Thursday, May 26, 2011

Minecraft - 1.6.8907

Nope I haven't had a chance yet to play or whatever it is up to by now, but I think that I will be doing so in great amount after Memorial Day. Terraria is cool and all (and apparently popular since that has gotten a ton of hits on my blog) but it just doesn't have the same charm, so for the time being I'll be playing more MC, God I love that game.

My brother and I were talking about the Kings playing a hockey game in Sweden in the Fall, I told him that if I were to ever go to Sweden I would have to buy Notch a beer for making what is in my opinion one of the greatest games ever. Thinking of the airfare and the hotel and all the rest, that would be one expensive beer, it had damn well better be cold. =)

So next week I'll start up on 1.6 and I'm going to use the Millaire (spelling) village mod along with my personal hardcore rules. My current game is going well but I just need something out there that I could potentially discover that would be cool, hence the villages. I'll adjust them so that they are super rare, that way finding them will be a treat, and give me that extra reason to go out exploring. I'll keep my current save just incase I don't like the villages, but intend to start over with a new world. Hopefully I'll get a good seed, like the ones I get with my son, I swear he has the best luck for world seeds, huge caverns and suspended mountains. All I ever get is a flat world with a couple boring hills.

Until next week!!! And if that reader that I have from Sweden is Notch, I owe you a beer, not sure when you'll ever get it, but I owe you one, hell make it two!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Terraria - Enchanted Boomerang and what progression should be

Last night was a little bit of a turning moment for me with Terraria, I mean it had been fun then it hit the "Oh yeah!" moment, I found myself an Enchanted Boomerang and felt some serious power. I mean I had a decent sword for that point of the game and I had a bow, but for some reason throwing that quick super powerful little item was a hell of a lot of fun. Granted it's not the most effective way of killing off mobs, but it sure is a hoot. The best part had to be when I found it, I made the little Zelda sound like when you get an item, da dada dummm.

And you know what, finding chests is a good thing. There is nothing quite like finding a drop or an item that makes you instantly feel more powerful. Here I am trudging away with my sword killing slimes and then all of a sudden I'll tossing around this magic item and just destroying them. THAT IS PROGRESSION, when the gameplay itself changes due to the items that you either make or find, and not just another +2 to Strength so that you can now fight level 5 monsters rather than level 4 monsters. This is what was bothering me with Rift and other MMO's that I just couldn't put my finger on, it's the same game from level 2 up to level 60 (or whatever the max is). In Terraria I went from a sword and a bow to now a boomerang. Later I'll have guns, the ability to swim and the ability to fly, who knows what else. It isn't leveling, but it is a step by step process to make my character more and more powerful. THAT is the reason for the loot, to make you feel more powerful in the game you're playing, not just to find a new shiny toy that has marginally better stats. And then I turn around and use that new toy on new monsters that are tougher that I couldn't have taken on before.

And item progression isn't a new thing, it's been in FPS games since day one, you start off with a pistol or your fists, or something of that nature and end up with a BFG 9000 that levels the place once your done. The mobs get harder, but you're more capable of taking them on because you've got better tools, the scaling works excellently. Now you have FPS games that are adopting RPG elements, ok fine, but RPG games should adopt this item/gameplay progression as well. This is why I see such great potential in MC, it's an RPG game, but it has so many FPS elements in it that it's so untreditional. And the fact it's a building sandbox, all the better.

Ok enough with my soapbox

With my new toy I felt a new sense of confidence and decided that it was time to go take out some corruption. I made my way to the left to where I knew there was corruption. The first time I had been there I was just checking it out and started to get flooded with baddies, this time I thought, "Oh yeah bitches, I have a magic boomerang, you're going down!" Once I got there though I was handed a quick reality check, those flying pincher things were everywhere. I fell down a short hole and one after one they came after me. It was a stalemate because with my boomerang they couldn't get to me, but I couldn't climb out. Eventually I made it to the surface and then had to deal with them flying in from both sides. Holy crap it was just like my gameplaying days of a long time ago, I can't even remember the last time I was playing a platformer.

The rest of the evening was spent diving down to the depths of the caverns that I found. I did find some skeletons and mother slimes, but nothing else really note worthy. Having a depth meter is a nice addition so that I know how far down I am. Last night about 400 feet below. Exploring caves and digging out ore is cool in Terraria, but I still think that MC is better. In MC you never know when you're going to find that Creeper around the corner waiting for you, so that constant thrill just isn't the same.

Tonight will be more Terraria. I keep saying this like someone is reading, but I love MC and just wish that it had more to do in it. In my perfect world, I'd make those two games have a child and that child would be the greatest game evar!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Terraria - Day Two

For $10 it's a good game to get, I've been having a lot of fun digging around in caves and exploring the world. So far I've managed to keep myself off the wiki so I don't know all of the recipes, which is keeping a nice level of wonder to the game as I dig something up and think to myself, "Humm I wonder what this will do?" I think that leaving that sense of wonder to the game is a key to my enjoyment, because if I know the items that I'm working towards than it might feel like a grind to get them.

The game is totally old school Metrod. As I was exploring the caves making little jumps and killing off baddies it really had that feeling that I was playing Samus, which is a good thing. I really want to get the guys on to play it, but I know they are locked into Rift so I won't be able to get them to try it with me. I'm not sure if they have a similar problem, but I seem to lock into a single game and play that only, either through lack of time, or out of habit. So maybe I'll drop a line about the game to them to check out, my other fear in telling them has to do with creditability, Terraria isn't as good as Minecraft (so far) in my opinion so do I recommend it? Probably just because I like talking about games.

Anyway the game is fun, I know it kind of sounds like I'm selling myself on it, but it is a good game and it is fun. Last night I had to take the smart route and go to bed at a reasonable hour or I'd have played through the night. I don't find it to be repetitive even though it is all about digging for goodies, there is a lot to explore and new monsters and events to fight, plus deep areas that I haven't even come close to exploring. And lightsabers and rocket boots, I've got to find the mats to make that stuff.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Terraria - Day One

I pretty much troll the Minecraft forums all the time, not sure exactly why but that's not important right now, what is important is that I found another game on the forums that I needed to check out, Terraria.

Terraria is what you would get if you mixed equal parts of Zelda, Metrod, Minecraft and then added in a pinch of Final Fantasy. Sound like pure awesome yet? Well it's good but I'm not going to go all out and say it's the greatest thing ever, let's break it down.


- Open world that is randomly generated
- Lots and lots of craftable items with uses and lots of things to dig up
- Good level of action, but not crazy
- Ability to create a working town as you play and progress
- Gear leveling, not character leveling. As you find better stuff you get tougher, finding mana stars and crystal hearts is a great system for leveling up, a la Zelda.
- Very colorful, but not stupid looking


- 2d world is pretty linear. Not sure how this will play out over time, so holding back final judgement on this one.
- Night is way way way way way too long
- Movement has some issues, can't hold down jump to get over small little hills on the ground
- Money is a little bit of a grind, not much, but a little
- Early part of the game is a little too slow
- Caves aren't scary like MC (that is a huge plus for MC)

While there are a few issues that bring down the fun, it's still a good game and I'm looking forward to seeing how fun it can be. I really think that multiplayer would be pretty cool (humm maybe I'll get Druss =) ). As of right now though, Minecraft is the better game, and it's a fair comparison because they are similar, Terraria does highlight a couple areas where MC is lacking, namely how NPC's are generated in Terraria. The generation of NPC's in Terraria is a great feature, you build them a house and after you've met some criteria they spawn in those houses.

In the end the way I look at it, if Minecraft and Terraria had a child, that would be the greatest game in the history of mankind. A 3d open world RPG, where NPC's were generated with a purpose based on the activities that you preformed. Plus a deeper and richer exploration quality in a dark cave. Oh sign me up now!!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Rift - Crash, don't read

So my brother has been going on about how much he is enjoying Rift, he even got Druss to jump on and give it a go (damn them, play MC with me!). So after hearing him go on about how the game is basically an improved WoW, I was like, "Ok I'll give it a shot."

I downloaded the trial last Wednesday and have given it a go for a couple days, I got out of the starter zone and started doing my quests. Now I'm not going to go into a review for the game in my blog, because honestly I think the game is a pretty good representation of what it is, an MMO. The problem? I apparently don't like MMO's anymore.

I'm going to blame a couple sources for my new found feelings:

First up WOW. Setting the time machine back to 1998 I remember when Ultima Online came out and I thought that it was the coolest thing ever. A game where you can play with a thousand people at the same time! Sign me up! Well pvp was just starting up and I really wasn't a fan of that so my love affair with UO didn't last too long, but then came Asheron's Call in 99. With AC I met friends online and had a guild of 500 people in it at one time. Eventually after 2 1/2 years the game finally shook me loose and I moved on. During my AC days though I learned a difficult lesson, online friends can be short lived.

Jump forward a couple years and after a other few failed attempts at getting into an MMO, I had sworn off the whole genre, until WoW hit. As my brother told me at the time, "This is the greatest game ever!" And you know what, he was right, WoW was fucking awesome! I don't care how it's seen today, when it came out, it was amazing, it was the most fully realized online world that I had ever seen and in some ways still is.

But WoW ended in a bad way. After 5+ years in the end the thing I loved the most about it, playing with other people, is the very thing that broke me from it. When Lich King came out I found myself tanking instances, it wasn't a planned thing, just one day a grouped wanted me to do it as a DK, I wasn't speced for it, but they wanted me to give it a go anyway. We were able to run the instance (nexus) and afterwards I was hooked. For the next several months I tanked tons of instances and worked really hard at improving my gear to be better at it. Life was good!

Then life got in the way of online life, due to real life I wasn't able to play for the same durations as others which meant that I had to sit out on a lot of raids. Quickly my tanking slot was given to others and I got demoted behind other people that in some cases quite honestly sucked by comparison (thinking mostly of the off tanks). My importance to the guild was trivialized and I just felt like another cog in the machine with people that were my friends. Not to mention that I made it a point to be where I needed to be on time and several guild members took their sweet time, wasting evenings of my playtime.

Eventually that was it, I logged off WoW for good and really have no regrets about it. My real issue with the game was that I didn't mind the grind if there was a reason to do it in the end, that reason playing with friends and feeling like part of a team. But when my role on the team was removed, my passion for playing the game died and I was left grinding for no reason.

Which brings me to point #2 on why Rift isn't for me. The grind and what the final result of that grinding is? If I want to play Rift, that means I'm signing up to pay $15 a month to grind out levels and equipment so that I can go get bigger numbers and eventually take up a role in an instance or battle. Maybe I'd be a tank, or maybe I'd be a DPS, who knows, but it doesn't really matter. In the end I'm going to want to feel important, like a member of a team but ultimately someone is going to fill that role better which is going to leave me out in the cold. I describe myself as a hardcore casual, I want to play like a hardcore player, but I have a life so that means it's not possible to devote all the time that someone else would. And honestly, I don't want to anyway. But this leaves me in an interesting position, I want to feel like the best but I know I can never achieve that, so I'm basically playing a grinding game with no end goal.

That brings me to #3, the gameplay of an MMO itself. An MMO by nature is to grind. Back in my AC days I didn't even realize that I was on a treadmill. In the early WoW days, it was so that all of us friends could play together. With Rift it's a treadmill and I'm never going to be playing with established friends so unless I want to make new friends, where is the benefit?

Don't get me wrong Rift seems like a very nice MMO, but it's the nature of the MMO game itself that I just can't do anymore, and I think that goes for Star Wars as well, but I haven't decided 100% yet. But why would I want to devote all of my free time into something when I'm not going to get anything out of it? That is the very nature of addiction. I realize that I have a gaming addiciton, but there is a big difference between an MMO style addiction and just a game addiction. If I play an MMO the only reason I am doing it is to fill myself with something to do, not something I want to do.

And now my final point, I need INNOVATION! Essentially I have been playing the same MMO for the last 14 years. Oh sure there have been improvements, but the core game itself hasn't changed. It's kill this monster to get this item rinse and repeat, just the reasons for doing so have become more defined. And this is also where I damn you Minecraft, you have shown me something else that doesn't even exist yet. An MMO style game where the players really have an effect on the world in unscripted ways. Yes I think that we're at the threshold of a revolution in the MMO genre and someone within the next couple years is going to redefine the very nature of the MMO game. The success of MC has to have caught the attention of the AAA developers and that usually means that they are going to be looking to capitalize on that potential money. I want a world where the towns are player made, where the quests are player made, where the stories are player made, not a bunch of fed ex quests with grinds. But until that day comes, I can't see myself playing another grindfest MMO. It's not that they are bad games, it's just that I've seen something amazing in my mind and until I see that on my screen I just won't be able to invest into another gameworld.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Minecraft - Whole lot of pictures

I've been pretty lazy about posting pictures so here is a whole bunch of them from my latest adventures.

This is the Red castle. As you can see I went with a contemporary look accented with flames surrounding the outer walls. The ring of glass around the building is a trademark of my design, I figure if there is enough sand why not see all of the monsters.

This is the vault in the Red castle, home of the richest spoils of the land.

This is the Orange portal, humm maybe I should put some wool in there.

While this might look like any other cave, I tried to capture the insanity that this one is. In the picture you can see several ways that lead off into the dark. Normally that's ok when you have a wall behind you as well, in this case the cave opens up behind me as well. The area behind me though at this point has been explored.

My arrow machine. It's not the greatest design in the world, but it works like a charm. Skeletons get stuck in the water in their dungeon and then flow to the cactus, the water on the left then pushes them into the cactus, killing them and allowing their loot to sink to the collection point.

This is the entrance to the arrow factory. As you can see I don't like surprises around my front door. The roof is also lined with an over hanging checkerboard design to keep spiders from getting up top.

Another look at the entrance to the arrow factory and it's cave. The cave has been walled on the top to prevent creepers from dropping down on me if I use this entrance. During the day I do, but at night I usually come out through the arrow factory, it's safer.

This is the entrance to the Orange portal tunnel. I went a little crazy in protecting it with flames and cactus. I'm telling you playing on hard has me really worrying about getting killed.

This is the Orange castle as of today. I have a feeling that it's going to get an expansion in the near future. Again the cactus, with the V shape in front of the door there is no way that I can round a corner and get jumped by a creeper. The top of the castle also uses the overhang checker design to prevent spiders climbing the cactus. And I put a little orange walkway by the door for fun.

This is the inside of the Orange castle. The little hut in there is the same hut that I built on day one. I built a little farm, that I never use, and the walled off section in the back is my crafting and vault room. The castle itself serves my purposes and is safe from mobs, except that a clever spider could climb the flag on the outside, but I'll let that go (famous last words I'm sure).

So there it is, all of the locations that I have been talking about in my previous posts. I should post more pictures but normally I'm playing and don't want to spend the time doing the blog right, but I needed to take a night and do it correctly. So voila!

Minecraft - The Return to the Red Kingdom

After completing the arrow factory, it was time to dive back down into the depths of this expansive cave. And let me just tell you, this cave is hell, pure absolute hell. It has huge caverns, fractured walls with lots of tiny spawn locations, gravel pretty much every where, vertical expanses, water, lava, you name it, this place has it. I honestly think that even with all my months of playing, this cave is the hardest that I have come across, and then playing on Hard, oh that's just the icing on the cake.

So I dove down there, twisting passages that open up to 8 or 9 different directions, so my normal systimatic exploration was not really an option. There was a lot of run in drop a torch or two and run out. It's not the best way to explore because by doing that it essentially gives the mobs more chances to spawn, but considering that they had half a million places to spawn from anyway, what's the difference.

The worst part about this cave was that even after spending a couple evenings exporing the lower reaches of it, there was only one diamond to be found. Seriously this cave was a piece of shit, but it had to be explored. And then there it was, finally I found a couple exposed diamonds, 5 in total. Where were the diamonds? Naturally on the edge of a vast open area with water flowing right towards me, the perfect mob express. By this time my son was looking to play so I manned up and mined out those diamonds then got my ass out of there.

Later that evening I had the chance to make my journey back to the Red Kingdom, I had my diamond pickaxe so based on my rules, I was good to go. Not knowing how far the journey was going to be, I loaded up on supplies for an adventure that I was thinking might take days. Nope, turns out that 2 stone picks only get you about half a days travel in the nether, so I was a lot closer than I thought I was or wanted to be. I mean it's not close, but it's sure not as far as I was envisioning. Note to self, go further next time, a lot further.

Anyway I made it back to the Red castle and it felt like I was at the spawn again. It was odd, I had been here only a week or so ago, but it felt ancient, it was no longer home. Realizing that making a mine track between Red and Orange on the overworld was going to be tedious I accepted that I was just going to make a cart in the nether to do it, mainly because I'm looking for a good excuse to make a good mine track like in the multiplayer world before. I pulled some iron and gold from the Red castle and returned back to Orange.

When I got back to Orange I had a revelation, "I was coming out of the nether into an unsecured very large cave." hummmm Ok time to enclose this thing so that I don't have to worry about getting jumped. I closed off the portal and dug myself a tunnel under the water between the portal and the castle to what is a makeshift entrance closer to the castle. Eventually I plan on digging the tunnel all the way to the castle, but for now it works.

Playing a hardcore style has kind of taken my building methods to new heights in the form of monster security. Cactus are pretty much everywhere around the building to try and kill mobs, and with netherrack now a part of my avaliable inventory, lots and lots of flames are now a part of every design. I haven't figured out what I'm going to do with the fire on my main castle, but it's going to be cool.

Pwning noobs since 2011

Not Minecraft related today, I had to link up something that I thought was pretty awesome, it's my 4 year old son playing MC. It's pretty dark and the video itself is nothing amazingly exciting, but it's him playing and I thought it was cool.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Minecraft - The Arrow Factory part 1

Wrote this the other day before the pictures thread.

I have been playing this game since November and the other night was the first time I had ever found the holy grail of mob spawners, yes I finally found a skeleton spawner.

Burdened with the fact that there aren't a lot of caves around the Orange Castle I went back over the lake to the small cave that I had started work on the night before. I was kind of hoping that I wouldn't have to cross over water every single time I wanted to get into a cave, but such is life. I had already cleared out the top portion which left me with a single passageway that headed down, blocked off by gravel at the bottom. I hate gravel, there is always something nasty waiting on the otherside of it, and this of course was no exception, but at least it wasn't a creeper just hiding there waiting for me.

I dug out the gravel and started to put some torches down but no sooner than I had placed my first one than I hear the familiar sound of "twang" an arrow impacted the rock right next to me. As usual I lost control of my mouse in an "Oh shit!" moment regained control and engaged the skeleton. 5 arrows later the skeleton was a pile of bones, but there was no time to celebrate like a team of commandos a couple more rounded a wall of cobblestone and it was on. I dropped one of them but considering that this was a fresh start I wasn't armed with my normal complement of arrows so I would be out of ammo quickly if I stuck around to have a fire fight with them. I made a break for the surface with the skeletons on my tail, thankfully they got lost on their way up and now I was free to figure out how I was going to secure this dungeon.

From the surface I noticed that the dungeon was only about 20 blocks down so I decided that the best way to clear it out was to give it a big sunlight. Using the solar powered death apparatus otherwise known as the sun the skeletons were killed off leaving me free to get down there and torch it up so that it would still be safe at night. I like it when dungeons are off in a little corner and you don't have to worry about any extra mob help coming in to join the fun, of course this was not going to be the case here. There were three large caverns that connected to the dungeon that needed to be sealed off before I could deal with the spawner. Normally I don't close off tunnels, I just go clear them out, but in this case there wasn't much of an option, dirt to the rescue. After that I went in and put up my torches securing the dungeon for my future arrow production.

And that is where I left if for the evening, it was too late to begin figuring out how to best make my mob grinder (oh and did I mention there is lava under the dungeon, just to make it interesting). That will be my next project, with a stockpile of arrows I'll then be ready to clear out the closed off passages and really begin the search for those diamonds and make my trek back to the fabled Red kingdom.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Minecraft - My hardcore rules

After playing for a long time single player can get a little old, so I added a couple rules to give it a hardcore feeling without actually deleting the world. Plus it adds a little more purpose to your daily MC life. Trust me after you're first character dies, you'll look at things a little different.

Spawn in the world as usual and play as usual on Hard until at least two nether portals can be created, once you have enough obsidian then the game becomes "hardcore".

Hardcore process

Each life is assigned a color (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple, Black) more colors can be used, but I'm using the color wheel for my game. The first base area is Red, which is essentially everything that you do between spawning in the game and the first post portal death. The Red base is the nexus for the entire first round of the game, all other cities will span out from it.

The Red player will play and build their city like normal, but once they die, that is it for the Red city and it's surrounding region.

Between players the game is set to peaceful so that the next player can be set up. In order to do that there are a couple things to do.

1) Place a grave where the previous player died (optional, but fun)

2) It's also fine to take the possessions that dropped upon death and put them in the chests back at the base (again optional)

3) Once ready to start the next player, equip them with 2 or 3 picks, 2 shovels, 20 obsidian, flint and tinder, and a stack of torches. This equipment is only to get to the next starting location, dye in the color of the next character can be brought as well.

4) Enter the nether and start digging in any random direction for as far as you can on the picks. If your portal is in an open area then just run a distance that you feel is far from your original spawn.

5) Once you've travelled far enough, set up a portal and re-enter the overworld. In order to make things very difficult, place obsidian over the entrance to the portal in the outside world so that there is no going back. BUT make sure you can get to the surface before doing so!

6) Once on the surface and you know that you can play like normal, throw away any items that you brought to get you to the surface from the original spawn location. picks, shovels, flint, torches, etc... This should start you off with nothing, just like you would if starting a new world.

7) When day begins in the game, set the difficulty to Hard and play like normal.

One extra rule

All base structures must be built above ground, meaning no digging into the side of a cliff to make a house. Mob traps and other minor structures are fine to make undergound, but nothing that you'd consider a base.

Finding the old locations

In order to find the old locations you are required to make a diamond pickax so that you can open the portal and return to the original spawn, however you aren't allowed to use the portal just yet. In order to use the portal you need to find the original portal on the surface. Basically exploring your way back to the Red base.

Once you've reached the Red base then you are free to use any materials that are stored there and the portal to get between the two locations. But I would recommend not using the nether as it makes it kind of easy.

Mr. Black

The Black character is essentially time. After going through all of the colors you will have Mr. Black to play with but his objective is different, instead of building a new city, his job is to destroy the old ones via TNT only. By making or using TNT from the previous cities he destroys their buildings with explosions, basically to mimic the effect that time and the elements would have on a ruined structure over time.

There are a couple ways of playing this character:

1) Go around destroying all the other cities, regardless of death until they have all been destroyed.

2) Destroy the other cities, and kill yourself in the explosion so that you don't see the effects of the ruins, making it a surprise for the future.

3) Play Hard like normal and work towards the destruction. Playing like you would with any of the other characters, except that you can travel to the old cities as soon as you want. But once you die then the next Red player takes over.

Second Red

After you're done having fun with Mr. Black it's time to restart settling the world again, just like rebooting the matrix. I guess Mr. Black is Neo =)

Anyway... Enter the starting portal just like you would for any other character, except this time you want to go at least twice as far away from the original spawn this time so that there is plenty of room to re establish the world. Then play like normal.

Finding ruins

If you find a ruin during play then you are able to take what is ever remaining there for your own use. It's suggested that you don't rebuild the structures because they are supposed to look destroyed, but that's up to the player.

Over time the world will be settled and ruined over and over again creating a huge RPG style world. The fact that you're starting over all the time is akin to a Hardcore mode, but unlike "the hardcore mode" where the world is deleted, your world keeps growing over time, but for you it's still a challenge to try and stay alive.

Minecraft - Mr. Black and the rules pt 2

The rule set that I'm using is an evolving process and I was wondering what I would do once I ran out of colors, long drives make for good times to come up with solutions.

I'm going to go with the characters of Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple and Black as my lives in MC. There was some thought about using pink, while, grey, and brown, or whatever colors, but to keep it simple I'll just stick to the color wheel. Mr. Black however is a different animal than the others, his job is essentially to simulate time in my world. After all of the other colors have been killed off, Black will appear and go about finding the bases of the other colors and essentially blow them up. Yep I'm going to greif my own world.

Each color over time is going to find sulfur, but probably not enough to really do anything cool with it, I mean sure TNT is fun, but it's not always that practical. But it is practical if you just want to blow things up. So Black will take whatever sulfur that he finds in the various castles and whatever he farms up himself and then go about blowing up the color castles to leave them as ruins around the map. I'm not quite sure what I'll do about the loot in the chests, but I'm thinking that I'll just leave it in the chests that remain, as treasure to be sought after. Another thought is that Black gets killed in the blast, so I don't even see the distruction that I leave behind, making finding the ruins in the future that much more interesting.

Once Mr. Black dies then Red will make his return, but in a very distant location and thus the game will then repeat the way it is right now. Each color gets one life and once they are dead Black will come again and destroy what they have built. With a never ending map, I like the idea that I could be playing and randomly discover an ancient civilizations remains at somepoint, since my start locations are mostly going to be random it will be a surprise to find them.

I think that I finally figured out how to play my RPG game that I wanted from day one (go back and read my first post about MC) I'm curious to see how this all plays out, should take quite a while when I think about it. The world is going to be a huge file, it's already 25 megs.

Minecraft - Orange Coal-ah

My work on cheesy titles has no limits.

Day 2 with Mr. Orange was a trial of sorts, after doing a little bit of exploration it turns out that there aren't any natural caves near me. Well there was the little underground lake under my base that held that zombie but it's been cleared out now. Not having any caves around me might not sound like a big deal but it is when you don't allow yourself to strip mine, it makes finding coal at the start of the game a real pain in the butt. The catch of course is that you need coal for torches (yes there is charcoal) and you need the torches to go into the caves and find coal.

My search for coal took me over one of the mountains where I found a valley with a small cave attached to it. This area just looked like death, but I needed that coal so I worked my way down and with the few torches that I had, lit it up and went about my business. It was a little nerve racking because the area was anything but secure and with only leather armor on, one creeper could mean death. Thankfully the mining was uneventful and I was able to make it back to my castle with a decent amount of coal to at least put up some windows and make some clean stone for my structure (yeah I'm building a little more this time around). Of course my building burned through my coal and I was yet again forced to go find some more.

I headed off to the Western desert and found a couple small pockets of coal that helped out a little bit but didn't solve my problems. Then I headed back towards the portal and found a cave that was near the entrance (there is coal in the portal cave, but I'd consider that cheating since I found it on peaceful). In exploring that cave I was finally able to find a nice vein of the stuff and possibly found my first cave to explore in depth.

I'll be honest, I'm a little nervous to go back underground after the death of Mr. Red. I've put a good deal of work into my castle and I'd hate to see that all be lost by one creeper catching me off guard (see all the cactus around the entrance to the castle as an indicator) But that's the nature of the game. I've managed to find a decent amount of iron so I should be able to make iron armor and begin my decent looking for diamonds. Diamonds of course are the key in my game, once I find 3 of them I can "re-open" the portal and then go looking for the Red base and use it's resources again, and I'll make that rail line between the Orange and Red kingdoms. I mean you've got to have goals...

I also thought of another addition to my rule set, Mr. Black, but I'll use that as a separate post.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Minecraft - Mr. Orange

When I made up the rules the other day I didn't realize that I was going to be putting them into motion so quickly, heck I was even contemplating just enacting them by choice because I didn't think that I would ever die in Minecraft. Well a lot can change in a day and one Creeper can ruin your whole day. Red met his end going out with a bang which meant that I needed to put my hardcore plan into motion.

The first thing I did after respawning was go pick up my gear and place it in the chest in the house. I thought that it kind of silly to leave 10 diamonds laying around that I might need in the future if my plan was going to work. Besides it's not like I was actually going to be using them anytime in the near future, we had a new adventure waiting for us. In memorial I placed a grave near the spot where Red died, maybe one day I'll come back and find this gave and think, "Wow that was a long time ago, ah good times..."

Anyway, I loaded up Orange with two picks, two shovels, 20 obsidian, flint, red and yellow flowers, and a stack of torches and entered the portal. Inside the portal I just started digging in a random direction back and forth with no real sense of where I was going, just making a 2 block high path through the uncut nether. At the end of my picks life I carved out an area to build a portal and entered the overworld in what was to be my new home. Thankfully I had placed the game on peaceful until I could get to my new location, the portal appeared in a cave fairly deep within the Earth. With my torches I proceeded to climb out of the depths and found that I was on a small island, and no idea how close or far from my original spawn, it was perfect. As I emerged it was sunrise (that worked out well) so throwing all of my worldly possessions into the water I began life as Mr. Orange, now placing the game back on hard.

To the South was a small forest area next to a flat plot of land, that would be my new home. Working fast I punched out some trees and dug up some dirt, doing all of the things that you would when starting a new world. It was refreshing and kind of awesome knowing that I had to start over, but that I wasn't really in fact starting over because the world was the same one that I had been playing for a couple weeks. As I put my house together I couldn't help but wonder how far from the original spawn I was and if this life was going to be shorted lived as well. I was extra jumpy looking for Creepers, even though I knew that none could have spawned in the first day in this area since it had been on peaceful, but still I worried.

With the house complete, enough anyway to make a safe bed I went to sleep and firmly planted my spawn here in this new territory. I also planted a large flag in the ground as a symbol to my new life and new country. Alas the Creepers kept creeping, and I was on edge knowing that one of them would end my life pretty fast considering that I didn't have iron armor on. My fearless attitude towards them now shattered knowing that one wrong move and it was over. I was pumped, excited, and on the edge of my seat once again. Minecraft revitalized as I played it, is it possible for a game to get a third wind in the middle of play, I guess so, which is why MC is just so awesome.

I thought it best to cover the basics, kill some pigs, find some coal, kill cows, build a wall. The goal of course is to try and stay alive so I went about my business with calculation, establishing a crude Earth wall around the Orange complex. I was proud of myself, in a matter of about 20 minutes I had the rough outline of my new castle. "ggggrrrrrrrrrrr" But what was that? A zombie, here? But it's daytime. It was unmistakable, there was a zombie sound near the entrance to the Orange Castle someplace underground. And like that we had our first assignment, find and kill off that zombie, but that is a tale for another time as it was late and it was time for bed.

On Day 2 I went to work on my base and turned it into a decent castle for a couple hours work.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Minecraft - Red? Reds dead baby. Red's dead.

If there is one fact of life, it's that as soon as you start talking smack you end up getting hammered, apparently this rule applies to Minecraft as well. Last week I posted that the game was too easy even on hard, I even ran a poll on the forums asking what everyone else thought (Most thought it was just fine 35% thought too easy). But all of that goes out the window last night when I found myself at the bottom of the crater in the picture above.

So the evening starts off like most any other night, my thought is that I'll go and try to finish off the caves on Red island where I had ran out of tools, food, and arrows the night before. The cave itself was very successful, no serious threats from any monsters getting the jump on me and I was pulling in loads and loads of ore, especially diamonds. By the time I made my way to the surface I had two stacks of iron, tons of coal, and 10 diamonds in tow. I didn't quite finish up all of the exploration within the cave as my tools ran out and I decided that with all of the loot that I had gathered it was probably best to make my way to the surface and deposit my riches before I did something stupid. Little did I know the smart thing was going to be stupid this time around.

After wondering around in the lit cave for awhile I got tired of looking for an exit so I did what I have been doing of late, made my own, digging for the surface in a little staircase. As I approached the surface I could hear what you would have thought was a spider dungeon based on all of their annoying sounds. Turned out that they were surface spiders, they must have been close enough to "smell" me or something because even while I was underground they knew I was coming and were waiting for me when I popped through the surface. And for the record spiders are really stupid, just spinning around the single block opening getting whacked with my sword, morons.

So after killing three spiders that were blocking my way to the outside and feeling secure I emerged from the depths only to find that I hadn't killed off all of the spiders, another one had been in stealth mode or something and wasn't hissing at me, he jumped at me as soon as I emerged, in daylight I might add! Quickly I spun around (not losing control of my mouse for a change) and drew my bow on him pumping arrows into him until nothing was left but floating string. Even gave him the, "Yeah fuck you spider." as he died. But the last laugh wasn't to be mine. Before I could turn around I heard the dreaded "SSSSSSSSS" and as I turned I caught the face of my killer just as he blew the two of us to pieces.

Death by Creeper with my loot scattered around the crater that I had become. This is where hard makes you pay for your mistakes. I had a pretty high level of armor on and was at 8 or 9 hearts, but the Creeper was close enough to give me a hug that no matter if I were full on both health and armor I probably still would have been killed. And me sitting there in shock at what had just happened, the game that I had just bashed for being too easy and not being able to kill me, did me in in glorious fashion. No I wasn't killed by falling in lava, or burring myself or anything stupid like that, nope I got killed by a Creeper sneaking up on my ass and blowing me to pieces. Well played Minecraft, well played.

This marked the end of Mr. Red, but not the end of our story as Mr. Orange was ready to begin his journey.

Minecraft - Figured out some rules, finally

So for the longest time I've been trying to figure out how to play the game and keep it interesting. Simply not using armor or wood swords is just stupid in my opinion because you're essentially limiting your ability to play the game. Coming up with collection objectives is ok but in the end it's just building up a score that I don't really care about either. No the problem is that I needed to figure out a way to keep building the world around me, but with purpose because making a bunch of buildings with no purpose just seems pointless, to me anyway. So I figured out a way to play hardcore, but not lose everything that I had done previous in the process.

I'm doing this with the world that I've been playing for about a week so it's not perfect, but oh well. With the game set on hard I'm using my starter house as kind of the nexus to the world. Since I haven't died yet I can still use it and build on it, but once I die that ends. When I die I will do the following:

1) Respawn
2) Collect 20 pieces of obsidian, two stone picks, two stone shovels, stack of torches, flint& tinder (basically items needed to make it through the nether.
3) Once I've gotten myself lost in the nether, form a portal and reenter the overworld.
4) At that point I close the portal with the extra obsidian that I have with me, locking me into the new location, yes I can get back, but I wouldn't.
5) Play like normal until I can reopen the portal with a new diamond pickaxe. But don't go through.
6) Once I've opened the portal back up, I'm free to try and locate the starting point, obviously having a compass will help in that endeavor, considering that I can already use the portal it's more about the principle of finding it rather than just going back.
7) Once I've refound the spawn point, I am free to use it's materials just like before, essentially it's a found town.
8) Each of the little settlements that I have will have a flag on top of them to indicate what player they were built on, starting is Red, second will be Orange, then Yellow, etc along the rainbow.
9) Finally I can establish a rail line between the overworld bases, but not in the nether.

Other rules
1) All structures must be above ground, no digging into cliffs to make a home.
2) Mob grinders are fine.
3) Bases have to be connected overland, but once connected to the nexus are free to use.
4) Structures must be built in the area around the current main base, once a death happens on one area that area is set, but the items there are free to be used.

I think that this makes the game ongoing but interesting so that there are consequences for death, but the world stays alive. We'll have to see how it plays out, considering that I rarely die, it might not work anyway.

Another thought is to just do it and see how it plays out. I might do that after I finish up the last of the caves under starter island, just to mix it up.