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October 12, 2010 8:33 AM   Subscribe

Eight miles of Minecraft highway, displayed in a hypnotic four minute time-lapse. It took 22 hours to build and 27 minutes to traverse in game time. [via]
posted by quin (270 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
Just wait until these people find out about art supplies.
posted by theodolite at 8:37 AM on October 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


I think they've found a pretty good medium as it stands, theo.
posted by flatluigi at 8:39 AM on October 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Yeah, gotta agree with flatuigi. Seems pretty fantastic in its own right.
posted by kbanas at 8:41 AM on October 12, 2010


I really want to see that world in Cartograph.
posted by penduluum at 8:41 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I kept waiting for Eminem to show up.
posted by BaxterG4 at 8:41 AM on October 12, 2010


The Emperor wears no clothes!
posted by KokuRyu at 8:42 AM on October 12, 2010


...and then one Creeper wanders too close to the tracks and suddenly your cart is spinning into the ocean...
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:42 AM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Reminds me of the monorail in the metaverse from Snow Crash
posted by Riptor at 8:42 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I just do not understand the passion for Mnecraft.
posted by nomadicink at 8:43 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Pretty smooth, but what's with that freakishly round alien moon?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:43 AM on October 12, 2010 [6 favorites]


Pretty smooth, but what's with that freakishly round alien moon?

Straight answer: it's presumably an optional texture pack. There's a lot of that going around; I personally love the lo-res standard textures and am faithfully abiding by them for now ("square moon" practically defines the Minecraft world to me) but some people with good eyes for textures and pixel arts are doing some pretty neat stuff.
posted by cortex at 8:47 AM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


I just do not understand the passion for Mnecraft.

What's not to understand? It's a sandbox game. There are rudimentary tools. You can do a lot.

You can make a highway or a 16-bit processor or, well, hell, a lot of different things. There's no objective - the point is to simply play and create, and obviously there are a lot of people who get off on that.
posted by kbanas at 8:49 AM on October 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


nomadicink: I just do not understand the passion for Mnecraft

Limitless world, simple yet deep mechanics, ability to be wildly creative. Add onto it that it has a multiplayer system to allow creating with other people and it's not very hard to understand.
posted by flatluigi at 8:51 AM on October 12, 2010


OK, that's it. I'm all minecrafted out. :)
posted by zarq at 8:51 AM on October 12, 2010


If I ever build a second home base, there's definitely going to be a tram connecting the two.

Right now I'm building a "Great Wall" using all the extra stone that I've mined trying to find more precious stuff.
posted by backseatpilot at 8:51 AM on October 12, 2010


Wonder what would happen if it caught fire?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 8:52 AM on October 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I didn't really understand Minecraft either until I started playing last week. I lost most of my weekend to creating a totally bitch'n fort. Still tweaking the automatic moat, but now that I've solved the Spider Problem, I think I've got it under control.

Does anyone have any good approaches to cleaning out dungeon areas? I found a cool void beneath my fort and want to make it into a Batcave, but there's a respawner nearby and I can never get close enough to it to surround it with torches before 50 jillion skeletons come out of nowhere and riddle me with arrows.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:52 AM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


penduluum: "I really want to see that world in Cartograph."

Hey Presto!
posted by Happy Dave at 8:53 AM on October 12, 2010 [7 favorites]


I go through Minecraft phases that just happen to sync pretty well with Notch's dev schedule. I'll do a LOT, peter out for a few weeks, and then jump back in when something new crops up. Strangely, I can almost always watch cool videos of ingame stuff.
posted by codacorolla at 8:53 AM on October 12, 2010


It's like Desert Bus Ride 2010 or something.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:54 AM on October 12, 2010


Does anyone have any good approaches to cleaning out dungeon areas? I found a cool void beneath my fort and want to make it into a Batcave, but there's a respawner nearby and I can never get close enough to it to surround it with torches before 50 jillion skeletons come out of nowhere and riddle me with arrows.

Monsters don't spawn in well lit areas, so the best option is to clean out the standing monsters and then plunk a ton of torches down in a circle around the cage.

A good way to fuddle monsters is with water, since that messes up their pathing and combat AI a little, so you can take a bucket with you, and then make a flow that surrounds the monsters, giving you time to work (might make placing torches slightly difficult though).

You can also go scorched earth and do the same thing, but with lava... just takes a little planning to make sure the treasure chests don't go down with the spawner.
posted by codacorolla at 8:56 AM on October 12, 2010


You never had lego as a kid, did you nomadicink? Mincraft is like lego with suicide bombers.
posted by bonehead at 9:01 AM on October 12, 2010 [9 favorites]


but there's a respawner nearby and I can never get close enough to it to surround it with torches before 50 jillion skeletons come out of nowhere and riddle me with arrows.

I too was going to suggest the cleansing powers of lava, but I didn't consider the potential damage to nearby chests.

Actually, I'd probably do it anyway because there is little I love more than killing mobs with lava.
posted by quin at 9:01 AM on October 12, 2010


You can make a highway or a 16-bit processor

Not quite a processor yet, but he's getting there.

I've been trying my hand at designing circuits myself. It's a really interesting exercise and makes me feel smarter for doing it. Designing a Toggle Flip-flop without referencing the designs on the wiki was surprisingly challenging. It took me 90 minutes and I wasn't entirely clear when i was done on how exactly it worked. It had multiple RS latches connected together with AND gates. After I had it working, I removed an RS latch that I thought was unnecessary, and it completely broke it, and i'm still not sure why. It's amazingly easy, once you get beyond a few logic gates to completely lose track of why certain things had to be there. Also, it's pretty common to know exactly what you need to do, and yet not be able to figure out how to get wires from A to B without crossing over other circuits. My input for the Toggle Flip-Flop somehow ended up in the inside of the circuit, which means I'd have to add another level to it, if I wanted to connect it to anything else.

Which is why the whole ALU thing is mindblowing to me.
posted by empath at 9:02 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


You might open a roof over the spawner and smother the spawn zone with sand. You can then clean it out and illuminate it at your leisure.
posted by Iridic at 9:04 AM on October 12, 2010


Does anyone have any good approaches to cleaning out dungeon areas? I found a cool void beneath my fort and want to make it into a Batcave, but there's a respawner nearby and I can never get close enough to it to surround it with torches before 50 jillion skeletons come out of nowhere and riddle me with arrows.

Make a one block hole you can shoot arrows through. After the monsters are dead, rush in, drop a few torches around it, run back out, wait for one to respawn, kill it, and finish the job. You just need to drop 8 torches around it, in a square, then you can pick-axe it to death at your leisure.
posted by empath at 9:05 AM on October 12, 2010


some people with good eyes for textures and pixel arts are doing some pretty neat stuff

Yeah, j/k. But I caught the two alternate texture packs in the RPS coverage and thought: hell, no. Then noted how awesome an iron ore deposit could look... So, maybe. Someday.

Also, for those of you who haven't done much on a frozen world: ice lake skylights rock. (Just don't put torches too close to them) And trying out basic circuits, myself. Neat stuff.

Does anyone have any good approaches to cleaning out dungeon areas? I found a cool void beneath my fort and want to make it into a Batcave, but there's a respawner nearby and I can never get close enough to it to surround it with torches before 50 jillion skeletons come out of nowhere and riddle me with arrows.

Two suggestions: i) wall as you go (I like to throw up earthen ramparts to get closer, laying torches; or ii) go around. Carve into the walls (or floor) to the side for a different approach. Make narrow openings, for skeletons, at leg level, so you can hit them with your sword but (usually) not get hit, for taking out the ones already there. Ooh, but Iridic's suggestion sounds like the best in your circumstances.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:06 AM on October 12, 2010


Pretty smooth, but what's with that freakishly round alien moon?

That's no moon. It's a space station.
posted by ryoshu at 9:10 AM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


It can't be - no space station could be that big!
posted by Happy Dave at 9:13 AM on October 12, 2010


> ...and then one Creeper wanders too close to the tracks and suddenly your cart is spinning into the ocean...

The video's creator said in the comments that the first four runs were interrupted by hitting either a pig or a cow or some other daytime mob. That's why there are so many glass enclosures along the track - anywhere it touched ground he glassed it off to keep them off the track.

> You just need to drop 8 torches around it, in a square, then you can pick-axe it to death at your leisure.

Whaaaaaat no once you have it torched off you can build a drowning trap with a nice glass wall and everything. Then when the trap is finished you take the torches out and watch them jump and drown themselves - and you get all the loot. Great way to get things off of zombies and skeletons with no trouble.
posted by komara at 9:21 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


The passion? Minecraft is LEGO, except you have as many blocks as you can mine from the earth yourself. And you have to/get to live in and amongst your creations. With just enough danger to keep it exciting.

Minecraft is an infinite LEGO world you are dropped into with nothing. Explore, survive, create.
posted by gilrain at 9:25 AM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


So, its snuck in from the grey now has it?
posted by The Lady is a designer at 9:28 AM on October 12, 2010



It can't be - no space station could be that big!

Famous last words?
posted by The Lady is a designer at 9:29 AM on October 12, 2010


And in case someone, somewhere, is somehow not aware of the update coming soon...
posted by inigo2 at 9:40 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I just do not understand the passion for Mnecraft.

It's what happens when you get the user interface right for a sandbox game. Very few controls, very simple concepts, and a responsive game engine with cheerful visuals that has you rearranging things within a few seconds. I have only tried it once, briefly, the single-player mode -- and within a minute I was carving my way through a mountain, discovering little caverns. Instinctively, I then climbed to the highest point I could find so that I could look around.

Imagine every other sandbox game as variations on Lego Mindstorms, and Minecraft as a set of blocks. Mindstorms is terrific once you learn how, and if you're old enough and patient enough, but with a set of blocks everyone can start building a castle, then make like godzilla to knock 'em down, then start throwing them at each other. All in the same minute.
posted by davejay at 9:44 AM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


and I say this as someone who burned many a weekend on railroad tycoon and roller coaster tycoon -- there is no way in hell I'm going to buy Minecraft or my children will go hungry. it is the crack of sandbox games.
posted by davejay at 9:46 AM on October 12, 2010


You never had lego as a kid, did you nomadicink? Mincraft is like lego with suicide bombers.

There are several boxes of Lego from the 80s that say :P~~~. The highpoints of being a kid back then was building space ships and stations and moon rovers while this new thing called MTV blared.

The comparison to Lego does help the understanding, but the digital vs tactical nature is probably what's keeping me from getting into Minecraft. That and the blocky art.
posted by nomadicink at 9:48 AM on October 12, 2010


That's no moon. It's a space station.

And in case someone, somewhere, is somehow not aware of the update coming soon...


I sense a great disturbance in NaNoWriMo, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:50 AM on October 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Good on them for taking the high road. There's a certain bliss in following the rules and not just hex-editing whatever you want into the game.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:57 AM on October 12, 2010


Leaving aside the time to lay out the track, and build the enclosures, and so on, I have never ever had nearly enough iron to even get close to doing something like that. I'm like the worst at finding iron: I have hundreds of units of redstone (which I don't particularly need) in my current world, and like maybe 2 dozen units of iron. Which I am hoarding, because I've got this fantastic habit of dying in lava flows two million miles from my spawn point and having to rebuild my armor.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 10:06 AM on October 12, 2010


I sense a great disturbance in NaNoWriMo, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

The written word should send a thank you letter to Notch.
posted by codacorolla at 10:09 AM on October 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


Reminds me of the monorail in the metaverse from Snow Crash

Naah, that's really more of a Shelbyville idea...
posted by rusty at 10:10 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Lentrohamsanin, I was just about to say the same. I'm baffled as to how they were able to assemble that much track. That's a lot of iron. I stockpile the hell out of it, but I am nowhere near that amount.
posted by purephase at 10:11 AM on October 12, 2010


I see videos like this and I keep on wondering where the hell do people find that much iron. I've never found more than like maybe sixty units of iron in the time I played it, never mind any diamond.
posted by egypturnash at 10:12 AM on October 12, 2010


Reminds me of Michel Gondry's video for Chemical Brother's Star Guitar.

Would have been neater if the torches were more in sync with the music.
posted by meandthebean at 10:16 AM on October 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


I have the same problem, Lentrohamsanin, which is why I never make any armour but cow hide these days. I've lost two iron picks in lava, and that's all I'm going to risk. Underground, I leave the compass at home, too.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:16 AM on October 12, 2010


*Chemical Brothers'
posted by meandthebean at 10:16 AM on October 12, 2010


Oh good, I'm not the only iron-challenged minecrafter out there.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 10:18 AM on October 12, 2010


This weekend, I'm building a house and find clay nearby, so I decide to make bricks so I can build it out of brick. I only have enough clay to make like 20 blocks, so I decide i'm going to go find more. I chop down some trees, pack up my shit and go on a boat to search around the island I'm on to find more clay (it's only near the ocean, usually on small sandy islands). By the time sunset comes around, I realize the island I'm on is more like a continent, and I'm not going to be able to make it around by nightfall. My choices are to wait it out on the boat, or find shelter for the night.
So, I land, and dig myself a hole in the dirt to hide from the zombies. Since i'm now completely lost, I decide to make a compass, but I didn't bring any redstone with me, so i start digging, since it's usually buried way underground.

I'm rushing and not really paying attention, so I dig straight down into empty air and fall about 8 blocks into a gigantic pitch black cave, which knocks me down to half health, and I hear zombies groaning.

I have no idea where I am, and like an idiot, I'm carrying around a bunch of steel and diamond equipment that took me hours to mine out and make. If I die in this cave, I lose all of it, and I won't get it back.

I frantically rush to put torches everywhere, but there are cave branches leading up and outwards that I can't easily get to without building or carving steps, and can't see into them. I block off as much as I can with the dirt I'm carrying, and just as I thought I was safe, and gathering mushrooms so I can make soup and heal up, I just barely see a creeper drop down from a ledge above me. I literally screamed while I ran my guy across the room to get just enough space so the explosion only took me down to 1 heart. I barely made it out alive, but I had my redstone for the compass.

Then once I got out of the cave and started following the compass back to my base, I realized that I was only a 40 second walk away and could have easily made it back without camping for the night. All of that to get enough clay to make another 30 bricks.

That kind of tension and release is pretty rare in games, and done without a bit of narrative or guidance from the game designer... it just emerged from the rules of the system and the choices i made.

That's why minecraft is so addictive. And it'll only get more so once multiplayer survival gets caught up to single-player and you can travel between servers.
posted by empath at 10:19 AM on October 12, 2010 [26 favorites]


Good on them for taking the high road. There's a certain bliss in following the rules and not just hex-editing whatever you want into the game.

Well, sort of. From the youtube description:
"ФI only mined about 10% of the way myself, before realizing the scale of this needed divine intervention in the form of InvEdit.
ФEven though I didn't gather all the resources, I still mined the tunnels, placed the bridges, stone, and the rails myself by hand."

So, to respond to the iron-gathering questions, he didn't. He used an editor to give himself a ton of iron.
posted by inigo2 at 10:20 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Regarding You and Your Iron: if you have more redstone than iron then you're mining too deeply. Iron is more frequent up there in those 20-40 blocks below the surface. Redstone is down there deeper, and then gold and diamonds.

If I could give you some of my iron from my multiplayer server game I would. I built a Cross of Lorraine out of iron blocks (17 blocks at 9 iron ingots a block) just for decoration because I had nothing else to use it for.

Of course there are two major things that don't work in multiplayer: player damage and minecarts. Once I start needing armor and once I can start using tracks, well, that cross is coming down. I'll just consider it a good place to store it all for the time being.
posted by komara at 10:29 AM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Also Regarding You and Your Iron: I've found that the best way to get iron is to distract yourself with the thought that for some reason you need gigantic rooms at 30x30x30 or thereabouts, and spend time making these huge rooms, and next thing you know when you're done there's a ton of iron in your inventory, and chests full of cobblestone, and blurry eyes, and wrist strain, and your back hurts, and it's 2:00AM.
posted by komara at 10:30 AM on October 12, 2010 [9 favorites]


I want to play Minecraft so badly, and I'm so glad that I don't.
posted by slogger at 10:32 AM on October 12, 2010 [7 favorites]


Jesus, all it takes to get an FPP now is one long track?! I like Minecraft but this is ridiculous. There's some skill in the video, I guess, but there's not any in the actual building.

Did he gather his own materials in Survival, or was this in Creative?
posted by graventy at 10:34 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


That kind of tension and release is pretty rare in games, and done without a bit of narrative or guidance from the game designer... it just emerged from the rules of the system and the choices i made.

I've started laying chests when I'm carrying too much of value and my health is getting low, leading me to a similar seemingly fruitless quest to find a cave opening I marked with several torches, in a large arch, before I was overwhelmed by mobs in the area and re-spawned (having just frantically safeguarded my goods). Couldn't find it by day, forcing me out at night looking for the glow, eventually constructing a few crazy-high forest-ranger-like towers to look for those glows. Incredible amount of emergent adventure and risk.

A few deep-cavern moments have mirrored some of the best rpg experiences in Vault of the Drow in suspense. And skeletons have been designed so well -- they're so bloody accurate! -- you know when that arrow vibrates into the rock a foot away it's only because you managed to move that foot in the moment you had.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:36 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh good, I'm not the only iron-challenged minecrafter out there.

I used to, but then i changed my mining method.

Don't use iron pickaxes unless you need them.

Dig down to bedrock, then go up 10 or 11 blocks. That gets you out of lava range (mostly), but keeps you in diamond, coal, redstone and iron range.

Dig out a 16x16 room or so, 5 blocks high. Build storage units, workbenches, furnaces etc. Stock it up with lots and lots of wood and food.

On each wall, dig two tunnels 2 high and 1 wide with 5 blocks separating them. Right in the middle of these, dig a tunnel in the 4th and 5 blocks up. Then one 5 blocks over from that.

Because ore seams tend to spread out by a few blocks, you're going to get about 90% of the ore covered by those tunnels.

I usually dig about 20 deep into these tunnels before carving crossways and circling back. Once I've dug out all 4 sides of that main room, I'll start digging further into the tunnels and kind of carving the whole area into a gigantic 2 layer grid, sometimes making a new base by clearing out a big room.

With this system, in about an hour, you should get about 10 diamond, 40-50 iron, 25-30 gold, and a shitload of redstone and coal, and very little lava.
posted by empath at 10:39 AM on October 12, 2010 [12 favorites]


I simply can not bear to return to singleplayer. I love the community of multiplayer servers, the sharing of resources, the trading of goods, the traveling and viewing other people's creations. When my favorite servers are down and I try singleplayer again it's just so lonely. I honestly can't remember why I want to create these amazing monuments when there's no one to share them with, no one to go visit and get a tour from. It really is depressingly lonely to me.

It'll be tons better when there are monsters out at night but until then I don't miss those nasty beasts.
posted by komara at 10:40 AM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


You'll be able to invite people to your single player game eventually.

I kind of hope that you'll be able to build portals to teleport between servers, not just hell.
posted by empath at 10:46 AM on October 12, 2010


On the other hand, if you want to find a ton of iron legitimately, this is probably the best way.
posted by jsnlxndrlv at 10:48 AM on October 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Agh, empath beat me to it.
posted by jsnlxndrlv at 10:49 AM on October 12, 2010


Hey are the carts workin' now? I haven't logged on in a couple weeks - real life, you know.
posted by Mister_A at 10:49 AM on October 12, 2010


Things that still don't work in multi as far as I know:

1.) player damage
2.) mob damage
3.) minecarts
4.) redstone circuitry
5.) buckets
posted by komara at 10:53 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Since "where's the ore?" comes up a lot, here is far more than you probably need to know.
posted by cortex at 10:55 AM on October 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Jesus, all it takes to get an FPP now is one long track?! I like Minecraft but this is ridiculous. There's some skill in the video, I guess, but there's not any in the actual building.

What's interesting is the final piece of art; a video about racing down a seemingly endless set of rails in a virtual world set to a neat piece of music. If the end result is cool, the level of effort involved is secondary.

My kids love love love Minecraft, but it has been usurped because LEGO Universe arrived. :)
posted by DWRoelands at 11:00 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


One of the easiest way to hide from mobs at night is to repeatedly lay blocks under your feet until you're standing on a tall, thin tower. In the morning, dig your way back down, or jump into some water.
posted by swift at 11:02 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


4.) redstone circuitry

I'd replace this with Doors and Switches.

Wires don't light up properly and doors and switches don't update state properly, but the circuitry actually works, and torches light up properly.
posted by empath at 11:25 AM on October 12, 2010


I've only played with short minecart tracks. Does anyone know how they got the cart going for this? The beginning of the video looks like the cart is going uphill? Or is that an optical illusion and it's actually going down? If you get a big downhill boost will the cart just keep going fast forever until it hits an uphill section?

Does anyone have any good approaches to cleaning out dungeon areas? I found a cool void beneath my fort and want to make it into a Batcave, but there's a respawner nearby

Another method you can try is that if you go far enough away, mobs disappear, and then start respawning when you enter the area again. If you can clear a straight path to the respawner, go far away, then rush back to it, you might be able to get there and throw down some torches before any monsters spawn.
posted by straight at 11:29 AM on October 12, 2010


I haven't built one yet, but I'm guessing that it's being propelled by a powered minecart.
posted by quin at 11:35 AM on October 12, 2010


No, he cheated and used a mod that adds powered tracks.
posted by empath at 11:38 AM on October 12, 2010


Does anyone know how they got the cart going for this?

He actually uses a mod (Autocart) that makes carts travel at a constant speed without propulsion. See notes under the video here. I kept looking for boosters and not seeing any. You could do this with boosters but I guess it would ugly things up a bit.
posted by penduluum at 11:38 AM on October 12, 2010


On preview: yeah.
posted by penduluum at 11:39 AM on October 12, 2010


I've started laying chests when I'm carrying too much of value and my health is getting low...

I recently discovered cartograph and the art of caving, which leads me way far from spawn carrying way too many goodies to lose. I finally started carrying a chest with me for random occasions. If I know I'm under the ocean and I'm trying to find the next cave, which could be above me, I'll lay a chest and then a wall before digging up. It hasn't happened yet, but eventually I'm going to dig into sand or water from below and bad things will happen.
posted by Big_B at 11:41 AM on October 12, 2010


Jesus, all it takes to get an FPP now is one long track?! I like Minecraft but this is ridiculous. There's some skill in the video, I guess, but there's not any in the actual building.

I'm waiting for a Lady Gaga / Minecraft mashup. :)
posted by zarq at 11:44 AM on October 12, 2010


A little while back I consulted an earlier version of the guide cortex linked to and it definitely improved my ore finds, but I must confess to a dislike for regimented mining. Minecraft instills what I would consider to be an unprecedented level of enjoyment in what in another game would be considered "grinding" (lumberjacking has become fun again since learning that shoots drop from unsupported tree tops if not touching the ground -- smashing leaf blocks lost its shine after awhile), but I still enjoy a bit more haphazard work when it comes to mining -- and I understand that the output suffers for that.

I do have about 150 iron ingots socked away, so who knows, maybe the lean times are over, but I'm still rationing for the time being.

One of the easiest way to hide from mobs at night is to repeatedly lay blocks under your feet until you're standing on a tall, thin tower.

One of the funny things about minecraft is that the ease of escape, if you're willing to do nothing till sunrise, is fairly trivial. Instead of a tall tower, you could dig a shallow pit, climb inside and cover it and you'd be just as safe (though there is a bit of pleasure in watching the nighttime world that you'd forgo). I've seen sleep suggested in the forums as a new feature, and I think it would bring quick ruin to those stupid, (wonderfully) stupid moonlit escapades you find yourself, like some daft horror movie character, embarking upon.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:02 PM on October 12, 2010


I think minecraft should add an endgame. Some kind of massive construction project that gets you off the planet. You'd need to establish an entire industry first, though, from mining/harvesting through refinement up to manufacturing finished goods, and that requires drops from massive monsters and extensive travelling to get rare resources.
posted by empath at 12:07 PM on October 12, 2010


A little while back I consulted an earlier version of the guide cortex linked to and it definitely improved my ore finds, but I must confess to a dislike for regimented mining.

Yeah, I hear that. I like that guide as a reference and as a testament to enthusiastic geekery, but I keep my hardcore mining to a minimum because there's not much joy in it. I'll often commit myself to go digging out a few hundred cobble for a project and get distracted by the first natural cave system I come across, because the mysteries of some existing subterranean hollow are a lot more compelling than the prospect of plowing a straight line for another hundred meters.
posted by cortex at 12:12 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Minecraft offers roleplaying opportunities I haven't found elsewhere. Me and two friends are making a good chunk of the MeFightClub server into a nature preserve, Big Floaty Notional Park. We love it. I spent hours today making a gravel path (with wooden and glass bridges) from the visitor center to a good viewing spot to see Big Floaty itself (a large, floating island). It's amusing to me that with limitless opportunities to do whatever, my friends and I chose to roleplay park rangers. Outside of Minecraft, I can't think of a single game in which that would be possible.
posted by Kattullus at 12:17 PM on October 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


You guys are nerds! Where is the park I wanna go check it out.
posted by Mister_A at 12:22 PM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Quick question about Minecraft: can monsters kill you if you log off at nightfall and don't leave your person somewhere protected? Or can you escape by logging out and not coming back until morning?

If it's the former, I need to cave (pun intended) and buy it.
posted by davejay at 1:37 PM on October 12, 2010


Well, in single player, when you log out then the game is effectively paused.

In multiplayer, right now the monsters can't hurt you at all (hopefully that's fixed with the Halloween update). But, it's closer to your latter option -- when you're logged out, your character isn't in the world either. You sorta could avoid the baddies by logging out every time it got dark, and back in ~8 minutes later. But (a) some of the bad guys stay alive in the daylight, so you're not fully safe, and (b) logging off every 8 minutes, for 8 minutes at a time? I can't even fathom doing that...
posted by inigo2 at 1:57 PM on October 12, 2010


tl/dr -- you should get it.
posted by inigo2 at 1:57 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


To try to put this video and the size of the game into perspective, each Minecraft world is apparently 4,294,967,296 chunks square, and each chunk is 16 blocks square. So the total distance from one side of the world to the other is about 68 million kilometers.

That video covers 8 miles in four minutes, so it's about 120MPH. If you were to sit in that cart running at that speed, and wait until you got to the edge, traveling continuously 24x7x365, it would take a little over 40 years.

If the map actually starts in the middle, you might get lucky and only have to travel for 20 years to see the edge. :)
posted by Malor at 2:07 PM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


I have to say, my holy grail is (and has always been) a persistent world, where logging out doesn't guarantee safety -- or at least, not unless you log out in a specific "safe" place. So if you're running from something, you can't just bail and lose your unsaved progress -- when you bail, your character just stops running and lays down to sleep, to be killed or robbed or whatever.

Players would presumably have a choice: get to a "safe" place before logging off (let's say a church) -- otherwise they'd have to either build a fortress and hope nobody managed to break in (where they'd find you asleep and helpless) or join a guild where players guarded each other's avatars 24 hours a day, seven days a week (probably in a defended fortress.)

If minecraft evolved into that kind of multiplayer game, I think my head would explode.
posted by davejay at 2:10 PM on October 12, 2010


It goes without saying that thieves and monsters would linger around churches, hoping to ambush people on their way to the "safe" place to log off for the night, and so players would find themselves having to fight or sneak their way in
posted by davejay at 2:11 PM on October 12, 2010


davejay: I'm pretty sure that the old BBS door game Legend of the Red Dragon (LORD) used to do that very thing. You'd best find the inn before you left, otherwise you'd have bad things happen. Other players could challenge you, even in your absence, and you might log on to find that you'd been killed in the night.

As it stands now in Minecraft multiplayer the day keeps moving, but yeah, you disappear. I think a lot of that has to do with how Minecraft works - if there's no one in a cluster or node or whatever, the server more or less stops paying attention to it. Sometimes trees don't grow, or grass doesn't regrow, and mobs don't spawn. Having the server have to pay attention to everyone, logged in or not, and keep their clusters active? That'd be a real pain.
posted by komara at 2:16 PM on October 12, 2010


I did some calculations as well, and by my (probably terrible) math, this path would be around 12,263 blocks long. It would require 4598 iron bars to produce, and that is enough to completely fill one large chest and half of a small one.

That's a lot of iron.
posted by quin at 2:25 PM on October 12, 2010


Sounds a lot like Eve Online, dave.
posted by hellphish at 2:25 PM on October 12, 2010


Yeah, but Eve Online is a nightmare to learn. I want something that's easy to play, with few rules (so that the gameplay can self-govern as with Minecraft), but with that persistence. As komara mentions, there's a good reason nobody's doing it yet.

Anyway, the main point is that I just bought it and now I'm doomed. I will pre-craft my "DCFS is taking my kids away because of my Minecraft addiction, what should I do" AskMe.
posted by davejay at 3:38 PM on October 12, 2010


I've been having a great time just exploring huge cave systems. But, then, I'm like that IRL, too.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:19 PM on October 12, 2010


It took 22 hours to build and 27 minutes to traverse in game time.

On the Aporkalypse, one of our MefightClub minecraft servers (where the focus is creativity and collaboration), my Great Southern Skyway linking civilization's verge to Stavrostralia is currently in two sections, each of which take about 20 minutes to walk, for a total of two day-night cycles. Once minecarts work in multiplayer, it's definitely getting rails as well.

And that particular project is far from the most ambitious on the server.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:32 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


each Minecraft world is apparently 4,294,967,296 chunks square, and each chunk is 16 blocks square. So the total distance from one side of the world to the other is about 68 million kilometers.

Only theoretically. The world isn't generated until you walk there.
posted by empath at 4:47 PM on October 12, 2010


Well, I solved my dungeon problem with TNT. Now that my moat is up and working (and filtering the damn spiders out) I'm swimming in gunpowder. Tunneled through the ceiling and dropped explosives on the far side of the spawner from the chests.

I now almost exclusively dig with TNT. Why waste time when you can BLOW IT UP? Probably best I avoid the Mefight servers for...

And what's with this whole torches burning out come Halloween? Half my structures will be overrun and crumble in a few cycles!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:41 PM on October 12, 2010


The word is that existing torches will be automatically converted into ever-burning lanterns for which there will also be a new crafting recipe, and new torches will be of the relightable variety, if I understand correctly...
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:52 PM on October 12, 2010


I now almost exclusively dig with TNT. Why waste time when you can BLOW IT UP? Probably best I avoid the Mefight servers for...

Are you cheating to get the gunpowder or just killing a whole bunch of creepers? It's faster to mine out 9 blocks than kill 5 creepers and craft TNT.
posted by empath at 8:39 PM on October 12, 2010


I love this game because it does the 8bit retro thing just right. But I am not sure why this game got it's hooks into me and Second Reality did not. Maybe it's because I'm witness to it's evolution?

I recently found the most amazing SMP server which unfortunately I can't share here. Were I to, I would never be able to log in. It made me realize the true potential of this game. It has custom anti-griefing code, townships that take several minutes to travel between and astounding constructions created only by materials available in the world.

It's really quite something to behold.
posted by chemoboy at 8:54 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


The word is that existing torches will be automatically converted into ever-burning lanterns for which there will also be a new crafting recipe, and new torches will be of the relightable variety, if I understand correctly...

So if I work all night, every night, between now and October 31st, mining coal, harvesting trees, making and posting as many torches as possible, covering entire continents with a torch on every exposed block, I should be all set when they suddenly transform into lanterns.
posted by straight at 8:55 PM on October 12, 2010


This is the way I understand it, straight. But I expect that lanterns won't be all that much more onerous in terms of resources than torches.

It's really quite something to behold.

Come join us on the MefightClub server. There is also much that is very splendid, although it's often full during prime time these days.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:04 PM on October 12, 2010


Minecraft... endlos (endlos! endlos! endlos! endlos!)
Minecraft... endlos (endlos! endlos! endlos! endlos!)
Die Zombies sind leblos (Minecraft endlos!)
Die Zombies sind leblos (Minecraft endlos!)
posted by No-sword at 9:23 PM on October 12, 2010


I tried this game a few months ago, fiddled with it for about 10 minutes, didn't get it at all. I wasn't exactly blown away with the graphics, either. I know the whole 8-bit thing has a retro-cool, hipster element that resonates with a lot of people, but going from my XBOX 360 game worlds to the blocky pixelated Minecraft world, it felt like someone trying too hard to be minimalist-hip.

Then, about a month ago, I tried it again. Oh, so that's how you make a stone axe! That's how you make a furnace! That's how you make a boat. Etc., etc. I burrowed into my nearest cave and, with a mere scratching of the surface tumbled upon a MASSIVE complex of caves that still boggles my mind. I built a kingdom down there. Then I decided to surface and raze the above mountain to the ground, exposing my kingdom to the sun. And that's just the beginning.

It seems to me that Minecraft, with its multiplayer (even though that's not really complete yet) is going to achieve what Second Life is trying but failing to do.

I'm absolutely hooked to this game now, but truth be known, I still don't like the pixelation and blocky 8-bitness of it. I want high res. I want Minecraft on the Unreal engine, the Doom engine, whatever it is that will give me beautifully rendered worlds. I suppose there's a pragmatic reason for the 8-bit graphics and simplicity so that most any computer can run it. But for those of us with the means, with higher-end machines, it'd be great to run something high res. I'm sure that's heresy to some, but deal with it.
posted by zardoz at 11:17 PM on October 12, 2010


the pragmatic reason is that it was coded by one guy who is not an artist.
posted by empath at 11:45 PM on October 12, 2010


I'm fine with the 8bit. It's like cartoons: more realistic is not necessarily better. Peanuts vs Mary Worth.

Game play is what is important. And minecraft seems to nail it.

I've been spelunking for weeks. Huge cave system, it just keeps blowing me away. Keep expecting to have mapped it all with torches and signs, and keep finding new vast caverns with multiple huge branches. Right up my alley. For others, construction. Others, surface exploration. Circuitry. Roller coasters. Traps. Something for most everyone.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:54 PM on October 12, 2010


I clicked the Minecraft tag, and discovered that the first Minecraft FPP in June gathered all of ten comments, most of which were some variation of "meh". Oh, how things have changed!
posted by Harald74 at 2:21 AM on October 13, 2010


Are you cheating to get the gunpowder or just killing a whole bunch of creepers? It's faster to mine out 9 blocks than kill 5 creepers and craft TNT.

I have a giant moat around my castle that's a huge drowning trap. After the sun sets, I work on my walls, which draws in creatures, who fall into the trap and die, leaving me to collect goodies in the morning. I can usually make 2-3 TNT blocks each cycle.

I like digging with TNT because it's a bit more exciting and feels a bit more random than just using the pick. Plus, my world seems a bit iron-light, so it saves my fancy picks!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:37 AM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


> I'm absolutely hooked to this game now, but truth be known, I still don't like the pixelation and blocky 8-bitness of it. I want high res. I want Minecraft on the Unreal engine, the Doom engine, whatever it is that will give me beautifully rendered worlds.

But how are you supposed to do that? Part of the beauty of the game is the blocks, those delicious approximately one meter square blocks. If this game had beautiful graphics people would be complaining that the blocks were too chunky. People would say, "I want smaller blocks so I can build more elegant curves" or something, and then we'd be dealing with 10cm blocks, and selection tools to grab large sections of blocks and duplicate them since stacking that many fiddly little blocks by hand would be too tedious, and then next thing you know it's not Minecraft at all.

I think the graphics are totally appropriate for the size of the construction materials.
posted by komara at 7:26 AM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


But how are you supposed to do that?

Questions of blocky beauty side (you know I stand proud next to you with my rectangular prism of a fist held high), someone could do a purely cosmetic take on an alternate rendering engine that treats each exposed block as a node in a smoother polygon mesh, the topology of which would be determined by the relationship in space between any two blocks and their respective material types.

So if you've got a couple pieces of dirt, one a block higher than and a block over from other, the engine could approximate a smooth slope between the two. If you've got a transition from dirt to sand, or sand to water, it could create an appropriate bit of borderland. Flat-style materials like cobble and wood could retain their essential flatness but get some nice bevels or molding or whatever at "joints". Etc.

I think it would be hard to do really well, partly because there's a lot of active imagination that goes into resolving current structures into their intended representations and any given rendering approach would get at least some of that wrong without metadata hints about how to pretty something up (and that metadata doesn't exist in the game), but still. Could be attempted, at least, in a way that would literally take the edge off the blockiness.
posted by cortex at 7:36 AM on October 13, 2010


I think it would be hard to do really well, partly because there's a lot of active imagination that goes into resolving current structures into their intended representations and any given rendering approach would get at least some of that wrong without metadata hints about how to pretty something up (and that metadata doesn't exist in the game), but still.

That's an understatement to say the least. This undertaking of prettification would have to happen to some other game - Minecraft can't even figure out which way to place stairstep blocks half the time. I can imagine the convolutions and conversations now: "Hey, guys, I finally found a way to tweak half-height pavers into a true arc! First you have to build a wooden ramp like so, but don't complete the top three sections ..." and so forth.

Honestly, I love Minecraft just the way it is. Every time someone complains about wanting water "fixed" or some other glitchy thing it makes me want to say, "That's just part of the fun." I wanted really tall 'poles' which can only be achieved from mis-using the fencing, and you can't build up, you have to place a pole, removed the block below it, and then place the next. Totally the opposite of how every other block works. Who cares? That's part of the fun! Having sand or gravel blocks held up by torches? That's part of the fun too. I wouldn't have it any other way. If all of this gets "fixed" I'm going to be waxing nostalgic about the good old days when stuff was broken and we liked it.
posted by komara at 8:00 AM on October 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


I've been thinking of using an alien minecraft texture set to because it makes a lot more 'sense' for the physics to be wonky when it's not even attempting to make reference to real world objects.

I'd actually like to see how much someone coming to minecraft fresh could deduce simply from the physics without textures that reference real world objects -- maybe just solid color blocks. Would they recognize trees, water, sand, etc?
posted by empath at 8:22 AM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


the topology of which would be determined by the relationship in space between any two blocks and their respective material types.

See, that sounds similar (but more complicated) to how stairs get oriented, and frankly, that's a huge pain in the butt. So, to say it'd be difficult is an understatement I think.
posted by inigo2 at 10:46 AM on October 13, 2010


See, that sounds similar (but more complicated) to how stairs get oriented, and frankly, that's a huge pain in the butt. So, to say it'd be difficult is an understatement I think.

I think the difference is the difficulty of doing it Right in a "I am satisfied with the decisions this renderer makes in all cases" sense vs. doing it Good Enough. I think you could get 90% of the way there pretty quickly, if the goal is not so much to rework the graphical representation of the world to 2.0 levels of functionality so much as to make things look pretty at a glance to someone unfamiliar with the game.

Rounding the corners off terrain in a believable way would not, I don't think, be all that challenging if you don't sweat the details too much. Partly this is because no one has particularly fixed or detailed expectations of what a randomly generated hillside or cliff or beach will look like—it's organic terrain, if anything we imagine when we look at a blocky hill some less-blocky curve of landscape. So replacing those dithered, low-resolution blocksteps of dirt and grass and sand with a smoothed-out version would not involve more than a handful of heuristics. Trees likewise.

I have a reasonable idea of the techniques I'd use if I were to try this—I've done related, if more rudimentary, experiments along this line in the past—but I'm so ridiculously out of date on my graphics programming knowledge that I don't dare get into it. But I think someone who knew what they were doing could get a working prototype going very, very quickly.

Intelligently and automatically altering man-made construction rendering effectively would be far more of a challenge, absolutely. I still think you might be able to get some nice simple effects out of a few relatively simple rules, but the gap between expectation and realization would be far, far greater in those cases because we have so much more specific a set of ideas of how something crafted would look if it were "real".
posted by cortex at 11:24 AM on October 13, 2010


As an aside, the fact that stairs, etc., get oriented contextually rather than explicitly is a dumb move on Notch's part and I hope he just refactors that shit once and for all at some point. One of those ideas that's cleverer than it is meritorious: you can do it that way, and it's elegant when it works, but when it doesn't work it's bleedingly clear that it was a bad fucking idea. Just add an orientation value and let the builder rotate them manually at placement time, man.
posted by cortex at 11:26 AM on October 13, 2010


It kills me that no matter what I do, I can't get my stairs to point towards the front of my fort. I suspect if I made the front of the fort uniform it would fix the issue. But I don't wanna.
posted by soplerfo at 11:34 AM on October 13, 2010


komara: Minecraft can't even figure out which way to place stairstep blocks half the time

After spending many hours yelling at stairsteps, here's a few tricks:

1) Build a pole in the direction that you don't want your stairsteps to face.
2) Crying and pleading with the stairsteps gets you nowhere, they're heartless hurtfiends.
3) Hitting them until they break sometimes makes them, instead of breaking, turn around, facing the way you want them to face. But most of the time hitting them just makes them angry. And you wouldn't like them when they're angry.
4) Give up hope. Life will be a much smoother ride that way.
posted by Kattullus at 11:54 AM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ah, that makes sense, something blocking the way - I'll try that tonight! Thanks!
posted by soplerfo at 11:57 AM on October 13, 2010


5) Use halfstep blocks.
posted by empath at 12:00 PM on October 13, 2010


As an aside, the fact that stairs, etc., get oriented contextually rather than explicitly is a dumb move on Notch's part and I hope he just refactors that shit once and for all at some point. One of those ideas that's cleverer than it is meritorious: you can do it that way, and it's elegant when it works, but when it doesn't work it's bleedingly clear that it was a bad fucking idea. Just add an orientation value and let the builder rotate them manually at placement time, man.

Doubly so because that's what he did with doors. If you want it to look right from the outside (and if you want to be able to hit zombies from inside the closed door of your house), you make sure you're standing outside when you put the door up. Easy as that.

Easy workaround I found for stairs: for stairs in a straight line, dig your tunnel (or build your structure) to where you want it, then start at the bottom, facing ahead and slightly up with the "stair" tile selected. Hold the right mouse button down, and hold 'w' to keep moving forward. It will put a stair block down in front of you just in time for you move onto it, so it'll be a smooth ascent with the staircase expanding one tile in front of you, and if the orientation of one block is wrong, adding another stair block one tile above and ahead of it will cause every other adjacent stair tile to recalculate, so if you get a block facing the wrong way, adding the next one will usually fix it. If it's still wrong, the stair block will be oriented wrong and will force your ascent to stop.

Doesn't help much for spiral staircasess or complicated patterns, but building bottom-up is way faster than building top-down for your standard access tunnel.
posted by Mayor West at 12:31 PM on October 13, 2010


Jesus, stairs. The rotten thing is that if you trick them into configuring properly by use of temporary blocks, then remove the blocks, they reconfigure the wrong fucking way again. Yeah, I like the game blocky and simple, but I won't go so far as to say it can't be improved. This is one of those things.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 2:32 PM on October 13, 2010


The only place I ever use stairs is 3 wide leading up from an underground tunnel. I've never had them misconfigure themselves that way. Anything else, it's half-height block time.
posted by komara at 2:44 PM on October 13, 2010


empath: 5) Use halfstep blocks.

In the park they look really out of place, so I curse and moan and hit the stairsteps until they do what I want them to.
posted by Kattullus at 9:00 PM on October 13, 2010


I like the halfstep blocks route myself. I think they look great.
posted by purephase at 8:16 AM on October 14, 2010


Wired on the ALU stuff.
posted by cortex at 8:16 AM on October 14, 2010


I just do not understand the passion for Mnecraft.

For me, it's like when I got my first box of crayons. I loved to draw as a kid, and when I was about four I was given my very first brand-new 64-count box of Crayolas. Sixty-four is a big number when you're four, and it had every color I'd ever imagined and some I didn't even know existed. I vividly remember sitting down on the floor with a big sheet of shelf paper my mom had cut for me, and for a few minutes being completely overwhelmed by the infinite sense of possibility that lay before me. I could make whatever I wanted! Anything at all!

Does anyone have any good approaches to cleaning out dungeon areas?

I know you've already solved this one with TNT, but a tip I picked up on Reddit that I found really useful was to go underneath the dungeon to get to the treasure chest without taking damage from the mobs, and get close enough to destroy the spawner (if I want to). Now that I've got the hang of this, I often leave the spawner intact and go back to the dungeon whenever I want to farm free arrows, feathers, and string. (I'm hoping string will have more uses someday.)
posted by Gator at 6:56 PM on October 14, 2010


Man, I never have enough string (which is why, well-established in a world, I was suggesting counter-skeleton tactics using a sword). I love hunting down and neutralizing spawn cages, but in the last couple of worlds I've inhabited, they never seem to spawn spiders. Though I did recently witness a spider-zombie fight, which was interesting. I didn't know they did that. (and recently encountered some slimes! I think they only thing that I still haven't seen is clay)

The Crayola analogy is a good one. Fort building (like out of cushions) has also been suggested. Me, I remember throwing rocks at a couple of two-by-fours on a pond. The boards were naval vessels and the rocks were bombs. It's not like I didn't have access to pre-fab toys. Rudimentary, half-imagined toys were just a bigger draw, somehow, in the way I think that a kid's favourite toy might be a big cardboard box.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:05 AM on October 15, 2010


Kattullus gave me a tour of the nature park last night in Aporkalypse, and it's amazing what Mefites are doing over there!

First time I tried out multiplayer, and I really recommend heading over to experience just how huge and awe-inspiring the landscape is (I'm Litchick, btw).
posted by misha at 10:17 AM on October 15, 2010


Does anyone have any good approaches to cleaning out dungeon areas?

Yeah, dig up from underneath at the edges if you can.

Skeletons, Zombies and Creapers only hit/trigger in the upper half of their bodies. If you're a block below them, with a block above your head, they can't hurt you. Spiders can hurt you like this, as they're only a block high, but spiders are two blocks wide. If you make a hole of a single block at the feet of the monsters you can kill them reasonably safely with a sword only. You still need to get torches into the dark spaces, and/or wall them off, but's that's one way to deal with the monsters.

Using height as well as the flat left-right, forward-back is key to fighting in the game.
posted by bonehead at 11:07 AM on October 15, 2010


Oh yeah, and if you can arrange it, you want the monsters to fall into a pat at least a block deep, two is better, no more than two blocks wide. This way skeletons can't back up to get an angle on you. They have line of sight on you if you can see their heads.
posted by bonehead at 11:11 AM on October 15, 2010


anyone playing minecraft on linux?
posted by montoia at 11:14 AM on October 15, 2010


Well, a sword blow will knock a skeleton back which will sometimes give them the angle they need to launch an arrow through your one-block hole, but if you're not in view at that moment, they usually scuttle up again within sword range and out of arrow shot. With spiders you do the opposite -- you can have as tall a space as you like so long as it is only one block wide. Either way, you can get too close so that a blow lands, but if you should be striking when they get that close anyway. But yeah, that's my strategy, usually. Tunnel around, throwing torches up as close to the cage as you can get, while using single-block holes to hack down what critters are already there. With a bow, just so much the easier.

One thing I would watch out for is this strange permeability of closed doors. People have reported that monsters, including creepers, ignore you through glass, but they most definitely do not through doors. I've had a zombie swipe me through my door as the hall of a home I'd built went right past it and I'd gotten used to ignoring their groans, but more seriously, when I'd get close to the door to hit my workbench/furnace area, I'd hear the telltale hiss of a creeper getting ready to blow the front of my house off. I was only ever passing by so this would stop after a second or two, but it would happen every time, and could obviously be a problem in an inattentive moment.

Speaking of ranged weapons, though, did you know that you can throw snowballs? They seem to do no damage, but I've lured skeletons into sunlight with them, so I now keep a small stack on me (you can carry 16 in a single inventory slot).
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:47 PM on October 15, 2010


Those were wooden doors, I would add. Maybe iron doors don't have that problem.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:53 PM on October 15, 2010


Sword recoil is why you want a pit, even a 1 block pit. A one- or two-block knock-back isn't enough for a skeleton to get a bead on you. More, and they can get line of sight. Horizontal crenelation helps too: one block open, one closed, one open... This gives you a pilliar to duck behind to duck arrows or check inventory.

I've been hit through a door before. Zombies can definitely do it. I hate fighting through a door; it's easy to whack it open, then you're scrambling.

Apparently snowballs may do damage to the upcoming "unfair" hell creatures. Yes, snowballs might give you a chance in Hell.
posted by bonehead at 12:58 PM on October 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, I finally bit the bullet and visited the multiplayer server earlier. Crashed out at least five or six times, but there are some cool gizmos there. And I rode a pig! Till it committed suicide by charging into a cactus patch.
posted by Gator at 2:58 PM on October 15, 2010


Turn view distance down to stop crashing.
posted by empath at 2:59 PM on October 15, 2010


I did after the first two crashes, but I still crashed on /spawn (and /warp frontier) a few times afterwards.
posted by Gator at 3:08 PM on October 15, 2010


Things have been crashy for some people lately. Nightchrome I think it was discovered that there are issues with (if I remember correctly) Atheros network cards specifically, and that there are workarounds available, which sorted him out for the most part. Check the official Minecraft forums for more info, apparently.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:50 PM on October 15, 2010


Welcome to Rapture
posted by Artw at 4:38 PM on October 19, 2010


For anyone wondering why the game has been down recently:
4chan!
posted by codacorolla at 9:21 AM on October 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


[The DDOS attack'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.

O...kay? So instead of working on those coveted updates right now, he has to work on fighting off this attack. The logic is bulletproof.

(Isn't it more likely that people are just being jerks for the sheer pleasure of being jerks?)
posted by Gator at 10:44 AM on October 21, 2010


Cupcake store owner: hey kids! We have a new icing dispenser on the way! I hope to get it working soon so I can put tastier and cooler icing designs on your tasty cupcakes! It's tricky, what with being a small cupcake shop with limited resources, but I'm doing it because I know you really like these great cupcakes. Let's have fun eating delicious and inexpensive cupcakes!

kids: WE ARE GOING TO SMASH YOUR STORE YOU HORRIBLE BASTARD
posted by Burhanistan at 10:50 AM on October 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Lasst month, it was said that Notch goofed on the server, and then gave free play to all while he fixed it. I wonder if that drives people to his product? If it does, he has an incentive to topple his server himself.

I'm kind of addicted since first noticing Minecraft thanks to that minecar video last week. But I fell in love with the classic version, as I wanted to build stuff, not dick around playing with sticks. (actually, the game sounded fun too, but OMG, I' amazed at what I've made, and how good it felt doing it.

So now I can't play? Oh, the distributed jar file is only the alpha version. The night/day light/dark thing bores me. Shame, I like the things he's added, especially the fire and flowing water. I think I need to get the level editors and such to have fun with that just now.

So these bozos feel Notch promised something he didn't deliver? So they decided that was worth engaging in a criminal conspiracy that victimizes both Notch and every user that can't login?

Or, alternatively, is it just Notch having a difficult time dealing with the fact so many people send him money, and that can make it hard to get to work, doncha know.

But it's really a DDOS attack? Those guys are collecting bad karma like it was reward miles. Only they could mess up and win a free trip to a bad place for a very long holiday. Or worse.
posted by Goofyy at 11:05 AM on October 21, 2010


I left an RDS thread about the time it started giving voice to a particularly shitty attitude toward Notch. I just don't get it.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:30 PM on October 21, 2010


On one hand, I have never played a game that allows so exercise of personal creativity, either in solo or group mode. Sadly, by extension, I've never seen a game that brings out so much griefing and rampant destruction. Two sides of the same coin, I guess.
posted by lekvar at 4:36 PM on October 21, 2010


Talk about thread confusion (in Recent Activity). I thought you were talking about Joust, lekvar, and couldn't... reconcile it... whatsoever.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:46 PM on October 21, 2010


I have seen that under the right circumstances, nice people can turn absolutely blood thirsty. One of those circumstances is when someone comes along and messes with a person or their toy, when they are "just having fun". So if Notch is perceived as messing with people, then yea, maybe they would get all in his face. When the server stopped working, I was thinking some pretty nasty thoughts his way myself! Even assuming this isn't his fault (I have no idea of how often he puts out updates, I'm a noob!), if people get thinking they're not getting the 'more' they were promised and are wanting, they're going to get nasty about it.

Myself, I feel abused and cheated because I can play the alpha version offline without the server. I can't play classic that way. Why should that be? I've been having an unprecedented blast for the past week, just playing happily by myself, getting a happy-buzz the like I haven't had in years! Take the source of my happy away, I turn, instantly, mean. And for me, to the extent that I can not see any justification for his not releasing the jar for classic, it is his fault. Except if I knew who was disrupting my fun, I might be inclined to go pay a visit. And my words might be more alive and feisty, except I'm still on my first cup, and haven't tried the server this morning.
posted by Goofyy at 10:17 PM on October 21, 2010


Well, now I see the server is back. The bit of building I lost because of a stupid coding decision (the program won't go to save-file properly if the save-level exchange with the server fails, which is stupid, but he probably was thinking along other lines) has been rectified.
posted by Goofyy at 12:47 AM on October 22, 2010


[The DDOS attack'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.

Let me be blunt: fuck those worthless infantile pieces of shit. Fuck them and fuck anyone that looks like them, fuck their eyeballs with giant sandpaper Hitler horsecocks.

God damn it, it's hard to be anything but slightly ashamed of being a gamer when you have those tiny-sacked whining entitled turds as a cohort. I invite each of them to take the next ten spot they plan to spend on an indie game and shove it, preferably in the form of coinage, straight up their fundaments.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:01 AM on October 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Stavros: not coins. I always liked the advice: "Fold it until it's all corners, then shove it!". I think I first heard that in a Heinlein novel, most likely Hilda "Sharpie" Corners, in Number of the Beast.

I seem to have spoke too soon. Can't seem to load/save once again. I'm rather annoyed at his programming in such a way that the server going down makes save-file fail. Bad enough that when one logs in, you have to go through a create world process before you can go to Load Level.

It's very strange, really. On my laptop, the processor goes nuts when the "save level" routine is failing from want of a server connection (the level save doesn't work anyhow, so why bother?). It fails to work normally, anyway, but when the server isn't talking, it fails differently. Then the local save/load file functions don't work. ARGH!
posted by Goofyy at 4:40 AM on October 22, 2010


I'm rather annoyed at his programming in such a way that the server going down makes save-file fail. Bad enough that when one logs in, you have to go through a create world process before you can go to Load Level.

Oh the joys of alpha software.
posted by empath at 5:21 AM on October 22, 2010


Oh, I'm not playing the alpha, I'm playing the 'classic'. I don't have the patience for the night/day, dark/light, mob-attack thing, just now. If I was on alpha, I wouldn't need the server anyway. With alpha, you only need to have been logged on once, to play without the aid of a server. Clever, that. As if he anticipated attacks or something.
posted by Goofyy at 6:21 AM on October 22, 2010


Well, Classic is no longer in development and in fact is being phased out, so while I can understand being irritated by its foibles, I don't think it's something we can really complain about. You can always play Alpha in "peaceful" mode if you don't like monsters.
posted by Gator at 7:23 AM on October 22, 2010


It doesn't help with the day/ night thing, and you have to mine your own materials, but in the alpha, you can switch it to peaceful mode which completely eliminates dangerous mobs.

I only mention it because there is a real pleasure for me in seeing some of my creations, like my lighthouse, serving its purpose in the dark. And with enough torches, building at night isn't a hampered experience at all.

[on looking closer I realize Gator just made a similar point]
posted by quin at 7:42 AM on October 22, 2010


If I had the unlimited supply of materials, I'd not even bother with classic. I don't understand at all why there is no "creative" mode, as I understand some earlier incarnation of the game included. I'd be absolutely delighted with night/day if I had the materials to just keep building. At least, as long as things are visible enough. Sometimes, I find the dim light a strain.

But then there'd be some problem falling down a hole and getting stuck, or something like that. See, I'm just wanting to dig and build, and tickle my own sense of what's what. It's very personal. Like, today, I'm taking a close look at elevations, as in, water level, and how far things go above and below that. Looks to be more room below it than above it, at least for the world in which I'm doing this.
posted by Goofyy at 9:31 AM on October 22, 2010


Myself, I feel abused and cheated

Cheated? You pre-ordered a game that hasn't been released yet. As a bonus, you get to fool around with some incomplete code that is guaranteed to be broken in places and to have problems.

I'm pretty disgusted with anyone who thinks they are somehow entitled to more than that.
posted by straight at 10:48 AM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'll note at this point that the aforementioned RPS animosity seemed to be due to some perceived slights by Notch toward those who were trying to get in touch to talk about the game, make suggestions, etc.. Nothing to do with inconsistent server status. Can you imagine how many people he has writing in with "helpful suggestions for your game"? The guy's a bit busy. Worse, this seemed to be from people who had had contact with him before (as if he'd become arrogant with success). So, if he ever replies to you, he'd better keep up the conversation, damnit.

Fuck these people.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:01 AM on October 22, 2010


RPS forum animosity, I should clarify. RPS is ready to deify him which, atheist though I am, works for me.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:02 AM on October 22, 2010


Durn, RPS? I haven't seen any of the we-want-it-now idiocy at Rock Paper Shotgun.
posted by straight at 11:17 AM on October 22, 2010


It was weird and I hope it was a one-off. I was too disgusted to follow up so I don't know if it went anywhere.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:33 AM on October 22, 2010


Yeah, it was followed up on with a post on reddit by the exact same people bitching about the exact same thing.
posted by empath at 12:56 PM on October 22, 2010


Minecraft Halloween Update preview: meet the Ghasts
posted by Artw at 2:05 PM on October 22, 2010


Hell is shaping up to be great. Also, as mentioned in another Minecraft thread, the fact that hell-rock burns forever... lantern material?
posted by codacorolla at 2:07 PM on October 22, 2010


Maybe. But I've come to discover that the technique the guy who burned down his house was going for actually works pretty well when used in a non-wooden structure:

a log, fresh from a tree (as opposed to converted to wood for construction), with a block on all four of its sides so that only the top face is visible, when struck with a flint and steel will burn forever as well.

And if you need to go to hell to get the lantern material, that's going to be rough, because you need to make the portal out of obsidian, which means that you aren't going to get there till you can make yourself a diamond pick. And since you are supposedly going to need more light to stay safe the deeper you get? That's going to make for a lot of me getting scared shitless as my torches go out a few blocks up from the bedrock.
posted by quin at 2:15 PM on October 22, 2010


Has anyone figured out what the deal is with keeping pre-existing worlds when there is an update?
posted by Artw at 2:18 PM on October 22, 2010


According to the "What Notch has said" post in the fora, Hell wil be accessible through crafted portals, so it won't change the maps at all. Biomes won't be available on existing maps until you go far enough out to start generating new chunks. In other words, the existing world will stay the same, but new biomes will appear as you explore new places. Seasons are not on the table yet, but he's thinking about them.
posted by bonehead at 2:24 PM on October 22, 2010


flying cuboid jellyfish that shoot fireballs at you, blowing chunks out of the world around you

Awww. They're adorable! They look just like wee little cubey Octobrains from Duke Nukem. I wonder what sound they make.
posted by Gator at 2:25 PM on October 22, 2010


Six new blocks is a pretty interesting stat too...

1. Hell rocks
2. Floating Hell gold
3. Lanterns (maybe)
4. - 6. ???
posted by codacorolla at 2:29 PM on October 22, 2010


the fact that hell-rock burns forever... lantern material?

GIS failure to find Time Bandits "mom, dad -- don't touch it -- it's evil!" pic. Oh well.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 3:22 PM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm trying to remember a movie I saw as a kid with what I remember to be flying jellyfish, but again, searches turning up nothing. Ring a bell?

Also, look at this beautiful shot.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 3:59 PM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, look at this beautiful shot.

That kind of looks like Wonderchicken Industries HQ on the Aporkalypse server. Oh oh. Am I an evil genius?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:21 PM on October 22, 2010


straight: Cheated? You pre-ordered a game that hasn't been released yet.

Pre-ordered? No, I didn't order a damn thing. I gave cash money for a product. You seem entirely confused about money and relationships. I was magnanimous to give this person, unknown to me, money for an unfinished product, to support his efforts--You know, the whole "indie" thing. You are entirely backwards. Kindly take your disgust and do something disgusting with it.

Apart from that, I've thought about it, and have concluded that I've gotten WAY more entertainment value for my money than is often the case. Compare the money I paid Notch to the price I paid for Roger Waters' tickets, paid in advance, for a show that isn't until next summer! (they are the most expensive tickets in what is probably the most expensive venue he'll play. It's where I live, and what I could get!). LOL! Of course, Waters will supply life-time memories and bragging rights, and it is rather like getting to see God himself, so there is that.

On the other hand, I only just bought the game last week, and now there's problems. So I'm not all happy about the situation, nor should I be. This is the first game I've paid for, for playing on a PC, as far as I can recall, ever. I played Decent 3, but that was a freebie that came with a sound card. If they had made Decent 4, I'd have happily paid for it.

I'm no gamer. Maybe it is normal to "pre-order" with cash in advance, for games that aren't finished, with no expectation of playing before the game is finished. I don't think gamers are that stupid, but I wouldn't know. Seems rather ass-kissy to me.
posted by Goofyy at 10:11 PM on October 22, 2010


If you're going to be a pissy crybaby about it, memail me and I'll pay the fifteen bucks for you. Jesus.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:15 PM on October 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


FFF: You disapprove of how I feel, and felt it was worth commenting on, and engaged in some utterly childish name-calling. Wow. I thought you were older than 15.

So you'd be fine if your new car died less than a week after you bought it? Or do "indie game" developers get some kind of free pass for some strange reason? Or is it simply that, somehow, the small amount of money excuses the problem? Is this the age of ass-kissing consumers? Are you so beat down by the corporations, you now must rise up and insult someone for daring to express dissatisfaction with a purchase?
posted by Goofyy at 11:25 PM on October 22, 2010


It's an *alpha* quality game, and no bones were made about it's developmental status. The childish is all in whinging on and on about how it's not a flawless product.

I'm serious, if it's that big a deal to you, I will happily for you.

Regardless which of us pats for your copy, it's one hell of a deal: for about 1/6th the normal retail price one gets to play around with the game a good year or so before it reaches commercial release status, gets the excitement of seeing new features come along, be in the early development of a thriving community of players who are having a blast, *and* get the final commercial release product when it's all said and done, for no extra charge.

But if it's not floating your boat, if you're feeling you've been screwed, if you're unhappy, just say the word. Fifteen bucks is no skin off my ass, and I'd consider it money well spent.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:44 AM on October 23, 2010


Its, pay, pays, and whatever else is wrong in that post. Typing on the iPhone sucks creeper balls.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:51 AM on October 23, 2010


Goofyy, I'm sorry you weren't able to understand Notch's website or something, but you have completely misunderstood the situation.

Minecraft, the game, has not been released yet. Notch is letting people pre-ordrer it for half the price the game will sell for when it is finished. As a bonus, people who pre-order the game get to fool around with some early code that is guaranteed to be broken, buggy, and unfinished. That's what the word "alpha" means in this context.

If you've used Amazon.com before, perhaps you'll have noticed that video games are not the only product that companies will let you pre-order at a discount. Usually when you do that, you get absolutely nothing until the product is released.
posted by straight at 1:16 AM on October 23, 2010


Goofyy, not only did you pay half price for an as-yet-unfinished game that isn't even in beta yet, but you are complaining about the FREE, OLD version of the game that is no longer under development or support!

If you somehow had the privilege of buying a half-price pre-release development copy of Duke Nukem Forever, would you be griping about the fact that the old Duke Nukem 3D keeps crashing on your custom-built OS?
posted by Gator at 5:45 AM on October 23, 2010


This. This is what I'm talking about. WTF.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:44 AM on October 23, 2010


Well if you guys are such complete dupes that you automatically see things the way the salesman said they were, then we can't possibly agree on the matter. The very idea that Notch did me a favor by taking my money for an unfinished product, as if that wasn't in Notch's self interest, is absurd.

And as for "all that whinging", that's just a load of complete crap. I made a comment, then defended it. If that qualifies as "all that whinging", then grow some skin.

Well, my complaint was a comment made on the blue. BFD. Y'all are the ones pissing your pants over my comments. Seriously. Get over yourselves. My feelings are my own, and not subject to your approval or disapproval. I'll bet your favorite band sucks, too.
posted by Goofyy at 11:56 AM on October 23, 2010


For the guy who says "This is the first game I've paid for, for playing on a PC, as far as I can recall, ever" you sure seem to have some strong opinions about what is reasonable.

I don't know what the game market is like in your area, and according to your statement, neither do you, but the PC games that go for $10 here are usually on a wire rack. They're old, I have zero input into features I don't like, and apart from a few flawed gems (I got Age of Wonders II, Homeworld, and Homeworld Cataclysm this way) they're usually disappointments. Not that disappointing, mind you, because I'm buying them from a wire rack for $10.

If your expectations don't scale with the price, nor with the explicit disclaimers about the game's position in development, then I don't know what to tell you. Except that you sound like a spoiled 12-year old.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:22 PM on October 23, 2010


(it occurs to me that game stores use wire racks for regular releases, too. I mean the spinning cage with CD jewel-case re-releases of mediocre aged successes, casino games, and things like Bejeweled)
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:25 PM on October 23, 2010


Goofyy.

Minecraft. Classic. Is. FREE. You did not pay a dime for it. It is OLD and no longer supported. It says so right on the Minecraft homepage. You paid for a game you are not even playing.
posted by Gator at 12:31 PM on October 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


...you need to make the portal out of obsidian, which means that you aren't going to get there till you can make yourself a diamond pick.

Couldn't you just cast the arch in place with water and lava? I must enlarge the magma laboratory beneath my lake house...
posted by Iridic at 1:14 PM on October 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


Gator said exactly what I was going to post. You paid for Minecraft Alpha, which is the standalone, more-featured client that you're not even playing. Classic is the only way you can play creative as of now (though there are murmurings of him adding a creative mode to the full game) and that is and has been free.
posted by flatluigi at 1:42 PM on October 23, 2010


Oh, I'm not playing the alpha, I'm playing the 'classic'.

Heh. I missed that. New heights of ridiculousness.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:54 PM on October 23, 2010


Goofyy, I don't think you deserve to be ganged up on here. The thing is there have been a lot of people who don't seem to understand what "pre-order" and "alpha" mean in this context, and a lot of them have been--ignorantly--very rude and abusive to Notch.

That combination of ignorance and rudeness has been frustrating. As far as I know you haven't done anything worse than rant a bit here on MetaFilter.

But you really should find out what "pre-order" and "alpha" mean before you hit the "buy" button next time.
posted by straight at 6:37 PM on October 23, 2010


[dial it back or take it to metatalk or email folks.]
posted by jessamyn at 2:11 PM on October 24, 2010


ahhhhhhh yesssss~!
posted by codacorolla at 9:37 PM on October 25, 2010


Stupid pigs.

Wevenge! Wevenge!
posted by bonehead at 1:36 PM on October 26, 2010


It's just a little airborne! It's still good! It's still good!
posted by Gator at 1:37 PM on October 26, 2010


Check out this multi-station switching cart system. YouTube

I am in awe.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:02 PM on October 26, 2010


fff's link goes to a mobile version that my laptop didn't like for some reason. Here is the regular link.

It is, in fact, pretty awe inspiring.
posted by quin at 10:12 AM on October 27, 2010


Minecraft Tik Tok

I dig straight down
I'm underground
I hear a sound
Oh its got me...
posted by five fresh fish at 3:27 PM on October 27, 2010


Speaking of really long time lapse shots; Notch's video of how biomes are going to look also just keeps going and going.
posted by quin at 11:56 AM on October 28, 2010


Is that hill on fire at 2:40ish?
posted by Artw at 12:28 PM on October 28, 2010


I think it was either a normal forest fire, or some morning zombies.
posted by Gator at 12:33 PM on October 28, 2010


Coo, not seen a spontaneous forest fire before. Or surface lava for that matter (later in the video). Possibly I've just not explored the surface enough.
posted by Artw at 12:59 PM on October 28, 2010


coo :) I haven't read that exclamation since I put down the Five Find Outers omnibus
posted by The Lady is a designer at 1:02 PM on October 28, 2010


The new biomes: rainforest, temperate rainforest, seasonal forest, forest, savanna, shrubland, taiga, desert, grass desert, ice desert, tundra.
posted by Iridic at 1:41 PM on October 28, 2010


I had a really hard time distinguishing any differences in that video, to be honest. Apart from the fact that there was snow, it all looked pretty much the way the in-game world already looks for me -- trees, grass, sand, rocks, snow, ocean. What, in the game, will distinguish one tree-filled area from another in terms of rainforest or regular forest, temperate or seasonal? Will the trees grow faster in one than another? Will there be actual rain?
posted by Gator at 1:47 PM on October 28, 2010


Was that sea ice? did we have that before?
posted by Artw at 1:58 PM on October 28, 2010


I suspect that, to begin with, little will distinguish the more moderate biomes besides tree growth patterns. But Notch has been hinting that future updates will tie mobs and special fauna to individual biomes - evergreens for taiga, antelope for savanna, that kind of thing.
posted by Iridic at 2:05 PM on October 28, 2010


Yes, sea ice was around if you did a winter world. I decided to muck around a little in one, and as soon as I saw that there were caverns open below me with ice for a roof, that was it. I was sold. Snowballs, static water chutes for entry, pretty winter scenes -- just icing on the cake.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 2:06 PM on October 28, 2010


PC Gamer got a sneak preview of the Halloween update, and they've got some videos of playing in the as-yet-to-be-officially-renamed Hell dimension. (Notch still hasn't decided on the new name. Also, the Pigmen will not be so gory in the actual release -- he has pledged to keep the game blood-free.)
posted by Gator at 7:30 AM on October 29, 2010


Are you guys thinking what I'm thinking?
posted by Artw at 2:13 PM on October 29, 2010


I think so, Brain. But where can we find an Estonian quadruple-amputee midget at this time of night?
posted by Gator at 2:19 PM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


ArtW: pb has already done similar. Prod him inmemail; he posted screencaps somewhere.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:23 PM on October 29, 2010


As far as I know, pb is only playing Babycraft. I, on the other hand, did map the world, though not at nearly that resolution.
posted by cortex at 2:36 PM on October 29, 2010


I just watched the indiegames.com preview, and hell looks appropriately terrifying.

http://www.indiegames.com/blog/2010/10/handson_with_the_minecraft_hal.html
posted by codacorolla at 8:05 PM on October 29, 2010


(mostly) working CPU---still a manual 'clock' and 2 bytes of ram.
posted by bonehead at 1:00 PM on October 30, 2010


Ohboyohboyohboyohboyohboyohboyohboy...
posted by Gator at 1:38 PM on October 30, 2010


no damage in multiplary

no minecarts in multiplayer

no lanterns‽
posted by empath at 1:51 PM on October 30, 2010


It's up! And I KILLED A GHAST! It dropped two gunpowder! And the tortured shrieking of the creatures of the Nether is truly horrific! This is awesome!
posted by Gator at 2:33 PM on October 30, 2010


Damn it, I went to the Nether and all I got was a cave that ended on both sides. I've tunneled up, down, and all the cardinal directions for three or four picks and it's all just fire rock.

And I wanted to hunt a ghast.

So new world, here I come...
posted by quin at 11:01 PM on October 30, 2010


Man, my mine just became an utter deathtrap what with the increase in monster spawning.
posted by Artw at 2:07 PM on October 31, 2010


It's a good thing I had plenty of gear stockpiled, because I have died several dozen times last night and today thanks to extra creepers and fireballs out of nowhere. Gah. And there was a temporary bug for a while where you couldn't go back and collect your stuff after death, so dying meant losing everything you were carrying.

My initial reaction of awesomeness has been tempered by today's playing. The Nether is dark and scary and full of flaming death and pigmen with a sense of clan loyalty you seldom see outside of South Boston, but there doesn't seem to be anything to do down there. Is there something really nifty you can make with those golden glass shards? If they're a valuable commodity like diamonds, then they're worth going after, but if not...
posted by Gator at 2:49 PM on October 31, 2010


I haven't even got into the nether, as, like I say, my mine is now an utter deathtrap, and, I've since discovered since the sun went down, so is everywhere above ground as well. Not quite sure what to make of this yet. I suspect a fundamental redesign of my fort and mine is required, eliminating anything close to an open area and putting up way more doors. Which, given that my mine is currently a bunch of huge well lit cavernous areas is a bit of a pisser.
posted by Artw at 2:54 PM on October 31, 2010


Ah, that's what happened to my equipment. I'd been intentionally avoiding info about the update so as to make it more of an adventure, but things like that are rather good to know. Also, started a new world for the occasion, and with paranoia-level vigilance watched to see when the torches would go out... (of course they didn't).

Love the jackolanterns. Haven't been to the Nether. And it's Night of the Living Creepers outside.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:29 PM on October 31, 2010


Awww, I haven't seen any pumpkins yet. But I've stuck to my original world, and haven't really done any traveling (above ground, anyway). I couldn't wait and went straight to the Nether.
posted by Gator at 5:29 PM on October 31, 2010


If they're a valuable commodity like diamonds, then they're worth going after, but if not...

You can take 9 bits of brittle gold / lightstone dust and craft them back into 1 block. It emits the same amount of light as a torch, but can be placed underwater.
posted by komara at 11:23 PM on October 31, 2010


I played Minecraft as a roguelike this weekend, with the following rules:

1) Permadeath. Upon death, I delete the world and start a new one.
2) No mining for resources. Spelunking only.
3) No getting feathers from those duck/chicken things, only from monsters.

My goal was to go to Hell and kill a ghast. And I did! Three of them! Before several more ganged up on me and I died a heroic, fiery death. Tons of fun. I think this is the only way I'm going to play the game from now on. It gives you a real reason to do deep spelunking--you have to get diamond for the obsidian. It also gives the game the, uh, dramatic arc of the Doom games.
posted by IjonTichy at 1:17 PM on November 1, 2010


Single player is so much harder now, it's ridiculous.
posted by empath at 1:19 PM on November 1, 2010


Yeah, I suspect the IjonTichy technique might work better now than stopping and securing areas - as soon as you are building or creating anything you're going to get whomped from behind, and nothing much you build seems to help anyway.
posted by Artw at 1:27 PM on November 1, 2010


There's a couple of threads in the forum on the increased spawning.

I hate to be all "Grah! This update has ruined the game forever!" but it has kind of taken all the fun out of the game for me and I'll probably be giving it a rest in the hope that it's toned down later.
posted by Artw at 1:46 PM on November 1, 2010


Is it too much even on Normal?
posted by IjonTichy at 1:53 PM on November 1, 2010


For me? Yes!

I thought maybe it was down to the relatively open plan nature of the structures I'd built, so I had a go at starting a new world, and got nowhere with it... it's pretty much impossible to build anything without it being constantly leveled by creepers.
posted by Artw at 1:56 PM on November 1, 2010


Normal is what I play, and it's really, really noticeable. Also, and I don't know if I'm imagining this, but it seems like the creepers are ever-so-slightly different: They seem to explode more quickly than they used to, even if you've managed to move far enough away, which I didn't think they used to do. Plus there's WAY more of them.

I really wish there was something worth digging for in the Nether. Gold crystal that can make underwater lights is cool, I guess, but it would've been nice to also have some really rare mineral that could make a new weapon, or something. I'm not disenchanted enough to stop playing altogether, but I might just go back to strip mining for diamonds.
posted by Gator at 2:03 PM on November 1, 2010


I suspect that the Nether will eventually be the only source for lighting that doesn't go out, which would certainly give people a reason to go there.
posted by IjonTichy at 2:09 PM on November 1, 2010


I played Minecraft as a roguelike this weekend...

Apparently, this is a planned mode for the game. "Adventure mode" Notch is calling it now. Classic, too is planned to be folded back into the main branch as a mode, though he hasn't said what he wants to call it yet. We're supposed to be able to turn the current Single Player worlds into ad hoc MP worlds too.

I expect we'll end up with Adventure and Construction and Survival (current default) mode servers, with the difference between single and multi-player modes being simply a function of who's on the allowed/blocked list.
posted by bonehead at 2:36 PM on November 1, 2010


The game certainly has changed, and I'm finding it frustrating. But on the other hand, I could go for literal days of play without dying in the previous version.

I'm finding more resources more easily, on the other hand. Perhaps I need to use iron and diamonds more freely for armor and weapons. I need to take less stuff with me, so that losing isnt such a big deal. I make a lot more trips to home base. I need to build more safehouse waystations.

IOW, I need to change my gameplay. That might not be such a bad thing; the game is more intense now, which is a different kind of enjoyable. I just need to wrap my head around it after so many weeks of peaceful spelunking and cart building.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:40 PM on November 1, 2010


Hmm. Weird. I didn't find the game to be any harder than before the update; I managed to find hell and get my Ghast Hunter Badge on the second try. Maybe something happens when you stay in one place for too long?
posted by IjonTichy at 2:54 PM on November 1, 2010


/shrugs

If you're not noticing a massive increase in frequency of spawning as well as a huge expansion of areas in which spawns are possible then you're not seeing what I'm seeing.
posted by Artw at 3:01 PM on November 1, 2010


I've gone from spacing torches every 8-10 blocks to needing them every third block in a 3x3 tunnel. At 4 block intervals I was getting mob spawns, even at level 64 (~surface). Perhaps it was too easy before, but this is too far the other way, I think.
posted by bonehead at 3:27 PM on November 1, 2010


Plus torches everywhere is basically megagrind and looks like ass.
posted by Artw at 3:31 PM on November 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Woah, even 4-block intervals wasn't enough? At *surface level*?

I'm staying far, far away from the save that has my castle in it for now.
posted by IjonTichy at 3:36 PM on November 1, 2010


Who needs impermanent torches OR hard-to-craft lanterns when you can just plop a burning hellstone wherever you want for perpetual light?
posted by Gator at 3:44 PM on November 1, 2010


Hell on earth
posted by Artw at 11:03 PM on November 1, 2010


On the spawn rate in his twitter feed:
the update rocks! Though spawn rates are v high now (lots of mobs in base in well lit areas on Easy) - is this bug or intentional?

It's part of an intentional tweak, but it need balancing.
posted by bonehead at 11:10 PM on November 1, 2010


It's beginning to grow on me. It's more "real"—mining resources without being attacked by zombies *should* be difficult.

I find myself taking risk-reduction measures. Mining is rather adventurous now. I seek out dead end passages, dash forward, work my way back to a secure exit route, rinse, repeat. When I've secured the passage againt dark corners, I mine it out and dash home. Then I rework it, drilling exploratory holes, mining flint for arrows, and pulling candles. I leave a redstone torch, build a wall, and plant a second torch: don't bother passing this wall, from either side. I should probably pit a torch on the far side in case I tunnel into it and seek passage home.

I've got an indoor tree plantation. I make bacon runs. I'll collect leather if it's easy. I need a food plantation. I can afford steel armor. I've got a diamond sword. I sometimes use steel tools. I've discover a second cave entrance, can start thinking about rail, and might gun for a portal . Minecraft life is tolerable. I hope to find some pleasure time for fishing and hiking.

Meanwhile, someone claims to have implemented Conway's Game of Life using redstone logic.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:29 AM on November 2, 2010


My god... I just conducted what I can only describe as an epic cull/forest fire. The hills surrounding my fort are a charred ugly mess now, with a few stumps still burning, but damn was it fun and I got a lot of stuff. Maybe super-spawning is growing on me.
posted by Artw at 1:47 AM on November 2, 2010


A lot of "stuff"? Like what?
posted by five fresh fish at 7:48 AM on November 2, 2010


mob drops, i'm guessing.
posted by empath at 8:03 AM on November 2, 2010


Yup, all the usual detrius: arrows, feathers, gunpowder, leather, string.

I'm happiest about the string as post-update hanging on to bows has been a bugger.

On the downside killing all my trees makes me a horrible person. I'll have to engage in a reforesting effort.

Right now I've added columns under all the perma-fires, so it looks like some kind of hellish oil refinery.
posted by Artw at 8:09 AM on November 2, 2010


Also my new, very boring mine based on a grid system appears 100% mob free, though a bit boring.
posted by Artw at 8:11 AM on November 2, 2010


I was so jazzed about the Nether that I haven't visited my strip mines at all in a couple of days. I spent some time on the surface collecting cobblestone with with to pave over the hellstone down below. I was pretty happy to find out that with dirt and enough light and space, trees will grow down there!
posted by Gator at 8:19 AM on November 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Someone on reddit suggested making the torches dimmer as you go down so it's easier to see how many you need to stop monsters from spawning. And I guess to also make exploring the deeper areas creepier.
posted by empath at 8:32 AM on November 2, 2010


Whatevers going on doesn't appear to be depth related though.
posted by Artw at 8:49 AM on November 2, 2010


There were 2 changes i think -- A) more mobs spawning when mobs spawn and B) More light being required to stop mobs from spawning when going to lower depths.
posted by empath at 8:54 AM on November 2, 2010


I also wonder is the safe zone has changed. Mobs used to not spawn within a certain distance of the player. It seems to me that they're spawning closer in too.
posted by bonehead at 9:22 AM on November 2, 2010


As I argued in the Minecraft forums, I think the new spawning rules are fundamentally misguided.

I think he's made the common game-design mistake of creating a system that rewards tedious, un-fun strategies. He wants to make the mines more dangerous, but players are going to whatever it takes to be safe, even if that means tediously planting a torch every three blocks, making the caverns look like ridiculous Christmas trees.

To me, Minecraft SSP is a game about advancing a frontier. Ahead of you is darkness and danger; behind you is light and safety. Build your walls and doors to keep the two areas apart. And woe to you when you have to step into a branching cave with darkness on all sides, above and below.

I don't think it makes the game more fun to have monsters spawning in caverns you've already explored and pacified with torches. It's not like there aren't already near-infinite numbers of dark, dangerous natural caverns to explore (not to mention the new dark dimension).
posted by straight at 10:21 AM on November 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think he's trying to make the grid mining strategy less safe to encourage more spelunking and travelling around. As it was there was absolutely no reason to ever leave your base to get resources.

His method was actually a pretty good idea, I think. You SHOULD be wary of digging deep.
posted by empath at 10:26 AM on November 2, 2010


Nope. Column every 2 blocks with a torch on every face is the new law. Natural caves to be avoided and not integrated into the grid system.
posted by Artw at 10:35 AM on November 2, 2010


And again, as it's done currently it's absolutely nothing to do with depth.
posted by Artw at 10:36 AM on November 2, 2010


His method was actually a pretty good idea, I think. You SHOULD be wary of digging deep.

I like the idea but here's the problem. You should be able to build a castle with walls and locked doors and not have monsters teleport inside. Torches were a way of saying, "I've explored or built this area, I know there's no monsters here unless there's an opening they can wander into from a dark, unexplored area.

If I dig a mine under my castle, kill all the monsters I find, light the area with torches, and wall it off so there's no way for a monster to wander in from the darkness, it doesn't make sense to suddenly find a creeper standing behind me.

If he wants to make a game with teleporting monsters or monsters that can dig their way into your fortress, that might be fun. But you never see monsters do that. The way the world is set up now, it doesn't make sense to suddenly find a creeper in my living room just because there was a corner that didn't have a torch shining directly on it.

I think he's trying to make the grid mining strategy less safe

But the problem is, he hasn't made it less safe. He's just made it more tedious and more ugly (torches every 3 squares) to be safe. It's a classic game-design mistake. Players consistently pick a boring strategy that works over a more-fun strategy that doesn't work and then blame the game for being dull.
posted by straight at 10:46 AM on November 2, 2010


And again, as it's done currently it's absolutely nothing to do with depth.

It does. I've never had mobs spawn inside my castle, and it's huge. It' sonly when i go into the mines underneath it that they spawn.
posted by empath at 10:49 AM on November 2, 2010


On my old abandoned world my little lighted garden are my spawn is now a deathtrap, basically equivalent to unlit wilderness, where before you'd see a mob maybe one or twice a day.
posted by Artw at 10:52 AM on November 2, 2010


Yeah, I haven't had any mobs spawn inside my base tower. Of course it's relatively small, and I have a virtual MOAT of creepers crawling around the outside of it at any given time, but they only get inside when I stupidly leave the door open.
posted by Gator at 10:54 AM on November 2, 2010


It's true I've not seen any surface level indoor mobs, so maybe depth matters a little - mine infestation seems to begin immediately below the surface though.
posted by Artw at 11:05 AM on November 2, 2010


Notch about torch mob brightness spawning thingie

"The new Minecraft.net sure is stable! And from playtesting, I agree that the monster spawning brightness torch thing stuff now totally sucks"
posted by Artw at 11:34 AM on November 2, 2010


I'm finding the lighting levels to be appropriate. I've been deep and haven't found it necessary to place torches every three blocks.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:59 PM on November 2, 2010


I think he's made the common game-design mistake of creating a system that rewards tedious, un-fun strategies. He wants to make the mines more dangerous, but players are going to whatever it takes to be safe, even if that means tediously planting a torch every three blocks, making the caverns look like ridiculous Christmas trees.

But where would you get the coal to do all of that? I mean, coal generally requires mining, or wandering around on the surface (which is also dangerous now). So yeah, you can tediously make a cavern safe, but only if you've already put yourself in danger exploring elsewhere--I'm not sure I see the benefit.
posted by IjonTichy at 7:11 AM on November 3, 2010


Well, previously if you hit a cavern you'd incorporate it into your mine- with the current situation sealing it up and avoiding it works better. You find plenty of coal as you dig through rock.
posted by Artw at 7:39 AM on November 3, 2010


Well, I just went back to my most recent strip mining location and dug a few new corridors. I didn't notice a difference in how frequently I needed to place torches, and in fact I didn't get any mobs at all until I tried to leave -- back at the "hub" where all my deep-level tunnels meet, I found several skellies waiting for me. But those old tunnels aren't as well-lit since I'm through with them, so I shouldn't've been surprised. Plus I always take the precaution of putting a single dirt block in front of old tunnels so that I can't get swarmed, but of course skeletons can still shoot.

I haven't yet tried exploring a large, dark cavern under the new update, but I've always played cautiously with those anyway -- when I find a cavern, I'm not concerned about the torches making it look "ridiculous," I want it to be well-lit so I don't die.
posted by Gator at 8:26 AM on November 3, 2010


I've decided I quite like the new gameplay. I had to do some bacon harvesting. Got caught out at night.

It wasn't so bad. I knew I was pushing the twilight a bit far, but I knew where home was. The big risk ended up being holes in the earth, not monsters. But I made it to the beach and from there the run home was fine.

My night was spent crafting and organizing.

The next day I went topside to explore West, where I'd advisement discovered the holes during twilight.

I ended up marking put another cave complex, and came back with enough new resources to have made it worthwhile.

There's enough danger to make it worth doing a very good job of marking paths home. I'm building a lot more steps on the "trunk" road, because it makes it an obvious path and makes it easier to fight skellies.

This is the sixth or so new world. I tossed some right off the bat; and others shortly after making a hideyhole and doing a day of surface exploration. This world ended up feeling "right": enough near surface resources, a few good cave entrances, and a good initial mob.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:43 AM on November 3, 2010


Well, previously if you hit a cavern you'd incorporate it into your mine

I hardly ever do more than mine visible resources. I spelunk caverns and grab any minerals I see. I sometimes drill sideways, especially if I hear monsters through the walls. I rarely push out a long tunnel in hopes of finding minerals.

Tunneling is boring, IMO. Exploring is fun.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:47 AM on November 3, 2010


But where would you get the coal to do all of that? I mean, coal generally requires mining, or wandering around on the surface (which is also dangerous now). So yeah, you can tediously make a cavern safe, but only if you've already put yourself in danger exploring elsewhere--I'm not sure I see the benefit.

When you start the game, you don't have enough coal to make lights everywhere you go, but coal is common and not very deep, so even with the new spawning rules, it wouldn't take long to gather lots of coal even if you never venture more than a dozen blocks below the surface. Then you can start exploring / digging deep mines and putting a torch on every other square if you have to. It wouldn't be fun, but players would probably do it rather than risk losing all their stuff to creepers sneaking up behind them.

Or there's another strategy that might be more efficient, but also not very fun. Instead of spamming torches, you can just build lots of chests and leave all your stuff in chests all the time, mining naked with nothing but a pick and maybe a dozen torches. Then you can just ignore monsters because it doesn't matter if you get killed. I've occasionally done that -- find a huge dark scary natural cave and run in with nothing but a handful of torches to light the place up, then come back with all my gear when it's safe. But it feels like cheating. Might as well just switch to pacifist mode.
posted by straight at 9:53 AM on November 3, 2010


"Or there's another strategy that might be more efficient, but also not very fun. Instead of spamming torches, you can just build lots of chests and leave all your stuff in chests all the time, mining naked with nothing but a pick and maybe a dozen torches. Then you can just ignore monsters because it doesn't matter if you get killed. I've occasionally done that -- find a huge dark scary natural cave and run in with nothing but a handful of torches to light the place up, then come back with all my gear when it's safe. But it feels like cheating. Might as well just switch to pacifist mode."

I really think that you'd get more Iron and Diamond Per Hour if you just put on a full suit of armor and a diamond sword and a bow and went adventuring. Armor cuts down on damage enough that only truly unfortunate accidents will kill you before you can escape and eat some food--lava pratfalls, say, or getting trapped in water next to some skeletons. You would occasionally die and lose everything, but that'd be offset by the fact that you'd be getting it faster.
posted by IjonTichy at 2:12 PM on November 3, 2010


In my first world for the new update I did the usual "mine straight down from spawn until you hit a patch of gravel and then dig out from that" and it's worked as well as it always does. I haven't had a huge problem with mobs underground, since I'm at lava level, and I'm always pretty good about placing torches.

Above is more difficult now (like when I got swamped by three creepers that blew the front off my crappy temporary wooden cube house), but I like the change in difficulty.

I don't mind spawn rates where they're currently at.
posted by codacorolla at 9:05 AM on November 4, 2010


Tunneling is boring, IMO.

Duh! Pretty much by definition dude! You have to admit that it's a heck of a lot of laffs though.

Also, Notch's twitter today: fixing the torches and finding the MP slowdown bug.

Friday update?
posted by bonehead at 3:00 PM on November 4, 2010


Also, Notch's twitter today: fixing the torches and finding the MP slowdown bug.

Friday update?


It'd be nice, but I wouldn't count on it. That was a response to someone simply asking what specific bug fixes he was focusing on. There was a previous tweet where he said something to the point of "I like doing Friday updates, but hate doing Saturday bug fixes", which implied to me that he was getting away from that sort of thing. We'll see.
posted by inigo2 at 3:13 PM on November 4, 2010


I finally tapped-out my closest caves. Have a half-dozen stacks of iron and a couple of redstone. I can start planning a cart system to the next cave system.

So I decided to go to Hell. OMG! Lots of dying. But I can see how this balances nicely; fire blocks, glow dust, and shrooms a-plenty. Everything I need for my next big spelunking adventure, especially as I'll be far from home.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:38 PM on November 4, 2010


The Netherworld is filled with assholes. I can't accomplish squat in there as of yet. Damn ghasts keep destroying my portals, too.

Guh.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:51 PM on November 4, 2010


Spawn rate code has been reverted in today's 1.2.1_01, but it looks like he's going to continue to experiment with it.
posted by bonehead at 2:17 PM on November 5, 2010


Bummer. After clearing out monsters and putting up torches at what felt to me like ordinary distances, I had very few monsters in my caves.

Topside mobs are (were?) crazy. And the Netherworld is obscene.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:48 PM on November 5, 2010


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