Volcanoes and Sulphur and Geysers oh my!

As is my way, rather than deal with the various important things that should be occupying my attention I’ve instead been thinking about Minecraft and how it needs a volcanic biome.

The Volcanic Biome would be a rare, warm biome and consist of stone, gravel and terracotta. Plants would be limited to dead bushes, tree stumps and occasional mushrooms and berry bushes. There would be extensive lava lakes and scattered lava source blocks – the latter especially underground so mining would be problematic.

There would be no villages, although perhaps ruined villages (nothing but stone walls left) could be a feature. There would be occasional lakes, mostly floored with magma blocks.

Open topped ravines would be common. Also common would be long, linear caves – lava tubes – just under the surface. Some of them would be roofed by gravel, so having the ground collapse beneath your feet would be a constant risk, which would be particularly unfortunate over one that’s still full of lava.

Volcanoes – conical hills with deep, lava filled shafts at their crests- would of course be common.

The real attraction in the Lava Biome however is geysers!

A geyser block only occurs in a Volcanic Biome. It is extremely hard and if broken is destroyed – unless broken with a Silk Touch pick. It naturally generates on the surface layer with between 1 and 5 lava blocks in a line below it. A water block generates on at least one side.

As long as a geyser block has a lava block below it and is touching a water block on at least one side it will randomly erupt. An eruption is preceded by an increasing rumbling sound for a few seconds (giving players time to run away). It then shoots a stream of particles upwards 5 metres for every lava block below it, to a maximum of 25 metres. Blocks above the geyser will suffer damage and may be destroyed – as per an explosion.

The particles fall to the ground like snow, but inflict fire damage on any mob they hit. They build up in layers, again like snow, and can be harvested with a shovel – although they are tougher than snow and each layer removed only has a 20% change of producing a drop. Particles falling on a geyser block are destroyed and do not create layers – thus keeping the geyser clear.

There are at least two types of geysers, white and yellow. White geyser layers drop bone meal, making them an excellent source of fertilizer. Yellow geyser layers drop sulphur, which is a new resource that can be used in dyeing and potion making. Most importantly it can be combined with charcoal and bone meal to produce gunpowder!

So that’s the idea. I expect my cheque from Mojang directly!

Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo

Jackpot! Finally got a submission read on The Shaft. It just would have been nice if they’d been sober enough to credit me ;D

For those interested, Episode 155 at 43 minutes and 48 minutes.

And here is the song that made my entry weird enough to get past the great filter that is Astragali (he still vets the submissions, right?)

I Wouldn’t Go Near it if I Was You

…Plagued by the souls of the dead…

Observe this video from the classic (aren’t they all?) Goodies episode Lighthouse Keeping Loonies

Why am I showing you this? Because I’ve been struck down by the Curse of The Jolly Rock! In Minecraft!

The other day in my main Minecraft map I decided to build a lighthouse. I located a convenient rock in the middle of the ocean, constructed a tall tower, and put a pile of glowstone on top. Voila! Then I decided to christen it The Jolly Rock Lighthouse, for no other reason than the thought amused me. I put a sign next to the door, and then lined the internal staircase with more signs, writing out the entire lyrics of the song.

My lighthouse was missing one thing however. A roof. Just because I thought it would look good I decided to make a nice pointy one out of obsidian. After all, I was wearing enchanted diamond armour and had an enchanted diamond pickaxe – obtaining enough of the rare black stone would be child’s play!

So into a recently discovered cavern I descended, loaded up with buckets to fill up with lava. Deeper and deeper I ventured, loading up on iron-ore, coal, gold-ore and lapis along the way.

Eventually I found myself in a cavern not just full of lava, but loaded down with heaps of naturally occurring obsidian. I filled my buckets and got to work, and before long had the 30 blocks I needed to put a decent cap on the lighthouse.

At this point a skeleton appeared out of the darkness and pushed me into a lava pool.

I respawned kilometres away from both my base, and the caves, having neglected to sleep recently. I ran all the way back to base, and re-equipped myself with some backup, non-enchanted armour and crafted a new diamond pickaxe. Back into the caverns I descended, swearing vengeance on the undead fiend who’d ended my previous venture!

But the cavern was empty. So I started mining more of the obsidian, which was tricky because I’d already dug out the most easily accessible deposits. But after some work I collected enough to make heading back up to the surface a sensible idea. I jumped up onto the ledge that lead back towards the surface, and a skeleton appeared out of the darkness and pushed me into a lava pool.

Happily, this time I was able to get out of the lava pool and fight back. As my health burnt away I frantically fought the skeleton, swinging wildly at him with my sword. I hit him multiple times, sending him stumbling back, and leapt into the air, ready to deliver the killing blow, at which point he shot me with an arrow at point blank range, taking away my single, remaining half heart.

I again respawned kilometres away, being so obsessed with vengeance that I’d forgotten to take a nap. I again, ran all the way back to base and hastily re-equipped, burning through more of my iron reserve to make more armour. I then raced back to the cavern and tore through the caves, reaching the scattered piles of my equipment (most of which hadn’t fallen into lava, thankfully). I raced around, picking it all up, and was just about to grab my precious diamond pickaxe when it despawned, right in front of my face.

I was then attacked by more skeletons, who almost pushed me into a lava pool while I was re-arranging my inventory. I survived, but managed to throw my sword into the lava in a panic, meaning I had to fight them off with a stone pickaxe.

Then the creepers came at me…

I eventually did made it back to the surface, but without any obsidian, and with very little of my equipment left intact. And all because of that bloody lighthouse!

Minecraft Update II

I guess everyone who gets sucked into the trap of Minecraft ends up imagining ways to improve the game. I am of course no exception and in the hours I’ve whiled away working on my Big Project™ (or getting pushed into lava streams by skeletons) I’ve come up with a number of them – all but one of which are actually slated for the next update (great minds obviously think alike…).

My one, original idea? Lodestones!

The recipe for a lodestone is…
C = Compass
R = Redstone Dust
? = Either a Diamond, an Iron Ingot, a Gold Ingot, a piece of Coal, a unit of Lapis Lazuli Dye, an Emerald (once launched) or another pile of Redstone Dust


So what the heck does a lodestone do? Simple. If you’re within 20 blocks (or maybe 15 blocks, or 10 blocks, or whatever) of ore for the particular mineral it was made with, it starts glowing and chiming.

It doesn’t tell you what direction the ore is in – you have to figure that out by moving back and forwards until it stops reacting – it just tells you the ore is nearby. It’s up to you to find it and dig it out.

So that’s my idea. You listening Notch? 😉

Denys, Why U No Post?

Damn you Notch!

On Sunday Ryan did a very evil thing. He showed me Minecraft.

I have strenuously been avoiding even seeing Minecraft ever since it came out, on the assumption that I would become instantly hooked. As it turns out, I was completely right.

Expect a more regular posting schedule once I’ve mined and crafted myself into exhaustion 🙂

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