Hey all :0 I have been playing Minecraft for just under 2 weeks now and thought I would share these tips with new players.
1. Build your house way bigger than you need. You will need a lot more space soon enough and IMO it is easier to expand into the building than keep knocking down walls and rebuilding.
2.When you find Lapis Lazuli (see attached pic) keep it safe. It is used as a kind of currency to enchant weapons and armour.
3.The same goes for Redstone, Gold, Diamonds, Iron and coal. Get as much as possible and store it. Once you get to the point of making Redstone circuits and items you will need all sorts of resources to make them. The best place I have found for Diamonds is between the `Y` levels 12-16. This is 16 blocks up from the `bottom` of the world. Just press F3 to see your X, Y and Z coordinates. I usually put a signpost at level 12 and level 16 to remind me which blocks to mine.
4.Use iron tools AS MUCH as possible. An iron pickaxe will allow you to mine faster and therefore find iron deposits faster. There's no point in stockpiling huge amounts of iron and using a stone pickaxe to `save` it. Also if you try to mine gold with a stone PIckaxe it will just be destroyed anyway..
5.Light up your house like the 4th of July. If there are `dark` spots there is a chance some nasty 'ol monster will spawn in your shower. Yup, that happened :0 .So much for atmospheric lighting in the bathroom...
A light source approximately every 4/5 blocks will do it. So wall scones, big windows, `lamps` at floor level, chandeliers on the ceiling etc. Press `F3` and take a walk around your house. Keep an eye on the Lighting level. 7 or below is asking for trouble.
Layers 12-16 are bad for finding diamonds; in fact, layer 16 has no diamonds at all and together they have less than half as many diamonds as layers 5-12:
The best layer to mine at is 11 since lava will be level with the floor, and you should make 1x2 tunnels spaced at least 3 blocks apart (every 4 blocks); I have not tried this but the Wiki claims that double this spacing is actually twice as efficient (0.9% vs 1.7% of mined blocks being diamond ore; for comparison, about 0.1% of all blocks between layers 5-12 are diamond ore so this effectively gives you 17 times more diamonds than expected. My experience with a spacing of 3 does give results close to the Wiki's figure of 0.9%; this does not include other ores mined from the walls); you don't need to worry about missing diamonds since you don't really need that many and double the efficiency means you'll cover the same area, plus you'll spend half as much time mining and have half the tool wear (there is no reason not to upgrade to diamond as soon as you can; using the Wiki's figures you can average up to 26-27 diamond ore per diamond pickaxe; even without Fortune that's only 1/9 of your mined diamonds being used to make new pickaxes).