Friday, October 14, 2011

Millenaire Experience Thus Far

For the first couple days after I upgraded to 1.7.3 and put in Millenaire/MineColony, I really could not focus on much of anything else. I made a new world with my Main's seed and started up a MineColony settlement there in order to get used to the way it functions. As it turns out, Nippon Island just is not large enough to handle all the colonists and their houses. The farmer was also getting very farm-happy and started turning a bigger portion of the island into farmland than I expected. Even when I placed fencing he kept on going. The miner, though, proved really good at mining and bringing up nice stuff.

So, I decided to go for it officially. I deleted that world and made yet another world with the same seed. It placed me a distance above the spawn point I've had since 1.5. I walked a little and found a village. When a village is generated, I know before I see it; my game freezes for a few seconds as the buildings and NPCs are put in place. I learned the ropes and helped the village grow. Then I added colonists to the mix, including a miner who had a shaft in the pit of the village miner. I didn't anticipate it, but something like seven other colonists spawned.

In order to have the villages grow without me actively watching over the game, I would dig a hole in the floor of a house I chose to live in and idle there. A couple days after starting the world, I came back to find the game had black screened.

Each time I attempted to load the world it would load the chunks then immediately say "Saving Chunks" and go to a black screen. I assumed it to be some kind of conflict between mods. I could not find anything that would make them conflict, since all the mods I have use different ID numbers. Even with MCEdit I could not find a block that would make it crash. Since that world had become unstable I put it in a zip file and generated a new save, again with the same seed.

That is the current map I am using. This time I was placed right in the center of the Yusarian continent I have mentioned in the past. It looks very similar to Europe and Russia combined the way they are in real life and stretches for about a kilometer. I picked my home with the farmer and began helping the villagers by collecting the blocks they needed to upgrade their buildings. I watched as the village, named Vaucelles-le-lac, grew and evolved in architecture. I also began mining underground, for the first time in my Minecraft experience on a non-Peaceful mode.

Then things started to get weird. With a population of 31, a dozen or so peaceful mobs and who knows how many monsters walking around, my frame rate began to drop to unacceptable levels. Even on tiny fog I still had stuttering graphics. On top of that, the village was giving a "not enough space" to build their next building error, meaning it probably was going to stagnate at the size it was. Given these two issues I packed up what I didn't need to bring with me and left for a new village, or some other experience.

I headed east, to where my 1.5 spawn point was. I found it, slept a night away there, and continued on to Nippon. I was sort of surprised that, although Vaucelles was over 600 meters away, no other villages had spawned. It was so weird and unfamiliar seeing Nippon in its primal, overgrown state. My heart then told me to go to a land mass connected to Yusaria, one which has a striking resemblance to South America. Unfortunately, my recollection of the map's terrain was poor and I found another village, Douvres, on a different landmass east of my goal. Oh well. This is going to be my new home. I'm bunking with someone there. As I did last time, I will assist the villagers and protect those who require it.

Also, I got my first 11 diamonds in Vaucelles, the first ever mined on Easy mode.

I don't plan on adding MineColony features just yet. Maybe after Douvres I'll stake it out somewhere and let the colonists do the construction for me. I realized I could modify the designs of the structures they build, to the point I could literally have them construct an entire starship for me if I so willed it. Although their premade structure plans look very nice as it is.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Upgraded to 1.7.3

Over the past couple of weeks, I've been having a kind of Minecraft envy. For as long as I can remember and probably more, I've been playing 1.5_01. Although there was nothing wrong performance-wise, it was simply outdated and lacking in features that most everyone else had already taken advantage of, for instance pistons and trapdoors. Therefore Saturday I went to the library, downloaded a bunch of mods I wanted, and upgraded to 1.7.3.

After a lot of tinkering I found that some mods just would not work together. At least, though, I have the ones that I really wanted included. My mod list:
  • ModLoader - the basis of many mods.
  • AudioMod - another fundamental, helps mods make noise.
  • Single Player Commands - provides a SMP-flavored command line. I find it extremely useful.
  • MineColony - this is what I really wanted to upgrade for. The version for 1.5_01 was buggy and I wanted to improve it.
  • Millenaire - like MineColony but way more complex. 1.8 and 1.9 introduced villages and villagers, but Millenaire brings in multiple types of villagers in different cultures, and it can be customized to my fitting. I daresay better than the new villages.
  • Zan's Minimap - help me find where I am.
  • Zeppelin mod - very interesting, allows me to build flyable craft out of blocks.
  • Optimine/OptiFine - boosts my FPS. Very awesome.
Other mods I wanted to add were Industrial Craft, Lightsensor, Shelf, Wireless Redstone, and the Technic Pack. Unfortunately, when I tried adding these I got black screens. I'm satisfied with what I have.

In particular MineColony, Zeppelin, and Millenaire have my imagination restless. I've always wanted more of an RTS feel to Minecraft. Interactive NPCs moving around doing things, with me being able to command them. As you have doubtlessly read I have a desire to make nations in Minecraft. Ones with bustling economies and maybe - just maybe - warfare. Millenaire makes villages on the map that start off as basic then grow themselves into more complete settlements, even if I am not helping out. MineColony allows me to have more control over the size and makeup of the settlements, meaning I could form a city based upon my personal desire for it to grow. The automation would let me devote more time to building and adventuring, although if I wanted to I could leave behind my automatons or level it all down.

As for the Zeppelin mod. I have a non-legit world which is similar to Creative mode and I've been doing lots with the Zeppelin mod. Being the sort I am, as soon as it was in my Minecraft I started trying to push it to the limits. Zeppelin works a bit like this: it turns all the relevant blocks into an entity, such as a dropped item or a mob. That means there are some limitations for purely technical reasons. For instance, water will pass through your craft. I found this out the hard way by making a submarine only to end up having it flooded as it went underwater. You also can't sleep in a bed while in movable mode or access the insides of chests or furnaces. Still, I was thinking: what if I made a ship - or fleet of ships - that acted sort of like a generational ship? Think of it: a farming ship (even though farming could only be done when not in movable mode), a storage ship, a command craft, and so on. Just sail the skies of a Minecraft world for days on end, exploring what there is to be seen. Making settlements here and there using MineColony. In another world dedicated to Millenaire, I'm using a little craft to fly from settlement to settlement. I could upgrade to an airship and even more.

Of course my main project is the Earth map. Even there, now new things can be done. Up until this point I have been the only entity with constructive abilities to build and live in the settlements I make. The Squid King is the only one in Cush. With MineColony and the ability to modify the structures colonists are programmed to make, I could more easily sit back and watch civilizations appear before my eyes! And then the residents of the settlements would stay where I planted them unless they were somehow killed by me or a hostile creature. I need to learn more about the exact operations of MineColony and Millenaire, but at least now I feel less lonely in the infinite world in my hard drive.

Now, concerning my purely legit Main world. Millenaire villages will not appear in pre-existing chunks. The place I live and mine in now, simply put, is old. Very old. Remember Yusaria? That entire kilometer-long continent and probably much more area predate lapiz lazuli, which was introduced in Beta 1.2. There are areas where the sand and dirt have straight lines and horrible transitions due to terrain generation bugs of older versions. The two new tree types don't exist until you walk some distance from my house. So what does this mean? Is it time to abandon my trusty Main save? I could:
  • Delete the world and start from scratch in a new one. I don't personally care for this idea simply because of all the work I have put into this map over the months. All the resources collected, just gone like that. I have built a couple nice things on there that I'd hate to see gone.
  • Migrate to a new part of the map and begin over there. That will make an already big map even bigger, and filled with land that I may not go to ever again.
  • A compromise I just thought up. Write down the essential supplies I have as well as the map's seed. Then generate a new world with that seed and hack in the resources I have. Then, get going!

Edit: I pulled the seed of the map and made a 1.7.3 world with it. The terrain appears to generate basically the same way. I spawned at a different point than the first time and flew around when I noticed prehistoric Nippon Island! Maybe I could place a MineColony village there.