I love mining in Minecraft. As soon as I start a new world my first priority is getting the tools to mine and then disappearing underground. So I quickly punch down some trees (Minecraft has rightly been applauded for its realism), make a crafting table, make a few sticks, then a wooden pickaxe and then dig down to get cobblestone to make myself a cobblestone pickaxe. And then I go hunting for some coal. If this looks to be a struggle I change tack and get more cobblestone, build a furnace and burn wood to get charcoal. Then I make some torches and I’m away to go.
Then the mining starts. I dig three blocks down and two across and I dig until I reach either:-
-level 11-14 on the Y axis (press F3);
-an interesting lava pool (I love digging around the outside of a lava pool to see how wide it goes – I am less fond of discovering how deep it goes mibd you, but that does happen occasionally;
-a mineshaft (jackpot – I love exploring mineshafts – the dark tunnels, the chests, the sparkly spawners (RUN!!), the chance to get very very lost and the chance to get very very dead.
I think what attracts me to mining is that it’s like a massive clean up exercise. I spot coal and iron and I dig them out. Lovely. I then fill up the holes with cobblestone to create a lovely smooth surface. If I’m in a mineshaft I chop down all the wood and dig up all the railway tracks so it’s left clean and tidy. I can then look back with pleasure at the long corridors behind me, all even and smooth, and I feel like I’ve achieved something. Even better I know all the treasures I’ve discovered are tucked up warm and safe in my inventory. But then of course I turn around and find myself nose to nose with a creeper – hello my little friend.
Now I think some of this says something about my personality. Consider the fact my second favourite thing to do in Minecraft is to tidy chests. If husband and daughter are playing together their chests fast become a nightmare – everything goes everywhere. But once I join up I will spend hours tidying up after them, moving things from chest to chest so it all nice and ordered, so it all makes sense. When I’ve finished I will knock up a few signs so everyone knows what goes where. Then they both get a lecture about keeping things tidy.
And the third thing I enjoy … a vegetable garden arranged in neat little rows.
Yes I think you get the point. I use Minecraft to indulge my love of tidiness, orderliness and control. Now the interesting thing is I have a house in which I could try to do all those things but I’d rather do them in Minecraft. I think it’s because you can actually reach an end point in Minecraft when everything is neat and tidy – your smooth tunnel remains smooth (unless you let a creeper in); you can protect your vegetable garden with fences and mob traps and ensure everyone replants what they take; you can reinforce your chest rules with strongly worded signs. Then it’s done. Yes occasionally there’ll be a slip up (“Why is this sapling in the pickaxe chest?”) but generally a nice ordered Minecraft world makes life easier for everyone so everyone sort of falls in line. But in real life – hmm – the advantages of being tidy and organised seem not so easily understood. Personally I think it’s the lack of zombies – I think I need a horde of zombies to help reinforce my point about putting your shoes away and emptying the dishwasher. Knowing this makes me feel slightly better when I think about the chance that our world one day becomes the world of Walking Dead – maybe then I’ll get the ordered household I want. And I’m sure this will be a huge comfort to me as someone gnaws away at my arm.
I’m totally neglecting WoW at the moment. This is due to:-
- Hearthstone – I’m rank 10. Yay! This is the highest I’ve been in months. While I don’t think I’m going to hit Legend any time soon I am aiming for single digits this month. Therefore I’m playing Hearthstone – a lot. I will be writing more about this over at Geeks and Geeklets.
- Speaking of Geeks and Geeklets, I’ve also been busy doing Roblox Tutorials there. Of course I use the word “tutorial” loosely. They are really videos of me figuring our Roblox so that I can at some point create a fun Roblox game for my daughter (“look what I made today dear – see mothers can be cool”) & help her create her own (she tried once, found it extremely hard & gave up). So I am basically learning Roblox as I record – this leads to some fun moments (including the building I made collapsing around my ears – a scene from a disaster movie – albeit one on a very tight budget.)
- I’m still working on my Unity/Fungus game – it’s a lot of fun and I’m learning a great deal, but it’s also a complete time sink.
- I am busy getting more videos up on my own YouTube Channel. I’ve been recording Minecraft videos for a few weeks now but there have been lots of issues. I have had video problems, audio problems, missing item bar problems & “I’m an idiot who left mute on” problems. But I finally seem to have cracked it (I think). In celebration I have started a new Daily Vanilla Plus Minecraft series. Vanilla Plus is a Feed the Beast modpack for Minecraft. The original press release for this modpack called it an “attempt to make a mod pack that delivers some of the benefits of Modded Minecraft whilst maintaining the Vanilla feel …. providing a familiar yet enhanced playthrough.” This is perfect for me. The Mage Quest series I was doing used the Mage Quest modpack (also Feed the Beast) which, although fun, turned out to be rather huge, very complicated and downright dangerous (eg I seemed to run into a zombie farm at every corner). Falling into lava and losing everything I’d died ten times over to get didn’t help much either. And doing all this while trying to figure out the recording side of YouTube life … well not an easy task. So I want to go back to the basics for a bit and enjoy Minecraft with just a few of the quality of life extras provided by the Vanilla Plus modpack. The fact is I like Minecraft as is. I enjoy mining, growing stuff and exploring. I’m already rather proud of my little farm and pretty pink house (eucalyptus wood – one of the Vanilla Plus extras) and there’s still lots more to do. If you’re interested please do pop over to the channel to see the new series. It’s going to be daily (a bit of a commitment I know but I’m going to try and record in that magic hour when everyone is in bed – (2 days later edit: What was I thinking?? There’s no way this can be daily. There is no magic hour!!), the second episode is uploading as I type, and it should be fun if you like that sort of thing.
So all this means I’m not playing much WoW at present. I logged in last week for an hour or two but so far I’ve not logged in at all this week , not even to get my WoW anniversary present (although husband has and he was underwhelmed). I get moments like this in WoW and I know they usually pass, but it also means I am a bit cross with myself – I want to get my pally up to 100 & the anniversary experience boost would help no end, but I’m too busy doing other things. And in truth it feels like a grind. She’s in her late 80s & I’m fed up of Pandaria. It’s a juggling act & I’m dropping some balls – but I’m dropping the WoW ones on purpose. I’m sure it won’t last and I’ll pick them again – I just don’t know when.