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Goldp's scripting skillz has managed to let us upgrade to 1.8.1 without being affected by the disappearing chest or deactivated nether portal issue. At least, as far as we've been able to see.

Additionally, according to the Wiki, old chunks that would have had an Ocean Monument spawn in it still has them spawn in some situations. Particularly so long as nobody's been near the chunk for more than 3 minutes. So surprise, there are some ocean monuments showing up "relatively" close to spawn. (within 1000 blocks)

There's one to the south about half way towards Kobanal's village - I suspect it's close to the southern Stronghold that nobody ever goes to - that I'll probably be trying to build a trap around.

Also I've already brought back some of the new stone types (granite, etc). They're in the upstairs storage area of Main Station if anyone wants some.
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The bugs we discovered in the first attempt to ugprade are still present, however we figured out how to avoid them.

1. Half-Broken Doors: These are doors that open in a particular direction. Either one side of the double-door setup will be half broken, but also the older doors appear to open in that particular direction as well. It's just a graphical glitch for the most part. If you see one, destroy it and replace it.

2. Deactivated Nether Portals: All portals lit prior to 1.7.10 (so 99.5% of them) will be deactivated in 1.8. The solution is to relight them in 1.7.10. Goldp and I plan on relighting the real-world portals we find connected to the Nether Network. We'll place a redstone torch on the portal to show we've relit it. If you feel like relighting your own, just place a redstone torch (or a sign I guess) to show us that it's already been done. We'll relight the portals on the nether-side in 1.8. Much faster to run around there than the main world after all!

3. Disappearing Chests: This appears to affect chests from BETA 1.7.3. Yes. It's that old. Chests from that time and before did not have directional data in their meta data stuff. This showed up for half the chests right away when directional data was added because you'd have chests that were functionally the same they use to be, but visually they were 90 degrees off. Often appearing to extend into walls as a result. Naturally when we saw those, we fixed them. BUT the other chests from back then, the ones that didn't show this glitch, were also affected. They had "0" directional data - but they just happened to be facing the correct direction anyway. These, as well as any visual-glitched chests that were unfixed from before, are the ones that are disappearing.

On the plus side, this means if you joined the server post-beta, you're perfectly safe. (Fuji, Tokoz, etc) I've identified some chests at spawn that are affected. I've moved shit out of them, and will be removing/replacing them so they have directional data. But I haven't checked every single base, and for bases that aren't mine I wouldn't necessarily know if it disappeared in 1.8.

Main people that would be affected by this would be Goldp, myself, Kane, and Korb. As I think we're the only 4 from back then. (The Op Crew so to speak.)

Goldp quickly moved into the 1.2 continent, and Kane left for the ocean to build his glass tower, moving all his stuff there. Those two are mostly safe, leaving Korb and myself as the most likely at risk! Might want to check bases in the Beta Lands and put any valuables in enderchests or in bases away from spawn to make sure they aren't affected. We'll be spending this week doing the nether relighting and perhaps looking for old base stashes. Goldp may also be able to get a script to run that'll automatically fix the chest issue.
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I wonder if this is one of the first minor effects of Mojang being bought by Microsoft - slow updates to initial version release bugs.

We had tried to update Pseudo World to 1.8 about a week after it was released but found there were 2 conversion bugs introduced.

1. When players logged in, probably just for the first time, flowers and apparently some chests would get popped into items and fall on the floor.

I had noticed the flowers outside of Main Station popped and lying there for no reason (I kind of assume it's because they were next to light sources but I really don't know for sure) but it wasn't until a bit later after fixing some of the things with #2 below that I went inside the station and saw several chests... just..... gone. That was the breaking point of doing a rollback to 1.7.

2. All nether portals were deactivated. Meaning we had to reactivate them all manually. And this was a bit more problematic than you'd think given how many portals we freaking have. Plus, inactive portals aren't instantly relit when you go through the other side. So often times we ended up with temporarily cross-linked portals and new portals forming next to, or on top of, or nowhere near, existing (but inactive) portals.

I had reactivated and fixed a bunch of portals, but there were still a LOT to light. And the odds of me forgetting or outright not knowing all of the ones that exist were quite high anyhow.

The delays in fixing stuff like this (We ALWAYS have at least 1.x.1 if not 1.x.2, 3, 4, etc, within the first week or two of a major release) may just be mojang having to pick up bukkit and update that to 1.8. But then I guess the whole bukkit mess is linked to the microsoft deal indirectly.

If it continues on, we might have to bite the bullet on this and update again and deal with the buggy code. I'm going to want to do some planning for it beforehand however.
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As a public service announcement to anyone who still checks LJ that plays the server, the server is not actually down. goldp's isp no longer gives away free static url type thingies so what we've been connecting to won't work, but we can still connect directly via the ip. If you need the ip, which admittedly may change from time to time since it's technically dynamic (but he's usually connected all the time anyway so it'll probably be pseudo-static), send me a msg here on LJ and I'll try to get back to you with it.

Alternately you can ask him directly on irc. We still sit in the old #ow channel on esper.net, although we're not always at the keyboard! We're not ignoring you if you don't get a reply! ;)

If I have a way to contact you other than LJ I'll probably end up sending you the ip that way.

If anyone from back in the day has minecraft but hasn't had access to the server, feel free to request it.
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On Pseudo World I found a rather interesting area while caving with Kobanal earlier this week.

I found 3 spawners whose areas of effect ALMOST touch each other. Seriously, we're talking either no block or 1 block away. Those were a cave spider spawner, a skeleton spawner, and a zombie spawner.

As such plans were drafted to make a new Skelezombie Farm. Doing a bit more exploration, I found another couple of zombie spawners and cave spider spawners that were almost but not quite in range, bringing the total up to 6 spawners.

Then Fujitaka did some random searching as well and found another few zombie spawners. All in all there's probably 10+ spawners nearby.

And thus the idea was hatched to try to make a complex that will trap pretty much every spawner. The farm is now operational but not maxed. With one person there, they can make use of the Skelezombie dual.

If an extra person is there to do other things, they can activate the second zombie spawner that's hooked up, which increases the speed the main farm works. I've added places to grow trees and an egg/chicken farm near that zombie spawner. In 1.3 cooking stuff in the furnace gives XP so it's basically part of the farm. I'll be adding cobblestone generators as well.

I haven't hooked up the cave spider yet, mainly because they're a pain and I'm not 100% sure how to do it well. I'll be researching that on youtube.

The next portion of this setup is to hook up a dual-zombie farm that's a little ways off. (like 30-40 blocks off.) That one will be as productive as a skelezombie dungeon mob-wise although it wont' drop bones or arrows naturally. Not a big deal.

That dual-zombie farm will, however, be fitted with a switch that will either keep the mobs to itself for who ever's using it, or to divert the mobs over to the main farm - thus increasing the potential rate over. I'll work on that in a bit. Not sure if I'll do that or work on the cave spiders first.
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For those on goldP's minecraft server, the world map now only covers up to 310 chunk radius from the origin. This is to reduce load on the server since it was now taking about 11hrs to generate each map. The 310 range lets the maps generate in about 4hrs total. With this we may re-enable daily map updates instead of the current weekly update.

This captures almost all of the existing major bases/landmarks we've built so far except for Hungry Island. Kane's tower is the closest to the edge of the map - and that's about 4000-5000 to the south.

There's no barrier for us with respect to exploration, etc. We can still go past the edge of the map. It just won't be on the map for the foreseeable future. Essentially, if you want to make sure your base is on the map, stay within the boundary - there's a LOT of unused terrain in there after all!

This may or may not be temporary. It'll depend on whether we can get the original maps rendered in less than a day by (a) waiting for c10t to release a stable binary, (b) hacking c10t to make our own, or (c) switching mappers.

Not all mappers that are any good have been updated to render anvil maps (1.2.5) which is the big problem.
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Since Fujitaka found another skeleton/zombie spawner combo very close to his new sky home, I spent time trapping it up this weekend instead of working on a tower grinder.

It's now fully stocked and operational. It's out west from Main just north of Korb's cobblestone path in the snow biome. It's somewhere before the netherrack pyramid - I have a small dark wood house made to protect the ladder going down to it.

Use or not, it's there for those who want to use it. I suspect Fuji and Korb will probably get the most use out of it however since the rest of us are closer to the Skelezombie Farm at New Fort.
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Over the weekend in my single player world I constructed a mostly standard Tower mob grinder. Where mobs spawn high up on platforms, get pushed off the ledges with pistons, and take damage when they fall. In a normal grinder they just die at the bottom (or are suppose to) so you can safely collect the mob drops.

I went one step forward and implemented it one step further, doing something I had planned on doing for a long time. Making it so the mobs were spawned and brought to a small collection hole where they're damaged down to near 1hp. This allows you to kill them for experience.

It works pretty well, although I'm not getting a large mob buildup - most likely due to the area not being completely lit up in the caves or on the surface. So a lot of mobs end up spawning elsewhere. Even still there's always some mobs falling into it, so I consider it a success.

I had to set it so they'd fall with like 2-3hp instead of 1hp however. While the tower's design does make it so that they won't take damage normally, there were plenty dying anyway when they hit the bottom because they'd find a way to take damage up above. For instance if the piston that pushed them off glitched and made them take a point of suffocation damage, or if they jumped at the bottom's collection streams and ended up taking a potential 1hp of damage there before being swept into the final shaft.

Now they all tend to live and can be killed with a stone sword. Some are still 1hp at the bottom so can die with a single hit with the fist but those are the ones that otherwise would have died.

I plan on recreating this on john's server next weekend. There's a couple of modifications I want to make to the bottom. I'll probably be placing it down at the skeleton spawner location I found in the desert but haven't finished trapping.
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The harddrive the server's been on is acting up so goldP's got the server offline to do some diagnostics and the like. It likely won't be back up til tomorrow at the earliest. We're hoping at the worst it's just a loose cable which apparently has happened a few times in the past for that comp.

There are plenty of backups of the world, so no worries there.
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I've been a busy little beaver it seems. :P

We now have an Enderman farm in The End. I used Etho's design from his Let's Play series. I also built a huge farm under it for wheat, since punching 50 levels worth of enderman can make one hungry. That floor is not done however. I ran out of seeds for the farms, and there's enough room in between them where I plan on putting storage chests and the like. I'm likely going to be moving the enchant table, etc down there as well. I figure it's best to build under the farm rather than along side it where enderman may teleport to. Trying to think of a way to prevent them from teleport above the side rail and I think I just thought of a way to do that.

The Grinder at Main Station now works again. Where it's a tower/fall grinder that used the sign glitch to confuse mobs into walking off the ledges it had stopped working productively with 1.2 and the new mob AI. I've converted the platforms to utilize pistons to push mobs off the edge when they step next to it. I also converted the floors such that it is impossible for spiders to spawn up there. We have plenty of silk and can utilize spider spawner traps for more silk if we ever run out of ... fishing rods. (Is there any other use for string other than bows (gained at the Skelezombie farm aplenty now) or wool blocks? (yay for sheep farms.)

I was thinking of implementing a day/night sensor. Of course those things depend on BUD switches which in most cases are technically exploiting a bug. I believe at least one method doesn't rely on the bug however so I might look into it. Not 100% sure what I'd like to use it for that I'd feel comfortable with however. While it would look cool to set up city lights, it would also mean there's potentially a slight chance of mob spawning in those areas between sunset and when the BUD activates. Of course there is the option of using decorative lights in some places just to light up a building. If they ever change the jukeboxes so they can be turned on/powered by redstone it would be fun to set them up to play stuff at sunset/sunrise. Ideally it would be set so that if redstone power hits the jukebox, it would start playing if not already (no interrupting the song). If the power is still there when the song is over - it should play it again.

Of course I also want speaker boxes. essentially it would be boxes that would repeat/mimic what's playing out of the nearest jukebox if powered. In cases where two jukeboxes are equally distant, just follow the standard southwest rule or something.
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I finished the new Blaze farm on goldp's server. It's out west near the Jungle Portal. (Yes Korb, finally a farm you know how to get to!)
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With 1.2 we have redstone lamps. As a result I've upgraded the record factory and Skelezombie Farm to use them. Each now have a light switch that will light up the spawner/dark rooms. A much more efficient "off" switch so to speak.

I've also finished the actual Nether Rail. However, pigmen still occationally spawn in there. I'm starting to think the pack spawn block doesn't need to be right above a land block to succeed, but then things rarely spawn in the areas that are far from land...

Also made a new cobblestone generator at Expansion - not that we use the one at Main anyway since we're almost always drowning in cobble from the various mines. This one I saw on youtube. It generates more cobble to break down and due to the lava being far removed from where you're actually breaking the stone - you don't lose any to the lava like the one at Main.
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On goldP's server we now have an active SkeleZombie farm. Essentially an XP farm that is fed by a skeleton spawner and a zombie spawner. Both spawners have maximum area of effect for spawning and feed into a single mobavator and holding room.

There are three switches.

1. Mobavator Switch - basically opens or closes access to the mobavator. When blocked, the mobs are stuck near their spawners. It prevents them from building up beyond 6 each.

2. Holding Switch - When you're ready to harvest, hit the switch and anything held upstairs will come crashing down - taking them down to near death. After that you throw a splash potion of healing in on them to get them all in one shot.

3. Item Collection Button - The kill box is 2 deep since in multiplayer mobs glitch out too much to reliably fall down a 1x1 hole. Items on the far block can't be reached normally so pressing that button will get them pushed forward.

The entire internal layout is covered with water. As a result there should be no chance of a surprise creeper showing up in the collection plate. The mobs collect, when active, at a rate of about 20-30 per minute.

.. There's almost 200 up there now in the time it took me to write this entry. Although admittedly it was already at 100 when I started. :P

The SkeleZombie farm is at New Fort, for any on the server that want to check it out. It's not far from the Record factory.
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On the server we now have 3 different farms for xp/items.

The first one was a zombie farm. Using a mobavator to raise the zombies up, then drop them to take enough damage to bring them near death. Technically 2 punches to kill each one after that but we tend to brew up splash potions of healing. Zombies take damage from them (All undead do)

So I set up a brewing station etc in the room as well so people could stockpile potions while waiting for the zombies to stockpile up.

The next one is a Blaze farm. It's in the first nether fortress we found since it was easier to build there. That one is mostly inside solid netherrack, so the blazes were mostly contained and couldn't do much to stop me from getting the farm built. This is the one I built. Exactly.

Problem with that is that there's a difference between single and multiplayer minecraft. In single player, you can punch mobs in the feet/lower block. You can't do that in multiplayer. But you can't look at them directly or they'll shoot fireballs at you.

This isn't a problem overall since you can still shoot them in the feet with arrows. And we have a regular mob grinder that supplies a constant stream of arrows. Another tactic is to use splash potions of harming on them once they're built up. We store a supply of both things at the farm, along with things to make bows, etc. Blazes drop blaze rods, which can be used as furnace fuel. They're also double the xp of zombies, so it's been easier to stockpile high level enchanted diamond tools.

Splash potions of harming require spider eyes to make however, and spiders don't drop those unless they're killed by the player. We get none from our grinder. As a result I did a spider farm near the Ocean Portal. It uses a lot of the same redstone work as the Blaze farm. It has a timed crusher that brings them down to near death so that a single punch will kill them. Then I added some water works so that the item drops will reliably move to you. This farm would work in single player or multiplayer.

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