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

    Welcome BACK to Quintropolis Island - today, I'm finishing up the unfinished sectors of the island outside Starlight, in preparation for the season finale and the next world download.

    Session 290 - "Welcome to Quintropolis Island"

    Starlight HQ 3.0, arguably the main attraction on Quintropolis Island, is far from the island’s only landmark. Thanks to our work throughout the last several years, the island has blossomed from coast to coast – spanning a full mile in length. Other than Starlight, we now have the full Inner Circle neighborhood, the Quintropolis Welcome Center, the Tropic Fortress, and the Totem Run parkour course (technically, the latter two have existed since 2014, but now they are all connected to the main rail network). Oh yeah – the Mob Processing Hub is here, too, but you’ll forgive me for neglecting it.

    Today, we’re going to tie everything together with a nice bow – as much as possible for a single session, anyway.

    The Quintropolis Welcome Center, which is your spawning location, lacks the best passive defense that already serves Starlight: a beacon! Especially considering this is the place you spawn when all else fails, it needs to be most fortified.

    I’m adding the beacon in a location wherein it cannot be easily seen, but also where it will not interfere with the Totem Run course.

    Next, it’s time for the Quintropolis Discovery Shack – here, you will have access to all copies of maps from the various lands that have so far been mapped throughout Quintropolis.

    Speaking of mapping, I’m integrating waypoints within the world to help you better navigate it. Now, you will clearly be able to discern where everything is in relation to everything else.

    This has motivated me to finish the mapping process for some of the lesser-developed areas of our world, such as Utopia, Stonewall, and the far north Megapolis peninsula.

    ^ Above, you can now see the full mapping of Gravity Gorge. I wasn’t kidding when I said the parkour course spans the entire mesa biome. The southeast section of the biome houses the rest of Candyland.

    Finishing the main areas around Quintropolis Island, I’ve added Techtown, the SANA, Alchemy Farm, the Welcome Center, and Totem Run all to the map (it gets a little crowded, but in-game you can see them).

    ^ The full adventure map also features a waypoint for the “Fall Damage” parkour course in the small desert region north of Techtown. All the way at the top, you can see the northern Megapolis peninsula (for reference, this is where the capitol location will be later, originally founded at the village seen in Session 275).

    Moving forward, then, I am mapping Utopia’s land, placing a waypoint at the location of the portal connected to the Nether expressway.

    It took a lot of work, but now you can see Utopia’s map mostly mapped, and the vast diversity of its landscapes. I’m not sure how far its limits will extend – but for right now, it’s the most southern explored area of the map.

    The adventure map expands east, where you can see Aftermath in the southeast corner. Stonewall Territory, the Ice Realms, and Candyland all live even further southeast, so they cannot be added to the adventure map in its current state.

    Although you need to head to Starlight Treehouse to view the adventure map, you can now acquire copies of select maps right here at spawn at the Discovery Shack. This will at least help you navigate within the areas you are exploring. Stanland and Rainbow Cliffs have been on the adventure map for some time, but I will add their zoomed-in maps here later.

    Now, it is time to connect the Quintropolis Welcome Center to the Inner Circle. This requires the construction of a long road through the jungle – a build I have been admittedly dreading due to the resources required, but one that will immensely improve quality of life on the island. Such is the case for all roads in real life, I guess.

    The road’s construction marks the first of its kind in Quintropolis. Although Starlight HQ features a makeshift “road,” there have not yet been any road networks to connect the various points of interest together in any way. The Nether Expressway has so far served that purpose.

    A chunk error here in the jungle will serve as one of the island’s road junctions.

    Clearing the way through the jungle is a challenge because I also want to preserve the island’s scenery as much as possible. The island is extremely small by real measurement standards (barely a mile across), so preserving its nature is essential especially as the entire island is now a production hub.

    This road junction will not be completed this season, because the secondary destination it will connect won’t be built until next season. Emerald Hills, which is the small section of mountains on the south of the island, will eventually be built into a small hub of its own. This road will take you to it.

    Finally, the Inner Circle is in sight! I’ve used more than twenty stacks of concrete so far, and I know this is just the beginning.

    Heading to the other end, we also want to connect our road to the Tropic Fortress properly. The poor structure is still sitting in the bushes.

    Not anymore.

    I am also updating the lighting – removing all the torches in lieu of lights.

    This bridge was a significant aesthetic challenge, but I think it turned out quite alright. It really gives you the feeling that you’re heading into the lush jungle… which is true, for about a minute.

    Lighting the entire road is the next task, which required these beams to be installed in multiple areas. Of course, the lighting changes in Minecraft 1.18 will make road lighting much easier – however, I am still playing in 1.15, and will remain doing so for the foreseeable future.

    Having made it to the Inner Circle, I now need to install a proper entrance into the neighborhood – one which keeps the area safe from outside threats.

    Fence gates always seem like the reliable option here.

    Wondrous, and now I can finish the roof of the ugly sugar cane farm.

    That’s a lot better than those end rods, in my opinion. This road will eventually continue all the way to Starlight HQ – but that will be 20-30 stacks of concrete for another day.

    The last thing I want to do today is a small amenity I have been meaning to establish for a while: a new parkour course!

    I always felt that the Inner Circle was a perfect introductory hub for anyone new to Quintropolis. And as it now holds its own ecosystem independent of Starlight, you could easily spend a lot of your time here. This makes it a great setting for a small new parkour course – one I want to design as a tutorial course.

    Learning how to do specific parkour techniques will be essential to mastering some of the harder courses in this world, like Totem Run and Landing Pad. How can you expect to beat them if you’re not familiar with these techniques?? That’s why I am presenting the newest course: Jump Tutorials.

    Jump Tutorials is a small course nestled within the boundaries of the Inner Circle, designed to help you practice specific parkour skills needed for the intermediate and advanced courses.

    Hey, even Boshtok wants to learn some moves! I don’t think this is a villager’s game, however.

    The course is designed to be a playground from which you can practice easily whenever you like. Its central location on the island means that it’s accessible from anywhere – the new road helps this greatly.

    ^ A full view of Jump Tutorials, all finished and ready to play! This is the last amenity I intend to add for today’s session. The course, now fully protected with fencing and proper landscaping to prevent infiltration by mobs, can be safely played at night as well.

    Outside some small improvements that I’ll make off-book, this concludes my work on Quintropolis Island for the season. So, what else is left then?? That’s what you’ll need to stay tuned to find out.

    Indeed, these last ten sessions will be taking a unique turn as the season comes to an official close, and they are going to have a lot in store... The question is whether they will be released in a timely fashion. :lol:

    Next up... Session 291 - "We End at the Beginning"

    Posted in: Survival Mode
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    posted a message on Lena Raine's "otherside" orchestral cover

    *Mods can move this if necessary - not sure the best place for this where it will actually get some traffic.

    I wanted to share my orchestral cover of Lena Raine's "otherside" - the new music disc added in 1.18. I loved the track so much, that I needed to make a cover of it. Enjoy. :D

    Posted in: Culture, Media & Arts
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    posted a message on [SSP journal] Legends of Quintropolis: Age of Ender (Season 3)
    Quote from leangreen76»

    Someone else then that also keeps old copies of there world to go back in time! I can go back as far as BETA 1.4, as long as I don't try and open any of the chests otherwise it'll crash the game. Mainly from 2015 I too modernized my 11 year world and have also 1 original build left. You've also inspired me to start a new "From the beginning story" more like a jornal/retrospective that I can maybe turn into a PDF so thank-you.

    Look forward to seeing what's next!

    Other than backups which I now create after every session, I keep a few "checkpoint" backups for the old versions - the earliest one I still have is from November 30, 2013 - this marks Session 50. With worlds like ours, it's always fun to go back and appreciate what they used to be (and in my case, how much more of a noob at Minecraft I was!). Definitely, a PDF would be awesome! Then I can have a way to download your journal, or at least a minimized version of it (in my case, the PDFs in the first post are more like session summaries - not the entire journal word-for-word which would be too big).

    My only regret as it relates to this journal is not starting it sooner. The fact is that although I do have the beginnings documented - even a video series for its exact conception - if you had never seen this world before, it's not easy to connect that to where we begin here in the journal. One thing I considered is "recreating" Season 1 in a similar format as I've done here - the sessions were much smaller, and thus would be a lot easier to write. The only issue is, of course, that it would be written from my point of view now as opposed to back then. I also don't have that many screenshots from Season 1, so I would then need to retcon the old copies of the world just to imitate those. For now, I'll stick to filling in the blanks and try to address such things as they come, like with #289.

    I love reading worlds from the beginning (or perhaps, in your case, awaiting an origin story yet to be written)! But this is why I know it can be an immediate turn-off for new people who see that this journal starts well into the world's progress. It's just a lot of overload right up front that is a byproduct of such an aged world (and this journal in particular almost requires you to watch the Session 100 world tour first before even starting, which is an hour long... otherwise nothing makes much sense). I guess I never spent much time thinking about ways to make the read more approachable for newcomers, since I know it definitely is not.

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

    In today's very out-of-universe chapter, we're exploring Starlight's history as we address the age-old philosophical question: if you remove all the original material and replace it with new material, is it still the same thing? This is a great discussion I am excited to share, as it has many applications to how we look at our own real lives.

    Session 289 - "The Ship of Theseus"

    Starlight HQ has a long history – so long, in fact, that it stretches nearly a decade across multiple worlds. Fun fact: Starlight was also the name of my very first base in Minecraft, ever, when I first began playing the game in 2012. Back then, things were much simpler – that includes goals. The idea of a highly advanced redstone-operated complex was not even conceived in my head back when I first began building Starlight HQ in this world. In fact, Starlight HQ was never originally intended to stretch far beyond Starlight Castle at all. That means even the entire outback faction was a new development added only as the demand for it arose throughout time – this was also true of the Starlight Resources Facility in Season 2 (however the SRF was always a planned construction from the beginning). Not only has the original base been completely replaced functionally, but we’ve now just taken the last bits of “old Starlight” out of the picture regarding the build’s aesthetics.

    That begs the question: is this still the same Starlight?

    I am reminded of the Ship of Theseus thought experiment which we will explore today. For those of you unaware, this experiment asks a provoking question as it relates to change. It goes as follows:

    Suppose you have a ship, and over time some of the planks rot – so, you replace them with new planks. Eventually, the entire ship’s planks have been replaced, and maybe some things have been added onto the ship as well. Is this still the same, true ship, if none of its original material is left?

    There is no correct answer to this question as it’s relative. The fact is that I could rename Starlight to anything, and if I were to do so, someone who saw the original Starlight next to this new iteration would not be able to tell that the latter was once the former – at least at first glance. Would you like that comparison? Of course, you would.

    Starlight HQ 1.0, finished December 1, 2013 (Session 50):

    ^ As you can see, the build was very humble – albeit still quite grandiose – though the base was lacking a lot of functionality, with the castle itself featuring no farms other than a stone and cobblestone generator on the fourth floor (I never used them because they were tiny and inconveniently located). The entire castle was constructed while still mostly in the iron age, no mesa resource (it was built in 1.6 mostly, but was finished shortly after 1.7 released), barely had started enchanting tools, and had just a few humble resource farms within the Farmlands (none of which were automated). This was also the entire world right here, with nothing outside Starlight Castle built.

    I never talked a lot about my way of life during Season 1. Some of it is still on YouTube actually – you can view the playlist containing the very first 26 sessions HERE, as I originally planned to do a Let’s Play which fell through due to my poor laptop at the time. What you will notice is that throughout those videos, I really fall victim to the ‘survival’ aspect of this game. Indeed, the first season lives up to its name: Survival of the Fittest. What took an entire season there would take maybe 15 sessions today, probably even less – this is a result of my exponential growth in the world, and what I’ve been able to achieve with Starlight’s resource production over time. I guess this is true for all players.

    Starlight HQ 1.5 (Session 100) is really what I consider the first true complete version of the base, as it adds the Power Museum, mob farm, and Starlight Station:

    That is exactly where this journal started back in 2015 – at the very beginning of Season 2, with all of Season 1’s documentation being tied up in a PDF (which you can download in the first post). Even Season 2 was a slow journey progressing into the diamond age, finally reaching endgame as the season concluded with a quad-Wither battle. I know, it’s controversial to suggest that I had reached endgame before going to the End; however, notice that my progress in this world (other than my use of purpur blocks to redo Starlight Castle) has never been defined by the End. This did change with elytra, and quite significantly so, however you must also realize that the definition of endgame used to be different, as Season 2 concluded while I still played in Minecraft 1.8 (which means that neither elytra nor purpur even existed; so, given those facts, I had definitely reached endgame).

    My progress has always been slow, because I tended to focus on building things more so than farming. This approach has evolved throughout Season 3, as I continue to aim for a healthy balance that keeps this world, and Starlight, interesting even after eight years. This is another reason for my urge to consistently change things – I get bored of seeing the same stuff for such a long time. And rather than move on to build new things, I much prefer to improve what already exists first.

    Every now and then, I do hop back in a backup from one of the world’s old checkpoints – Session 100, for example. And when I do, I always garner a new appreciation for the history that is so closely linked with that version of the world. What’s far more interesting, however, is that I always remember exactly where I was in real life through these old versions. Indeed, Minecraft for me used to be my outlet. Personally, 2014-2015 was a tough time, and this was also the time frame that Season 1 concluded (fun fact: it is also why I decided to start this journal, despite knowing about this forum since early 2014). Revisiting the old copies of this world brings back that history – not in a negative way, but in a way that lets me realize how much Starlight has changed, and therefore how my life has changed with it. I can no longer look at Starlight today and see that history.

    Starlight HQ 2.0:

    When Starlight HQ 2.0 was finished in late 2016, I was admittedly dissatisfied. I would never have told you that at the time because the build was still a milestone. But I rarely like to discuss v2.0 anymore, reason being that I always felt it was just an incomplete check box I arbitrarily marked so that I could tie up Season 2 with a bow. Don’t get me wrong – this version was a huge update from 1.5, and it did a decent job moving the base into a slightly more modern age. But it was nowhere near the type of transformation that I desired – the very transformation that has now defined v3.0. Comparing 1.0 to 2.0 is like comparing an unfinished living room to its furnished counterpart. But comparing 2.0 to 3.0 is effectively comparing the furnished living room to what replaced it after it was demolished and rebuilt with a budget ten times the original and the ambition of an entitled entrepreneur.

    I accepted that I would never be happy with 2.0, because it was in early 2016 that my ideas for Starlight 3.0 really took shape. The modular system, massive scale farms, the outback faction, the subway, the treehouse, and the reconstruction of Starlight Castle with purpur – I realized that I had just built a foundation for something that could be truly amazing. But v2.0 was just that: a foundation. By the time all this came to me, Season 2 was almost over. As such, I decided to exercise delayed gratification and finish what I was doing first – something I have proven to be very good at.

    Tetraquin is another story. Astute followers of the journal so far know that “Tetraquin” as a title has loomed across the entire season (even is the name of one of the subway stations), but you still have no idea what the hell that means. I had started a project this season called the “Tetraquin Project” which was simply a six-step process towards moving us into the industrial/modular revolution. Currently, four stages are complete. But what is Tetraquin? In fact, I originally wanted to build it in Season 2. To summarize, Tetraquin describes the endgame of Starlight HQ – it will be a high-tech village and laboratory with such advanced infrastructure that the entire faction is intended to be its own separate ecosystem controlled by its own modular system (“tetra” because it would technically be the base’s fourth faction). Designing it the way I want could not be possible with v2.0 as such. But now with 3.0? The foundation is far more readily prepared for Tetraquin to be built.

    All that being said, let’s see that colorful final skyline photo of the now-completed Starlight HQ 3.0:

    I know – normal progression in this game does mean that eventually we move up in certain areas. Like enchanted diamond tools. And using higher quality build materials (sometimes, and if we want to). And automated farms. Recently we ascended to elytra and Mending, too (about 1.5 years ago, which is still modern for this world). However, why did I decide to completely destroy the historical base that otherwise preserved a lot of my early game memories?

    Some people leave old bases to build new ones. Others improve upon their base but maintain its original style. The truth is that I always realized Starlight’s layout had potential to be developed into something greater, and somewhere around the end of Season 2 is when I began conceptualizing its transformation which we’ve just completed.

    Thinking about the base as a modular base started with a proof of concept: I imagined the possibility of having a base that could be customized to fit my playstyle at any given time. At the time, I didn’t have the redstone knowledge to even know how to build something like this, because I still didn’t know what I wanted to do. In fact, I only figured that out through trial and error, with Session 270 marking the culmination of my efforts to reach a system that actually works to achieve this customizability. Of course, this would be much easier to do in a completely new base designed specifically for modular customizability. So why didn’t I just do that?

    There are two primary reasons I chose to do this to Starlight:

    • Starlight HQ 2.0 had an incredible foundation upon which the modular system could be built, but its archaic appearance needed to be updated in order to fit the high-tech themes that newer builds within Starlight HQ had begun adopting. As I developed the outback and tangent floor alongside the MISC, I realized that my aesthetic style was shifting, and it didn’t fit the original Starlight HQ. I began using more expensive building materials as resources started to become more abundant, and my palette geared towards more industrial, modern aesthetics. This is to say that you would easily be able to tell where the old Starlight ended and where the new Starlight began. I didn’t like this, which is why I ultimately decided to tear down all the original builds and adapt them to the new modular style. This leads to…
    • I have all the old copies of Quintropolis, plain and simple. If I really want to revisit the days of old Starlight, I can just load up one of the old worlds. These downloads are also available on the first post, so that you can also do these comparisons should you wish to do so (even the most recent download is four years old technically, but the new one will be released with Session 300 so you can check out v3.0).

    Relics of old Starlight do still exist (only of v1.5, as nothing from v1.0 is still here outside the original mushroom farm), and I intend to keep some of them that way. Here are some examples:

    Archery Alley:

    This build has not been touched since Season 1, and it will stay that way.

    Starlight Playground:

    Also hasn’t been touched since it was first built in Season 1 – however, I do eventually plan to update it.

    Starlight Station:

    Yes, we updated it this season quite drastically, but the original architecture is the same as when it was first built in Season 1. Again, though, this build will be completely redone in a future version of Starlight to match the rest of the base’s modern look.

    Trying to find and maintain a balance between preserving history and keeping the base up to date is a challenge that only exists with such old worlds, and it’s one that I have had to face throughout the entire construction of Starlight 3.0. My final justification for why I’ve “replaced” the base is because from here on out, making changes and additions will be much easier than if I were to continue holding onto the old and archaic stuff. Starlight HQ 3.0 does the hard work of updating everything that already exists, so now it can be further updated with new features and functions going forward. Indeed, this base has a large list of updates that will make their way into future versions like 3.5 and 4.0, such as:

    • A whole new purpose for Starlight Castle (which we won’t discuss yet) that simply wouldn’t be possible with the old construction.
    • The expansion and completion of the Starlight City Planning Center (including TNT-based wood farms, concrete farms, and other industrial farming).
    • A full rework of the modular mixer, and other modular improvements that 3.0 prepared the foundation for.
    • More modular plugins that do some cool things!
    • The development of Tetraquin.

    As you can see, Starlight is far from being completed. And this is just the start of the list – the base needed to be transformed, so that a better foundation for updates can exist. This is also why Minecraft in general seems to rewrite certain things over time like world generation. Since the Archery Alley is an auxiliary build, it doesn’t need a revision. But Starlight Castle? Absolutely. By holding onto all the old relics from the old world, I would ultimately be keeping Starlight from reaching the full potential that I have envisioned for years.

    So then, the question remains: is this still the original Starlight? Absolutely. One could say that Starlight HQ 1.0 was just part of the process towards getting the base where it is today. I would have never been able to build Starlight 3.0 the way it is from scratch without having its original foundations and history erected first. This new Starlight is what I always wanted out of a survival base because it’s no longer a survival base. It’s a canvas of unlimited creative potential.

    Now then, we do have one more small feature to complete for 3.0, which I have purposefully been saving for the very end.

    ^ These are all the dispensers that hold potion ingredients for the modular potion brewer. Currently, the only way to access them in order to restock is by breaking into the wiring area. This is messy – so, we’re going to build a nice little system that stores all the items and channels them into here.

    This is really the last thing we need, and I’ll be building it in the most convenient location – right above the brewer outside. I’m exhausted with all the intense base-wide wiring, so we’re keeping it simple.

    There is no way around it: we need a ton of hoppers. Ideally, you’ll drop all potion ingredients into a single barrel, which will then be sorted and automatically stored in their respective dispensers for brewing. To accomplish this, every hopper chain must be separated from the sorter entirely.

    This means we need to do some fancy linking to get everything tidy. The water bottle chain is also in the way – I just need to move it.

    The sorter takes place up top and out of the way, so that there is no disruption sending the ingredients into the correct dispenser.

    And it’s done! It causes a mess outside though – let’s fix that.

    In the event that I were to accidentally drop items on this staircase, I don’t want to risk them getting picked up by any hoppers. As such, I’ll be enlarging this staircase so I can add a protective stone brick layer covering the hoppers.

    Some spruce wood, lanterns, and fencing finally help make the area feel more complete.

    Now for the hub itself, let me just say this up front: I will be turning this into a generator next season. As such, I’m designing the interface for it now. Basically, I had an idea that would allow potions to automatically brew based on the ingredient you add. For example, if you were to add phantom membranes into the storage, the brewer would automatically brew a batch of slow falling potions.

    This is an idea I would love to see that would provide even greater flexibility to how the potion brewer works. However, the wiring for it is much too complex to do in one session. And to be honest… I’m exhausted. We’re at the end of the season, and I’m done doing new major redstone work. We have a full new season ahead that is better suited for this project.

    For now – just add your potion ingredients to the barrel, and they will be automatically sorted and stocked! This is great to finally have, as it now means restocking those dispensers is no longer the annoying hassle it once was.

    I’ve also tidied up the look of this area, which again will continue development next season. For now, this is the extent of my work. And other than some bugfixing I still have to tweak with the MISC (which will be done in my own time as it isn’t worth documenting here), the base is completely done.

    …oh yeah, I never built the hopper collection point for the Starlight Treehouse item drop-off either...


    Welcome to Starlight HQ 3.0.

    Now then, eleven sessions to go - it's time for the endgame of Season 3 to take shape. :)

    Next up... Session 290 - "Welcome to Quintropolis Island"

    Posted in: Survival Mode
  • 1

    posted a message on What have you done recently?

    Following six years of construction since its second iteration (which, added on, makes about 8.5 years total) - finally, finally my primary SSP mega-base, Starlight HQ 3.0, is fully complete. Since v2.0 back in 2016, Starlight has been completely transformed, with almost every existing structure being demolished and rebuilt, and the base more than doubling in size with the addition of the outback faction, Starlight Treehouse, Vax Valley, and way too much more. The base is now fully controlled by a modular redstone system that allows its behavior to be fully customizable, changing the way you approach automation. More on this later.

    The scale of this place is ridiculous, and my computer is reaching its limits with how it is handling Starlight despite my best efforts to reduce lag within its components. The skyline of the base, from the front and back respectively:

    To briefly summarize, the entire base is controlled and customizable by a central redstone modular system. The base's behavior is variable and can be as manual or as automated as you want based on the modular plugins (these are your interfaces with the system). This system is a huge innovation for Starlight, as the base is controlled entirely by the user. Want to use specific doors in the plaza to automate potion brewing downstairs? Create a link with the MISC. Want to automate the flower farms every time you drop off specific items to be smelted? Toggle the Dropbox. Want to slow down that rate of production? Apply Starlight Limiter on Dropbox using the modular mixer. Want to only have this work during the day? Apply Spectrometer, or use its 'Invert' option to have it only work at night. Want to multiply sugar cane production nine-fold? Toggle Starlight Overdrive. The possibilities for what can be done within Starlight are practically endless (in fact, the possible combinations of different modular behaviors reach the millions), and v3.0 is just the beginning of what I have planned with this new system.

    Outside that, the complex itself features Starlight Castle (primary tool/weapon/armor arsenals), the Power Museum which is the redstone heart of the base (all redstone and modular operations are controlled here), farms for most items in the game (many of them industrial-scale), four in-house parkour courses, eleven modular plugins (redstone contraptions that do all sorts of different things, serving as the interface for the aforementioned modular system), multiple automated potion brewers, six glowstone pillars (Night Lights) that can be connected to anything to be used as a visual indicator of that source's use, tons of mini-games, two arcades with more games, a fully fledged underwater lounge, a massive treehouse that itself hosts about 15 farms and several unique mobs, a chorus fruit garden, a regular garden, a proper subway system with two lines, a library with more than 25 different stories to read (Quintropolis lore and other things I wrote), an archery alley, four scavenger hunts with clues setup around the base with a prize if you complete them all, a full fireworks display in the bay, adventure maps for every explored land in Quintropolis, and a massive tree farm. Starlight also connects to other parts of Quintropolis Island via the subway, and is also the central hub for the Nether expressway taking you to other parts in the world.

    Of course, what you see up top is just a fraction - here are some peeks underneath the ground:

    Above: Tree farm to the very right, then most of the screen is taken up by the primary modular plugin responsible for creating links between most redstone-based sources throughout the base (the Modular Interface Specifications Center, or MISC). Redstone lines funnel into the MISC from all across the base, often times in bundles, before being sent back out through binary adders, and a host of other logic gates that govern the plugin's architecture.

    Above: Industrial-scale sugar cane and cactus farms to the left, then the quartz/iron builds you see far back are part of the underground complex of both the Power Museum and Starlight Resources Facility. Pictured here is one of the potion brewers (the other is hidden, and is for modular use). The subway cuts through the center of the screen, then to the right is villager-run crop farms (potato, carrot, beetroot, and wheat). The nether-brick slabbed area to the right is the massive bamboo farm, which is just one part of what will evolve into a giant new underground complex later.

    Above: Main staircase that connects Starlight Castle to the underground facilities. I've had to take photos from the outskirts because it is just too dense if I get much closer, so I won't be able to show you everything under here (that's more appropriate for a video base tour perhaps later). Of note is the colored wool farm, and the subway to the very right.

    You can see why such a construction has taken an immense amount of patience and time to develop, keeping in mind it is actually the third iteration of this base (but it's the first with the new modular system). I probably missed some things, but that's the general overview of what has taken the brunt of my work across the last 8.5 years. A video tour will definitely happen at some point, but not yet. For now, I am proud to share this piece of my world with you, and I look forward to seeing how it continues to develop for (hopefully) the next 8.5 years! :)

    Posted in: Survival Mode
  • 0

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

    Today is a great day for Starlight HQ - that's because it's the day we complete the entire base's work for the season!!

    Session 288 - "2πr"

    That was a bad death. It was caused by this death trap:

    I spent a good deal of time further exploring the caves underneath Quintropolis Island, even after losing everything in that lava hole. By everything, I do mean all my Mending tools, and even a pair of elytra wings (which I shouldn’t have been wearing anyway). This was a good learning experience, but thankfully with where I am in this world, replacing everything was no issue – including my levels.

    From there, it brings me great satisfaction to share that the overdrive farms are now fully complete. But the process was quite an event over the last several sessions…

    Oh yes, TNT was my best friend, as otherwise it would have taken way too long to remove the huge chunk of stone – even with Haste II.

    Due to the low amount of spawning spaces available in this area, that immediately turned this chunk into ground zero for a mob infestation. Needless to say, this was the first order of business.

    Once I removed all that nonsense, installing the farms was a simple process of repetition. But simple does not equal cheap. No, this was a rather expensive build process.

    There is far more stone brick being used here than you may think, in addition to pistons and observers. Yes, I opted to backtrack to the observer-based design, and instead will use Starlight Overdrive to enable/disable the farms by layer. For example, if you have Overdrive set to ‘Multiply by 3,’ then it will only enable the bottom two layers of the farms.

    Does this mean it’s now technically a generator? No. It modifies base activity, even if it’s no longer based on modular generators specifically. I just think this is a much better utilization of the plugin, considering that its former functionality would cause way too much lag.

    These overdrive farms have been incredible so far, and I’ll say that with all eight layers enabled – it causes the chests to fill up way too quickly. This is a good thing, though! It means we now have industrial-scale levels for some resource production in Starlight HQ. We are going to need this soon.

    Now, onto today’s main project: we must complete Starlight Castle. If you recall, we originally completed the castle’s complete reconstruction way back in Session 258. However, several parts were left unfinished, notably: the Aqua Lounge entrance hall, the fireworks hall, the Great Balcony, and the front entrance. Today, we’re finishing all those up.

    First, we still need a way to exit Starlight Castle’s back entrance! The reason this was never installed before is because of this issue:

    Adding a pressure plate is simply not possible if I want to preserve the look of the outside, which I do. As such, we need another solution.

    Although buttons were not my preferred choice, it looks like they are the only option for now, unless I want to run tripwires across here (which I don’t).

    Hey, at least now I can stop tearing down the door every time I need to leave!

    The Aqua Lounge entrance hall, which is just an extension from Starlight Room, is the easiest part of this renovation, so we’ll just knock that out.

    Easy, and because it also includes a ladder up to the fireworks hall, we’ll just continue up to that.

    Okay, so I created plenty of design options in my head for this area, which is just badly designed to begin with. But it exists because of history: this hall used to be the original location for my sheep/wool farm. Rather than destroy it, I just reused it to be my fireworks hub. I now have an opportunity to renovate it such that it actually can work here (as it technically is not attached to Starlight Castle).

    With this hall, I’m bringing out Starlight Castle’s principal colors in a new way, using light blue concrete to splash some new vibes with the walls.

    Prismarine, end rods, and obsidian will finish off the look.

    The back area is now revamped as well and connects nicely to the dark oak bridge that links Starlight Plaza to the castle’s back entrance! I’m quite satisfied with this segment.

    Of course, the areas atop the hall are walkable, so I need to make those pretty, too.

    Wait, why is that still oak wood? Sheesh, I glossed over so many details!

    Next up: the main entrance!

    I’ll maintain the exact same style here, because I still like it. I’m just going to replace all the stone brick.

    ^ Additionally, I really like this collaboration between purpur pillars and pink concrete on the sides. It simultaneously fixes the issue of the redstone underneath the entrance being exposed.

    See here:

    It’s just an ugly mess under here! There is no reason it needs to be visible at all.

    I am also dealing with the ugly garbage that still sticks out from the mountain that used to live here. Linking together the Lapis Hall of Fame, the front of Starlight Castle, and the entrance into the Hall of Armor below – I’m using light blue clay to give some contrast to the almost overwhelming purples:

    Amazing! Now, onto the next issue:

    The Great Balcony has long been a problem I have been unable to fix because I could not decide on a material with which to replace it. Currently, it’s built out of spruce wood. Rebuilding it out of purpur, quartz, or prismarine would not look right at all. And that’s when I realized: maybe it does not need to be rebuilt. Maybe the spruce wood still works fine here, and I’m just biased at having looked at the same build for over eight years.

    Acknowledging this, I decided to keep the spruce, and just update it. Even after eight years, it still hasn’t been updated once.

    First, working my way up, I’m adding some updates to the three main observatories. Lighting adjustments, concrete, etc. I decided to keep them built out of clay because I like the more muted colors.

    Then, I went ahead and built a fourth observatory out of gold and yellow concrete. This is just to complete the series.

    Doing so allows me to start the Great Balcony’s updates here on the supports, which have never been properly lit to prevent mob spawning.

    Nice! Lanterns have proven a godsend. Let’s keep going with those…

    Torches still invade the entire balcony, which is now the only place within HQ’s builds that contain them (other than undeveloped/natural areas). Let’s fix that.

    First, the lava lighting I had been using which could be viewed from the Glass Dome has an adverse side effect: it burns the vines inside the tower, preventing you from reaching the dome. I am replacing them with lamps.

    Next, I’m giving some variety to the fence work on the balcony. The center ring will be birch, followed by oak in the middle, then dark oak on the outer ring.

    Finally, lanterns dot the area, replacing all torches. The balcony is still subject to destruction by lightning (in fact, I did notice a section where two blocks were missing). But this seems to be relatively rare, as the glass dome tends to protect large parts of it.

    There is the new balcony… which really doesn’t look much different from afar.

    Starlight Castle might now be fully completed, but one build in HQ remains far from it: the Starlight Solace Center. To be fair, this build was never the center of attention. In fact, with every session it has appeared in, the build was always a supplementary project – never a main one.

    As a result, it hasn’t received nearly the attention required to get it done, and my plans for it have expanded. It will no longer be feasible to complete the build this season, as I now want to turn it into a “second” Starlight Arcade. The advantage here is that the SSC is relatively isolated from the rest of HQ, meaning that there is more room for building more intricate arcade games. The problem with Starlight Arcade is that it’s located in an already dense area, making the construction of any further games impossible.

    In fact, the Sandbox in Starlight Arcade will also not be completed this season.

    For the SSC, I’ll go ahead and complete this entrance from the Power Museum and tidy up what already exists of it.

    Nice – there is a lot of potential here, as this build already looks like a potential arcade center (it was never originally intended for this purpose). I already have plans for several new arcade games I would love to build which never would have fit in Starlight Arcade due solely to space constraints. This makes the Starlight Solace Center a perfect candidate for expansion on this front and will allow the build to take center stage next season for principal development.

    For now, as I continue tidying up what we have done, I notice that all this redstone remains exposed underneath the Alchemy Dome. What the hell? How do such oversights continue to happen? I guess Starlight HQ’s size does make it easy to overlook such details, especially when I’m actively focused on other projects.

    It’s an easy fix in either case.

    My friends, Starlight HQ 3.0 is just about complete. We’ve done all the work that’s feasible to fit into this season, and I’ve clearly marked (both here and in the world itself) the work that will be held off until the next. We can see that the base remains a canvas of huge opportunities, as there is so much still to do! I can’t wait to move forward with these projects that will take us into Starlight 4.0, but for now – let’s appreciate what we have done, and what it has taken to get to this point.

    Starlight HQ 3.0 represents the culmination of more than eight years of progressing through this world. I mean, we already went through 1.0 and 2.0. The main difference with v3.0 is that I have completely changed the infrastructure of the base, both functionally and aesthetically. It doesn’t look the same, it doesn’t act the same, and it doesn’t even feel the same as it once did. So, the question inevitably arises: is this still the same base? Before we move onto the season’s endgame, this is a question I’d like to address.

    Now that Starlight HQ 3.0 is completed, it's time to take a step back and reflect on the base as a whole, and whether or not it's really still the same charming place I used to call home more than eight years ago. When you change an old build so much as I have here, can you really say it's the same build? That's the topic we'll be addressing next.

    Next up... Session 289 - "The Ship of Theseus"

    Posted in: Survival Mode
  • 0

    posted a message on Salvos - Singleplayer Survival World

    Finally a new journal on here! I remember when survival journals were quite common back in 2014/2015, but nowadays I think the fad has mostly gone, with only three still active (Leangreen, The Master Caver, and myself).

    Best of luck on your goals and looking forward to seeing where your explorations take you! Are you playing in 1.18 or an earlier version?

    Posted in: Survival Mode
  • 1

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

    Details, details, details - having focused so much on finishing Starlight HQ's larger projects over the last few sessions, it's now time to do a thorough detailing of the smaller things throughout the entire base as a whole. And when those things add up, it makes a pretty significant difference.

    Session 287 - "The Devil in the Details"

    I’ve gotten a few turtle heads now, which means I have finally been able to update the potion brewer to complete the full set of potions!

    Welcome the Potions of the Turtle Master – I have yet to find a viable use for these. Like many other niche features (such as tipped arrows), minigames or parkour courses could make these very valuable.

    In other news, this connector from the potion brewer down to the storage hall has remained incomplete aesthetically.

    Not anymore!

    The same can be said of the bamboo farm storage area.

    Not anymore!! Here, I am using smooth quartz for the first time – a beautiful block that may be used in many other builds, because of how smooth it is.

    Finally, a thunderstorm showed up, so I headed over to the SANA to get two of the mooshrooms.

    From here, and with some healing potions on hand, I struck them with my Channeling trident, turning them into the brown mooshrooms we need for Starlight Treehouse’s suspicious stew farm.

    And now they are home! Using poppies on a brown mooshroom provides night vision stew; using dandelions provides saturation effect (basically making this a superfood). This farm also hosts regular mushroom stew, making this a perfect quick resource for food. Since we grow poppies and dandelions in the treehouse, it’s suitable that we would ideally store both of these stews.

    You can see that I’ve prepared a full barrel for each.

    Oh yes – I just know you’re looking forward to seeing all those turtles. But we’ve still got some waiting to do yet.

    GET OUT!! You are not welcome here.

    The village in Starlight City which had two masons now has like ten clerics, because I’ve been working on expanding its trade network. I have way too much zombie flesh that I need to get rid of – more than Maker in the Inner Circle can handle.

    This cocoa bean farm in the SRF food hub no longer works.

    So, I’m replacing it with the same farm that’s inside Starlight Treehouse. Very fast, and efficient, but not lag friendly.

    Space is an issue since there’s stuff all around the food hub. So, I don’t have much room to work with up here.

    Right next door, you may recall that when I updated the pumpkin/melon farms to be modular, they could no longer be manually harvested. Well, I’m finally re-adding a way to harvest them manually. How to do this?

    Just add a button.

    Downstairs, I’m adding a significant addition to the food hub – a composter! Since I’ve been adding them to other parts of HQ (Starlight Treehouse, modular crop farms), I figured this would be a great spot to add another, because cookie production is fast here. As I noted in Session 285, cookies are the best composting item because you get eight for every two wheat and one cocoa bean. And now, you can farm both extremely fast here.

    Concisely, you’ll just fill the right-most chest with whatever you want to compost. A small hopper column carries the items down into a composter, which will have eight double chests to store bonemeal.

    I’m getting started right away!

    Additionally, I’m sneaking in some additional barrels to store rabbit stews and beetroot stews. This is because you have everything you need to make both right here (except for rabbit, which is all the way in the Aqua Lounge, but I can easily make another rabbit farm here in the future).

    These are admittedly arbitrary food items which have so much potential to be upgraded, but they are not convenient for most purposes right now. Nonetheless, I am a completionist, which is why I am adding them.

    More food hub updates: a potato smelter! Just like what we have going on in the automated modular crop farms, I’ve been lacking a way to get all the potatoes in this hub smelted.

    Since I want everything to be automated (meaning that I want the baked potatoes to automatically store in their respective chest), this addition requires a slight reordering of the chests, placing the potatoes on the far-left wall. This is because there is no space behind the chests to fit more hoppers, so they must enter from the side.

    And nice, I have another means by which I can acquire baked potatoes. The only thing now is to make sure the furnace is constantly stocked – a full chest of potatoes may be better suited for blaze rods as a furnace fuel, but it just depends. Ideally, I’d build another bamboo farm specifically to keep the fuel stocked, but it’s obvious why we can’t do that here (there’s no room for anything).

    These are all great updates to the food hub, keeping it relevant even considering how old it is (2015).

    Next, I’m labeling these old chests in the Mushroom Cove, which before now had no designated items (except the two mushroom types, which are automatically sorted from the big mushroom farm above).

    I’m putting that heart of the sea to use now, as I install the world’s first conduit for the Aqua Lounge!

    Beautiful, and now the entire Starlight Bay is much easier to navigate and work within, because of Conduit Power (which gives us Night Vision and Water Breathing).

    What’s this? I never finished this stairwell in Starlight Station!

    Not anymore!

    ^ Above, you can see the crop storage for our modular farms. But notably, one crop has been missing, and it seems to me that there is a perfect spot for it on the left side.

    I had to do a little restructuring of the SRF entrance to add another sorter, but it worked out nicely, and now I will be installing the final modular crop farm: wheat.

    Villager-powered wheat farms work a little differently from the other three, and this is because villagers do not trade wheat with one another (the mechanic which the other three farms utilize). Instead, they trade bread, but that’s far less valuable.

    The solution is to build a full layer of hoppers underneath the farmland. This means that whenever our farmer harvests wheat crops, they will be automatically picked up. Ensuring the maximum efficiency here will require that farmer’s inventory also to be full.

    Otherwise, the wheat farm maintains the same shape, completing the full “diamond” shape of the four farms (fun fact: I purposefully kept this area free of any redstone/development as I always knew I wanted this final wheat farm here – there is stuff built all around this area now).

    Since it is located right above the Starlight City Planning Center, I can now introduce our new farmer quite easily – the one I captured and purified a couple sessions back!

    And, he trades bread! This is a nice bonus, since none of our other farmers trade bread. Is bread the most useful food item? Absolutely not. But is it good to have the option to trade it instead of crafting it with wheat (which has so many other, better, uses)? Absolutely.

    I’m first giving this guy several stacks of wheat seeds to fill up his inventory. It appears I needed at least six stacks, but I’ve also read that villagers have eight inventory slots. Regardless, he stopped picking up seeds, so it must be full. This means that he will not pick up any wheat.

    With the new modular wheat farm working nicely, it’s time to revisit an idea I had: adding lecterns within all of Starlight HQ’s modular plugins to provide an overview on how to use it. I realized that as I prepare to upload the world for download, many players may not have read this journal, so they will be entirely confused on what the hell these plugins do (and they will have no idea about Starlight HQ’s unique modular abilities).

    My goal is to fix that, essentially moving my “Starlight HQ Reference Guide” into Starlight itself.

    In each plugin – even the small ones – I am adding a lectern post that tells you what the plugin does, and how to use it. Some plugins, like the MISC and Starlight Compressor, have additional books to outline their various parameters.

    For Dropbox, I am adding another book that showcases how to use the plugin combined with modifiers in the mixer to create some useful behaviors. I think this is also a great way to showcase practical uses of everything I’ve spent the last few years developing within this base.

    But what the hell is this? My friends, this is what a lightning strike can do. It’s exactly why I slabbed Starlight Treehouse.

    It took out the entire roof, and several trees! Wow. I’ve done my best to replace it, but wow.

    That being said, detailing is coming to a close. There are still a few things left to do, but it’s minor work. Starlight HQ 3.0 is just about done, so here I am providing an initial skyline shot from the back side (I’m excited about the full final skyline photo, but we have some things to change for it yet). It’s so colorful; I love what this place has become. Imagine a giant rainbow emerging across the entire base – oh, I better stop now before I get ahead of myself. But for what it’s worth: I am definitely building a giant rainbow here at some point.

    As I continue bugfixing and finishing up the overdrive farms underground for Starlight Overdrive (which I’ve been doing behind the scenes throughout each of these sessions), one thing remains to be checked…


    Let's finish it up!! Ideally before Enderquin destroys us all...

    Next up... Session 288 - "2πr"

    Posted in: Survival Mode
  • 0

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

    We have completed Starlight Treehouse, and now it's time to focus on detailing the landscape of Starlight Outback as we see the area blossom beautifully into a stage of completion. This includes Vax Valley, which now hosts my new massive turtle scute farm.

    Session 286 - "The Outback"

    There’s a lot of work to do to finish shaping the landscape of Starlight Outback. Although the trail itself has been properly lit, we still need to complete Vax Valley, the hill that Starlight Treehouse sits on top of, the outback plaza, and the landscape that connects the outback to Starlight Castle.

    I’m starting here at Vax Valley, which was initially going to be a much more involved build. I had plans to introduce certain vertical developments to the valley a while back, but like most other things this season, my plans have expanded quite a bit. For now, I’ll hold off on this expansion until next season.

    This means I’ll complete what lives of the valley now, and that starts with the chorus fruit farm.

    The first problem is that sometimes chorus fruits get stuck on top of the walls. Well, these walls were never finished anyway. I am going to cap this entire farm off.

    Going up we are, but I want to make sure I am not inhibiting the growth of the chorus plants.

    Oh, I really like this, and notice that the roof slowly caves inward to ensure no chorus fruits can get stuck on any blocks up top. Landing on top of the glass panes is okay – I can just jump to get those, and the panes are necessary to ensure we always have enough chorus flowers to replant.

    LIGHT BLUE CONCRETE POWDER!! The best color combo for a cozy-themed valley!

    While working on this, I made an error in my geometry yet again with the valley’s rounded-corner square shape… but you didn’t notice!! I fixed it anyway.

    ^ Now this has got to be the most annoying thing in Minecraft, ever. The actual sequence of which stairs you place where matters to ensure they do not automatically link up to stairs on the other side. Because this is what I want to achieve:

    And so, with all the lighting complete inside the valley, we have the finished farm area:

    I love the blue-green colors that make the area feel very comfortable and cozy, and this specific color palette expands to make up most of the outback itself. As I continue detailing the rest of the landscape, I want to keep these themes, as the area is intended to feel like paradise.

    Now, we still have to deal with all this:

    That’s not a huge problem – I can just cover it with logs and wood.

    My work on the outback is just starting, as I’ll now be turning attention the outback plaza and the hill leading up to Starlight Treehouse.

    First, a dome to cover the plaza, because phantoms are the most annoying thing ever. And because I love domes.

    I am not sure how I feel about the grey colors of the beams, but it isn’t terrible.

    Next, I will be connecting the outback STAS station into the dome. This area will be airlocked! Safety first.

    Very nice – now, we can work on the hill.

    The path needs to be properly lit, and unfortunately hiding lights in the trees will only do so much. I will need to put lighting in the ground somehow.

    Here, you can see that I am continuing with the light blue and green colors. It’s just so lovely, and the hedge walls work to establish a proper entrance to the horse stables and outback tunnel that travels through the mountain.

    Now, back to the lighting for the hill – I have an idea that should work.

    A classic use of leaves again to hide glowstone, I think the pattern of path, wood, and leaves works here. This, in addition to the acacia lanterns hanging from the trees (an aesthetic I have been using to light up the spawn chunks), definitely makes the landscape feel much more alive.

    Of course, more flowers and a waterfall help to achieve that, too.

    Well, it turns out that my iron ingot supply had overflown, so I’ve installed a separate area for iron blocks underneath the iron farm. I realized this because my Night Lights stayed on – an indication that ingots were not leaving the hoppers.

    It is just lovely – I haven’t done landscaping in a while, so this is a really fun project for me.

    Now, to finish up the area connecting the outback to Starlight Castle!

    Extending the path, I’m adding more water aesthetics up here because it looks nice.

    Indeed, the outback is huge, and I won’t get to establish the entire landscape right now. This is totally fine, because I have many other build projects in mind for this area. I want to let the land live free so that I have the canvas to start these projects later on. As such, this will be the extent of the outback’s landscaping for the season.

    And it’s a great place to end because the whole area is much prettier.

    ^ Lastly, we need to get rid of this sad turtle pen and make an actual turtle scute farm.

    Originally a design by Shulkercraft, I’ll be adding it to Vax Valley as one of the valley’s “natural borders.” This also means that the farm will only be working if we’re in this area, as Vax Valley is not loaded anywhere within the Starlight faction.

    It will be HUGE, because we need lots of scutes to make turtle heads. This will help me stock the potion brewer to make potions of the turtle master.

    Of course, I need the area to be protected at night, which means the minecart must be fully enclosed at all times.

    Turtles are drawn to water, but contrary to what you may believe, you do not need to breed them in a beach biome at all (in fact, this is a forest biome with an artificial “shore”). This means new baby turtles will travel to the water, falling into the area with hoppers.

    But, I’m keeping the trapdoors closed first, so that I can build an initial population of turtles. They populate extremely fast, so I fully expect the area to get completely covered in turtle eggs.

    I wasn’t wrong about that, but it looks like I will need to wait a bit before we see the full extent of the farm’s population.

    Behind the farm, a small pond works well for a seagrass farm for the current time.

    How many turtles exactly will end up in here? That’s a question to be answered on another day.

    But on an unrelated note… why are pillagers continuing to show up?? It seems their appearances on Quintropolis Island have become more frequent… Hopefully that isn’t a bad omen… see what I did there?

    My work in Starlight Outback is now also done for the season. Only a few sessions of work left to finish our projects here, and Starlight 3.0 is complete. This makes way for a session all about detailing...

    Next up... Session 287 - "The Devil in the Details"

    Posted in: Survival Mode
  • 1

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

    Today, we finally complete the long-outstanding Starlight Treehouse, bringing us closer and closer to the full version of Starlight HQ 3.0. This build has proven one of the most challenging projects to construct, but it brings so many amazing features to Starlight, and I'm quite satisfied with how it has turned out.

    NOTE on photos: There are lots of photos in this session and in most sessions - but this session is exceptionally massive. If you're having issues loading the photos, let me know as this information is useful for me to consider dialing back (I tend to make very large chapters, because I get a lot done in each one, but with each one I write there is also a PDF I create that could be potentially used as an alternative to the image hosting services). One thing you can do is to open up the spoiler of the session you want to read, and then refresh the page - this has been helpful for me as it tells your browser what photos to load.

    Session 285 - "The Treehouse"

    What in the world is this??

    Lily of the Valley? Never heard of it in Minecraft before – that means it must be a new plant, or new enough that I wouldn’t have encountered it previously.

    We’re in western unincorporated territory of Starlight City today. Why?

    Because I need a lot of wood – much more than the tree farm can provide without using tons of bonemeal. Today, we’re finishing Starlight Treehouse. Finally, once and for all.

    Two masons in this village? That’s amazing! I’ll be adding this village to our trade network – it’s within render distance of our primary Starlight City village across the chunk border if it is high enough.

    Sweet berries? And FOXES – welcome. Can we bring one home??

    It’s a tough challenge, as these guys are not adamant on getting anywhere near me.

    However, I have very persuasive methods. By breeding two together, the bred fox becomes trusting of me, and thus will not dart from me. But I need to name her in order to make sure I know who she is (as she will follow the parents, who will dart from me).

    STOP attacking all the animals!!

    Admittedly, it’s quite entertaining to see Garma pounce on the sheep.

    A couple rides later, and she has been successfully brought back to Starlight HQ!

    For now, she will rest here by Outback Station, while we work on the treehouse.

    Ah, so this project is now the longest-running incomplete project of the season, having been started several years ago now. The reason I haven’t completed it is because my plans for it have evolved over the years. See, back when it started, I was still playing in Minecraft 1.12. Such things as bamboo, sweet berries, composting, and bees were not even in the game. But when I learned they had, I conjured plans to include all of these things within the treehouse. And from there my plans just expanded. How would we do this? Well, it’s a pretty big update.

    First: composters and a cartography table are being added to the map room.

    An anvil is also being added to the enchanting room.

    ^ This is where the unfinished part of the treehouse starts. As you noticed from the outside, a huge chunk is missing from the right side. That’s what we need to finish today.

    …But first, I’ll enjoy a beautiful sunset from the bedroom, and we’ll start in the morning.

    This will be the first room in the treehouse’s new addition: The Ecosystem. In this expansion, we’ll be including all the following farms to Starlight Treehouse: bamboo, sugar cane, sweet berries, wheat, carrot, potato, cocoa bean, mushroom stew, flowers (every type), bees, bonemeal, melons, and of course a variety of items from our librarian (mainly emeralds).

    I’m very grateful that lanterns exist. They’re an amazing addition, and while most of the treehouse’s lighting has been hidden – I’m very open to utilizing lanterns in the design as well.

    Another block I am absolutely loving is the regular wood which covers all six sides with the log texture. This adds a much more natural feel to the outer “branch” parts of the treehouse.

    This entire area is a tricky aesthetic challenge, and easily one of the more difficult that I’ve had to face because while working on it, I have to pay equal attention to both the interior design and exterior. In a build with so little symmetry, every block is important, and requires careful attention to detail.

    ^ I’ve installed the first of our micro farms – the sweet berry farm! It’s a simple observer clock-based design. These berries are neat because to harvest a single plant, you just need to right-click it (and so the plant itself is akin to tilled soil for berries).

    Bamboo is being added in the corners of this hub – this is our bamboo farm as well! You’ll notice these are all micro-level farms. That’s the idea. Starlight Treehouse is very much a Skyblock-inspired build, with all survival essentials being packed up into here.

    ^ Here’s another great use of the wood block. Hopper chains will be used to automatically transport items from the farms above down into the storage room. Using wood, I can cover these hopper chains so they look like branches!

    Only a few lighting sources are needed on the outside, as glowstone does the job in most places, hidden in the leaves.

    From here, you just need to drop all sweet berries and bamboo into the hoppers, and they’ll automatically go down into storage.

    Adding the sugar cane farm is tricky only because I need to make sure not to block the beacon beam.

    With some maneuvering, this is done, and now we have a small micro sugar cane farm that automatically collects the sugar cane. It’s not going to nearly sustain efficient production of emeralds, but it will be another passive source of sugar cane in this area which will build up over time.

    Dealing with the beacon beams has proven a challenge, but it’s one we have successfully faced!

    Coming along beautifully! And, you get a nice view of Starlight Castle out to the right side. I’m loving the design of this room, and this approach will continue throughout the rest of the Ecosystem.

    We’re moving to the second hub next door, which is the first you’ll enter. This hub will simply collect storage from the farms that will go above this room.

    Also, I’m adding an automatic micro melon farm, with its own automatic storage collection. It does not need to be visible, so it will be hidden from sight:

    ^ All our current farm items will cycle to the bottom-most room in our storage.

    I’m adding more bamboo around the treehouse too, because I think it looks nice.

    ^ Here you can clearly see the challenge that comes with this type of build. All this needs to be enclosed, and it needs to be done right.

    So, I’m starting at the beginning, working my way outwards, to connect everything down below. Leaves, slabs, stairs, fences, lanterns, and other wood items are used in mostly coherent combinations to make this look right.

    From this area, the final hub will be located above the two I just built.

    Utilizing a similar aesthetic approach, I have also decided to add a tree farm up here. It feels appropriate since I’m in a treehouse after all.

    The first farm to be located up here is the cocoa bean farm – a fast micro farm which will be replicated downstairs in the SRF at some point.

    Before I add any campfires to the treehouse, I just needed to verify that they cannot catch fire on anything. I’ve had several nightmares about the treehouse burning down – that is not a day I want to ever see.

    Thankfully, nothing happened, so we’re safe to move forward with the addition of bees.

    I planted a small tree just to see the size we’re dealing with – I have decided to enclose this area with a leaf dome. I think that will look cool.

    Yeah, it does look cool.

    The campfires make this area feel so cozy! That’s a great feature in itself.

    ^ Here, you can see me decorating the outside of the cocoa bean farm’s redstone. I am using spruce leaves to give some contrast to the lush greens of the oak leaves.

    This fenced dark oak area will be reserved for a very unique addition to Starlight Treehouse, and to Starlight HQ as a whole: brown mooshrooms. To get these, you need to strike a regular mooshroom with lightning. Only then can you use them to get suspicious stews! Of course, we can also use them to farm mushroom stew, which is far more efficient than crafting it. It thus provides an endless food source while up in the treehouse.

    That’s a waiting game for now, so I’ll be moving on to the final farm area: the wheat/carrot/potato farm.

    This is another classic micro farm design, but using observers, and I have to be cautious about how I cover it up because there are pistons involved.

    Nice, and I’m using barrels to store these particular items. The same goes for cocoa beans, which you can see neatly tucked on the right side.

    From this room, a few specific “hopper branches” will be added: honey items, which will all be included in one chest, and bonemeal.

    An automated composter will be added here, and the idea is to use cookies as the composting ingredient of choice. Cookies have an 85% chance of increasing the compost layer, and because you get eight cookies per two wheat and one cocoa bean, this makes it highly efficient compared to using the sum of its parts. The bonemeal created here can then be recycled right back into the farms themselves. That’s why this is an ecosystem!

    Finally, I am adding the bee nests, which I had been putting off because bees could very easily exit the treehouse and become lost forever. This area has now been secured.

    ^ Well, almost secured. It seems the bees have done a great job at exposing security flaws in my treehouse.

    Oh yeah, here is the final storage room beneath the top layer, with the bonemeal and honey chests automatically receiving their respective items from above. The barrel of emeralds does not have such a hopper chain, but this is also not an automated item that needs to be sorted as such.

    In the tree farm, I’m adding all two-high flowers, poppies, and dandelions. These flowers can be duplicated using bonemeal, meaning we could technically also farm them.

    Okay Garma! Time to go to your new home!

    Welcome to Starlight Treehouse! I don’t want you jumping out of the treehouse, so I’ll be keeping you up here in this area for now (it is the most secure part now).

    Looking good… except that I need to deal with all the exposed glowstone! If you couldn’t tell, I really do not like the look of regular glowstone. That’s why I always use glowstone lamps instead.

    Also, I need to deal with this whole top section. The best way to do so?

    A leaf dome, obviously. In fact, I think I’ll do that everywhere.

    Oh yes, that really does a great job covering up all the robust redstone. Let’s dome the rest.

    As part of this process, I need to cover up all the glowstone from underneath.

    Leave it to me to not use scaffolding at all on this build until right now. Hey – better late than never!

    Finally, I need to slab the entire treehouse with Nether brick slabs. Have you guessed why?

    In the event that lightning ever struck the treehouse in the wrong spot, it would rapidly burn the entire thing down, even during the rain. 95% of this build is highly flammable, and I do not even want to risk this happening. Nether slabs look the closest to dark oak wood from afar, which is why I am using them.

    To be fair, this is still not foolproof, but it protects the treehouse far better than leaving it with no covering. The domes all look good, and overall, I am happy to say that this monstrous build is finally complete!!

    At long last, the Lapis Hall of Fame gets a new addition, as we celebrate one of the season’s biggest projects finally meeting its completion.

    The Ecosystem is working wonderfully, and I’ve been spending quite a lot of time just hanging out inside the treehouse, enjoying what I have accomplished here. I am quite proud of this build, so much so that I would say it is probably my best build to date. A full ecosystem, a complex redstone house, the full control center for the Night Lights outside, a home for all my pets, our map room – and let’s not forget this is the Overworld hub for the Gold Grinder, which also makes this the best place to craft golden carrots now that we have a carrot farm up here – this build is just an amazing addition to Starlight. I can’t wait to see its use grow throughout the rest of this season and the seasons to come.

    Starlight Treehouse's completion really does make this base start to feel much more completed, and that's exactly the goal, because we're almost there. And with the treehouse itself done, it's now time to focus on the rest of the landscape around it.

    Next up... Session 286 - "The Outback"

    Posted in: Survival Mode
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    posted a message on exploring snapshot Java Edition 1.18 Release Candidate 4

    Diamond armor isn't necessary but can be helpful, especially since armor these days is far less protective than in older versions. If you've encountered any raids yet, fewer mobs are present in the mansion (vindicators and evokers, but no ravagers or pillagers). Though, many parts inside are not properly lit, so you'll get other regular mob spawns as well. My top recommendation is a bow - ideally with Power V, and don't run out of arrows. Then just be careful - if you're not careful, you'll probably die.

    Posted in: Recent Updates and Snapshots
  • 0

    posted a message on Pillager bounding box in existing worlds before 1.14
    Quote from TheMasterCaver»

    Ocean monuments are the only structure that can generate in existing chunks (blocks are only placed in a chunk if its inhabited time is less than 3 minutes), presumably explaining why you can get spawns in areas without a structure

    This makes sense, and I didn't even think about this being a probable reason for why the guardian bounding boxes are created regardless. As the game still tries to generate monuments in any chunks it should be in, regardless of whether they are new or old, it would still generate the bounding box as part of this process.

    In fact, this was the case in my world as well - these are all 1.7 chunks which generated 3/4 of a monument after updating to 1.8 - you can see the chunk borders which show that dirt/stone/gravel was heavily replaced during generation of it. However, it must have been the case that the top-left chunk was occupied more so than three minutes - guardians still spawn in this area nonetheless (all three elders spawned as well, but I'm guessing these must require the monument structure in order to spawn, in which case their spawning spaces were left in tact).

    Posted in: Survival Mode
  • 0

    posted a message on What have you done recently?

    I have just made an amazing discovery in my SSP of over eight years - one that would be difficult if not pretty much impossible to find without some external tools... except that I have done it by pure chance, again.

    So, this world was originally generated in 1.5, but the total surface area that now exists of those old chunks prior to the 1.7 generation is roughly 2.5 square kilometers (basically an island, with ocean separating it from the ugly chunk borders). If you're not aware, stronghold locations also changed with 1.7, with eyes of ender no longer taking you to any strongholds that may have existed in preexisting chunks (rather, they would only take you to the locations of new strongholds - or rather, where the strongholds should be, which may not be there if said chunks were already loaded in 1.6.4 or before).

    The first stronghold I found in my world was discovered entirely by accident while caving. Through later analysis, I recognized that this stronghold was a 1.7 stronghold - however, because stronghold generation changed again in 1.9, that means even the 1.7 strongholds have become lost as eyes of ender would no longer recognize them (meaning an eye would not take me here, but rather lead me to where strongholds should be as of 1.9).

    Well, by purely another accident, I stumbled across a second stronghold from old chunks - but not only that, it turns out this was the only stronghold that generated in my original 1.5 chunks more than eight years ago. And not only that, but its ridiculously close proximity to the 1.7 chunk border kept most of the stronghold from generating, except for the end portal itself.

    Take a look:

    I hopped into spectator mode just to have a closer look, and indeed - this is all that exists of the stronghold, with the 1.7 chunk border right behind it:

    How did I find it? Oh, this is the best part:

    Notice that most of the caving area around it is lit up, but the stronghold is completely isolated. I had recently gone on some intense caving explorations in old chunks, as I missed the pre-1.7 cave generation. I knew that areas near the border had not been explored, which is why I chose to cave there.

    I then headed above the surface, and began swimming around to collect some clay. In this next screenshot, take a look at the bottom right:

    While swimming around, I heard silverfish!! It didn't take long to get into the stronghold, which was barely a couple blocks underneath the dirt:

    I was absolutely amazed to see not only that a stronghold was here, but that it was barely here. Had the 1.7 generation started just two chunks further north, this end portal would cease to exist at all. The game no longer recognizes it as a stronghold, which means neither eyes of ender nor using the /locate command would work to find it. See here:

    The game doesn't even know about the first stronghold I found, which I've now made a base from. But to find one like this in such old chunks? I had entirely believed that there were no old strongholds left in my world. Clearly, I was mistaken. This means there is still a third (possibly even a fourth) old stronghold out there, as the 1.7 strongholds are in slightly different locations than 1.5 (this means it is actually a likely possibility that a 1.7 stronghold is not far from here beyond the chunk border - but again, eyes of ender won't take me there, as you can see by the coordinates of the closest stronghold above). The easiest way I can find them is probably by using spectator mode - but I say, if I can stumble across two by accident, then by using trigonometry, I bet I can find the third (in fact, since I know where these two are, I have a pretty good idea where the third one could be, but it also would be in 1.8 chunks, not 1.5, so the math would not be exactly correct - FWIW the world origin at 0,0 only loaded in 1.8 chunks, which is how I know generally the direction the third stronghold would be).

    This discovery has led me to believe there is definitely at least one, possibly two, more "lost strongholds" in my world, generated in 1.7 chunks (if there is a second in addition to this one on this "corner" of the triangle, I am betting it's probably just beyond this exact chunk border somewhere, but that exploration will be left for another day) - I prefer the personal challenge of finding them without external tools, because finding these two strongholds by accident has so far given me the type of excitement that I don't get from exploring anymore (this one even more so due to how close it was to not existing, and because it is the only one in pre-1.7 chunks - this I am 95% sure about given the coordinates and layout of my 1.5/1.6 chunks against how and where strongholds generate from the world origin).

    Now, I think I have enough information to search for the others, if they exist. But that's for another day.

    Posted in: Survival Mode
  • 0

    posted a message on Pillager bounding box in existing worlds before 1.14

    Out of curiosity, I started a new world in 1.15 with the same seed as my existing world, which was originally generated in 1.5.

    I discovered that a pillager outpost exists in the new generation at a location which is currently ocean in my seed's original generation. I understand that pillager spawns are governed by bounding boxes similar to ocean monuments, and I've seen instances where the game places guardian bounding boxes in locations that should contain ocean monuments if the world were generated in new terrain. Would this also apply to pillager outposts?

    I hopped into a creative world backup, and tried testing this by placing a platform of grass at y-level 68 - but I've not seen any spawns. The grass pillar in the middle represents the center of the outpost in the new generation.

    Is there another way I can check to see if the bounding box does exist? Or perhaps I am not meeting the spawn conditions in some way.

    FWIW when I use the /locate command, it tells me that the nearest outpost is 3,000 blocks away. Does the game check for the structure itself, or for the bounding box? If it's the latter, then I guess that answers my question about whether such a box exists here (though, this does not work for strongholds, of which there are two in my old 1.5 chunks, and a third in some 1.8 chunks, that are no longer understood by the game).

    Posted in: Survival Mode
  • 3

    posted a message on I don't like Minecraft 1.18 terrain generation
    Quote from lolbit723»

    You dont understand. Yes, I can look for seeds but that wont change the fact I like flatter terrain. And the lag would still be present.

    1.18 is the worst update for me. Hopefully I can reverse this stupid change

    Game optimization is the biggest issue at the moment, especially with the additional height, meaning more block spaces - it's just getting worse, and I doubt any sort of refactoring is taking place based on the decreased performance I've noticed with each update (despite their claims that it is improving - I just don't see that and wonder how others do). The code is getting really bloated with features, and without an update focused on optimizing it, the performance will continue to get worse.

    But regarding the terrain - you will still find flat terrain in 1.18, and an abundance of it. You would just need to look for it more so than you would in 1.17 for example. It's not all hills and mountains. Alternatively you could make a world in 1.17 instead, and update it later on after you've loaded a good portion of the chunks (maybe when 1.19 is released).

    And what? Bedrock is forced to update? That alone is a reason I would never play it (I still play in 1.15).

    Posted in: Recent Updates and Snapshots
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