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!
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.
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.
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.
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!