Postcard From Mineworld

I’ve been playing Minecraft on and off for a couple of weeks now. Sadly I feel that I’ve now done most things that are possible to do without going entirely mad. I’ve taken a few screen shots of my world. I wish I had taken pictures before I started mining, exploding and building all over it. It might have been quite cool to see what it looked like as a pristine landscape.

The picture above shows my very first construction project. It originally was only a couple of stories high, and completely hollow to save stone. Sadly I quickly discovered that this meant monsters would spawn inside it and they gave me the heebie-jeebies by constantly making noises. I had to slaughter them and fill the whole thing in with earth. Originally I had this mad idea in of building a string of towers right out across the world with each one connected to the other by a long stone bridge suspended in mid air. Sadly I only really got as far as building the first tower before I got fed up mining for stone. In the end I tried to make a giant lighthouse instead, but it took a few attempts to get the lava to behave as you can see below.

In the end was foiled by the draw distance of 200 blocks which means it disappears fairly quickly as you move away. Still it’s useful when pottering around my spawning area. Still I got to laugh at various AI mobs wandering into the deadly river of lava.

You probably noticed a few other landmarks in the first picture and I’ll get to those in a minute.

This odd block is an experiment I did based on the information in this thread by Globster8 on the official Minecraft Forums. It’s basically a monster spawning factory. The big block of stone contains a section in total darkness with a small river as a trap/conveyor. The monsters fall into this and are swept down into a pit full of water. They’re unceremoniously drowned and then drop useful items, these are then carried down to a collection point near the end of the smaller section where I can pick them up. It works most of the time, and allowed me to amass far more blasting powder, arrows and feathers than I should ever need. It can’t seem to kill spiders though, and if enough of them spawn they choke the drowning pit preventing the thing working. I suppose it’s their revenge for the whole plughole thing…

The water in the foreground is the after effect of me removing all the sand from the beach. When you combine sand with blasting powder you get TNT.

TNT is awesome.

This hole is the result of about twenty blocks of TNT being set off while buried at various depths in the rock. I got a bit carried away, and I actually regret doing it now as I’m left with a massive open cast hole right next to my spawn point. It’s far to big to fill in without some kind of map editing software. It did make it a bit easier to stock up on coal and iron for a while, but eventually the seams in the hole were played out. Sometimes the monsters fall in it now and end up trapped so I use them as target practice for my bow.

This mountain was the second casualty of my TNT detonating spree. This time I dug right down into the rock face and set off a big block of them with a remote trigger I had rigged up. The explosion reduced the game to a crawl, but this was the aftermath. Not content with that act of vandalism however I decided it would look even better with a few modifications.

So I added a strange pagan altar to the top complete with burning braziers and a workbench. Then, to complete the scene, I poured some lava into holes underneath the altar which created a large waterfall of burning death. I’m thinking of using a map editor to add a lava pool at the bottom. Sadly the lava and water don’t form pools in Minecraft so it would have to be done manually which is way too time consuming and dangerous.

So after all that grand design I got a bit jaded with Minecraft and built a log cabin by the sea. The odd wall with the ladder to the right of the cabin is a launching ramp for a mine cart, and the grey blocks to the left of the picture are a protective surround for a pool of lava that I use to get rid of crap that I don’t need.

Part of the minecart railway. It uses a system of boosters to travel out across the sea to a distant area that I’ve only just started to exploit for raw materials. I’ve just discovered that there’s a more compact and efficient way of doing the boosters, but not sure if these will cause problems with the program. The railway travels quite a way on top of a single long line of cobblestone blocks that are suspended on the water’s surface in defiance of all Newtonian laws.

The thing above is my latest mad construction: a floating island. The column of lava was a bit of an accident on my part. I selected the bucket full of lava instead of a shovel. I’ll remove it in a while, but it looks kind of smart at the moment. I’m planning to build a tower, or possibly just another log cabin, on top of the island. Not sure how I’ll get in and out though. I may replace the lava with a waterfall and use it as a sort of water elevator.

Last but not least is this odd cavern I discovered. That waterfall you see above is the sea pouring down into the cave through a large hole in the ceiling. The cave system goes back for some distance as well, and plunges down very deep into the ground. I haven’t explored the entire thing yet, but I’ve seen a lot of lava and a lot of valuable ores. The thing you can just make out hovering above the waterfall, and floating on top of the ocean, is the mine cart launching station that takes me back to my log cabin.

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