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    • Crysyn

      Only help if you can be helpful

      Hey All, A topic has come up of late in the IRC channel in regards to the general feel of the forums and the community that supports them. Things have progressed further than I would have liked with out this being addressed more publicly because I would much rather have snubbed this out sooner rather than later.. but I have been busy. Here is the general rule I would like people to follow: Wheaton's Law "Don't be a dick." Those of you from the IRC channel know that this is the only rule I ask people in there to follow and we generally have a good and lively time chatting about all manner of things. This is basic rule that just about everyone understands and I am going to expand it to the forums from here moving forward. If you can not help people in a helpful and polite manner then I simply ask you to stop. Now I generally take a back seat to moderating the forums as I like to participate in the suggestions forum fairly heavily at times and would rather do so as a forums user than a moderator. But I am also fairly well known for being the person who constantly puts their foot down and so I am stepping up and doing so on here. If you find yourself unable to respond to a message politely then I ask that you do not respond. This mostly focuses on the increasing level of hostility found within the Suggestion forum as well as the Server forum. I do not care if this is the 30th some odd time you have seen someone make the same suggestion. Or even if the new post on an older topic is one entry above the old one. I expect the members of this forum to respond politely to the user, new or old, and point to the older topic if it applies and even go the extra step to suggest they either add in new information or to summarize the outcome of the previous discussion based upon the new post's entry into it. That is what we are here for, that is why I close most topics instead of deleting them, so that they can be found and referenced down the road. The next topic is the slew of derailment attempts I have seen as of late. If you want to have fun and joke around that is what the off topic forum is for and pretty much anything goes there. I do not expect to read a suggestion thread and have to go through 3 pages of image memes people have shot back and forth. Quite simply this is a waste of my time to read and then have to clean up. Now for the summary. I am going to start taking a more active role, especially in policing the suggestion forum, and handing out warn levels to people whom I see doing this. These will be indiscriminate and applied not to just the first person who derails or is impolite on a topic or response, but to everyone whom follows the lead of that person. As I do not like doing things with out giving you all warning this post shall serve as that warning. If you have a desire to bring this topic up with me then I invite you to do so on the IRC channel. Lets raise the level of quality and grow the community. Let us not descend into the quality often found on the minecraft or league of legend forums. There is simply no need for that here. Be passionate about things, just do not be abusive.
    • Kittychanley

      Offline Servers

      Recently I've seen a few server listings showing up on the first page of the Servers forum that have been closed for an extended period of time, but have recently gotten a reply from a new member who didn't realize the server is offline. To help prevent this from happening in the future, it would be greatly appreciated if you could use the report function on the original post of any servers that have been confirmed as offline, so that the topic may be locked. If you are the admin of a server and plan on taking the server offline, please use the report function on the original post of your topic to let the TFC Staff know that the topic should be locked. If you are the admin of a server that has a locked topic, and would wish to bring the server back online, please use the report function on the original post of the topic to let the TFC Staff know that the topic should be unlocked. As always, please remember to follow rule #3 of the servers forum and update your topic title to contain the version of TFC that the server is currently running. You can do so by editing the OP, and then clicking on "Use Full Editor."

crystalcrag

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  1. Nordic Survival - a Playthrough Journal

    Quite impressive if you managed to do this directly in survival. Maybe it is because I've played minecraft that way for too long, but I know if I try building anything in survival first, it always ends up as a pile of crap.
  2. Nordic Survival - a Playthrough Journal

    Yeah, that's a really nice looking forge you have. The interior really feels like it has been built in the middle ages. Looks better than the barn: the fact you cannot chisel the thatch, make the slope of the roof too blocky, whereas on this building it is smooth and gradual. Good to see your compound taking shape! Ha, forget to ask: do you also build everything in creative mode first ?
  3. Another photo journal of a v79 playthrough

    Yes, that's what tempt me with this seed: I've made 3 attempts so far and died miserably thousands of blocks from the spawn point. The only problem I have with this seed is that the landscape is kind of boring: mostly plains, dry grass all over the place and obviously that huge desert that you need to get out of ASAP. For the next playthrough, I still want a scenic landscape focused on building, so I went for the first one. I will also try to not go too crazy with the scale of the builds, because this playthrough took me almost one year (couple of hours per week, with some hiatus). That is way too long to be interesting to watch. In this seed, everything is going to be located in one place, with no particular constraints regarding to building materials (I will not limit myself to only using bricks). Still, that means I'll have to build 90% of the base in creative mode first, and this is a slow process for me. I'll certainly give another shot to the desert seed after, if nobody else does it before.
  4. Another photo journal of a v79 playthrough

    Might take a while though... Especially, I just realized the seed I posted the picture of, is bit too far north for my liking : Z = -10500. Ocean starts at -9500. I would like an area around -6000 ~ -8000. Too bad, it had exactly what I was looking for: no igneous extrusive stone on the surface, flux stone (chalk), quartzite (for cinnabar), sequoia, nice landscape. The seed is 4019879417940541310, if you are interested. Now I'm hesitating between this one (normal difficulty, easy start) and this one (hardcore difficulty). The idea I got for a video playthrough would be doing one in the same style as the Primitive Technology channel : short, edited to the max to only show the interesting parts and no commentary (maybe some scarce annotations). If I can cram the whole playthrough in 60 to 90 minutes, that would be perfect.
  5. Nordic Survival - a Playthrough Journal

    Hey, glad you follow up on your playthrough. Are you doing this on the fly or a are you a bit ahead ? Anyway, good start. I like your writing style. The climate around -14k is a bit challenging in the beginning for farming food (some crops can only be farmed once per year). But my trick was to go every summer in the south and loot every wild crops I could spot. I usually brought back so much food, that I stopped planting anything in the last years.
  6. Another photo journal of a v79 playthrough

    Phew, time to finish the series with this final update: Year 10 (june 1009 ~ june 1010) So, the gabbro outpost was way too big and I was only moderately satisfied with its shape. Instead I decided to go for a much simpler design: Has the look of lighthouse, which is fitting considering its location. Deconstructing the partial tower took me longer than building this. Needed about 400 bricks and still had some leftover from the old version. I also built another rhyolite generator mark 2, there are so many holes and those god damn horses seem attracted by them. Seriously, the number of times one of them jumped in the bottom of a 20 blocks deep ravine makes me wonder what is wrong with their A.I., like this: I was mapping the region at that time, unmounted the horse to get the map correctly aligned. It took me 30 seconds, look around and didn't see the horse. I knew there was this ravine nearby, but couldn't believe their A.I. was that dumb. I literally planted my face on my desk when I saw this. Anyway, the next couple of months were almost entirely spent in the forge: making nickel ingots, pig iron (which, until this point, I had none), and mining nearby silver deposits (ingot pile seen to my left, next to the black bronze ingots). And finally making the black steel anvil. Not as annoying as I remember, but I still prefer making steel tools: you can get a workable ingot right from the furnace and if you are good enough, you don't even need to lit up the forge. Not really a game changer for me at this point, but I still want those red steel buckets, especially for salt water. The nearest source is about 200 blocks away. But before that, I wanted to finish what would probably be my last major project: a cow pen, to the east of the tower: The terrain was reasonably flat and more interestingly the east access tunnel passed very close to it. There was still quite a bit of landscaping left to do to even the terrain: But my rhyolite generator was not very far. It took about 3 barrels of blocks to fill, so we are still talking about 1000 blocks. But once flatten, it had a good amount of space for housing some cows. I don't want horses here, they mow the lawn way too quickly. Even though, the climate in the cellar is cold enough to not bother about decay about 10 months per year, I still wanted some barrels of brined/pickled food (about 30 or so). So I built a little shack to store some supplies, mostly buckets to milk the cows, and making cheese. These saplings are all the tree types I found on this map: left to right, top to bottom: white elm, pine, maple, aspen, spruce, oak, ash and hickory. White cedar is missing in the top right corner, because I still needed some landscaping to be done here. I also found sycamore while mapping the eastern region (about 2km for here), didn't bother bringing any saplings though. I went back to the rhyolite biome at Z = -7000, in late 1010 to find what I thought was chestnut, but it was hickory instead. As you can see, the tunnel was not very far, I did not have to dig very much. Thank god, because I'm really starting to get sick of digging. This is the front of the pen. I still added another tunnel that goes below it and connect to the east staircase like this: Even though they are a royal pain in the ass to dig, they have proven to be extremely useful. If I ever starts a new map, I will do whatever it takes to make them external though. So much easier. The only reason I went for underground tunnels is to get rocks for making bricks for the steel tower. But by now, I'm done with all major builds on this map. In the meantime, I finally made 16 red steel ingots: 14 for the anvil, a 2 for one buckets. Now, this made me remember how much of a pain in the ass red and blue steel are. I not going crazy with red steel tools on this map, that's for sure. On my previous playthrough, having so much iron, I went crazy with armor smithing. On this map, I will probably just try red steel armor. Here's a bit of a random screenshot: on top, there are my skills as of august 1010. Below is a chest in the forge (you can see it here, near the copper pile), where I collected all the possible variants of ores (I only cared about one type of iron and copper though). And below that is my bling chest. And that will be the final shot for this map: june 1010. Holy cow, this map is probably going to haunt me. I will be looking for a new map in a hot climate this time (having been in a temperate and cold one), but I seriously must not try to top this off. The scale of some of the builds were reaching my limits as to what I would consider fun (mostly the landscaping/digging part). Now, with hindsight, I should have made a video playthrough of this (I finally made some test and my computer can handle recording TFC, with shaders at 720p, 30fps). But to be enjoyable to watch, I need to reduce the scale of the builds. Some of them took way too long, and were excruciatingly slow to build. Recording this would have been extremely boring to watch, even heavily edited: too many cuts to really understand what's going on. Still, I quite enjoyed this map. Igneous extrusive stones are a bit easy to get started, but I got a good challenge once I went prospecting for iron. The cold climate was not as challenging as I thought, but the contrast between summer and winter made it worthwhile nonetheless. Anyway, I think it is time for me to look for greener pasture (ha, ha, literally with a rain of 4000, and, yes, I like sequoias).
  7. Another photo journal of a v79 playthrough

    Ugh, that took way longer than it should have... so many technical problems... anyway, here we go for year 9. Year 9 (june 1008 ~ june 1009) In a TFC let's play, I saw a ingenious way to semi-automate the blast furnace: simply add a dispenser above the chimney column and wire a redstone signal from the ground to dispense charcoal. Simple change, but so much easier to operate: everything can be done from the ground. Here I'm raising the ground one block to hide the redstone signal. This is what the forge area looks like now. The wooden button operates the charcoal dispenser. So much easier to operate that way. If you haven't setup your blast furnace that way yet, I strongly encourage you to do so. Another angle showing all the ingot piles. Counter-clockwise, starting rightmost: iron, steel, bismuth, bronze, gold, copper, platinum, zinc and lead. I have located cassiterite and silver deposit nearby. I only bother mining ores that are far away, that's why my ingot piles from my previous playthrough were so low: I could find everything nearby. 72 is the number of steel ingots I made so far. This is the result once the trees I planted here grew up. Yeah, I tried some math to get an idea of the scale I would need to see something on the map wall. I thought that a 100 blocks diameter circle would be enough. But it was too small. I had to cut all the trees, one by one, and restart from scratch (well, except the pine that locate the middle): This time I based the figure on a 160 blocks diameter. This figure is based on 12 inner circles spaced 30 degrees apart, dividing the 160 blocks circle into 24 regions. Adding 30 blocks on each side had some unforeseen drawbacks: the north part intersected with a ravine that I had to partially cover up (you can see the rhyolite patch on the right), on the south there a few lakes that made the marking of the regions a bit difficult. More on this, later this year. For this summer I wasn't in the mood of exploring, so I decided to finish the renovations of the main bridge. Around november 1008 I finally completed the second set of arches. As you can see, the former iron outpost has been completely dismantled. The total amount of bricks for the bridge now is closer to 6000, reclaiming its title of the most expensive build on this map. But it did not take me very long to rebuild a new outpost: this time it is going to be re-purposed as sheep pen. Yeah, I know kind of flimsy for a build, but at least they will get a bit more space than the tiny pen they were for the past 8 in-game years. Ha, ha, the scale of the steel outpost is a bit over the top. In the above screenshot they look about the same size, even though the tower is about 120 blocks farther. Here is an overall screenshot of the two builds, at dawn: What a sight to be seen! I can't believe I did it. This was finished in early august 2016, while in my creative world, I build this around november 2015 ~ january 2016. But once the former-iron outpost/new-sheep pen was finished, I was also determined to complete the reforestation project: I marked and planted the trees for 18 regions so far, 6 more to go. That look way longer than expected because of the snow, and had to farm some saplings just to complete this project. On a bright side, now I have way more charcoal than I know what to do with. I used about 400 saplings for this: Kind of hard to see it from the ground, since the figure is about 160 blocks in diameter. Overall, not as good as I thought it would be: the trees are a bit too packed, I should have spaced them more. Hopefully there is no natural tree regeneration, otherwise the figure will be completely drawn out after a few years. At that point in time, I was almost done with all the projects I wanted to do on this map. I had two major builds that I completed in creative mode, but have yet to do in survival: a court yard near the steel tower (to bring the cows I have near the dolomite tower) and the gabbro outpost. I decided it was time to move up the tech ladder: finding garnierite, the last ore needed for making black steel, and eventually red steel (not really interested in blue steel buckets, I've plenty of lava all around my places). I already marked the location of where the branch mine would be a long time ago. Here's what the area looks like: The top two lakes have dacite around them, while the lake on the bottom has gabbro. So I'm really at the north west corner of the plate. The idea I had this time, was to be build a rail line to get up and down from the bottom layer. So much more practical than a ladder. This is what the setup looked like: 4 power rails followed by 4 normal rails, jack-o-lantern every 8 blocks. I used support beam in the basalt layer (because gravel), and bricks in the middle layer (quartzite). But around Y = 70, I started hearing noise from nearby caves. I hoped my tunnel would go past them, but it did not take long before I heard a decent cave-in. That meant my tunnel where 1 or 2 blocks from the cave system, and indeed it did not take me very long to find it: The cave system was pretty small, but my first priority was to secure the immediate entrance, using my tried and tested divide and conquer strategy. I was so focused on this, that I also did not see it immediately. I probably passed near that thing 3 or 4 times (the entrance was about 5 blocks behind my back). Kind of hard to see, but near the rightmost torch, there was a garnierite ore (normal quality). Holy cow, that was fast. I was mentally prepared for digging a few hundreds of blocks of galleries, maybe two or three in-game months. Instead it was over in 3 or 4 days. That kind of screw my plans, because I made the outpost mostly out of gabbro bricks, and was expecting to get lots of rocks from the branch mine. Even though the deposit was cut off by the top layer, I still got way more ores than I would need (enough to make 48 ingots so far). June 1009. I was looking at my creative build and when I was about 2/3 done, I realized I did not like the looks of this tower and decided to redo it from scratch. For fun, this is the design I was about to build in survival until I realized I did not like it that much. So that's also why I wanted to cover both year at once, but I had too many technical problems so far... so stay tuned for year 10 (as of writing this, I'm in july 1010).
  8. Another photo journal of a v79 playthrough

    Well, I've hacked this feature directly in the game. I'm by no means an expert in programming, so If I was able to do it, probably anybody else can do it. Sadly, the source code is on another computer I don't have access right now, but as far as I remember (I made this several months ago now) it was 10 lines of code or so.
  9. [79.28] Scenic Sequoia Forest with Plains, Rivers, and Ocean

    Indeed, very scenic seed. For those interested, the spawn point is around -8000 and has a rain meter of 8000. Probably the highest I ever seen in all the seed I've tested so far. What's the deal with this you might ask ? The greenest grass you'll ever see in TFC, or heck even vanilla Minecraft, including probably alpha. Holy crap, look at this : For comparison, this a grass with a rain of 1000 :
  10. Another photo journal of a v79 playthrough

    Alright, took a little pause ... my computer died . Well, actually it was the battery that got badly swollen, and I had to replace it ASAP. Being a 91Wh one , it could have made quite some fireworks! In case you are wondering what model you shouldn't buy, it is a dell precision M3800 (also known as XPS 15 5930). Anyway, time to finish this series... Year 8 (june 1007 ~ june 1008) Back in may 1007, when I was chiseling the gravestone of my second death, I thought it would be nice to add some flowers near the tomb. This is when I realized, after 7 in-game years spent in this world, that there are no flowers in my area (well, beside golden rods). Apparently they need an average bio temp of 5°C or more, so south of Z ≈ -13500, and enough rain for normal grass. The only conditions I know where this is met is ... in the granite biome at Z = -10000 (and a little part near the kaolinite outpost, but most of the area is dry grass). So back to the granite biome it is. It did not take very long though, this is what I brought back: I found one cherry tree. You might be wondering how I got 6 saplings from one tree. Well, here is how it spawned: This tree was probably generated like this back in year 1000 and hasn't been touched ever since. When I cut the oak tree blocking its growth, it almost immediately poped like this: I started cutting the branches to get saplings and they kept regrowing almost instantly 3 or 4 times. So overall 6 saplings was a rip off, since I cut almost 24 branches. I've been a little bit rabid with the debris around my outposts. I grabbed very close to everything: sticks, nuggets, rocks and goldenrods. Since this is a rather cold climate, there is very little tall grass regeneration and with only one type of tree, I finally realized that my surroundings look almost exactly like the minecraft alpha terrain (this is around the dolomite area). This is when I added a mod that allowed me to place rocks and sticks back on the ground by shift-right clicking them. Small change, but I really like this addition. It is kinda hard to convey this emptiness using only screenshots, but from now on, I decided to only grab rocks from underground mines. Year 8 is one of those year I did not accomplish much. The summer was almost entirely dedicated to mapping and prospecting. On my earlier mapping trips, I did write some coordinates where I found hematite nuggets, but I haven't look further so far. So, here's the updated version of the area, a 5x4 map wall, covering 2.5x2km. The legends are the same as the previous map: c = crap deposit (where I'm reasonably certain there isn't more than an medium sample), p = poor, n = normal. Yes, there is finally one rich deposit. Holy cow it was not very far from the graphite outpost. A little bit late though, since at that time, I had about 2 double chests of hematite ores still waiting to be processed. As for the top stone layer, almost everything is basalt, but the corners: top left is chert/marble, bottom left is dolomite/dacite, bottom right is rhyolite. "Silver" is where I marked some nuggets on the ground back in july 1000. I will start mining the deposit in october 1009. "Gabbro" is where I found a bunch of lava lakes with gabbro all around. As far as I can tell, this is the north-west corner of the gabbro plate, because not very far, there are others lakes with dacite around, so it seems to extend south-east. I'll build an outpost here next year. "Mordor" is where I took this screenshot. You can see on the map there are quite a few areas with no trees. I decided to use the empty space to the right of the steel tower to start another little project. Since I have lots of sticks and sapplings from my tree farm, I planted some across the landscape ... with a little twist. At this point, I'm still not sure if this will turn right. More on this, next year... Around november 1007, I finally restarted digging the west access path to the bridge. A very long overdue project. I finished the connection in late december. On a side note the support beam spam was very effective: no ledges have collapsed. Once this was done (around january 1008), it was also time to finish the north staircase and the landscaping of the mountain. I thought I was halfway done, but when I came back to the site, it was actually closer to 80%. The only critical part was connecting the staircase to the horse pen. I had to dig through the mountain a little bit. I did not take any risk and spammed support beams again. As messy as it looks, it took me 2 in-game days to setup this. Good job: nothing collapsed while digging. Here's the overall view of northern face of the mountain. In my creative copy of this world, I copy/pasted chunks from other parts of the map, to give more volume to the mountain, especially the right part is very skinny. But this is more than I can chew, I'm not sure I will attempt this in survival though. On a side note, the bear I kept in a cage for almost 4 years has disappeared. Probably died while glitching through a wall. To be honest I was not very comfortable having a bear, even enclosed. But now, I'm almost convinced it would not had work: the top part of steel surroundings has solid wall all around, he would have glitched inside it sooner or later. For the remainder of the year, I wanted to slightly redesign the bridge between the steel and iron outposts. Overall, I'm satisfied with the way it looks, except one part: the pillars look way too skinny for something so massive. Here I started adding a second set of arches. But I kind of underestimated the amount of bricks I would need. Since I don't want to grab rocks on the ground anymore, I first decided to salvage what I can: bricks in abandoned mines, tunnels (graphite) or useless build (mostly small bridges). That wasn't enough by a long shot. So I decided to dismantle the iron outpost entirely (I will rebuild it later). Still not enough. At last, I decided to use the mostly depleted mines as quarry: good idea, it was a very good source of rocks, stone and even ores (not as depleted as I thought). June 1008. There we go! That's much better pillars for such a bridge. As you can see, the iron outpost has seen better days, ha, ha. Don't worry, I already completed another design in creative mode. Definitively that basalt and quartzite mix goes along extremely well. My inspiration for this design is the aqueduct built by the Romans above the Gardon river. Here's a better angle. Yeah, I definitively like the scale of this bridge now. That's it for this year, there will be one remaining update that will cover year 9 and 10.
  11. Another photo journal of a v79 playthrough

    I'm looking forward to reading your future playthrough! I would largely prefer reading those than making them. My advice: write a log as soon as possible. Memory tends to become fuzzy really quickly. Like for this year: I used to keep a in-game journal of my whereabouts, but my backup tool failed on me and lost the log for year 7 and 8. That was quite a pain to pickup the pieces from earlier save files. Anyway I finally made it: Year 7 (june 1006 ~ june 1007) For this summer, I wanted to secure a new outpost near the chert region. I planned to build one for a very long time, but did not have a need for it. Now, I need to setup a mine to get me some chert rocks to finish the steel outpost. Yes, all the rocks on the ground have long been all harvested. This is the location I choose to settle: It was actually very close to where my first horse died in june 1003. The holes in the bottom left of the picture are actually where the cave ins caused the ground to collapse. I started to fill solid the holes with rhyolite. Not going to collapse anytime soon now. I was cleaning up the mess, and holy crap, there was 4 or 5 blocks deep of rubble down there. Well, the bright side of this cleanup is that I get a lot of rocks for the bricks I will need for the outpost. The cave was not very big, so I fill everything with rhyolite and put a layer of dirt on top. Also build a little tomb for my horse. I'm much more pleased with this version than the one I build 2 years ago. Tower is starting to take shape. Now, I know it was kind of pointless to build a 500 bricks outpost, for harvesting enough rocks to make about 30 bricks to finish the staircase, but I like to have safe places scattered all around the region. Here's the first version of this outpost. Yep, only the first, because the more I looked at it, the less I liked it. Still my plan was to build a quarry just below the tower, but I found a normal platinum deposit 100 blocks to the west, and decided to dig here instead. One year later, when I was mapping the region, I decided to change the shape of the top part. Didn't take me very long (2 or 3 in-game days), but I'm much more pleased with the result. Again, a Lord of the Rings feel to it and kind of reminiscent of the main tower of my previous playthrough. It is hard to get out of your way, I guess. Still looks a little bit plain, because I only used one type of material. Since this is a secondary outpost, I don't really bother with detailing work. I'll spare you interior shots, because it is pretty barren inside, even more so since this outpost is way bigger that it needs to be... .. but I still like to build towers, you can see them from so far away. Their silhouette makes it pretty clear they are not part of the landscape. We were already in late october 1006, it was time to finish another project, started almost 4 years ago. The project in question was to make an easier access of southern part of the bridge to the steel outpost, from the west side (the screenshot is looking straight north). So far, that bridge hasn't been very useful, because it was a pain to get up there, from the west: you have to spot a poorly lit tunnel, climb the internal staircase up to the iron outpost, go through the sheep pen, open two fence gates (if you are on a horse, which I'm almost constantly when I'm traveling), close them, then you can finally cross that bridge. It is just easier to go below it and head for the east staircase. Time to fix this. Here I'm securing the mountain side, because I'll have to dig a path through it. I usually spam bricks everywhere for this kind of work, but there are way too many overhangs, so I grabbed every support beams left in abandoned mines in the area and spam them all around the mountain. Here's the first half of the path. Instead of going through the sheep, it simply goes below it. At the bottom, the path turn right (west) and straight down to the ground level. The support beam spam worked very well: I did not have any cave ins. But I'll dig the west access tunnel next year. For now, I got enough rocks for making bricks and start other projects, that are much more needed. First one: Rhyolite Generator mark 2. Such a simple change from mark 1, that makes it so much more efficient. Very simple to build, even without steel buckets, but you'll need 4 pistons. Don't play it cheap, you can get away with only 2 probably, but the longer the lava/water has to travel, the longer the generator will take to reset. More stream means more jamming will occur. To remain practical, the generator must be quick to reset. That's why you want to keep the streams (water + lava) as short as possible (much easier done with buckets). On a side note, I thought you needed fresh water for this work, but you can use any kind: salf, fresh or hot. The rate is about 2 blocks per second. It does not seem like much of a improvement, but it really is: you can fill a barrel in less than 5 minutes, and the fact that you stand very close of all the locations a block can land, means that very little got destroyed. The fact to keep your streams short became particularly obvious when I build the Rhyolite Generator mark 3 (here it was in creative mode only, just as proof of concept). In this version I used 3 pistons to control the 8 streams. I don't think I manage to run this contraption for more than 20 seconds without one of the stream jamming, and this setup takes a good 10 seconds to reset. To make it practical, you need to block the stream with 8 pistons, and quite a bit of redstone. Not to mention the room to control all the streams (if you don't have buckets). I did not build this in survival yet, the mark 2 is largely enough for now. Just trying this thing a few times for a couple of seconds filled almost all of the slots of my creative inventory. I haven't bothered timing it more precisely, so let's just say: very fast. You might wondering what's the point of this. Well, landscaping the mountain of course! Going back and forth to the dolomite area just to get a barrel of blocks was a bit too tedious. That's why I wanted something closer to home. Especially the west face of the mountain required some serious amount of blocks, as in thousands of blocks. In case you are wondering where the generator is located, you can see it here in the distance, near the lava pools. This screenshot also makes me realize a fact that I did not know until now: snow layer prevent mob spawn. Here I remove the snow layer for the grass to spread. I'm pretty sure the horse pen is within spawn protection. I always wondered if this was the case, because in winter there was always very few mobs around. At first I thought there has to be some crazy cave system below. There is one indeed, that I started exploring a few years later, but it is very deep, and here, I'm very high. Also the night before, there were snow on top, and no mobs, as far as I can remember. Around february 1007, I finished covering the rhyolite patch. Yeah, I'm not completely convinced by the natural look of this, but I guess it is good enough. On a side note, I used all of my basalt stone supplies for this project. But on the other hand, now I have plenty of space on top for a horse pen. I actually plan to bring 2 or 3 here. More often than I care to admit, my trips between my various outposts ends up in a SNAFU: I usually end up in a hole or pinned down my who knows how many mobs, and me and my horse barely get out of this alive. Needless to say, the horse will be unusable for several in-game months, until it gets healed. Since I don't want to wait, I need more than one. From time to time, I also continued building some sections of the bridge, rarely more than 10 blocks at a time, mostly limited by the amount of rocks I can get. But around march 1007, I finally completed the whole length. Holy crap, 1 in-game year and 2000 bricks. But it was worth the effort, so much easier to get to and from the various outposts. I really like its looks: simple, not too ominous, integrate well with the landscape. It looks cheap, but it isn't. This is not the kind of build I would do with just bronze tools, and it is best to have a rhyolite generator for the underwater part (not to waste bricks). The second project I wanted to do, now that I have access to some serious quantity of blocks, is landscaping the north face of mountain and building a north access path, mostly to get to that generator. Sorry for the night time screenshot, but it is the only one I got from the early stage of the build. Yep, I decided to fill solid most of the missing part of the mountain. I could have played it cheap and spam support beams on the inside, but since my generator being just a few blocks away, I can spam all the rhyolite I want. And I died again. Damn, heard a spider, but couldn't see it. It decided to kamakaze on me and pushed me down the ledge where I was sneaking and died on impact. While I was falling the spider decided to follow and hit the ground as hard as me. Damn, I just finished chiseling the gravestone from my second death. Time to add another one, I guess. Anyway that's it for this year. Stay tuned for year 8.
  12. Another photo journal of a v79 playthrough

    Year 6 (june 1005 ~ june 1006) For this year, I wanted to get back to the granite biome, I explored almost 5 years ago. I didn't spent much time back then and I was pretty sure there was still a lot of stuff to discover. While exploring south, I notice that what I thought was granite, was actually rock salt. The red cross marks where I took this screenshot, back in year 1000. There is the green apple tree right next to it (hard to spot though). I thought those white mountain in the distance were granite. Yep, no wonder I mismatched the two: can you spot the transition between rock salt and granite in this screenshot? Indeed, they are very similar. And yes, that's lapis lazuli in the distance, and you can add marble in the list of rock that looks like granite/rock salt. First time ever I seen some in my own world. Not that I desperately wanted some though, I've rarely, if ever, used blue dye in any of my builds, TFC or vanilla. But more importantly, there was a fruit tree I was looking for: olives. Can't see from this angle, it was hidden behind the hickory in the foreground. At this point, my inventory was full of stuff. I wanted to stay longer, but I was starting to throw stuff away, which I hate doing. So back to kaolinite outpost it is. This is what I found: limonite, lapis lazuli, olive and citrus saplings, the ceramic vessels contained food/seeds. Back at the dolomite outpost, the protection meter finally wore out. Holy crap, it stayed green for 5 years straight. Since I keep my cellar in complete darkness, that also meant that mobs could spawn in it. Almost had an heart attack seeing not one, but two creepers getting out of it. Continuing the mapping project. Added 3 maps on the east side. As for the top stone layer: everything but a little part of the bottom left square is basalt. Mapping the area make me also realize how flat and already secured the land is around the spawn point (purple cross). I wanted to make a new path (yellow line), because the orange path I usually take is a bit of a pain: lots of small hills, that cut line of sight. Way too many creepers were hiding behind these. The only problem was that "little" gap of ocean, about 120 blocks wide. This is actually the path I take in winter, when most of ocean is frozen. Sadly, it only lasts for one or two months. I play a bit in creative mode to see if I can come up with a bridge design that were not too expensive and was a bit more interesting that a staight line of bricks hovering the water. The gap does not seem very big, it quickly adds up in terms of resources. That 4 arches already depleted all the bricks I have: one barrel I got from dismantling the north face of the iron outpost. Holy crap, 90 blocks to cover still. And yes, I want those pillars to reach the bottom of "ocean" (not that deep around here). This is how I build underwater. Ladder to create an air pocket. I know, minecraft and physics does not mix very well. This is what it looks like on the deck. Slab'ed to prevent mob spawn and snow formation, to run at full speed with a horse. Starting to run low on rocks though. And that's how far I was able to get. Run out of rocks. And by that, I mean: no rocks in storage, and no rocks on the ground in the entire area south of the bridge and a decent amount north of it too. Yep, I grabbed almost everything. We were in october 1005, temperature were starting to get in the negative, it was time to continue the steel outpost. My absolute priority, was to get the internal staircase reach the bridge, because climbing that mountain was still a PITA. Probably my slowest project: I was determined to get as much basalt stone I could get, because I would need a lot for various landscaping project around the tower. I want a little patch of grass for my horse you can see down below. Holy crap, has been attached to that post for several months now. Although, it is not like I could bring it up there: I need that path to be finished first. But that patch is still way too narrow. I wanted at least 4 or 5 blocks more to the right. That means the entire west face of the mountain will have to be redone, therefore lots and lots of basalt will be needed. Ugh, almost 5 in-game months to dig that damn staircase, but I finally reached the bridge level. Out of chert though, and very low on quartzite. Nevertheless, the east face of the tower is mostly done now. Starting to take shape. On the west side though, I still have a pretty big chunk of the mountain to remove. And covering that ugly patch of rhyolite. Forge done. Pretty much identical to my previous playthrough, with a bit more room to store some ingot piles. It feels incredibly spacious, perhaps a bit too much: I could have make 2 rooms instead of only one. Anyway, I have to move the supplies from the dolomite outpost to here. At this point the former outpost is so filled with junk, I can barely walk inside. Just on top, I finally brought the grass block using piston. What a surface area! But most of it will be covered by purely decorative stuff. This is what the tower looks like so far. Very close to the finish product. There are still a few more little details here and there that will make it really good looking. For fun, here is a cutaway view of the tower. The internal staircase is actually using most of the space. There are not much room in the tower: forge on top, a storage/map room just below (where the staircase ends), and just below are a cellar, bed room (very small) and a wood storage. That staircase was pain to build, but in the end it was worth it: so much faster than using ladders to go up and down. I mistake I did not repeat twice. "Garden" area almost done: dirt is in place, just waiting for the grass to grow. It is pretty cold up there (average bio temp is -12°), but the snow is able to melt during the whole summer. Hole in the middle is for the blast furnace, hole on the left is for the double forge setup. Around march 1006, I finally remove the part of the mountain that got in the way, so that I can finally get up or down with my horse. Now I can finally start the landscaping part. Since no more digging has to be done, there are no risks of causing block collapse. That part is to add some "natural" support for the west pilar of the tower. And here's the result. Pretty nice, just have to wait for the grass to grow. May 1006. Roof is done, that means the base is almost over (finally!). Here is the finished product. There we go: that's what I call a tower! It definitively has some kind of Lord of the Rings feel to it. Although my main inspiration for this tower was the Crown Hall of Hermitcraft 3, by Sl1pg8r. It uses a similar shape, but has a much wider core (well, he only made it 3x3 blocks: that was not going to fly). Obviously, it was not as wide, but is almost as tall (60 blocks). Anyway, the mix of basalt and quartzite works really well. I tried other types of rocks, like granite, dolomite or chert. None of them made as much justice to this tower as quartzite. Especially granite, you might think it is pretty similar, but the slight darker/pinkish hue of the quartzite really did made a difference for me. Come to think of it, having the mordor not very far from here, this tower kinds of remind me of Barad-dûr. I wonder if this makes the dark lord of this land... Overall cost: 4300 basalt bricks, 800 quartzite, 200 chert and 2000 rhyolite stone used as filler (mostly used for the landscaping). Definitively not your starter shack. Everything was built using iron tools (with at least 25% smithing bonus though). Actually the whole area, including the bridge and the iron outpost was build using iron tools. I've used about 14 chisels and 4 picks, which is not that much considering the scale of the builds. Remember that most of the rocks for the basalt bricks came from the ground, that's why I used so little picks. The bridge itself is about 4000 bricks and the iron outpost around 1500. For fun, this is the creative world I use to test the shape/size of most of my builds (vanilla or TFC). It gives you an idea of the relative size of all the towers I've build so far. The top of the steel tower has been changed quite a bit in the TFC version. I'm too lazy to backport the changes. Before the end of this year, I decided to smelt a few steel ingots and finally made a steel anvil. Holy cow, 6 in-game years to get there. So game over? I said in the beginning that I will not cover advanced steel, because as of writing this, I haven't even reached black steel (although I finally found garnierite in july 1009). No, not yet. There are a lot of little side projects remaining to be completed. Stay tuned for year 7.
  13. Another photo journal of a v79 playthrough

    Yeah, not bad for a first version... I like to revisit my builds from time to time. Year 5 (june 1004 ~ june 1005) Sadly the start of this year had a strange smell of déjà vu: I got too impatient with the mapping and decided to go for it ... at night time. As expected, it ended up in a complete SNAFU: I fell in a hole with my horse, but we both survived relatively unharmed. That's when a creeper decided to join the party, and sadly survived too. I tried to finish it with my sword, but hit the horse instead. The bastard decided to blew up and killed my horse in the process. Sigh. I (much later) filled the hole with solid blocks from top to bottom and added a small statue. Yeah, I know, not that great looking, but being limited to a 8x8 grid, you do what you can do. This happened about 200 blocks north-east of the dolomite tower. So back to kaolinite outpost it is. I was pondering the idea of bringing all the horses back to the north for a long time, but now it become the top priority. All the horses left in the northern region are completely useless (way too slow). While here, I made a slight adjustment to the shape of the outpost, only 24 bricks added, but that was worth it. The shape is a bit more square, more rugged. I remember seeing a patch of platinum nuggets near the kaolinite mine and decided to grab some, since it was a rich, packed, deposit. I was thinking that since platinum is a tier 3 metal, it could be used as plates for the blast furnace. Yeah, after mining 14 stacks in less than 2 days, I thought that it was way too easy for this to work. And indeed, when I tried this in creative mode, it didn't work. Well, at least, I didn't make those 60 iron sheets for nothing. I keep finding horses around the base and bring them in the pen near the tower, which is obviously way too small for 18 horses. I don't remember in which video I've seen this, but towing animals using boat is actually pretty efficient. Also found a new hematite deposit, in the middle layer (rhyolite), about 300 blocks east of the tower. At this point (around july 1004), I had about 3 chests of stuff to haul back to the various northern outposts and those 18 horses. This is what I brought back for my first trip: Second trip: yeah, that's 78 ingots worth of platinum, with plenty of ores still remaining. I wish this were iron ores instead. I also keep a journal to keep track of what I do, especially in summer, time seems to fly so fast during that time. Like in year 3: I went from june to september, and I barely remember what I did in between. Remaining trips: bringing back the horses. No shaders because ocean + shaders = lag, and boat + lag = misery. Back at the dolomite outpost, I build a pen that seems to be big enough for them: In the meantime, I continue mapping the region and taming the horse with all the grains I've left in my cellar (about 2 full ceramic vessels). Around october 1004, I completed a 2x3 map wall: The same with some annotations. Red cross = copper deposit, gray = graphite, white = iron. "c" means crap deposit: haven't got more than "medium sample" on the pro-pick. "p" means poor, "n" normal. Yes, there are no "r" (well beside the copper). That's 17 deposits, including 4 more near the kaolinite outpost, making a grand total of 21 mines, just for iron. The circle around indicates mines that have been mostly tapped out. The remaining has been mostly untouched (beside locating what I think is the center of the deposit). I did not show all the other deposits I found, like sphalerite, bismuth, cassiterite, silver, gold, galena, ... there will be too much stuff (especially near the iron/steel outposts). The only mineral I haven't found so far is garnierite. The orange line is the path I secured for a horse to get from/to the dolomite tower to/from the iron outpost. That body of water in the center right is a huge fresh water lake. This screenshot from year 3 was taken around the northernmost tip. Around the same time, I also tamed all the horses: damn, almost out of grain (maybe 80oz left out of the 600 I had in my storage). I know what I will mass farm next year. Anyway, this is another project I wanted to do for a long time (heck, back when I settled here in year 1000). Quiz: what can you do, that is super useful, in a location like that: Rhyolite generator mark 1. Yep, can't wait for steel buckets. I will need quite a few (as in: double chests) of filler blocks for the steel outpost (and a bit more for the iron). I could have used bricks, but as of now, my supply of bricks is way too short to be wasted as filler. Heck, I'm at the point where I salvage any bricks I can find (like in abandoned mines, useless builds/bridges, etc..) I won't lie, I build this contraption at least 5 times in creative mode, just to be sure I memorized where every blocks goes. Still, managed to douse myself once in the lava shower. The wiring is pretty simple, 2 cinnabar ores is all you need. There are 2 pistons: one blocking the water, the other the lava. That's not a luxury: sometimes, the system jams and the rhyolite block fail to pop, you need to be able to shut the water off to reset everything. The repeater is to give time for the water to get there before the lava. Also never stand in the lava path, even partially, sometimes the lava just fall right through without generating a block. The effective rate of blocks is about 1 per second (lots of them got burned). Ha, ha, with hindsight, it makes me cringe a little bit to see how poorly this contraption performs. My advice: don't try to build this stuff, I'll show a much better version later. Around october 1004, it was time to get back to the steel outpost and start the construction. I wanted really hard to finish the staircase to get at least to the deck of the bridge from the east side, but sadly that was a major PITA to dig. Climbing this mountain is quite tedious and also the sole purpose of the bridge is to get to that staircase. So far, it has been mostly useless. But around november 1004, I was fed up and decided to start building the tower instead, since I've amassed quite a lot of rocks. This was the first room I build, just above (1 block actually) the former mountain. This is where the staircase I'm digging will end up (at Y = 224, starting at Y = 163). Just above will be the forge area, with the blast furnace. Yeah, I didn't get too much out of my way here, and rip off almost exactly what I did in my previous playthrough: blast furnace in the center, forge and storage all around. I'll also fit the bloomery in one of the pillar. At this point the iron outpost is scheduled to be demolished: I need bricks, badly. This is what it looks like so far. Holy cow, does not look like the finished product at all, yet I already used about 1000 bricks just for this (400 just for the internal staircase). Alright, back to building! You might have noticed on the previous screenshots that my XP were quite a bit lower. Yeah, I fell while building the top floor. Ouch, 49 levels lost. Well, I kind of expected this to happen, because the entire build site is not secured at all. There are lots of scary pits all around, this was going to happen sooner than later. I also tried to spread the grass upward. Kind of worked, but it would have taken way too long to reach the top of tower. Next year, I will use a piston instead. Overall, I'm pretty satisfied with the terrain generation of TFC, except one thing: mountains. I don't know if it is just me, but most "mountainous" area I've seen in almost every seed I've tested are extremely cheesy: full of improbable holes and overhangs, with very little surface area on top. I've found one seed so far that had a mountain range that stays at Y > 200 for hundreds of blocks. Of course I deleted the world without keeping the seed, sigh. I remember that the top stone was andesite and a little bit too south for my taste (around Z = -8000, if I remember well). Especially, around Y = 210, the lack of surface became obvious. I wanted to install a garden, mostly for my horse, but the surface was way too thin: 4 blocks wide. I wanted something more like 12, that meant I needed quite a lot of filler blocks. It seems like a lot work, but not really actually: I've used only two barrels of blocks for this. I also installed the level 5 blast furnace. It has not been used so far, since I still have a few iron tools left. I want to finish the roof of this room before I start making steel. Finally connected the east and west staircase around april 1005. No off by one error, yay! Well, I triple checked everything before digging/changing direction. Took forever and a half (well, 1 in-game year), but at least I don't have to climb that god damn mountain, from the ground level. Still have to climb from the deck of the bridge though, from Y = 194 to Y = 224. I usually avoid interior shot with shaders (unless there is a skylight nearby), because they make everything way too dark. I'm also using jack-o-lantern for now, in creative I spammed lava everywhere. Nevertheless, this is what the staircase looks like and how east and west tunnel connect and the few more steps to get to the bridge. At this point the tower starts and the staircase will circle inside the it. But at this point I got fed up of this build and decided it was time for a change: redo the north face of the iron outpost. Here I dismantled almost everything, including the charcoal pit there was just under the outpost. I relocated the pit under the tree farm, where there is already a gold farm (thus the hole was already excavated), and upgraded the pit to a 3x3x3 room. At this point, I have a decent amount of charcoal (a single chest full). Also the main problem with the pillar of the iron outpost was it blocked the path that goes through the mountain. Way too often a creeper was hiding around the corner. June 1st, 1005. Here's the finished product for the iron outpost. Much simpler than the previous design, much better in my opinion. The ladder was replaced by a small external staircase and the overhang at the base of the mountain was filled with blocks. The top part will be redone a few years later. This is where the staircase ends up and what's left of the overhang (i.e: not much). That's it for this year. As per my usual schedule, summer time is exploration time! Actually, a much needed change of pace...
  14. Another photo journal of a v79 playthrough

    Year 4 (june 1003 ~ june 1004) My usual routine in the summer is to go exploring. So far, I've spent lots of time in the north/north-east region and avoided west, mostly because from what I remembered from the early days of exploration, it was mostly ocean. Except one small patch of land continued a little farther into a biome I've never seen before: Chert. And, yes, that's peat in the distance (although there isn't very much of it). I was more interested by the rocks, which I grabbed as much as I can. But I was a little bit too greedy: by the time I decided to go back, it was already night time and fell into a ravine (with my horse): The ravine intersected a small cave system. I tried to jump-pillar with my horse using dirt and gravel. But I needed a 2x2 corner for that, and there was a single chert stone in the way. I mine that damn block ... and the whole cave system collapsed, pouring dirt and gravel everywhere. It buried my horse which died in the process. Argh, rage quit for 2 days. In the end, it wasn't such big of a deal though, because 2 years ago I did found 2 more horses near the graphite outpost. One has almost the same capabilities than my previous horse (not as good of a jumper though). Anyway, back to building that bridge, while processing iron ores, which I smelt by 400 units at a time, instead of 360, with a mix of 20 poor ores and 4 normal quality. While I'm starting to have a decent supply of normal hematite, I still prefer to process poor deposits, keeping my best supply for the blast furnace. Does not seem much of a difference, but it was much easier to manage: no more leftover from the forge. And that's 6 stacks of bricks later. Holy crap, there is not much rocks laying on the ground within a 100 blocks radius now. And I've still the north face of the outpost to redo. We were already in august 1003. I can't believe how fast time flies. This is where I tried to increase the year length to 120 days. Sadly, it doesn't work as I expected: you have to set it at the very beginning, because the time went back to november 1002 when I changed the setting. And also it is global: all worlds will be affected. Too bad it is not saved per world. Pillars and deck done. Looks a little bit plain so far, but I want to build a covered path on top. Because of the snow and because the path is not completely secured. There are some occasional mobs that can spawn. So the faster I can cross this bridge the better. For fun, this is the first design I came up in creative. Not even halfway done, I realized the amount of chiseling was way too annoying to do this again in survival, and decided for a flat deck instead. Too bad, because I really liked the path inside. I also took some time to redesign the north face of the iron outpost. The more I looked at it, the less I liked it. This is without shaders because the north face is in perpetual shadow, I've added the shaders version on the thumbnail below, you can barely see any detail. The fact that this structure is unusually flat and tall, no matter how hard I tried, it always looked weird. I will rebuilt this outpost from scratch a few years later, when I got more inspiration ... and more resources. By far, my least favorite build in this entire playthrough. There is an opening on the top of the iron outpost. I gives a great lookout of the whole valley, as well as the tree farm, which I upgraded to a 7x7 grid. Back in november, I finished all the sheets to get a level 4 blast furnace. So now, I have a few iron ingots to spare for mapping the area. But sadly, winter time is not the right time for a mapping project. I'll have to wait for the snow to melt completely ... usually in july. So mapping will have to wait for next year. By the way, I'm using a hacked recipe for the compass: you need one iron sheet and one redstone dust to work on an anvil to craft a compass. Because the vanilla recipe is a bit overkill. I found a VERY small sample (well, 2 cinnabar ores) near the iron outpost a few years back. Damn, I passed near this deposit at least 50 times, before I noticed it. But sadly no more readings on the pro-pick. Although this is not very much, it is going to be enough for my mapping project: a 3x4 map wall, i.e: 12 redstone dust. Still, I would like to find a bit more, there are a few redstone projects I would like to do. Also, I was still prospecting for graphite from time to time. Probably my slowest on going project: I rarely dug more than 50 blocks of galleries at once, every few months or so. But eventually, in january 1004, almost 3 in-game years after I built the outpost, I got a reading on the pro-pick. The deposit was about 10 blocks below. Took me quite a few branches to find it. In april 1004, I almost finished the bridge, time to start the construction of the steel "outpost". In creative mode, I went a little bit crazy with the scale of this project, a quick count of the amount of bricks I would need, made me realize that it was more than all of my current outposts combined (outposts though, not including all the bridges). Well, since this is going to be the last major build, I might as well aim for something grandiose. But this project took me 2 in-game years to build everything I wanted, so don't expect much progress this year, especially since summer is approaching fast and I needed some business done near the kaolinite outpost in the south. My first priority was to make a path to get from the ground to the base of what will be a massive tower (which, obviously, will be aligned with the deck of the bridge). The path will have to be accessible by horse and from both the west and the east side. Especially in the west, as you can see in this screenshot, the terrain is pretty rough. And yes, I noticed that bear. I decided to tame this one, since I killed so many. They seem to like these latitudes. I got mauled so many times, I usually kill any I found near my outposts/mining areas. The tower is going to have a little garden area at the top, and it will be my pet, to keep me company up there. I mean, don't everybody have one anyway ? Speaking of up there, this is approximately where the top floor will be (Y = 230), and the view you will get (looking south). Holy cow, can't wait for this build to be at least complete up to this level. But this project is starting slowly. 1 month just to build this. At this point, I was starting to get worried by how long it will take to complete the tower. Since the blast furnace will be at the very top, it is unlikely I will be able to finish it before all of my remaining iron tools wear out. Looks a little bit plain so far, but there will be a huge pillar sticking to right of the staircase, that will connect to the bridge. On a side note, the bear seemed tamed, it did not try to eat me when I approach him. But I'm waiting for a yellow heart before opening the cage. June 2nd, that's as far as I went with the east access tunnel, about 15 blocks deep, 50 remaining to get to the top of the bridge. It is a mix of chert, quartzite and basalt obviously. I'm using jack-o-lantern for now, I will use lava much, much later. But time to take a pause from this build, I've a lot of stuff I want to do this summer: Out of hematite for the bloomery, I found a few new deposits. Need to go prospecting, now the snow is melted. I'm almost done with iron tools though, I've still 3 normal chests of normal ore dedicated to the blast furnace, waiting somewhere. Out of dolomite (flux) rocks, sand and glass. Get to the kaolinite outpost and get the kaolinite processed. Make all the fire bricks. Start mapping the region, finally. Bring the horses from the kaolinite outpost, to the northern region, and tame them. That will take me the entire summer and a bit more.
  15. Another photo journal of a v79 playthrough

    Yeah, not sure if a world download is going to happen, the compressed size so far is about 170Mb. What I might do, is to include schematics of some of the builds, if people want to check them out. Year 3 (june 1002 ~ june 1003) Before heading to the south, I planted a variety of crops, just to see what can grow near the edge of the basalt/dolomite biome (around Z = -13800, supposing full nutrients). Well, here's result: almost everything but sugar cane. Maize (front left), squash, carrots (front right) and cabbage took a little bit longer. Jute can be grown too, but it was too cold by the time I left, and I didn't want to wait a few days just to plant a few seeds. So growing season is not as bad as I initially thought: Back to my iron outpost, I still had about ¾ of a double chest of poor hematite to process. One batch of 24 ores was just barely enough to get 3 to 4 iron ingots. Charcoal production was obviously my limiting factor. The best tree I found so far are mapple and spruce, using a farm of 6x6 trees, spaced 2 blocks apart: Actually not bad for a tree farm, since as of year 9, I'm still using this exactsame layout. It is enough to fill a 3x3, 2 high room, which I go back to the dolomite tower to fire. I really need to add a dedicated room in the iron outpost. Here's what I was able to forge with all that iron. That was about one double chest of poor ores: including the anvil and 15 or so iron tools, it was about 90 ingots in total: Yep, not even enough for a level 1 blast furnace. It's definitively best to not bother with that kind of ores, if you can avoid it. Damn, there is still one double chest of normal ore waiting somewhere... In the meantime, while it is still summer time, I like to go exploring. Once winter settle at this latitude, it stays for at least 6 months: finding stuff in waist deep snow is now very fun, not to mention painfully slow. I also really would like start mapping the region, but with such a poor iron source, it is not going to happen anytime soon. Damn, so much for getting reeds early. While wandering in the north-east region, I stumble across this landscape of dark stone/grass (well basalt), lava pools all around, no trees and scary mountains. Yep, I think I found the mordor in TFC: What I'm always on the lookout though is hematite deposits. I keep finding some, but most of them are crap. Once I find one, I usually mark it like this, and more often than not, it is to remind me not to waste any time mining near the area: In this screenshot, there are 3 separate deposits, and all of them are crap: The one in the foreground is a poor deposit (seems huge though). The one near the horse is a normal quality, but with a huge chunk eaten by a nearby cave. There is another one on top of the hill, near the granite: normal quality, surface deposit, sparse and probably cut off (haven't found much). Out of the 14 deposits I found, 2 are minable (3 if I include the poor deposit above). Having your top 2 stone layers made of igneous extrusive rocks does indeed make a big difference. But I prefer the way it is on this map, I really feel like it was given on a silver platter on my previous playthrough. But in early october 1002, I got a bit fed up by this routine, and autumn was approaching fast. I still had my graphite outpost, I haven't touched in almost 2 years now, it was due time that I start the mining. I'm not a big fan of branch mining, but wandering in the wilderness for kilometers seems like a similar gamble. So If I have to gamble, better to do it close to home. I kind of made an error when I choose the location of the mine entry: it was right in the middle of the mountain. That was not very clever, because the quartzite layer is unusually high at this location. So I did some basic math: average terrain thickness is around 150 blocks, there are 3 layers, so each layer should be around 50 blocks. Quartzite is in the middle layer and I like to dig around 20 blocks below the top block, so should be around layer 80. When you choose a direction for the mine, always dig where the terrain is the flattest. For my case, it was south, and after just 20 blocks, I heard a really big scary cave-in (I use the default settings). Having bricks all over my tunnels, this could only means there was a cave nearby. At the start of this playthrough, I was thinking of a way to conquer a cave system: it needed some early preparations, but I was pretty sure it would pay off: the idea was to use fences (crafted from sticks) to divide and conquer the place. Above the fences, I would place bricks to prevent cave-ins from destroying the barricades. I would also place fence gate for navigating between branch. Dead ends would be completely sealed. You need a lot of fences though, thus lots of stick. I used about 7 or so stacks of fences while exploring this small cave system. So, don't expect doing this early. When torches burn out in dead end branches, they create dark spots for mobs to spawn here, while the tunnels you explore remain mostly free. There are a lot of scary sounds all around, but if you do a good job with the barricades, it should be safe. All in all, it was a very good strategy: I replaced the torches in the first chamber by jack-o-lanterns to keep the first room safe. As you can see in the screenshot, the first incursion in the cave didn't go very well. But once most of the initial branches were secured, it became much easier. But sadly it was a bust, I kind of knew it since the beginning: the cave system was too low, it oscillated between the middle and bottom layer (made of dacite). This is where I realized I dug too deep, I then checked at which layer I dug on my previous playthrough and it was 100 (yeah, I know, I should have checked this before). My error was assuming that the 3 layers are about the same thickness. In practice the bottom and middle layer are thicker than the top. No big deal though, it was actually fun and challenging to explore a cave system with this method. The screenshots don't really make justice to the war zone that the area has become, once I was finished with the caves. So many creeper blast, that triggered so many cave-ins, javelins and arrows flying left and right. So many times, I exited those caves with 100 or less health. Still, while exploring I found a hematite deposit exposed in the dacite layer (yay, 15th deposit!). A decent patch of normal ore: I got about one double chest from it. About time, I started to be sick from processing poor ores. But sadly no graphite reading. Alright then, back to branch mining... ... But not right now, because I'm not really in a hurry, since the pieces of the blast furnace are far from complete: there are still 38 iron plates I have to make (to get it up to level 4, and no, I don't want to process steel, one ingot at a time). We were in december 1002, and I decided to start another building project. I actually already completed it in creative mode almost 2 IRL months ago when I started this in survival. The scale of this build is kind of intimidating. Yeah I wanted a bridge to reach the mountain in the north. Mostly because I'm out of room on this mountain top. Also on the screenshot it is kind of hard to see, but there are a few ravines that makes walking on the ground kind of hazardous. Here I just finished the first arch, 4 to go. I'm building them bottom up, ¼ of a circle at a time, hoping the arches join in the middle, constantly fearing a off-by-one error. When I build this in creative, I spammed bricks so hard, I started to get worried about the feasibility of this build using only iron tools. Turns out, if you left the structure hollow, it uses considerably less resources. We were already in april 1003, holy crap, I thought I would be able to complete this bridge before june. Not even close. The environment looks quite stunning during winter, if you are living in the southern region, you are really missing something. On the left, you can barely see one of the bridge that is part of the "road" from the dolomite tower to the iron outpost. In front there is the tomb where I died in year 1000. The dolomite tower is about 300 blocks south (front). I like to use this path during winter, sadly it takes a long time for the water to freeze, which makes this ice road only usable one or two months per year. A few years later, I'll build a permanent bridge to use that route all year round. There is a huge fresh water lake near the outpost. I like to go fishing here. On the right, there is another bridge from this "road". This is where the distant light from this screenshot came from. Getting sand to make mortar. I don't really have a sand quarry. I prefer to mine a little bit everywhere, as to not ruin the landscape too much. You might have noticed that there are no "roads" on all the screenshots I posted. That's because I like to preserve the landscape as much as possible. Anyway, I prefer to navigate by waypoints: I use natural landmarks and the path I take between two points is rarely the same. So roads are kind of useless to me. That's as far I was able to go for this year. 2 wrought iron chisels used so far, starting with my third. I like to go exploring the summer, so the construction will only resume a few in-game months later. Still, overall not much building this year. On the other hand, I'm almost settled now, the only major build remaining is the steel outpost.