Sunday, August 5, 2012


MonarchMonarch: I want to build a castle.
Jnglhymrschmtt: A castle?
MonarchMonarch: A big one.
Synethesized: Where would you put it?
MonarchMonarch: Right here.
Synethesized: What about the tree?
Jnglhymrschmtt: What about ImBatman?
MonarchMonarch: He can have his cave, and we'll own the sky.
MonarchMonarch: As for the tree, well, it can be in the center of an enormous courtyard.
Synethesized: Enormous?
MonarchMonarch: Large enough that if he were just to peek out the tree, he wouldn't see the inside walls.
Jnglhymrschmtt: That's mean.
MonarchMonarch: He gets his nature view, I get my civilized building. Besides, we'll need his supply of cobblestone, and he'll need our supply of wood.
MonarchMonarch: And we can light up the courtyard so no monsters spawn inside.
Synethesized: Alright, let's do this!

After they logged out, Jnglhymrschmtt crept down past the atrium and followed the trail of open doors and empty halls to ImBatman. It was longer than he expected and was thoroughly lost by the time he found him, mining around a large pool of lava.

ImBatman: Coming to warn me about the castle?
Jnglhymrschmtt: That and curiosity.
ImBatman: Give me a hand?
Jnglhymrschmtt: I didn't bring any tools. What are you doing?
ImBatman: I brought spares. I'm using this interesting feature of lava to distract me from the tedious task of looking for ores and other things.
Jnglhymrschmtt: Other things?
ImBatman: Water springs, for one, so I can turn this pool into obsidian for portals.
ImBatman: Redstone for wiring, compasses, maps, and the train station.
ImBatman: Lupis for blue dye.
ImBatman: Mushrooms for the mushroom farm.
ImBatman: And the rarer and vital blocks: coal, iron, diamond, and gold.
Jnglhymrschmtt: Oh.
ImBatman: If you decide to help, and spot anything other than cola, iron, or lapis, let me know. An iron pick is required for most everything else, and I only brought the one.
Jnglhymrschmtt: Sure.

They worked around the lava pool in silence, finding nothing more useful than iron and coal. ImBatman eyeballed their entrance, walked over to the opposite wall, and continues on into the solid wall of stone. Jnglhymrschmtt followed behind, planting torches every four blocks at ImBatman's direction.

Jnglhymrschmtt: How do you feel about the castle?
ImBatman: I'm a little appalled that they want to make it so large, but at least I won't have to waste wood making too many more chests, just to hold spare cobble. I do so hate to throw anything away.
ImBatman: Besides, I was planning on building one of my own in the Nether.
Jnglhymrschmtt: What is this "Nether"?
ImBatman: Take the lead.
ImBatman: Imagine the world above with lava inside of water, brown soulsand instead of regular sand, netherrack instead of dirt and rock, and patches of glowstone about as common as coal providing light.
ImBatman: Soulsand actually slows you down, so I'm still thinking of a defensive use for it, but netherrack...
ImBatman: Netherrack, once lit, burns indefinitely.
ImBatman: It works great for fireplaces and decorative lighting in a drafty castle.
Jnglhymrschmtt: Ooh, what's this?

Jnglhymrschmtt paused in the one-wide, two-high tunnel, and ImBatman couldn't see around him.

ImBatman: What color is it?
Jnglhymrschmtt: Red. And when I hit it, it glowed.
ImBatman: That would be redstone. Drops a powder that works like electrical wire. With enough of it, you can literally build a computer inside the game.
ImBatman: If you have the know-how, of course.
Jnglhymrschmtt: Do you?
ImBatman: *snort* No, I can barely build a working train terminal with a few tutorials in front of me.
ImBatman: Dig around it, and keep going. It shouldn't be a very large patch. I'll mine it.
Jnglhymrschmtt: Where is this tunnel going?
ImBatman: Anywhere but here.
ImBatman: Eventually, I go back and widen it, maybe put in a rail track "to places unknown"
ImBatman: It'll surprise the others though.
Jnglhymrschmtt: Why's that?
ImBatman: When you wander far enough away from the spawn point, the computer starts randomly generating new areas, and those new areas take some time to load.
ImBatman: The faster the server, the less time, but it's still a discernable different.
ImBatman: Walk through an area that's already been generated, like whatever area we're passing beneath, and the landscape will pop right up.
ImBatman: Just because we can't see it, doesn't mean the computer hasn't noticed we're walking through it, and decided how it's going to behave.
ImBatman: On top of that, above ground, it's difficult to walk in a straight line, but up here, it's easy.
Jnglhymrschmtt: I can see that. Why do you like it down here so much?
ImBatman: Consider this:
ImBatman: In the sky world, when you build a house or a monstrously large castle, you spend your time focusing on building walls, closing space in. Creating darkness, as it were.
ImBatman: Down here, it's the opposite. We're taking all this darkness and making light. Opening up spaces.
ImBatman: That's just one of the reasons.

ImBatman fell silent while he took down the redstone, and Jnglhymrschmtt watched eagerly as each block fractured into power.

Jnglhymrschmtt: Are you turning around soon?
ImBatman: Tired of the monotony?
Jnglhymrschmtt: Actually, I'm really starting to like it down here, but my inventory is nearly full, and I'm not sure I could make it back on my own.
ImBatman: Oh, I can take care of that. Like I said, I brought supplies.

ImBatman lit up the hollow that formerly held the redstone with extra torches, and set down a workbench. He stood over it for a moment, working on something Jnglhymrschmtt couldn't see. Suddenly, ImBatman set down four chests and a pair of furnaces.

ImBatman: That's another nice thing about being down here: I know I'll be able to find this cache again. On the surface, you'd have to comb the area for it, maybe burn down the forest, and even then you still might not find it.
Jnglhymrschmtt: I can believe that.
Jnglhymrschmtt: The world seems so much larger up there, you can see as far as the computer will render.
Jnglhymrschmtt: Down here, it's just as far as you've pushed yourself, only to the last turn or as far as you've pushed away the darkness.
ImBatman: sounds like you're getting the hang of it.

ImBatman dropped his mined cobble, gravel, and redstone into one of the chests, set coal in both of the furnaces, and started melting down some iron. While those were forged, he made more stone picks and tossed half of them to Jnglhymrschmtt.

Jnglhymrschmtt: So what exactly did you bring in the form of supplies?
ImBatman: Two stacks of logs.
Jnglhymrschmtt: And?
ImBatman: Nope, that's it.
ImBatman: Sure, I started with a supply of picks, a dozen stone and one iron, but that's it. I'm replenishing those now.
Jnglhymrschmtt: Wow.
Jnglhymrschmtt: And you made all of this from that.
ImBatman: With plenty to spare too.
Jnglhymrschmtt: Why logs and not wood?
ImBatman: One stack of most anything is 64, right?
Jnglhymrschmtt: What do you mean, "most anything"?
ImBatman: Don't worry about it.
Jnglhymrschmtt: Okay. Yes. One full stack is 64 of the same item.
ImBatman: One logs converts to how many wood?
Jnglhymrschmtt: Four...
ImBatman: Okay, two stacks of 64 logs would convert to how many stacks of wood?
Jnglhymrschmtt: Eight.
ImBatman: and that would be six fewer of something else that I could carry.
Jnglhymrschmtt: Got it.
Jnglhymrschmtt: So how far could you go on two stacks of logs?
ImBatman: No idea. I usually get bored and turn back before I finish one.
Jnglhymrschmtt: Hold on. One chest is eight wood or two lumber. Wouldn't you save more space if you carried a stack of 64 chests?
ImBatman: I would.
Jnglhymrschmtt: Why don't you?
ImBatman: I don't have a good answer for that.
ImBatman: Though, needing that many chests would be a frightening amount of digging. I'm not sure I could think about digging that far.
ImBatman: I mean, sure, I've had 64 chests at one time, but that was setting up a storeroom like the one very far above and behind us.
Jnglhymrschmtt: Alright.
ImBatman: Now, at some point, when I get really bored and really far out, I'll start angling upward as carefully as I can.
ImBatman: Digging up is very dangerous.
ImBatman: When we break sky, I'll build my own above-ground sanctuary.
Jnglhymrschmtt: Really?
ImBatman: Sure. Nothing too ostentatious, probably, though more interesting than a simple excessively-sized castle.
ImBatman: Just a little place to call home, to sleep and respawn in, and to startle the daylights out of the others when they stumble across what they thought was virgin land.
Jnglhymrschmtt: What about preserving the natural land?
ImBatman: I'm not going to destroy much, just build something that looks like it belongs.
ImBatman: Though I will admit to hate building with wood or anything so soft.
ImBatman: If I'm lucky, we'll either come up close to a mountain or in a mountain.
Jnglhymrschmtt: And if we're not lucky?
ImBatman: We'll hit water.

Jnglhymrschmtt was silent for a long while. ImBatman smiled to himself, waiting for a question about digging through flooded tunnels. He would be disappointed.

Jnglhymrschmtt: Can I have my own nearby?
ImBatman: Sure.

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