Friday, May 3, 2013

State of the Kingdom Address

As many of you know I recently took up the game of Minecraft for some extra entertainment in my spare time. What started merely as a curiosity has become a bit of a full blown obsession and I’ve spent many a late hour improving Kentonia, my Minecraft Kingdom. This article, which will come about every month or so will serve to update you, my readers on the “Land of Light,” and perhaps give you some ideas for your own block empires.

Living Arrangements
My home has expanded somewhat from its original 3x3 hole in the side of a hill. Using materials gathered I’ve been able to expand it to fill up the entire area under the hill I choose as my home (easily 100+ square meters). In light of the dangers of creeper damage and other creatures that like to dig, I’ve been underway with a reinforcement project replacing the original dirt with stone. While it’s not a perfect (or final) solution, it should serve to ward off many attackers. A small window has been added since I learned to make glass so I can easily know when its day once more and I’ve finally added a bed to my home making the window little more than a d├ęcor choice. As for the door, well my home’s come a long way from the original solution of sealing the entrance with dirt blocks each night and now uses a steal door operated by a pressure plate from the inside and a button from the outside. Indeed there is no place like home for citizens of Kentonia.

The Kingdom of Kentonia (thus far)
Much effort has gone into developing the resources available and I am proud to say that the wheat and sugarcane/reed harvest is bountiful. Mines have been dug from inside my home down 10 levels (each level being 3 blocks) and much coal and iron has been located making other projects possible, though gold, diamonds, and redstone remain elusive. An expansion project is currently under way off the main tunnels to help locate these valuable resources. A recent effort has seen the completion of a tree farm for oak trees. While the farm is only at present generating 12 trees at a time, this has been more than enough for my needs. To assist in harvesting a scaffolding 12 blocks high has been created to allow for the top down harvest of the larger trees. Finally I’ve also managed to acquire a small collection of animals to use for their resources. 5 cows, 4 sheep, 4 chickens, and 2 pigs round out the small collection. More will follow as I have time to expand and segregate the pen. The one challenge I’ve come across so far is the lack of carrots which seem to be difficult to locate. I’ve searched the whole island with no success. I would just borrow some from villagers as has been suggested on a number of forums, but alas, I generated my world without structures and so am unable to pilfer the resources of villagers. Zombie killing has been underway for a few days with no success. Tonight I’m going to try altering the difficulty to see if that helps as some have suggested it may.

Many improvements have been made in the way of security, most notably being iron doors to all exterior accesses and a broad torch grid that nearly covers the whole eastern half of the island. The project will eventually cover the entire surface of the island and then will take a look at the caverns that have been discovered for possible lighting solutions. The grid at this point extends over 100 meters in all eligible directions around the house (being as how one side is right next to ocean) which does an excellent job of keeping monsters at bay. To round out security a large high tower (about 20 blocks high) has been constructed atop the hill my house is in with a ladder access that leads down through the center and into the house. This allows easy access for night time defense with a bow should it be necessary. With the surface well covered with light, underground encounters have become more frequent. Hopefully this issue can be resolved as I continue the lighting project into these underground sections.

Vanity/Convenience Projects
Mob Trap Collections Office
To date only two of these projects have been undertaken with the remainder of efforts being focused on building up the infrastructure. The first of these is the mob trap. With design elements taken from a trap design created by Colby Cheese, a master trap maker in the Minecraft community. A large spawning chamber was created to generate any creature that can fit in a 2x2 area. These mobs will wonder about a bit and eventually fall off the spawning platform into a glass lined drowning pit where they meet their ends. The water washes their items down to the bottom of the pit where sits yours truly collecting the stray items that don’t fall into the hopper collection system. The depth of the pit is designed to place the monsters spawning area just outside the 24 square “no spawn” zone, but still within the 24-32 block “hot zone” where most mobs will spawn. This has made the trap quite efficient, though I still need to find and eliminate underground caverns as potential spawn points.

With the mob trap on the south side of the island and my house on the north side, getting to and fro for construction, modification, maintenance, and rest became a bit of an issue, necessitating the second project which I’ve dubbed the Skyway Tram. At present it’s powered by a 6 cart on a circular track booster system launching the mine carts easily from one end to the other. While not long enough for the “On a Rail” achievement the system has proved to be very convenient, if a little temperamental. Naturally, upgrades will come as new types of resources become available.

While much has been accomplished there’s still much to do, very likely including some things I have yet to even think of. As such should you have suggestions for a possible project, please comment below and perhaps it will appear as part of the next “State of the Kingdom” address here at the N3rd C0rn3r.