Thursday, December 23, 2010

Out of the Cave System

For the past two or three real life days, I've been stuck deep down in a massive cave system spanning most of the 64 underground levels. Literally each turn I took seemed to lead me to another tunnel which ended with more tunnels and/or a lava pool or waterfall. I originally came down here to raid dungeons I had located with Minutor, the software I  use to map and explore, however I got massively sidetracked.

While exploring another cavern I look up and see that the limit of the fog is inside a cave overhead. I am able to get up there using mostly the blocks, which form a rough path, as well as a couple lucky jumps where I turn in the middle of the air. I've done that before aboveground while ascending mountains. This time it was a little more risky because there were no blocks for me to land on for several levels.

At the top, I notice the ceiling is made completely of sand! There are some iron blocks which I collect, as well as coal blocks but I ignore those. I've been trying to get out of this cave system since yesterday but at this point I was hopelessly lost. During my walking yesterday I somehow fell a couple levels and couldn't get back up. This would be my escape!

Yet, I stop to think. If there's one thing I do, it's think. There's no guarantee that this sand ceiling will be my way out of here. For all I know this could be underground sand, if such a thing exists. Or, as I don't know where I am, it could be the bottom of a body of water. Water flows seven blocks from its source, but if it goes down a block it resets that number. The path I went up was pretty steep so opening up an ocean floor would turn the place into a huge waterfall.

I didn't want to at first, but I bring up Minutor. Minutor is a niftly little program. It generates a map of my world quickly and also has a slider which lets me look at whatever of the 128 levels I want. I don't use it to find ores or whatnot, just dungeons and my location. I jump the map to my location and pull the slider until I see yellow squares, which are torches. I'm just a few levels from the surface!

This knowledge acquired, I create my plan. If you destroy one - just ONE - sand block of a sand ceiling, the entire thing comes down. If I'm underneath that ceiling when it falls, it will probably kill me - not something I want to happen when I'm holding 70+ iron ore and 10+ gold ore, not to mention 8 diamond. I step a couple blocks away from under the sand, pillar up, and hack at the dirt and stone under the nearest sand block to me. After a few uses of my diamond axe, I've loosened up the sand.

It all comes down, and I'm safely out of the way. I walk out of the cave system and onto a small desert. I'm in the middle of my home island, which I haven't named. It's a fairly large island similar in shape to Australia. My home is west, so I go in that direction. There I find the cobblestone building known as my base and begin processing what I've collected.

There are three floors in my house. The bottom is the original part, now with a floor of wood planks. It has two large chests and a workbench. I've outfitted it with two windows and a nice painting. The latest addition to the house, directly past the chests, is the lava room. Here I keep a two-block-wide lava pool to dump useless blocks like cobblestone, dirt, and sand. On the opposite end of that small room is an infinite water pool. If I get set on fire by the lava, I can just break that open and I'll be good.

The second floor is the Tool/Armory Level, which has excess tools, weapons, armor, and items needed to craft those in chests. There's not much. The third floor is the Pantry Level, where I keep foodstuffs. Since I play on peaceful, I've yet to need any of this.