note:We have now finished all testing. I will write a tutorial on the mining system with a few different versions, and I will ask other servers to test this out, and tell me how they pulled it off
Review of final test:
It appears that we have now manage to pull it off with no major mistakes, or stuff ups. In just 2 hours, we achieved synergy - a cohesive group which was greater than the sum of it's parts.
Despite 2 major drawbacks; spawning in an ocean, and the fact that the staircase happened to be going along the length of a ravine, once we got passed that, everyone began moving and doing what was required.
The only problem i saw was that we took WAY too long to get the tree farm up. I had tried to waste my time helping set up the store room, before bylt told me (very rightfully) to leave it and get mining.
The store room was effective, with a dropoff chest, and one person to sort it. The farms were slowly growing away, tended to by dglider most of the time.
The branches did still pose a little bit of a problem. People not lighting up their branches, letting mobs spawn (i'll have to put my hand up for that one, sorry guys) and it appeared that some people were just digging to the stop marker, then walking back along the branch they just dug, to dig another, rather than dig back along another branch.
For the players we had, and the length of the trunk, neither the tracks, or the communication system was used, yet we still managed to do alright.
It wasn't quite as efficient as it could have been, with a few things that could have been fixed up, such as getting the tree farm earlier, and having the runners actually know what they're supposed to be doing (It got scrapped pretty quick).
Overall, I am really happy with how the test went, especially in comparison with the previous tests. It was about the best I could hope for. Thanks to everyone who participated, from those actually mining, to those who put their suggestions in.
A tutorial for other SMP players will be up shortly
Tutorial (writing in progress — very slow right now)
note:This is a tutorial for use in SMP, where the players can work together to achieve a common goal. For this to function properly, all players need to be able to forget about individual material wealth, and leave everything they gain for everyone. Due to this need, it would be suggested to use this method for warring factions, who need the resources to fight the enemy, and are used to sharing.
Introduction:the dwarven mining is a high efficiency mining system developed for multiplayer servers. The term "efficient" is used for the highest number of resources with respect to time, rather than, as most use for their solo mining exploits, most blocks exposed with respect to blocks dug. This means that all of the fancy "Phoenix mining" and the "quad mining" will not be used. Since this is a team effort, we need a method whic will work just as well, whether there be 2 players mining, or 20. To avoid confusion, things need to be kept simple, as not everyone can comprehend many complex routines. These points lead us to the classic mine; the branch mines... Simple, straightforward, yet effective. It's hard to go wrong.
To be continued at a later date - look out for it
When one who has played rpg and watch fantasy movies, you would know that dwarves are generally high efficiency miners. They do it fast, effectively, and leave nothing behind. There are many systems of Mining available for single player minecraft; uncovering maximum blocks in minimum digging. But has anyone considered multiplayer mining. Mineshafts with many players working together, like high efficiency dwarven miners, with minecarts for transport of both resources and dwarves, scouring the underground for all ores to be found.
What I'm proposing, is to develop a system of mining like this. I have a vision in my head, however, I cannot think of exactly how this would work. If you understand what I mean, perhaps we could collaborate, and put our heads together to come up with the most efficient team mining system developed to date. Throw ideas around, and see what we can come up with. Once we've got enough, I'll put it all together, and get it tested on a server, then post up a tutorial.
The number one requirement for this system: Cooperation. A large effort like this needs to have 100% trust and agreement between all players. If one person was to keep even one diamond for himself, the system would be compromised. For the purposes of developing this system, we will assume that there will be complete dedication of all the players.
To develop a high efficiency mining system for SMP, that will gather as many ores as possible in the shortest time, whilst giving everyone a productive job. The word efficient, in this sense, is number of ores with respect to time, rather than number of ores with respect to stone dug. This means we stay far away from the complex phoenix mining
1. Mining system: modified branch mine. More on this later
2. Minecart tracks: single track, expanded with the dwarves
3. Jobs for the dwarves: Miners, farmer, storage, and explorer
1. Mining System
Branch mining with modifications seems to be the best to use. Whilst it is not the "most efficient" in terms of blocks exposed to blocks mined, it is simple and easy to follow, reducing confusion for the miners.
This branch mining system consists of a trunk, with branches at regular intervals off the sides; every 4th block. The trunk will have a width of 5 blocks, and branches will be 100 blocks long. After the 1st branch has been dug, then a "stop marker" will be dug. This saves the other dwarves from needing to count the 100 blocks.
Once the branch has been dug, instead of walking back, the dwarf will move across 4 blocks, then dig back to the trunk. (so there will be 3 blocks between the tunnels. This basically means 2 branches are being done in one trip. The 5 wide space in the trunk allows for the larger traffic that would be moving through the mine.
Here is a picture of the mine:
This is from the minecart departure. The branches can be seen across from it. There are branches like this on both sides, starting every 8, and coming back out between them
Image looking down the minecart tracks
2. Minecart Tracks
These are still to be tested out, as we haven't been able to coordinate people to work together properly.
The tracks are simply a single row, with powered rails every few. As the dwarves progress down the trunk, the rails are extended with them, so the branches on both sides of the trunk will need to go at an equal pace.
Each dwarf will have in his possession, a storage minecart. When in need of more tools, or his inventory is full, he will set the cart on the tracks, fill it, and send it back to the stairs. There, it will be emptied by the storage dwarf, and tool will be sent back with the cart.
3. Jobs (READ THIS)
Jobs will be on a cycle to prevent boredom
Farmer: There will only be one farmer. He takes care of the wheat farms, and collects wood, which is given to the storage.
Storage: There will be two operating storage. As minecarts come in, they are emptied into a chest by one of the storage dwarves, and then refilled from another chest. While this one is waiting, he will craft tools to put into the chest.
The other dwarf with storage will empty the chest filled from the minecarts, and sort it into the storage room. He is also responsible for the smelting of ores. He also gives food and torches, as well as the materials for crafting the tools to the 1st dwarf operating the minecarts. These two will work together strongly to make sure everything is in order, and all the miners have empty inventories, full tummies, and good tools.
Explorer There are only one or two explorers. They will have to be the BEST at what they do. The explore all mineshafts, caves and the like, light it up, remove spawners, and take the loot. They make it safe for the miners to keep doing their job. They should be able to get in, do their job, and get out alive, with as many resources as possible. They will be the only ones wearing armour (iron at the best) and the only ones to have a diamond sword.
Miners: All the others are the miners. They are responsible for digging the main trunk, as well as the branches. All miners are to hold a stone sword (for fighting the occasional mob) and a bucket of water (to turn all lava to obsidian)
There are only a couple of these, and they extend the trunk further out. The trunk is 5 blocks wide, and 3 blocks high. Every 8 blocks, they will put a notch ( Hey, i'm bored ) in the wall and a torch on top of that. This MUST be every 8, no more, no less. This is on both sides. That is the signal for the branch miners to begin their branch there, so there wont be confusion.
It must be stressed that you branch on BOTH sides of the trunk, and that you start the branch at the notches, which should be 8 blocks apart. EVERY 8 is the key!
These miners will dig their branches 100 blocks, which will be to the stop marker (a 2*1 tunnel intersecting), gathering all ores they can find (redstone, coal, iron, lapis, diamonds, everything... Nothing gets left behind). Once they reach the stop marker, they will then come across 4 blocks, and dig all the way back to the main trunk, before starting with the next branch.
In the event of cave, they will finish the branch like nothing has happened, and leave a dirt block in front of that, before giving a coded call (discussed later) to the explorer.
At the end of each there-and-back branch, the miner will assess whether he needs to send a storage cart back. there are 3 reasons to do this:
1: Almost full inventory
2: Many valuables in inventory
3: Tools wont last another branch
If at least one of these conditions is met, the dwarf will place his storage cart on the track, fill it with everything unneeded, and send it along the line. It then gets sorted by the storage dwarves, and sent back. The waiting time is shorter than what it would be if you were to run back and deposit your stuff.
2: Not knowing jobs
3: (alert me to other issues... mind blank)
This can be assessed in a couple of ways. One is the use of coded calls. Instead of yelling out "hey, i need this", "i'm dying of hunger" and those things, we can use other calls.
We will split the trunk into 2 sides. The side going away from the stairs can be A (alpha) and the side going towards the stairs can be B (bravo). The farms can be F, and the storage can be S.
Miners will have the code of D, explorers will be E.
So for example, if a cave is found at a branch, after the branch has been marked, the dwarf would call "E to A". If there were two explorers, then one of them would claim it... so they would then claim it by saying "E on way" or similar...
Or if a dwarf sends back a cart, and doesn't need food, he'll say "B no food".
If someone sees a creeper in the store room, then he will yell out creeper S" and the explorer will attempt to deal with it.
I hope i'm making sense.
Going hand in hand with the communication is the knowing of jobs. If everyone knows exactly what they need to do, then it will make communication much easier.
Hopefully the more in depth description will make the jobs easier to understand, along with the assigning of jobs at the beginning of the test.
Beginning the mine:
2 different methods:
Prebuilt and From Scratch:
This is a simpler way of creating the mine, since there will be less people running around doing stuff.
A couple of dwarves will start before the rest, digging the staircase, farms, storeroom, and the beginning of the trunk before the others join in. This is the simplest way of getting it all working, but takes a lot of fun out of the project.
This requires a change in jobs for the beginning. these will be explained as we go.
All the dwarves participating begin at the same time. Everyone gets to gathering resources (food, wood, mushrooms, and whatever else), whilst 3 dwarves begin digging the staircase. By night time (assuming that it was started at the beginning of the day) the staircase should have been completely dug, and the 3 dwarves digging that start on the trunk, storeroom, and farms respectively. As night falls, the other dwarves will come and join them. This all depends on how many dwarves there are, but assuming a large number, 3 dwarves will dig each way down the trunk. 4 dwarves will get to work one the 1st branches, and then dig the stop markers. Meanwhile, there will be 2 working on the store room, 2 on the farms, and one above ground working on the tree farm (above ground is easier than digging out enough room for trees). Any left over will just be beginning the branches. Once this is started, and the store rooms, and farms are done, you're pretty much set for all but 2 or 3 to go into the mining, and having one person attending to both farms, one person with storage, and another on doing the running till the tracks get set up.
3 layers of chests, 5 double chests long
Mining system: Branch mine
Dwarf jobs: divided into 2 categories
Starting, then progressed
-Gatherer: Farms underground for food and wood to feed the dwarves
-Storage manager: builds and maintains the storage room, creates tools, and furnace room. Depending on number of players, there may be two of them.
-Runners: In the beginning before the minecart system is created, they give dwarves tools, and bring ores and cobble back to the storage
-Branch miners: This is the rest of the population of dwarves. 6 start by mining out the trunk (3 each way), and the rest assist in the creation of the storage/furnace room.
Please point out any flaws you see in this, anything that could be improved upon, and anything that i may have neglected to say here. (gotta love a braindead job, it gives ages to think )
Throw ideas around with me, get the specifics, and eventually, we will create an extremely awesome mining system suitable for multiplayer cooperation.
Thanks for your cooperation and support so far. Hopefully we can get a server in time to test
Ok, so EVERYONE needs to deposit EVERYTHING they have when they log off. All half broken tools, all ores, diamonds, cobble, EVERYTHING!. Not a single thing is to be kept in your inventory when you get off. You need to get back to the stairs before you leave, unless you physically dont have time. EG. your mum on your back to get off (still try your hardest), or you're late for work etc.
Wow... Nice. First-and-foremost problem: COMMUNICATION! You need a way like skype to talk with others, so you can be quick about bad things. Second, Lava. What happens if you run into lava? Lava is almost always in huge pools. Major problem. But I want the ip(EDIT: The server sounds neat. I need ideas to work well on SSP.)... Message me when possible.
Wow... Nice. First-and-foremost problem: COMMUNICATION! You need a way like skype to talk with others, so you can be quick about bad things. Second, Lava. What happens if you run into lava? Lava is almost always in huge pools. Major problem. But I want the ip... Message me when possible.
Lava is easy... Layer 12, you can just bridge the lava, and it wont flow onto you...
Communication with skype is hard due to the large number of players.
Unfortunately, we are completely full with players, so if you want to join, you'll need to convince me why i should let you in. Sorry about that, but we've got way too many people
This time had a few things that went a little better, and a few that were a little worse.
-No more "store"
-one area that had no caves
-having the best tools from the start
-the server wasn't really worse, but it still crashed a lot.
-the storeroom wasn't very organized. If we need it, and we have a lot of people, we should get a storeroom manager who organizes things.
The lower participation was probably due to it being a weekday, so less people could get on. There are probably other factors, too, such as people being less enthusiastic.
This is still a potentially good system, but we need more than 5 people to do it effectively.
sret was a good help, he mined quite a few branches and stayed until the end.
Edit: It seems like it's been revived a little after I got off.
I thought we were done, so I wrote a report.
Very true. I'm thinking that we give it a break for a week or two. Saturday next week we could schedule the next run through. Same time or similar. Give people a chance to sort stuff out etc. I understand that for any of you Aussies that are religious, or are forced to go to church, that you may have to miss out due to it being a Sunday morning. We can live with you not joining us.
Anyway, some more comments and suggestions for next time.
-I know that the organizer of this said that he couldn't whitelist more people because it was too hard to organize, but there definitely needs to be a bigger participation.
-The rail system was not used, but to be fair, the mine distances weren't overly large.
-I think that we should have scouts who dig tunnels every 100 blocks or so, then comment on the amount of caves they find. This way we can mine in the best spots without having to dig through caves. Either that, or we bring back the explorer job.
-We need to start with a more developed world. This is like trying to make a house out of diamond blocks; you need the diamonds first. We can either keep the world, or allow people to get on and get developed a couple hours before the real mining starts. It's too hard to try to develop farms and a storage system and everything else while trying to mine efficiently. Also, enchantments are extremely powerful and we need some sort of system.
I'm still confident that this can work, but it needs quite a few changes.