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  1. Nordic Survival - a Playthrough Journal

    PART 7 Home Improvement : Living quarters, better storage, and maps (June 1003 - November 1003) Hi everyone! When I last left off my journal, my house was pretty basic as it hadn’t really changed since I settled down. The forge was bigger and better than my living quarters! I was running out of space and my storage was quickly becoming a mess. Time to expand my house upwards ontop of my current sod roof. I cleared a space and started building : (You might notice the map outside, I’ll explain how I got that later). I added a main floor with storage and a kitchen, as well as some extra space to expand into. On the second floor, I set up my bedroom and a mezzanine overlooking the main floor and fireplace. I plan on displaying rare items / collections of plants, etc. on the 2nd floor. I converted my former living quarters (now the basement of my house) into cellar with areas for each step of production for pickling and food storage. This included an outdoor porch for rainwater collection and a dark cellar for slowing the decay of fresh food. Upgrading my house really helped stay organized and completed my “home base” ontop of the cliff. I might expand my house a bit in the future with something like a tower or a solarium, but generally speaking it it finished. Ok, so back to how I got the maps! At the onset of summer, I headed south on my horse to search for reeds and cinnabar to make maps and finally get an overview of my surroundings. My basic atlas made from leather was useful as a rough map with waypoints, but it was little more than an outline of the terrain; I wanted something more detailed. And so I set out on my horse with supplies for a long trip south. Redstone was easy enough to find as I had spotted some Cinnabar in the mountains south of Hotsprings Hut a while back. I stopped there to collect some and continued south in search of reeds. After a looooong trip, I finally spotted this : Reeds and a rooster at the same place! Luckily, I had enough foresight to bring a crate (animal crate mod) and captured the rooster in it. Rooster on my back and reeds in hand, I headed home. On the way home, I lost my horse to a ravine and had to make it home on foot and by boat. Here’s the last picture of my trusty horse, RIP. Ravines have got to be the number 1 cause of death both for me and my animals. Back home, I planted the reeds and ground the cinnabar for map-making! I was finally able to see an overview of my home base and the surrounding area : On the map, you can see my forge and barn near the center of the map. The roads branch out from there, heading south across the bridge to Pine Lake Hut and onward, northeast to my tetrahedrite mine, and east to my charcoal production forest. I set up the map on the wall of my newly constructed house as a decorative (and useful!) addition. As a finishing touch to my house before getting started on other mining/smithing projects, I fixed up the stairs to the top of the cliff. Those stairs are a lot better than the makeshift (and somewhat dangerous) ones that I had been using since first settling down in the area. That's it for this journal entry! Next up : getting a technology boost with a blast furnace and releasing the inner horticulturist in me. :-) Cheers!
  2. Nordic Survival - a Playthrough Journal

    Hey everyone! After an unexpected hiatus (IRL related), I'm excited to get back to my adventures and projects in Terrafirmacraft! I've recently made enough progress to post another update to my playthrough journal, stay tuned! It's good to be back :-)
  3. Nordic Survival - a Playthrough Journal

    PART 6 Iron infrastructure : Iron mine, Charcoal, and the South road (December 1002 - June 1003) Hi everyone! It’s time to start upgrading to iron tools. First, I headed to the spot where I had found a lot of Hematite surface nuggets and set up a mine. Located not far from my Hotsprings Hut, the shack is built on top of the mineshaft down to the hematite vein. Unfortunately, it’s poor quality hematite… oh well, it’ll do for now, but I’ll have to mine a lot of it to make what I need. Back home, I fired up the bloomery. Boy does that take a lot of charcoal for just a few ingots’ worth of wrought iron! Stupid poor quality hematite… I needed to mass-produce charcoal, so I decided to set up a tree farm and a permanent charcoal pit. Luckily, Douglas firs are the best for wood production. I planted a bunch of saplings in a flat-ish area close to my main base and made a shelter next to my charcoal pit structure. That charcoal pit can produce about 120-140 charcoal each time I fire it up with logs at full capacity. Finally, an iron anvil! In between waiting for batches of iron blooms and/or batches of charcoal, I started securing the route South to Pine Lake Hut and then on to Hotsprings Hut and my hematite mine. Since I was going to be needing a lot of iron, I needed a quick and secure route to the area. The first step was building the bridges across the bay near my base. After that, I made the path along the route to Pine Lake Hut. I tried to minimize the building materials and the terraforming by following the terrain and not making it a solid 2-block-wide cobble path. The occasional fence posts will help keep me on track even when the snow covers the path. I also set up the occasional lantern to guide me at night. I quite like the style of how it turned out. A new set of iron tools in hand, I finished the path from Pine Lake Hut to Hotsprings Hut. Since it was easier by boat and pretty much in a straight line across an inland sea, I built docks at both shores so that the route crosses the sea. On the other side of the sea, the path passed the hematite mine and finished a short distance away at Hotspings Hut. In total, the path is about 2000 blocks long, stretching from my main base to Hotsprings Hut, more or less due south. Later on, I’ll most likely extend the path another 1000 blocks south to the mountainous region where I spotted gold and cinnabar in Part 3. With the finished road offering permanent quick access to sources of hematite, it’s time to head home and start upgrading my main base with a bigger house, better storage, and better landscaping and paths. But that’s for the next episode! Thanks for reading and cheers!
  4. Nordic Survival - a Playthrough Journal

    Thanks everyone! I'll be posting another entry soon! :-)
  5. Nordic Survival - a Playthrough Journal

    Yeah, it's too bad you can't chisel thatch... I tried to make the barn roof a bit less blocky by adding the quarter-block-sized ash wood crossbeams. I really wanted to keep the thatch look, it seems fitting for a nordic barn. And yeah, the forge feels a lot more "smooth" and more esthetic. I like how it turned out! Thanks for the feedback! No, I don't test my builds in creative mode, so occasionally the finished product doesn't turn out 100% how I want. I guess it comes down to the fact that I don't have tons of free time, so I would rather spend it actually advancing my survival-world projects instead of testing them in creative. If I had the time, I would do it, because the finished product is a lot better. Your detailed projects are really great!
  6. Nordic Survival - a Playthrough Journal

    PART 5 Acquiring the hardware : forge and bloomery (June 1002 - December 1002) Now that I have all the parts for upgrading my technology (kaolinite, graphite, and flux), it’s time to build a proper forge! The spot that I chose was on top of the mountain at my main base, right next to my house. I’m saving the space on top of the sod roof for a future expansion of my house. After powering through the copper and bronze anvils (up to this point I had been making bismuth bronze tools by casting them in clay molds), I set up a temporary forge on the site. In the meantime, my crops and fruit trees were coming along nicely. Looks like a big harvest this year! Also, a couple calves were born! I've been collecting milk and making cheese for some time now. I gradually terraformed the site and started building the walls. I decided on a design with 4 forges around a central anvil. I probably will never really use all 4, but the design looks cool! I made built-in shelves for ingot stacks and storage chests, as well as shelves (from Bibliocraft) for displaying my gem collection. The finished building! Inside, you can see a couple of bloomery chimneys (missing the actual bloomery though) along the back wall. I really like how the building turned out, both functional and detailed. To get enough bronze for my first bloomery, I had to travel both North to my Sphalerite mine and South to my Bismuth mine. My Tetrahedrite mine near my base also ran out, but finding another vein wasn’t too hard in the schist rock layer around my base. I set up a second mine a bit farther to the north, it actually turned out to be a bigger vein than the first. Bloomery : finished! However, me being sometimes distracted while mixing ores in the crucible resulted in the occasional ‘’unknown metal’’… I started the Pile of Shame, as a totem to my stupidity and as a reminder to never mix ores while distracted. :-) Now that I’ve got the technology to make iron, it’s time to start mining it, making tools, and moving into the iron age. But that’s it for this chapter, so until next time, cheers everyone!
  7. Nordic Survival - a Playthrough Journal

    PART 4 The farmer’s life : barn, farm, and limestone (October 1001 - June 1002) Alright, time for a building project! I decided to build a barn, as well as set up the surrounding animal pens. I had already started the foundations a while back, but hadn’t done any work on it during the summer. First, I gathered up pairs of animals from here and there. The nearest surviving pigs were near Pine Lake Hut about a day’s walk south. (I had to eat just about everything in my immediate area during the 1st winter). Time to start building : Finished floor over the basement: The walls are going up : Starting to take shape! The sheep pen and the donkey / horse pen are at a lower elevation at the same level as the basement. On the other side of the barn, the pig and cow pens at a higher ground level are at the same level as the main floor. In the middle of the project (probably while waiting for ash saplings to grow or looking for more straw… ugh so much straw!), I explored a bit to the east. The area was full of birch trees, and a cold, dry climate. I found a couple of female sheep that I brought back to the farm, and….. Graphite!!! I wasn’t even looking for it, just sampling the area with my pro pick and stumbled across a large sample reading. I quickly dug to the vein, as seen below. Back home, I finished up the barn : It’s made of Douglas fir wood and logs, schist cobble and bricks, ash wood roof and straw. Here’s a view of the interior (main floor). The stairs on the left lead to the basement where I stockpiled my different types of wood (sorry for the dark picture). It’s about at this time that I came across my first tornado (Weather Mod), heading straight for the newly-built barn! Nope, nope, nope! Although the effect was pretty cool, I just couldn’t imagine a tornado ripping through all my stuff… So I quickly deactivated the tornados in the mod options. The tornado left a trail of trees stripped of their leaves, and strangely, a trail of ice ripped out of the lake. Well anyway, Spring is on the way, and the barn and animal pens are ready! The arrival of spring means planting season, as well as the start of the best time for exploration. After planting my crops, I headed out with my trusty donkey. My goal for my exploration was to find two major things : a rock type that makes flux, and kaolinite to make fire clay (since I already have graphite). So, I’m looking for a flux-source sedimentary rock like limestone. I headed south, in order to collect new types of crops / fruit trees at the same time. After exploring for a quite a long time, I finally spotted some whitish cliffs in the distance : looks like limestone! On closer inspection, it was limestone, and I spent several days collecting rocks and sampling the area looking for kaolinite. The area was actually quite nice scenery, I might make an outpost here sometime. I finally found some kaolinite on an exposed cliff face. After collecting some, I headed home. However, while travelling through dense woods, I fell down a fissure and my donkey died… Well, I had to head home on foot and it took me forever! On the way back I did find an exposed cliff of marble a bit closer to my home base (probably 1-2 days walk), as well as my favourite type of trees for making roofs : aspen. Finally home! With my new supplies, it’s time to set up a decent forge and start upgrading my tools and technology. But that’s for another episode… coming soon!
  8. Nordic Survival - a Playthrough Journal

    Thanks everyone for the positive comments! I'll be posting the next chapter of the photo-journal in a couple days, hopefully!
  9. Another photo journal of a v79 playthrough

    Personally, I think a desert start would be pretty cool to see! Super challenging, but that's what would make each new milestone that much more interesting and rewarding. I can't wait to see your new series, whatever map you choose! :-)
  10. Nordic Survival - a Playthrough Journal

    PART 3 Exploring the south route (June 1001 - October 1001) Speaking of exploring, I decided to head south on foot. I discovered that an underground stream flowed south from inside the mountain where my home is built down to the ocean. It could be useful to build a path following the stream to cut through the mountain for easy access south. I walked until I came across the start of a new surface rock layer : about a day’s walk south from my base, the surface rock changes to andesite. I was hoping for flux-compatible rocks, but at least I should be able to find some bismuthtite for making bronze. Also, a couple new tree types were present : white elm (yuck, probably my least favourite for building) and pine (nice enough). A couple of wolves were chilling out in the area, too. I found more grains, but still no vegetables or fruit trees… A big discovery was finding enough hemp for a rope lead! Sounds like I’ll be able to ride my donkey south soon! Back at the base, my garden was coming along nicely. The harvest should be on time, no problem! I was worried that I couldn’t even harvest anything at these latitudes. With the grains that I had collected, I was able to tame the sheep enough to start collecting wool for a bed and start taming my donkey to ride it. I even had enough grain left over for some beer and whiskey. I had tons more grain than I usually find in the early game, but strangely no veggies. Must be the climate… I decided to head south again, but securing the route in a more permanent way. First I dug out a path through the mountain along the underground river. This made my trips south a lot more easy, but it also collapsed a big part of the cave… I’ll have to fix it back up sometime, I really liked the look of the cave. Next I built a small cabin near the area where I found bismuthtite. It will serve as a shelter / bed for spending the night on the way through the area. I plan on making a chain of small cabins along my main long-distance travel routes to help make travelling less dangerous and to serve as supply drop-off points. Here’s a shot of the interior. Nothing fancy, but it feels welcoming. With the first cabin set up (named the Pine Lake Hut), I headed even farther south. About a day’s walk south, I started discovering vegetables! Finally! The area also seems to be geothermal with hot springs and the occasional lava pool here and there. After bringing my seeds back home to plant them, I returned to the same geothermal area with building supplies for a second cabin, as well a donkey! My donkey was now tame enough to ride, and it shortened my trips considerably. I could now get from my geothermal cabin to my main base in a day of donkey-riding instead of 2 days of walking. As I made a series of trips out from the Hot Springs Hut, I soon discovered a bunch of useful stuff; I was now far enough south for fruit trees and other types of vegetation. My first fruit tree : olives! Maple forests. The top layer of rock is shale in this area. Some cool mountains that turned out to be full of exposed gold veins! After exploring, I healed my donkey in the hot spring behind my hut. It’s fall, so time to head back home... Next up : building the barn, collecting farm animals, planting fruit trees, etc.
  11. Nordic Survival - a Playthrough Journal

    Thanks! I'm slightly ahead, I have about 4-5 posts worth of stuff accomplished in game ahead of what I've posted so far.
  12. Nordic Survival - a Playthrough Journal

    Hi everyone, if you like my photo-journal so far, check out the 2 posts by crystalcrag! The style of play and journalling in those 2 posts are a big part of what inspired me to start posting my playthrough here. Check out the latest by crystalcrag :
  13. Nordic Survival - a Playthrough Journal

    PART 2 Settling down (December 1000 - June 1001) First things first : time to build a more permanent home, at the top of the cliff overlooking the area that I chose to settle down in. It’s wintertime, so it’s not as useful to go exploring since no new crops can be found. Time to build! Levelling the floor and building the walls As you can see, I’m trying for a rustic style with a sod roof. The inside is quite simple, with small divisions to help organize my stuff and make it feel more homey. Eventually, when I decide to expand, I’ll be able to easily build a house on top of this and turn my current home into the basement for that house. A couple views of the inside. There's a fireplace in the centre : smoke can go out the top. With the set of mods I'm using, smoke particles can swirl around the room until they find an exit, so chimneys are actually useful. The winter was pretty rough going for food : I had already hunted the deer in the immediate area and didn’t feel like getting lost searching for more game, so I made a fishing rod and went ice fishing. The huge lake a short walk from my home provided a lot of fish, as long as I had the patience to keep breaking the ice and keep waiting for the fish to bite. This meagre fare got me through the winter, but my health was pretty bad from eating only one food group. I also set out to find a reliable source of copper : I found a surface vein of tetrahedrite a short walk away, on the edge of the lake. I set up a mine, support pillars and all, and also made a gravel path from my base to the mine, seeing that I would be heading here often. I made this path a solid 2-wide gravel path with cobble stairs for inclines. To get the gravel for the path, I also set up a gravel mine : I dug down to the gravel layer and started digging and placing support pillars to allow me to dig out the layers of gravel between the topsoil and the rock. I could have made it an open pit mine, but it was faster this way and less ugly than a pit. Spring is here, so time to build a garden. I fenced off an area around the pond near my home and started planting as soon as the temperature was above freezing. The climate is so cold here that I had to wait until late spring / early summer to plant, and even then the temperature was too cold for some of my crops. The growing season is quite short here, looks like I’ll only be getting one harvest per year. Next, time to start an animal pen. There were 2 male sheep near the base of the cliff, almost exactly where I wanted to set up my animal pens. I easily fenced off an area and coaxed the sheep into it. I had to do a bit of terraforming to level a large enough area for the pens. Next, I coaxed a female donkey back to the pen from where I found it near my tetrahedrite mine. Made from some prepared hides and ink, I got my first map! This is from the Antique Atlas mod, as I explained in the introduction. No more getting lost or forgetting where stuff is! You’ll notice in the screenshot that my health is way better : I was ambushed by a spider while I was making my garden and couldn’t get inside in time and died… Next, time to start the barn. The barn will be the central point for my animal pens, with each pen extending into a part of the barn so that the animals can walk in and out of the barn. It will also be used for storage, possibly logs and farming supplies. I started the foundation in June but only worked on it sporadically during the summer, because farming and exploring were higher priorities during the short summer months. The next few months will be spent exploring south, looking for vegetables and fruit trees, as well as anything else of use for setting up my base back home in the North. To be continued...
  14. Nordic Survival - a Playthrough Journal

    PART 1 Shipwreck, shelter, and the surroundings (August 1000 - December 1000) A lone traveller awakes on a shipwreck on unknown shores, hungry and thirsty. The ship had been driven onto a rock in the bay, a short swim from the beach. Although the ship was a total wreck, part of it was still above water and a few barrels survived. In the first barrel : some rum. So typical of sailors, but basically useless in this new situation. The second barrel : full of salt water, probably pierced in the crash. The third barrel : finally something useful! A few potatoes and fish, a small amount of flux, as well as 4 potato seeds and 4 berry bushes. After eating, I explored the surroundings. The climate is cold (about 3 degrees average temp), the surface rock is schist (not too great, as it doesn’t make flux), and the area is mostly covered in white cedar and a few douglas firs (this will be useful later!). I dug out a temporary shelter near the beach under some clay and got to work exploring and gathering. The shelter itself was pretty humble, you can see the fire pit and pit kiln on the right and some logs and barrels salvaged from the shipwreck. I set up a small garden outside and planted the potatoes, berry bushes, and some rye that i found growing in the wild. There was actually quite a bit of rye growing in the area, but no vegetables and no fruit trees. After the usual scavenging and panning for copper, I had enough for a few copper tools : a saw, a pickaxe, and a pro pick. I started exploring the area. Since I had no mini-map or any way of setting waypoints, I had to navigate using the geography and landmarks. I decided to mark paths using gravel placed every 4-5 blocks. These paths ended up saving me from getting lost so many times and were a good investment for the early game. I didn’t find much wildlife, only a few deer and two pigs. However, a bear did find me! I was able to escape by swimming down a river (bears and mobs in general are slow swimmers), but got lost in the process, too scared of meeting the bear to walk back the way I came. I headed in the general direction of my shelter and eventually stumbled across one of my paths. As I travelled, I found a small mountain with a cliff face overlooking an area covered in douglas firs, with a small pond of fresh water near its base. This cliff was about a half-day’s walk from my temporary shelter near the shipwreck. As winter was coming quickly, I decided to set up my base here. Crops could be planted around the pond, and my house could have a great vantage point from the top of the cliff to view my future fields, animal pens, barns, etc. On the other side of the mountain was an ocean, and a large lake of fresh water was a relatively short way away in front of the cliff. In general, I tend to look for place like this to set up my base : a steep mountain surrounded by generally flat land. After building a temporary shelter at the base of the cliff, I did a couple of round-trips along the path to the shipwreck to transfer my supplies to the new shelter. By the time I was done, the cold winter temperatures had set in : already freezing temperatures at night in October and in the day in November! The climate actually feels like the Canadian climate that I live in IRL. It looks like the small amount of rye and potatoes I had planted in my garden won’t be ready for harvest, I must have planted them too late in the summer. I dug up the seeds and brought them to my new shelter. Next spring, I’ll be sure to plant them as soon as the temperature stops going below freezing. Sounds like meat will be the only thing on the menu for the winter… Next, it’s time to get to work building a more permanent home at start settling down!
  15. INTRODUCTION Game Setup and Style of Play Hi everyone! For this playthrough of TFC, my goal is to keep a realistic style of play, while still keeping things fun with a decent game pace. I set up TFC with standard configs, except for the following tweaks : - Year length : 120 days (10 days per month) - Cool down factor : 1.2 (because I’m bad at smithing and didn’t want to get frustrated) - Reduced chance of fissure spawning (IMO, too many fissures spawn in TFC). I also wanted to add mods that add more realism or expand gameplay in a realistic way. Here are a few that I chose : - Streams 2 (gotta love those streams and caves!) - Finger in the Wind (realistic temp/humidity indicator : you’ll see the text in the top left corner of my screenshots) - Antique Atlas mod (I decided that a full-blown mini-map wasn’t realistic : I wanted to map out the landscape as a rough sketch instead of a detailed map. Also, I changed the recipe so I could craft a map from prepared hides and ink. I think this is a good tradeoff between realism and the need for a crude map in the early game) - Forestry (Because bees! I probably will pick and choose what parts of the mod I actually use in order for things to stay realistic. You’ll see the hives in a lot of my screenshots. ) - Realistic Weather (This is a mod that I both love and hate. I love the moving clouds and more realistic intermittent precipitation, but I hate the chance of tornados wrecking everything. Luckily, you can disable them, which I did later on in game. - Railcraft, Immersive Engineering, and whole bunch of mods and tweaks added by the excellent modpack Technodefirmacraft. Most of these mods add extra content to the end-game, I’ll see if I actually use them once I get there. Once again, I’ll only be using the mods that fit with the realistic approach that I’m aiming for. The main reason why I used this modpack is because of the excellent work done to tweak the various mods to make them work nicely together with TFC in a balanced way. Seriously, try it out! If you want extended content that is perfectly balanced for TFC, Technodefirmacraft adds so much and is worth trying. If anyone wants to try it out, here is the worldgen seed : 9045541208393382354 The spawnpoint is at about -14000, so the climate is pretty harsh. I also fast-forwarded the time from June 1st to August 1st, to make preparing for winter more urgent. Alright, time to start the adventure! Although I’m not much of a role-player and this playthrough is not done in that style, I decided to start off the game with a simple scenario : a lone traveller awakes on a shipwreck on unknown shores…