By Bixyl Shuftan
Since the Minecraft "Angels Village" server was updated, and it's contents wiped away,
the attention of the game's players in the Sunweaver and Angels groups
switched to the FTB, aka "Feed The Beast," servers set up by both Kit
Repine and Nydia Tungsten. Kit's initial server went from a shack set up
near the spawn point for anyone unfortunate to drop in at night to a
small stone fort with an ever-expanding underground chamber and tunnel
network. Valkyrie McGil built an impressive build on the cliff next to
quickly noticed the wide variety of tools the FTB version of Minecraft
offered, from robot miners that could clear out sections of underground
for stone and ores, to better suits of armor, including one with limited
flight ability, and some nifty gadgets. One I found useful was a
mechanical arm that acted like a combination diamond pick and gun. One
could use it against zombies and creepers, but it had a strong recoil.
Another was a pair of boots that kept one from getting hurt when falling
from a great distance. It's a safe bet most Minecrafters ended up back
in their bed after making a misstep at least once. One gadget some
players had fun with was the "Portal" gun, which acted like the one in
the game. One fun thing that came later were the funny hats that one
could collect from mobs they appeared on at random.
building these tools and toys required machines, machines that required
energy. Exploring around, I came across a few oil fields some distance
away. Those were one source of energy. But Jasmine's bigger machines
required more. One interesting feature of "Feed The Beast" was accessing
other worlds, or overworlds in Minecraft jargon, besides the Nether and
"The End." Some of these places were quite strange, such as one in
which players could end up damaged from sunburn if not wearing certain
types of armor, which put us in the same position as a zombie or
skeleton. These worlds could be accessed through portals, but they could
also be traveled to and back via special books, leading to this part of
the game being called "Mystcraft," after the popular computer game Myst
in the 1990s. Besides places to explore, Jasmine used them as a source
for mass quantities of energy-supplying lava and lots of ores.
All these features were certainly a contrast from the Minecraft we'd
first set foot it, and it came with a price. Lag began to become a
problem. And then, the servers would start to occasionally crash. This
became quite frustrating to players and server owners alike. As it
turned out, "Feed The Beast" was the combined result of over a few
hundred Minecraft modifications cobbled together. Little wonder it could
get unstable at times. And then came the server updates, which would
sometimes wipe out what was made.
Despite the bugs, interest in Minecraft persisted. Nydia took some time
to clean up her new FTB server before inviting her friends over. Once
she thought it was ready, she wondered how it could be tested.
wanted to test the latest FTB server, see if the problems were solved,"
Nydia told me in a conversation, "so … I thought what a better way to
test it than to have my friends go NUTS with their builds." Nydia
decided to hold a competion to see who could come up with the best
build, "So I turned them loose with OP powers and kept an eye on the
server." The rules were fairly simple, build a town a small group of
players could reside in, " purposely left the build requirements vague, I
wanted to see how they would be interpreted, and I must say I was NOT
disappointed in the creativity that was generated. (I wasn't the) only
one impressed either, the builders were as well when they got to see
each other's builds."
"The way it was judged was very unique as well," Nydia explained, "I
have never heard of (Minecraft) being done like this at all. I left some
of the judging be done by the builders themselves. The only reason I
did it that way was I knew all the builders and knew they would be fair.
They would judge the others, but not themselves. And I had 2 people
here with me in real life that don't play MC (yet) to help me with the
judging. And yes I did the live broadcast the event to help." Nydia put a
live feed of what she saw into her video channel on the day of the
problem the contest had was the unstable nature of FTB Minecraft, and
the contest was suspended and extended a couple times due to the server
crashing, " I run it off my same system I use I thought it could maybe
it could handle it this time, unfortunately...it cant. … I wish I could
invite everyone on to view the builds, but itwas just too hard on my
system, I have 8GB of RAM with the server and (with) Second Life
running, it would climb up to the 80% used area. If I was linked a
video....it would go into the 90s. More than once it got to 98%, if it
went higher I would crash." Still, she persisted, "But we were able to
finish the contest and have a lot of fun in the process."
Of the winners, Skylark's village came in third place. Valkyrie was
second "by only a few points." Her village was near the server spawn
point, and had crop and berry bush areas, with miniature golems
gathering the fruit. For first place, it was "a tie between 2 good
friends and Angels Jasmine and Shion (Winkler), it was so close it was
almost a 3 way tie!"
place was a treehouse village with buildings set up on super tall
trees, "t was a fully function town any elf would DROOL over with all
the tech any mage would envy and then it had the walk ways between the
massive trees to count as a city in itself." Jasmine tapped into another
overworld via "Mystcraft" for the lava to power it, "Val went into the
Nether to power all of her computers and tech as well." Jasmine's
village had a diner in which automated machines could dispense a variety
of foods with the press of a button. Kryxia Silverfall helped her out
during the building.
town was build around a cathedral, as were some Medieval cities. It was
the most detailed building, both inside and out. It had a harbor with
ships, and a balista and a number of cranes around, to give it the look
of a place still in construction.
For the winners, Nydia had a prize, "I kept the prize secret until the
day of Judging I was able to offer the winner $50 USD or split it as it
turns out, but they both turned it down. Sooo, I donated it to 'The
Furry Gamer' group to help some of our members get into the rest of (the
games we play). They wanted me to use it for my Angels, which I will do
if it is needed. But I think it could do better for a group dedicated
to having some fun. Thats what this was all about, having fun."
So how to build a place for the Angels there? Nydia soon had her answer,
"that night when I finally had all the votes, I brought them all to my
office at home (in Second Life) and told them who won, well, they
started talking about each others builds, and before I knew it I had a
build crew on my hands for the new Angels Village. … once in and started
they met up with 'Hojo' another builder from the last world we had and
he joined in"
So what was next for Nydia and her Angels & friends in Minecraft?
She does have some plans, "in the future I am planning on having
adventure maps for group play. I have a bit to learn still before I can
start hosting events but it IS planned for in the future. We have had
'End raids' in the past and those were a LOT of fun."
So despite "Feed The Beast" acting a bit beasty, the action in Minecraft
from residents of the Sunweaver and Angel's estates continues.
Nydia has a video of the villages during the contest judging donwloadable in the following link (here - 498MB).