There's been enough progress made in the last week that I'm thinking about recording a video tour. Is that something anyone is interested in watching? If so, are there any requests what you'd like to see?
The Smart Sorter Storage System is expanding as I find iron to make the hoppers (this thing is quite the iron sink - 5 hoppers per segment).
I've resumed digging the main chamber further down, to the point where I've completely uncovered the storage room, and put temporary wooden slabs over it to protect it from accidental water flows if I breach the outer wall. I think I'm going to eventually cover it in glass, which means I'm going to have to go fetch some sand.
I dug a tunnel through the Nether from my base to the spawn base to make travel quicker and easier. It was about a single day trip to walk from one to the other overland. This takes much less time now, and is almost completely enclosed and safe from ghasts.
A lot of my sheep despawned, so I've been trying to breed them back up.
One of my friends that I've known for a couple of years changed over to Pocket Edition a while ago to play on their iPhone, so I've given them an invite. So far they haven't played much, but I'm looking forward to seeing what they do, if they stick around.
Been almost a week since my last update, and it's been a busy one. I don't even have pictures for some of it, I'm afraid.
First, here's a diagram of the "Smart" Storage Sorter, that lights up when an item gets sorted into it, as well as when it's full:
There is a minor change to it, I notice. The half slab on the left should be a full block above it, and redstone dust on all 4 blocks from the comparator to the lamp.
The spider spawner I found has been updated - I found out that spiders can leap if they're in 1 deep water, so I dug everything out so that the water was 2 deep everywhere (very difficult to do, since you have to place the flowing water first and then work in it). Water is flowing down all 4 walls to keep the spiders from climbing up and getting stuck in the ceiling. That's was probably doable with a simple overhang, but flowing water walls is cooler!!!
I converted the mushroom and farm platforms into hanging gardens and ran walkways to each of them.
And, finally, I am currently about 2 large-scale maps away from my base now. I went searching for the village I'd found way back when so I could try to import a villager to harvest my farm for me. Instead, I found a small swamp area, which I'm working on to try and create a slime farm in. I've got everything I need except cactus... and to clear out the caverns that are scattered all around underneath it.
In fact, I found this somewhere down there: (I think I'm really lucky that lava was there)
I've also put in a Nether portal so I can eventually build a tunnel like I did to connect the other two sites. Fortunately (or not), it appears right next to a Nether Fortress, and I've been killed ded multiple times by ghasts, blazes and wither skeletons. Eventually there will be so many burnt out Nether gates that the ghasts can't reach me when I jump thru. It was funny when a Magma Cube accidentally came thru the Nether portal into the overworld though. The poor thing just kept jumping around and dying from the cold.
I've just been reading up on Cave Spiders, since I've got that pacified Cave Spider spawner, and I'm thinking that, in general, there's not a whole lot of reason to leave it alive. They can fit through a 1x1/2 gap, so I'm not sure you can set up any way to mine them for experience, and their drops are just string and spider eyes, so not very valuable. And besides, I've just found a skeleton spawner that would be *way* easier and more convenient for XP farming.
The only reason I can think of to keep it would be to set up a lethal burglar trap - build a dark complex around the spawner and then some way to drop an unwanted intruder down into it. And, naturally, some way to retrieve all of their gear after they're dead. >:)
This is a cooperative Realm though, not competitive, so if I do build one of those, it'll just be for fun.
Although... I wonder if they're close enough together that I could set up a skeleton farm, slime farm and spider farm where you collect them all from the same spot? I'll have to figure out where they are in relation to each other.
I've done some mapping, and no, the cave spider spawner and skeleton spawner are too far apart from each other to operate at the same time.
Since it's more useful, I've been working on the skeleton spawner. I cleared a gap 16 around it, to see if there was anything useful, like maybe another spawner ;).
No such luck though, so I started digging out the farm for the skeletons.
It all went smoothly. I was organized and methodical, assembling the whole thing with no problems. Then I turned out the lights and let the skeletons start spawning. I killed a batch of them, then realized I'd forgotten to put the hopper underneath them leading into the chest. *facepalm* And that's when the entire thing went completely sideways.
They wound up escaping, and I had dozens of mad skeletons running loose in a 33x33 wide open chamber. I probably died about a dozen times, and lost all my original gear to despawning - an iron pickaxe, all my wood, the hopper, two dozen raw iron ores, both of my buckets, and other more minor things. However, I did eventually get them all wiped out and the room back under control. I still do need to set it up so I can operate it as an AFK farm, but I know how to arrange that safely now.
No material progress today, but there is a perceptual change - I've now walked the trip from Spire to Pit (the name for the Swamp base) a couple of times. Along the way I rediscovered the village as well. So now I know *how* to get from one to the other relatively easily, and I'm aware of it. It no longer feels like I'm an impossible distance away from the rest of the explored world. It is slightly longer than a daytime trip - it's night by the time I reach the other base. But I've also brought a copy of my master Nether map with me, and I will be working on another tunnel, this time connecting Spire to Pit. As soon as they fix the Item Frame bug (placing an Item Frame on the wall causes Realms to freeze and crash) I will place it in the Nether so it's permanently findable.
UPDATE: The Nether tunnel has been completed, so now all 3 player locations (4 counting the mine my son started that is very close to the original spawn and had already been Nether-connected) are connected by safe tunnels through Netherrack. Well... safe-ISH. On one of the trips a Ghast spawned inside the tunnel and promptly suffocated.
I've discovered that apparently rails are glitched in v0.16, so there's not much point to trying to build a rail system between the sites at this point. So I'll probably start work on a safe surface walkway through the Nether. I've got a couple ideas for how to arrange that so it's functional *and* stylish. But I'll have to test the ideas in creative first before risking my neck. Seriously, I've seen upwards of half-a-dozen Ghasts all swarming around me out there. And I don't appear to be able to hit their shots back to them. They don't seem to be able to hit me directly either, but their explosions still do.
Okay, I gots a question - cobwebs say they can only be collected by a sword with Silk Touch. According to the Enchanting page, Silk Touch can not be placed on swords. Is this an error in the wiki, or is it something that can only be gained by cheats?
Updates: All 3 bases and the village are connected through Nether tunnels. Finding the village was a pain - apparently it's close enough to the Pit that when I built a Nether portal there, I jumped straight to the Pit Nether portal. So I had to dig tunnels and try locations until I found one close enough that it linked up. I've also raided the libraries in the village for their books and maxxed out the enchanting table in the Spire.
Had to take the last two days off from work, and so did a decent amount of MCPE. I think I've got an interesting design for a covered bridge through the Nether, but it's going to be a bit resource intensive, especially iron. But now that I know where the village is, I suppose I should make an iron farm. I'll have to put some thought into that..
At any rate, I brought in most of the resources from the Pit to the Spire to try and max out the ingredients I'll need for this Nether walkway. I'm trying to get my cobblestone and netherrack storage segments to fill up, so that the overflow gets shunted to the auto-smelter. I could manually send stuff down, but it's more fun to use the system the way I designed it.
Question, it seems that you're the only one who plays on this realm now, does anyone else even join?
At the moment I'm the primary player. My son broke his tablet and so hasn't been able to play much. He has been on a few times by using my tablet while I'm on the computer. Last night he was helping me expand the area around the Spire's Nether space. I do have invites out to a few friends of mine, but so far they haven't gotten on.
Here's a portion of what's circling the space around us while we were working. There's at least 3 more flying around also.
Here's my plan for the connecting passages between Nether portals:
What were those levers for, you ask?
I realized that I'd need to design it to handle elevation changes, so that's why there's this segment here:
And, finally, instead of standing out in the open and getting shot at by ghasts nonstop, I've designed up this system of pistons to push out the shell. From within the shell I can do all the finishing work with little danger.
The bottom bit, in cobblestone, isn't intended for travel. It's mostly there to protect the levers that keep the bottom iron shutters closed. The top portion can be used for travel also, if it's not particularly dangerous or you like the risk.
Is there a contest somewhere for the ugliest building? Because I think I might have a serious contender here...
This isn't how the building is going to stay, it's just how I slapped it together with the easily obtainable materials, so that I was reasonably safe and could see the area around me. A ghast will still occasionally get a shot in through a gap somehow, but it's still pretty much safe.
I've managed to dig two more Nether passages between the Home Portal and the Spire portal, so I now know where the first Nether Hub will go. For the four (and a half) Portals we currently have, only 1 Nether Hub is necessary. But I'm anticipating more exploration and expansion, so more Hubs are entirely possible.
I've also gone on a fairly large digging spree in the mines of the Spire, mostly just gathering cobblestone and whatever other materiel comes my way. I'm trying to fill up the storage units so that it starts overflowing into the smelter below. Netherrack is *almost* there. Cobblestone still has a ways to go, but it's also the easiest substance to acquire. That's why it occupies two slots of the storage racks, while everything else is just one.
I thought about installing a smoothstone generator in the Spire, then realized how stupid that was. Part of my goal is to excavate the Spire all the way down to bedrock. What would be the point in building a redstone contraption when I've already got a task lined up that will generate far more stone than I'll need? So I've spent a fair amount of time this weekend just digging. I'm doing it in horizontal layers though, so visually it's not quite as impressive looking as a bottomless shaft might be. It is a very large area though, and will get wider as it goes down. I haven't decided yet if I'll excavate under all of the adjoining caverns or not. That may depend on how extensive they are outside of the Spire's footprint.
As it stands, I've just about overflowed the second cobblestone storage chamber, so soon it will start flowing down to the auto-smelter to become smooth stone. And once that overflows, I'll start turning it into stone bricks. And once *that* overflows, it will travel back down to the auto-smelter to become cracked brick. It's not a bad little process, if I say so myself.
I've gone ahead and spent the iron for 16 more buckets to hold lava in the smelter. The double chest fuel supply is about bit over half full right now. Someday I'll fill in the rest, I'm sure.
I finally gave in and spent the diamonds to make some enchanted pickaxes. Progress is *much* faster now, of course. After working with stone for a while, you forget how nice diamond is. I made 3 of them, and each only picked up a single enchantment: Efficiency, Silk Touch, Unbreaking. They're all used singly first, then combined into a single one, and it's 2/3rds worn out. I'll make a 4th one here soon and meld it into the mix. I haven't found anything very interesting in the dig, just masses of gravel and the fact that Silk Touch pickaxes work great against silverfish. You pick up the block without disturbing the beast, and it's gone for good.
As far as collecting material is going, I mentioned my 2 cobble segments were filled, so cobble was overflowing to the smelter. The doublechest leading to the smelter actually overflowed also, and now my smooth stone storage segment is overflowing. Excess smooth stone I convert to stone bricks. When that overflows, it will go to the smelter to become cracked stone bricks. After all that is done, I'll start making slabs out of the overflows. I should set up a section for growing vines so I can make mossy bricks and mossy cobblestone, shouldn't I? I'll find a good place to put that - I saw a nice design in Hermitcraft this season.
I'm now overflowed on gravel. Is there any use for it, or should I just dump all the excess gravel into lava? I know if I work at it, I can eventually turn it all into flint, but arrows are easier to get from a skeleton spawner than from scratch, unless there's something I'm missing. Do I need to craft my own arrows to make enchanted, or can I use skeleton drops?
Feedback and opinions are welcomed on this one. As this is survival, I'd rather not waste material I might want later, but I can't think of anything I would want that much gravel for.
I just had a thought about all the excess gravel - I think I'll save it. Then, when I'm ready to go tackle an underwater monument, I can bury the whole thing in gravel to get rid of the water. I used sugarcane to do my underwater clearing last time, but I have to be in the water to use that, and that's considerably more dangerous around a monument.
UPDATE: I've got a more current use for the gravel. At bedrock, I'm using the gravel to fill in the bedrock gaps and pits, then covering it up with slabs. That way when gravel drops from above, it auto-breaks on the slabs. Originally, I'd been doing torches, but that got difficult to pick up the drops, and difficult to navigate. Then I just slabbed over it, but worried about mobs spawning in the tall gaps underneath. I thought about putting lava there so the floor would be well lit, but decided I liked it better dark. So now I'm in the process of excavating all along the bedrock, filling it in with gravel, and then covering it with stone slabs. I think eventually I'll replace the stone slabs with Netherbrick slabs to give it a nice dark complexion, but I'll need to collect more Netherbrick first. Hmmm.... lava under the netherbrick slabs might look pretty good, come to think of it. I'll have to build a creative version, see what it looks like.
Lava pools are an occasional problem with this excavation. I'm using it up in the smelter at a decent rate, but I'm finding more than I'm using, I think. I may try to expand the smelter system to include a second furnace, but I want it to be smart enough not to use the second one for small jobs and waste fuel.
An update with actual pictures! You lucky people!!
I've reached all the way to bedrock on one side, and I'm working on bringing that back toward the other side. All the slabs you see in the last picture are on top of bedrock. It's only a small percentage of the entire area that needs to be cleared out. Easily less than 25%. Oddly enough, mobs are spawning on the half slabs. I thought that was against the rules. Even though it's pitch black in the corners, the slabs are bottom slabs, not top. Weird...
It's not huge, but it does a pretty good job of growing vines for me at a decent rate.
It's not complete yet - I still have several items I can add segments for, but I've got most of the slabs and stairs inserted. All the sandstone and polished stone items are missing, for instance. But with the creation of the Vine Farm, I'm slowly building up the Mossy Cobblestone and Mossy Stone supplies.
Nothing too exciting in the past few days. Lots of progress at digging the hole to bedrock, which is probably about as exciting for anyone reading this blog as it was for me to actually do the digging.
But it does look rather cool when there's a thunderstorm going on outside:
One of those screenshots above made me think that it would be a good idea to break open the blocks holding up the bottom of the ocean and let the water flow down into a catchment or basin on the ground level. I'm not so sure I like that idea now, but I can still play with it, see if I can get it looking better.
PS - Oh yeah, I almost forgot. I lost a whole bunch of diamond tools I was carrying around prior to repairing or joining them because a zombie punched me into one of those lava pools while I was digging around inside a chest. *sigh* This is why they invented safety rails!
Version 1.0 has dropped! I thought briefly about restarting the world from scratch, like I have for other major releases, but then I realized that all it would do is delay my seeing the new stuff - none of the major additions are things you see at the start. You have to work your way to them. So we're going to keep rolling.
I've taken a break from working inside the Spire - I think I'm tired of it for now. So, back into the Nether we go!! I've picked up working on the covered walkway connecting Spire with Home. The basement part of it is extended a ways, and I'm building the covered portion. I'll have to get up on top to finish the open roof some time. As I'm typing this though, I can hear at least 3 or 4 ghasts circling around outside. I used pistons though to extend the roof from inside the safehouse first, so that I could build the walls under cover. So I've only been blasted once through the whole project so far. And now the bridge is tunneling through netherrack, so I'm safe again. For now..