POSTCARDS FROM REJECTLAND III:
TO CAST OFF FROM THESE MODEST SHORES
Screenshots: 73Timespan: February 2013 - October 2013Versions: 1.5 - 1.6
Let's first recap on where we left off at the end of Postcards II. I'd managed to make the tour, including all the new bits and pieces, but Rejectland was in a fearful state, with the Nether near-inevitably crashing every time I tried to go anywhere towards one of the portals, or towards the fortress. No more blaze rods, Wither skulls or other fortress-based loot for me for a while, then. That's why I diverted my attention to seeds I'd found on the forums that spawned on or near mushroom islands, and with that I made a good go at building bases on the Funguslands.
1.5, the Redstone Update, gave us hoppers, comparators, daylight sensors and plenty of other gubbins that I never thought I'd find a use for. And then I started looking into machines, and my initial cynicism about how useful such addition would be was soon overturned and I realised this was the greatest addition to Minecraft there's been since... probably before I started playing, actually. It's also the time I started paying a lot more attention to the YouTubers mentioned in the Mission Statement - though another I should throw into the mix for some initial ideas was Etho, he of the famous Etho's Lab, who's been a central character with a Let's Play series since the days of Alpha at the end of 2010, and makes highly practical machinery that's possible to build in Survival - not that I can remember having a shot at too many of those myself.
Data's tutorial video about an automatic item sorter got me started - he admitted it wasn't his design (I think it was docm's), but it showed me clearly and concisely how these new hoppers and comparators could be used... and it made me think of building a new world where everything that was possible to be automated would be - but without exploiting any glitches, which machines such as wood generators and sand generators do. With 1.6 approaching at that point, I decided to put it off until that update and build trial machines (as well as pointless junk like a giant Dizzy and Companion Cube) in Creative instead... which taught me a lot about how to go about doing so, and I even came up with some ideas of my own that worked properly. 1.6 arrived, the Horse Update, and yet again I put off building the new machine-based world. After all, I'd had an area in Rejectland reserved for building the stables, which I'd decided on after testing the snapshots leading up to its release. Convinced that it was worth expanding Rejectland and repairing the Nether, first of all (after backing up the world) I found out that merely upgrading to 1.6 didn't fix the corrupted chunks. So I gave MCEdit a shot...
...and found it torturously slow to use to the point of near-impracticality. This is probably because OS X 10.5.8 (as I was on at the time) is too old to run the Mac version, and my laptop that runs Windows 7 predates Minecraft by three years. It's not built to run such a CPU and memory intensive program. Even so, after several hours of struggle at less than a frame per second (this is no joke), I managed to edit out the corrupted bits of the Rejectland Nether, and loaded it again, ready to rebuild the bits that needed rebuilding...
...it still crashed. There was nothing else to do but delete the Nether and start again. Which I did... and the landscape was totally different to how it had been before, with (I would eventually find) one notable exception: the Nether fortress was in the same place, and having been generated in 1.6, was now full of treasure to discover. Bonus.
I've also been trying the snapshots leading up to 1.7. Generating a map in 1.1 and 1.2 from the same seed produced different results with the switch to the Anvil format and the addition of the Jungle biome. Fortunately, I started in 1.2 so never had this problem. 1.7 has added a massive load of new biomes and now, "The Update That Changed The World" could not be a more appropriate title. I've tested a copy of Rejectland in a 1.7 snapshot and where the territory that's been generated so far meets the new code, there is an abrupt cut between the two, which sometimes manifests itself as a perfectly straight shoreline or cliff face. No doubt I'll have to fix that, possibly with the liberal application of explosives - after all, I've saved ten stacks' worth of gunpowder from slaughtering those green, no-armed suicide bombers, and need to use it somehow. Also of note is that, as a further consequence, the seeds I gave for the Funguslands no longer work - but a bit of detective work on YouTube will soon turn up something that will work in 1.7.
So, here lies months' worth of modifications and expansions to Rejectland, a world generated in 1.2 and which will - with a bit of cosmetic surgery - still be going strong when upgraded to 1.7. It means some long treks into the wilderness ahead to do everything I have planned, but I've got a way round that.
One thing MCEdit does do, though, even at pitifully slow speeds, is show how many "days" the world has been active for. Rejectland is 2009 days old - so, if I took day 0 as 1st January 2000 (which means day 365 indicates a year-old world), then the current date in Rejectland is 3rd July, 2005.
So, before we look at how the farm is shaping up, a quick diversion into Four Yorkshireman territory...
Enough violence for now, and back to civilisation...
Out into the villages we go. First of all, the two original villages, those that have been most heavily expanded from their original form, although not too much has changed since last time. You'll see why.
Wilson House, as I said, hasn't been updated - neither has the equally artificial Perry Grove, which was built more as a way of proving it's possible to make a village from scratch in a biome where they don't spawn.
So, to the other of the Twin Capitals of Rejectland...
That's (almost) it for the lands northwest of Scheckter Farm. Here we go way out east...
And now... we're into new territory. Returning to Fortress of Fortitude after a spell out east, it's time to head west. This is where AMIDST took me, and I revealed two "classic" maps (i.e. the scale that they always were in 1.2, before maps were zoomable) to the west of where I'd been before.
There was a time, earlier on, when I thought I'd explored far and wide, far enough to have found a large ocean which had no sight of this legendary Mushroom Island in it. This is why I went in search of the Fungusland seeds, just to show it wasn't Notch pulling an elaborate prank on us. Those proved it wasn't, but finding a Mushroom Island in Rejectland would still be a case of flailing around in the dark and maybe exploring even further and wider, and I didn't want to reveal any new territory until 1.6 was released so that any plains I encountered might have horses... that could have been a long, long, long trek had I tried to find the Mushroom Island before trying AMIDST.
Having consulted this program, I went off in the direction I needed to. That's how I found Arnouxville. And, lo and behold, sailing west from Arnouxville through those swamps, it appeared out of the fog...
So, that's the mushroom island sorted. To complete the work at Scheckter Farm I still had to find horses at this point, and that meant making sure I'd generated a lot of new Plains in 1.6. AMIDST, again, was a huge help.
Finally, we need to go deeper... not that we haven't already, but everything in that hotter-than-a-vindaloo place underground has been regenerated and rebuilt.
There was a lot to get through in this update, but with eight months elapsed and 1.7.2 released, now was the time to do it. As I've revealed, there are already plans in the pipeline for Rejectland 1.7 - the Botanic Garden is one, stained glass windows in the clay houses at Arnouxville will be another - and that's so easy I'll probably do it first. Then there'll be the need to improve the boundaries between the 1.2-1.6 chunks and the 1.7, which as I've said will abruptly cut into a different biome and possibly even a very different land height. That's a long project, but it'll be useful.
Once that's done I'll go looking for the new biomes. Villages spawn in the new Savanna biome, but are still made with oak wood - so I'll find one and turn it into a bizarre acacia wood village, with orange planks and grey bark. It'll be named after a driver from Africa, who I have yet to decide on, but I imagine a South African who isn't Jody Scheckter will be in the running. The equivalent variant of a desert village is one I'm going to build in a Mesa biome, with natural and orange stained clay instead of regular and smooth sandstone. That'll probably also require curing a couple of zombie villagers to start the population - good job I made some golden apples before the price of gold multiplied eight times! As that's designed to reflect canyons in the American west, I reckon an American driver will give that village its name; Michael Andretti is tempting, given that his woeful solitary season in F1 in 1993 means he's the most-requested driver who still isn't eligible for a Formula One Rejects profile, but didn't escape an article in Centrale. Maybe I'll go for a legendary reject of American open-wheel racing instead - Dennis Vitolo, Charlie Nearburg, or the world's most notorious racing dentist, Dr. Jack Miller. We will see!