Friday, 23 November 2012

Minecraft Adventures: Adventures with close Friends

I wanted to write a little bit about some experiences I’ve had playing Minecraft with people at LANS and the difference between online and LAN Minecraft.

A while ago I and my Minecrafty friends Brok and Richard attended the Bluewire Lan with the intention of doing a bit of LAN multiplayer Minecraft which went quite well. We were playing the 1.3.1 snapshot which introduced the ability to search for LAN games. We started off exploring Richard’s singleplayer world he had created as well as some other worlds he had found online and I must say his work was fairly impressive, I didn’t get many good shots but here’s a quick look.

In these screenshots I was using Misa's 64x64 Realistic Texture pack

The Railyway through Richard's very impressive man-made mountain.
The mountain at sunset
Richard's "Wolf Den"
A Cruise ship map he had downloaded, that is one freakin huge mutha
We then went on to create a new map that was all to ourselves and our objective was to simply survive as it obviously was survival mode, I must say it was pretty fun, we chopped trees, we mined coal and iron (and various other things) and we built, pretty soon we had a pretty cool looking house made of spruce wood with a basement and everything. We continued to build mine and farm until we basically ran out of time and ended up with this:

Our villiage by night, got quite a bit built
Ah what a lovely sunset, or rise... actually I think that's a sunrise
I enjoyed the experience though, it was great fun playing with people next to you and makes it so much easier to organize what you are doing. I can’t really seem to play singleplayer without mods anymore as I did for a while and keep making these grandiose plans that would take months to do if done in survival mode, but with multiplayer you remember to keep things simple and practical, and not spend too much time on intricate details and large scale plans unless you’re able to backup frequently. One of my favorite things to do in Minecraft (and most other games) is to start out again with nothing and get to the top once more, you know starting out by punching trees and gathering wood, hastily making some shelter before the first night, that sort of thing.

I did a similar exercise with a fellow enthusiast named Alex at the Lanslide League of Legends Tournament (we did play some LoL but aren’t very good at it) we basically did the same thing, exploring the different worlds and servers we had, Alex briefly showed me his multiplayer world where due to a botched server command he had dumped a layer of sand on 1/3rd of the map, I didn’t manage to get some good screenshots but it looks interesting to say the least especially the jungle biome with sand covering it.

We decided to start a Minecraft map up and get surviving in between rounds of LoL, which we did, from what I can remember we spawned in a Jungle biome where we decided to make our home which was basically just a hole dug in the ground, I then went off to find a mine to get some coal and iron and we did find a particularly large one and also cleaned out a ravine in a swamp biome. Didn’t see any Witches or Witch Huts but we did see a slime  which as of the 1.4.2 patch can now spawn above ground in swamps which we were quick to hit off the edge of the ravine.

Speaking of the 1.4.2 patch here are a few things of note that were added, more detail in the link.

Wooden logs (thank god for this change, as a treehouse builder it was driving me crazy)
Changed placement: Instead of facing the player, it will face the surface it is placed on
Place it on the side of a block to get a sideways log.
Place it on the top or bottom of a block to get a topside log.
Witch and Witch Huts in swamps

Anyway back to the story, so me and Alex took all our loot home and went to work on our underground Jungle home, I carved out a bit of the cave and we decided that jungle wood planks would be the quickest and most environmentally friendly blocks for the wall as jungle logs would be quite time consuming to obtain and would require us to level 2 or 3 large jungle trees. That said, I’ve always found jungle trees to be the quickest source of wood for three reasons.

The trunks are 4x4 instead of 1x1
You can climb to the top of them easily using the vines
They are up to 20 to 30 blocks tall

But anyway we weren’t in the business of deforestation, we had the supplies, we had the wood, now to get to work. So we walled up our home in jungle wood planks, I built a doorway to the cave and decorated the entrance and the inside with vines.With these screenshots I was using Faerielight 256x256 texture pack

We decided to cobblestone for the floor as we couldn’t think of anything else at the time as it would have been too much wood if we did the floor in that.

After some brief fixing up and adding some stairs, I started carving out a room for myself, Alex wanted to know how good I could make my room look so we switched to creative mode to make things easier. Making bookshelves, carpet and other things I needed would take a significant amount of time, as you all know that sheep and cows can never be found when you need them. It wasn’t my best work unfortunately but it still looked reasonable with the water feature though maybe a bit bare.

Alex then changed the main entrance to have a less-than-respectable name for our home as well as adding a dispensor so anyone coming or going would get dirt spat at them, charming

A riggeed welcome mat that triggers a machanism that shoots thing at people on the doorstep, this could be huge

I went over to my friend Richard's house recently do have a bit of a lan as they were very much into playing Age of Empires 2, which as well as Minecraft we did try to play but unfortunately weren't able to get it working so we played Starcraft instead which I was inevitably able to win.

But on to the Minecraft and after Richard and I were unable connect to each other in Lan mode we were forced to go online where I suggested we should delve into one of my old favorites Mikeland Survival. So we did and ended up having a pretty fun adventure. We jumped off the spawn area and ran and ran until we got to a ransacked NPC village where we found there was a chasm and a cave system nearby, we decided to venture into the chasm harvesting whatever resources we could find and made a hideout out of a circular cave. After much foraging for coal and iron and creating some much needed iron tools we eventually found an underground chasm below the one on the surface that had a mineshaft running through it. And man did we find a lot of diamond in there, all up we got about 15 or 16 diamonds between us which was a pretty good haul, I did some dangerous obsidian farming with lava right underneath but we soon had enough for a nether portal, some fancy iron armor and more importantly some diamond tools.

The bridge across the chasm to our hideout
So inconspicous I know
Boyz 'n' the Hood
We then went up to the surface and while Richard went did some sheep dye mixing resulting in coloured sheep all over the place, I went out to the taiga biome woods to find some animals to kill for food when I spotted a diamond armor clad other player in which I decided to run very fast away from and told Richard who came over as well, at this point supposedly seeing both of us the other player ran off. We then continued and I went off to gather some clay for bricks in large lake in the nearby swamp and unsuccessfully tried to make a chicken farm. While I was doing this Richard told me that there was two players coming towards him one of which could have possibly been the player we saw before. I ran back with my Diamond sword in hand to see them chasing Richard, they killed Richard and but I managed to take one of them down but couldn’t catch up to the other, while I waited for Richard to come back to get what was left of his items they both came back and amazingly I managed to kill both of them this time. One of them did say they were “Coming back for me” though we didn’t see them again, they possibly didn’t actually see where we were hiding. We got some supplies and some pretty cool enchanted iron armor from the experience though.

Our hideout before partial brick makeover
After partial brick makeover.
Well after that we prettied up our home a bit more with wool carpet, brick walls, pot plants and glass and we made a basement for the nether portal which we were quick to venture into. We did a quick run of the nether gathering supplies such as lightstone, soul sand and netherrack where Richard got a bit too enthusiastic with his Zombie Pigman killing.Afterwards we continued with the house and Richard planted trees around our chasm.

Our basement with the nether portal

Huge lava lake I saw in the Nether
Trees Richard planted outside our chasm to fend off prying eyes.
Shortly after that we had to finish up as it was time for a bit of Age of Empires, or technically Starcraft as we couldn’t get AOE to work. Haven’t been back to see if it’s still there yet, might have to take some more photos.

Throughout all of those experiences, I had fun, we had fun and that’s the main thing, I’ve found playing games with friends close by is getting harder and harder these days as developers don’t want to make games that you can play with people right next to you, they always seem to want you to “play with your friends” with all of you in different locations forcing you to use headphones and mics, I would rather be right near a person and be able to speak to them without having to much around with .

My brother did point out that there is only about 10 PS3 games made that have a co-op campaign or story mode whereas within out group of 15 or so PS2 games we have 3 of which have a similar feature. It seems that split screen is becoming something of the past with the net being so available nowadays. Though that is consoles and I’m mostly a PC gamer and it doesn’t seem to stop us that we have to cart our entire desktops around screen and all to various places in order to be able to play together, that’s absolutely fine.

My best creations have come out of playing by myself, but the most fun comes out of playing with others, and if their right beside me, it’s even better.


With a lot of help from my friends.

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