It's funny that after all of the time that I have spent playing MC I had never been to the Nether, until yesterday. It stems from a couple reasons, one I was playing online with the guys so that didn't help, and then I would play with mods and keep restarting so that kept me from making that type of progress, but last night I finally made my way into the red abyss.
The plan was simple, make a portal that would take me from the home base to the feather factory, but nothing is ever as simple as it's supposed to be, the portals are bugged. So instead of making two portals and then finding them in the nether to link them, I was sent back to the homebase portal instead. At first I thought that it might have to do with the fact that I had put them too close together so I ran for a day away from my base and established a portal, but that didn't work either. Then thanks to some "helpful" people on the forums I read that I could roughly figure out where the portals should be in the nether and make new ones there that would connect to the ones in the overworld, this actually worked.
So I went about linking up all of the little portals that I had made, one at the feather factory, another at Alpha base (mountain wood cutting base) and Beta station (the result of placing a random portal in the nether that ended up a ways off to the North, it's walkable, but it's far. Normally it would be lonely work but I had lots of zombie pigmen to keep me company, grunting away as I would walk past them and carry on with my work. Once completed I have a total of 4 overworld portals that can take me around my central base, at some point I'll make a far off one to go really nuts.
The problem that I had in the nether was that my original arrival point is in the middle of a mountain, so I've had to do a lot of digging, so much in fact that in the stats window the most mined block is now Netherrack at something like 1800. I'm going to need to make a huge flaming company logo out of all that burning material just for fun. Anyway... I needed to find the real nether, this digging inside a mountain was a bunch of crap I needed to see lava flowing from the sky and Ghasts flying around shooting fireballs at me. After much digging, I eventually found an opening (cheated a little using F3 to speed up the process a little bit) and thankfully there weren't a lot of Ghasts hanging out, having never seen one I really didn't know what to expect from them.
So I slowly made my way from the tunnel that I had dug with a pigman there to greet me as my hell tour guide, and a Ghast overhead helping to clear out the tunnel opening that I had emerged from, BOOM, BOOM BOOM!!! Thankfully the Ghast had ADD and flew away so that I could climb out of my hole and see where I was. It was a good spot, right up against a side wall so my flank was covered. I climbed up the side and found myself on a nice ring that went around the other wall with only a couple pigmen around, but there was something else that I saw that I wanted, lightstone.
Lightstone normally grows out of the ceiling and is a pain in the arse to get to, but I happened to find a growth that was along the ring on the side of the land, ran over and broke myself off some, woot!!! But just as I was thinking, "This isn't so bad" BOOM! A Ghast had found me and he was pissed. The fireballs started flying and while I had read that you can hit them back, I wasn't really about to start punching them back because I didn't want to catch on fire and thus die, so I tried something else, I pulled out my bow. The next shot came and I steadied my bow at that flaming ball of hate and let loose my arrow. The arrow struck the ball and sent it back towards the Ghast, "Ah ha! I have you now asshole." I said to the computer screen. After a short exchange of fireballs the Ghast fell over and died, "That's right bitch, die!" Another shot came whizzing by my head as another Ghast emerged from below, again arrows flew to take him out. At one point I started to worry about all of the pigmen below us, would my arrows accidentally hit them, what about a stray fireball, was I at risk of setting off a hogshitstrom? Thankfully that never happened.
With the Ghasts defeated I went to work building a scaffold to clear out more lightstone, but alas I was out of cobblestone so I made my way back to the overworld with the 40 lightstone dust that I had managed to secure. I'll be back and next time I'm making a base to fight off those guys while I do my mining. All in all it was a pretty good adventure.
I was thinking about something else, that is kind of full circle on the whole Minecraft thing, what is the point? The problem with single player is that you're on your own and no one is ever going to see what you do, so what is the point? But that got me thinking, what is the point of any game, entertainment and enjoyment. My brother told me that he and Druss have been playing Rift, and that it's pretty good. I guess I could fire that up and join them, (not that I'd really actually ever play with them the way things work out) but in the end building a character on there is the same as building a world in MC, in the end it doesn't matter. I have several high level characters on WoW that I will never touch again, but was all the time and effort put into them a waste of time? Yes and No. There is nothing redeeming about them, but they were a lot of fun during the time that I spent in Azeroth, which of course did have a lot to do with playing with other people, which of course is also the main reason why I quit playing as well.
In the end MC is a game, just like any other game and it's only real purpose is to entertain. Do I feel cheated for the amount of time that I put into analyzing Lost, yes and no. In the end it would have been nice to actually have gotten some answers to all of the mysteries that we got to play through, so in that regard I felt cheated. But by the same token I enjoyed doing write ups and analyzing each and every thing that happened on the show. It's the same as playing a video game, in the end it's worthless, but the journey is worthwhile. Now if Notch could give the adventure aspect of the game a little more teeth then I could play MC forever, but alas that's another topic.