• 1

    posted a message on [SSP journal] Legends of Quintropolis: Age of Ender (Season 3)

    Happy pride month!!

    Last year, we did a colorful build session with Gravity Gorge.

    This year, I've got something more symbolic planned, but that will be in a few sessions. For today? We're picking back up where we left off three months ago... in a very small pick-up session.

    Session 274 - "Update Aquatic"

    Only recently did I ever venture into new chunk territory to acquire the new 1.13 blocks and items (I say “new” like they came out yesterday, but recall that I’m among those who tend to wait years before updating – so for me, they are still new). That was in Session 263, when we explored the new aquatic terrain. We built a storage area and collected as much as we could from the new biomes.

    But now, we need a way to farm all those items so that we can expand the supply. Today, we’ll be turning our attention to these tropical updates!

    By nature, these farms are niche projects, and not very necessary in the bigger scheme of our developments. But, they are still resources, and I pride Starlight on being a hub of resources. As such, I’ll be working to include two principal farm projects in today’s work: the kelp farm and the sea pickle farm.

    First, however, I’m setting up an area deep in Starlight Outback near Vax Valley, which will be our turtle farm. With all the turtle eggs I’ve acquired, it’s time to introduce turtles to the base, so that we can begin collecting the turtle shells.

    Maybe “farm” is the wrong word here – it’s a turtle sanctuary, as I don’t intend to kill them.

    That done, we are moving onto the kelp farm, which is quite easily an observer-based farm. I have torn out the old “squid shooter,” which gives me plenty of hoppers that I can now reuse for something more useful.

    The kelp farm now replaces this inside the Aqua Lounge.

    Of course, I have two sides of the kelp farm: one side smelts it into dried kelp, and the other leaves it alone. Both funnel into the minecart hopper, which can then be called up to the pantry like the other items to be sorted appropriately.

    The kelp farm is purposefully designed small. First, it’s completely automatic, so it will always be harvesting just like the sugar cane farm, as long as we’re in the chunks. As such, having a slower farm is best as it will prevent the storage from getting overloaded too quickly. The second reason is because I plan to include the kelp farm as part of the “overdrive” farms that will be enhanced by Starlight Overdrive. That is to say, I will be building a carbon copy of this farm eight more times, underneath this area, which means we will have the option to multiply its output. Not today, of course. I’ve already picked out a session that will be dedicated to the overdrive farms.

    The sea pickle farm will probably not be included in the overdrive farms, because I’m already going to build one of the fastest designs out there by Ray. Nice job on this design, because it will fit succinctly underneath the beach behind Starlight Castle.

    The collection spot will be housed in the snow lounge, right next to the rabbit farm and water breathing potion storage.

    To activate the farm, you just press the lever and leave it on. It produces a whole chest’s worth of sea pickles in a relatively short time, so you really don’t need to leave it on very long (this is also why I don’t need to add this farm into the overdrive farm unit later).

    It literally just hides underneath the beach out behind Starlight. I may consider having an access chamber up here if not just to protect it, should a creeper or something else blow up right here. But for now, it’s in the back of my mind.

    Really, the last thing I want to do today is spice up the look of the Starlight Bay, at least from where the Aqua Lounge is sitting. This means using some of the beautiful new coral blocks we obtained a long time ago!

    Corals everywhere! I’ll slowly expand these colorful additions throughout the rest of the bay, perhaps even integrating a new water-based segment of Starlight HQ at some later date.

    And… that’s all for today! In terms of aquatic updates, this is definitely a good progress report, and I don’t want to get too ahead into the next project, which is not so small scale.

    Tropical updates DONE! A very "intimate" session if you will as I settle back into Quintropolis after a few months, now it's time for something very much the opposite...

    Next up... Session 275 - "Trade World"

    Posted in: Survival Mode
  • 0

    posted a message on Ancient debris mining: beds or TNT?

    Getting sand from trades isn't efficient - much better to just use a desert as a sand quarry. You can just fill up your inventory in minutes with an Efficiency III shovel or higher. Bring a few shulker boxes with you, and you can get enough sand for all your concrete, TNT, and glass endeavors. The time spent collecting all that sand would still be faster than the time it would take most farms to net the same amount of resources. So I don't see any real "wasteful use" of such a common and easy-to-stockpile item.

    Posted in: Survival Mode
  • 1

    posted a message on Easy emerald in 21w08b
    Quote from Agtrigormortis»

    They still won't generate in any amount that would be worth trading though. I'd silk touch them for decoration but that's about it, the majority of emeralds would usually come from villager trades which is pretty ironic considering the game is meant to be about mining.

    I'm not against being able to farm infinite amounts of something from a trade but there should still be incentives to actually mine for it.

    I would almost support the replacement of emerald ore with a different novelty ore such as the long-proposed ruby ore (or, rather, a variant of it that isn't red) for this reason alone. Emeralds are currency, which negates their usefulness as a mined ore when it's not likely anyone would be mining for emeralds. Having said that, you could say the same about gold farms. Why bother mining for gold in a mesa biome if you can farm it indefinitely? It's really more of a bonus feature than anything else, IMO.

    Granted, 1.17 is giving us new reasons to visit mountain biomes, so it's not like there are any real drawbacks from the current system.

    Posted in: Survival Mode
  • 0

    posted a message on [SSP journal] Legends of Quintropolis: Age of Ender (Season 3)

    Smaller sessions make for faster updates, and oh how we have a fun project today! Or a few of them, as always.

    Session 273 - "Block Party"

    You already know that I’m a completionist, as was clearly evidenced when I built a full storage room just to organize all the types of tipped arrows, despite the fact that I rarely use them (because they are difficult to acquire). But, I always make sure to build everything at the appropriate time, in the appropriate place. Today, that trend continues as we finally address a significant chunk of blocks that have so far been completely missing from Starlight HQ, and Quintropolis as a whole: glazed terracotta.

    There are a few places in which I have used glazed terracotta, but they have not been widely acquired throughout this world, despite being in Minecraft for a long time. Why are we finally getting around to them today? Obviously, I have some specific uses for them.

    For this, we need to build a separate storing/smelting room for the glazed terracotta. I’m looking to build it close to the original clay/glass storage room down in the SRF storage cellars.

    To do that, I need to move the paper mill which I have been using for paper storage.

    I can easily squeeze that storage room on the bottom floor, directly underneath the stairwell to the Diamond Mine. This keeps it completely out of the way, so that we can fully utilize the space for other builds. Such as the smelter we’ll build today.

    This is not a very complicated build – it simply takes space and resources to construct. I’ll simply be sorting all the clay colors before they go into the smelter, so that there is one furnace per color (I don’t expect we’d be using this contraption that much wherein we’d require faster rates).

    Two chests for each glazed terracotta color is more than enough – I don’t even have more than one chest for each regular stained terracotta.

    Voila, a beautiful colored way to denote the chests!

    Since the storage is on the bottom layer of the cellars, I can use the top layer for input. The stained terracotta storage is just next door – so, I can select which blocks I want to smelt and simply throw them into the hopper column here. They will sort through the system, smelt, and automatically store into the correct chest. Nice and easy.

    Next, we’ll need a way to send items from Starlight Compressor to the glazed terracotta storage. Recall that all items that funnel through Starlight Compressor will head into a chest minecart, at which point they will be extracted in the regular furnace room. That furnace room sorts out all smeltable items, except stained terracotta, because that would make for too many sorters (additional sixteen of them).

    So, I’ll install an option to have the minecart go directly to the glazed terracotta smelter, which would be ideal for when you return from a mesa, for instance, and you want to smelt all the terracotta into glazed variants. Return home, take STAS right here to the compressor, and drop off all terracotta for smelting. Everything else is done automatically!

    Installing this feature is a simple track switch mechanism. You can see how it works above – pistons will simultaneously change the track layout, forcing the corner track to change directions. Easily, we’ll have the minecart rest atop the hopper column (the same one that extends from the terracotta smelter), so that it’s quick and simple. You can see that I’ve chosen the location for this smelter quite meticulously.

    I ran some tests with Starlight Compressor and found it to work beautifully, even if getting additional wires installed back here was a healthy challenge. And, I’ve gotten a good head start on my glazed terracotta supply, which requires a stained terracotta supply, which requires a regular terracotta supply. So, I’ve gotten a mesa trip or two down, and there will be more to come!

    Next, I’m itching to construct another modifier. I can’t help it, because we almost have all the plugins that are on my roster for Starlight HQ 3.0. So, let’s fill up the modular mixer and get to it.

    We’re finally getting down to this unfinished segment of the tangent floor, which has been reserved for three modifier plugins: Starlight Limiter, Starlight Corkscrew and Starlight Echo. The first two can be built together within a day, and I know exactly what they will do. So, we’ll do those two together in a later session, and choose to knock out Starlight Echo today.

    This is a ridiculously simple modifier, compared to the absurd scale that Starlight Overdrive is going to be. Very simply, all this plugin will do is offset the time between input and output (cause an “echo”, if you will).

    It will enable this repeater chain I’ve built above (to the right under the red clay), at the beginning of the modifier chain (you can see other modifiers above), which will cause a delay between when input is received and when output is created. This can be useful for some scenarios. For instance, say I toggle the nether wart farm, but I don’t want the potion brewer to start brewing potions until I get there (as it takes roughly 10 seconds to get there from the nether wart farm, sprinting). Maybe I decide at the last minute that I want to change the potion it brews. Well, having a delay will allow me to make this change before brewing begins.

    To create this behavior, obviously we need to make sure that the MISC is linking the nether wart farm to the potion brewer (I don’t remember the link number off the top of my head, but it’s in the link map). Then, we’ll just plug the Starlight Echo into the MISC via the modular mixer. Easy! Two AND gates, and the modifier is installed into the mixer.

    The only limitations of this plugin are that we cannot adjust the length of the delay without getting deep into the underground wiring (which the UI is supposed to prevent us from having to do). That’s why I think five repeaters is a good option, and later on I can conceptualize ways to build a way that we can adjust it from up here (that’s the biggest limitation for most plugins right now).

    With that project done, yet another plugin (three sessions in a row, now?), we’ll finish up the session by looking at why I wanted the glazed terracotta smelter.

    Back in Session 267, we began building the Starlight Solace Center. I mentioned that I had a plan for the floor, but I never divulged much of this plan. Today, I share it with you, and I think a few pictures are all that will be necessary to showcase what I wanted to accomplish:

    A full block party down here! I’m really looking forward to finishing this build, which mostly will involve the roof. I haven’t figured out exactly what type of roof I want to build, so we’ll wait to complete this another day.

    For now, it’s time to enjoy a bit of solace as we embrace a new day in Starlight HQ.

    Now that we're getting into the finer resource farms/projects for Starlight HQ, I'd say it's about time to turn our attention to the Aqua Lounge and what we can bring to it. After all, it hasn't been touched since 1.13 released...

    Next up... Session 274 - "Update Aquatic"

    Posted in: Survival Mode
  • 1

    posted a message on [SSP journal] Legends of Quintropolis: Age of Ender (Season 3)

    Now we're moving into the fine-tuning phase as we focus on one of the core aspects that characterizes Starlight HQ: its fun and games! Today, we're introducing updates to Starlight Arcade, a new parkour course, a new powerful plugin, and some big new secret projects... which of course will not be introduced!

    Session 272 - "Fun and Games"

    Starlight Plaza is known for Starlight Arcade, let’s be honest. As such, I don’t see the harm in turning the entire faction into an arcade. I mean, we already have a damn trampoline and a scavenger hunt out here. Why stop there?

    Starlight Arcade does need some updating. First, I’ll start by expanding the “light snake” that plays along the roof

    whenever you enter the arcade.

    This is a simple process, and I am designing it ever so slightly differently to break up the monotony of the arcade.

    The Sandbox has become a project that I work on in bits and pieces, which is how it will continue throughout the rest of the season. This is because building the puzzle requires a lot of brain work, and it would be foolish to limit my progression of this world’s projects simply to force my brain to work. Still, I won’t allow this season to end (and for the

    world download to be released) until it’s done (check out Session 239 for an overview of this project).

    What you see above is actually a failed attempt to integrate “The Floor is Lava” into Starlight Arcade. I botched this project due to lack of space, instead considering that I could build a separate parkour course based around this concept. That would be quite fun! Indeed, “Landing Pad” already features some elements like this.

    So, basically, I didn’t do much work on Starlight Arcade, except improve the token dispenser.


    As if Starlight Arcade was not enough, I see an amazing opportunity here to utilize the Starlight Bay.

    We are going to implement a new parkour course! It will be located right here on the water of Starlight Plaza, nicely bright and colorful.

    A unique element about this course is that you need to figure out how to access it… legitimately, that is.

    Yay! What a fun course. It honestly deserves to be on the Parkour Wall of Fame.

    And, it adds such a colorful element to the Starlight skyline! Just looking at it brings me satisfaction, which is the whole point. But what’s inside the pink flower? Well, you’ll need to play it and see.

    I can provide replay value, too, by adding some challenges/patterns to how you complete the course. These will be available in the Starlight Castle library, above the second floor.

    Cleaned up the plaza beach, too. Eventually, I'll need to find a way to remove all the torches! One step at a time.

    “Buzz Blast” has been on the agenda for a while – much longer than “The Floor is Lava.” However, I do plan to continue my trend of game-building to implement the latter at a later date! For now, this will do.


    I can’t help but look at a serious plugin opportunity that’s missing in the base and choose today to build it. Up until now, production in Starlight HQ has followed along a linear and predictable pattern. I know approximately how long it will take to get a stack of iron ingots from the iron farm. I know how long it will take for the crop farm chests to fill up (not very long). I have a generally well-rounded idea for the level of efficiency that exists in the base’s principal production farms.

    I see the potential to add some variance to this level of production.

    Introducing Starlight Overdrive, a modifier that will allow the unique ability of overdriving the production targets of the generator plugin it is modifying. In essence, this plugin will give the modular plugins an ability that you cannot replicate outside of using them – they will be able to overdrive the production of resources in the base.

    How is this possible? Well, it isn’t a linear process that we can complete today. There are two main parts of installing this plugin: (1) building the pulse multipliers at certain outputs to multiply the number of output pulses, and (2) multiplying the physical size of all farms in the base to allow higher production output.

    Here’s the plugin’s UI:

    The key is the “Multiply by” item selector, which will be the single parameter responsible for controlling exactly how much production output is multiplied. In order to implement this correctly, I would need to, for instance, build a total of eight additional melon/pumpkin farms, with this parameter controlling how many of those eight additional farms are enabled within the base operations. These additional “overdrive” farms will only be toggled by modular activity and would otherwise be inaccessible.

    For instance, say we build a link in the MISC for the iron farm to toggle SRF farms. As you already know, this means that for every iron ingot that is detected from the farm, a pulse will be sent to all farms in the SRF (that’s melon, pumpkin, cactus, sugar cane, nether wart, flower farms) that will harvest them automatically. If we plug Starlight Overdrive into the MISC and set the “Multiply by” selector to 5, this will mean that all SRF farms will be multiplied five-fold. So, I need to build eight additional flower farms, eight melon/pumpkin farms, eight nether wart farms, etc.

    Obviously, I can’t do all this work today, and indeed installing these farms will need to be done off-site, as they won’t all physically fit within this space. I would need to build a separate hub for all these farms, then funnel them back into the SRF with long hopper chains. This process is going to be a major addition that I don’t plan to construct today. My goal today is to get the UI and principal wiring installed for Starlight Overdrive. We’ll work on the “overdrive” part later.

    We can, however, build the pulse multipliers that will be useful for certain other functions in the base, mostly the potion brewer. For this, I’ll use Starlight Overdrive to multiply the number of cycles that potions will brew. So, “Multiply by” set to 3 will set the potion brewer to run three times per single input. So, you will get nine potions total.

    To install this functionality, we need a variable pulse multiplier in addition to some very specific pulse extenders. I’m using this hopper/dropper design that will let me make fine adjustments to the pulses and the length of multiplication.

    Ideally, yes, we would build eight additional potion brewers as the ideal behavior is for multiple sets of potions to brew simultaneously (otherwise, it isn’t much different from the potion brewer being triggered three times in a row). But doing this would be far too complex and large for the space with which we are working. So, I’m installing it this way, and I can always build upon it later on if I so choose. With the potion brewer already working around the clock due to receiving inputs from everything else, this addition may eventually be the logical next step.

    For now, though, I’m happy with this, and that I’ve wired up the “AUX in” gates for Starlight Overdrive to both the MISC and Dropbox generators.

    The other features will be implemented after we build the new farms, but essentially we will get the following:

    • Color – will add randomization and give some variance to the production levels (i.e. if “Multiply by” is set to 5, enabling “color” will render the outputs sometimes at 4, sometimes at 6, etc.
    • Lowpass filter – this feature will require a certain pulse length in order to enable multiplication. Having this filter will keep the base from lagging too badly every single time an iron ingot is detected, for example (since those pulses are very quick, it would cause an overload). Whereas, if this feature is enabled, you would need a decent stream of iron ingots to keep the pulse alive long enough to trigger multiplication.
    • MAX OUT – Yup, this is going to do exactly what it says. If you enable this, it will maximize everything. I am actually thinking of turning this into a button that, when pressed, will harvest all nine of all farms that are hooked up to it. In this way, it will be a one-stop way to get a huge influx of resources in an instant. Still undecided on that, as I still want to keep the features of this plugin as a modifier exclusive to generator inputs. Having this feature as a button would turn it into a hybrid generator/modifier (nothing wrong with that, but it would detract from the plugin’s purpose as being exclusive to the modular processes of the MISC and Dropbox).

    And that’s how easy it will be to overdrive the production of EVERYTHING in this base. I need a new storage system, badly.

    But what’s the deal with the Secret Switch?

    Just you wait and see… this entire base will be chock full of fun and games by the time you get to play in it.

    With "Buzz Blast" complete and some new secret developments underway, I'll be continuing the trend of colorful projects as we look at implementing a slew of blocks that have been missing from Starlight HQ for too long!

    Next up... Session 273 - "Block Party"

    Posted in: Survival Mode
  • 1

    posted a message on Discussion - Is Minecraft hard to learn?

    I was also among the players who started playing Minecraft without having any knowledge of the game from the Wiki or other means, mostly because I didn't even know such a thing existed. And I would say that a lot of the mistakes I made early on would have been avoided had I read the Wiki in that case! However, that's part of the fun for me. As leangreen and others have noted, part of the enjoyment is figuring out how the game is played (much like any other game really). That's one of the things I miss, in fact. At this point, I know everything I need to know about how to play this game, and that has shifted my focus as to what I'm trying to achieve in it. But I miss the "training wheels phase," so to speak, in which I spent a lot of time discovering all the many aspects of the game that exist for us to enjoy. This is partly why I do not update to the newest version right away - I still want to keep this feeling as much as I can without sacrificing the projects I am already doing.

    For example, I didn't even know fishing was a thing for at least the first four months I played. Oh, how that would have helped me earlier.

    Posted in: Survival Mode
  • 1

    posted a message on Is a cactus XP farm worth building in survival multiplayer?

    I mean, if you're going for the novelty of a new project, then sure - a cactus XP farm could be something fun and different to build. But, unless your farm is of a significant size, then I wouldn't vouch for it being an effective source of XP. Even in the Overworld, you're better off taking the time to build a guardian farm - even a spawner-based mob farm (ideally skeletons as the drops are more useful) is better.

    Posted in: Survival Mode
  • 0

    posted a message on What is your go-to food?

    Golden carrots for me.

    I have enough gold and enough carrots to last a lifetime.

    Posted in: Survival Mode
  • 2

    posted a message on what to do with armor drops?

    Additionally, you can use leather armor to make yourself a nice wardrobe. That's what I've done here:

    For gold armor, keep in mind that with 1.16 gold armor has some usefulness against piglins. So it would be worth combining drops to get a few sets of gold armor - if you keep using the drops for this purpose, then you may not need to craft any at all.

    Here, I have collected a few sets, which I could then use to put Soul Speed and other enchantments on for Nether travel (except that I'm not playing in 1.16, but if you are, then this is what you might do). None of these were crafted:

    Posted in: Survival Mode
  • 0

    posted a message on What is the highest XP level you have gotten legit in vanilla minecraft in survival?

    195, which I have remained at for more than a year now... Hopefully it stays that way! No more deaths for now.

    Posted in: Survival Mode
  • 1

    posted a message on [SSP journal] Legends of Quintropolis: Age of Ender (Season 3)

    Aaaaaaaand we're back! After a few months gathering my thoughts, now that we've entered beta phase for Starlight HQ 3.0, I've created the roadmap to how we'll get the world ready for the end of the season... hopefully this year! :lol:

    So, let's dive in!

    Session 271 - "Concatenation"

    I’ve been fixing a lot of bugs that showed up throughout my testing of the many different setups we can build with the MISC. Fun fact: we can now use Starlight HQ in more than 15,345 different ways! That’s absolutely insane. The same base can be customized at its core level in that many ways, which is why we need to do testing! I am expected to test all these combinations to make sure there are no bugs. And I’ve got a long way to go! Bugs will show up even after 3.0 is released.

    Also, that number only reflects the current plugins, which consist of one generator (MISC) and four modifiers (Starlight Balancer, Starlight Inverter, Starlight Compressor, and Spectrometer). Once we start adding more plugins, and more options for those plugins, we will see this number increase exponentially. That’s the plan going forward, since the framework we have built will make it much easier to install new plugins.

    Today, we will be constructing the base’s second generator, which will also be the first proper generator. See, the MISC is already somewhat unique because it only bridges the gap between input and output. It relies on core features of the base to function.

    The generator we are building today will have a specific function in the base and will be customizable based on that. It won’t be a universal system like the MISC, because its function will be more specific. Hopefully, you will be able to see how we can get more creative with our modular options.

    Called the Dropbox, this plugin will be an automatic item drop-off point for shulker boxes, which will sort out heavy items like cobblestone, stone, stone brick, dirt, etc. All the rest will go in a holding array of chests down in the SRF to be sorted manually.

    Here’s why we need the Dropbox:

    Among all the disorganized chests I have in the Essentials Room, many of them are full of heavy-set items like cobblestone, stone, and other materials I tend to accumulate large quantities of. The purpose of the Dropbox is not only to create a new storage area for these items, but to eliminate the work of dealing with them. I can deal with sorting all the other stuff. I hate dealing with large quantities of items.

    Now, why is this a plugin for the modular system? Well, the Dropbox will simultaneously be able to modulate all the farms in the Starlight Resources Facility depending on which items it is receiving. In this way, we can use the Dropbox to effectively toggle/harvest all our main crop farms, without doing any work at all. And it will be sorting all our items, too. Sounds great to me.

    Take note that this is a separate plugin from the MISC. It will not be connected to the MISC in any way – all its functions will be independent of what is happening within the MISC. This is a core characteristic of our generator plugins – they run independent of one another.

    The Dropbox will also have a separate channel in the modular mixer, with all our modifiers being capable of modifying it separately from the MISC. This is why we have a mixer.

    Its location will be quite conveniently near the Essentials Room – over here adjacent to the powerhouse chamber where the old zombie tower used to exist.

    The functionality here is quite simple and automatic – you can place a shulker box full of items (ideally the aforementioned types) above any of the four hoppers (or, all of them if you have multiple shulker boxes), and all items will be pulled down a hopper chain to a storage room.

    ^ Here, I have constructed the storage room for these mass items in the SRF control floor, right next to the tree farm as you can see from the viewing window.

    This is a very long hopper chain, yes.

    Okay, the item sorters are not unlike any other, but there are some key characteristics of the Dropbox that make it unique as a plugin. What you can see above is that I am using comparators to detect specific items from the sorting system. These side outputs will go on to perform specific automations in the base.

    Each item gets its own side output, so that they can be separated later if desired.

    The principal architecture of the Dropbox is done, but now I am clearing some space so we can construct its modular capabilities.

    One of these will be its ability to force activate all the farms in the SRF – this includes the sugar cane farm which previously did not have an option to force activate. I needed to construct a new line of redstone for this to occur.

    Behind here in the control area, I’m taking advantage of our new redstone line by adding the option to keep the sugar cane farm powered on or off. Our supply has overflowed, as with most other resources in this base – so, having a way to toggle the farms on/off is becoming more essential. In this way, we can effectively reverse the behavior of the Dropbox (so, if the sugar cane farm is off by default, it will toggle it ON, and vice versa).

    The Dropbox’s functions are effectively wired, so now we can get a little more creative by applying its modifiers:

    ^ What you’re seeing above is the Starlight Inverter at work, now plugged into the Dropbox. It’s a XOR gate, which in this case will have a more targeted function. If the Inverter is plugged in, then the Dropbox will only automate farms if un-sorted items are detected (i.e. any item that isn’t in the sorter, such as stone, cobblestone, dirt, stone slabs, or stone brick).

    Next is Starlight Balancer. If this is plugged in, then the Dropbox separates all the item outputs to control different farms. Normally, the Dropbox will toggle all farms at once if any of the sortable items are detected. But, as the point of the Balancer is to reduce activity, we can choose to have only the melon farm harvest if stone is detected, for instance. Useful!

    The Starlight Compressor will do the same as it does in the MISC – limit the length of the incoming pulse so that the farms do not remain in an OFF position. Recall that the goal of the Compressor is to maximize efficiency. Well, if there is a large quantity of stone being processed at once, then the side outputs will remain active until there is no more stone to sort. This means that all farms connected to that output will remain in a “harvested” position (pistons extended, for instance), reducing their ability to grow more crops.

    ^ Here is an example of what would happen if Starlight Compressor was not plugged in. Because stone is consistently being funneled through the Dropbox, these pistons will remain extended, causing a decrease in the efficiency of these farms. The Compressor will reduce the pulse, so that it resets until a new pulse is detected.

    The Spectrometer does as you would expect – prevents the Dropbox from working when it’s night, or vice versa if the ‘Invert’ option is selected.

    Finally, I’m adding options behind the Dropbox interface to enable/disable hoppers. This is important if you want your shulker boxes back.

    The Dropbox’s final UI:

    You have the option to enable/disable links, so that you can either use it as a modular generator or as just an item sorter. The choices are all up to you! Or, me, rather.


    Okay, so I keep putting off a very important addition that should have been added for Starlight HQ’s beta test – however, better late than never! We are missing the integral potion of weakness brewer that needs to be built separately from the primary brewer.

    Why? Well, potions of weakness do not require nether wart to brew, and our primary brewer cannot bypass that principal ingredient. So, we just need to install a separate brewer, which we will then be able to toggle from within the MISC.

    First, I’ll make sure to reset all links currently connected to the potion brewer, as I do not want any activity taking place there while I work on it.

    We will want the option to brew these manually, of course, so I will put this brewer right here next to the mushroom storage. Perfectly suited, I think.

    Credits to OceanPhoenix for this stellar design! It is a wonderful brewer specifically for splash weakness potions, which is exactly what we would be brewing.

    Now, you are wondering: how do we get the selector hooked up to this?

    Easy. We build another one.

    When ‘weakness’ is selected, the regular potion brewer will be blocked from activation by the MISC. Note that you can still use it manually. The system then works normally, brewing a batch of weakness potions in the dedicated weakness potion brewer.

    Perfect! With that all done, there’s really only one efficiency issue left to tackle:

    What a silly oversight!

    Well, that’s all fixed up.

    The Dropbox might not have been the most obvious choice for our next project, but it is such a blessing to have in our base! With lots of technical improvements this round, now it's time to hop into a project a bit more colorful.

    Next up... Session 272 - "Fun and Games"

    Posted in: Survival Mode
  • 1

    posted a message on Give me some ideas for my survival world

    Build an underwater village! You'll need to protect it, of course.

    Posted in: Survival Mode
  • 0

    posted a message on What have you done recently?

    And it's here! A demonstration of the "modular" capabilities of my main survival base - though, it's become much more than just a base. Now, it's a redstone-run machine!

    Here is a demonstration video of the modular system and one of its plugins, the Modular Interface Specifications Center (MISC).

    Lots of potential in what we can do from here!

    Posted in: Survival Mode
  • 0

    posted a message on [SSP journal] Legends of Quintropolis: Age of Ender (Season 3)

    Welcome to Starlight HQ 3.0 beta. Today, I'm going to show you what all our technical work this season has led up to - a modular demonstration video providing an overview of the MISC and the overall central nervous system that runs through Starlight. Enjoy!

    Starlight HQ Modular Demonstration Video

    Hopefully, this video gives you a much more clear idea of what you can do with Starlight's new way of operating. It's going to be grounds for some very cool builds later on! Speaking of which... let's make some more links!

    Next up... Session 271 - "Concatenation"

    Posted in: Survival Mode
  • 0

    posted a message on [SSP journal] Legends of Quintropolis: Age of Ender (Season 3)

    Many long hours, lots of trial and error, and several reconstructions later, we are finally completing the principal architecture of Starlight HQ's new modular system, fully upgrading this survival base into a modular base. What does that mean? It means you can customize how the base behaves! Join me as we finish installing the final few features of the MISC and bring Starlight HQ 3.0 into beta testing!

    Session 270 - "Beta"

    For a while, I kept my scope fairly narrow regarding exactly what features that the MISC would be in charge of controlling. From the beginning, I was very clear on key farms/features: iron farm, mob farm, Night Lights, crop farms, and now the potion brewer. All of these (excluding the mob farm) were built this season with modular functionality in mind. I had been operating under the assumption that I needed to build new farms and builds specifically for the MISC (like the villager-powered crop farms). But thinking this way really narrowed how I was looking at the base, and as a result left me unable to conceptualize more creative ways of linking it together.

    As I step back and look at Starlight HQ as a whole, I am realizing that we have way more that we can do with the farms and features we already have. Everything we built in Season 2, and even in Season 1, can be hooked up to the MISC. I didn’t even think about using the slime farm as an input! What about the chicken farm? And the sugar cane farm? All of these are automatic farms and work just as well as the iron farm.

    Let’s not forget about other player-controlled farms like our nether wart farm, which we can use to automate the potion brewer.

    How about using the giant mushroom farm?

    …and the colored wool farm? ALL of these are fantastic options for MISC inputs, yet before now I hadn’t even considered using them.

    Our primary objective today is to link everything together and complete the MISC’s final few features, which are very important for the base to reach its fullest potential. Once this is done, we can then enter beta phase and test all our modular links and features! Exciting times!


    Let us go through the features together, starting with the big two:

    Save / reset links – currently, the MISC only lets you compose one link at a time. Every time you start the linking process, any links you made previously will be reset and overridden. This is not the behavior I want. For the MISC, I want two modes – one to save links, and one to reset them. If you draw link 1A, you should be able to save it and draw another link – say, 3B. This way, we can theoretically link everything together.

    Multi-link operations – in concordance with the above, you can also only select one input and one output button. That means you’re restricted to links like 1A, 3C, 8D, and so forth. In this way, there are so many numbers that we aren’t even tapping into! What about 12B? Or 48A? Or 17C? Or 2478A? I want to be able to select multiple numbers, which will allow more complex links to be made.

    Once we get these major two features figured out, the MISC is going to become a lot more powerful. We’ll be able to achieve some creative base behavior.

    A few more features will be added, too:

    Reset links – a button that doesn’t start the linking process, but that resets all links allowing for a blank canvas. Useful if you create several links and then forget what you created and would like to reset the canvas.

    Enable tangent output – this lever will enable the MISC’s “side” output, if you will, which is a redstone line that becomes active whenever activity from the MISC is detected. This output line can be used to trigger other base activities, or (as we’re going to use it) other generators. We’ve already installed the redstone line itself – we just want a way to toggle it.

    Now then, how do we install these features? To do this, we need to completely change the way that links are constructed. I knew this was coming, too. Here is what we need to do:

    Every link needs to be rewritten as an AND gate between the actual link combination (say, 5B) and the target source (say, iron farm). In order to install save/reset mode, these link outputs need to enter an RS (NOR) latch. Then, I need to disable the registers (“clear the cache”) so that you can distinguish links from one another. Pistons will need to be installed at every latch to “block” its ability to reset if I have SAVE mode enabled.

    In this diagram, the iron blocks represent the MISC, the emerald blocks represent the source input (i.e. iron farm), and the diamond blocks represent the target output (i.e. SRF farms). The lever above represents the “save/reset” feature, which will effectively “block” the redstone wire from resetting the RS (NOR) latch if it’s in save mode and allow the latch to reset if it’s in reset mode. All links need to be constructed this way, ending with an AND gate.

    This means that I need to move the iron farm, mob farm, and furnace room input wires away from the binary adders. That causes unwanted bugs by creating links we do not want to create. Instead, these wires will go directly into AND gates as demonstrated above.

    I am also labeling all the wires because it is getting quite a bit messy back here. Doing this will allow me to keep track of the wires, since we must build a new wire per link.

    ^ Here, you can see the rewiring of the iron farm links. Everything funnels into AND gates now – this is the only way to keep all links totally separate. You need one input from the MISC (the link) and one input from the source (iron farm). That’s what toggles the output (Night Lights in this case).

    It is getting messy up here, but that is why we have signs! With everything being labeled, I should be able to keep track of all the wires.

    ^ Here is another completed link gate, featuring the piston on the left that toggles save/reset mode.

    Very important: we need a way to “clear the cache,” so to speak, upon creation of the links. This means that instead of using registers to save the redstone state as pictured above (keeping the link wires powered), we need to reset them so that their actions can take effect. Since we are using RS (NOR) latches now, that means we do not need to save the input state. Resetting it lets us use that wire for a different link.

    This latch will briefly open the registers to clear the data after the linking process has concluded:

    We cannot complete “multi-link” today because we do not yet have a way for the MISC cache to hold and save all the inputs we place before deleting them. For multi-link to allow the creation of links independent of those made with only two buttons, we need to have all three (or more) inputs toggle the adders simultaneously to prevent activation of unwanted links. This is not yet a system we have the capacity to set up yet.

    I can still lay the groundwork though, in which I am using some repeaters to prevent the system from locking after one input is selected (this is normally what happens). Only upon pressing an output button will the machine lock.

    ^ Resetting all links will require us to send a pulse to every line while it’s in reset mode – this way, it can reset all the RS (NOR) latches and clear the canvas.

    Thankfully, we don’t yet need this, because we don’t have enough things to link up. We will likely need it before the season ends, though.

    Now then, here is the current link map I am planning:

    • 1A - Iron farm > Night Lights
    • 2A - Multi-purpose mob farm > Night Lights
    • 3A - Nether Temple > SRF farms
    • 4A - STAS Red > SRF farms
    • 5A - Furnace room > SRF farms
    • 6A - Furnace room > Iron farm
    • 7A - Crop farms > SRF farms
    • 8A - Crop farms > Night Lights
    • 1B - Crop farms > Potion brewer
    • 2B - Furnace room > Potion brewer
    • 3B - Nether Temple > Potion brewer
    • 4B - Iron farm > Potion brewer
    • 5B - Multi-purpose mob farm > Potion brewer
    • 6B - STAS Red > Potion brewer
    • 7B - STAS Blue > Potion brewer
    • 8B - Nether wart farm > Potion brewer
    • 1C - STAS Blue > SRF farms
    • 2C - Sugar cane farm > Potion brewer
    • 3C - Sugar cane farm > Mushroom farm
    • 4C - Giant mushroom > SRF farms
    • 5C - Giant mushroom > Potion brewer
    • 6C - Furnace room > Mushroom farm
    • 7C - Giant mushroom > Mushroom farm
    • 8C - Wool farm > SRF farms
    • 1D - Wool farm > Potion brewer
    • 2D - Wool farm > Mushroom farm
    • 3D - Crop farms > Mushroom farm
    • 4D - Slime farm > SRF farms
    • 5D - Slime farm > Potion brewer

    Now that I’ve built the framework for the system, every link will be composed the same way. So, it’s time for the grunt work!


    First, we’ll need several new input wires from sources I have not yet plugged into the MISC. Namely, this includes STAS (both the red and blue lines get separate links), the nether wart farm, slime farm, wool farm, and the mushroom farms.

    That’s right! Remember the old mushroom farm from Season 1? The one I build in the farmlands that has almost never been used?

    Well, believe it or not, I am about to upgrade that same farm into a fully modular farm – we can use it only through the MISC.

    Mushrooms are quite useful for making fermented spider eyes. So, I will funnel all the mushroom drops down by the potion brewer. The farm is right above this anyway.

    Then, all we have to do is send an output wire from the MISC link gates to the pistons that harvest the mushrooms. It’s that simple.

    We also need to upgrade the melon/pumpkin farms. They currently cannot automatically collect the drops. This makes modular capacity useless.

    Quite easy, we just need to invert the pistons so that they push the drops down into the ground, which the hoppers will be able to collect.

    Note that restructuring the farm this way now prevents us from being able to use it manually. That means the pressure plate has no effect – this farm is also now fully modular.

    Continuing this trend, we are going to use the sugar cane farm for input as well. This is a fully automatic farm, but it’s really six farms stacked. So, I can just a comparator to detect input from the hoppers that collect the sugar cane.

    Links, links, and more links. We are almost there!

    One important ability that we are utilizing here is being able to use the MISC to toggle farms on/off, like the cactus farm pictured above. However, some farms like the mob farm, sugar cane farm, and iron farm stay on indefinitely. This limits our ability to use them as targets, while also providing the possibility of storage overflow (we already have that happening).

    So, today we’re adding the ability to turn off the iron farm!

    To do this, we need a large wall of pistons to block the zombie from being in sight of the villagers.

    It’s a tedious process, but not very difficult.

    Ugh, these guys also get very annoying! Get out of there!

    There we go! Now, you can toggle the iron farm on/off. This now lets us use other farms to toggle the iron farm on/off (i.e., link 6A, which turns the iron farm on/off when it detects input). I use a XOR gate on the on/off gate, which means that the furnace room would do the opposite of the iron farm’s regular state. If the iron farm is off, the furnace room will turn it on for the duration of smelting. If the iron farm is on, the furnace room turns it off.

    The other farms will take some trial/error to install on/off capacity, so we will hold onto that for now.

    As I finish installing all the links for Starlight HQ, I am reminded of an important function that I need Starlight Compressor to do. Here is the problem:

    ^ Notice that sometimes farms like this one will stay active. This is due to some inputs being held for a large number of pulses (if the crop farms have a long stream of items to sort, then their respective MISC link input stays active). However, this lowers efficiency since the melons and pumpkins cannot grow during this period.

    Additionally, if we have multiple sources targeting this farm (say, we have both the crop farms and iron farms targeting it), this can also cause an exceedingly long pulse. We do not always want this.

    So, the solution is simpler: adding a pulse limiter to every output wire, which will only allow a short pulse to enter the farms and prevent overflow inputs from other farms. Starlight Compressor will effectively “compress” multiple input sources into one source, and that one source will only output a short pulse to allow the farms to start growing again. This will help maximize efficiency.

    This functionality will be automatically activated upon enabling Starlight Compressor in the modular mixer – you do not need to meet a certain item threshold for it to work.

    And that, my friends, is the completed MISC. Starlight HQ 3.0 is officially in beta phase. Time for testing!!

    Starlight HQ 3.0 is moving into its final phase of development as we head into the final stretch for Season 3 and secure the Tetraquin Project's completion. Commemorating this, I think it's appropriate to share all of our work up to this point with you in video form.

    Next up... Starlight HQ modular demonstration video

    Posted in: Survival Mode
  • To post a comment, please .