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  1. Hello, this is my first post and I want to start with a tutorial. Most tutorials are centred in the use of the prospector’s pick while digging, but sometimes you want to supply your almost empty collection of ores and you do not want to waste the durability of your tools way too much at the begging. That is why this tutorial is designed for the time when you get your first prospector’s pick and tier 1 or 2 pick. This is one of the fastest methods to find a supply of basic ores and it is also less intensive in your picks, reducing the chance of breaking it before finding ores. Just to be clear, this works with ores that can be found no deeper than 12~13 blocks from the surface (due to normal restriction from the prospector’s pick, see the wiki for more information about this pick). The first thing that you should do is to find ores in the surface (the ores that you are looking for). If you want more copper to keep working with your first metals, you must have marked the land where you found that ore (and coded it*, since you don’t have signs at that point). Let’s start. Step cero: The basic marking: Harvest the mineral. Put an easy to spot block (I suggest cobblestone rather than thatch, you see why latter). Step one: Finding the starting point. Now that we have the basic marking you are going use them to find a random spot close to one of the cobblestone marks. You want a spot that says something like “found an ‘x’ quantity of ‘y’ ore”, where 'x' can be any quantity (from traces to very large), when you find that spot you put a mark (thatch is good since is movable and it is really easy to see), that mark is going to be your starting point. Special note: you might want to find and mark the largest quantity you obtain, that is why it is important to mark all ores in the surface (you can have a rough estimate of the area of the vein). Do not worry if you only found traces, this method work with any quantity (bigger than "nothing", obviously ) Step two: Finding the centre of the vein. From the starting point you are going to walk in a straight line (the direction does not matter, choose one randomly) until you find a change in quantity (e.g. from larger to medium) and mark it with thatch (this is going to be mark 'A'). Just remember that the prospector’s pick gives you “nothing found” even if there is something. If you are working with “traces” because you could not find anything better you need to be sure that you will not find “traces” after two or three “nothing”. From 1 start walking in the opposite direction (to your starting point) and, after passing through your starting point start testing until you find a change in quantity and mark it (mark 'B'). Found the centre of ‘A’ and ‘B’ and that be your new starting point. Just to avoid confusion delete your first starting point (that is why thatch is better than wood and cobblestone). From the new starting point choose a different direction but now perpendicular to the line ‘AB’ and repeat the step 1 and 2. Those are going to be mark ‘C’ and ‘D’. To be sure that you do not ended in a strange shaped vein just check diagonal to get 6 points like in a six shaped star. It is not necessary but helps to increase accuracy. Now trace a centre using your 4~6 points and mark it. Start digging in a 3x3 square until you find the ores. It can be done with a 2x2 but if you were not good enough to determine the centre you might miss vein. That is all. By the way,English it is not my first language, if you see a mistake tell me and I fix it (and, even if it were my first language, just tell me). * Due the block-ish nature of minecraft I like to code the ores I found on the surface in a binary style, for example: Copper: PX_X GGG Where: G= ground X= block other than dirt, like thatch) P= Block that mark the beginning of the code, different from 'X' _= Nothing, air block or a block of other color if you wish (can be dirt).
  2. Prospectors' pick madness

    Anyone else having an awful time trying to learn how to use the prospectors picks? Stop me if you've heard this one before: Casually using the pick on the surface, trying to find some easy to get mineral deposits. Suddenly, get a "large deposit" hit onBismuthinite. Yay! Excitedly, I dig down about 6 blocks, and proceed to get more positive "large deposit" hits. I start making a tunnel towards the area I got the most "large deposit" hits on (from the surface). Every block I break down my tunnel I use my pick to do another analysis. My "large deposit" trail suddenly turns to "nothing found". Ok, we'll just turn around since this was obviously the wrong direction. Before I even break the first block I do another analysis in the other direction on my tunnel (which is only about 10 blocks long right now) and get a "nothing found". This doesn't make any sense if the prospectors pick senses ores within a 27x27x14 cube... I'm not moving far enough to justify the rapid changes between "large deposit" and "nothing found". Fast forward half an hour, and I've expanded my tunnel to be 20 blocks long in two directions from where I dug in. Both ends go cold, but the middle is hot. I've dug intermediate tunnels along the entire way on both sides, most of which say "nothing found" or "small/medium deposit". I do the exact same thing 1 level down, but the entire thing is completely "nothing found". At this point I've spent about 8 stone picks and 3 bismuth picks mining this massive region, neurotically determined to find the ore. In fact, I'm sitting in it right at this moment, my inventory filled with granite. Which brings me to my question: Does anybody know exactly how the pick works? For example, in IC2 the ore density device takes an average reading within 5-7 blocks (depending on the model you have) and gives you a numeric estimate of the ore value. In Equivalent Exchange, the Divining rods scans either a 3h x 3w x 3l, a 3h x 3w x 16l, or a 3h x 3w x 64l column of space in front of the face of the block you right click. So if you right click the top of a block, it will scan downwards. I've heard through various sources that it scans in a 27x27x14 box, but does it scan in front of the block you click (in which case I am confused beyond belief), or does it scan the area around where you are standing (in which case I am also confused, because why would it go from hot to icy cold within 1 block of distance?). Or as a third option, could it be one of these modes with LOTS of false positives/false negatives thrown in, so there is pretty much no reason to use the bloody thing to start with? Any reports of people using these for anything better than finding the general (read: within 2 chunks each direction) location of an ore? Sincerely, The guy who has gone completely insane
  3. Propick, how do you WORK?

    This thing needs it's own wiki page or something, because I have NO idea how this thing works... Ok, that's a lie, I KINDA know how this thing works, but I just don't know how to get the results I want from it. Every time I try using the prospector's pick, I still feel like I'm running around, blind, going through more picks then it's worth. Just now I sectioned off four quadrants to no avail, mind into the middle of the four, finding nothing, and then got the bright idea to look down... Turned out that the ore I was looking for was below me... So I head down a couple of blocks, which changed the stone I was in, and sectioned off four MORE quadrants, FINALLY finding the SMALL amount of ore I was looking for... I spent more then a couple hours looking for 15 lousy pieces of bismuth... So now, I'm going to go into a study of this particular tool to make mining for me EASIER, and not just more of a hassle, (Because, right now? I feel like I'm mining for diamonds in vanila minecraft), and let's face it, I'm sick of being stuck in the stone age... So question time. First, will start off with Propick questions. What is the radius? I heard in a youtube guide that it's, basically, 12 blocks in every direction of the initial block hit. Also, does the propick include the blocks that are behind you? say you're underground, in a shaft that you've sectioned off, and you poke the rock to your left, will the propick pick up the blocks that are also to the right of the shaft? Or does it only hit the block in front of you? How far up or down does the Prospector's Pick check? 4 blocks? 8 blocks? A picture or diagram of what blocks are checked when you poke something would be EXTREMELY helpful here, for us visual learners Also, Why will it say that on one block, there's a medium ore sample, when all the rocks around it say there's either nothing of interest, or a small sample of something else? What does it do to detect these samples, and what causes it to say exactly what it does? Does the Prosepctor's Pick only work on rock? Or can I use it on dirt as well and achieve the same results? Where should I be looking for ores? Should I just find a mountain, poke it once, and if it says "nothing of interest," then move on? What rock layers are great to mine and prospect in in the early game? What about late? Are there any rock layers that one should just say "Nothing good here, moving on..."? Re-watching the spotter's guide, and also video, while typing this, has helped a bit, but let's get into the nitty-gritty of this particular tool, as when used properly, it will save people SO much time... Unless the nitty gritty IS "Poke rock, explore in 4 directions, poke rocks, adjust height, poke rock, explore in new 4 directions..."