So… playing Minecraft can get pretty boring at times; create a world, start doing stuff to survive in it, survive, whatever. Or start a world in Creative mode, build some cool-looking stuff, build some more stuff, bleh.
Because of the world generator, I can’t begin to tell you how many different worlds can be generated within the 17 or so different biomes the game has to offer – and I know there are 17 of them because I wound up getting an achievement for finding all 17 of them.
While it’s easy to get into Creative mode and set up an area to play in and outfit the area with everything you’d ever want or need, the challenge is to do this in Survival mode so what I’ve been doing is creating a bunch of worlds and setting them up “from scratch” – while in Peaceful mode because even after all this time playing the game, I just do not like trying to do something to survive while being attacked by mobs – and especially those sneaky-assed Creepers.
Nothing ruins your Minecraft day than getting blown up by a Creeper that you never saw or heard coming – and having to respawn if, by chance, you didn’t get around to outfitting yourself with some decent armor.
So, I create a world, mark the spawn point and get to building a place using dirt at first, then eventually replacing the dirt with cobblestone, granite, whatever will stand a chance of withstanding a Creeper attack when I eventually put the game into Survival/Normal mode. My task is to build the place in the way I want it to look like instead of starting out “simply” and then trying to figure out how to add on more space – it’s not always as easy as it sounds.
So what I want to do is to build a place that will have a room for the Enchantment block and an additional room for more storage chests outside of the ones I’ve already placed in the “main room.” Place a crafting block and a furnace; start hunting animals for food and especially sheep – making a bed is so very important and more so when you’re in a mode of play that will get Phantoms visiting you if you don’t sleep for three game-days.
The additional trick or task I’ve given myself is to build on the spot that I spawned in and no matter what the terrain is; I might spawn on a flat spot, up on the side of a hill or cliff and the only change in this is when, inexplicably, the game spawns me high up in a tree.
And with no safe way down without getting killed. This is aggravating for a few reasons but for me, it changes the spawn point; if I get killed or if someone comes into my world, guess where you’re gonna show up?
So now, the real reason for this scribble. One goal is to find world seeds that I think my son-in-law and his gang might be interested in working and the world I’m working on now is one that he found to his liking and I even insisted that he check it out because of the features I found while digging a mine shaft down to bedrock and establishing my usual mining area.
There are a lot of caverns along the path I dug; not unusual but that’s not what got me scratching my head – it’s all the fucking lava I stumbled across before I even got the mine finished. It was so bad that I actually copied the world and put it in Creative mode so I could find out what I had to deal with… and it’s a motherfucker and one of the worst situations I’ve seen since playing this game.
The lava, itself, isn’t the problem: I long since learned how to work among the lava without falling in or otherwise getting burnt to a crisp – it’s the amount of gravel and sand that, in Creative mode, I saw was going to be needed. Starting out, I hadn’t found much gravel, the usual stuff used for getting rid of lava – but I had spawned above a beach with a lot of sand and I actually prefer sand over gravel because, when I go to recover the sand, I get nothing but sand where gravel doesn’t always give you a block of gravel – you get flint and except for one use, it’s pretty useless.
I’ve needed so much sand that I’ve almost stripped the entire beach of it down to the water line. To put this into perspective for you, I could walk out of my house and going downward, there was nothing but sand starting a few blocks down. All of that sand is gone; I gathered up so much sand that I had to stop and figure out how I was going to get back up to the top, both to my house and where I found an entrance to a cavern.
And to make things worst, as of yesterday, I’ve run out of sand and gravel. I’m now in what I call a recovery mode which, simply, is me going back and collecting up all the sand and gravel I used to sop up the lava in the first place… and as I go about this really mind-numbing but necessary task, I’m still finding huge lakes of lava that’s making my recovery even harder.
There seems to be no end to it and some of the sand and gravel I’ve used cannot be recovered so easily without digging up the floor at the bedrock level, something I really don’t like doing… but unless I can find more sand/gravel, I won’t have any choice but to do this – and there might be even more lava below bedrock – and bedrock is the one thing in the game that, in Survival mode, you can’t do anything with.
Folks, it got so bad that I re-opened the Creative copy of the world and really started getting after the lava, working with what I’d discovered in the Survival world and once I’ve sopped up the lava, taking all of the blocks of sand out down to bedrock so it will resemble the Survival world, which is one really big mess and I’m a “weird” kinda of Minecrafter in that I don’t like messy stuff all that much. But it is what it is and I just gotta deal with it.
I’ve almost given up on this… project a few times but in my head, setting this world up for Survival/Normal mode isn’t going to be complete until I get the mine squared away and ready for mining… and I can’t do that until I deal with all that fucking lava that is on three of the four sides of the mine proper – that would be the point where I reached bedrock and started carving out the “room.”
The trick to dealing with oceans of lava is to be as methodical about getting rid of it and working only one area at a time which makes sense… when you’re not literally surrounded by the stuff. It’s not only around me but it’s below me – and below bedrock – but it’s above me as well and I don’t recall ever feeling so… overwhelmed than I do at this point. I get an area sopped up and begin recovery – recall that I’ve pretty much stripped the beach of sand to the water line already – and while I’ve found “huge” patches of gravel, it isn’t enough, making the recovery process a very necessary one but also revealing even more lava that’s impeding the recovery process; I can’t reclaim some of the stuff I’ve ready put down until I’ve gotten rid of the new lava I’ve encountered.
It’s part of the game but the real challenge for me is to not make this world a Creative one; it just defeats the reason why I created it in the first place. I could abandon it and stick with the Creative copy… but that would be too easy; I’d never run out of material to sop up all the lava and it’s too easy for me to rebuild the whole frigging area so that it looks like nothing was ever done to it. And that, crazily, is the goal for the “legit” Survival version: Get rid of all the fucking lava and then rebuild the area so that, outside of the obvious cobblestone blocks that’ll be there, it’ll look like I didn’t see one drop of lava and my mine will be all nice and orderly.
You might be reading this and thinking yourself to be very happy that you’re not playing this game because when you read this, how the fuck can it be fun doing this shit? The funny part is that it is fun; it’s being faced with a challenging situation and accepting the challenge it presents; it’s about focus and planning and even planning in the face of the unknown – what’s behind that one block? Is this really all of the lava in this particular area? You almost wind up being a bit OCD dealing with this but not, I think, in a bad way.
The other challenge that comes with dealing with this mess is to not allow myself to get bored doing it – and it’s real easy to do. It is so repetitive that, yeah, at times, I can feel myself starting to nod off; just listening to the actions of the controller itself can be rather hypnotic and, as I’ve found, the sound of breaking a block of sand is actually kinda soothing, as opposed to the more rougher sound of breaking a block of gravel or other kind of stone.
The upside is that when this world goes live, it won’t lack for stuff like coal, iron, redstone, gold, and lapis lazuli although I am quite disappointed that I haven’t found that many diamonds – yet. So far, I’ve only found seven diamonds – and I used six of them to make diamond pickaxes so I can also deal with the obsidian I come across – and I have more obsidian than I know what to do with. The only “practical” use for it is to build a Nether Gate… and I’m nowhere close to building one but it won’t be for a lack of the twenty or so blocks of obsidian that’s needed to build one.
By the time I’m done, I might be able to rebuild my house completely in obsidian which reminds me: One of the ways obsidian can be created is to add water to lava; sometimes you’ll get all obsidian, sometimes all cobblestone, sometimes a mix of both. The problem? You need a diamond pickaxe to collect obsidian… and I haven’t found that many diamonds to make me feel happy about this since, along with the fucking lava, I’ve been running around huge “waterfalls” of water that I have to go after and stop from flowing… so I can get rid of the lava or recover sand/gravel… so I can get rid of more lava… and water.
I think I’ve found an underground ravine and while I haven’t gone far into the area, well, it’s now in the path of my removal/recovery attempts so whenever I get back to it, I’ll find out if it really is a covered ravine or just another cavern-like place and, yeah, it makes a difference but don’t ask me to explain it right now, okay?
I know that the more lava I find, the more there’s a need to get rid of it when, really, I could just leave it alone… except. I’ve had too many experiences where I’ve encountered lava and decided to leave it alone, only to run into it while mining so when I see it, I get rid of it because I do not want deal with it later.
I’m just not having an easy time doing it in this world… but I will get it dealt with.