Hogwild

April 25, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Posted in mmorpg | 4 Comments
Tags: , ,

Around the time BlueKae started up his adventure server, I got pretty bored with Minecraft. It’s a fine game, plenty to keep you busy, and anyone who has ever played lego will enjoy it. Yet there is only so much block punching I can do.

I built something on Blue’s adventure server but didn’t make it much further than that.

Meanwhile back at Relics Of Orr’s secret lair, the guild put together their own Minecraft server. This was about the time Biomes had come in and there was plenty of interest. I even lazily bothered to stake out a small bit of territory, before shutting down all Minecraft interest for several months.

I was playing Guild Wars, Dragon Age 2, New Vegas, and whatever else I could waste my time with, I was pretty much done with Minecraft.

Enter Pig. Pig is a guild in Relics of Orr’s alliance in Guild Wars. Tigerfeet the betrayer had joined up with Pig and slowly poisoned their minds with thoughts of Minecraft until their leader Jim was intrigued enough to pick up the game. Once inside server multiplayer, the rest of the guild followed, and what came next was stunning.

Pig went ape. A half dozen members built huge buildings and worked on gigantic projects. The server is filled with insanely long minecart tracks to facilitate travel, and you can’t go in any direction without tripping over some sign of habitation. The level of detail put in was absolutely crazy.

Catching wind of this I started to log in to see what the big deal was and I started to see all of the updates.

    You can now tame dogs and have them follow you around or sit. Attack something and they attack it as well. Feed them pork chops and their health goes up. Do not lead them into fire.
    Spiders can now climb into your buildings. You need to have some kind of overhang to prevent this.
    You can now make sandstone, or find it naturally at the bottom of sand stacks. This would have been nice during the making of Constantine.
    You can now make cobblestone, sandstone, or wooden slabs. Formerly known as steps I believe.
    You can now get bones to make bonemeal. This can be used as fertilizer to grow trees the moment you like.
    You can now dye the crap out of wool. Red or yellow flowers, blue from lapis lazuli, black from ink sacs, green from cactus, and brown from cocoa beans. Not to mention combining all these colours to get shades. Dyed wool adds coloured blocks of your choice, adding new depth to what you can do.
    Weather. Water refreezes and snow reforms in cold biomes.
    Dispensers. You can now build a device that shoots out its contents.
    Note blocks. The first time I heard a note block it actually kind of was unsettling.
    Slimes. These have been around a while but were ultra rare. I have run into packs of them deep in my mines. I dug too deep.
    A host of other things

All of this was great, but I still didn’t find myself logging in too much. Once in a while to check out someones project seemed to be enough.

At which point Spirit invited me to work on a project and for some god forsaken reason I said yes. I think we all know that once you have a project in Minecraft, you don’t come back.

We call it The Ruins, and now I find myself arguing constantly about Mills. Spirits complete and utter ignorance of what a mill should look like drives me nuts, and the level of the lake is one block too high. It flooded previous work we had done.

Spirit prefers very complete buildings with minor ruined touches.

I should explain.

A server mate had decided to move house. Maybe he was too close to spawn, I don’t know. When he had packed and moved everything, he decided to blow up his entire house with TnT. What was left was a barren, hole in the ground dotted with tunnels and some previous signs of habitation. A ruin. We decided to develop that into a more Lord of the Rings style ruin of epic proportions.

Anyway, now I’m logging back into Minecraft. This game has hooks.

I prefer buildings that are barely standing

Csquirrelrun just likes to make us look bad

Advertisements

Constantine

November 25, 2010 at 4:44 am | Posted in mmorpg | 11 Comments
Tags: , ,

I think activity in Minecraft has an ebb and flow. At least when it comes to us builders. One day I’ll be feverishly working on a project, mining, planning, building, crafting. When that project is done, I’ll often find myself logging in the next day ready to work, but with no inspiration. Nothing to get to work on.

Tigerfeet should help me explain this a bit. I had just finished up Castle Grimlock, for the most part, when she started playing on Eternia (BlueKae‘s server) and suddenly I found myself going over to her place a lot. I had been in a rut, but this gave me something to do. I dug out a trail and lined it with cobblestones, continuing the Valhalla Coast trail all the way to her newly christened Tiger Bay.

Still, I was bored. It didn’t take very long.

So I quickly jumped into helping her build a semi-magnificent bridge reminiscent of roman aqueducts. Nothing happened again for a week or two.

Suddenly I log in one day and Tiger is extending the Bifrost Bridge perpendicularly to Tiger Bay. The Bifrost Extension is much larger than its namesake.

I didn’t build anything for another week.

Then me and Tiger get to talking again. I’ve got an idea for a fort, she’s got an idea for a ship, we combine the ideas and get Fort Ranik and Kalla’s Revenge.

Kalla's Revenge sits anchored as Fort Ranik fires a warning shot

She ain't pretty on the outside, but she's got obsidian cannons and prison cells for pirates on the inside

After I finished up the fort, she got an idea for a tavern, and I didn’t have anything. I didn’t build anything for a couple weeks.

One day I decided maybe I’d go exploring, find an out of the way spot, build a little cottage just like so many people do on our server. It’s like leaving anonymous cabins in the middle of nowhere is the servers main hobby. So I set out across the sea to find my inspiration, and promptly didn’t make it very far. I started building a cabin anyway, got as far as the foundations and said, enh, screw it. I started wandering around.

The funny thing about Minecraft is the way new territory is generated. Someone might walk in a straight line creating a sea to their right, and the next person who comes along might actually go right and create a massive wall where that sea ends.

Remarkably straight coastline Minecraft. Very natural.

I immediately found one such wall and decided to follow it. It went on for quite a while. When I reached the other end I found a desert biome, sand stretching up to the clouds as a mountain of silica. Sand Castle!

So I notice immediately that it’s pretty steep on all sides of this mountain, perfect defenses, and instead of building a straightforward staircase, I build a slowly ascending walkway that winds its way around the mountain a few times before you reach the plateau. Here I build The Legion. Modeled after my memories of forts from movies about the French Foreign Legion, it was small, sandy, and very isolated.

As soon as I left I could not find it again.

So for about a week I wandered around wondering where in the hell I had left that damned cabin’s foundations. From there I could easily find the wall, and from there follow it to The Legion.

This is where Blue’s maps come in amazingly handy. Although his map hadn’t fully updated the area where I was building, it did have the foundations of what later came to be Hunter’s Lodge. I found the castle again but it was such a pain getting there. I built a cobblestone trail all the way there from the Lodge.

That done… I didn’t really want to work on The Legion. I had plans to make it bigger, still do, but it isn’t really inspiring me. Nothing was.

Until Tiger came out to see the place. I half mentioned something about maybe building some village like huts, I start harvesting some sand for use later, look up, and she’s already building the village.

So now I just have to create (along with Tiger) an entire mediterranean/middle eastern-style arid city, terraced down to the nearby coastline, complete with docks, streets, businesses… things tend to get out of control in Minecraft.

I guess maybe this post is less about ebb and flow as about collaboration.

We called it Constantine. Do a /listwarps and come visit some time. It’s still under construction but I think you’ll like it.

Constantine, under construction and growing.

The Burbs

November 15, 2010 at 3:23 am | Posted in mmorpg | 5 Comments
Tags: , ,

Eternia, BlueKae‘s Minecraft server, continues to grow. Ever since he made the IP address public people have been flooding in, sometimes just to check it out, sometimes to stay. It doesn’t hurt that some people have mentioned it in their podcast, some have twittered (well, practically everyone has) about it, and many have blogged about it. It is a server filled with bloggers after all.

From atop the spawn guest house, it is getting crowded.

Even over the past couple of weeks the population has continued to grow. With a couple of new people being added within the past few days.

With that, the urban center of Eternia, lets call it Eternos City, has continued to grow more and more crowded, with hardly a soul able to move in any direction that doesn’t immediately take them to someones homestead.

Even the more rural areas are being overrun. My own Trail of Tears has had half of it’s length become suburban pathways. I found that path, and trailblazed it, and it is weird to see it become so civilized. It was a mere trail of dirt mounds topped with torches. Now there is cobblestone, stairs, homes growing on both sides. I noted 4 people had built at least 6 different buildings on the ToT.

The Trail of Tears at one time began at center bottom.

Even the most notorious personal space invader could be heard to moan “Someone’s been building on top of my stuff!”

Roads have sprung up. There are two routes from Cutthroat Island to Tiger Bay, they run right beside one another. Redundant. Sound like the suburbs to you?

It’s really hard to keep track of all this movement too. I’ll have to wait for Blue to produce another map before I go trying to figure out where all these new people are building.

I built out on the edges, and even on an island, because I didn’t really want neighbours too close. The next furthest island South from my own is called Farpoint, because at one point that was as far as the map went.

My newest building is a sand fortress built in a desert biome. I had to cross to the shore on the other side of Farpoint, erect a small stone cabin waypoint, and cut out a trail that takes several minutes to travel before arriving. Grimnir’s new place is probably about twice as far as that.

The burbs man. If you grew up in the suburbs, you know what I’m talking about.

My new neighbour. With his beautiful mid-ocean rectangle.

Minecraft Has Bad Points Too

November 11, 2010 at 12:13 am | Posted in mmorpg | 15 Comments
Tags: , ,

Believe it or not Minecraft does have its bad points. There are annoying, frustrating, or even completely boring aspects to the game that in some ways make peoples addictions even that much more interesting. The game triumphs over so many problems.

And let’s not forget, Minecraft single-player is in Beta, while Multi-player is in Alpha. Keeping that in mind, there are a lot of things I’d like to unload on.

Let’s start with the basic fundamental annoyance of crashing. Got that render distance up? Prepare to crash a lot. For a game that relies on simple functional graphics, I can’t believe how unstable it is. I have to keep my fog on, and render distance to small or normal and even then I’m still crashing once every hour or more.

It’s been a one man operation up until recently, so complaining about technical issues is like stepping on ants, but my god the bugs. Losing stacks of materials in the furnace, things not working the way they’re supposed to, spawning inside the ground, disappearing items, increased spawn rates. I could go on.

One other thing I’ve discussed with others is just how difficult it is to get started without knowing what you’re doing. Without going to the wiki, you’re going to be pretty lost. There is no tutorial, no help, no instructions. If someone is operating in a closed environment not knowing others who play the game, if they don’t think to look for something like the wiki, they aren’t going to get anywhere.

Putting aside the issue of technical details, as again, he’s just one guy, there are actual gameplay elements that I don’t like about Minecraft.

Even with torches spread around it's difficult to find your way.

I can’t get around at night. It’s too dark and lasts nearly as long as day. Often I’ll end up going to read a website while night passes, sometimes for several nights in a row. That gets old real fast. If I’m traveling at night it’s likely I’ll fall into a deep hole, get lost, or get stuck. If I’m exploring, that’s a lot of fun. If I’m just trying to make it from point A to point B it’s a pain in the ass.

If I’m in my mine and have run out of wood, and the only thing I can do at night is dig, and the only way to dig is with wood, I’m stuck waiting 10 minutes for morning to come. This isn’t continuing my complaint about night, this is about long boring stretches. I don’t mind digging out hundreds of blocks, it’s mindless busy work that helps me relax, but if I’m stuck in my hole with nothing to do, it’s more frustrating than relaxing.

Getting lost doesn’t only happen at night. It can be plain as day out and due to the simplicity of the graphics, random sameness of your surroundings, distances needed to travel, you can easily get lost during the day. There is no map, the rising and setting of the sun help little to determine direction. A compass can be made that points to your spawn location, but in my experience, helps all too little in finding anything but your spawn point.

Other complaints are far from the game’s fault, and more the fault of humanity. I suppose the following is more of a list of pet peeves than anything else.

BlueKae’s multi-player server Eternia has a shortage of centrally located trees. To fix that some upright citizens actually started tree farms. Others not only ignore our requests to replant trees after harvest, but don’t gather the leaves afterward. Meaning they don’t collect saplings at all, let alone replant. One individual burned down (yes I’m enough of a nerd to count) about 55 trees and never took any responsibility.

Most multiplayer experiences are great. You visit each others homes to see what they’ve come up with. Brag about accomplishments. Marvel at ingenuity. Or maybe just chat about the game or whatever. All that is great until someone builds too close to you.

Say you’ve built yourself a well put together palace. It’s got all the amenities from a well designed obsidian statue to a perfectly placed waterfall and a library filled with books looking out over a picturesque river. The someone decides to become your neighbour, building quite close to your stately home, cuts right through your view with a grotesque looking gravel wall lined at the top with torches and a other annoying features. All on a server where he could quite possibly have built anywhere.

Personal space can be an issue.

I’ve been pretty generous to the game in previous posts, not even mentioning most of these problems in detail. I thought it would be fair to at least look at some of the problems with the game. Sure it’s been developed by only one person and I’ll give him credit for that, but I’m not going to give him an automatic pass either.

Maybe sometimes the faults are what proves greatness.

Plans Within Plans

November 8, 2010 at 12:30 am | Posted in mmorpg | 4 Comments
Tags: , ,

Projects in Minecraft, tend to grow. You’ll start out just digging a hole to defend yourself in single player, and then find yourself constructing a grand masterpiece in multiplayer.

When I decided that getting to my island was a pain, in that I had to cross a body of water to get to Maeve’s and then find my way around her island just to get to mine, I decided to build a trail.

Maeve had built a makeshift trail but I could never find it. Instead I chose a familiar location and started from there. I didn’t just build a trail though, I dug up the earth and put cobblestone in it’s place leaving a clear walkway. I dug through hillsides and cliffs so that the path didn’t deviate in elevation. I dug tunnels when a straight line made more sense than a zigzag pattern. When I realized all of this was impossible to follow at night, I lit the thing up with torches on cliff sides and on individual stones.

My original plan when I got to the water was to build a thin stone bridge, one block wide. I quickly realized in the dark I’d fall off easily. I expanded the bridge in my imagination to be 3 blocks wide with railings so I couldn’t fall into the water. Then I realized I had a lot of sand and coal.

I built a long elevated glass bridge from the Valhalla Coast to Maeve’s Island (name it already Maeve!) 4 blocks wide. A nice little accomplishment. The Bifrost Bridge.

Trolls who live under glass bridges shouldn't throw stones

When Tigerfeet started playing on Blue’s server, I kept getting lost on my way to her place. She actually ended up building near the Valhalla Coast, just much further beyond where the cobblestone path ended. So I continued it, all the way to her place.

Another example of something that got out of control in scope was The Wrong Turn Mine. It started as just a hole beneath the cave I hollowed out of Cutthroat Island. It went sloping down away from Maeve’s or, further away, the city. I thought it would be cool to connect it to Maeve’s, so I turned right, and then right again aiming to resurface somewhere on her island.

That didn’t work out too well. I kept almost drowning to death as I hit water over and over again, washing out my torches, washing me back down as I tried to make my way up. Eventually after a convoluted series of turns I ended up surface very near to my completed Bifrost Bridge. Not satisfied somehow, I again went into the mine and dug down in the direction of the center of town. After many of the same problems of nearly drowning, this time in lava, I ended up surfacing in a huge cavern beneath one of the oldest structures on the server, just out of sight of the spawn.

Small projects get bigger and bigger.

So what are my goals in Minecraft now? I have a tower in the center of my island, but it’s not tall enough for my liking. I could just make it taller, but I don’t think it has a wide enough base to satisfy me so I’ll have to tear the whole thing down. Since my original home is merely the hollowed out innards of Cutthroat Island, I think I may extend the tower into the ground making it accessible from my cave. Since most towers on the server reach to the sky, I’ll have to match that dimension as well. To make my tower special I’m considering making the top into some kind of Eye of Sauron. Maybe I’ll even make this Eye some kind of obsidian portal.

Big Plans. Plans that are bound to get bigger. Plans within plans.

My tower on Cutthroat Island looks like somebody took a bite out of it. It's actually a staircase cut into the side.

Along Came A Spider

November 2, 2010 at 8:38 pm | Posted in mmorpg | 7 Comments
Tags: , ,

The Halloween update came to pass in Minecraft and I was excited to check out the new biomes and features. However a lot of things didn’t make it into the multiplayer Alpha version so where I’ve been spending most of my time didn’t quite change. At all.

I wasn’t into playing Minecraft alone at first, but now that I have a firmer grasp on the game, I figured I may as well check out single player. I generated a world and off I went.

The biomes were a lot smaller than I had thought, stretching not very far, at least in the world I spawned. Not only that but the place was bare of trees and there were few mountains nearby. I spawned between an ocean and a hill and decided that unlike previous spawn points, I’d build close by. But first, exploration.

My grassy area was surrounded on all sides by desert, with little in sight to indicate other biomes like tundra. There were few blocks exposed to the surface of the earth that weren’t sand or dirt. Realizing my reconnoiter could only last a few minutes before I needed to start digging a hole, I rushed back to the general area where I had spawned and noted a deep pit close by. Looking inside I could see coal.

I thought it might be interesting to dig a hole that neighboured this pit, with a window looking out into it. When that was done, it was night, and I had no wood for torches, pickaxes, storage, or a workbench.

The next day as I dug out the block protecting me from intruders, I realized there were several spiders above my doorway. It seemed odd, there were at least 5, which was more than normal. It took some time to dispose of them as I had no weapons or gear yet.

With that lack of time i only managed to harvest one or two trees before heading back to my hole again, still without coal.

The next morning, more spiders.

After giving up on the surface I harvested some coal underground, grabbed a ton of stone, and the next day beat my way out through tons of spiders and built a wall. I lined the wall with a few torches claiming victory as night fell and I went to toil in my mine.

Returning at daybreak, I was met with more spiders above my hole.

I assumed they had jumped my relatively low walls, and resigned to building the walls higher. I didn’t have enough materials. I decided to explore the pit instead and from my hole I built a door way that opens up into the pit, and cut a stairway that spiraled down its walls. I found more coal, some iron, and returned to my hole when night fell.

Knowing the spiders would only be waiting for me again, the next morning I wandered over to look down into the pit. As I stood looking down a spider dropped on my head before continuing down into the chasm. They were definitely jumping over the walls.

I built the walls higher.

The next morning there were more spiders.

I swore viciously and realized that something was definitely wrong. I climbed my dirt tower and stayed out all night, watching to see just how many monsters spawned.

A lot.

The spawn rate has doubled as far as I can tell, and torches do little to ward them off. Their brightness I think has been reduced, or at least the amount of darkness a monster needs has been lessened.

I do not like this one bit. I can’t get out in the day to do anything without a giant hassle. I’ve placed torches virtually everywhere to ward off monsters but they still spawn like crazy. I’m at a point where they are no longer spawning inside my walls, but the number of creepers, skeletons, zombies, and spiders is ridiculous.

Couple that with the long distances I have to travel to harvest materials and we’ve got a problem, I literally don’t have enough time in the day to do what I want to do.

Back to multiplayer I guess.

11 monsters in one screenshot. What the hell.

Maps Of Minecraft

October 28, 2010 at 7:57 pm | Posted in mmorpg | 6 Comments
Tags: , ,

Bluekae has been running a multiplayer minecraft server I like to call Eternia. There’s something like 10 to 20 regular players there and I’ve built myself a nice little island fortress I’ve named Castle Grimlock.

It’s a bit out of the way and far from prying eyes, most people build much closer to the spawn. In fact before Scary started building his hole in the ground I was the only one building anything of any size that far out.

In any case I thought I’d take the liberty of showing everyone the overhead maps Blue has been making. As far as I can tell one block equals one pixel, or something to that effect.

My island is at the bottom center.

As you can see, my island (bottom center) has few neighbours while the majority of the server is way up top center. Most of the city is actually outside the screen shot. My only real neighbour is Maeve from Multiplaying.net. She’s got this nice house built into the side of a mountain surrounded by trees, but, you can’t really see it on the map.

I’ve also built a cobblestone path along the coastline to both Maeve’s and my own island which you can make out, not to mention the Bifrost bridge. It can be seen as a light blue straight line across the water to the mainland.

Etemos City, ruling capital of Eternia

To give a brief run down of the city, the spawn point is nearly dead center near the lake.

The thin grey lines are walkways, while the wider one was to be a walkway that used minecarts to get around. Since they’re buggy in mutliplayer they ripped up all the rails and the project lays still.

The small rectangle in the bottom left is Scary’s (go northwest from the spawn eh?) annoying project. The giant rectangle in the upper right is another ridiculous project undertaken by Scopique.

The majority of structures near the coast are the doing of Mogsy, while the rest of the structures are… well… everyone elses. There are too many to name or count, and some I just noticed existed by looking at the map when I went to post this article.

WhineCraft

October 21, 2010 at 11:12 pm | Posted in mmorpg | 20 Comments
Tags: , ,

With great mining, comes great minability.

Last night I was trying to get in to Minecraft to take a few screenshots for this post. I couldn’t log in so that I could get on BlueKae’s server. I had heard that Minecraft’s site and therefore their log in was down earlier in the day and assumed the problem was continuing.

Turns out Notch, creator, was getting a distributed denial of service attack.

At first I was kind of stunned. Who’d want to screw with Minecraft? This game is great, sure it’s not for everyone and it can bug out once in a while, but anyone who has put down money for it knows that it’s in Alpha for Multiplayer and Beta for single. They know that the price is going to go up as soon as he leaves beta, and they know the game is programmed, for the most part, by one single guy.

What could possibly anger these people?

Lack of updates.

Here’s the quote from Kotaku which is attributed to a 4chan post.

Minecraft is currently experiencing a stimulation provided by us.

It’s purpose is to send Notch a clear message of how the future of minecraft will turn out unless he gets to work, namely by influencing the amount of sales taking place, due to the attacks.

Start providing your customers with the updates that you promise them.

We have roughly 83,000 bots available, and preserved for this seizure, we could if we wanted to keep this going for weeks, however we have decided to give it a week, and see whether or not your attitude, and commitment will change, we believe it will when money stops rolling in for the time being…

I’m not going to get into how petty, ignorant, illogical, or stupid this is except to say: Douche bags.

Trail Of Tears

October 21, 2010 at 2:13 am | Posted in mmorpg | 6 Comments
Tags: , ,

A lone guardian stands silent in the distance.

One of the greatest joys of Minecraft, at least in Multiplayer, is checking out other peoples junk. Everything from the greatest monument to the lowliest dungeon can be interesting. Seeing what people have accomplished over night, imaginatively designed, or created with passion drives me to log in to Eternia, BlueKae‘s server, far more than my own local survival mode.

With that in mind I set out to find a project Scary had been talking about for a couple days. A tower that stretched from the highest heights to the lowest lows. A gigantic monument/strip mine located in the far reaches of the server. His directions were, “follow your compass South East from the spawn and you should come across it.

Horrible awful directions. I got lost.

I traveled further than I have ever traveled in Minecraft, eventually coming to one of BlueKae’s outer landmarks, small cabins and homes he uses to mark the outskirts of the server. Never once did I catch a glimpse of Scary’s Strip Mine To The Stars.

“I’ll show you!” he says. “Follow me!” he says. “It’ll be easy!” he says. We got lost.

I followed Scary for around 10 minutes and as night fell upon day, we reached the coast. The coast, we both knew, is nowhere near his project.

I gave up. I have projects of my own. Scary seemed disappointed but we had been separated by the black of night anyway, and we gave in.

The next day I set out to find it again. I used Scary’s previous direction but utilized a more stringent search pattern. Scanning the horizon like an adventurer looking for smoke, I sought out any sign of civilization or sign of life. Countless times I came across stone trails, tunnels, torches, even a zombie pit all without discovering the location of my prey. Night came and went, I conquered mountains, swam lakes, leaped over rivers of lava, and still nothing.

Then just as I began to give up hope, a pillar of dirt. Many times in Minecraft you will encounter these. They are used to spot distant landmarks or familiar landscape. I Miner jumps at grown level placing a block beneath him and repeats, dozens of times, suddenly finding himself as high as his blocks will take him.

I engaged in a circle like search pattern always keeping the pillar to my left, ascending the mountains and valleys around it. Nothing, except another pillar. I proceeded to it and engaged in another circle pattern again finding absolutely nothing.

I gave up hope soon after and used my compass to gain my bearings towards the spawn, I came around the corner of a large mountain and there, nestled between two peaks, before me was a rising tower that extended to the clouds. Success.

Like the Iris in the Eye of Sauron

I looked around. It was quickly becoming night and I could see no stairs, nor an entrance. Quickly I decided that if I were to memorize the path I would have to start back soon. I left quickly discovering a short stone path, leading in the general direction of civilization. I kept as straight a line as I could trying to remember the terrain. I came out close to something called Grimnir’s Flaming Zombie Pit. I had never encountered it before. It would be some time before I discovered it again.

Getting lost, obviously, I ended up near PASmith’s tower in the black of night. Yet it was all right, I had discovered the zombie pit, it would be easy to find again, or so I thought.

The next day Mogsy logged in and wondered what I thought was noteworthy in Eternia. I made brief mention of a few things along with Scary’s tower. While she dabbled in the art of photography, I went in search of the zombie pit and that Godforsaken Hellhole.

I got lost over and over again.

At one point I discovered a dirt pillar, and thinking it was the same pillar it gave me a sense of direction which I promptly followed. It was not the same pillar.

Giving up completely I made for the town limits only to come across a wonderful sight. Zombies from hell! The pit! From the zombie pit, I set out on the path to where I thought the tower was. I got lost.

Eventually I found the zombie pit again. Starting out in a new direction I eventually found the blasted tower. I took a more thorough look around, and then headed back to the zombie pit leaving small 2 block high dirt pillars as markers. I did not think to light them.

I met Mogsy not far from Grimnir’s zombie pit, which I had discovered is not a distant length from Grimnir’s home. Night fell.

I can’t see anything in the dark, and I think Mogsy quickly understood that. She found more of my dirt markers than I did but we still stumbled around. As we went I lit each dirt pillar, not to mention the ground, trees, and cliff faces whenever I couldn’t find a pillar, giving us a fine trail to return with but no solid direction to go in. Fortunately all was not lost. By the time morning came around I could see the short stone walkway that leads over the ridge to the tower.

Scary, build a god damn road already.

The Trail of Tears ends in a bottomless pit

Enter The Minecraft

October 17, 2010 at 2:33 am | Posted in mmorpg | 17 Comments
Tags: , ,

The sun sets over CutThroat Island, Castle Grimlock can be seen under construction.

I find mindless activities are often the best source of relaxation for me. I certainly require some form of distraction to relax. Just sitting in a lump thinking about life isn’t going to do me any good.

Enter Minecraft.

I had been seeing numerous semi-mind blowing youtube videos about the game and had become tempted. The pure simplicity of the graphics coupled with the complexity of being able to build just about anything your imagination can come up with really got inside my head.

I’ve never been someone who ogled over the latest graphics cards or “OMG WOW!”ed over the newest game with the best pixels. You’re talking to someone who still longs for the day they make another X-com sequel of note, or recently got into playing Nethack again, or even the guy who regularly played subspace for a long time. So Minecraft’s graphics didn’t bother me at all.

I was talking to a friend today who had seen the videos but refused to try the game. Why? The graphics would bother him too much. After every blog I’ve read about Minecraft, every person I’ve spoken to, every comment I’ve read, he was the first to mention that the graphics plain and simple were the reason he wouldn’t try it.

The thing that made me hesitate was the crafting. I am not a big crafting fan, how many crafting systems can you say you’ve used in games, enjoyed, found useful, and would like to see in other games? For me maybe it’s 2 or 3. Out of how many games with crafting? Countless.

What gave me the final push? Twitter. Yeah I know, anybody that has read this blog for any length of time knows I have pretty strong hate on for social media, but I’ve been using Twitter a lot. All my friends on Twitter? They’re playing Minecraft.

I bought the game for $15 Canadian, and haven’t looked back since. I liked Survivor mode, it was cool. Didn’t like my hole being blown up every single time I came out of it. You learn to adjust though.

What really took hold I think, was BlueKae‘s invitation to play on his multiplayer server. I went into a world filled with streets, castles, skeletor’s lava spewing mountain base, fortresses, tree-houses, love canals, sky palaces, zombie petting zoos, remote island cabins, mysterious gigantic walls, and I made a home for myself. Now the new people on Blue’s server will see a strange cactus maze, Bifrost: The Bridge to Valhalla, Castle Grimlock, and one of the longest mines on the server, Wrong Turn Mine.

I like naming things.

And the crafting?

Minecraft’s crafting is simple, elegant, extensive enough to be useful, not extensive enough to be ridiculous.

The mindless activities? Once I’ve got a goal I can set to it without much hassle or thinking. Relaxing.

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.