 stacks of iron and 21 stacks of redstone. So I met my iron quota and I'm only like halfway done with the redstone. I'll probably be branch mining quite a bit yet.

I woke up this morning and basically just went for a second attempt at the enderdragon. This time I acted a little safer and the bugger never even touched me. So yeah, the enderdragon is no more.

I neglected to bring along 30 bookshelves and an enchanting table because I did not have 3 stacks of wood to move the bookshelves. So I didn't bother, but I'm wishing I had an extra chance to enchant a pickaxe, because of the two level 50 enchantments that I did, I got absolutely trolled.

That's all for now. Signing out!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April 1st, 2012

I bet you can guess what comes next...

... or maybe you can't.

Yeah, so I tried sniping one of the healing orbs when I was too close to the edge. Got knocked off, lost about 30 iron ingots (worth of armor and tools), a diamond sword, five stacks of arrows, and a ton of snowballs. Apparently right clicking a storage minecart with your bow will fire the bow (thus destroying the minecart). So basically I need to get completely re-set up again. I'm kind of annoyed about losing the iron because I'm going to need quite a bit of it for my planned End farm.

Lets look at a bit of logistics. With update 1.2, mobs no longer recognize signs as blocks. Also, you cannot use water currents with endermen. This basically leaves us with one option: using piston traps. For each block of spawning space, you need one piston, one repeater, and one pressure plate. Ideally, you want 1,000 blocks of spawning space for a good mob trap. Because piston traps are so efficient (the mob spawns, gets pushed off, and is ready to be killed all within about 3 seconds), I can probably cut this down to about 700 blocks of spawning space.

With 700 blocks of spawning space, I need 700 pistons, 700 repeaters, and 700 pressure plates. This means I need 2,800 redstone (three for the repeater and one for the piston), 700 iron ingots, 2,100 stone blocks (for the repeaters), 2,800 cobblestone blocks, 2,100 wooden planks, and then either another 1,400 stone blocks or wooden planks.

Currently, I have about 1,000 redstone and 400 iron ingots. Those are really the limiting resources currently. This End farm is quite an expensive project, and I still need to defeat the bloody dragon. Attempt #2 coming soon!

That's all for today. Signing out!