Setbacks on the Road South in Minecraft

Work on the long road southward continues.

In the last post I had reached a village out in the plains that I planned to make a new base/waypoint on the road.  I was already well beyond a day’s ride on a fast horse from my previous such base, so it seemed about right.

Village on the plains

Village on the plains

Setting up a base, including a nether portal to serve as a link back to our main transport hub to allow access to supplies I might not otherwise find easily, was going to take some time of course.  However, I ended up spending quite a bit more time there than I thought I might.

One of the first things I wanted to do was setup a mining operation, which generally involves digging down to level 12 in the world to give myself a chance of finding some diamonds along the way.  In an attempt to shorten the digging down process, I decided to check out the cave close by the village, which is the dark half-circle just above it on the map.  It certainly had potential to save me time getting to a lower level… as I walked in to a dark section I fell right through a hole in the floor… a hole that was positioned right over a pool of lava.

Lined up just right

Lined up just right

Walking up to it, it just looked to be a step down, with the floor continuing on, but then I was falling and in the lava, where I died of course.

Swimming in lava

Swimming in lava

I tried to make it to the edge of the lava pool, but the game clearly had it in for me.  You can see, in the background of the death screen, there are two creepers sitting at the edge of the lava pool just waiting for me to get in range so they can explode, killing me, should the lava fail.

That is enough to induce some paranoia.  Later on, when I was digging a path for the road, I fell through into another underground cavern.  Only I missed the pool that time… and it was a pool of water… which would have saved me… but I was literally one block off from hitting it.

At least I got all my stuff back that time.  Swimming in lava solves all of your immediate inventory management issues because everything in your inventory is gone.

I had started to setup shop in the village, so there were some things stowed away there, including a stack of iron ingots, so I could at least make some tools.  But going back to plain iron when you’ve been playing with enchanted diamond stuff for a while can be a bit of a drag.  Time to resupply indeed.

I had some diamonds stored away up the road, so it was back on the horse and back north to collect things.  Once there, I decided to head to the nearest nether portal so I could ride the rails a ways and setup a new one close to my new supply base.  So off I went to dig some netherrack and setup a new portal.

Unfortunately, in my calculation of coordinates, I transposed a digit (my 10-key skills have atrophied over the years) and rather than ending up with a portal just outside of the village, I ended up with one at the top of a tree in the jungle a ways off.

You can see it from quite a ways away

You can see it from quite a ways away

Once I got back in the nether from the jungle canopy and checked my math, I moved along and setup a portal in the RIGHT location, which popped it up right outside of town as planned.  I then pulled in some supplied dug myself a mine from the surface on the other side of the village from my previous lava experience, setup an auto-furnace, and cleaned up the paths in town because when they’re messed up they bug me and I am like that.

The village, some time later

The village, some time later

I even found out that the mine was in a chunk that occasionally spawns slimes, so I was able to make another lead for me horse… Minecraft logic is apparently that a lead is a rope with sticky on each end so you can stick your mount to something to make it stay, something my horse seeks to disprove rather regularly… as I lost the one I had been using as part of the lava incident.

Slime peek-a-boo

Slime peek-a-boo

Eventually I was well supplied and ready to strike southward again.

Along the way I ran into a lone wolf intent on slaughtering the local sheep population, a population I had been encouraging and breeding because it is nice to have a wool supply handy.  However, I happened to have some bones with me, so I managed to tame the wolf.  Tamed wolves become dogs, because of course they do.

Me and my new pet

Me and my new pet… and dressed in diamond gear again

Having the dog with me was a bit of a boon at times.  As I started building the road south again, I moved quickly along the plains and ended up spending time out in the dark, during which the dog would help defend my work site from encroaching skeletons and zombies.

While he seemed to have a knack for getting in the way, he traveled with me for quite a stretch as I scouted ahead, looking for the best path.  I found he would even get in a boat with me when I was scouting.

Me and the dog go boating

Me and the dog go boating

Since the update that fixed boats they also have two passenger spots.

Unfortunately, I found out the hard way that if you shoot a bow and arrow in a boat, it hits your passenger.  As I was approaching shore one evening a skeleton loomed out at the spot I was going to land so I opened up on him with the bow and killed the dog.  It was a sad moment.

I suppose at least he isn’t standing where I want to put a block any more.

Anyway, the road continues to move southward.  By the next update I will have probably passed the half way point to hooking up to out main settlement rail system.

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