Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Minecraft is Automation

That’s right everyone, today we’re going to talk about making life in Minecraft more convenient using Automation. Whether you’re playing in a single player world, a multi-player world, or even in pvp, there are only so many hours in the day (and only minutes in each Minecraft day) meaning there’s only so much that you as the player can accomplish each day. Now technically everything can be automated, but some things are so colossally complicated to do that it’s just easier to harvest yourself (tree farming for instance), but other things are quite easy to automate and if you can set it up, it will save you the inconvenience of needing to go through and harvest things yourself. Even a semi-automatic system can save immeasurable amounts of time and effort.

What can be automated?
As I said, technically most everything can be at least semi-automated, but there are those things that are simple and those things that become far more complex.
Fully Automatic Cactus Farm
Farms – Probably the most common type of automation is in the area of farming. No one wants to spend their whole day gathering food resources when they could be mining or building or even hunting down mobs so it helps to have a system set up that automatically harvests and stores resources for you without any need for input from you. Since the introduction of hoppers, this has become much easier as items no longer need to be stored in an unloaded chunk (like the nether) to keep them from despawning. Now you can simply feed the collected items into a hopper with an attached chest to have them automatically stored for later retrieval. The easiest types of fully automatic farms to make are cactus, pumpkin/melon, egg, sugarcane, and mushroom farms, though the possibilities are limited only by your imagination.
Smelters – Using hoppers it is possible to have resources automatically fed into a furnace for smelting, cooking, or whatever other process you tend to use a furnace for. This is done by setting up a hopper on top (for the item to be cooked), a hopper on the left side of the furnace (for your fuel source), and a hopper underneath (for your output). These hoppers can have attached chests, or can be linked up with an automatic item sorter in order to automatically smelt and cook resources from various types of farms.
Compact Storage Minecart Unloading and Return System
Item Sorting – For those that are a little OCD like me, this contraption is a life saver. Using hoppers and redstone you can set up a system that will automatically sort and store your items for you, without needing any input from you whatsoever. These systems are a little complicated, but once you’ve got one set up, you’ll find that it really is quite amazing. You can even attach these to devices such as an automatic descending storage system (which is a chest on top of a couple hoppers, feeding into two chests, on top of hoppers feeding into three chests, etc.) giving you a massive storage capacity and an automatic item elevator and automatic minecart unloading and return system to completely automate a large branch mining operation meaning all you have to do is mindlessly harvest till your inventory is full, toss it in the storage minecart, and do it again never needing to worry about sorting or storing the items, or even carrying them back up to the surface (which we all know can be a pain).
Security – Using the new daylight sensors you can set up defenses around your base that will automatically activate at night. If you’re busy doing things in your base through the evening, this can help protect your base from stray mobs by activating lights, opening up motes of lava, or any other type of diabolical thing that you can imagine.
Material Generators – While material generators are typically not fully automatic, you can set it up so that they require little input from you to work appropriately. The cobblestone generator is probably the most well-known example and uses lava and water to generate cobblestone which you just sit and mine for as long as you like. These can even be set up with hoppers to automatically store the cobblestone so you needn’t even stop to unload your inventory. Another example would be the obsidian generator. You fill a premade area with lava, pull a lever, and water pours down from the ceiling turning it all into obsidian which you can then harvest at your leisure. Sand and gravel generators could be fully automated, however the glitch that made them possible has been fixed and they no longer work, but such is life in Minecraft.
Mob loot farms – If you don’t care about rare drops or the experience, a mob loot farm can be fully automated, so much so that you can actually sit there afk and just collect loot from the hapless mobs caught in your trap.

Conclusion

While it’s not necessary to fully automate the various things in your Minecraft world, it does make life there much easier and I’d highly recommend it for anyone, especially those with less time to play. If you want to make your Minecraft character’s life a bit easier, give automated solutions a try in your N3rd C0rn3r.