Saturday, May 30, 2015

Tales from Minecraft: Going "To The Moon" Tinkering With Iguanas

The "Furry Gamers" group is still going at it with Minecraft, or "Minecrack" as Jasmine (or Jazicorn as she's calling herself now) calls it with tounge-in-cheek humor. This time we're going with a version of "Feed the Beast" called "Resonant Rise" with "Tinker's Construct with Iguana Tweaks." We still have the option of building some pretty powerful devices, and there's a lot more minerals and biodiversity. But it also means the process of building itself has become a little more complicated.

Before in Minecraft, you could just slap four boards together to make a workbench and that was all you needed. In this version of "Feed the Beast," I needed five things to start building tools. From left to right, crafting station, tool station, part builder, pattern chest, and a stencil table. For more info, Nydia offered us a wikipage and a couple youtubes (here) and (here) when we were starting out.

To make stencils, you need two sticks and two pieces of wood to make four. For the stencil table, you need a stencil and a piece of wood. Crafting stations are just workbenches remade (bring back in the four square building area in your inventory). Tool stations get a stencil on the regular workbench. The part builder needs a log and a stencil. The pattern chest needs a chest with a stencil.

Sounds complicated? "But wait, there's more." When you start out, you're limited to making tools out of flint. The good news is instead of just waiting for the occasional piece of it while digging gravel, you can combine three piles of it on a workbench or crafting table to make one. To make a flint pickaxe, you need two stencils, one for the head and one for the connector, which you make on the stencil table. Once you have those, you use the pickaxe  head stencil and a chunk of flint to make the flint pickaxe head, and the connector stencil and a piece of wood to make that part and a couple sticks. You then use the tool station, clicking on the pickaxe icon, and placing the head, connector, and stick in their places to make the pickaxe.

Depending on the version of "Tinkers with Iguana" you use, you might not be able make the old style tools on your workbench at all, or even use them if you pick them off clobbered mobs. I never figured out how to make bronze or iron tools with the new system. But you can repair the flint tools with more flint via the tool station.

 The good news, these tools improve with use. As I dug around with my flint pickaxe, it improved, gaining qualities such as resilience, taking longer to wear away, being quicker to use and so being able to dig holes and tunnels faster, and once in a while able to regenerate. The last ability the game announces as "your (tool) seems to have picked up a bit of moss." A pickaxe this happens to three or four times will not need repairs any longer, at least my flint pickaxe.

To complicate matters, there was the occasional "Blood Moon." Hostile mobs like zombies and skeletons came out at night like before, though some places were largely free of them and in some not as densely. But when the darkening sky turned dark red and the message "The Blood Moon is rising" flashed on the screen, that was the signal to hunker down and hide, dig yourself a hole and seal the opening if you were caught far from a building or cave. The mobs would come out in a massive horde that would quickly overwhelm you unless you could fight them from a doorway AND had a study weapon that could take a lot of hits.

Some monsters also had special abilities, such as the "Vampyric Zombie of the Eclipse" which could block out the sun where it was fighting you and drain more health than normal if it touched you. Often they had more hitpoints, so taking more hits before they dropped. Witches had potions that could really poison you, going down to half a health point. One of the more insidious was a kind of witch cat that seemed harmless at first, then would morph into a huge beast that could both pummel and poison you.

I didn't build much when the group first established their Resonant Rise server, just build two bases in a couple forested area in the middle of a desert. From there I would explore around a little, getting armor from fallen mobs, and fruits from the numerous saguaro cactus in the sands.

Besides horses, there were these chocobo, which could be tamed and ridden (insert Final Fantasy 7 victory music).

There was more biodiversity in the game, with some trees getting especially big.

And lots of new plants. Not sure what you can do with them, but the looked nice.

There were various builds already on the map at random places, such as this mausoleum near a spooky old castle. There was a crate with treasure inside, but looking triggered a lava trap.

There were also various villages, each with villagers, out there. A few had guards, which could take on zombies. There were also bandit camps, which would take on any player who entered.

Some players could build some pretty elaborate builds. As there were other realms in the game besides the Nether, and this included the Moon, Mars, and other planets, that got Jasmine's mental gears turning. So she got together with Nydia and Kryxia for their own Apollo project. They'd be making their own rocket to the Moon.

When everything was ready, they waited a few minutes for people to come over to watch. Then Jasmine got in the rocket and they counted down ...

And it was "rockets away" as she went up into the air.

Jasmine took some screenshots as she went up.

And further up.

And soon the ground was too far to see.

Jasmine's ride continued onward ...

And soon, she was in the cold black of space.

Soon the lunar lander was deployed. At this point, she could see the square Minecraft Earth.

It was soon time to start the landing sequence.

Closer, closer, putting on the rockets, not burning too much too soon so not to run out before she landed.

And touchdown!

The Eagle had landed!

The trouble with a trip to the Moon was once the initial thrill wore off, well, there wasn't much to explore but endless surfaces of dust. Fortunately, she brought enough materials to start work on a base. Eventually, she was able to build another rocket, and head back.

They talked about making another rocket to head to Mars. Then came trouble. Something went VERY wrong with one of Jasmine's builds, and the result was the server was "nuked." We had to start all over. This hit some players such as Valkyrie and Skylark hard as they had taken the time to make some pretty eleborate builds they were proud of, and now there was nothing left. The only thing that could be done was to start over, with a few flint tools to allow people to find a place and establish themselves.

I found a village some distance to the east and made a new base.

And tunneling away to make my G.U.E. (Great Underground Empire), linking places with tunnels, and making a few shelters in between them.

There's a little more to tell, but perhaps for another day as that darn Blood Moon is once again rising, and time to head back to the tunnels before the freaks come out at night.

Bixyl Shuftan

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