Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Thousand Meter Hole

Sorry, this isn't the promised melon farm update... that's going to be within the next couple posts, though. Progress has been made.

Something I noticed is that Etho has a distinctly different mining style than me. He prefers to dig 1,000-block-long tunnels to collect resources. My personal system has always been to make one main mine branch, then off of that make branches about 26 blocks long. Those can be safely lit with just two torches. Each branch was separated by three blocks (the chances of me missing a vein by going three-wide instead of two-side is slim). Recently I began a system where I would finish a branch, then mine to the left or right as appropriate, and wind back to the main branch. I guess you could say it was a variation of the branch mining technique. Let's call it the "winding branch-26" method. 

I always figured that because this method exposed almost all of the ore in an area, it was the most efficient. Indeed, going in one direction for a long time seemed to be very inefficient to me. But, being the Ethopian (that's the term for Etho fans, apparently) I am, I decided to test this. I would make a 1,000-block-long tunnel. Let's call it the "branch-1,000" method. My z-coordinate was -321, so my goal was 679.

Almost immediately, all sorts of ores started appearing! My branch-26 method would usually uncover a single ore vein per branch, normally coal or iron. But this... it sure did seem like I was finding things left and right! I wish I could put this in more of a story form but basically, it was amazing how much stuff I was finding! And a lot of diamond and gold, things that are normally scare for me. 

Diamond... gold... everywhere!

As I encountered caves, I would explore them a little bit. This one was kind of nice.

While exploring a cave, I noticed a patch of gravel. I hit it and it started falling. I'm glad I wasn't on top of it because it went into lava below. Too close for comfort! I patched up the spot with dirt (and nabbed the gold, of course!).

My rapid dig to z = 679 led me through a couple abandoned mineshafts. I broke open to one, and saw this:

And inside:

Eventually, after just a couple hours of digging, I made it to 679! The branch was so long that it generated new chunks and what was a mix of sand and hills in 1.0.0 became covered in snow in the new 1.2.3 generation. Here's the markers for the milestone and the total loot:

For those who like lists:
  • Coal: 228 (slightly inaccurate since I had around a stack to begin with, and used a lot for torches.)
  • Iron ore:56
  • Gold ore: 42
  • Gold ingots: 2
  • Lapis Lazuli: 62
  • Redstone 10 (I tend to ignore redstone.)
  • Diamond: 33!
I have just under a stack of diamonds in my home base. Now with these 33 diamonds, it will be increased to about 1.5 stacks. This is more than I've ever gotten with the branch-26 method. I did all this mostly using two diamond pickaxes. The one to the left of the gold ingots was stored in case I would need to repair it with the second pickaxe. Maybe I won't since the second pickaxe is still pretty healthy. I think I might have another diamond pickaxe somewhere in my base that I could repair with.

Lesson learned: Etho is smarter than me. It seems that branch-1,000 is a preferable method.

So hey, the next post is the 100th post. I'd like to maybe do something special for it. A review of my history? Reader requests? Special project?