Sunday, 30 October 2011

Minecraft Adventures: The return to Mikeland, why? I will never know‏

I’d like to sidetrack a bit here before I launch into my gory details, firstly you might have already noticed that these shots were taken in a different texture pack to my usual Misa’s 64x64. Yes the new pack I’m using is LB Photorealism 256x256 yes 256x256 I’ve gone up quite a lot of pixels, I gotta say it looks quite amazing as you can see from the screenshots. When I first viewed this texture with a friend I wasn’t too impressed with the patchy heavily textured feel to it but that was only because we were flying high above the ground so after playing it for a while you just get used to it and it looks amazing when you’re on the ground. Sometimes though It’s hard to determine what’s what, especially in the case of stone, cobblestone and gravel at first glance, probably because everything is so realistic it looks pretty much the same but that’s a minor detail. 

LB PhotoRealism: not for the weak RAM'd
 Another minor detail for that matter is a few of the new object textures (such as melon vines) aren’t quite finished yet but will be. They have finished the Endermen though which is kind of weird now I think about it cause what does a realistic Enderman skin? Compared to Misa’s it does look a bit better obviously with it being 256x256 though I did notice that some of the armor and sword textures weren’t so good or creative (i.e Misa’s swords got prettier and the wooden one was shaped like a club) and also all the mob textures were taken from Misa’s as well. Anyway so that’s the one I’ll be using for awhile at least, I don’t think you could get much better anyway unless there’s some kind of WoW themed one out there.

Also I just wanted to make a comment on my sort of lack of coverage of the Minecraft patches, this is mainly because I’d rather talk about my adventures and creations in Minecraft rather than the Minecraft development on the larger scale which can be found in many other reliable locations most of the time I just notice the new patch notes on the welcome screen when I login. I do refer to patches at times during my posts but usually it’s just a small announcement, patches don’t mean that much to me in the long run unless it’s something absolutely groundbreaking or experience changing for me, texture packs do though as per the paragraph above. By the way we’re currently on 1.8.1 and 1.9 and 1.10 are coming up soon I hear on the grapefruit.

Anyway, so on to my main topic:

As you’ve probably guessed in my questioning title I have briefly gone for another foray into the Mikeland Factions server, I did a short introduction to the Mikeland Survival server a while ago detailing the environment there and what I had built, my short previous run on the factions server roughly came out the same way as the last one did so here an introduction to life on the server.You login and are immediately presented with a spawn area of incredible size and grandeur, it had pretty much everything, giant walls, high towers, elegant gardens, farms, pvp battle arenas, stores, giant monuments, most of which were only there for show, but it’s a grand sight indeed, much better than the last spawn they had and I was quite annoyed to find I had not taken any screenshots of it where I thought I did, apart from the ones at the end of the post. A long walk to the outer gates then a short walk enters the war zone a zone which is pretty much rife with faction pvp where no land claims can be made, a short walk further out leads to the mainland, where most of the clans have laid their claim (har!) You are then presented with a difficult situation.

In order protect your chests and items and buildings in Mikeland factions you need to make a land claim and to do that you surprise, surprise need a faction, the times of the LWC mod are gone as I had earlier detailed that there was an epidemic of people making houses out of furnaces etc, which were also protected. The strength of the land claim depends on how many members and claims a faction has, for example if faction A has 4 members and one claim and gets attacked by faction B with 8 members, if faction B manages to kill all of the faction A players it can claim over their land because they have the greater number of members. At least that’s what I could work out for the short time I was on there, it’s a very cutthroat kind of culture that makes you feel unsafe pretty much everywhere you go and making you take precautions such as living underground, hiding your chests and being wary whenever you’re on the surface.

So here's my story, and I do apologise for the lack of screenies, I'm not exactly the best photojournalist
When I first logged in the spawn area was nice and safe and very grand looking but once I left it’s protective haven I had to first traverse through the‘war’ zone filled with people warrin’ it up and just hoped I didn’t attract any attention, but of course then I got to the‘wilderness and had to make a choice about who I was going to join. This is a very delicate situation as I had to contact someone who is already in a faction and just hope I spoke nice enough that they will allow me in. But to be honest I could be anyone, they don’t know me, I’ve just recently arrived on the server and now they’re going to accept some random person into their secret hideout and I automatically have access to all the shared resources, trust is a crucial matter unless you personally know the player.

Eventually I did get accepted firstly with a small faction called ‘Genesis’(previously Exodus) who had just taken over an enemy base, this of course didn’t last for long until we were attacked by another faction and had to retreat to an underground base where I took it upon myself to organize all of the faction’s resources, I liked doing this, along with building farms and expanding the base I was much more of a builder and resource organizer and collector then a PvPer which gave me a lot of rapport from fellow faction members. I had just finished a small but high wall around the entrance to our underground lair when I logged out and logged back in to find things in a bit of disarray, this happened a few times actually I seemed to keep missing the moment when the shit hits the fan and always come bumbling back in oblivious to what’s happened until I see the previous signs of carnage around me and take an educated guess, I then do a quick warp to the faction home and find a completely new “fallback” base. I always liked the idea of fallback bases, basically in case you got raided by another faction, you set your own personal /home teleport to the fallback base where there was a backup supply of food, tools, weapons and other resources ahh just like in a real war.

Quite an interesting place to set up camp, in the shadow of another factions lava-walled fortress
Especially in the night...
I believe my poor timing was due to the fact of me being a bit older than most of the playerbase on the server, this has been common in my Minecraft servers and communities especially Tribalfield where apart from the server owner and his friends I was probably the oldest by about 10 years and at one point I was in a partnership with someone who was 13 years my junior, but it’s a game it doesn’t make much difference although most older players do try to avoid collaborating with much younger players, this is especially true with WoW, as most of the playerbase is over 25. Saying that I don’t mind playing with younger players as long as they are not complete assheads i.e. talk shit in chat, grief others creations or go around killing (the latter two apart from servers which allow it). But because I am working at full time and they are all school students, I sometimes don’t get on till about 8 or 9:00 where about %80 of the MC playerbase gets on a lot earlier in the afternoon so most of the stuff during the week goes down then.
So anyway it obviously looked like our base had been raided and I checked the faction had been disbanded so I set off in search of another faction, where I came across ‘Vrykul’ (previously Whicolony) if you do happen to be a WoW player you’d know that the Vrykul were an enemy race in the “Wrath of the Lich King” expansion. So I gained their trust by organizing the base properly inc the layout, the resources, I also created a huge underground farm (which my brother claimed looked like a underground drug farm, and I kind of agree) which is a more prominent feature in your usual town or collaboration, underground or otherwise since the introduction of hunger in 1.8 All this took quite a while as when your underground you have to cut out the space yourself which is a lengthy process.

The farm grows..
and grows...
and grows!
The Vrykul resource room, I like being organised
The Meeting Room
So anyway this went well I even had made my own room and was even given the illustrious‘Head builder’ title. Then of course the inevitable happened and our underground base was raided (which I only logged in to see the aftermath of) luckily we had also created a ‘fallback base’ as I had mentioned earlier, this one was in the desert and had a wall and all the amenities needed for a retreat so I went through my room (and a lot of others) and grabbed anything of value even tearing up the wooden floor and ported to the new base. I had only created my temporary dwelling aptly named the“dirty den” outside the main base and hidden my resources when I logged back in after a day or two and yet again found the base in ruins , just previously I had hastily demolished huge sand and stone towers where I was told players were using to try and jump over the wall in our claim which was a bad omen. I wasn’t sure whether our faction was still together, I didn’t bother checking, I noticed my den was demolished and all my items taken, I also remember thinking that hiding your chest under one block of obviously placed wooden floor wasn’t exactly a good idea.

My Room in the Vrykul Faction lair

The Vrykul Fallback Base

My hastily made abode
After that things went from bad to worse, I didn’t really have any intention of starting over again though when I happened to log back in this time I was back at the spawn area which had been almost utterly demolished (I think I was beginning to get a knack for this) I wondered who the hell could cause this type of destruction but this post on the Mikeland forums soon explained a lot , so it turned out that all the faction and land claim data was lost, including the spawn area protection, so basically anyone could tear apart every facet of the spawn area, and boy would it have been quite a haul, I saw quite a few untouched diamond blocks on my brief survey of the wreckage. So that was that, Mikeland factions is factions no more at least for awhile, and with a server message like this I don’t think it will be given any love any time soon. And that was my second time on the Mikeland factions server and frankly it ended a bit more spectacularly then the last, and I digress if the whole server has not gone halfway kaput then it was just going to be joining faction after faction as each one gets destroyed .

The ruined spawn area
The server message reads: "Attention! as a change of pace, the management has decided to remove all faction-based commands and features, and doesn't care about the server anymore, have a nice day!" :S

So I didn’t have much of a run on factions but I would like to say thanks to a few people who made my time there all the more fun:

From Exodus there was only B1SH0 that I knew fairly well who also managed to revive the ‘Genesis’ faction for awhile, and from Vrykul I’d like to thank: Skyguy2424, Dekanmai and xiaphexxi

Epilogue: Afterwards I took up residence on the original Mikeland survival server with my good friend WarpageHD and his friend ConcreteBanana who have quite set up indeed at their underground lair at almost bedrock level (which was the norm) it features a network of tunnels and quite a big mob spawner farm with an automatic drop shaft where they could be picked up, I wasn’t allowed to live in their secret underground base so I found a small pond on the surface and decided to make it into a house, with glass as the roof two blocks under the water, where I could possibly extend to other patches of water or even the outright ocean via underground tunneling. But I may have to leave this development for later due to other recent developments.

So in conclusion as I might have said before the Mikeland former factions survival server and the original survivor server are both fun and scary places, Warpage and I have met the main man Mike (on Teamspeak) at one point and I do congratulate him for managing not 1 but 3 servers (including 1 creative) even if one has partially lost a lot of its data and mods. These servers are not places for the semi survival/creative hybrid style that we used to play on Tribalfield as both griefing and raiding are allowed here which gives quite a dangerous, exciting and edgy feel when you know you could lose everything in a space of 5 minutes, but that’s half the fun. 

You’ve been warned.


It can get as bad as it can but at least here it can’t get worse.