I didn’t do any building in either the July or August VGHVI Minecraft sessions, and neither did anybody else; I wandered about a bit, and took a few pictures, but not many. (And no pictures of anything new.)
At the end of the May Minecraft session, the main idea I had for my cave was to put in a stained-glass window, so I decided to work on that in June. But first, I had to make sure that my fence wasn’t on fire!
Here’s some experimentation about the stained-glass window:
I’m not particularly happy with how this turned out; I don’t have a better idea for what to do there, though.
After that, I wandered around the cave and Pinetown taking pictures:
Pat was building a floating island; here are pictures of that.
Comments Off on VGHVI Minecraft: June 23, 2016
So I started by wandering around, seeing where I thought it would come out, repeating the survey from April. There’s a pretty high snowy hill that I think goes pretty much straight back from the cave; I think if I went up at a 45 degree angle, I’d come out in the middle of that, but I’m not completely sure.
That seemed non-ideal but workable, and maybe something interesting would come out of the shape of the hill, so I decided to go forward with my plan and start building stairs up and out of the back of the cave. But I ran into a surprise when I did that: not only was there a passage right behind the back wall of that cave, but it was lit by torches. So I’d been there before, I just didn’t realize it.
I wandered around; I found some areas of cave that were new (there are a lot of caves and passages here), some that I’d been to before and some that were new, and eventually I managed to make it back to the furnished area of the cave by following through the passages. I still don’t have a complete view of things, but basically there seems to more or less be a ring of cave passages around the large central cave, though it’s twisty enough that it’s hard to put together a mental picture.
At any rate, I kept on going back, and ran into a second set of caves; there was a passage that was going up and to the left, so I followed it for a while, but eventually it turned too much so I decided to just build my stairs out in the appropriate direction, and I didn’t run into any more surprises.
It turns out that, because of the jog to the left from following the existing passage, I came out just barely to the side of the hill that I thought I would be up: the exit is in a really nice position, actually. Nice not only in terms of coming out right at the edge of the hill, but also nice because there was a lava and a pool right there, so I decided to treat the pool as a hot spring.
That’s the inside; looking at it from the outside, there were some safety problems, so I added railings.
I also tidied up the route from the cave to the hot springs, adding signs and proper stairs.
The next place I decided to work on was the upper room in the back. First I tried a podium, but that didn’t look so great, so I decided to use a couch and bookshelves, similar to the room beneath it.
Once that was done, I decided to work on the stairs up from that room, to the back exit. And there, too, I ran into a surprise: when I replaced blocks with stairs, I again ran into the cave passage ring. I ended up splitting the steps into two: one up to the back exit, and one back down into the cave passage ring.
I’m not sure what to do next. Maybe I’ll work on that flat area above the upper room? Maybe I’ll investigate that ring passage? Maybe I’ll start connecting this cave to Pinetown? Pretty sure I’ll continue in that area, at any rate.
Miranda was also there for some of the time, she was working on a desert castle.
Comments Off on VGHVI Minecraft: May 26, 2016
But first I wanted to work on accent colors: the floors are light oak, but other wood should be darker. And, in fact, I noticed that I was already (somewhat accidentally) using dark oak for railings. I decided to start by working on a table in the big room that I’d experimented with the previous time: it didn’t seem right, but I think that was because I tried putting in light oak, so I wanted to try again with something darker.
At this point, I thought I had the rules: floors are light oak, railings are dark oak, furniture is spruce. So I went to fix other areas of the cave to match those rules.
That seemed to work pretty well, now I went around again taking a closer look.
I like that last picture; the next question is what to do next. That upper room clearly needs more stuff in it, I should fix that. There’s also a passage above it leading to a tiny room (not visible in that picture), maybe I should do something with that? There’s a cave passage on the left (on the level with the balcony all around). And there’s the unfinished area near the door at the bottom of the waterfall that I mentioned before. So those all seem like possible areas for refinement.
I thought about building a door out to the surface there; the question, then, is how far down are we? If I’m remembering correctly, I counted and it was somewhere around 25 blocks beneath the surface, so I’d have to go up a fair amount; I decided to go outside and take a look to see where it would come out.
The main takeaway there is that, if I dig back and up at a 45 degree angle, then I’ll have to go more than 25 blocks, because there’s this hill up there that is above and behind it. I think that’s still what I want to do, but I might do more surgery there: maybe I’ll hollow out a big area under the cave, like I did with the train station in my first Minecraft world? I’m not completely sure yet, but I like how a big structure there would link my cave to Pat’s floating castle.
This is the other area that I was thinking about: if you look closely, you’ll see a small opening above the upper room, but, as-is, it’s not really great for a room. But it’s also so high up that I’m not sure a room there on its own is the best idea, and also having something relatively flat and shallow would work better with the way the wall starts curving in there. So instead, I’m thinking that I might take some inspiration from train stations or cathedrals and think of that as the place where either a big clock or a stained-glass window would go? I’ll experiment.
Comments Off on VGHVI Minecraft: April 28, 2016
I remember looking in the glitch cave, and deciding that it didn’t actually go all the way through to the outside. Which is a potential area for further change: maybe I could dig out from there and turn it into a third entrance to the cave? I’ll think about that this week.
At any rate, the main area that I settled on was the lower room in the back: it’s too shallow. So I deepened and furnished it, so it could start to stand on its own.
Once I had that looking nice, I got to thinking about the first large room I’d finished: I liked its sides, but there’s too much space in the middle. So I decided to build a table there:
My memory when building that was that I thought it might be too big and/or not a great design. When I look at it in those pictures, though, it seems fine from a space point of view, but clearly the wrong color: I don’t want the table to blend into the floor! So I’ll change that this month.
I don’t have a good picture representing all of this, but my current hypothesis is that it’s starting to point me at a coherent aesthetic that wasn’t there four months ago: the band of wood from the balcony combined with using that wood as the floor for finished rooms is a nice counterpart to the stone walls elsewhere. So I want to see if I can continue that pattern while finishing off other areas.
After doing that, I did my usual flying around:
For the February Minecraft session, I knew I wanted to continue the improvements I’d made in December. I’d built some rooms in the back of my cave; the question, then, was how to extend those into a complex.
While wandering around, I noticed what looked like the sky poking through over on one side; I didn’t believe that that was really the sky, I thought it was probably a glitch, but when looking at that, I realized that there was not only a cave passage there in the wall that I hadn’t realized, but that passage connected to the outside.
So that got me thinking about expanding laterally from the room in the back; I decided that I would build a balcony around three sides of the central cavern. The question then was exactly how that would work; I wasn’t sure if I wanted to use the existing railing and cut into the walls a bit, or if I wanted to extend out into the center. The former would cause questions about my stairs, the latter might make the balcony cast too much of a shadow beneath it.
I eventually decided that cutting away the wall, moving the stair back, and having the stair mostly exit into the balcony instead of the back room was the right approach. And, if I’m remembering correctly, when I was moving the stair, I dug into another cave behind that room, maybe that’s where the above picture is from? At any rate, once I did that, I got the balcony working nicely on the three non-water sides of the cave.
And the stairs ended up working okay going out into the balcony, with the help of cutting out one corner.
I’m not entirely sure what I’ll do next; I might add a fourth side to the balcony, but I’m not convinced I can find a way to do that that will work well with the water. Maybe I’ll explore the newly discovered passage more and turn it into another official entrance into the cave, maybe I’ll build more rooms.
Pat, meanwhile, was finishing off a lighthouse he’d built, and he added a ship:
And then he started building something more abstract in an ice forest, it’s a rather beautiful tunnel going down into a big space that he excavated with the help of some TNT. I don’t think he’s done with it, but here’s the current status:
Comments Off on VGHVI Minecraft: February 25, 2016
For the third iteration of my Spark Agency deck, I mostly wanted to take the prior version (which felt pretty solid to me) and make it Most Wanted List compliant. I had three Astroscripts, two NAPDs, three SanSans, and an Eli, so obviously I had work to do.
Having said that, most of that work was pretty clear: I had an Adonis Campaign and an Eve Campaign, and I wasn’t feeling either of those, so that freed up 5 influence. Replacing the Eli with a TMI gave me one MWL influence and one regular influence, too. So that took care of the Astroscripts and the SanSans; I replaced them with Explode-A-Paloozas, and I was all set. Or at least all set for MWL compliance; Turnpike hadn’t been doing me any good, so I replaced it with a Tollbooth.
And, honestly, I like the new version better. There’s a reason why I didn’t like the expensive campaigns, TMI is good if you can rez it when the runner is broke, and while it’s nice if the runner can’t steal NAPD, the credits from Explode-A-Palooza has been extremely useful a couple of times.
Spark Agency: Worldswide Reach
- 3x AstroScript Pilot Program ☆☆☆
- 2x Explode-a-palooza
- 1x Global Food Initiative •
- 3x Project Beale
- 1x 15 Minutes
- 2x Daily Business Show
- 3x Jackson Howard
- 2x Launch Campaign
- 3x PAD Campaign
- 2x Cyberdex Virus Suite
- 2x Product Placement
- 3x SanSan City Grid ☆☆☆
- 2x Biotic Labor •••• ••••
- 2x Hedge Fund
- 2x Sweeps Week
- 1x TMI
- 2x Wraparound
Code Gate (8)
- 1x Archangel
- 2x Enigma
- 3x Pop-up Window
- 2x Tollbooth
- 2x Assassin
- 3x Special Offer
9 influence spent (max 15-6=9)
20 agenda points (between 20 and 21)
49 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Data and Destiny
My NetrunnerDB description:
A pretty basic fast advance core, though I can’t claim to be a fast advance expert, and I probably play this deck more slowly than is wise. Spark Agency helps keep the runner poor through the card ability and their desire to trash assets; and sudden infusions of cash (Special Offer, Explode-a-palooza, etc.) mean that I can rez expensive ice more frequently than I’m used to when playing NBN, or that I can blow money advancing agendas. And the upgrades give possibilities for misrepresenting servers as holding agendas: it’s always fun to have your opponent blow a scoring window on a two-upgrade server that earns you a couple of credits.
I’m not at all sure what to do next; it seems pretty solid, I’ll bring it to a tournament this Saturday and see how it does.
Comments Off on Spark Agency, v. 3
I liked the second version of my Sunny deck quite a bit more than its predecessors; so my next goal was to get it down to 50 cards (from 52) and to speed up my draw.
I added a third Drug Dealer, to speed things up. I thought about adding Modded, but that’s a click and a play for three cards, which isn’t a lot of efficiency; I decided to try out Mr. Li, on hopes that he would get the key cards early. I’d been flush in economy, so I got rid of the third Modded (The Supplier takes care of Hardware, and I can afford to pay for one of my icebreakers out of pocket) and my Dr. Lovegood (early in the game I can sequence things to avoid the Drug Dealer tax, and at the end of the game I’ll have a 3-5 credit drip even without Dr. Lovegood, which is more than enough). That’s neutral on cards and influence; to slim down to 50, I got rid of one Plascrete and one Datasucker.
Here’s the result:
Sunny Lebeau: Security Specialist
- 2x Dirty Laundry
- 2x Modded •• ••
- 3x Sure Gamble
- 1x Plascrete Carapace
- 3x Rabbit Hole • • •
- 2x Security Chip
- 3x Security Nexus
- 1x Adjusted Chronotype ••
- 3x Daily Casts
- 3x Data Folding
- 3x Drug Dealer • • •
- 3x Earthrise Hotel
- 2x Globalsec Security Clearance
- 2x Jak Sinclair
- 1x Mr. Li ••
- 3x Power Tap • • •
- 3x The Supplier •• •• ••
- 3x Underworld Contact
- 2x GS Sherman M3
- 2x GS Shrike M2
- 2x GS Striker M1
- 1x Datasucker •
24 influence spent (max 25)
50 cards (min 50)
Cards up to Data and Destiny
One of my coworkers had the bright idea that we should start playing each others’ decks; and I like this deck and have learned enough about how to play it that I figured I should write up notes on it. I’ve put them on NetrunnerDB, but I’ll put them here as well:
This deck takes a while to set up, but once it gets going, it’s almost unstoppable: once set up, it’s common to be able to break into any server while making a profit over the course of the turn. I haven’t taken it in its current form to any tournaments, but my guess is that it’s still a little too slow to deal with a good fast advance, but it’s a lot of fun.
You want to get out The Supplier as quickly as possible; mulligan if you don’t either get The Supplier or Drug Dealer, and install Drug Dealer as soon as possible as well. (Usually just pay the credit instead of putting it on The Supplier.) Then you want to get as many cards drawn as possible and installed with the help of The Supplier; Earthrise Hotel is your friend (but don’t install it before you have The Supplier), and of course drip economy is good. Also, get out Rabbit Hole when you see it, both to thin out your deck (install all three copies at once, hopefully with a two-credit discount from The Supplier), to reduce the chance of traces landing, and to set up the Security Nexus / Power Tap combo.
During this phase, pay attention to the timing of your beginning-of-turn actions: you’ll be running poor, but the advantage is, many turns, you’ll be able to sequence your actions to not have to pay the Drug Dealer tax. Do only as much running as is necessary to keep the corp honest on remote servers and to make them rez a bit of ice; also, as Modded shows up, you can start getting your breakers out. And definitely get Security Nexus installed, don’t forget that you can use The Supplier for hardware as well. Make sure you use The Supplier every turn; if you have too much stuff stacked up there, consider just installing cheap resources (e.g. Underworld Contact) directly.
Once you’ve got your console, and some money, you can start running a bit more; depending on what parts of your rig, you may use Globalsec to snipe some assets, or you may get free Datasucker tokens off of Jak Sinclair. Also, if you have Power Tap installed, you might be able make a profit during those runs, by forcing traces with your console where you have 6 link.
And then, once the full rig is out, money will be flowing in, Power Tap is even more of a profit center, and you can break into anything. For a fully iced-up server, you’ll need Security Chip; don’t be afraid to use them, just pick your spots.
There’s no recursion, so try to avoid throwing away your extra copies of your icebreakers; you should generally have room in your hand anyways.
I think I’ll take it to the tournament next week in this form. Right now, the two cards I’m most dubious about are Mr. Li and Adjusted Chronotype: I almost never use the former (though it may still be useful when dealing with particularly bad draws?), and the latter is really there more out of loss aversion than anything else, buy the time I’m leaning on Globalsec I can generally live without the extra click.
I’m not entirely sure what to put in its place, though. Something to let me put a little more pressure in the early-middle game, maybe Special Order or Inside Job? Tag defense? Add back in that second Datasucker? Add in a third Security Chip, and don’t be afraid to use it earlier? Multithreader, to let me afford to make runs earlier even with expensive icebreakers? Hard to say…
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I didn’t end up getting any good pictures during the January Minecraft session: I spent most of my time traveling (we’re too spread out now, and the server was acting oddly so I traveled slowly, I guess I should have just teleported to the coordinates), and when I got back to where I’d been building, I didn’t have much in the way of inspiration. Hopefully I’ll have more pictures next month, we’ll see; it is a bit of a shame that we’re so spread out now, though…
Comments Off on No January Minecraft pictures
In our December Minecraft session, I got back to building out my cave. There were some natural rooms in the back that weren’t really connected to other parts of the cave; I decided to tackle those.
First, I looked at the top room. If I’m remembering correctly, it connected on the inside to the room on the right of the cave; I decided to also connect it to the outside, by building some long stairs up and to the outside. That turned out to lead to an outside room where I had put some workbenches.
There’s a lower room in the back as well, though. I decided to connect it first to the upper room, and then to the first room that I had finished on the left side:
Then I squared out that room, added railings and a floor, and put real stairs in the passage instead of blocks.
While this was going on, Pat (I think, it might have been Dan?) built a path in the air extending out perpendicularly from Dan’s path. Partway along there, Miranda found a village, and decided to improve it.
Miranda worked on the paths and on making the heights sensible. And then there was one house that was actually completely inaccessible: if I’m remembering correctly, it had a door, but the door opened up into dirt? It ended up making sense to put a tunnel where the door was, with a path above it at the same level as other parts of the village.
Pat, meanwhile, while building the path, found an area that he thought would work well for a lighthouse.
Meanwhile, Dan spent time widening some of the tunnels in his path.
After doing this, I did a render of the whole world, you can see some of these features there.