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Monthly Archives: April 2011

Minecraft Monday: Mapz!

Notch just made a post on his tumblr stating an idea about maps getting added to the game.  Maybe a new use for paper and squid ink?  Sounds cool either way ^_^  He mentioned that it will start out as a blank map that gets revealed over time as you wander, and that multiplayer folks’ll be able to link up their maps so both people can see what the other has revealed, maybe even see where that person is on the map when you check it. 

Harry Potter-esque, no?

In some Meh News, he said Pistons are getting delayed again, possibly for awhile.  Even worse, this is because a coder is getting moved to another game, likely Scrolls.  Even though I got a few ideas for pistons at the moment, the acknowledgement that they got one less coder working on the game isn’t great news to hear.  This bothers me even more, because possibly the largest influence of me getting the game, X, from his Let’s Play Minecraft youtube series posted a lengthy list of things he’d like to see in the game.

Having watched each of his videos marathon-style for pretty much two full days until he stopped posting them, I know first hand this guy spent a lot of time in-game.  But he got bored.  Painfully bored.  He claims it was because nothing was threatening anymore, and while I think it was more of a burn-out than boredom that killed it for him, I can see where he is coming from.

But Notch didn’t read his post.  Actually, he decided to completely ignore it.

This is what bothers me this week.  I’m a big fan of X, and I admit I may have a bias towards his side of the story.  I also admit that X got a lot of popularity due to his Minecraft vids, and accidentally sent one heck of a tidal wave of fans Notch’s way, supposedly to the point of Notch getting text messages to read the post when trying to eat dinner.  I get he would be displeased.

I also understand that Notch is probably trying to avoid the whole “if enough people tell him, he’ll listen to my thoughts and change the game!” can of worms.  If he admits he read the list it might make him look like he caved to the pressure, but at the same time, completely ignoring the changes is not the right answer either.  I read the list of ideas, and X was very understanding.  He knew the changes would likely never get added, but it was mostly posted towards his fans for them to understand why he isn’t playing it nearly at all anymore.  (Again, I think he built too much too fast and right out of the gates, while he claims lack of changes and lack of depth and difficulty.)

Most of X’s ideas were about beefing up the Adventuring aspect of the game.  He conquered all he saw, and wept.  (To decimate a Great phrase a la Alexander.)  He said the game is almost all about building and almost nothing about Adventuring, which is correct.  But he didn’t just want to complain about things and he listed ideas on how to fix what he felt needed more attention.  Mainly, add upgraded versions of all current mobs for starters.  You’ll  need armor to go cave hunting as the upgraded mobs take a lot more damage and dish it out as well, so why not have those rare mobs drop better gear in mind of said adventurers?  Say, iron ore?  That would keep Adventurers stocked with iron for armor and weapons while not forcing them to mine all day for it.

You can read his whole thing (as well as an apology to Notch for X’s fans pestering him so much) right here.  Was Notch right in blocking off new ideas?  Is it wrong for people to suggest changes while playing a game born from creativity?  Maybe Notch should hire on someone who just deals with people’s suggestions and organizes them for the team?  He can afford it.  (Minecraft broke 2,000,000 sales recently.)

But, to avoid ending it on a slightly negative note, my buddeh’ Ben allowed me and the Misses to visit his server this week!  We didn’t stay long, Madam is under the weather and I’m drinking plenty of liquids to avoid catching it as well, but I did have enough time to snap this shot!

Minecraft Co-Op: Vertigo!

Just doesn't look the same without your texture pack, does it? -_^

…right before a giant slime gutted me.  Dang processor couldn’t handle me loading the image program so I died before I could alt+tab back in >.<  Also, Ben has a kick-arse Dr. Who skin.  Tennant’s version, of course.  (Even had nifty 3-d glasses on, woo!)  Not big on the Doc, but I really like Tennant.  Think my fave episode was the Shakespeare one. 

“Good ol’ J.K.!”

Keep the Craft Alive: Knitting It Forward

A bud of mine by the name of Carrie is a fan of fancy stitchings and she made a post regarding Knit it Forward the other day. Basically she is willing to make the first five people who post on her blog a small, free craft item for no charge.  (I guess that free part made no charge redundant, ha!)  But in exchange for the item, the person who accepts the crafting gift, must in return give five others a free craft of their own.  I think the only other stipulation is that the crafts must be completed by the end of the year, and they should be kept smallish as it is out of the kindness of their heart sort of dealy!

Welp, I regarded that as a challenge!  I accepted her offer, and now I must, in turn, continue the process outwards.  We, Encrazed Crafts, do hereby offer the first five people on this post a free, small, Encrazedly-crafted item.  By posting your request for one of these bad boys, you acknowledge that you must, in turn, provide the same offer on the blog of your own, and give five others a freebie as well!  (There is no limit on what the crafted item you make for them is, from like a pot holder to a drawn picture, etc.)

So then, who’s up for the challenge? XD

P.S. We will need to know where to ship these special items out to, of course.  So we’ll need contact info from ya eventually.  And no the piggeh’ blanket is not a ‘small’ item, you bunch of sneaks :P

Twisted Metal (PS3) Release Date Confirmed!

10/4/2011 (Any fan of the series *needs* to watch that teaser trailer of the live action stuffs! I’d embed it, but gametrailers doesn’t seem to like wordpress.)

I am squeeing as loudly as I can about this news.  Of course I’m a guy, so it sounds more like tires squealing than a chew toy getting stepped on, but that perfectly fits this game anyway!

The last time I was this excited over a trailer was Dead Island, and while that video was heavy on the artistry, Twisted Metal’s is high on the action; high on the octane.

Fire, leather, explosions, heavy rock, chainsaws, motorcycles, and ice cream.  Oh yeah…

“…it’s good to be back.”

Minus Minecraft, the last game I purchased myself with actual tangible currency (non-gift card’d, etc.) was probably Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.  After getting burned with Devil May Cry 2, I am very particular on which games I buy.  Based on what I know about this one so far, and who is in charge of it (David Jaffe was my first DAW post, after all ^_^), I am definitely going to pre-order. 

More than likely a Collector’s Edition.

Minecraft 1.5 is LIVE

Do I gain cheese points for the rhyme in the title?  I wasn’t sure, but went with it anyway ^_^

As Ben studiously pointed out, 1.5 is upon us.  I immediately was met with the typical End of Stream error message so no-go on the online play for me, today.

So I loaded up single player, of course!  I immediately checked out the Achievy’s and Stats, and I’m leaning towards positive mixed.  (I think that would be Neutral Good?  Or, I guess knowing me, Chaotic Good :D)

I am glad they are in place, but I was kinda expecting a little bit more.  You can easily get most of those in under three minutes, six if you have a completely empty inventory. 

That’s it.  Not a big gripe, but I calls it as I see’s it ^_^  There will undoubtedly be many more added, and not only do I like the stylin’ new background they got behind the achievements (bunch of mining blocks and dirt, etc.), but they were smart!  They actually kept Stats and Achievy’s separate!  How many times are you ‘awarded’ for getting arbitrary and monotonous amounts of something?  Would it not be better to merely keep track of your actions through Stats, and keep the Achievements interesting?

Kudos to Mojang for keeping that in mind, though I offer up a puzzle of my own.

Minecraft 1.5 Update: Stats!

This is a shot of my current stats after tinkering around for a bit. Yes I know that’s a lot of jumps, but I was scaling mountains and running across water is faster when leaping around like a limping fast-style zombie.

I understood what everything listed meant, but three.  Climbed, Flown, and Dove were there exciting terms that, at first, I thought that was a hint we could fly or something, but it was just odd word choice.

Flown is the amount of space you have travelled through the air.  So jumping off a block down to a lower area would give you a small amount of Flown.  Not quite as cool as a rocketing around, but now ya know.

Dove is another one that sounds very close to flying, but this one is the opposite of Flown.  While Flown is counted through air, Dove is the past tense of Dive.  That is, how far have you trudged around like a Big Daddy with water over your head.  Distance travelled submerged in water, folks!

And I still have no idea what Climb is.  I thought if one was air, two was water, three might be height, so I looked around and jumped atop the highest mountain in view, but didn’t get any credit for it under that listing.  Might take a little more research to find out exactly what this stat is trackin’.

Oh wait, maybe stairs?

Ladders!   Climb is counted when you climb up ladders and swimming straight up , but not stairs as I first thought just now.  I feel like I just got a Discovery! like an Alchemist in WoW. 

Awesome ^_^

I would comment on weather systems, but I wasn’t planning on playing single player and uh… I didn’t make extra ladders.  Good thing I have a small waterfall next to my mining shaft in this save.  Looks like I’ll be leveling up that Climb stat quite a bit just to get out of here. 

…And just now the rain started hammering my roof and thunder is rumblin’ in real life.  Man, Notch thought of everything -_^

Minecraft Monday: Diamonds Are Forever (Part Two)

S’okay, carrying on where we left off, you have a mineshaft, a way up and out via ladders, and are standing six layers above bedrock.  Great job thus far, folks!  Let’s, pardon the pun, dig in!

Mining Layout

You need to mine out a section that is three blocks tall, two blocks wide, and ten blocks long.  This is the starting point, and it’ll give you some room to stretch out.  Feel free to place a double chest, furnace, and workbench to the sides of this area for easy access and cookin’.

Starting from the far left, mine out a single-block wide section from top to bottom.  Go to the right, skipping two blocks, and mine out the fourth from the left.  Skip five and six, and mine out seven, and then ten (the furthest to the right.)  It should look like this.

Minecraft Co-op: Muh Shaft!

I’ll get to the torches in a sec.

This is my basic set up.  all those indented areas are going to be the paths we walk as we mine deeper, or further away.  But darkness = danger and mobs.  Nothing is worse than hearing a zombie in your mine, because then you know a Creeper will be also able to spawn, and those suckers don’t make a sound.

Doesn’t that just freak you out? 

They could be desperately waiting for you just around the corner.  And that is a great deal of nooks to hide in.  So many blind spots… the explosion would surely be massive and at close range.

No, we can’t have that!  We need plenty of lighting to keep this area safe!  I place torches on the third and eighth blocks on this side, as shown, for starters.  We are going to repeat this on the back side of this area as well.  Here’s how:

On the far left side again, run against the indented wall until you cannot move forward any more.  Mine the next four blocks in, you’ll know when you do because you cannot reach any further from this position.  Walk down that dark tunnel, and turn to face the far right side of the room.  Mine out two blocks deep.  This can be hard to see on dark monitors, but the goal is to place a torch on the middle section of that second, further away block like so.

Minecraft Co-op: Illuminating the Mining Tunnel

Nice and bright now, innit?

Continue clearing in this direction, but be sure to mark off an indentation every three blocks to correlate with the front face of the room as you carry on.  Indent on four, seven, place a torch on the middle of eight, and finally indent ten.  At ten, face the indented area (that is towards the two by ten area on the other side of the indent) and mine on through to the other side.

Tada!  (Or whatever joyous sound you prefer to hear.  A level up zhoom, perhaps?)

Now, I usually only mine the bottom two blocks to squeeze on through, then turn around and wipe out that stubborn top block until I reach the two indented sections I skipped.  I mine those out, keep going back to the first row, get the second middle area I skipped, and then I’m right back where I started.  From that point, indent again, and tunnel around.  Repeat!

And Why Do You Mine This Way, Exactly?

Some people mine 100% of the blocks in their way.  Honestly, that was the first thing I did when I ended up mining.  I did a ten by five by… by a lot sized mining shaft when I first started.  Sounded like a great idea, and was fun for about three hours.  Then it got slow when I didn’t find any diamonds (red stone seemed exciting at the time, though.)  This isn’t very efficient, and when you ONLY want diamond, it doesn’t make sense to mine everything.  You want to do the least amount of stuff to spend the most amount of time looking just for diamond.

Minecraft Single Player: The Haunted Memory Mineshaft

Not very efficient.

 Look at that compass!  Ah, I was cute when I was a nooby booby.

So it all comes down to efficiency.  By doing it this way, we save a lot of effort.  There’s a lot of mumble jumble on the official forums about this and that, but it all boils down to how many blocks you can see with the least amount mined.  This method lets you see quite a lot of blocks for not a lot of blocks destroyed.  Definitely better than wiping out all the blocks, ammirite?

Now if you really did want a lot of cobble, by all means just clear a pit and have at that.  This is more a surgical strike sort of dealy.  You have options to go back and clear all those ‘pillars’ you leave behind, or just press on forward and keep an eye out for whatever you are looking for specifically.

The only con is, well.  Be sure to limit just how far you mine in one direction.  Nothing goes wrong, exactly… but that nagging feeling of fear in your brain will get very loud once you start to hear near-by skeletons and zombies that you were *positive* were not making those sounds in the same spot when you first got there.  I’ll save that tale for possibly tomorrow, as right now I’m sitting at over 2,000 words between these two posts alone!


Come prepared, never dig straight down OR up.  (Yes, the Misses, that is directed at you.)  Don’t be afraid to drop a torch when in doubt, and find up your own mining styles that suit your own needs!  Best of luck to all of ye who happen to be…

…in Search of Diamonds!

Hope you guys found this rambling to be helpful, and if you have any further questions, just ask in a comment below! I’ll be sure to answer them directly or maybe even make a Minecraft Monday post about it!

Minecraft Monday: Diamonds A Dozen (Part One)

My bud Banhammer has gone so long without finding diamonds that he is just about to give up on that almighty haul!  With time running out on his hopes ever collecting that delicious mineral and a whole buncha mining under my belt, I thought to devote this Minecraft Monday to just that: Mining!  Specifically, diamonds!

Diamond huntin’ is a common vocation in Minecraft.  You got a few different ways to go about this initially, but I think it goes without saying that you should be fairly established with a base and what not before going about this adventure.  ‘Kay?

Note: To all those Minecraftian Vets out there, it started to get a bit long so I put the more advancey stuffs on page 2.  These tips may be worth noting, but if you just want to know how I go about mining, feel free to skip to the second part of this stuff right here.


Hack down several trees and get a nice fat stack of logs.  Turn em all into lumber, then sticks.  Make a good 40ish+ ladders, which is gonna take quite a bit of wood to do.

You will also need at least ten stone and one iron pickaxe, a stone sword (just in case), shovels if you are into using them (I’m not), and a stack of torches.

Remember: Currently you can skate by with doing a ladder on every other block, next patch you will not be able to.  Ladders will yield double the amount they currently do, so either wait for the patch to go live, or just plan ahead and make double now.  Trees are easy to come by and replant accordingly to keep choppin’ trips short as can be.

Commencing Operations

The fastest, yet still safe method is to dig two blocks wide straight down.  Stand on one side and destroy the other down a block.  If it is safe, plop down that one step and destroy the one you were standing on as well as the block below that.  Keep going back and forth until you reach the bottom.

Along the way, place  a ladder on every block down as you go, and a torch every ten-or-so blocks.  They are just there to make you feel better, anyway.  Mobs spawn on flat surfaces, not walls.

Sand And Gravel Are Your Friends

You found lava.  Or if you were impatient and dug straight down, lava might have found *you.*

Minecraft Co-op: Stay Out of the Fire

This is why we dont dig straight down, kids.

If you encounter lava or a gimundous cave below your current step, use sand or gravel.  (Preferably gravel, because that stuff looks ugly as sin and only is needed for flint at the moment.  I still refuse to use it as the skin tone for the hand holding muh’ giant sword!) Either snuff out the lava with gravel, or keep placing it and letting it fall until you have a ‘floor’ to stand on.  For the cave, you’ll still need to wall off that shaft of yours as you need a wall to place the ladders as well as something to prevent spiders from chewing your face.

20,000 Blocks Under the Water Source

Ok, finally arrived at the bottom, kudos to you!  You have a ladder in place to make your way out, and still a lot of torches to burn.  We need to make a little wiggle room, as it will get very claustrophobic if we don’t.  A simple ten by ten by three or five by five block of land will do.   If you run into any lava down here, snuff it out!  This is your land now, so no running!  Oh, and still got some spare ladders?

I first thought the lower you mine, the better the rewards.  Risk/reward, ya know?  /raspberries!  I was totally coo-coo!  Minus the very first and last layer a Diamond can appear, they are found in nearly identical numbers!  As the bottom half of the ‘diamond layer’ is in or under lava, why not just mine above that layer and get the same amount of product without all the hassle of a sticky, firey death?  That should be about six levels up from the first time you see the bedrock.  Basically, dig down till you cannot break that static or white noise looking block.  Dig around a bit and see when they appear, and stand on top of the highest layer of them you find. 

From *that* spot, you need to go up six.  A simple staircase or ladder up a floor will do, your choice. Standing on that sixth layer up, you can start mining!  (You are free to mine below it, but keep an eye out for all that lava you will have to deal with as well!)

Okay, I typed up quite a bit more about the actual meat n’ potatoes of mining and how I goes about doing it, but that would be a LOT of text for one page, so I split it up into two.  Just click on ahead to this page right here to carry on, or wait until you feel your mineshaft is polished enough and you have the proper mats to carry on!  This whole mining stuff listed above will likely take you at least three in-game days anyway, so come on back when you are all caught up, and read part two, mmm’kay?

10 Minute Challenge: Minecraft Updates and Mythos!

To any unfamiliar with all the planned changes heading Minecraft’s way, my good bud Ben has compiled a list with at least one tweet link each as a source!  Dedication.  Minecraft brings that out of all of us.

My short end of that list is:

  • Occlusion Culling = less lag (which is a great thing).  If your view cannot see it, it does not exist on your PC.  So if that one area full of lava falls and torches 100 blocks below you is the source of lag, with OC turned on, it only renders what you can see at the moment, letting all the stuff go away till you actually get down there.  Think Hollywood store-front props held up by stilts.  The actors never go into the building, why bother detailing it when the front is all you’ll see anyway?
  • Water is reverting back to it’s less than impossible pushing strength, thank the flying spaghetti monster! I’ve gotten pinned against a wall many times that I had to destroy just to get out because the water would *not* let me move.  Shenanigans!
  • Lightning.  This one is a buzz word at the moment for me.  It seems that it is NOT purely visual.  If it strikes a pig, it turns into a pig man from the nether.  Is it neutral?  I hope so, those pigs pack a punch and take a large beating to go down.  Further more, when lightning strikes a grass block, it sets that block on fire.  Now, supposedly the statement is that if there is lightning, there is rain, and rain will put out fires immediately.  So lightning = fire = snuffed out instantly.

If anyone tinkering around with a lighter near a leafy tree knows, you can take down the flaming block instantly, but that tree is marked and going down before you can shout Creeper.  And any other trees next to it.  And any wooden or woolen decorations and buildings near those.

If the fire appears then gets snuffed out instantly, that still provides a chance to ignite a tree.  I’ve seen many within range of a lighter’s igniting spark (done a lot of tinkering, it seems ^_^) and know lightning a block next to a tree will set it off.  If the leaves grow low enough, even if it strikes a dirt block and not the leaf block at all, that leaf will ignite.  Some trees even grow with leaves just surrounding all the bark completely.  Those suckers are living kindling, my friends.

Why bother having the block light up at all if you plan on dousing it instantly? 

It has to light up long enough to see it actually burn for a second, which is all it takes to poof a tree into ash. Hope that gets tweaked before patch, as I do not like the sounds of it thus far :(

And there goes my ten minutes.  Lightning gots me all distracted! XD  I still wanna comment about Mythos anyway, so I’ll keep it short. It is currently in Open “Hey, I can play this totally free… but I’mma complain about the bugs anyway!” Beta and I downloaded the day that happened.  Why they gave beta people keys to hand out to buds a day or so before, I have no idea >.>


I loaded up the melee cyclops, though I do wanna try out the engineering/hunter one.  The skill ups in this game were confusing at first, but a friend of mine said it was almost identical to another game.  (But since I didn’t play that one, it was still confusing to me at first.  Thank goodness for free resets till lvl 10 lol)

My only concern right out of the gates is, all these items drop but there is no way to identify them as each ID token costs 30 copper.  And you will not be making bank off items, at least not by level 8, anyway.  The only cash I got was via questing, and that was pretty slow at first.  The game itself is as close to Dungeon Runners than I can think of, just with a few improvements here and there.  (I swear they even got some of the same voice actors, it’s that close.) 

Getting around the world is confusing and a better map of “go here” instead of “you are here. deal with it” would be a welcome addition to the game.  It plays well, though it is clearly in beta so I cannot be too harsh on it.  I like the current ideas, and hope the rough spots are polished out before launch.  I think it’s free to play even then, so no biggie.  I just hope there’s some way to get cash in-game as the items they hand you are huge and the inventory is small… unless you buy more slots!  (That’s the item mall hook, folks.)

(Very-annoying note: Perhaps closing the entire game for mistyping your password is not the best choice.  Nor is the inability to take a screenshot to show your friends how your character looks like in OPEN BETA . /grumble grumble)

Anyhoo, give it a shot! Mythos is a far less clunky version of Dungeon Runners, which itself is a humorous and 3d version of a more casual Diablo 2.  Which my cousin has also got me playing now >.>  I’m in the top 150 on expansion ladder for necromancers in the East Coast, at least :D 

Thank-you Pitrelli for zee beta key, and kaozz for the info about the game in the first place a week or so ago!


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