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    posted a message on Sapling Farm?
    I have a sneaking suspicion that the OP won't answer. Since the thread is two years old, to the day.
    Posted in: Survival Mode
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    posted a message on When did Zombies become retardedly OP?
    Quote from TheMasterCaver

    (snipped) According to a post here, getting a zombie in diamond armor is so rare that most people will never see one, much less two in a row, much less full diamond armor.

    Yeah, I play Hardcore and I've never seen a zombie with diamond gear, personally. I wish I could find a zombie with diamond gear, so I could promptly relieve them of that particular burden.
    Posted in: Survival Mode
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    posted a message on First-time City Build, Vanilla Hardcore SSP - WIP
    I took a short break from construction to completely explore, light, and dismantle an abandoned mineshaft I stumbled into. Literally. I mean, I was out picking roses for the Garden of Earthly Delights, managed to fall through a very sneaky 20-block-deep hole in the ground in the midst of the flower patch (close call on death there - Feather Fall boots and a lucky ledge saved my life), which ended up being within a huge cave network and said mineshaft which is cross-cut by a subterranean ravine. Did you know, if you dismantle an entire abandoned mineshaft, you end up with a grotesque amount of oak planks and fence sections? :P

    Found some diamond horse armor for el-Hattal (he's even more stylish now), melon seeds (so the melons are in along the farm row), and tons of resources, including enough iron to fit out the Temple of the Moon upper pyramid. That's all installed, so I'm off today to farm Wither Skeletons. Wish me luck on skull drops.

    Once that's done, I think it'll be time to start work on the first of the citizen districts. Seems a daunting task to me; I'm sure it'll get easier with practice though.

    The other side-jaunt I took was my first trip to The End, where I took out the Ender Dragon. I'll have to dream up a fitting monument in the Royal Quarter for the Dragon Egg. More projects!

    If the Wither Skeletons are generous, I hope to have some photo updates of the Temple of the Moon up soon.

    Quote from Avalassantra
    This is absolutely amazing in every way possible! You are on hardcore (which you don't find very often), You have built an amazing city (without having to depend on mods, or super flat world which is rare these days) and to top it all off with that wonderful little cherry called IMAGINATION! Kids, and people in general, these days are seriously lacking their own imaginations. I also love the way you roll play everything throughout your posts as well. Truly epic sir, truly epic and I am sending my own requests to the gods that you stay alive so you may keep up the wonderful work you are doing and also so that hopefully you will inspire others to use those imaginations of theirs more, like you have inspired me to do. ^.^ CHEERS!

    Thanks for the praise and encouragement! Glad I could provide some inspiration - it's always more fun for me when I have little stories in the back of my mind for how or why things are in my world. Keeps everything lively and fresh.

    Quote from Dat_One_Puncake
    This is awesome!!.

    Thanks! Glad you like it!
    Posted in: Screenshots
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    posted a message on First-time City Build, Vanilla Hardcore SSP - WIP
    Quote from Jouster500
    Btw the garden looks fantastic! Perfect clash of colors to the sandy enviroment!

    Thanks! I was worried I'd do too much (or too little), but tried to keep enough of the sand/sandstone in and around to not lose the desert environment.

    Quote from 123nart
    I wouldn't be able to build all those things knowing that if I die once it'll all be deleted.

    I'm treating it as an extra incentive to play smart :P (Though there have been a few close calls...)

    Quote from chinchillas48
    Your world looks great! I love the theme of it and everything. I think it would have been really cool if you had given the sphinx a creeper face though, that would be funny :P

    Glad you like it!

    A creeper face on the Sphinx... hmm, would I have trusted him to guard all my goods inside...
    Posted in: Screenshots
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    posted a message on First-time City Build, Vanilla Hardcore SSP - WIP
    Quote from Jouster500

    mind if i join?

    I have been looking for a hardcore server to play on recently. I would not mind helping in getting you resources if you need it.

    If you also need help with landscaping/building within a landscape, i can help with that as well. Been practicing it for a couple years on this one particular place.

    This is in a single-player world, not on a server. Thanks for the interest in my project though!
    Posted in: Screenshots
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    posted a message on First-time City Build, Vanilla Hardcore SSP - WIP
    Updated! Added the [NEW!] Garden of Earthly Delights above in the Royal Quarter.

    Between various other things I've been doing in the survival world and all the necessary landscaping (and brain-wracking for inspiration - I am not a natural gardener/landscaper), it's taken almost two weeks to get an update, but I'm pretty happy with the end result of the Garden.

    Let me know what you guys think of the work so far!
    Posted in: Screenshots
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    posted a message on So, I decided to start over
    Looks like a great start!

    Quote from TheMasterCaver

    Meanwhile, after only two uses the first anvil I made became slightly damaged, thus my suggestion in this thread to makes anvils have fixed durability.

    Right there with you on the idea of fixed durability for anvils. In my world, I've just had 4 consecutive anvils break on the fifth use. Four in a row.
    Posted in: Survival Mode
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    posted a message on Anyone else think the Acacia wood is hideous?
    My first reaction to the acacia was that it was a bit loud. But then, I'm not usually a big fan of orange as a color in the first place; personal preference.

    But it's grown on me. Like many have said, having a wood that isn't another subtle tone shift of brown is a good thing, in my opinion.

    Acacia seems to go well in desert builds when sticking with local building materials - gives a much-needed splash of color against sandstones without having to rely on stained clay. Just another tool to work with.

    I do catch myself though; it's called acacia, but I usually just think of it as bright cedar. :)
    Posted in: Recent Updates and Snapshots
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    posted a message on Will my villager farm work?
    IronMagus has written an excellent guide that should answer most of your questions.

    Posted in: Survival Mode
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    posted a message on How many stone can an unbreaking 3 diamond pickaxe mine?
    Quote from Sapphiresin

    I think the Unbreaking enchantment gives the pickaxe a % chance that the durability will not be used. There's a probability of the pickaxe being used infinitely, and also the probability that it breaks like it does not have the enchantment.

    The above is correct.

    When the wiki says ~4 times the usual usage amount, that means on average. Each use the game basically makes a roll to see if Unbreaking gives a free use that time (better chances at free uses with higher Unbreaking levels, of course). Makes the roll, no durability hit. Fail, uses durability as normal.

    So as the other above poster mentioned, it is possible (though extremely unlikely) that an Unbreaking tool will never lose durability, and also possible (though extremely unlikely) that it will always lose durability when used as if it never had the enchantment.
    Posted in: Survival Mode
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    posted a message on Just stopped to admire the view :)
    Very nice work! Blends in very well with the naturally generated terrain.
    Posted in: Survival Mode
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    posted a message on New Fishing!
    I'm still loving the new fishing stuff, even tracking my catches over the long-term to see if I can figure out rough drop percentages by category (enchanted/treasure/fish/junk) and item. Got curious about it, and can't seem to let it go.

    I was wondering as well about just who was losing all these boots and enchanted books and such in the waterways of my world. Figured it must be the zombies - always losing stuff, those guys.
    Posted in: Recent Updates and Snapshots
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    posted a message on First-time City Build, Vanilla Hardcore SSP - WIP
    I started up a new SSP Hardcore world a couple of weeks ago to try to get something that wasn't the endless forests that my initial 1.7.2 world turned out to be. Got a seed that I'm really happy with - nice, large deserts that are mostly Desert Hills biomes surrounding the spawn point (with other useful biomes all surrounding the perimeters, etc.), and when I saw a particular plot in the Desert Hills I got inspired to build. Inspired.

    Despite it being Hardcore, where a single death will end it all, I decided to do a lot of building. Rather than my usual all-in-one house structure with seperate rooms by function, I'm spreading out big. And hoping to live long enough to eventually expand my 'compound' area into a full-blown city.So, after a couple of weeks of on-again, off-again work on the place, thought I'd start a photo documentary thread to show off what I've got going on, and see what you all think. And to have it posted somewhere in case I croak and it all goes *poof*. :)

    This is pure Vanilla Minecraft SSP, no mods, no resource packs, no cheats, in Hardcore. Kinda want to see how far I can get with this.

    The Concept:

    The overall idea was to start with a "royal quarter"; since it's my world, and when I got to that desert the job hadn't been taken yet, I decided I get to be Pharaoh. The Royal Quarter is essentially my compound, with buildings for the various functions I need.

    Afterwards, start expanding out additional distinct and walled city districts, where each district will become a populated NPC village to bring life to the area, but keeping districts far enough off that they don't combine into a mega-village, and keeping each district small enough to prevent zombie sieges.

    I'm going for an ancient-inspired overall look and theme, using local materials as much as possible. Which means a lot of sandstone. Mixing it with other materials like cobble or grey stones just look... wrong... so I'm getting contrasts where I can. Acacia highlights courtesy of the neighboring Savannah are helping tremendously, as is the nether quartz (I'm treating it as if it's alabaster, but in quantity) and obsidian. At times, all I can really do to get contrasts is play with light and shadow, but I think it works. And use of lapis lazuli and even gold blocks work well in an Egyptian way.

    And, I wanted to get some practice building stuff, just to see if I could do up some cool buildings and whatnot, and what better way than to just dive right in over your head, right?

    Royal Quarter Progress:

    Overview Shots:

    This is an overview panorama of the build so far, taken from the vantage point of where the first future city districts will be located. Specific buildings and areas will get their own sections following.

    Another angle, and closer, taken from the SW corner of the larger pyramid. It's been tough to get get overview panoramic screenies with everything in them, as I took all the high ground as build locations.

    Pharaoh's Residence:

    The first structure I'd built. I know, I know - desert theme, egyptian style pyramid. Stereotypical, expected and cliche. That's okay, I had to start somewhere, and it's a pretty easy place to start. Just remove a desert mountain from out of your immediate area with shovels to get enough sandstone to make like 1700 stairs, and you're in business.

    The residence is 30m x 30m, netting 15m height from the platform. The residence and platform sit atop a hill terraformed by hand to reach the proper dimensions at the plateau; the slopes leading down were also reshaped after installing the grand staircase.

    The platform itself was built entirely from half-slabs (as is almost all of my work in this city) to obtain decent blast resistance ratings. Just in case. Sadly the stairs don't share that resistance, so the pyramid itself is vulnerable, but at least the shell is double-thick.Added touch of the wind-erosion weathering on the platform edges - I think it looks pretty cool.

    Residence entry. The double iron doors open together, and stay open until closed, either from within or without. The sole redstone trick I've memorized how to do. :P

    The completely unfinished (or should I say "unstarted"?) interior. It's supposed to be a Pharaoh's residence, after all - figured I needed not only a ton of inspiration, but a ton more rare building materials to do it justice, so it sits on the backburner for now.

    I do know it eventually will contain the Golden Throne, a large-scale map wall, and residence apartments of some kind or another, as well as a subterranean passage to the future Garden of Earthly Delights which will share the upper plateau.

    The capstone of the Pharaoh's Residence is the highest point in the city and surrounding area, reflecting Pharaoh's status as the living deity. The entryway is aligned to the West, facing Heaven Westward. As an interesting note, it is aligned to within 1/300th of 1 degree with the cardinal compass directions (true North-reckoning, not Magnetic North). Where this was an amazing feat for the ancient Egyptians with their Great Pyramid, Minecraft makes it significantly easier, because everything's blocks!

    Temple of the Moon:

    After seeing the opposing (but slightly lower) hill facing the Pharaoh's Residence pyramid, I decided to try a meso-american styled one there and facing. Again, the summit was hand-terraformed to provide proper dimensions for the structure, with wind-erosion detailing added. The exposed sandstone seen in the center and right foreground are natural formations. Construction is with sandstone half-slabs and stairs, glowstone accents hidden along the side staircases, and with a capstone of nether quartz.

    The Temple of the Moon is the place of learning and the arcane arts. The lower interior houses a library with fully-stocked enchanting room and potion-brewing alcove, with a combined 8 double-chests for storage of enchanted items, books, potions and components.

    The upper part of the pyramid above the library is the precise dimensions for a full 4-level beacon pyramid, which is currently placeheld beneath the stone stair exterior. Eventually when I (hopefully) kill the Wither and get enough iron stockpiled, the beacon beam will shine forth from atop the Temple of the Moon.

    Note: Pay no mind to the eyesore nether wart farm at right. It is almost certainly a temporary placement. I just needed wart growing, somewhere near the brewing stations, now.

    Temple of the Moon entryway.

    Enchanting room, as seen from the entryway door. Flooring is done in nether quartz slabs and obsidian, of course.

    View of one of the four corner libraries within, with storage.

    Double-brewing station alcove, behind the Enchanting room. Components are stored in the chest on the left, finished potions in the right.

    The Sphinx:

    Alright, a little backstory on this one.

    I'd done the Residence pyramid and the Temple of the Moon, and fully-pleased with myself I got this crazy notion in my head that I should have a Sphinx. A big one. And I had to laugh, because I figured there was no way I could make even a reasonable facsimile of a Sphinx in Minecraft at the scales I'm working at, nor with my limited skill level and/or no computer programs or whatnot to figure out how to build it for me.

    But that didn't stop me from changing over to my other world that's set up for Creative mode, just to try out ideas and do test builds and such, and just see if it'd even be possible. And wouldn't you know it, I actually came up with something that didn't seem all that half-bad, in a hokey LEGO sort of way. So layer by later, block by block, I hopped back and forth between the Creative test world and my Hardcore survival world, trying to rebuild the monstrosity I'd birthed. I had to wait to finish it for a good while, until I'd saved up enough gold for the blocks, and got myself safely to the Nether for all the quartz for the headdress, but eventually collected up the mats for the job.

    And in the end, I have a Sphinx! How cool is that? :P

    The Sphinx himself is 24m long and 11m high, with the platform adding another 8m of length, and stands 2m above the courtyard floor.

    While doing the prototype, I also realized that Mr. Sphinx had an awfully large body that really didn't need to be solid, and I needed a good storage room / warehouse - and so he volunteered to protect not only Pharaoh, but Pharaoh's stuff as well. The iron door allows access, but is generally overlooked from slight distances as it's tucked just under the colorful gold and lapis beard detail.

    Sphinx storage interior, containing 30 labeled double chests. The trap door in the floor at the far end leads to a staging landing, then directly down to a diamond branch mine. The ladder in the right foreground goes up to...

    I figured if you could go inside the body, you might as well be able to climb up into the head and look out as well. Why not, right? This is the observation room within the Sphinx's head.

    And a view looking out through the black-glass blocks that form the Sphinx's eyes. Not much of a view with that nose in the way, but what d'ya want for free?


    At this point I'd built some bigger, cooler stuff, but I'd been in this world for a good long while already and still didn't have most of the basics squared away - no place for furnaces, crafting tables, hadn't even had time to put in basic farms or animal pens. So I started with the Smithy, since I wanted to get my anvil online.

    Pretty basic structure, dressed up. I used iron bars for windows for flavor, little simple fencing for contrast, started in with the Acacia wood to get some real color contrast and start setting up style guides for the less monumental buildings, and put in a dress furnace as well as a battery of 8 functional ones.

    Detail view of the back corner, highlighting the smoke from the furnace chimney, courtesy of concealed burning Netherrack.

    Main Smithy interior room, with anvil, cauldron with water for quenching, and the furnace wall. Crafting table and 3 double-chests for future storage. The shop front counter is just visible in the left foreground.

    Reverse-view back to the entry door and front counter. Not a lot of 'kitch' decoration, but functional for the present, and dressed a little.


    My basic 5-stall stable, tucked in alongside the Smithy. I had already tamed two horses and felt bad for leaving them out at night hitched to simple fence posts all the time. They kept hopping up and down and looking at me, so I promised them I'd get them a home built.

    Reverse angle-view showing their fence windows.

    Here's el-Hattal enjoying some hay. Each stall contains two hay-bales enclosed in trap-door bins and a water-filled cauldron for drinking (it is the desert, it gets hot). The horses especially love jumping up on their food and water. Crazy horses. Was all I could do to get him to settle down on the floor for this photo.

    Reverse view of the other row of stalls, featuring Bill the Wonder Donkey. Acacia wood logs for the roof supports, and you can see the double-chest near the door for tack and harness (saddles, armor, leads, fence posts for traveling, hay bales, etc.

    Nether Portal Chamber:

    The exposed sandstone wall noted in the Temple of the Moon description also contained a naturally generated chamber that was nearly square, and had a 3-block high ceiling almost perfectly formed. The opening to this chamber was 2x2, and only off center by one block, so made a perfect "cavern" to domesticate. Same double-iron door switching setup as featured on the Pharaoh's Residence.

    The cobblestone "glyph" placeholder in the foreground covers the room needed for the wiring to operate what should be simple double-doors. I think this is why I can't get into redstone; it's in desperate need of miniaturization. :P

    Digging down, installing a staircase, cleaning up walls and adding minor details yielded room for a portal large enough to later bring horses through to the Nether with ease, if desired. Relief cut into the back wall matches the floor glyph outside (and matched the original shape of the portal itself, which wouldn't light. Wiki reports incomplete information on the new portal creation rules, I've discovered).

    Matching basins carved into the side walls formed with stairs, sadly won't hold water. :(

    Descent staircase, leading to entry door.

    Watchtower of Sighs:

    At this point, I needed to do something else bigger and cooler, and a low hillock sharing the opposite end of the Pharaoh's Residence plateau was screaming for a watchtower overlooking what will become the city districts.

    This view is from behind the Residence, near the back of what will become the private Garden of Earthly Delights. The surrounding low wall follows the outer contour of the natural hill-line of the plateau, and is only in as a basic blocking for the moment. When the area is completed, the only access to the Watchtower will be from the Garden, which in turn is only accessible from the Residence.

    A closer shot of the Watchtower's outer detailing.

    Inner tower, ground looking up the Acacia spiral staircase. Nether quartz details the walls, while glowstone provides lighting. The Nether quartz half-slabs at top form the observation deck floor.

    The observation deck. Glowstone capped and centered above in the cupola provides light. Glass blocks at the window edges allow the panes to seem to connect with the stair-built corner pillars.

    A view from the Watchtower towards the Royal Quarter and future districts. The lake is completely naturally generated, and there are several smaller pools around it as well. I guess water actually does generate naturally in desert biomes - didn't think it was supposed to, but there it all is.

    Royal Quarter Courtyard & King's Wall:

    The courtyard to the Royal Quarter, as seen from atop a section of the King's Wall. The roads are paved in Nether quartz slabs and lined with obsidian (hey, nothing's too good for Pharaoh, right?), and form a geometric knot pattern surrounding the central fountain.

    Cobblestone ground patterns around the lampposts are placeholders - all this building has wiped out my obsidian and nether quartz supply for the moment. I'm debating whether to leave the lampposts themselves in sandstone, or redo part or all of them in quartz - have to play with that when I get more materials.

    Close-up view of the central fountain.

    The Sun Gate in King's Wall. The wall itself stretches from the North edge of the Temple of the Moon mount, crescents back in towards the courtyard, then reverses to close off at the North edge of the Pharaoh's Residence mount, between it and Watchtower of Sighs.

    The design atop the gate depicts the rising of the morning sun against the blue of the desert sky, and symbolizes Pharaoh's rising power against the night. It's all heady, semi-mythological-but-applied-temporally mumbo-jumbo meant to make the commoners do as they're told. Old-school stuff, really.

    Close-up view of a section of King's Wall, for detail.The wall is not intended for city defense, just to keep the rabble out of the rich neighborhood. More old-school stuff, really.

    [NEW!] Garden of Earthly Delights:

    This one took so much landscaping, I thought some Before & After shots were in order:


    And after:

    The stream runs from the edge of the pyramid platform, meanders around the area and terminates at a fishing pool near the base of the Watchtower of Sighs. Water flows the length of the stream providing soothing sounds.

    A nether quartz footpath with upper and lower footbridges crossing the stream connects points of interest, the entry tunnel and the Watchtower.

    Acacia grown from saplings, leaf hedges with iron bar trellis detailing and flower beds complete the scheme.

    Entry tunnel leading from the Pharaoh's Residence interior.

    Emerging from the entry tunnel.

    Looking back to the entry tunnel (left), and upper footbridge (right).

    I played around with redstone a bit, and got my usual double-door XOR gate applied to the pair of 2x3 piston doors at either end of the entry tunnel, where using the switch at either end of the tunnel opens or closes both. The wiring is ugly, and needs some revisions to be more compact inside the pyramid, but the doors work great.

    Same spot as previous photo, turned to view the pool and lower footbridge leading to the Watchtower of Sighs.

    Looking across the upper footbridge to a park bench and edges of flowerbeds.

    Across the upper footbridge, looking back to the Residence.

    Looking downstream from upper footbridge.

    Seating area under the acacia, near lower footbridge and the foot of Watchtower Hill.

    Garden of Earthly Delights, overview, viewed from the base of the Watchtower.

    And finally, a couple of night shots, since I thought it looked pretty cool. Very bright lighting, and not so moody, but since this is Survival and Hardcore, practicality has to go hand-in-hand with aesthetics. Can't have enemies spawning in my pleasure gardens now, can I?

    Night overview from base of Watchtower; Temple of the Moon is in the background.

    And a reverse-angle getting the Watchtower's night-lighting into the scene.


    Just a few extra things for now.

    The Gardens, with the Watchtower in the background and the beast pens in the mid on the ledge up the hillside. There is room for a melon plot just beyond the cane, if I ever stop building long enough to start exploring more and come across some seeds.

    Atop the stairs from the Gardens, looking down the beast pens. Like the stables, and just for flavor, each pen has an infinite water supply worked in a trough, or pool for the chickens who think they're ducks, simply because the desert is hot.

    End of beast-pen row, stairs lead down the natural hillside line to the first of two connected sheep pens. Grassy dirt was imported using Silk Touch tools, then allowed to spread to neighboring dirt blocks.

    Looking down at the connected second sheep pen. The area was a natural dell along the cliffside, and required only knocking through the three blocks or so seperating the two areas. A couple of pieces of fencing closed off the natural exit gap. Water trough on the left.

    The Watchtower at night. Note that my bow is now drawn. :) I wanted to try to get a bunch of night shots, because some of the stuff looks pretty nice, I think, even with just the temporary lighting.

    Night-shot of the Sphinx, with Pharaoh's Residence on the right and the edge of the Smithy on the left.This was all I could get at night - the attacks became rather determined at this point, with half the enemies wearing armor, so I decided I'd better put away the camera and stay alive. This is a Hardcore world, after all, and I didn't want my building thread over before it started.

    I'll update this first post periodically when I've got new stuff going in, to chart progress for anyone who's interested. This is my first attempt at anything remotely like this, so let me know what you think. Thanks in advance for your comments and feedback!
    Posted in: Screenshots
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    posted a message on anvil Q fixing Diamond sword, Enchanted.
    Put the sword on the anvil, and instead of adding a second item to repair/combine with, just click where it says "Diamond Sword" above, delete "Diamond Sword" and type in the name you like.

    The anvil has a maximum of 39 levels worth of work that can be done on any item. So, if the repair or combine or whatnot would cost 40+ levels, you'll get Too Expensive! - meaning it simply can't be done. That's why it's different than when you just don't have enough levels to do a particular job (and get the red text telling you how much you need).

    How the game decides how many levels a job takes can get pretty complex - the Minecraft wiki has a lot of info on it (though it may make your head spin for awhile reading it :P)
    Posted in: Survival Mode
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    posted a message on Vegetarian Challenge
    Couple of questions about the challenge:

    How do you complete the challenge? I didn't see a stated objective or goal. It looks like, as it stands, you could create a new world in Hardcore, load in, then immediately quit out of the game and say you were done. Your end score would be 6500 at that point alone, just by adding up all the "don't eat/kill/use this" points, and points for difficulty.

    In following the RP/flavor of the challenge, why would you create animal pens or ranches, taking animals out of their natural, free habitats, when you're essentially forbidden from using any of the items they produce? If you did the full-blown PETA-Vegan, etc., thing - and the animals were living, thriving and surviving happily in the wild, wouldn't you just leave them alone in the first place?
    Posted in: Survival Mode
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