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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

Journal of a playthrough with v79.18

30 posts in this topic

Here's a diary of a playthrough using update 79, vanilla TFC (no addons). I only tweaked (ie: nerfed) the cave-ins options mid game (I lowered the collateral collapse chance from 65 to 20). The world was created with a random seed (510501228420786474).

 

Having tested a few other random seeds in the meantime, I can definitively tell that this seed was easier than the average. I didn't realized this back then, because that was my first world.

 

I also tried very hard to grab the screenshots in chronological order, but that was not always possible. So don't be surprised when I talk about making a blast furnace, with a steel pickaxe in my hot bar.

 

Hmm, I also realized some of the screenshots were taken at the native resolution of my monitor (3200x1800), sorry for that, later I forced the resolution to be 1920x1080.

 

 

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Here's a screenshot of the world's natural spawn point: right in the middle of a forest of sycamore, oak, sequoia and a few willows. Top stone layer is phyllite, andesite in the middle, and gabbro at the bottom.

 

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I spent the first few days scavenging what I can, with my limited inventory. There was a ton of resources to make bismuth bronze directly, I didn't realized this back then, but it made the seed a whole lot easier. At night I was so scared of the environment, I chose to hide on the top of mountains. Most hostile mobs had trouble dealing with this kind of terrain. The few that managed to get close could be easily knocked down the cliff and quickly die of fall damage.

 

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Nice view up there, and rather safe, although a bit boring to wait for the night to pass. This screenshot is about 400 blocks east to the spawn point, the white rock is rock salt, the gray/blueish on the right is andesite, middle layer is also andesite, you can barely see it below the overhang.

 

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Since high ground proved to be rather safe, I decided to look for a nice spot near the south shore. My gut feeling told me that I would have to venture to the south to get the resources I needed (this turned out to be completely wrong). I was looking for:

[*]Mountain range. The closer to the world height, the colder, the easier it is to preserve food.

[*]Fresh water, for farming obviously. For drinking, I used barrel to collect rain water.

[*]Copper and bronze deposit (by bronze I mean any secondary metal that allowed me to make bronze).

This is the spot I chose, 300 blocks straight south to the spawn point, on top of a very narrow peak (located around -9200). The ore below the overhang is copper. There was also tetrahedrite on the mountain where the screenshot was taken, that I didn't even spot until much later.

 

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Most people like to use wood for their first house, I prefer bricks. So I needed to find flux stone first for that, and I decided to follow my first gut feeling and started sailing south. The crosshair points to peak I intended to settle.

 

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Sadly that was a bust: after sailing for more than 2000 blocks, and finding nothing but deep ocean, I decided to go back "home" (well at this point there was only 2 chests and a bunch of clay vessel). Since south was a bust, I tried north. This is the plains I came across around -10000. I was surprised by the amount of food there was here, and unknown to me at that time, that was my first screenshot of the area I would later settle (on the mountain we can barely see on the right).

 

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There was indeed a tremendous amount of resources around this area: copper, bismuth, hematite, and gold everywhere (well and galena of course). Also lots of wild crops, lots of fruit trees, lots of fresh water, not too many ravines. It didn't strike me as a suitable location back then, though. Sadly around, -10500, I seemed to have hit another dead end.

 

I decided to sail once again, but this time if I didn't see something before -11000, I would have gone back. Hopefully after just about 100 blocks, I see land (still andesite though). I continued a little bit further, and bam, jackpot: limestone. Also 2 new trees: spruce and pine. And yes, that damn boat broke.

 

 

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I harvested around 1 stack of rocks and a bit of sand. I then went straight back to home. 1800 blocks south. At night (no beds yet). Didn't die, but I'll have to secure that path sooner or later. Back at my outpost, I could finally start the building of my home. Floor is rock salt, brick is phyllite, wood is oak.

 

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A shot of the interior while I was building. It started raining, so I thought It would be a good idea to cover the pit kiln with some blocks. I was out of bricks so I used thatch instead. Yes, you probably guessed what happened next: those thatch blocks caught on fire and eventually spread to the roof.

 

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Nevertheless, here is the finished product. Nothing grandiose, I didn't really had a precise plan back then. My long term goal though, was to expand in the nearby mountains, using bridges and tunnels. I especially wanted a tower near the top of world for food preservation.

 

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Once this outpost was done, I started to seriously look into mining. Up until now, I mostly used nuggets to cast bismuth bronze tools. I wanted to finally make my first anvil (copper obviously). Thus I needed a copper mine. This is the result of a tedious search after a faint reading on the pro pick. Note the expert use of support beam, and the thorough search of minerals. Yep, I knew what I was doing back then. How many times did I die, you might ask ? Well, none, but there was a few close call.

 

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Bonus trivia: about 5 or 6 in-game years later, I was passing near this outpost, usually to forage wild crops in the area (there was usually a lot of grains nearby). So why not take a look to see if there was anything worth looting? When I decided to left this outpost for greener pasture, I had 2 wrought iron ingots that I got from killing zombies (you can see them a few screenshots above).

 

Just before leaving, I searched for these ingots, but I couldn't find them. I spent almost an entire in-game day looking for them: they just were nowhere to be seen. I assumed it was a game glitch related to ingot piles. That made me worried though, because ingot piles are the way the game intend you to store ingots.

 

Well long story short: in preparation of making a copper anvil, I made a stone anvil. Since those ingots were constantly in my way (the outpost wasn't that big), I put them in ... the welding slot of this god damn anvil (and completely forgot about it of course). Why is it bad, you might ask? Items inside anvil are usually rendered on top of the anvil, except those in the welding slot. If I had put them in the working slot, I would have seen them without having to open the anvil GUI. Damn, 5 in-game years to find them.

 

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Sadly, the copper mine ran out quickly (or was too sparse to be worth looking further). At this point, I got a strong feeling that my first intuition wasn't that good, and should settle in the northern region. I wasn't exactly sure where, and started searching the area for a better settlement. The first potential spot was near the rock salt mountains, I wanted to build a tower on top of the small hill where the sequoia is.

 

But the spot was too close to my outpost (only 300 or so blocks north, 150 blocks straight to the east of the spawn point). I did't think it would made a huge difference in terms of resources available in the area. Still, the rock salt/phyllite would have made a really good looking combo.

 

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This is when I remembered the plains I crossed while looking for flux stone. I inspected the area more closely, and it was definitively a better match: copper, bismuth, gold, hematite. Back at my outpost I found a rich sphalerite deposit, so I had ample supply of zinc for making bismuth bronze tools. Yep, this is definitively the type of mountain I like.

 

Red apple, found oranges along the way. Copper deposit visible on the right (it was poor quality though). 35 blocks above ground.

 

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The view was quite nice up there. You can see jute, sugar cane, and a large clay deposit. Fresh water, with sycamore, chestnut and sequoia (also willows not very far from here) spawning naturally.

 

Top layer is andesite; some might find its texture/color a little bit dull, but you get use to after a while. More interestingly, the middle layer is also andesite. I didn't realized the importance of this back then, but that meant hematite everywhere.

 

This was when I decided to not just build a small shelter on top of that mountain, but instead build a base that will last for the rest of the game. Kind of a bit early, but at least it would be done, because I knew if I didn't do it now, I would still be living in a shack by the time I reached steel age.

 

Stay tuned for part 2!

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Part 2: main settlement

 

At this point I already built the base in creative mode. Some might call this cheating, I call this planning: just like in real life, you never start building right away, you always make plans first, because there are so many little details that can go wrong. If you are one of those people that can get their stuff right on the first try, well, congratulations. I certainly need to give several tries before I consider something good enough.

 

 

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Sadly the mountain was a little bit too high: the top layer was at Y = 220, which would have left me with 35 blocks to work with. Not enough. I needed at least 50, so I decided to remove a whole part of the mountain.

 

 

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The good thing about this excavation process was that I got a lot of smooth stone: about a double chest (which I would later use almost all of it in various project).

 

 

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Finally starting to build the base. Knowing that you already figured everything out was quite a boost for the morale: any bricks you lay down will be here to stay and you knew there would be an end, which meant that progress can be measured. The base was going to be a huge tower, mostly made of bricks. Multiple reasons motivated this choice:

  • Bricks are fire proof, no debacle like at my old outpost.
  • Vertical structures are more efficient with regards to spawn protection.
  • I would have easy access to higher altitude for my "sky fridge", without those ugly skiny pillars.
  • With the surrounding terrain as rough as it is, I would have little to worry about hostile mobs, even without spawn protection.

 

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First floor (ground level) almost done. Grayish/blueish bricks are obviously andesite, white stuff is rock salt. To preserve durability of my pick, I harvested all the rocks I could find in the nearby rock salt area (the andesite, I obviously got from the excavation). You can surprisingly get a good amount of rocks this way, and it costs 0 durability. Sadly with all the bricks I had to make, the entire area (which was not that big) has been stripped clean of any salt rocks laying on the ground.

 

 

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Continuing with the 2nd floor. I started this base in november 1000. We were in january 1001 now:

 

 

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Second and 3rd floor done, continuing with 4th one. Sooooo many trips to the rock salt biome to gather stones. I wasn't really sure what the purpose of the 2nd and 3rd floor would be at this point, but for the 4th one, the choice was pretty clear: smithing area of course. I also wanted a small space below the forge for ingots storage (where the horizontal oak beams are). And no, I haven't died once building the structure.

 

 

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That's what it looked so far. Not very impressive, I know, but wait for it.

 

 

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Almost there: the big hole in the middle will be where the blast furnace will be. The 4 smaller ones are for (clockwise, starting left most): ladder access to roof, forge chimney, symmetrical ladder, bloomery chimney.

 

 

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Here's the whole tower visible on top of its glorious peak: not white enough to be called an ivory tower, ha ha. For the tech level I had back then, this kind of built was completely over the top. It's kind of an end game build, while I still had not crafted any anvils (well, beside a stone one), no animals (ie: crap diet) and no beds. To each its own priority, I guess. I also limited the use of chiseled blocks and made the tower mostly of full blocks.

 

 

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I'll jump a little bit into the future (well, actually 6 in-game years, and yes, I was still using some stone tools), and show you the rooms as they were furnished, because their layout/function had not changed that much over the years. That way, no need to post every little update. Starting with the ground level, you had your basic setup: bunch of chests for main storage. You might think that was not very much, and actually it was enough.

 

I tended to store stuff where I needed/extracted them. The gold lamp and minecart were added much, much later. The barrel with the hopper was for olive oil, the lonely barrel next to the lamp was for limewater (I've probably refilled this barrel 5 or 6 times), to make mortar obviously. The empty barrel in the corner was my backpack. Next to the loom, we can still see the stone anvil I used to weld copper ingots. It has been refurbished as a meal prepration table, and of course its obligatory OCD symmetrical twin.

 

That single hole is for pit kiln/fire pit. Yep, I never needed more than one. The small pile of wood is entirely dedicated for this pit.

 

 

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There are doors on 4 sides, even though I mostly use the ladder you can barely see below the trap door in the bottom left corner. It leads to a staircase dug through the mountain that goes to the peasantground level (you can see the oak door a few screenshot above), and my cellar where I stored all my food in clay vessel. No, I didn't know any better way back then (some walls were obviously removed).

 

 

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Second floor quickly became a secondary storage: initially mostly wood, then I added cobblestone. Later the wood was moved elsewhere and became instead a map room (ie: minecraft map in item frame, and no, I did not want to use REI minimap or jouney map addons).

 

 

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Third floor was mostly empty for a very long time: I initially just stored my spent tools. I like to keep them around to compare their durability (there is a special shortcut in Minecraft to show the value, it is not displayed by default), and to remind me of how much tools I used so far (except chisels, because they do not last long with me).

 

Ha, ha, that bed. Crafting that thing was made way more complicated that it needed to be. First mistake: my mind was still stuck on update 78, where you only needed 4 yarn to make 1 cloth. I was certain to only need a total of 12 strings to craft this bed (you actually need 48 in the update 79). I also knew you get at least 8 strings per sheepskin.

 

The problem was with all the exploring I've done so far (which was not that much), I only found 3 sheeps: they were on the top of the rock salt mountain (you can see one in an earlier screenshot of part 1, there were 2 more in precarious ledges). Problem: they were all males, so I killed 2 of them (that gave me 16 strings). Sadly, this is where I realized with update 79, you would only get one cloth with that. At that point, I don't know why I didn't build familiarity with the last sheep, instead I got stuck in a senseless quest of using ... spider silk instead.

 

 

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Long story short: not worth the effort. And you know what? I barely used that bed after that. Anyway, 2 bismuth bronze swords, one mace, 38 XP levels and 48 spider silk later, I can finally make my bed out of silk (because wool is such a plebeian material anyway).

 

 

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Fourth floor: the smithing area. By far my favorite room: everything fits perfectly. Double forge setup, with common chimney between them. Ladder to reach the top, with barrel to collect rain water for cooling stuff and drink during long smithing session (who does not like toxic metal residue in its water?). Obligatory anvil next to the forge.

 

Material used for the floor were phyllite and rock salt. Andesite for the walls. I would had loved to throw some basalt in here, but I didn't find this rock until very late in the game.

 

 

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Upward and night time view (most of my metal working were done at night), showcasing the level 5 blast furnace chimney. Even though the room was not that big, you never felt cramped. Raising the blast furnace one block was the key to make it less imposing: that way the belows won't hit your face, and the chimney will start 3 blocks above the ground (2 makes me claustrophobic).

 

 

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Finally, not really a floor, but the top of the tower, where you can access all the chimneys. It was below freezing point 4 months per year, and temperature rarely goes above 10 degrees. The floor was at Y = 233, while the spikes tops at 242, for a total height of 49 blocks.

 

 

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Back to 1001. The view from the top was still pretty barren. The snow just finished thawing, so the entire area was devoid of any tall grass. Note the expert placement of the farmland, just under the shadow of a sequoia tree, to conveniently uproot later all of your crops. The fruit tree blooming in the distance was a cherry tree.

 

 

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It was actually the same fruit from an earlier screenshot I took in part 1, the one in the middle top (you can also see the patch of pumpkin, the screenshot was taken from the hill on the left)

 

Once I finished the tower, it was really high time to build some much needed facilities: anvils, crucible, bloomery. Grab some animals (sheep and cow, breed them asap), and improve my diet, which were crap until that point (1200 max health for level 38, eating mostly raw food).

 

So stay tuned for part3!

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Nice.  I like the design of the tower, it's very menacing.

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Yes - love the tower design - Quite Tolkienesque (from his drawings)

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Part 3: iron age

 

This part is mostly about exploring and prospecting the area, because my tech level up to this point was pretty abysmal. My first priority was to get a pen, some animals, and tame then ASAP.

 

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That sheep was the only remaining from the rock salt mountain debacle. This is where I realized how much easier it is to get string by taming. I also wanted some kind of barn at the peasantground level. Can you already spot the huge flaw in the perimeter fence? Back then, I sure didn't see this coming.

 

The huge problem was the animals kept getting stuck near those oak pillars. In the best case they glitched through the fence, in the worst case, they died of suffocation damage.

2 cows died before I removed those stupid pilars. I had the exact same problem in vanilla minecraft, I don't know why I thought TFC would not be affected by this bug.

 

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That igloo shaped structure is a 3x3x3 charcoal pit, you get about 2 stacks and a half of charcoal when full. I use only farmed trees for filling the chamber: chestnut, sycamore or sequoia (even you cannot get saplings from leaves, they spawn naturally in the area). Not the most efficient setup. As you can also see, my diet improved significantly

 

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Front view, and its position relative to the main tower. The roof was made of oak/sequoia. Now, with hindsight, that was not my best build, it was mostly useless because it was way too small. Took me a few in-game years to realize this, but the whole structure will one day be entirely scrapped.

 

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My diet being somewhat taken care of, time to finally start the mining operation. On my way here, I notived a huge deposit of copper nuggets, and inspected the area with the pro-pick. I got "very large sample" readings over such a wide area, there had to be the motherlode of a deposit, and I was right (normal quality though). Much better than what I found at my previous outpost. And yes, the center of this patch was almost entirely made of copper ores. Even in 1008, I've not mined everything.

 

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I also found a rich bismuth deposit very close to the base and to the surface: that's my bismuth bronze and thus bloomery (almost) sorted.

 

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Except making all that bismuth bronze would be a huge PITA without a crucible. So that meant finding graphite (I already spotted kaolinite in the limestone area), and to find graphite, you first need to find one of the rock type in which it can spawn, which are: gneiss, marble, quartzite and schist. All of them were nowhere to be seen around my place.

 

Southern and eastern part of the map were a bust: only ocean. Northern part had limestone/andesite as the top/middle layers, that extended for thousands of blocks (bottom layer can only be made of igneous rocks, graphite needs metamorphic, so no need to look farther than middle layer). The only part I did not explore was even farther north or west (by parts I mean directions where I know for sure there was land to be found, instead of that boring ocean).

 

So I choose the nearest region: south-west, 1000 blocks in each direction, a straight 45 degrees from my main base, and found this dry grass land with phyllite as the top layer (probably the same rock plate where my old outpost was, 1000 blocks straight to the east, left on the picture), so probably still andesite in the middle layer.

 

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Beyond that mountain, the terrain was exceptionnally flat and barren, but if you look hard enough, you can spot a few ravines in the distance, and lo and behold, at the bottom of one: quartzite was exposed. To the west (right on the picture, you can't see it), I found some white cedar trees.

 

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As I've said before, I prefer mountains instead of plains. So I checked if the quartzite layer extended further north, near those mountains where I took the screenshot above. And indeed, it did extend (it was not andesite as I first thought). Still, the rock was in middle layer, pro-picking the surface would be useless. I had 2 possibilities here:

  • Venture even farther in the hope of finding a compatible surface rock. I did not like this possibility, knowing that when you find a type of rock, this type will extend for thousand of blocks in every direction.
  • Branch mine. Seems like a gamble, but with enough determination, I knew it was guaranteed to work.

So branch mining it was. Here was the plan I came up with: find a location with coordinates multiple of 50 in X and Z. Dig straight down until at least 20 blocks under the layer you want to branch mine. Then choose a direction, and every 50 blocks dig perpendicular tunnels in both direction for 50 blocks, spamming the pro-pick along the way. Rince, repeat the process from the main tunnel until graphite was found.

This was what the excavation process looked like. I placed fence gate to indicate dead branches, and signs for any interresting stuff. This is not a luxury, the tunnels looked all the same, you can be easily disoriented down there. Yes I used bricks for the ceiling, I never thrusted support beams. Every 50 blocks, there was those 3x3x3 cubicle with a jack-o-lantern.

 

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But before starting the excavation, I wanted a shelter. It was december 1001, I gave me 4 months to find graphite. I choose the location at -1100, -9300, it was the closest multiple near the mountains, and here's the finished product (wood is sequoia, brick is phyllite).

 

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Interior was small but functional (floor is quartzite). The trap door was the entrance to the branch mine.

 

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I started digging to the west, to the east there was an ocean I wanted to avoid. I knew the ocean circle around the land on the north and south shore (although that was 400 blocks away). So to the west it is, and after less than 150 blocks, lo and behold.

 

Holy cow, I spent more time building the shelter than it took to find some graphite. Traces though, it couldn't be that bad, right? Well, nope, it was THAT bad. After digging in every possible direction around the reading, I finally located the source: it was cut off by the phyllite layer above the quartzite. I got a grand total of 7 (SEVEN) pieces of graphite. The pro-pick still said "traces" though, so I could theoretically increase that number to 10 (TEN) at least. Well, a bummer, sure, but enough to make one crucible.

 

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I would come back later though, in the meantime back to home. On my way, I also spotted this patch of rich hematite.

 

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I only had to get to the limestone area to get me some kaolinite. I spotted a patch while climbing a tree to get sapling, when I was looking for flux stone back in year 1000. It is kind of hard to spot on the screenshot, it was much easier in game though (yeah, I know, thank to optifine zoom).

 

I did not spent any time building a shelter though, I just got enough kaolinite to complete the crucible. I would do this once I looked into building a blast furnace.

 

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Back home, I started to tech up immediately. After a few days of frantic smithing, I built a copper anvil, then a bismuth bronze, then the bloomery (piece of cake with a crucible), then immediately smelted a few batch of rich hematite ores I got from that ravine, and crafted a wrought iron anvil. Here's what the forge looked like at that time.

 

I then realized that my charcoal production needed to reach industrial scale if I wanted to continue into the iron/steel age. Up until now, I used oak, chestnut, sycamore and sequoia to fill the charcoal pit. On good year, I was able to do 2 or 3 batches, and it was very tedious. Each batch gave me 2 and a half stack of charcoal: that was barely enough to process 4 batches of 24 iron ores. I needed a more efficient setup.

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I like the Tolkien tower a lot, and the interior of all your builds: it really feels very like home. And your branch mining technique too, I will certainly use it in my world to find silver in a middle layer of granite (judging by all the nuggets I found at the start of the game, there's at least one big vein).

 

Also, you make a good use of bricks, and your charcoal pit looks marvelous. I was planning to make my permanent pit just a room down the smithy building I'm working on right now, but now I think that I could make it circular like yours and place it next to a tree farm. 

Oh, and the map room! I love giant maps in vanilla, I hope to create a map wall too one day (even though I ended up using Rei's Minimap for TFC). Unfortunately, I haven't found any magnetite veins or sugar cane for paper yet.

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That's one big copper deposit, man!

 

And you talk about a "map wall" Is that some kind of map on the wall?  Do you have a screenshot?

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If you create several maps of the same scale with nearby territories and place them in item frames next to each other, the images will join together in one big map. Many people, especially on servers, create giant maps of their surroundings to have a detailed picture of a large territory. Also, they look cool.

 

For example, here's a 2x3 map I have in my vanilla world: http://i.imgur.com/TTuqxze.png

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Indeed, I do have a map room, a 3x4 at zoom level 2/4 (512x512 blocks) :

 

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You cannot see much at this zoom level though. The green marker is where the base is. At the end, I'll post a fully annotated map.

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Part 4: the steel age

 

So anyone who had a little bit of experience in TFC knows there is an easy-mode tree for producing charcoal: douglas fir. Finding saplings for this type of tree was my priority back then, but of course, those trees were nowhere to be seen so far.

 

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Having no idea where to look, I checked the wiki and seen that the natural temperature it usually spawned, was between 1 and 14 degrees. So if I would have to guesstimate, I would say I should be looking north, since the average bio temp of my area was around 15. I had no idea if that logic made any sense, but .... it was a good guess. It was actually surprisingly close to the area where I first mined some limestone back in year 1000, about 300 blocks north (again, easier to spot with optifine).

 

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Now I could start industrial charcoal production, and yes it made a huge difference: I could now fire more than 10 batches of charcoal per year.

 

Iron tools were a significant upgrade from bismuth bronze. This was one turning point in the game where I felt it became significantly easier after that. 2 in-game years to reach that tech level, using the default settings of 96 days per year.

 

Thankfully the area around the base was loaded with hematite. At that point I found 3 poor deposits (that I didn't even bother mining), 1 very large normal quality, and 2 rich ore deposits: one was exposed in that ravine on the way to the graphite outpost (yeah, I had to build another outpost).

 

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The other one was near my base. And it contained a ridiculous amount of ore:

 

But wrought iron was also just a transition, my goal was to move to steel ASAP, that meant buidling a blast furnace.

 

Looking at the wiki, that device looked quite daunting to build. It sure required a decent commitment in order to complete it into any sort of usable state. By usable, I meant at least a level 3, more than that would be more than I could chew, less than that would too tedious to be used.

 

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But the graphite situation wasn't sorted yet. So late 1002 (one year later), I decided to return to my graphite outpost and continue the branch mining. I decided to abandon the main tunnel, and switch direction. That was because the tunnel intersected with a cave system.

 

In TFC, I avoid caves like the plague. Ores spawns in cluster, if that cluster spawns near a cave, a big portion will be missing. Adding the fact that they are choke full of bad guys and with torches burning out, I saw caving as a very poor option. Not even 10 seconds here, and I was already greeted by the natives, and I could hear a lot more coming.

 

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So back to square one (or -1100, -9300), I decided to go north this time. The reason being I saw through a glitched chunk rendering (a.k.a X-Ray), that the cave system extended south and was very wide on the east-west axis. Kind of cheaty, but once seen, it was hard to unseen. Long story short: after tediously excavating almost 400 blocks of tunnels, I finally found the motherlode patch. I waste no time and mine all the graphite I would need to make a level 5 blast furnace.

 

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Alright, graphite being painstakingly sorted, I headed back to my kaolinite mine, 2000 blocks almost straight north and decided to build a proper outpost. Overall, very basic structure: limestone/phyllite bricks and pine logs/planks. The central pillar was actually hollow and contained a ladder to get straight to the kaolinite/limestone mine.

 

Would have been built very quickly, if it weren't for the fact that I had to get back home once because I forget my damn saw.

 

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While mining kaolinite, I also found a patch of platinum next to it. Even so you can only make lamps or sheets with this, I decided to grab a few stacks. As you can see with my inventory, this was done way after I needed any kaolinite. I was actually mining limestone for flux (most of the rocks on the ground were already harvested by this point).

 

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This outpost was really in the middle of nowhere, surrounded in every direction by a thick forest. Very hard to spot from the ground with all the leaves, even though it was built on a hill, 10 or so blocks above the tree canopy. I didn't bother clearing the trees, there was way too many: about 500 blocks of path to clear from the coast.

 

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At night, it really felt kind of depressing: no sign of life, light or sounds for hundreds of blocks around. If wolves could howl in the distance, that would had set the mood perfectly.

 

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Back to base (april 1003), I went back to my regular routine for the rest of the year: cutting down trees, harvesting charcoal, foraging wild crops, triming food decay (my cellar had still not changed, and I was anal enough to not let the decay reached more than 5%), mining hematite, smithing iron sheets, making fire bricks.

 

Kind of grindy, but I could clearly see progress, and hopefully the tasks were varied enough to not be boring. Anyway, almost there, only 11 sheets to go.

 

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I also looked at taming a few horses. There was so many around in my area, I grabbed the first pack I found, very close to the world's spawn point: 2 males, 1 female.

 

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But I lost the female by drowning. No big deal, there was still lots of horses around, breeding was unnecessary. I planned to put them among the other animals, until I realized that horses were the ultimate lawn mower. They eat so much grass, they could easily overpower the natural grass regeneration rate. I wasn't too fond of having bare dirt all over my courtyard. Even so it was the peasant level, I could still see it from my thronetower, therefore I built them a little pen a bit farther away.

 

The horse with the saddle was one of the fastest I've ever seen, easily more than 10 block/second. This quickly became my favorite transportation method (on land at least): I could reach the graphite outpost in 3~4 in-game hours, compared to 10 hours on foot.

 

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The barn did not really have any purpose, I mostly used it to store a moderate amount of wood. It was mostly used for construction, not for making charcoal, because some wood were quite tedious to collect: especially white cedar and pine: too few leaves to use a scythe, very little amount of wood per tree. I organized the storage by placing one log in front and storing the same type of wood for the entire slice. Floor was made of andesite, dacite and rock salt bricks.

 

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I found dacite by mining coal in the rock salt area. The coal deposit seemed exceptionally huge, had not seen the end of it yet. Even though with the douglas fir farm, I mostly used charcoal for everything (the darker grayish stuff is dacite).

 

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I don't remember what time of the year it was, but I finally finished all the pieces of the blast furnace (sheets, tuyère and fire bricks). No achievement for this? Damn.

 

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This was the initial setup for the blast furnace, that I used for quite some time (2 to 3 in-game years). I exclusively used rich iron ores, enough to get 4.2 ingots per batch.

 

Ready just in time to replace my iron tools, which were almost all broken: I needed a hammer, axe, pickaxe and scythe ASAP.

 

But of course that was only another step in the tech level. I now wanted to get into advanced steel alloy, not really for tools, but especially for the steel buckets.

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Very cool! I like the designs of your horse barn and your metalworking area. I'm going to build a smithery in my world soon (I'm collecting stone for that right now) and you are a huge inspiration to me.

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I'm with you on the "what, no achievement for the blast furnace?" cry.It takes a *hell* of a lot of time, effort and materials even to get the basic block, let along the working thing :)

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I'm with you on the "what, no achievement for the blast furnace?" cry.It takes a *hell* of a lot of time, effort and materials even to get the basic block, let along the working thing :)

 

0.79.22 added a whole bunch of achievements, including one for making a blast furnace.

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Apologies - but his point was valid for 79.18 at least, even if mine wasn't :)

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Part 5: advanced metallurgy

 

Warning: there is not much building in this part. Sorry for that.

 

On a side note, this was around that time when I learn how to install the shaders, and was even more surprised to see that they ran somewhat smoothly on my computer. Area with lots of reflective water, i.e. middle of an ocean, the framerate would drop below 15 though, which was especially bad, because boat and lag don't mix well in minecraft.

 

Like I said in the previous part, I wanted those red/blue steel buckets, because they make your like so much easier. So, the first step in advanced steel alloy was finding the ingredients for black steel: steel, nickel and black bronze. Nickel and silver (needed for black bronze) were of course nowhere to be seen so far.

 

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For nickel, though, I knew the bottom layer of the map was made of gabbro. Heck, just at the base of the mountain where the main tower was, there was one of those geothermal pond with gabbro all around.

 

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Even so that meant digging more than 100 blocks down, at least I knew I could find garnierite for sure around my area. Also doing some quick math, knowing that you needed 1 normal garnierite ore per black steel ingot, I estimated I would need about 5 or 6 stacks for the rest of the game, which was not that much. And so I used the same technique I used to find graphite: branch mine with tunnels spaced every 50 blocks. This was the final excavation, I did not dug this at once, it was spread over several in-game months, while I was doing other stuff.

 

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It was quite a pain to climb back up that ladder though, even so it was possible to quick drop. Still, better than having to wander thousands of blocks into the wilderness. It eventually payed off after 400 blocks or so of galleries excavated (500 if you count the shaft to get down). I didn't find traces of kimberlite with the pro-pick though, I was a bit disappointed.

 

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My main concern was finding silver though. Only spawns in granite and gneiss, which, once again, were nowhere to be seen. I had absolutely no idea where to look this time, not even the slightest hint of a plan. So I decided to look even further south of the graphite outpost. The top layer stone switched from phyllite to conglomerate. Middle was still quartzite and bottom was basalt (finally!). This was the first time I saw lava on this map.

 

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Sadly, around -8000, I once again reached the ocean with no land on sight. I wandered a bit to the west and found another rock salt biome. I don't remember why there was snow here, I was almost certain it was autumn 1003 when I took this screenshot. But anyway that was a bust, I didn't found anything interesting. Spent almost an entire in-game month wandering around.

 

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Once back to home, a few in-game days later I decided to venture further north of the limestone area, and started inspecting the area around the kaolinite outpost. The outpost is actually just behind my back.

 

Can you spot the different type of rock layers? Bottom is a bit hard without optifine. The answer is: limestone, andesite and diorite. Near the crosshair, there's a patch of lighter rock coming from a geothermal pond. Anyway, not what I was looking for.

 

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Damn, those screenshots are hard to find. Moving to the island where I found my first douglas fir trees, about 400 blocks north east (latitude was -11500). Alas, mostly the same.

 

Can you spot the bottom layer? It was rhyolite (barely visible near the top center). Back when I was searching for saplings, I did not spent much time looking around. The terrain was pretty messed up: lots of huge holes like this one, but other than that, not much else to see on this island.

 

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So I decided to sail farther north, the water seemed shallow (I avoid "deep ocean" biome like the plague). I started at -12000 and 500 blocks north, I found more land and some natives that certainly wanted to greet me. I could already see that the top layer was still limestone.

 

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The terrain was even more f**ked up than the previous island. There was a gigantic cave system below. Not even 30 seconds in and I'm almost dead (a skeleton shot me and I fell into a hole). Middle layer has changed to slate. I did not find any geothermal pond in the area. In no way I was going to do any mining in that cave system even if the walls were covered in rich iron ores. A single sneeze would have probably been enough to collapse the whole roof. Alas, this was another small island with not much on it.

 

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On the north west corner of this island, I spotted more land, so off we go.

 

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Holy cow, could it be? Could it be what I was looking for? Yes, granite from a geothermal pond. Latitude was -12700, 2500 blocks north from home. That also meant another branch mine in the bottom layer of the map, and this time I had to commit all of my time on finding silver. But I didn't care because that was the last mineral I really needed, and anyway there was not much else I could do, we were in late 1003, winter was coming. Sadly, no new types of trees around the area.

 

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Long story short: the branch mining took a few in-game months, but went rather smoothly. I manage to grab a few stacks of poor silver (also found pitchblende). I was literally out of inspiration for building any shelter, instead I simply secured a nearby cave. Probably my most minimalist base ever.

 

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Interior was not much better, I had a hard time calling this a base. Although, whenever I had to come here, I went straight into the mines, and left immediately after, once I've done mining what I needed (I still come back for the granite). There was no need to be fancy so far away from home.

 

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While spending the winter here, I was impressed by the harshness of the conditions at that latitude. That's the kind of canadian winter I'm used to. If I ever start a new world, I will sure be looking to settle at those latitudes. Temperature could descend around -15 degrees at night: the whole ocean was frozen, waist deep snow. I was a bit disappointed to not get that kind of climate back at my main base. The island you see in the distance, was the one with the crazy cave system, you could reach it on foot now.

 

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Once back to the main base, I lost no time and almost immediately started a batch of 16 black steel ingots: 14 for the anvil, 1 for a pickaxe and 1 for an axe. Anyone who attempted this, know how taxing on the concentration this task is. You have to dedicate 100% of your brain power while doing this: heating ingots in the forge, while melting ores in the crucible, watching not to liquify your ingots, because you need to pump the bellows for the weak steel to become liquid. Anyway, about half an hour juggling with ingots, here was my prize.

 

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Next, I got all the ingredients needed to make a batch of 20 blue steel ingots: 14 for the anvil, 4 for 2 buckets, 1 for a sword. Seeing that smithing 16 black steel ingots was already a challenge, I had some kind of apprehension that this would not be easy. This was my ingot piles just before attempting the batch. Yes, I did not have sky-high stacks of ingot, like most people do. I prefer to smelt ingots whenever I needed some, and keep my stock low.

 

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I was so dedicated on the task, that I completely forgot to take some screenshots. So here was what I ended up with. Almost all tier of tools: only red steel was missing. The bronze shovel I got from a zombie, and it was in pretty good shape (I had not found cassiterite yet, although I was not looking for it). The pro-pick looks like iron, but it was made of steel

 

For the red steel, I made a batch of only 5 ingots. I used these proportions: 3 black steel, 0.5 rose gold, 0.5 brass, 1 steel. For the red steel, I was obviously only interested in making buckets and with the remaining ingot, I made 1 scythe.

 

So, game over? Well, not yet, there was still a few things I wanted to accomplish.

 

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Congratulations on getting blue and red steels! Looks like it wasn't an easy journey. It also made me realize how lucky was I indeed with my seed, I have tons of middle layer granite and I have found a lot of silver nuggets already.

 

And have you watched Etho's TFC series? He was told as well to have severe Canadian winters in his world, and I believe his base wasn't even that far north. Though I wouldn't set my main base very far north, I agree that winters in TerraFirmaCraft look beautiful. Everything covered in snow, the lakes and the oceans freezing...

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Yes, indeed I watched his LPs back in the day. If I remember well his base was located around -12000. Quite decently north. I actually started a new seed that spawns you at -15000. I've not reached winter yet, but I already get negative temperature in the middle of summer above elevation 200. That seems promising.

 

Congratulations on getting blue and red steels! Looks like it wasn't an easy journey. It also made me realize how lucky was I indeed with my seed, I have tons of middle layer granite and I have found a lot of silver nuggets already.
 
And have you watched Etho's TFC series? He was told as well to have severe Canadian winters in his world, and I believe his base wasn't even that far north. Though I wouldn't set my main base very far north, I agree that winters in TerraFirmaCraft look beautiful. Everything covered in snow, the lakes and the oceans freezing...

Part 6: Food storage

Time to put my shiny new toys to use! At this point I accumulated so much resources (especially andesite, gabbro, quartzite and granite), I needed a project to make use of all that stuff.

This is when I got the most stupidest idea ever. There was one aspect in this base that I wasn't very satisfied: food storage/preservation. I still had my very basic cellar, with ceramic vessels in it, that I built 3 in-game years earlier. Decay was pretty bad from late spring to autumn: those vessels needed to be baby sited almost every day. I decided to build a sky fridge far away from my base, as not to be too much of an eye sore. And how do you get to a sky fridge, you might ask? With a sky bridge of course!


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I got the inspiration from Zisteau. But instead of using boats, I would use minecart, because boats in minecraft have always been a sad joke. I wanted the deck of the bridge to be leveled with the 1st floor of the tower, at elevation 195, that was 50 blocks above sea level. I also didn't want the bridge to be suspended in disbelief, so I added pillars just for the heck of it. This was the very first one.


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It was a mix of andesite/granite/gabbro (used for the cobblestone walls). Of course, between the pillars, there had to be arches.


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That structure was so tall, it was hard to get a good angle.


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Night or day, I didn't care.


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First arch done, I've thrown a little bit of basalt into the mix, it makes the half circle from the arch more obvious. Each pillar is spaced 60 blocks from each other. I also did not want to go crazy with chiseled blocks to keep the style consistent with the main base.


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Working 40 blocks above ground, without feather falling boots was quite an experience. Even with the amount of health I had, I would not have survived the fall. My pinky still hurts.


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I was expecting to be able to reach my first outpost, 800 blocks south. Sadly, I greatly underestimated the amount of resources I would need. I thought 1 double chest of andesite cobblestone would be enough. Well, redoing the math, it was closer to 4 double chests. Oooops. That was way more than I could chew. I built about 5 pillars, here's the first 3. This build was so big, I was not able to find a front view, with most of the bridge visible.


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If you were on the ground, the trees would hide most of it unless you are less than 30 blocks from a pillar. Another nice feature of this bridge, was that the pillars were hollow, with a ladder in it. Very handy while escaping mobs at night and quickly get back to the main base.


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Of course on the deck of the bridge, there was a minecart track. I did not put any roof on it, because I intended to ride the minecart during day time. The roof would have provided way too many dark spots for mobs to spawn. The glass panes were stained black.


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I collected ink sacs in a nearby pond of salt water, which was also very effective at leveling up my butchery skills. The main base is about 50 blocks to the left (south) on this picture. Ha, ha, even to this day, I haven't checked the quality of the copper deposit, you can see on the left. My second copper mine contained (and still contains) so much ores, I never bothered looking elsewhere.


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This was where it ended, about 250 blocks south.


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The end of the bridge as viewed from the ground. Not sure I'll continue. Remember that the purpose of this bridge was to get to a sky fridge. The construction took so long (around 1 in-game year), in the meantime I finally looked into making brined/pickled food. I didn't believe it would be very effective, so I initially setup just a few barrels with some junk food, that I left completely unattended since summer 1004 (while I was constantly baby sitting my ceramic vessels).


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Well, here was the result after more than 2 years left unattended. Alright, sky fridge cancelled.


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After seeing that, I got into industrial vinegar production right away, and stock my cellar with as much barrels as I could, about 30, all full with 160oz of food. Grains could remain in the vessels, they did not decay much anyway. I still had lots of food in the vessels, but not much room to expand. There was no rush though, because with all the food in preservation state, I wouldn't have to farm anything for next decade at least.

Around december 1005, I wanted to try a different lighting method. So far I used lamps/jack-o-lantern for permanent lighting, or simply left the area dark (did't even bothered placing torches). This was where I remembered those lava lakes I found while looking for silver, 2 in-game years earlier. So, I fired up the forge and smelted another batch of 10 blue steel ingots (from black steel ingots I got from resmelting the anvil), to make 5 more buckets.

But getting there quickly and safely turned out to be more challenging that I initially thought. What I thought would be done in 1 or 2 in-game months, took more than 6. That's for the next part.

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Part 7: Lava outpost

 

Getting any significant amount of lava was challenging. It is not like in minecraft where you could craft an inventory of buckets and be done with all your lava needs with a few trips to the nether. Since the nearest lava source was 2000 blocks away and I had only 7 buckets and no intention of crafting more, I would have to come back and forth quite often.

 

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I wanted to secure the path from the graphite outpost, the path to get to this outpost was not that dangerous.

 

I also wanted to make the trip to these lakes under 12 in-game hours, so it could be entirely done during day time, especially since the shaders made night time very dark.

 

Why not use a bed you might ask? Up until now, I skipped almost no nights, I had no intention of changing this habit. The only use I had for beds was to skip rain/thunder. Kind of cheaty, but again the shaders makes everything super dark (it also slightly blurs your vision, it really makes you want not to stand in the rain).

 

 

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What an ominous view! It makes me think of a giant hand raising out of the ground. That picture was taken while it was day time, almost as dark as night time without shaders.

 

So getting to these lakes on time by foot was impossible, minecart track was too expensive, the only viable option were horses. Here was the idea I got: secure the path to make it as straight and flat as possible, building bridges, ramps, tunnels and trimming trees along the way. Once the path was secured, I could blaze across it with my super fast horse, grab a few buckets of lava, and get the hell back home ASAP.

 

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But to get there, it was quite a trip. It started gently with a plain.

 

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That mountain/hill was in the way, and took too long to circumvent. Alright then, let's dig right through it, it was not very thick anyway.

 

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On the other side, you had a thick forest of chestnut, willow, pine, oak and white cedar. Very annoying to traverse by horse. I cleared some of the tree. To help me navigate I added those guiding pillars along the way. Not a luxury, even when you perfectly know the path.

 

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A ravine was in the way, so let's add a little bridge (everything from this point was built using conglomerate bricks, white cedar and sequoia).

 

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I then came across a mountain with very steep walls. I did not feel like adding a ramp to get to that bridge.

 

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Instead, I dug a path right through the mountain (mostly for an excuse to get rocks for my bricks). Lighting came from lava with iron bars in front. That was a luxury though.

 

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Beyond the bridge was a pretty rough valley. Lots of caves/ravines and some thick forest.

 

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That took way longer than I expected, probably 2 in-game months. But I could traverse this landscape in 20 seconds instead of 5 minutes and losing half the health of my horse.

 

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As you can see, those guiding light were quite handy, day or night.

 

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Here is a closer look at the pillar of the bridge. Way more resources than necessary, but digging that tunnel got me a lot of rocks, since I wasn't going to use conglomerate anywhere but here, time to go fancy then.

 

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Inside the tunnel. I initially wanted to go over the hill, but it was too narrow on the top. The ladder goes into a salpeter deposit, you can see a small sample on the ceiling.

 

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Another ramp, to get over a hill, looking back at the bridge (the ramp is mostly hidden by vegetation though, you'll see it more clearly below).

 

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And finally there. This screenshot was already posted in part 5, but was actually taken around that time.

 

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I wanted to build a "small" outpost here, on top of the mountain of course. This outpost took me almost 3 in-game months to complete, way bigger than necessary. With all the structures I built, I completely used a brand new steel chisel, with 4500 durability (I had expert smithing skill by then). Fresh water source blocks were hidden below the front wall, so that dry grass turned into normal grass, so that my horse had something to eat, to regenerate health if needed.

 

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The view from the other side, soooo many bricks. My first attempt was to build on the higher peak in the background. But I would have to build two ramps: one from the north-east to get on top, and another to the west, that goes 50 blocks down. That would have been way too much resources.

 

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Although, the view is quite nice up there.

 

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Here's what it looked from the opposite mountain range. Interesting how sequoia looks like clay bricks/tiles from this distance. I have to admit that shaders make the environment looks more vibrant and colorful. It kinds of feels like it is summer time, you almost want to put your shades while looking at this picture.

 

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For reference, this is what it looks without shaders and using moody brightness setting, mipmap and 2xAA.

 

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Interior was small, but functional, as usual (I was still finishing the roof here, hence the ladder and the hole).

 

All in all, it took me 6 in-game months to complete the whole path. Way longer than I expected: we were in may 1006. Still, I was pretty satisfied with the end result. When I first went there, I found the terrain incredibly dull and had no inspiration on how to integrate anything with the landscape. When I came back to finally secure the path, I really believed I would struggle to build anything, but everything went rather smoothly.

 

Now that I had easy access to lava, time to make use of it at my main base.

Edited by crystalcrag
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What an awesome path! I feel that in TerraFirmaCraft, the game that constantly forces you to explore, roads are a must. I liked your use of lava. And water, I didn't know it made an effect on the grass type! Yes, you are using your colored steel resources very wisely.

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It's really quite entertaining to watch your progress. I definitely need to start planning my structures out instead of winging it, they turn up ugly and too small more often than not.

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Part 8: End game
 
 

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Back at my main base, I finally realized that my courtyard was not up to my standard anymore. It had remained almost unchanged for the past 5 years, and it showed. If some peasants in the countryside were capable of building with more style than the king's capitalmain base, I had do a better job. My ego could not tolerate this affront.
 

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I barely showed what the interior of the barn was, mostly because there was not much in it. Mostly barrels for making leather/brine/vinegar. I wanted to keep animals in pens, but I quickly realized that the pens were way too small. Here, I started tearing the whole place down.
 

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I wanted a floor opened to the courtyard and made of stone, instead of grass. Since the floor would be entirely covered by a roof, the grass would not grow back, when animals would inevitably wander in this section. Iron bars and lava to provide plenty of lighting, so expensive though. I used granite and andesite for the bricks.
 

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View from above. The two pools of water were fresh and salt water. They will be relocated once the courtyard is finished.

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Starting with roof, sequoia and white cedar, such a lovely combination. Oak for the beams.

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Front of the new barn: that was way closer to the idea I got when I settled here. Much better than my initial attempt (without shaders here, because night time).

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On the second floor of the barn, I moved the wood storage I had in the tower, and added a few more barrels of vinegar/alcohol, with more room to expand if I ever needed to.

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Winter 1007 was here. In one of the corner there was a denivelation, that I didn't felt like filling with blocks. Instead I decided to relocate my charcoal room.

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This is design I came up with. 3x3x3, starting one block below the ground, as to be able to completely fill the room with logs from the door. Two sand blocks to put behind the door once the room was full (sand is easy to mine without tools and looks like raw stone). Then you can climb up the ladder to throw a torch in a hole, which was covered by an iron trap door. Last but not least: located right next to my tree farm.

Yep, the german part of me would be proud of this efficiency.

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Once the barn was done, the perimeter went much more smoothly. Pro tip: never ever start a tree farm with animals nearby. One cow died by suffocating when a tree poped up right under its feet. Sigh. It was my first male. Sigh.

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Yep, that was definitively better than what was before. Although that lava was exposed, it did not create any patch of sulfur. Hope this is a feature, because that spared me quite a lot of iron bars. Those lava columns light the place really well, bonus point: I can use them as incinerator. Watch your back though: a stray arrow can push you into the shower if you are not careful!

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At first I just wanted a fenced path on top of the bricks, but then I felt like it was not high enough, so I added a wooden roof that matched the one from the barn. Yeah, definitively better.

I tried not to be too crazy with the chiseled blocks: only used stairs or slab mode. Up until now, I avoided detail blocks like the plague. Strangely, for a certain time the game had problem loading chiseled blocks and would render them as invisible (but solid) blocks. I don't know why, but after a while this glitch disappeared.

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For fun, this is what it looks without shaders (moody brightness setting). For whatever reason, the stained glass are rendered incorrectly on the bridge: they appear behind the clouds.

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View from the top of the tower. So much sequoia and white cedar, I would have to farm quite a bunch during the coming months. We were in spring 1007, you can see the cherry tree blooming in the distance, that means I spent 5 months building this part (and used another steel chisel).

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This screenshot makes me also realized how many trees have grown in the area. For the record, this was what the area looked like before I settled here (november 1000).

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A view from inside the courtyard. We can see a slight flaw in my design here: the whole courtyard was in the cone of shadow of the mountain and the tower from morning up to noon.

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Night time view, with shaders. Lava really light the place quite nicely. I found reeds about 500 blocks south/west of the lava outpost. I wonder how I missed them while I was looking for silver.

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And finally, a map of most of the area. This is 9 maps at zoom level 2/4 (512x512 blocks).

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That's it folks. There may be another part of random stuff I've seen/done along the way, but that was an overview of 90% of what I've done so far.
 

So, this was my first TFC world. Before starting though, I watched a few LPs, mostly Etho and Spud. I wanted to avoid the common newbie mistakes, like Etho liquifying 30 ingots worth of iron blooms in its forge or Spud mismatching sterling silver with silver while making a batch of 10 blue steel ingots.

 

Like I said in the beginning, this seed was definitively on the easy side. Too easy for my taste, stuff like:

  • Direct access to bismuth bronze.
  • Mild climate that allows you to plant whatever you want 8 months per year.
  • Lots of wild crops all around, to the point where I halved my farming area over the years.
  • Fruit trees everywhere. In year 1001, I already got all the saplings.
  • Having the top 2 stone layers made of andesite, means loads and loads of hematite.

Sure I struggled a bit for finding the rare minerals (silver, nickel, graphite), but having a very large supply of iron within 300 blocks of my base, means that I never have to wander very far (ie: ready access to food, storage and tools), and you need a crapton of iron in this game, way more than anything else.

 

Also there was a major flaw with this base, that I noticed way too late: it was my whole approach to transportation. When I started this world, I had no idea what to expect, so I copied what I did in my vanilla minecraft world: minecart (for horizontal transportation) and piston elevators (for vertical, which I replaced with ladders). That was a mistake.

 

Now with the benefit of hindsight, I would use something completely different: horses for horizontal transportation, and minecart for vertical. You have to secure the path a little bit for the horses, but this is what this game is about after all: incentives for building stuff that are useful (and not just glorified creative buildings). Minecarts require room, lots of room. To include them this late would mean I would have to tear down almost everything. Too late now.

 

You can also get rid of minecarts if you spread the buildings on the ground. But my playstyle has always been to build vertical structure, on a high peak if possible. I've been doing this since the early days of alpha, I won't probably change anytime soon.

 

Oh, and by the way, the shaders pack I used was Sildurs Vibrant Shaders v1.07 Medium (beta). When I tried a higher quality, I got a black screen.

 

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Awesome! I'll miss this playthrough, it was an exciting adventure to follow. You managed your buildings fantastically, with all the Tolkien atmosphere, outposts and cool roads.

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