Everybody probably knows what I like to do, but even I didn't realize the full magnitude of my caving until recently; first, here are a couple screenshots taken at the end of a play session spent caving, 3-4 hours:
That's right, I mine more than three thousand ores per play session, per day. Multiply that by the number of days in a year and you get well over a million ore mined per year, which is very likely accurate for at least the past year, since 1.6 came out with the block of coal; in the first month after I mined more than 10,000 blocks worth of coal alone, around 45,000 coal ore after factoring in Fortune and what I use for torches and smelting all the iron/gold I mine, which is around 1,500 per day, not bad considering I was playing vanilla back then and didn't have a double-chest size Ender chest, and the use of Fortune meant it filled up much faster, and I didn't even mine all the coal I came across, limiting myself to 5-6 stacks of blocks per Ender chest full (I mined iron and diamond ore at about the same rate as my previous world over the entire time I played both).
Also, here is a sequence of renderings made with MCMap showing how much I explored over just four play sessions, one between each one, except the first one (the oddly colored caves are in a mesa biome I recently discovered):
Day 1-2 (skipped a day so this shows two days):
Also, here is an approximate map of all the separate cave systems, mineshaft, and ravines I found:
And here is a full-size image of the entire world, which stretches about 2,000 blocks long:
Looks impressive? Well, here is a to-scale comparison to my first main world, which I played for about 6-7 months, playing about the same amount per day; the world is about as wide and my current world is long with many more side branches to cave systems along the paths I explored (I basically go on until I get too far from my base or can't progress forward anymore, then go back and start finding side passages):
Not so much now... and even in my current world I've already managed to do the following:
(yes, below torches is a monster spawner, which I enabled the stats for so I can see how many I've found; of course, I mine all of them, which give a lot of XP; on average 29 will get you from to level 0 to 30)
Note that time played includes the time it took to build my base, enchant my gear (which took quite a while due to amethyst only being enchantable with books; I ended up using all the quartz to build my base), and kill the dragon, around 2 days:
Also of note, this shows how incredibly rare my mod's amethyst mod ore is (I can go for days without finding any, on a couple occasions two veins); about a third of that was mined when I branched-mined for enough to make my gear, about a third of the diamond I found, while by caving the ratio is closer to 1/8, which still gives me enough due to the items having 3x the durability of diamond, but I don't use Fortune to mine it, making it effectively nearly six times rarer than mining diamond with Fortune, as I previously did, but I still need less than one a day to repair my pickaxe and about half that to repair my armor and sword:
Also of interest, here is a breakdown of the mobs I killed today, showing how absurdly common zombies are (also interesting that skeletons are usually second by a good margin, presumably due to their good AI; of course, creepers doesn't include those that blew up; cave spiders are naturally spawning, not from a mineshaft); note also that I encountered many more mobs today than I did a couple days ago, probably because the cave system I explored (possibly two overlapping) was one of those crazy Swiss cheese types the Wiki calls a "monster nest" (not that you'll find those anymore in 1.7):
Well, yes; sometime I miss some because of how I explore; I'll go on, past side passages, until I hit a dead end, which can sometimes be quite a distance; on occasion I've basically skipped over an entire cave system (if I find a mineshaft I usually have to explore it first, while for ravines it isn't uncommon to only partially explore one initially as I'll go along a ledge until I find a cave opening then go down the cave), then gradually work my way back while exploring side passages, often ending up getting sidetracked, although I'll usually eventually come across anything I missed; I also may not bother mining coal in hard to reach locations, like at the top of a ravine, but anything else is pretty much cleaned out; for rarer ores (gold, diamond, lapis, amethyst) I'll mine around a partial vein (1-2 blocks) to make sure there isn't more diagonally adjacent, but don't bother with any other ores.
A lot of people have said that about me, but consider that I started this world 43 days ago and have spent 5.62 days playing according to the in-game time played stat; 5.62 / 43 x 24 = 3.13 hours per day, and I've seen people who claim to spend like 12 hours a day, playing for 24 hours straight, etc (I pretty much play the same amount every day).