I've made mention of it happening soon in recent posts but as they say, a picture is worth a thousand million words:
That's right, sometime during the last time I played I mined one million blocks with a diamond pickaxe, my main (only?) mining tool when caving (excluding the Efficiency V, Unbreaking III, Silk Touch I diamond pickaxe I use on Ender chests and emerald ore, well under a percent of all uses though); or rather, two pickaxes since about a quarter of those blocks were mined when I used an Efficiency V, Fortune III, Unbreaking III pickaxe for all mining, even on stone and other non-Fortune affected blocks (this explains why I only made 124 pickaxes, which could mine about 750,000 blocks with Unbreaking III). And yes, I've used the same pickaxe to mine three-quarters of a million blocks - try doing that in 1.8 without cheats/hacks/mods! (that said, the main problem I have isn't the ability to use the same special tool forever, but the need to have to enchant new ones, and enchanting setups aren't exactly something you can carry around while caving; well, it is possible but then I'd lose a lot of inventory space. This is the same reason why I don't see XP or resource farms as having any use and only use diamond gear; I don't want to have to return just to get extra XP to repair something, though with how much XP I get that is a moot point).
Here is a list of all the blocks I've mined at least 100 of:
In particular, I've mined a total of 692,231 ore (excluding Nether quartz), 868,766 blocks including stone, which means that about 80% of those blocks were ore, a good measure of mining efficiency; 4,857 of those blocks were diamond ore, or 0.7 percent of all ore and 0.48 percent of all blocks I've mined. Also, most of the rails I've mined came from abandoned mineshafts - a true testament to how common they are! In fact, even after I modified their generation so they are about half as common, similar to the frequency in 1.7 (1.6.4 actually has one mineshaft every 100 chunks, though they are less common within 80 chunks/1280 blocks of the origin; 1.7 reduced this to one in 250 chunks, still a lot when they have a maximum span of 5 chunks from the center in all directions), I still find one almost every time I play (it helps though that I made them more spread out and non-overlapping).
Note also that the list above includes mob spawners, normally not shown (no idea why, since you can mine them in Survival); the 708 mob spawners I've mined certainly shows they aren't as rare as commonly thought; assuming that the average dungeon is 5x7 (7x9 including the walls) and a 75% chance of a block being mossy cobblestone, this gives an average of 47 per dungeon, so the 14,986 mossy cobblestone I've mined represents about 317 dungeons (note that they are less than half as common in 1.7 and later though, since they doubled their y-range from 128 to 256, halving their density (you can use Customized to set the count to 16 to offset this), and there are less caves/mineshafts; they requires air underground to generate, although 1.6.4 cave systems are often too dense in their centers; they don't generate if the location is too exposed, so this is less important).
You can also see that I've made 31 anvils, of which 29 have broken, excluding one that I carry around in my Ender chest and one at my main base; with an average of 25 uses per anvil this means I've used them about 725 times (and the one I carry is very damaged); I typically do more than one repair at a time thanks to the XP surplus I get, often exceeding level 60, and the fact that I don't have to repair most of my gear when I do so, as I repair most of it in fractions even when I can repair it more so there is a lot of durability still left (this costs more XP in the long run but that obviously isn't a problem).
Also, here are my general statistics:
Based on this, you can calculate that I've mined an average of 3,206 blocks/2,219 ore every time I played, and 929 blocks/643 ore per hour - this includes the entire time I've played, not just when I am only caving, such as when I built my base, went to the End, and so on, particularly since this is my first world and from an old copy I only explored a few caves around spawn during at least the first two months, or a fifth of the time I've played the world for (I pretty much always play once a day, an average of 3.45 hours per session, a figure which has remained very steady for months).
Here is what I mined the last time I played, a more or less typical example of what I get when I go caving the entire time, about 50% higher than calculated above:
Also of note, I only mined all coal, not just what I actually needed for torches and fuel, until 1.6 (the last update to have any effect on my gameplay) came out with the block of coal, enabling me to mine it all and compact it by a factor of 9 times (576 coal per stack of blocks), I also initially mined it with Fortune III, as I had with diamond and emerald ore previously (thus the number of blocks I've made of these in particular are higher than expected; more recently, I've been mining emerald ore with Silk Touch). As you can see above, mining all coal had a major impact on ore mining rates; the time taken to mine that much ore is relatively insignificant when you use an Efficiency V diamond pickaxe, which can mine about 133 ore per minute (which isn't as fast as the Wiki implies due to rounding to ticks, 0.05 seconds, and a 0.25 second delay between blocks, except for what is possibly a bug where you can "instant" mine some blocks; the times I've measured suggest a mining time of 0.2 seconds, or 0.45 including the delay).
Also, the 5,431 km I've walked is over 43% of the distance to the Far Lands as they existed up to Beta 1.7.3 - a truly staggering distance, enough to cross my world along its longest axis more than 1,000 times and a true testament to what people mean when they talk about "Swiss cheese" underground (I've walked through many of the same caves more than once but the total length is a good fraction of the total).
Perhaps the most amazing thing is that I've done all of this in just one world - in fact, the first world I created when I got the game (besides demo worlds of course), as suggested by its name, "World1", and the only world that I've played long-term; I initially played it for about 6 months, then I got into modding the game and stopped playing it for a year, before I decided to return to it after I'd more or less perfected my mods.
Here are surface and underground (explored areas only) maps (created using MCMap) of the world, which takes up 252 MB of disk space and is nearly 5,000 blocks north-south for a size perspective; the seed is -123775873255737467 in 1.6.4 (started in 1.5.1, only significant change in 1.6.x being the removal of water lakes from deserts (you can tell which areas were generated in 1.5.x due to this) and addition of horses/horse armor; my main base is just below the desert near the middle of the lower-left (southern) half, which is also where spawn is, with a naturally generated NPC village nearby):
In addition, you can download a full size (11114x5120 pixels) cave map here (Dropbox link because Imgur can't handle such large files, 11.3 MB uncompressed)
Also, here is a map I made with Unmined back when I'd stopped playing it; I've explored just about everything shown here and more (I could update this but I'd rather not see what might be in unexplored chunks, especially since I added some special cave variants):
Of note, in the first map shown above, see that odd-looking area in the far left? That's a mesa biome I just discovered:
Yes, a mesa biome - in 1.6.4! This is because I integrated most of my mod "TheMasterCaver's World" into this world, with the placement of biomes modified so they replace similar vanilla biomes with the same overall frequencies, or about a third the chance of any particular biome (that is, a vanilla biome like plains has a 2/3 chance of being replaced with two similar biomes (bushlands and mega tree plains in this case); most biomes, including mesa, are also "common" biomes, with the same occurrence). I had also increased the height variation in two stages, first by about halfway between vanilla and TMCW, then all the way after I'd generated new terrain around all existing chunks, minimizing differences in terrain, usually only requiring a shovel to smooth out noticeable chunk borders (I used MCEdit to help with a few cases, shifting them down, then smoothing them over in-game). I also ensured that new biomes that were radically different (such as mesas) didn't generate next to any existing chunks since that would leave a very obvious chunk wall and even after smoothing it would leave an unnaturally straight biome transition (transitions between similar biomes are much harder to see in-game).
This is also not possible to do when going from 1.6.4 to 1.7 since the underlying world generation was changed, changing the placement of land, ocean, and biomes. It is even possible to add in new biomes and features as long as I ensure none of the areas around existing chunks change (for example, improvements to beach and river generation produced only minor discontinuities in terrain).
Also, next to the mesa is a mega forest, with trees soaring to the clouds even from sea level (well above when on mountains, the highest I've ever found was around y=160, I also had a test world where you spawned on top of one at around y=130...); I've already found several other mega forest biomes:
(the presence of a desert next to the mesa is pure coincidence; they can even be in the middle of ice plains, if less common since ice plains still mostly generates in the snowy zones 1.6.4 had (1.7 actually uses the same code to initially create climate zones), but with regular biomes mixed in to avoid huge stretches of nothing but ice plains and taiga (ice plains is also an uncommon biome, half as common as other biomes, elsewhere).
Here is a close-up of the area; note how much bigger the trees in the mega forest are than the jungle to the left (despite this, I don't get any lag from them - while jungles are crippling in 1.8 in particular, constant non-stop server lag by minutes behind)!
Also of interest, notice the bare stone where the mesa reaches the edge of the world - that is because unlike 1.7 I actually add the clay when chunks are decorated; this also allows me to generate ores first then add hardened clay so ores appear in the clay, this also includes veins of regular clay appearing in place of dirt and gravel (confined to below the hardened clay layers, which extend down to around y=45), making them a good source of clay for bricks, as well as extra iron ore above sea level (ores are generated so they are only exposed in caves and under overhangs with less than 8 blocks of clearance or below sea level) and extra caves near/above sea level and deeper ravines placed higher up to enhance the experience of mesa caves.
Note that all the blocks used in the new biomes are vanilla; the only non-vanilla block/item added is a special Ender chest with a double chest of storage separate from vanilla Ender chests, which I use to transport more resources back to my main base at once (up to 117 stacks, including my inventory). This even includes the ability to grow almost every variant of tree from vanilla saplings, with the biome determining what tree grows (for example, I recently added palm trees, which grow only in beach biomes from jungle saplings; you can even grow ungrowable vanilla trees in their respective biomes).
Also, see "So, I often talk about how much I cave...", also about the staggering amounts that I mine (there is also an old cave map of the world mentioned here so you can see how much I've done since I started playing on it again).
Believe it or not, at least one other person on the forums has mined even more than I have; 1.7 million stone/cobblestone alone, and were able to do it in just a few weeks, although they had the help of Haste II beacons and mined away every block in a small area (most of the stone I mine is placed as cobblestone shortly after, I rarely accumulate more than a stack, and I could mine less if I used ladders more and for permanent use, as I mostly use them to scale walls and take them down again, usually forgetting to do so when I don't).
Most impressive of all these stats is 12 deaths. C'mon man I'm jealous.
I'm wondering though - as your main activity in minecraft is cave exploring and mining, do you use the resourcs you gathered for something? I mean redstone and iron for redstone projects, other materials for massive builds etc. Or is it all about caving/mining?
On the bright side of things I noticed you don't like fishing much, do you?
I decided to use MCEdit to look at the world (it took a while; yes, 3.3 billion blocks, though MCEdit apparantly counts a rectangular area, including nonexistant chunks) and found this:
Most of the obsidian, enough to cover 1,283 chunks one block deep, is the result of me flooding over lava pools; of all the torches I've made, a few thousand were apparently lost as the total shown here (including some in villages) is 213,734 (usually due to creepers and water washing them away, I also used some in the Nether; note that natural torches were removed from mineshafts and strongholds; in fact, I even removed them from unexplored mineshafts before I started playing it again by writing some code that removed torches attached to wooden planks in a specific manner, avoiding ones I already placed; at the same time I also added the 1.8 stones and some other features to existing chunks, I did this by bypassing the normal biome decorator and check to see if chunks were populated yet and loaded the region files into a Creative world and flew over the world to populate it with those features; note that simply repopulating the world will double up on ores and other features; I also made the Creative world a Superflat void world so empty chunks could easily be deleted).
Also, there is still a lot of ore left; this also shows that iron ore is actually much more common than wood (iron is even more common in 1.8 worlds; in fact, coal is nearly as common as gravel in 1.8, if partly due to a decrease in the amount of gravel):
In fact, when divided by the number of chunks (38,787) I get 77.57 iron and 143.34 coal ore per chunk - very close to the Wiki's 77 and 142.6; adding what I've mined, I get 82.4 iron and 154.58 coal ore per chunk (thus I've mined 4.83 iron and 11.24 coal ore per chunk; by comparison, I've found only 0.125 diamond ore per chunk, of which there was still 112,685 ore), which is still well below the 111 and 185 per chunk (only the lower 64 layers, so coal was a bit underrepresented, though it was mostly in Extreme Hills which biases it up otherwise, with high mountains having as many as 400 coal per chunk) I found for the same seed in 1.8. Of note, I've mined more coal ore than the ratio of iron and coal would suggest, likely because the veins are bigger by a factor of about 3 (not 2 as the size suggests since it is nonlinear) and thus more likely to be exposed, even as they are half as common (double the range so half the number over the same number of layers). Similarly, emerald ore is likely underrepresented since it is an all-or-nothing situation (it is also rarer in new chunks since only two of the biomes I added have emerald ore, one of which is the same as Extreme Hills and the other of which has more, including actual veins like other ores, but is rarer).
You might also note the wood with metadata values 12 and up - those are the data values for wood with bark on all sides, used for tree branches (big oak trees also have extra wood to prevent leaf decay, an issue so serious in 1.7 (lag) that they removed them from most biomes, whereas I actually made a biome with only big oaks). There's also huge amounts of wood in the giant trees I mentioned which has already significantly biased the amount of wood (17:12) up - 500 or more in the biggest trees, although most of it is inside the leaves and is a pain to harvest (I cut one down once to see how long it would take, as you can read here), making cutting the trunk only the most efficient way to harvest one, with a new tree growing into the old leaves (I still use jungle trees for wood).
In addition, this shows the relative amounts of the 1.8 stones, which are actually more concentrated since they only generate below sea level with the same range as iron (64) instead of 80, although the veins are smaller than in 1.8 since their size is set to 32, the same as dirt and gravel prior to 1.8, which added 1 to the sizes of all ores; I also optimized the code by skipping every other generation step (that is, the game places ores in cubical sections which overlap for large veins, I skip every other step for dirt, gravel, and stones with about a 10% reduction in size but double the generation speed. In addition, I only replace metadata for the stones since the block ID is the same, with an enormous increase in speed (using the setBlock method actually forces a relighting calculation, among other things), such that there is practically no difference compared to without them):
There's still a lot of stone left though, even with the 1.6.4 levels of dirt and gravel (reduced by half in 1.7 due to doubling the range, similar to what I mentioned about dungeons, and further reduced in 1.8 from 20 dirt and 10 gravel to 10 dirt and 8 gravel, about 3 and 2 times rarer than 1.6.4 when factoring in the larger vein size in 1.8). Also, it is interesting to note that they are completely compatible with vanilla 1.8, and older versions ignore invalid metadata but retain the values in the save files (see this example) so they only disappear if you mine them (I also made it so Silk Touch is required to harvest the raw variants, thus I can mine them as if they were regular stone).
Wow, what a feat, I'm actually getting your mod right now, I'm bored with minecraft so I'll just play your style and go caving and explore
I also have a version for 1.7.10 that only changes the underground (including a "light" version that modifies less as the full version isn't compatible with Forge), as well as mods that give you 1.6.4 cave generation and even one with double the generation (maybe a bit too much though) in 1.7 and 1.8; I'd update the first mod to 1.8 but MCP seems to have some problems with some classes (I tried making a mod that lets you actually customize caves, as well as all other structures, but it mangles the code when it reobfuscates it; it works fine in MCP but crashes outside).
Also, this is the result of an analysis I did on the size distribution of caves; they can get up to three times wider than in vanilla, but very rare (the largest possible sizes aren't even shown here, although there is little difference); on the other hand, caves as wide as the widest caves in vanilla are on the order of a thousand times more common, and more for all caves that are larger (still only about one every 1,700 chunks, so not something you'll find every day, plus some variants are excluded from near the origin, where you usually spawn):
Similarly, this is for cave systems (less chunks since I didn't fully generate cave systems in the above analysis):
This is a bit misleading; the cave systems with a much higher size are actually equivalent to many smaller cave systems in close proximity, similar to a cave system in my world* which they are intended to replicate; small variations are also seen, mostly in the 5-25 range, due to the larger than usual caves only generating in cave systems with that range (avoiding just one cave by itself or a big cave system being eaten up by one, though a small cave system can generate next to a larger one).
*This cave system (located at -800, -1050) makes my world rather unique, as I've found from using code I wrote to find very large cave systems and the work of another member, who had pregenerated multiple 12,000x12,000 worlds and only found one cave system similar to it in millions of chunks; they were amazed that I'd found one just by randomly exploring a random seed (I don't think I even knew about seeds when I made the world, much less modding the game or using third-party tools to find caves). Here is a close-up of the cave system in a recreated world and a map of my entire world (as it was back then) showing the lower 20 layers, a good way to find the biggest and densest cave systems as they stand out when only the lower layers are shown:
Of course, you'll never find anything like this in vanilla 1.7 or later (barring customization of caves other than yes/no); even the 1.7 version using my "old caves" mod or TMCW underground puts it under a deep ocean (the aforementioned member, after comparing some 1.7 worlds to 1.6.4 cave generation, told me "I did look at a few 1.7 seeds, and to me it is a joke how much smaller the caves are - what were they thinking").
That's what makes his posts so amazing and interesting.
Anyways, good job. I only recently created a survival world that I actually kept for over a month, and i'm nowhere near that, and most likely won't be anytime soon. I do enjoy caving, though, so i'll reach my own milestones soon enough.
So except for emeralds, you always use just a diamond pick axe with no enchantments? Then just repair it with the pre 1.8 anvil mechanics?
Nope; I have Efficiency V and Unbreaking III on it (and all other tools), which as I've mentioned allows you to mine about 133 ore per minute; it costs 33 levels to repair with a new pickaxe, which is how I repair it, shortly after the durability bar becomes empty (there's actually still about 240 uses left at this point), which is about 6,000-6,100 blocks per pickaxe, out of about 6,248 total; thus 124 pickaxes are good for about 744-774,000 blocks, I just assumed 750,000 for what I'd mined after I stopped using Fortune; previous to that I had to repair using individual diamonds, thus hadn't made that many pickaxes; as I recall, in the last world I made I made about 10 pickaxes before making one for permanent use; unlike some other items, I just enchant them at level 30 and use them for branch-mining, as I do to get initial resources (I actually don't cave much until after I've built a base and defeated the Ender dragon, aside from anything my mine runs into) and in the Nether, where I mainly mine quartz to get XP for enchanting). I've also taken iron pickaxes from minecarts, although I generally ignore them now.
Also, I've gotten several pickaxes from zombies, mostly damaged, along with swords, axes, and shovels, since besides giving them all of those tools (normally a 2/3 chance of a shovel and 1/3 sword, all iron; I made it an equal chance of all four instead, which also increases the average damage) I also made 20% of them carry diamond tools; with a 4% chance overall on Normal difficulty (which is 4 times more than vanilla, which actually only raises the chance on Hard, to 5%, 1% otherwise, I also increased the chances of armor - I've actually seen a zombie in full diamond armor, an incredibly rare event, partly as a result (statistically I should have seen 3 or so by now with any diamond armor, assuming the vanilla armor chances).
And yes, this means it is possible to make a diamond tool farm using a zombie grinder, especially since I made dungeons harder by increasing the spawn rates (plus added more and more dangerous mobs), although it isn't very practical since only 0.8% of all zombies have diamond tools and only 8.5% of them will be dropped, or one for every 1,470 zombies (5,882 for any one tool) and they are usually mostly damaged (the last pickaxe I got wasn't even worth one diamond, which restored more durability, when I used it to repair my pickaxe (you always do get a 12% bonus though so it isn't completely useless); I did recently get an axe with 2/3 durability though; the amount of diamonds I've saved is insignificant, although I actually haven't had to make new diamond axes as a result, as I use them the least of any tool; in fact, an Unbreaking III diamond axe can harvest enough wood to make 200,000 torches).
Also, regarding the number of deaths I've had, that is way low because 1.5.x (possibly earlier) had a bug that prevented deaths from being counted; I can remember dying in all sorts of situations that wouldn't happen now, even including breaking the number one rule (mining straight down and falling into lava, with no water bucket, as happened when I was branch-mining, not very organized either, a bunch of random tunnels lie beneath my main base plus some elsewhere; many of these tunnels indicate that I avoided caves for a time as they are enclosed where they intersect caves); my worst death was when I was running through a cave and jumped over a small rise - right into a 1x1 hole leading to a lava pit - I might have been able to survive but my nearly depleted iron armor broke and I emptied my water bucket under the lava; I lost at least a thousand mined resources, this before I started using an Ender chest and carried around stacks of resource blocks in my inventory (placing down furnaces in a secured area and smelting iron/gold to make room for more). In fact, I once even reverted to a backup when I died very badly (I actually even keep a backup of statistics as they otherwise record stuff twice, this was still in 1.5.x so the displayed deaths weren't affected).
Of course, since then my frequency of deaths has decreased to the point were I actually haven't died since I started playing on the world again, and previously I was going for months, as I recall, I had around 300,000 XP at the end of my previous world and previously died with something around 100,000 (when I started playing this world again I only had about 10,000). Part of this is better armor; for a long time I only wore a diamond chestplate and leggings with Protection IV, averaging about 69% damage reduction (equivalent to 32.5 hearts unarmored) while now I also wear Feather Falling IV boots, which maximizes fall damage (50-80%, though this doesn't make you invincible, the low end is a fall of about 43-44 blocks, and some of the deeper ravines I added, and stacked ravines, can go from y=11 to the surface) and increases the average protection to 77.6% (44.4 hearts unarmored, still less than full enchanted diamond).
Or it would since I made some changes to armor, including reducing the maximum protection to 70% (3.5% per armor point, with other tiers rescaled; e.g iron has 17 points, up from 15, for 59.5% protection); this results in 71.65% damage reduction (35.3 hearts), just slightly higher; the much higher fall protection however has saved me on at least several occasions, one of which left me with half a heart after I was blown down a ravine by a creeper, with the fall dealing half the damage. Most of it is just better experience, as mentioned in this thread about whether Minecraft needs to be harder (as for why I don't play on Hard, I don't care about dying at all and Hard doesn't do much, especially given the changes I've made; in fact, cave spiders (which also spawn naturally anywhere below sea level, if relatively uncommon) would be a serious threat and the poison duration otherwise forces you to wall yourself in and wait to heal; I also think creepers are a bit OP since they can deal 36.5 hearts point-blank on Hard (24.5 on Normal, taking away up to 7 hearts with my armor), far more than any other mob and are pretty common (one was also the cause of the last death I remember, with a witch contributing through its poison, also not difficulty dependent; needless to say, I wait until my health is close to full before venturing out now, even if that means waiting longer).
I'm curious, how did you find this year-old thread (and just to post that)?
(this is WAY outdated by now; I've mined around 2 million blocks in this world by now, or would have if I had not reverted it to an unmodded state, without the biomes I mentioned; here are maps of the unmodded world. At last count I had more than 1.2 million resources, only counting filled double chests)