Posted in Gaming, Minecraft

Minecraft: Villages, Horses, Caves & First Mods

I spent a lot of time chilling out in Minecraft this weekend. I still keep stumbling on things and learning new stuff every time I turn around. I made a lot of progress, though, and finally broke down to install my first ever mods.

Savanna Village

Last time I wrote about Minecraft, I noted that I’d seen another village east of Dune Village, out in the savanna. I decided to check it out, and found this cute, but overgrown little place. I also found cows out there for the first time in my game.


So, I went straight to work on cleaning the place up and fencing it in safely. I don’t know what it is about me and having to fix up every village I come across, but it always seems to become a project.

In the end, it turned out nice, and I made a new pasture for pigs and cows, which I did not find near my original base or Dune Village.


Once that project was done, I decided to chill out and replenish my food supplies with a little fishing. That’s when I made the discovery that changed my game.

Fishing Up Treasure

I enjoy fishing for the sake of fishing. In Minecraft, you can cook the fish for food, which I like a lot better than killing livestock for meat. I don’t have all the crops that it takes to make good stuff to eat, so cooked fish is the most handy food source for me.

When researching fishing, I noticed that you also get a chance to reel in junk or, much more rare, a piece of treasure. Treasure also varies in the items you fish up, so it’s a rare chance to get treasure, and a rarer chance to get exact treasure you want.

Still, in the back of my mind, I was secretly hoping to fish up a saddle since I’ve never had horses in Minecraft… and… well… you know how I feel about horses! But what’s the chance in that?

So, I’m fishing and minding my own business and suddenly… I reel in a saddle! 


Holy crap, guys, it’s time for me to go search for horses!

Quest for Horses & First Mods

This proves that I will do anything for horses. Even mod my game.

I dropped everything and instantly set out the next day, looking for a herd. I read that they can spawn in plains or savanna biomes, but that they only spawn when the zone is first populated. There’s a LOT of both of those biomes on my map, but I’d never seen any sign of a horse.

But I was determined. The only problem was, I was getting lost often. Getting lost was frustrating, a waste of my gaming time, and not finding me horses.

I know there’s some kind of map system in Minecraft, but I’m not super familiar with how that works. And I know that I can use the Overviewer to kinda figure out the lay of the land, but I was on a quest for horses! I didn’t have time to keep flipping back from game to map!

So, I broke down and installed my first two mods: Xaero’s Minimap and Xaero’s World Map. I couldn’t help it. I hate feeling like I’m lost, and I’m too used to pressing the M key in a MMO to see where I am on the map.

And you know what? I finally did find horses… but I probably would not have found them as easily if I didn’t have the map mod to help me see which areas I’d already searched through.


I will also admit that the mods came with waypoints and teleportation built in. And yes, I have broken down and started using teleportation. I went back to my bases and marked them with waypoints so I can travel back to them more easily.

But that still didn’t stop me from building roads between them! Because horses can’t teleport!


So, I went and tamed the whole herd of horses and brought them back to the pasture in Savanna Village.


But, somewhere along the time when I was back getting lost looking for horses, I stumbled on yet another town, which was interestingly stuck in a canyon. I saddled up and rode north to go and find it again.

Canyon Town

Canyon Town was interesting and more difficult to domesticate than the other villages I discovered. It was larger, and some of the buildings were embedding into the hillsides. Some of the villagers were even trapped in their houses simply because the buildings were spawned with blocked doors.


So, I had to dig them out and find safe ways to let them descend from the top of the hills they lived on. I did have to replace some sand with grass, but most of the time was spent fencing the place in and making safe paths for villagers.


The town was also built around canals, which were neat, but dangerous to the silly villagers who happened to fall in. So, I had my work cut out for me this time.

Overall, the new town was a success.


But even better, it had direct access to a natural cave system, right there within the town. I gated it up while I was still working on domesticating the town so that the nasties inside wouldn’t bother the villagers.


Cave Exploring

Once I was done fortifying the town, I turned my attention to exploring the cave. This is the first natural cave that I’ve run across, and it turned out to be quite big! I learned a LOT about making my way through enemies from this place, including making my first set of iron armor, and how to live through Creeper attacks.

But the most interesting thing I found there was this burning cage thing… which I soon learned was a monster spawner protecting two chests in the cave!


And what did this cage spawn?



Lots and lots of spiders!

Happy day!

Why happy? Well, I was wondering where I’d get more rope to make a replacement fishing pole for when the one I have breaks down. Now I have no shortage of rope at all. 🙂

I just broke out a couple of blocks, so that I could hit the spiders, but they couldn’t reach me, and I went to town on clearing out the cave. The spiders still continue to spawn there from time to time, but once it was clear, I was able to open the chests and raid them bit by bit.

There were a lot of neat things in those chests, including a second (!) saddle, a music disk, a book for enchanting stuff (?), and best of all…


Horse armor! Woo!

I did explore the rest of the cave and lit it up to prevent future spawns. Did some mining. But the spider spawner room was the most interesting thing I discovered down there.

And that’s where my weekend adventures in Minecraft left off. I’ll be looking for my next project/adventure soon enough!

Posted in 7 Days to Die, FFXIV, Gaming, Minecraft, MMORPGs, RPG Maker

Weekend Gaming Highlights: FFXIV, Minecraft, 7D2D, RPG Maker

This was a weekend of exciting announcements for FFXIV players, and lots of random gaming for me. There’s so many small things going on, but nothing huge, so it felt right to make a highlights post today. I may go into detail on some of these later!

FFXIV: Treasures and Tanking

This weekend marked our FC’s first organized Treasure Hunt night. We’ve been running the Aquapolis from time to time, when people remembered. Folks are having so much fun, and there are still some who have never tried it, so we put it on the calendar as a light event on Friday nights.

We had such a turn-out that we had to organize two groups to accommodate everyone who wanted to run. And while our group didn’t have the best luck getting the portal to open, when we finally did, we reached Chamber 7 again this time (as did our second group)!


As I announced earlier this weekend, I also finally leveled my Paladin to 50! I got some Ironworks gear for her, and I have to grudgingly admit that I think Paladin looks good on my character.

Paladin Wren!

This weekend I also co-tanked the Labyrinth of the Ancients raid in Crystal Tower, which is the first time I’ve tanked a raid of any kind. I was mostly playing the off-tank, just trying to get a feel for how things worked from a tank’s point of view. But it seemed less stressful overall than tanking a whole dungeon where all the pulls rest on your shoulders.

I didn’t think to get any screens of it since I was too busy figuring out my role, but I wouldn’t be against trying it again sometime. Aside from that, I’ve been doing beast tribe dailies and some random FATEs, continuing to level Paladin on the side. At this point, Beast Tribe quests actually give a good chunk of daily experience, while I am working on earning FATE crystals for my Paladin relic by activating the Monk Anima quest instead.

Minecraft: Finding Fishing

Minecraft remains that game that I play for short bursts when I have some down time or just want to chill. I have been working on expanding my island base with actual dirt blocks to allow the grass to grow there, as I mentioned earlier.

I also learned that there is fishing in Minecraft. Anyone who knows me knows that if there’s fishing in a game, I’m going to be doing it! Especially since you can cook the fish and use it as a food source. Even better, there’s a chance at reeling in treasure — I especially have my eye on finding a saddle.

I haven’t seen a horse in game yet, but when I do, I want it so badly! So, for now, I’m exploring fishing in the little oasis pond next to my Dune Village.


7D2D: Tri-Biome Home

This weekend, our Posse decided to restart our game of 7D2D. So we seeded up a new map called “Spriggan” after my kitten, and that went just about as well as it sounded like it would. This map dropped us in a pretty harsh environment with a lot of mountains and desert. Not to mention, our trader quest took us two days away from our first house find.

Thankfully, there was a little house fairly close to this trader, and it has a very interesting placement.


As you can see in this picture, I’m standing in a green forest biome. This transitions into desert, where the house is actually located. But to the right, both green forest and desert turn into snow biome!

This makes for very interesting weather patterns. If it’s raining in the forest, you can stand on one side of the base and get rained on, while moving towards the desert side makes the rain stop!

I had a horde approach the house from the back, where desert and snow met, while there was a snow storm happening in the snow biome. It looked like this:

Snowing in the desert!

If I were to take a few steps to the left, you’d see the snow stop, replaced by desert instead. Very trippy! XD

RPG Maker Saturday

While this isn’t really playing a game, it’s a good chunk of time Syn and I put towards spinning up the beginning of our Nefol RPG. We haven’t put as much time towards this as I’d like, but I feel like we made up for that this weekend.

We scripted up the introduction, and I got to work on relearning how to script events in RPG Maker. I’d forgotten a lot, including how to properly use switches, which led to hours of time trying to debug events that did exactly what I was telling them to do, but not what I was hoping. I’ll write a longer post about this on the Nefol page… but in the meantime, I wanted to close with this demo screen of our heroes in a boss fight. 🙂


Posted in Gaming, Minecraft

Minecraft: Making Connections

So I finished my renovation project of the Dune Village this week, finally replacing the last of the sand with dirt so the Savanna grass can grow up inside. Here’s what it looks like now… you can see there’s still a little patch where the grass needs to grow, but it’s coming along.


I’ll probably build a few more structures and mess around with the village a bit more on down the line. But, once I finished that project, I went looking for another.

I decided to place a road to connect Dune Village to my original Home Base and Floating Island (which I still want to work on more). So, for the past couple of days, I’ve taken all the stacks of sand and dirt I have to build a road. Where the path crossed desert, I placed dirt on either side of a block of sand to make a path. When I hit greener land, I used sand as a road instead.

This worked out pretty well! You can see my little path winding across the map below.


So, while I was checking out the map that generated using Minecraft Overviewer, I noticed there’s another village out there, located east-ish of Dune Village.

newvillageOnce I get everything organized at home, that’ll be my next target of exploration. Especially since it’s a nice, green village that I won’t need to terraform.


But for now, I’ve decided to stay a little bit closer to home. Namely, I realized why grass wasn’t spreading over my floating island construct — because I had been using coarse dirt rather than normal dirt as the surface. Once I started putting down real dirt, the grass started spreading. So, seeing that, I’m going to work on expanding that sky base a bit more.


Posted in Gaming, Minecraft

Minecraft: The Dune Village

Lately, Minecraft has become my go-to game for chilling out and unwinding. I know I haven’t written about it lately, but I’m actually still playing the same map that I rolled up back when I first started playing.

Somewhere in the course of exploring, I discovered a desert village. This has been the only village I’ve found so far, and it’s not terribly far away from the original spawn spot, so I decided to develop it.

First, I fenced it in and distributed torches to help bolster the defenses.


In the process, I learned a few things, including:

  • Husks spawn instead of zombies in the Desert biome
  • Husks don’t die in sunlight (!)
  • There’s such a thing as baby Husks (!)
You’re supposed to burn in the sun! 😦

Revitalizing the Dune Village

Anyhow. This village borders on the savanna biome, and even came with a very small patch of grass near one of the outermost houses. I did some research and discovered that placing dirt blocks next to grass blocks spreads grass. So, for whatever strange reason, I decided that my new building goal is to replace the sand with dirt blocks and make this desert village green!

This is why it’s dubbed the Dune Village. When I mentioned my project to Syn, instead of laughing at my futility, she noted it was similar to the premise of the stories in Dune, where the goal is to ultimately take the desert world of Arrakis and make it green. Thereafter, we had a long discussion about Dune, writing, and other geeky things.

So, what I did was go to a nearby dirt hillside and start hollowing it out for dirt blocks.

The Dirt Mine

Then, I went back to the village and dug up sand blocks, replacing them with dirt one by one.

Replacing sand with dirt

I made sure to connect the dirt to the few existing grass blocks, and watched as the grass slowly began to spread through the dirt paths. It was actually quite rewarding and interesting to check back on grass progress each Minecraft day.

In the center of the village, I made a little pasture for animals. It started out looking like this:

The pasture foundation
Installing a fence

And then this…

Watching the grass spread

And now finally this…

A nice green pasture for animals!

There’s probably a better/faster way of doing this than digging things up block by block, but I’m a noob and the project is chill. I’m actually pretty close to being done with it on the inside of the village. I haven’t decided what I’ll do to expand the village from there, though there are a lot of options.

I built myself a basic house made from granite I dug up and polished, mostly because I wanted a house that stood out from the rest. You can see that the grass has spread on the left side already, while I’m still waiting for it to spread around back of the house to the right side.


Worth it.

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, Minecraft, MMORPGs, Pokemon

December Gaming Goals

Welcome to the final month of 2016! It’s hard to believe the holiday season is here and the new year is just a month away. It’s going to be a busy month for me seeing I’ll be gone on vacation at the end of it, but I still wanted to organize a few goals for myself.

Like last month, these goals will mostly focus on nudging myself to play games I’m curious about due to new releases, expansions or updates. The picture above is from the new Foundation Patch for No Man’s Sky, for example. Minecraft also just got a new update that I’m interested in, not to mention there’s still a lot about the game I don’t know yet.

Games to Explore

  • Civ 6 ✓
  • Skyrim
  • No Man’s Sky ✓
  • Minecraft
  • Sims 4 ✓

Pokemon Sun

  • Complete 3rd Island ✓
  • Continue to fill Pokedex ✓

Final Fantasy XIV

  • Gear Dragoon ✓
  • Work (harder) on Dragoon Relic ✓
  • Level Monk ✓
  • Do Monk job quests ✓
  • Do Summoner job quests
  • Clean up old quests
  • Gear Summoner
  • Gain reputation with Sahagin

Let’s see how much of this I can do!

Do you have any gaming goals for December? 

Posted in Gaming, Minecraft

Minecraft: Island in the Sky


In my previous post about my first experiences in Minecraft, I mentioned I saw a floating island in the sky and I wanted to go there. Folks offered some ideas on how to reach it, and I decided it was my next goal!

I set about learning how ladders worked in this game. This is something I’m familiar with since I have done a whole lot of mining and building in 7D2D, and it has a similar ladder system. If you build a nice enclosed 1-block chute upwards or downwards, you’re pretty safe to stay on a ladder no matter how long you make it. So, I set about doing just that.

Of course, this didn’t come without a few casualties….


First, I built a little base in a hollowed cave area in the hillside up under the island. I moved my spawn spot there (since baddies seem to like to creep up on me while I was working), and this helped a whole lot.

I made a path up to the top of that hill and cleaned it up, lighting it as well as I could (thanks for the tips, everyone). Then, I built a little safe station from which my ladder-tower would extend. Surprisingly, I got it right where it needed to be up under the island, which I didn’t expect.

Block by block, I started to build upwards, making a safe chute with a ladder within. From time to time, I stuck a torch in the wall to keep it lit.


It wasn’t the prettiest construct, but it progressed slowly day by day.


It was neat to look upwards and try to judge how much closer I was inching to the bottom of the island.


…And watching the land grow smaller and further away…


….as the tower got taller…


I tell you, even in games I’m afraid of heights. I ended up putting away all the stuff in my bags except for building materials out of fear of falling and dying. I know nothing that terrible would happen, but man, this made me nervous.

Shakey hands. Sweaty palms.

I knew I was getting up there when I started seeing clouds going through my tower!


And then, suddenly… there it was! My tower had reached a connection to the bottom of the island! As I said, I couldn’t have planned it better — just a little more in any direction would have required me to build a platform to reach the island. This was the perfect spot to tunnel up at the very edge of one side.


But, when I pulled myself up on the ledge, I realized I was only on the bottom area of the island. I had a long way to go to reach the top, still.


Whelp. More ladders!


When I finally reached to top, it was night, so I lit the area up as much as I could and waited for the sun to rise.


The top of the island is a lot smaller than I thought it would be. But that’s okay. I can expand and build on it anyhow.

The tower I built is quite impressive from a distance… and most importantly, it’s safe.


The first thing I experimented with was creating a waterfall from the island, of course! XD


It even looks pretty awesome where it meets the ground.


I haven’t decided exactly what I’m going to build on top of the island yet, as this is as far as I’ve gotten. But reaching the island was a success, and I never even fell once! 🙂

Posted in Gaming, Minecraft

First Steps into Minecraft


I’m one of those gamers who never played Minecraft… until last week. Of course, I knew some things about it and saw other people play it here and there. But I didn’t have a copy for myself.

I started getting interested in Minecraft by reading some of The Ancient Gaming Noob’s posts over time. Being that I enjoyed sandboxes, there really wasn’t an excuse for me not to try it, though I wasn’t sure if I could get used to the blocky aesthetics.

When Minecraft released on Wii U last year, I kicked around the idea in earnest. I came pretty close to picking it up a few times, but always hesitated because I wasn’t sure if the Wii U was the version I would get the most out of in the end. So, I kept putting it off, mulling it over, doing some research, and just never made up my mind.

Well, Jeromai wrote about the Minecraft: Regrowth mod last week and it got my interest.  The idea of bringing the land back to life through your own efforts just sounds super cool. So I poked around looking at that mod, which led me to looking briefly at other mods. No too much because I wanted to leave some discovery for later. I knew I’d made up my mind. I was getting the PC version.

Chicken in the rain.
Chicken in the rain.

Vanilla Minecraft

I decided I wanted to play and learn about vanilla Minecraft before adding on other stuff. I’m sure there’s plenty of fun in the base game itself, and knew that later I could always expand to something else. I think this was a good choice, because there still feels like there’s a whole lot to learn.

Going into this, I knew just a few things about Minecraft:

  • You mine
  • You craft
  • Creepers are bad
  • Night is dangerous

And that’s it.

So, I fired up the game, set up my first little vanilla map, zoned in and instantly went to work putting together a quickie shelter for the first night.

I’d played games inspired by Minecraft before, and can certainly see where the inspiration touched 7D2D, Starbound and Terraria. So, I had a sense of what I could do and what I needed to do. Thankfully, unlike 7D2D, Minecraft doesn’t have a physics engine that brings things down on your head. XD

I was a little lost at first. I figured out how to make planks the first day and discovered this made the wood I harvested go much further for building. I noticed there was an Achievement section on the main menu, and looking at that, it gave me hints about what I should be crafting in what order.

The second day, I got my Workbench built. But I didn’t know how to use it. I tried everything that other games taught me to do – click it, push “C,” push “E,” etc. It didn’t occur to me to right-click to “use” the item. XD

I’ve also learned that while I tried in the beginning to figure out recipes on my own, I just don’t have the patience for it. I’ve played too many of these crafting games, and most of them don’t require you to put resources in a memorized pattern to craft. 7D2D used to, but now it doesn’t anymore.

That little Minecraft shack everyone builds their very first time.

So, I quickly dumped the crafting exploration for the wiki just so I could make progress. Of course, that didn’t mean I didn’t still have a lot to learn!

I knew I needed iron, for example. But I didn’t know what iron looked like. I just noted that when I mined things with my wood pick ax, I didn’t always get anything from it. The turning point came when I hit bottom and found a lava cave under my house. I found this redstone ore and what I thought was diamond, and neither gave me anything when I mined it up.

So… doing some research, I discovered you have to have a stone pick ax to mine iron! And you have to have an iron pick ax to mine diamond. Oops!

I’m such a noob. XD

First Impressions

The blocky artwork is actually much prettier than I expected it to be. I got used to the style pretty quickly, and it didn’t bug me at all.

I’m having a lot of fun exploring and learning about resources and the world. But daytime seems far too short. By the time I’m starting to enjoy myself and get a little away from my base, it’s turning night! I’m sure there’s a way to tweak that, if I knew how.

I learned from TAGN about the Minecraft Overviewer. I figured it out last night and made a map render of my little world. It seems awful small, though, compared to some of the maps I’ve seen other people show. Is that my settings or is there more map out there, I wonder. I know this is showing me much more than I’ve actually discovered — such as that little village up there. I’ve not gotten that far north yet.

Anywho, I’ve learned to put up fences. I tamed a chicken and I’m growing wheat… so it’s a start! 🙂

I found this floating Island and I really want to go there, but I don't know how!
I found this floating Island and I really want to go there, but I don’t know how!
Posted in FFXI, FFXIV, Gaming, Minecraft, MMORPGs, Nintendo 3DS, The Secret World

Weekend Gaming Highlights: TSW, Minecraft, FFXI, FFXIV, LoZ!



I did quite a bit of gaming this weekend, and have already got to work on some of my May gaming goals. Most of these will need their own posts, but I wanted to consolidate them here so I don’t forget what I did! 😀

The Secret World

I’ve wanted to roll an alt character in TSW for a while, ever since they changed the new player experience. I like to go back to these things and see how they’ve changed. I also haven’t played the game from anything but a Templar point of view, so I wanted to see what differed between the factions. I only just got to Kingsmouth, so expect more blogging about this in the future. 🙂


Did you know that until this weekend, I was one of those people who had never played Minecraft before? Yeah. Believe it.

I’m only playing single player to learn things at this point, but having a great time. Expect more blogging on this in the future for sure!

That little Minecraft shack everyone builds their very first time.
That little Minecraft shack almost everyone builds their very first time.


I’ve been leveling my Dark Knight, trying to make the goal of level 30 before the month is out. I started at level 4. Had her to level 22 before the night was out in very little time. I’m shocked at how fast solo leveling is in this game now.

I also activated what looks to be some sort of storyline quest that came with the expansions I picked up this weekend, which I need to investigate.

Level 22 Dark Knight!

Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

I am happy to report that as of last night, I am no longer stuck on the boss of the Desert Palace. That boss was tough for me! It didn’t help that I didn’t yet have the net (for some reason), which means I couldn’t carry around fairies in a bottle to revive me when I died. So, I went and got that rectified.

It took me three tries, but I finally nailed it. Woot! Progress and one of my May goals complete! 😀

“Thank You” is a good place to start.


I’ve taken a bit break from FFXIV for a while, so yesterday marked a grand return of sorts for me. Syn has been overseas on a work trip, and away for work before that, too. She just got back, and had it all set up to have a sort of “Celebration Day” for the FC when she did. A lot of folks are hitting milestones IRL – Finding new jobs, getting apartments, completing finals, and having birthdays (me, soon!).

Funny thing was, I’d almost forgotten it was also the FC’s 2nd Anniversary. So it all fell in place. Syn was (literally) buying any FC folks who wanted pizza gift cards to pizza places. They were pretty shocked that she was serious about it. XD

Aside from the FC birthday, I also healed the Crystal Tower Trio on my Scholar for the first time this weekend. That was a learning experience! Syn said I did well, but I feel like I still need a lot of practice. It’s been a while since I’ve healed a raid, and last time I did it, it was with White Mage. We ran a few of those towers with full FC groups, so it was less stressful if I messed up. I also hit level 51, and I’m seriously considering putting some more time into leveling Scholar at this point since I do find it a lot of fun.

Aside from that, I went back and cleaned up all the unfinished job quests I’ve left lying around on Zuri. That included two level 50 quests for Scholar, two level 45s and two level 50s on Summoner, a level 54 on Dragoon and a level 50 and level 52 on Monk. Whew. I’ve been lazy… but I got them done, finally!


Feeling accomplished!