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    posted a message on A Minecraft Survival Journal... from a 2+ year player who's never done vanilla survival??

    Cold starts can be really rough foodwise. In my current journal world I was reduced to sitting next to my tiny wheat farm waiting for it to grow. Place half-slabs, stairs, or ladders along your routes and you'll save the hunger of jumping.

    Posted in: Survival Mode
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    posted a message on new to survival

    Go ahead and mine the diamond, because you can't get a fortune pick until you have an enchantment table, and you need 5 diamonds to make an enchantment table - 2 in the recipe, and 3 to make a diamond pick to collect obsidian.

    Posted in: Survival Mode
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    posted a message on new to survival

    You may be overestimating how much work you need to get a foothold. Once you have iron tools, a functioning food farm, and a mine down to Y11 you basically *have* your foothold. At that point you can gather any overworld resource about as well as you will ever be able to.

    If you want an easy start, villages are the way to do it because you start with the functioning farm, shelter, and possibly the ability to buy some gear. Chances are, though, that it's not much less work at this point to restart than to continue what you're doing. Assuming you've got some crops going, all you need now is the mine, if you haven't got it already, and you'd have to build that from a village start anyway.

    The one thing a village start gives you you might not have now is: a village. They are rarer after the 1.7 changes and sometimes it can be a ways to the nearest. Chances are you'll want to build another base once you find it too, and starting near a village means you won't spend time making a starter base you later stop using.

    Posted in: Survival Mode
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    posted a message on What happened on your first trip to the Nether?

    I came out on a flat area next to a wall under Ghast fire. I managed to hide from the Ghasts while I constructed a cobble bunker. Once that was done, I tunneled into the wall to build a second gate to connect two bases I had. They were pretty close, but I wanted a really quick connection.

    Posted in: Survival Mode
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    posted a message on Zeno's Explorations and Mod Development

    Episode 133: First Fallingwater Finish

    Back at Fallingwater, I need a little more Andesite for my floor. The harbour entrance is still a bit small for my boat, and still mostly of Andesite, so, like before I swim out to enlarge it and collect some.

    I'm wearing my Goggles instead of my water-breathing quicksilver helmet, so as I swim out:

    Hunh, *Two* nodes I hadn't seen before. But, I've got enough nodes for now so I don't even bother to scan.

    Once there I switch to my water-breathing helmet, because I'm operating three blocks underwater. It's pretty easy with the helmet. I use my excavation focus for the sand. You can see I've got plenty of mana already - I didn't even bother to recharge the staff, and it's still more than half full. Plus, it recharges on its own if it gets below 10%. Hence my loss of interest in nodes.

    After I'm done, I go back inside and toss the Andesite in to roast.

    Four clicks with the Equal Exchange focus and I've placed all my Siltstone. Boy, is that easier than manual placement and chasing falling blocks. There is one disadvantage with the Equal Exchange focus: there's a "change one block" click and a "change all surface blocks" click. On occasion I've done wrong one and placed an entire stack I didn't want to. But not today.

    I place my little quasifloral pattern as the Andesite roasts up. It works pretty well, but there's a bit of a problem in that it blends into the wall a bit. Hopefully that will lessen as I work on the walls and ceiling. If not I'll put in a border of all-siltstone right on the edge.

    Now I have to work on the walls and ceiling.

    The ceiling has a nice swoop to it and I like the "natural" look but a complete natural cave is not looking right with the floor. I look at various angles and consider various plans, including going for a complete box. I eventually decide maybe the room should be at least 3 high everywhere (regardless of what else I do). I raise the ceiling in one section and it works, so I do that everywhere.

    Having raised the ceiling along the walls, I consider the shape of the floor. I try changing a section from the irregular natural shape to a straight line and, again, it works, so I do that everywhere too.

    Finally I tackle the ceiling. Here I start out by smoothing out some of the rough sections and switching all exposed dirt to Andesite, except right by the window. I work by eye, looking for symmetries, and after a bit I have a roughly paraboloid shape separating the topmost level (a 5 high area) from the middle level (4 blocks high). I then duplicate that same shape, with an offset, for the boundary between the 4 high and 3 high sections, with a bit of a bobble near the entrance door.

    And here's the result. Putting a clear straight line between the floor and the now-flat walls does pretty much solve the problem of the floor blending into the wall. The ceiling swoop softens what would otherwise be a very stark shape. I normally try to make floor, ceiling, and walls of three different materials. I didn't do that here, but the contrast between flat wall and curved ceiling is enough to my eye.

    I pop out to take a look from the northwest. I've looked at this angle several times before even though I haven't posted it. I always do lots of look checks when I'm building but because I'm trying to fit in with the existing landscape I'm doing far more than usual here. From this angle the artificial nature of the build itself is much more obvious than from others, but it still seems to fit the surroundings. I could view the spire of Flyingwater better if the build were set further back but you can see from this view that wasn't really possible - it's right up against a steep drop into the lake.

    Looking at this reminds me of a bit of landscaping I'd been thinking about. The overhang on the left looks like it should have a waterfall coming off. So I fly up to drop a water source there.

    I fly up and place one but it immediately splits into multiple streams and I just wanted a single stream. So I snatch it up, add some dirt to control the flow, and replace. Except now it's even *worse*, splitting into even more streams, and doing it in midair!

    I drop down to take a look at it. From this height, even with a flying harness, I take some damage. Good to know it won't protect me from *anything*. But one look at my waterfall and it looks *awful* with that weird midair split. Why is it splitting?

    I snatch off my source block and soon have my answer. The falling water take a LONG time to go away. My previous placement had hit the still-not-gone placement of the column before and split to go around. So, I have to sit and wait for all this glitchy water to go away.

    I cliff-dive into the bay just for fun and then head over to view from the northeast.

    This view - well, it just knocks me out. Like an old World of Darkness Toreador, I just stand, staring, entranced for several minutes. It's like a dream to have a base like this with the soaring mountain and pouring waterfalls and the storying trees. The traces of snow on the Extreme Hills in the background, the splashes of color right around the build proper, calling "come and be welcome" - well, it's a nice place.

    That one little waterfall is a nice improvement viewed from the waterfall balcony as well. I linger here as well, soothed by the sounds of falling water.

    With all this lingering, it's sunset and time to sleep - wait, I've got the sunset view balcony to check out!

    Oooh, MUCH better as a view balcony than as an (enclosed) entrance.

    Then inside to watch the stars come out next to the spire of Flyingwater.

    When I said I was going to be finishing here I didn't mean I was finish finished. Obviously I've scarcely started on the interiors. But, I like play variety and I'm ready to do something besides building.

    Next episode: off to the Forest village to look for Mystcraft pages.

    Posted in: Survival Mode
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    posted a message on Underground Biomes Constructs

    And you need ALL those mods to get the crash? Wow, that would be a record IME. What minecraft and forge version? ClassNotFound is usually a conflict between a mod that's looking for a particular class and a game version that doesn't have it.

    Posted in: Minecraft Mods
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    posted a message on Zeno's Explorations and Mod Development

    Yes, I was thinking about putting the Ice Palace somewhere else in the area. My original motivation was to capture the view in the first outdoor pic; so I'd like to find a place with a similarly striking view. I was actually wondering if I could build something like a bridge between the two hills on the far right in the last pic; there have been times I'd have liked to have been able to walk across that. Having wandered about in the area, though, it's hard to find a competing view. The back of the mountain is much less striking and there are large areas of Cold Taiga and Ice Plains without much contrast. That view has a gorge and three different but harmonious biomes which makes it a really nice view.

    The other possibility is to make something to look at, rather than from. Something built atop the Ice Spikes mountain could do that, apart from the issue that I'd currently have to walk outside to look. That, at least, could also serve a functional purpose, which as you know I usually like from my builds (Fallingwater being an exception). I have reasons to cross that mountain sometimes and it's kind of a pain to get around - steep slopes, dropoffs, and a disorienting effect from the spikes.

    Yes, that bridge could use some prettying up. It could use an arch, and in retrospect I shouldn't have used snow. I was trying to make it blend in with the landscape and it works a bit too well. If you look closely in the first landscape pic there are little shrubs in the biome - I think Highlands places them and they are spruce shrubs.

    Posted in: Survival Mode
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    posted a message on Zeno's Explorations and Mod Development

    I have in other worlds survived many falls into lava with only vanilla gear, sometimes even under skeleton fire or in the Nether. I wouldn't have survived under these extreme circumstances, of course. I actually have a Respiration helmet and I was using it in this episode but even with that on things move very quickly underwater. When you can't see it can be surprisingly tricky to place - I did have some jack'o'lanterns on me in the last thought-I-was-drowning episode and even though I was in a relatively benign ravine I had a hard time getting them placed.

    A point-blank creeper explosion would still do the trick, and I had a situation not too long ago where a spider jumped me just as I was finishing off an Enderman and knocked me down to something like 7 hearts (meaning 2/3 or so damage since my Runic Armor pseudo-heart had been chewed up). A Wither skeleton + Blaze got me into a similar situation in the Nether Fortress.

    Posted in: Survival Mode
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    posted a message on Zeno's Explorations and Mod Development
    Episode 132: Doing Decorative Details

    I want to be able to see Flyingwater at night so I fly up to place Arcane Lamps.

    This is the view of Fallingwater from above. I had to put in a mostly glass roof because Flyingwater is so tall the roof blocked the view from most of the room.

    Initially I place 3 Arcane Lamps but that turns out to be not enough. Flyingwater is big! I end up placing 6, which along with the 2 in the build has chewed up my entire supply.

    The Beech sapling has finally grown. I was expecting a large multibranced Birch but I get:

    Not actually a vanilla tree - it's a bit asymmetrical - but not big and pretty either. I don't know whether I've been unlucky or whether it won't get big in this biome. I chop, make another Beech sapling (the leaves are just Birch so they drop Birch saplings) and replant.

    Next is the waterfall viewing balcony. I love to maximize my views, and I have a trick for that with fencing. I alternate stone walls and wood fences. The fences and walls don't connect, so you have a minimally obstructed view, but they're still close enough you can't go between them.

    I use Komantite walls, of course. The view from the balcony is great, but from the ground the fences and walls floating in midair look a little weird. Earlier, though, when I'd had a fence underneath my fencing to stop that, I'd ended up stepping on the lower fence and going up a half-block, making the upper fence no longer effective for safety. So for now I just leave it.

    I realize I don't have a sunset view area (gotta have a sunset view area!) so I convert the west entrance of the observation room to a balcony. Actually, it's still an entrance for me with my jump boots. It's a one person world so I guess I really don't have to worry about visitors.

    The inside of the west wall also needs some work.

    This picture is a bit old because I forgot to take a pic right before the change. The center is the exit; the left is the ladder down to the lower floors, and the right is just there for symmetry. I cover them up with doors for appearance:

    Now I want to put a floor in the main room. I want to try a patterned floor and initially think about doing some kind of flowerish thing. Eventually I decide to trim it down to a single Komantite block for the carpels and 4 Andesite petals around it. Initially I'm also thinking about having it in a green floor but since I just did that for the mana bean farm I decide to use the Siltstone I'd brought (with a floor in mind, actually).

    The pattern look workable, but as soon as I start I realize I need an equal exchange focus. When I knock out blocks they often fall to the floor beneath, but the floor beneath is too low to operate from. So it's back to the Winter Tower to make one to replace the one I still can't find.

    That means I need to set up the Nether Connection. I have to pick a place to gate in to, and there's a very obvious one -

    The view of Flyingwater from the observation room. Now that's a view to arrive to!

    I put the Nether return book I'd brought on a lectern on a Bibliocraft table in the main area, and gate back to the Nether. In the Nether, I put the Flyingwater return book on a lectern there, and then on to the Winter Tower.

    Back in the Winter Tower I have to go down to the mines to get some of the materials for the Equal Exchange focus. On the way down I hear chicken noises, which reminds me to butcher all the chickens. After I make the focus, I head off to start on the chickens, quickly reaching level 30 and *that* reminds me to do an enchant.

    I enchant an Oureclase Sword. In addition to these abilities, it's supposed to grant Resistance 1 when I hit a mob with it (although I haven't tested that.) Even with that, though, it's just a collection item.

    The chicken chucker (Episode 82) has a chronic annoyance I've never dealt with. All the chickens leave a lot of eggs about, plus I'm getting way more feathers than I can use, so I have a lot of inventory to clear as I'm butchering. If there were room, I could just stuff them into the egg dispensing system - but it's generally full. So I make another double chest and place it right behind the double chest in the control room, along with two more hopper so it feeds into the dispenser. So it won't fill up with eggs from the laying room, but stuff in will feed into the dispenser to be hatched (for eggs) or despawned (for feathers or trash).

    Not a great pic; it's the chest in the back. With this done, I finish off the chickens. It is indeed quite a convenience.

    I head up to use the Nexus to gate back through to Fallingwater but as I do I look through a window and am once again enchanted by the views that helped get me to build here in the first place. For a year and a half I've been tweaking my mod set and my own mod programming to get a pretty and interesting world and sometime I just crave enjoying it. So I head out the east door in the Tundra and spend the (Minecraft) afternoon just enjoying the views.

    This is basically the view I gloried in all the way back in Episode 2 (!), only slightly changed with a bit of surface adjustments, and the bridge to make crossing the chasm easier (Episode 37). I cross the bridge to enjoy the views from there

    Like this view of the Tall Pines biome (Highlands) just southwest of my base (which, in spite of it being so close, I never got around to visiting until Episode 47).

    And this view of the back of the Winter Tower. Although the Winter tower is pretty symmetrical, the shape of the land makes it seem like it's facing west. There's also something of a face design on the west side (mentioned in episode 27). I'd known about the face design, but it's only just now that I've gotten the feel that the tower is an entity *looking* to the west. Like me, It must enjoy the Minecraft sunsets. Well, it's been a great help to me and I'm glad it gets a nice view.
    Not all my plans come to fruition. Early on, I thought about doing an Ice Palace on the hill. But I never figured out a way to make it work with the Winter Tower so it never got built. Such plans as I had ended up influencing hte material selection for the Winter Tower. Maybe it never will be built - or maybe I'll have a stroke of inspiration or an insightful suggestion and it will.

    It's getting late in the afternoon, so I head back, glance through the windows at the setting sun the Winter Tower is enjoying, and then gate through to Fallingwater.

    Next episode - finishing Flyingwater - for now.
    Posted in: Survival Mode
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    posted a message on TheMasterCaver's First World
    Quote from TheMasterCaver»

    There is also no real reason for me to only play on one world with the option of multiple profiles, although I find that I can really only play one world at a time.

    There's no computer reason, but I find playing multiple worlds at once doesn't work except for playtesting. It's like reading multiple novels at once - whichever is most interesting you'll focus on and put the others aside.

    Posted in: Survival Mode
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    posted a message on Building ideas?

    I'd replace the cobblestone with a different building material. A light-colored wool or stained clay would be my first suggestion. If you want a stone color, brick or smoothstone usually look better.

    Posted in: Creative Mode
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    posted a message on Climate Control - change climate zones sizes, ocean sizes, and more
    Quote from Naiyasfury»

    So, setting the climate incidence to 0 didn't solve the problem. Setting "Random Biomes" to true, however, did. Thanks for the speedy reply!

    On a completely unrelated note, I have a question about one of the config options. There is an option to have CC set the biomes for village generation. Do I need to have this set to true to take advantage of the "vanillabiomevillages" section at the end of the config?

    Edit: Also, I forgot to ask. Do the numbers for the setting need to be whole numbers? For instance, would it be okay to set the Biome Size option to 3.5? (Seems I answered my own question here. I tested with a Biome Size of 3.5 and the game automatically changed it to a whole number when I started up a world.)

    You were probably also missing biomes in either the COOL zone or the WARM zone, so you'd have had to suppress all climates but the one you have. But sounds like you don't need or want zones anyway, so Random Biomes is the way to go. On a side note, the climate system could be used to generate a gradient of zones on some other parameter - say DRY to WET or SAFE to DANGEROUS although that would be a lot of work in the configs.

    I think you do need CC setting the biomes for generation for that to work. I'm sure how well that whole business is working, although I did just get a Forest village in my journal world.

    Yes, Biome Size has to be an integer. The algorithm (inherited from vanilla) works by doing that number of doublings so there's no meaning to a non-whole number.

    Posted in: Minecraft Mods
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    posted a message on Zeno's Explorations and Mod Development

    Episode 131: Fashioning Fallingwater

    At this point I want to start using the target materials, not just dirt placeholders - partly to see what the final product will look like - and partly because I'm out of dirt.

    Well, that bay needs an entrance - and the barrier's made of Andesite - hey, two birds with one stone!

    I start carving, but pause to take this shot. People familiar with my mod might be thinking "hey, I thought Climate Control was supposed to suppress those derpy near-shore lakes". And, it does, although not perfectly. But this isn't a section of enclosed ocean. It's actually Flying Mountains, as demonstrated by the vibrantly green ferns on that little spot of gravel. Flying Mountains has, as I've mentioned, both above-ground and below-ground sections, for a number of reasons.

    Initially I have a bit of a hard time getting the water to turn into source blocks, but I get it all going after a while, with a little help from my bucket.

    When I think I'm ready, I bring over the boat. But, I discover the activated boat is larger than it looks and won't fit through. I enlarge the channel twice before I can finally get the boat through and even then it's very S L O W as apparent a 2 block depth isn't enough and I'll need to make it three.

    But I can get the boat through (and I have a lot more Andesite than I'd figured). It's night, so I sleep out on the boat.


    I make a furnace and toss in a stack to roast. Now I want some Komantite and this I'll quarry from a mine underneath the base. I continue my ladder shaft down to the 50's and then start tunnelling towards the Komantite I can see above-ground.

    I hit at least three caves in a relatively small tunnel. I have negative interest in caving right now and don't clear them. Here's the blocking walls I used to cross one.

    Eventually I reach Komantite and quarry a couple stacks.

    I put some of that in to roast, but I'm running low on coal.

    So it's out the front door to chop some wood from the Birch Hills along the coast. Birch is the most farmable tree so this worked out.

    I start in, chopping away with my conventional Diamond Axe as I don't need the special feature of the Axe of the Stream on a Birch.

    There have been a couple of cows about, and one is kind of following me. At one point I turn around to see:

    The cow managed to kill itself on a slope with no damaging drops. I guess it suffocated itself. Minecraft animals are just amazingly stupid.

    I replant the birches a little more spread out as the tree canopies were connecting, making harvesting a bit more complicated. I also manufacture two Highlands saplings: Beech (effectively a large branched Birch), from a birch seedling and a birch log, and Poplar (a tall cypress-shaped Birch) from a birch seedling and an oak log. I plant each to see how they look. Forests generally look better with a mix of trees, so I'll try to create one.

    I clear a little bit of the path leading to the front door. The Flying Mountain is more overgrown that it seems because there are a lot of the small jungle-style bushes, enough to interfere with sight lines and getting around.

    After putting a stack of wood in to roast, I start on the window frame. On viewing this, I decide symmetry is more important than maintaining existing terrain and trim the left side (which is actually natural) to only one wide.

    Next I start on a sunroom/viewing room on top of the hill. I build another Andesite rectangular frame, set one in and two back from the window frame for relief. Unfortunately you still can't see the relief.

    Meanwhile, I've roasted up some Komantite and use them for the "beams" over the entrance. Although I'm not doing an direct homage to the real Fallingwater, I am using the idea of a grey main building and Komantite extensions.

    I decide to put something in between the upper and lower level to try to emphasize the difference. Modern design relies a lot on nice plants, so, I go harvest some of the lilacs from the forest and plant them there.

    They look nice, but they don't break things up. Notice the roof - it's not irregular, it blends in with the spire of Flyingwater Mountain behind it.

    Now I take off the top of the hill, where the viewing room will be. Thaumcraft staves with Excavation Foci are very convenient for digging dirt - they move dirt quite fast, and they don't break. The color text in the Thaumanomicon implies it's good for stone too but I find it's too slow.

    I go to the main room, fill in a few spots in the floor where I'd run out of dirt, put the dirt away, and go upstairs to finish the walls. As soon as I go up I realize I've got the floor one block below what's left of the hill and that will interfere with view. So - I go back, get the dirt I'd just put away, and put a layer back onto the hill. Efficiency!

    Now I want to put up walls to the east and west. I decide to just try flat Andesite smoothstone walls. Normally big flat walls are a no-no but I think on the outside it will be covered by part of the remaining hill on the east, by the entrance on the west, and on the inside I can decorate. It's also a modern-style build, so "big, flat, and boring" is more excusable.

    The view from the west afterwards shows my plan was correct. I'm helped by the nice texture of the Andesite, which looks like the kind of fancy stone preferred for a midcentury modern building.

    The exterior shape is nearing completion so I cross the lake to the north and go around the far shore, taking pictures as I go. On the whole I'm happy with the effect.

    This is, I think, the best view. The build succeeds, I think, at looking like a human construction and yet also like a part of the landscape. That's the feel of Fallingwater I was trying to capture. The building shows many elements of the midcentury modern style - large flat planes combined in irregular shapes, quality materials, extensive use of plants and water features, lots of glass, and integration into the landscape. That's one of my principles when building - "Other people are often smart!" Many excellent architects spent their lives working out the midcentury modern style, and they worked it out pretty well. It's usually easier to build on other people's ideas and work than to reinvent the wheel. You'll see farther standing on the shoulders of giants.

    Next episode: Some detailing work.

    Posted in: Survival Mode
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    posted a message on A-little-bit-different Journal

    I can't think of any recent MP journal of any type on this forum. I think this will be a nice change.

    Posted in: Survival Mode
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    posted a message on Zeno's Explorations and Mod Development

    Flustered? No, I didn't feel flustered at all. The building process here is very different from my usual one because I'm trying to fit into the landscape rather than impose a plan on it. Even my rough plan heading in - a tallish gray center building with balconies - got jettisoned once I was there. I generally do a lot of build something - check the look - rebuild as necessary - etc. but of course I'm doing that even more here.

    I have no problems with large windows, non-rectangular windows, or even windows wrapping around corners. There are three basic rules: vertical windows only, solid glass sheets (actually sometimes you can put a hole in the middle), and completely enclosed with solid blocks (so no stairs, fences or glass blocks). Examples in this world are the view windows in the trade hall, the corner windows in the Winter Tower trade hall, and the stained glass in the trophy hall. Those corner windows even break the complete enclosure rule, but since it's only one block on a corner, it comes out OK.

    Posted in: Survival Mode
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