PROJECT 34: OPEN FORUM SUPERSTORE EXPANSION
|Project coordinates: X +294 : Y +65 : Z -13
The original Open Forum was heavily based on Dataless822's Villager Trading Hall from the Build Big Or Go Home series, even including a similar (but not identical) decoration as something of a tribute. As the series name implied, everything he built was unnecessarily huge, and I figured there was no way I'd ever need the 26 Mark I trading cells that his Trading Hall used. This was only the first base in his series, though, and on moving to the ocean base as version 1.7 crept upon us, the new base also contained a Trading Hall, which may have been bigger and much more elaborately decorated but cut down to only 24 trading cells, of a new Mark II design which was one block wider and used pistons to release the water that moved the villagers around, rather than dispensers. It was also connected to a zombie purifier rather than an automatic breeder, which Data didn't realise could still be made to work in 1.8 (and the world was closed before that update!) - and when the time came to build a similar facility in Minecraft Down Under, the Mark III design with the villagers moved by minecarts and activator rails (which will definitely break forever in 1.9) has been such a problem child that Data's openly admitted on camera to wanting to rip it out and start again... and the less said about the villager recycling system, the better.
Thing is, I've always favoured the Mark I. Not just because Data made a detailed tutorial, which I've previously followed to the letter in the original Open Forum build, and because it's only two blocks wide which is more compact than the later designs, but also because I don't see any reason for the upgrades - his reason for the Mark II was because dispensers very occasionally don't fire the water buckets, thus dropping two villagers into one cell, or leaving it permanently skipped. I find this might happen one time in much more than a thousand; I think I've seen one mistake at Horace's Revenge, which has 16 dispensers that fire twice every 30 seconds, once at the Witch Farm, which has 27 dispensers and fires them twice every 40 seconds, and twice at Chuckie Egg, which has 56 dispensers that aren't on a timer but all fire simultaneously on the push of a button. So, all things considered, I'm fine with dispensers.
What I soon found with the original Open Forum was that 11 villager cells wasn't enough, even though I'd reserved the opposite side of the building and a further strip down the middle for permanent villagers. I'd managed to obtain half of those I wanted, because usually I'd find all the 11 cells had filled with useless villagers as I'd gone off to build another project and some who may have been useful had ended up being dumped into the lava below - or were they useful? I would never know. At least if I could capture 22 villagers as the auto-breeder worked its magic I'd have a higher chance of catching those I'd want to keep permanently, and have a much wider selection when the time came for some major trading.
And that time is almost upon us. Wurzel Dizzy's expanded Fast Food Silo is filling up rapidly with tradeable commodities, and once 1.9 eventually drops after all the time we've been waiting, librarians will start offering the new Frost Walker and Mending books, one of which will be quite phenomenally useful. And then there's the enticing prospect of gathering enough emeralds to build with, because I have far, far bigger and better plans than Spectrum Tower...
After completing the Open Forum expansion, I thought I'd take a look in the silo, assess how much tradeable material I had and work out exactly how many emeralds this could score if it was all traded at the best possible prices - or how few, if I went for the worst prices instead. The range, as it was on that day, spanned from 5,558 to 9,170...
Some of this amazing anomaly was not just due to the prices of the commodities, it was how paper can be traded. The sugar cane I have can be turned into paper and traded as-is at anything from 24 to 36 sheets per emerald. However, add in one third of the total amount of leather and convert it all into books, which can be traded for 8 to 10 per emerald, and this effectively tightens the deal to 24-30 paper per emerald, for the cost of a fair bit of wheat. However, I have a fair bit of leather all ready to go, a cow farm (which now works) and an automatic wheat facility, and this isn't too much of a bind - but still represents not enough of an improvement on the trade for the extra inconvenience, and I'd have made sure to trade as much paper at 24 as possible anyway. The real power of this trade lies in written books, all of which can be traded at two per emerald, will stack to 16 (unlike the book with the ink and quill it starts out as!) and represents a four-fold increase in profit. All I need to do is add in feathers - which I have so many of I've had to dump loads of them in a hole in the ground - and ink...
...which I don't have so much of, because the Schwimmbad has not proved to be anything like the success story I'd hoped and has produced less than two stacks of ink sacs since I built it.
So, once I've sorted out this small problem, it'll be all systems go for a massive trading session, which will be documents between numbered projects.