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    • Dries007

      Server Move   09/13/18

      I (Dries007) have recently taken over as main developer and server admin. This involved moving servers to reduce cost. It's likely there will be some more downtime in the future but most  things should be sorted by now. This forum is in dire need of replacement as the software is quite old and can't be easily updated. If you wish to discuss or stay updated, join our discord: The forum will remain available to read, but will be locked in the future, when a new system is setup. The forum and wiki are now ad free. If you'd like to contribute to keeping it that way, you can do so via paypal or patreon.

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  1. Disclaimer: First of all, I would like to say that I am not claiming to have been the first one ever to come up with this mining method. Being that Terrafirmacraft is such a great mod, played by so many people, it would be absolutely pretentious of me to claim such a thing. I merely want to share with the community a mining method that I have found to be quite useful. The purpose of this guide is to show a method of using support beams that I have found to be the one that allows to get the most ore out of a vein, both minimizing the cave-in risk and minimizing unnecessary mining. First of all, a very brief overview of how support beams work. For this part, I assume that you understand the basics about support beams, since I will just point out a few characteristics that will be relevant for my later explanation. As I’m sure most of us know, a single horizontal support beam (exemplified by the light-colored beam in the screenshots) will support any gravity-affected block up to four blocks away from it in the X and Z directions, on the same Y level as the beam, one above and one below. That is, a 9x9x3 area centered on the horizontal support beam. Now, the beauty of support beams, and what makes possible this method, is that they can be stacked. By this, I mean that vertical support beams can be placed on top of already existing support beams (on top of vertical or corner support beams that is, not horizontal). Therefore, a second horizontal support beam placed three blocks above the original one will stack its own 9x9x3 area-of-effect on top of the first one’s area, together creating a 9x9x6. Of course, a third one can be placed three blocks above that second one, etc. etc. You get the point. Now, with this in mind, let’s see how it can be applied to getting the most out of an ore (or mineral) vein. 1. Locating the center of a vein If you already know how to find the center of a vein, you can skip this whole section, and jump straight to section 2. So, this is not exactly the main focus of my guide, since I mainly want to address the use of support beams, but it will be necessary to know where the center of a vein is. Therefore, I will explain how to find the center, but the same disclaimer I mentioned before applies here. First of all, you’ll want to start somewhere that you know is close to, or around the area of an ore or mineral vein. Those little surface nuggets are a great hint, as I’m sure you all know. Random hits with a prospector’s pick will also do the job, but that uses up pick durability. However, minerals (i.e. kaolinite, graphite, sylvite, etc.) don’t have surface nuggets, so pro-pick will be your only option in these cases. Once you found those nuggets, give the floor a tap with your pro-pick. Ideally, you want to see a message of the type “found X of Y” (where “X” will be “traces”, “small sample”, “medium sample”, etc., and “Y” will be the name of the ore or mineral). If you get “nothing found”, check around the area, you may be a few blocks away. In case that, despite having surface nuggets, you don’t get any reading anywhere in the area, then your vein is too deep underground to be detected by surface readings. I won’t discuss in detail how to find the vein’s center in that case, but it’s not so different as with surface readings, it’s just more hassle. Once you got this initial spot, check a couple of blocks away from it trying to determine in which direction the readings grow (both on the X axis as in the Z axis) and in which direction they decrease. Ideally, you want to find an area where you get “found a very large sample of Y”. This new reading will be your new starting point. If you didn’t find any “very large sample”, just take as your new starting point whichever your higher reading was. It is possible that you only find “traces”, don’t worry about it. You can now forget about your original starting point, you won’t be using it anymore. Now, find the limits of your reading. That is, find where your “very large sample” turns into “large sample”, on both axes, and mark those points. Also, keep in mind that going up or down blocks on the Y axis will alter your readings. Once you’ve marked the four limits, find the center of it all by dividing the distance between both ends of both axes. Eureka! You’ve just found the center of the vein. 2. Choosing the best support beam configuration The process I described above for finding the center of the vein not only gives you the center, but it also gives you an idea of the size of the vein, i.e. its approximate diameter. Not all veins are equally large, and choosing a support beam configuration will depend on assessing which one is best for the size of your vein. You don’t want to choose a small configuration for a large vein (this would waste ore), nor a large configuration for a small vein (this would waste support beams). Let’s take a look at the four support beam configurations that I think could be used in most veins. They are presented in a scale from smallest to largest. A. Single The most basic support beam configuration is two vertical beams and one horizontal. Since “support beams can only be placed horizontally between two vertical beams that are up to 5 blocks apart,” the best way to maximize this single-beam configuration is, obviously, to take full advantage of the five-block-max span for the horizontal beam. This results in a 13x9 footprint of supported blocks (a 117 block area). In the screenshot I have marked the footprint outline with planks. (The double-tall fencepost is the center of my vein) B. Double If you want to step up your coverage, you can go with what I call a “double support beam.” This is three verticals and two horizontals, where the both horizontals share a vertical. This adds 6 rows to the footprint (3 on each side), which results in a 19x9 (171 block area). In the screenshot I’ve left the planks marking the footprint of the single-beam, so as to more easily compare the increase. The new outline is marked with one-tall vertical support beams. Notice that this footprint comes quite close to the torches that mark the limit of my “very large sample” reading. This doesn’t mean that past these torches there will be no ore, but it does mean that most ore will be in the space inside the area bound by the torches. C. Cross-shaped This is one type of combination of two Doubles. Here, four horizontals share one vertical. This adds 10 rows, each one 9 blocks wide. It’s harder to describe since it’s not a rectangular shape, but check the screenshot. This configuration covers a 261 block footprint. The downside of this configuration is that it overlaps coverage, so it is not ideal, it doesn’t maximize its support beams. D. Double Squared This one, the largest one, is basically two Doubles put side by side so as not to overlay at all, but also not to leave a gap unsupported. It’s a 19x18, a 342 block footprint. The different-colored planks in the screenshot outline both areas of effect. This is a comparison with the Cross-shaped area of effect. So, these are the configurations among which, in my opinion, you should choose. Any bigger than the Double Squared would be a waste, since veins aren’t really that big. Now, which one to choose will totally depend on how big your vein is and how much you want that ore or mineral. For example, for rich hematite/limonite/magnetite, you’ll definitely want the Double Squared, even if it’s a somewhat small vein, since iron, and especially rich iron, is a prime resource in TFC. For my illustration, I’ve gone with the Double Squared, mainly because sylvite is quite rare (it only generates inone type of rock). 3. Implementing the chosen support beam configuration Once you've chosen one of the configurations, it’s time to implement it below ground! As I said before, this implementation method capitalizes on the fact that support beams can be stacked on top of each other. a. Vertical beams Now, make sure you have a lot of beams in your inventory (between 1 and 2 stacks should do the trick), choose any of the vertical beams of your configuration, and, on that spot, start digging straight down! “Straight down” you may ask? Yes, indeed, straight down! I'm perfectly aware that this is generally considered a no-no in Minecraft, but actually, in Terrafirmacraft it’s not such a bad idea. In TFC you don’t have those vanilla lava pockets, which are the biggest risk with digging straight down, and you do have the upside of virtually avoiding any cave-in risk, since you are not removing any block from underneath another (as you would if you dug a staircase instead). The only risk is digging straight down into a cave, and even this would not kill you, since most caves are just 5 o 6 blocks of air space tall. This fall would not kill you, even with TFC fall damage. Really, the only risk is digging into one of those huge cavernous caves, but this is highly (highly!) unlikely. So yes, dig straight down. In any case, what’s life without a little risk? As you go down, you’ll notice that the amount of ore you come across increases and then decreases. This means that you approached the core of the vein, and then you passed it. Keep going down until you feel that you have left the vein behind. If you’ve dug like 5 or 6 blocks and haven’t found any more ore, it’s kind of safe to assume that you have left it behind. See screenshot. Now it’s time to begin raising the vertical beam. It would be a good idea at this point to press F3 and take note of your Y position, so that your other vertical beams go equally deep, although this is not absolutely necessary. Before you begin placing beams, it’s better to put down a block that won’t be affected by gravity. This is so that, if there were to be a cave-in, the block your beams are built on won’t be at risk of collapsing. I use a plank block, but smooth stone, bricks, etc. would also work. However, unless you brought those with you to the mining expedition, they are harder to make, for they require chisel, mortar, etc. This plank will be the foundation of your vertical beams. After placing this block, just jump and place the beams, and then just keep holding the jump button and the right click. This will bring you back to the surface, leaving a beautiful long support beam in your wake! Rinse and repeat for all the other vertical beams in your chosen configuration. b. Horizontal beams Now that you have the vertical beams in place, it’s time to place the horizontal ones. The first line of beams can be placed either one block on top of ground level, at ground level or one block below. However, I always place it one block on top because it’s simpler. The two other options imply digging away a strip of soil. Next, dig three blocks down. From here, dig up to the two other vertical beams and place the horizontal ones on the third block below the one above ground. By doing this, you are stacking the beams’ areas of effect, like I showed above. Again, rinse and repeat until you get to the bottom of the mine. Remember, for the Double Squared you need to do this on both sides. 4. Mine to your heart’s content With all these stacked support beams in place, you can go to town on your mining! Just beware not to mine past the 4-block range of the beams. It may help to put an indicator on the 5th block, to remind you that those blocks cannot be mined. I generally indicate this by putting a torch. If all is done right, your mines should look something like this: Hope you enjoyed the guide, and hope that it was clear enough! Please, feel free to comment any suggestions on how to improve this method! Also, post screenshots of your mines, I’d love to see how other TFC players do their mining!
  2. I just started mining for the first time using this mod, and it's going great! A little too great. I read that cave-ins are something to watch out for when mining, and you shouldn't make stripmines because they will collapse really easily. I don't have these things. Is there any way to fix this? I have already edited the config settings for cave ins, and even set it to 100% for a cave in to happen, but it just doesn't work.Link to big chunks mined and no problems what so ever.As you can see I did indeed edit the config. And you can see a cobblestone mid freefall, so the physics do work.
  3. b60 Cave-ins sound not playing

    Usually, during a cave-in, there isn't the stone falling sound. That way I can't understand when a cave-in happens behind me. Bug?