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Hardcore Minecraft Adventure Log 5-3-12

Two more intrepid Minecraft explorers met their fate.  The first perished to digging down through obsidian into lava and then having the water he placed form obsidian OVER him: never dig down.  The second due to being ambushed by a Mo' Creatures tiger - it seems iron armor alone is not sufficient to daunt their claws when they have the drop on you because the tigers attack very rapidly.

However, the second Minecraft game I started on 4.28.12 went rather well.  This is thanks in part to having some air pirate benefactors who neglected to post guards at their forward ram (or gun or whatever-that-was) array, resulting in ludicrously easy access to iron and a few blocks of glowstone.
Most of the iron blocks went to a platform I used for drying mud bricks. That which I did not need for equipment went to the local Hindu settlement, which promptly bolstered my reputation with them to, "Favorite Trader."
Much later, the villagers of this now thriving Hindu settlement no doubt found their air pirate neighbors much less intimidating without that nasty looking metal protuberance on the front.
Although I eventually earned functional immortality in terms of having extremely-well-enchanted armor and weaponry in this game, I decided to abandon it last night because of a few key reasons:
  • I initially had set up in a small house built for me by the Hindu villagers, and decided to relocate.  Realizing the effort this would take, I decided it'd be more interesting to simply start over.
  • I simply can't find Endermen anywhere, leading to me not getting certain Thaumcraft artifacts that I do not want to do without.
  • No matter how many zombies I put back into the ground, none of them seem to drop "brains," which are a necessary component to higher Thaumcraft research
  • Despite having halved their spawn rate, the Better Dungeons dungeons are still way too common - I actually encountered two flying pirate airships within 500 distance of eachother.  The resources provided by the dungeons are just a tad too easy to get my hands on when the dungeons are this common.
  • I installed new versions of Thaumcraft and Milleniare and decided the game would be better off for me to have a new world to run them with.  (Thaumcraft may have been having issues distributing Vis/Taint between chunks.)
During this playthrough, I learned a number of useful things.  Such as:
  • From time to time, it's a good idea to tap F3 (turning on the debug interface), hit escape, and sit back and wait until the chunk updates are done running.  This helps Minecraft catch up to a backlog it tends to build up.
  • When creating Thaumcraft-seal-supported farms and whatnot, best item distribution is accomplished by pulling things down into a suction seal after blowing them into water in such a way that the blowing seals are set up high enough not to affect anything in the water.  Water transferal is the most reliable way to prevent items snagging, while the downward pulling suction will tend to pull things into the middle of that block which can be handy for final delivery (e.g. into a crucible instead of falling on the lip of it).  Such a careful setup achieves 100% efficiency (or close to it) in terms of item recovery.
  • Setting up a portal network via the nether for fast travel (there's a 1:8 ratio in terms of nether:world distance) is best accomplished by first building the portal in the nether and then lighting it up on the world side.  This likely will link the portals as the portal building routine checks Nether-side for an existing portal first.  Doing it without building a portal in the nether first may cause redundant linkage to the same portal if they are within 800 distance of each other on the world side, rendering one of the destinations moot.
Later on, I put a cover on my mud brick drying array, hoping that keeping out the rain would allow them to dry on rainy days.  It did not, but the glass cover did not prevent the sun from heating the bricks, so I kept it.  In the distance, you can see my repurposed Hindu house.
However, aside from what I learned, the week has largely been a waste.  Granted, if you invest a week in playing Minecraft, many would tell you it's a waste anyway, but I'm referring to how I discovered that the hostile mob spawns have not been working properly.

"Properly," is the important operative word there.  To say that mobs did not spawn (without the aid of spawner blocks) would be incorrect: they seemed to... at least at first.  However, after hanging around an area a bit, some time after defeating the initial spawns in the area, the hostile mobs seemed to stop respawning, whether at night or underground.  The reason why is unclear: it could be they're respawning in strange places and/or not despawning when you move out of range like they normally do.  All I know is that, with Mo'Creatures installed, all I was seeing was that mod's creatures and, without, all that respawned at night seemed to be harmless animals.

There's a configuration setting in Better Dungeons that is set "false" by default corresponding to mob spawns.  I thought that might be it at first.  I took a map generated with Better Dungeons and found that, even with that flag set to "true," the nightly mob spawns dry up anyway.  (I think maybe this flag refers to having Better Dungeons mobs spawn in the normal spawn lineup.)  I then removed the mod from my mods folder before executing Minecraft, and the difference was noticeable: as I wandered around at night, things were actually actively respawning and trying to kill me.  Vanilla hostile mobs (e.g. creepers, skeletons) and Thaumcraft mobs (e.g. default skin zombies, wisps, thaumic slimes) were also a lot more common.  I actually ran across some endermen while exploring deep caves!  Yes, this is how Minecraft is supposed to look.

It seems that brains (and skulls) actually *do* drop off of Thaumcraft-generated zombies.  Yet, I did not recover a single brain in my 4.28.12 generated game because apparently Better Dungeons did something that prevented them from spawning.

As coincidence had it, I managed to corrupt my 4-28-12 game.  I have backups (not that I was planning on save scumming) but I deleted them as being invalid: this "alternate spawning method" ruined "hardcore survival" by making nights quite safe and the task of delving deeper, looking for valuable ores, immune to having things respawn and sneak up on you.  I'll be starting up some new games tomorrow, without either Mo'Creatures or Better Dungeons tampering with the spawns, in order to try to earn my Hardcore-mode Thaumcraft-granted immortality with some real monster opposition this time.
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