Minecraft and the Long and Winding Road

Every big Minecraft project I take on eventually arrives at that point where I wonder if I have bit off more than I can chew.

Somewhere in my drafts folder I have a post about the various stages of every big project.  They include the initial optimism, vague goals, and the eventual smack in the face by reality when the actual scope of the work becomes clear.  Happens every time I take on something beyond simple structures.

All of which brings us to the latest road building project, which is my attempt to create a marked overland route from the mansion in the far north and the infrastructure of our core settlement.  I knew up front that this was going to be a long slog, made all the worse by some of the terrain I would have to cross.  Jungles are… well… jungles.  TNT goes a long way there, but you still have to clear the remains.

My thought was to try and mitigate the effort by simplifying things.  I wasn’t going to make a paves road or a railroad, but just a single stripe of cobblestone leading from the mansion back south to the nearest outpost on the great rail line.  Cobblestone is easy to find, you can even create it from a machine.

So I set out to build the road.  And I actually have made some decent progress.  It helped that I was sick one weekend and when I wasn’t napping all I did was sit at my desk, listen to audio books, and play Minecraft.  Building the road doesn’t require deep thought, just effort.  As a result I am about six kilometers closer to my destination.

Progress so far

Progress so far

North/South is measured on the Z axis in Minecraft, and for some reason North is negative.  That is the sort of thing I would expect from an Australian and not a Swede, but whatever.  The the value is the number of blocks from the initial spawn point and each block is 1 meter, so I have managed to build a little over six kilometers of road so far.

Actually, I am probably past the 8km mark due to a good deal of going East and West along the X axis in order to avoid terrain obstacles… like the minor sea I ran into just south of the mansion.  That required a wide detour, as did a mountain range that cropped up as well.  The idea was to follow an easy path through the world rather than fight the terrain by digging long tunnels through mountains or long bridges over water.

But winding around things takes a toll of its own, and I do still have quite a trek between my current position and the eventual goal.

Oh, yeah, that is quite a ways

Oh, yeah, that is quite a ways

Of course, in its way, this project is more about the journey than the destination.  Nothing gets you out and seeing the world better than having to scout the path ahead, finding landmarks, setting up forward bases, and tending to the most obstinate horse in existence.

He does this just to annoy me

He does this just to annoy me

I previously mentioned his apparent need to jump in the nearest body of water.

Earlier he was up a tree, now he's in a pond...

Aqua horse!

He is a very special horse.  It was suggested previously that I secure him on a lead. However about half the time I leave him thus secured I come back to find the lead on the ground and he has run off to find the most awkward position he could find.  I once dismounted on a bridge to fix something for just a moment and he immediately jumped off the bridge into the water.

I suspect by the end of this I will have to do a picture postcard post of all the places I have found him.

So when I end up at a base where I plan to spend some time collecting resources and building up supplied for the next road segment, I usually take a minute to fence in a patch to contain him.

Horse at my desert temple outpost... I found him some diamond armor there

Horse at my desert temple outpost… I found him some diamond armor there

The fencing usually keeps him in check, though occasionally he simply disappears.  I know he is in there, I bump into an invisible horse when I walk through his corral, I simply can’t see him or mount him.  The usual solution is to open the gates and let him wander out.  He seems to go visible as he leaves to make a run for the nearest water.

Anyway, the horse and I carry on building the road.

4 thoughts on “Minecraft and the Long and Winding Road

  1. Aywren Sojourner

    I didn’t fully understand the pain of jungle until this past holiday. I started a new game on the Wii U version to show a friend Minecraft for the first time during Christmas vacation. It plunked our spawn spot in the middle of the jungle. That stuff NEVER stops growing!!!

    I did finally cut my way out to a base in the planes area, but man, I don’t envy your project here. Though it’s always fascinating to check in on! Keep going! :D


  2. Jeromai

    Mebbe all those kilometers of riding tires him out and he needs to drink like a camel, or maybe he thinks he is a seahorse!

    Ehehehe, I’ll show myself out.


  3. Krumm

    I feel for you, I always attempt to a certain level or self hardship (or deprecation) to my mine craft living. I love survival island but I prefer to have a small village on it so that I can make a island civilization…(Think a floating Dalaran on the water made of Presmarine) which I have yet to actually successfully do. The guardians fatigue is a terrible thing if you don’t have an iron bucket and a couple of cows. But I have started a new game where I happen to spawn on a perfect spot, a very small island that has a village on it, its a very nice village…blacksmith, two libraries, a couple of farms. The island is only a little larger then the village. Its a survivalists dream.The only thing I didn’t like…besides having to swim to the mainland to find sheep and trees (a minor annoyance); is the fact that is a sloped hill island so the village is not all on the same level. I have decided that this is not acceptable and so I am clearing the land around the village. I must clear everything and then manually lower each building. this is incredibly time consuming and the villagers keep wondering over to the ocean to take a swim. I am so afraid they are trying to drown themselves that I am secretly planning on blocking them all in to their little houses when fall comes …for their own safety.

    PS. My planned method for conquering a Ocean monument is to find one that has a near by island, then build a bridge over one and then poor sand over it. this should create a small island that pushes the beamers away and then allows you access to the top to dig down into. fill with sand as needed. This plan takes advantage of not having to deal with option making or enchanting as those typically require you to deal with mobs and I typically like to sleep through the nights.


  4. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Krumm – Part of my thing is that I have to stop and upgrade every village I pass by. I don’t go as far as lowering buildings, but I will make sure all doors are clear, the place is well lit, and you can come and go from each building. I also make sure there are a couple of beds in each village for travelers… though I am generally the sole traveler. This has slowed down my road building a few times.


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