Thursday, 21 November 2013

Minecraft Adventures: Vancraft and the Sunken Temple of Solitude

In the fine month of Autumn I decided between the builds of my Brick mansion that I felt like some more survival classic PvP, and actually do PvP this time, so I trawled the Australian Servers under minecraft-mp.com and settled on one that looked pretty good called Vancraft named after it’s friendly owner Vandorann and it ticked all of the boxes including Bukkit, Factions, PvE, PvP and Survival. Pretty much as soon as I got there, there was a “Drop Party” going on, where the Admins would fly around the spawn room and drop various items while the players below would jump around trying to get them. I managed to score myself quite a haul getting 5 diamond blocks, a Steve head, 4 Iron blocks, lots of coal and iron and redstone, gold nuggets, wheat and various other goodies that allowed me to start off with a bang.

A shot of the Vancraft Spawn Area
The Spawning Chapel where they had the drop party
The Market
And with a bang I did, I walked around for a while exploring the area, there were quite a few things to see as there always is around these servers before finding a jungle biome and digging a small hole in a hill to forge some Diamond armor and a sword to have the best level of protection in the wilds.

Some kind of Mushroom-related house
I then decided to log in to the Teamspeak server and went to the Minecraft channel where Tim0776 came down and asked me how old I was, and in saying I was 28 moved me down to the Admins channel where I met Vandorann and Mstrdonut and they were all quite friendly. Tim0 even invited me to his faction and his odd looking base out in the ocean.

I find it interesting how much I am trusted when joining Minecraft servers once I tell them I’m over 21 I spose it’s just all the griefing, immature and distrustful younger generation that people were suspicious of. It’s happened quite a few times actually so the advice I give is if the server has some of kind Teamspeak/Ventrilo or any type of voice server get on and say hi, you’ll be amazed of how far that goes with trust once people hear you and  if that isn’t available then some random acts of kindness will go far too i.e. giving someone a gift of iron bars or even diamond if you can spare goes a long way too. I’ve learned over the time i’ve played on random factions servers that you need create a reputation of integrity for yourself in the community if you want to remain part of one.

I had came out of my Nether portal and found myself in someone's house once and found this odd setup, I cannot fathom why someone would use Anvils as a bedrest display. You literally looking at 186 iron bars there less the amount of coal that was used to smelt them as well.
  Anyway once I had my temporary hideout sorted I decided instead of a jungle retreat high up in the trees I wanted to build in a swamp and make a sort of sunken-temple-like structure in the middle of a swamp lake (much less picturesque I know) be but in order to do that I was going to need a swamp. So after trying the ‘random location’ command “/rl” a few times I found a few interesting things  and falling in a large hole and going splat and Van very nicely recovering my stuff. I'd made quite a few saved locations with Rei's Minimap it's quite useful when you use the marker options so you can see how far away everything is to you and that's useful when you want to get as far away from spawn as possible.

I called this "the blasted desert"
I did actually find a little swamp near a large lake with towering wooden walls above it, Van said some people had used to it raise there woodcutting skill which I found kind of odd as due to the Decapitator Bukkit mod the trees fall as soon as you cut part of the trunk but still this was much too close to spawn so I figured I was going to have to do some exploring. I went out to tame the horse that was sitting in the trees near my hole, I had bought a saddle with in game money that you recieve from voting for the server which I had done a few times and after a few tries of breaking it in I got the saddle on and was up fine.

Horsey come down!
So off I went on a grand journey across the world in search of a suitable place. This was the first time I’d ridden a horse and man are they fast and they can jump damn high too and I felt like a badass running monsters through on my high horse. After a while I did find a small swamp, fortunately though Tim0776 did some flying around and found me an even bigger swamp where I gratefully travelled to, to build my creation.

The Swamp, as taken from the edge as you can see the green from the forest biome is covering half of the tree. This also happens with the water as you can see from the edges of the swampland the water is murkier.
Now you might be thinking, “isn’t this a survival PvP server” why would you want to think about building a large structure when it might get destroyed, and unfortunately I really didn’t think that all I could focus on was creating a brand new funky creation that I always do. I don’t know what gets into me maybe I just don’t like PvP but I don’t know why I keep joining servers that have it, maybe for that extra element of danger I guess? So anyway, I picked the lake, made myself another hole and got building. One thing I found during my extended period in the swamps is that they were one of the hardest biomes to build things in, their dark in texture, there’s water everywhere and they seem to spawn the most amount of monsters out of any biome I’ve seen including Slimes which can see you wherever you are and their splotchy moving noise is hella annoying. I also found that I would have to deal with a Zombie horde every night, I even tried creating pits and traps to kill them all but unfortunately since their AI upgrade they don’t just walk blindly towards you and fall down the hole in between you and them anymore so you have to be a bit more creative and unfortunately I wasn’t.

The main resource room of my underground base

Over the course of building I had to add a few extra rooms to my underground base inc. a bedroom, a room for the, anvil, incinerator and nether portal and I also covered up my pit trap and started digging downwards to gather enough cobblestone to cook to smooth stone to then turn into stone brick. Basically not much happened after that, I just started building and kept building with amazingly no interference from any players, the main problem was the monsters that made life difficult but that’s what it’s like building on a survival PvP server.

The incinerator and Anvil room
The Nether portal, I had to create a gate around it as at one point I had a zombie pigman walking around.
 This was one of the more difficult builds that I’ve done as it required a lot of underwater work which was a major pain especially when you don’t have access to any kind of underwater breathing potion, as I forgot to go up for air quite a few times and ended up dying on occasion. Basically what I wanted to build was a temple that was half underwater so I started at the lowest point of the pool and built in a  supposed square around the bottom with stone brick and putting in glowstone on the rows every so often to be able to see what I was doing. And then basically I just kept building up and up and mining down and down heh. I voted for the server any time I could and used the money to purchase more stone brick.

Underwater building be a pain, also doesn't quite look very good with the stairs, hopefully they will fix that at some point.
When I’d almost finished the temple and was mining the last bits of stone I looked up and it was quite a damn long way up there, like I was some kind of miner looking around the huge cave of other miners, except it was just me but anyway. I built in a pyramid style right up to the waterline using stone bricks and steps though when I was directly on the waterline I noticed that the steps make that weird gap in the water so I had to leave that part without the stairs and then continued to the top which I filled in and made a roof across it with the glowstone in the middle of the poles supporting it.

That's a looooong way down.
The finished outer temple.
The next stage was to make a stairway down into the temple itself which didn’t take very long as there was only a few levels till I hit the sand island in the middle of the water inside the temple. Having become bored with building this creation I was just going to leave it as a quiet temple of solitude then Vandorann kindly helped me rid the water from inside the temple, so then me and another very helpful member of my faction whose name I unfortunately cannot remember started digging out the inside and removing the excess water left behind until we’d got down to the level that I started the temple.

Dredging out the lower temple.
 While we were doing this so many zombies and monsters appeared that we decided to wall off the entrance to the temple and add an iron door just to make things easier. I cleared out the floor and used the sand I had left over as a base for the downstairs level, I wanted sand down there as there’s something tranquil about cool sand in an underground place though I suppose it would be more suited to a beach or desert, there was also a section in the corner where I left a pool of the excess water which added to the tranquillity.

The door and some shots of the inside of the Temple


I didn’t do much else to the temple as I’d kinda had enough, I added a few torches and christened it “JDman’s sunken Temple of Solitude” and that was it really. I may re-create it in creative mode in the future thought. I’ve now shut off my home base to the world and will log in from time to time to see if anyone has found it since that Lockette has been removed but my Temple of Solitude will always be there.

Higher view of the temple.
The temple using Rei's Minimaps large surface map
So that’s that really, I’ve gone off to play some Star Wars the Old Republic and of course Battlefield, I’d just like to thank everyonething on Vancraft for an awesome time and hope to see you guys again.

JD

Probably my favorite shot of the Vancraft server, the lonely path to the red pyramid house, the texture pack really makes it quite picturesque.

 
Only the lonely

4 comments:

  1. Hi sorry for not replying I think it's the Fairielight one 256x256

    http://www.planetminecraft.com/texture_pack/faerielight-13/

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