This is chapter one in my ongoing adventures in Lexland, my latest Minecraft world. I’ll try and have the subsequent chapters up on a regular schedule.
This is Me In Minecraft, my weekly log on my attempts to get to my ultimate goal: the nether. I’d been there once, but once there I was encased in a cave and never did find my way out to the larger (under)world. With that in mind, my goal in this series is to build a good, strong base, get the materials required, and go to the nether for real.
Big news out of the World of WarCraft camp the last few days.
Minecraft 1.6 was released the Thursday (5/26/11) and I dove right in. I toyed with hatches, Omega and I got on multiplayer and fought the glitches, but most importantly, I made a map. On my main world I made a map and explored around my house but it wasn’t enough. I wanted to push it, so I set my self a challenge: go as far as my map will take me, make another map, and repeat as far as I can go before coming home. I decided that ‘west’ was where I wanted to go, so off I went.
Minecraft’s 1.5 patch has been out for quite some time now. It released on April 19th to some fanfare, but I’m not completely sold on it. It’s biggest features – weather, achievements and stats – haven’t changed the game for me like I had hoped or feared they would.
Weather is the biggest disappointment for me. I’ve played days and days in my worlds and not once have I even seen a single shower. I think there needs to be a tuning of it’s frequency because I’ve read of others who, like me, have had either no or very little encounter with this ‘marquee’ feature.
The achievements aren’t that great either. I’ve skipped some and missed others due to quirks in the system, like having prerequisites for one achievement or another. There’s also disappointingly few of them. Stats are a little better and cover most anything you’d ever wondered about your playtime. Ever wondered how far you’d fallen, or how many dirt blocks you’ve dug? The answers to these and many, many other useless questions can be answered in the stat panel.
Personally I’m not playing Minecraft more or less because of this patch. I thought that maybe I’d get drawn back in with this patch, or at least have a lasting opinion on it, but ultimately it’s pretty much gone by the boards for me. I could completely take it or leave it – and that’s never a good sign.
Valve has released a compelling new update for Team Fortress 2. their popular team-based multiplayer shooter. Entitled the Replay Update, it does just about what you’d expect: it introduces a record and replay function to the game. By joining a replay-enabled server you can capture your current or previous (if you just died) life with the press of a button for viewing and editing later. The concept is sound but unfortunately I’m yet to be able to comment on the finished videos because I haven’t been able to successfully produce one yet. The game crashes each time I try to render a clip, which for right now I’m attributing to my computer and not the game. The editing process is fairly straightforward for anyone who’d done video editing before but it lacks some explanation for newcomers. Replay enabled servers tend to stutter and lag more then others in my experience, probably due to the production and downloading of new videos every couple of seconds.
I always enjoy joining a game community as it plays with a new game/expansion/patch and this was no different. If nothing else it gets people talking and that’s a good thing for all games, but especially one as old as TF2. I foresee a large number of pointless clips swarming YouTube via the in-game uploader, but for every 100 or so boring videos there’s bound to be a couple gems – and that’s what I like this update for. That, and seeing how and why I keep dying so damn much.
Minecraft is one of the most polarizing PC games in recent memory. Either you play and enjoy it or you think it’s the biggest waste of time ever put into code (I’d still reserve that title for Microsoft’s Windows-bundled solitaire games personally). It’s lack of a distinct goal or ending as proof that it’s not a game. And while they’ve got the reasoning wrong, I have to agree. It’s not a game.
I’m hearing left and right about how gamers are not happy with Portal 2, and I’m simultaneously amused and irritated by their arguments. “They” claim the following (among many) faults: