Horses 1, Zombies 0

Sunday, 8 December 2013

I've made some changes that are a mixed bag, heads up. The clock is moving again - day and night cycle normally. "What about the zombies," you ask. No zombies; they have been evicted and you won't see any until 1.7. (Warps are "gone", also)

Horses, yes we have horses! You can now get your free Horsey kit one of two ways:
  Go to the spawn hut (with /spawn) and right-click the Horsey kit sign
  Use the command: /kit Horsey

Either of these will give you: a horse egg, a saddle, a golden apple, two leads and two nametags. Right-click the egg on the ground and you get a horse. If you get a mule or donkey and you don't want it, let me know. If you get a foal, use the golden apple to speed it's growth - normally it takes about 20 minutes to mature. In all cases, use a lead to keep the horse from wandering off until it's tamed.

Taming a (grown) horse:
  • Right-click to climb on - you'll get thrown off
  • Repeat this until the horse doesn't throw you off
  • To speed taming, give the horse bread, carrots, apples, etc.
  • Once tamed you can put a saddle on it (right-click), to let you steer it

NOTE: Always bring at least one lead with you while riding: you may ride across water that is too deep and have to swim. There is no way to steer horse while swimming, unless you use a lead (right-click to attach and remove it).

To name a horse: Take a nametag to an anvil, re-name the nametag (costs 5 XP levels), right-click the nametag on the horse.


I've replaced the frames in the spawn hut with Kit signs. To use them, just right-click on them - each gives you an assortment of items and can only be used once per period of time, which varies. If you don't want to go to the spawn hut, you can use the /kit command.

Warps are gone?

Yes, unless you're a Builder, you don't have access to warps, but you can still use /spawn, /home, /back, /tpa, etc. In place of warps, I have put in a (lit) road network and signs. Right now the roads don't go to Tassajara or Buford, because those will disappear shortly with the 1.7 update. If you want a road going out somewere, let me know. Don't worry about creepers tearing up the roads, CreeperHeal is running, any Creeper Craters will be (slowly) automatically healed.

If you're caught out at night in a village (or at a site), there are beds in the houses, just look for one. Alternatively: horses are fast, even the slowest can get you through danger.

So there are a lot of changes - let me know if you have any questions.

The server is back online

Monday, 25 November 2013

The Minecraft server is back online, sans (another) failed drive. I've re-built the host OS and tweaked a few things, let me know if you run into problems!


Saturday, 23 November 2013

The Minecraft server is down due to hardware problems. While this is an unwelcome development, it is probably beneficial in the end: there are some improvements that I've been wanting to make for some time. Although I hope to have it back up before the end of the weekend, I can't be sure of that working out. I apologize for the interruption.

Minecraft 1.7 - "The Update that Changed the World"

Friday, 15 November 2013

The 1.7 update is out (yes, I know it was about three weeks ago) and it has changed the world: new trees, plants, biomes, game options, etc. The list is long, and because the changes to the game are so extensive, the modders & Bukkit server team need a lot of time to catch up. I'd be surprised to see a stable 1.7 Bukkit available before the end of this year.

If you've not had a chance to look at 1.7, you really should. It is just amazing and makes you feel the wonder of playing Minecraft all over again. Be sure to try it in a new world, first - there are still some bugs in 1.7.2 that need fixing.

There has been a lot of talk in the Minecraft community about whether to abandon old worlds, because of the awesome new biome & terrain features. I've thought about this a LOT, very carefully, and I've decided to keep this world. I'll be making some changes, like removing warps & adding a transportation system.

When Bukkit 1.7 arrives, I'll trim back the edges of this world and work hard on blending the old and new terrain. I'll contact a few of you individually about the possibility of losing your construction, beforehand. The old terrain will still be very present for a couple of kilometers in any direction so I'm going to build a Nether-based transit system to allow for fast access to the new lands.

Nine new base biomes, and now all biomes have extra variations
  • Mesa, Savanna, Sunflower Plains, Roofed Forest, Birch Forest, Flower Forest, Mega Taiga, Extreme Hills+, Ice Plains Spikes
  • Biomes: will attempt to avoid placing a biome next to one that is too different from itself
  • Mesa: made of layered colored baked clay & has red sand - it's beautiful!
  • Ice Plains Spikes: snow, ice, tall spires & lakes of (new) packed ice - doesn't turn to water from breaking or melting
  • Roofed Forests: has giant mushrooms and Dark Oak trees which shelter monsters at all times of the day
  • With new "temperature" system, rain may fall at lower elevations, while snow falls up high!

New World Generation type: AMPLIFIED
  • Takes "normal" terrain and stretches & amplifies it vertically, going all the way to level 256
  • Swampland and Ocean are unaffected
  • Generates X-TREEM!!1! terrain - ravines can reach from 200 down to the bedrock
  • Exremely resource intensive, requires a powerful computer to run

18 New Plants
12 new flowers:
  • Tuplips (red, orange, white & pink), Blue Orchid, Allium, Azure BLuet, Oxeye Daisy, Poppy, Sunflowers, Peonies
  • Poppies replace any existing roses - those flowers don't exist anymore
  • Flowers can make dyes (of different colors)

Six new double-height plants as tall as you:
  • Rose bush, Lilac, Double Tallgrass, Large fern, Sunflowers, Peonies
  • Sunflowers always face east

Two new trees:
  • Acacia Tree, found in Savanna, made of (new) Acacia wood
  • Dark Oak Trees, wide (2x2) and short trees, made of (new) Dark Oak wood

Three new fish and new fishing stuff:
  • Raw Salmon, Clownfish, and Pufferfish
  • Pufferfish is HIGHLY TOXIC to players but can be used to brew a potion of water breathing
  • You can catch junk OR treasure now - fishing rods can be enchanted to help

Stained Glass: no, for real this time!
  • Glass can now be dyed into all 16 colours, the same way you stain baked clay
  • Stained glass blocks make similarly-colored stained glass panes

Dozens of game improvements & feature changes:
  • Resource packs can add entirely new sounds, replace old sounds, add groups of sounds, etc.
  • You Can select multiple resource packs to use at once (in case one doesn't have everything you want)
  • Separate volume controls for many things: Weather, hostile creatures, friendly creatures, etc.
  • Now you can set a dedicated key for sprinting, no need to double-tap forward
  • Experimental shaders (Super Secret Settings) - make your screen black & white, blobby, wobbly, upside down, much more

This isn't even a full list - it's just the highlights! The full list is here:
Again, I'll not make any changes for some time, so if you have questions, PLEASE ask.

Public Service Announcement: Update to 1.6.4, because 1.7 is nigh

Wednesday, 23 September 2013

Sometime in the next week, possibly as early as this Friday, Minecraft 1.7 will be released! I won't go into all the details right now (you can read more about it at, but one thing you need to know:

If you have not already updated to 1.6.4, do so immediately. From Mojang: "This update fixes world generation bugs that would appear in 1.7. It is recommended that you use this version and load up important areas of your world before heading into Minecraft 1.7"

I'll go over all the wonderful details about 1.7, when it's released. For now, if you do nothing else, take a minute and update to 1.6.4 and load up those single-player worlds you want to keep nice and un-corrupted.

The clock is stopped - for now

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

The day/night Minecraft clock on has been stopped until further notice. I didn't want to do this, but there is a problem with Minecraft 1.6, where even a few zombies will cause the server's processor to go into overdrive because of their super-aggressive attempts to get to their intended victims. This problem affects every 1.6 server but my humble hardware is getting hit hard and I'd rather not have anyone lose anything from lag. So for now, the solution is to minimize the number of zombies appearing on the server and the best way to do that is to stop the clock for permanent daytime. I'll also be "disabling" the zombie spawner under the town center. If you still want to wander below ground, you may find zombies in the darkness.

Hopefully this issue will be fixed relatively soon - in the meantime, I might occasionally set the world for "evening". If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Finally! has horses.

Friday, 9 August 2013

It took some time for the Bukkit team to work the bugs out, but there is now a useable version of 1.6, and has been upgraded. Along with the update, Glacier also now has a maze, within which can be found all manner of treasures: horse armor, name tags, leads and a horse egg to grow your own horse! (NOTE: There is a chance you may end up with a donkey)

To get to the maze, use the portal under the town center - if you want to find horses in the wild yonder, remember that you will need the following to do anything (useful) with them:

  • A lead, to keep them from wandering off
  • "horse food" to tame them in under a day (apples, wheat, carrots, etc.)
  • A saddle, so that when they are tamed, you will be able to steer them when riding

In the wild, horses should appear in grassy plains biomes, so somewhere outside Montil and well east of the Large Pit Project.

Don't forget these other changes:
  • Carpet, multi-colored
  • Coal block: a coal block will smelt more in a furnace than 9 coal
  • Hay block: restores the most health to a horse
  • Hardened clay block, which can be colored
  • Old texture packs no longer work, you will need the 1.6-compatible resource pack version
  • Zombies will mob you, and can see you from much further away!
  • Regenerating health uses up hunger

Keep in mind that if you decide to wander the maze, you'll be unable to set spawn points or teleport "back" into it - you may only start over from the portal entry point. There are no monsters or traps in the maze.


Minecraft 1.6: Mojang is not merely adding horses

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Mojang says that Minecraft 1.6, the Horse Update, will be released on July 1st - this update is also very important for the future of Minecraft: you will need to download a completely new launcher client to continue playing. I mentioned this before, but now it won't be optional.

PLEASE, save yourself the trouble and go get the new installer now and start using it now:

The new client is crucial as the first step in Mojang's building and deploying an API for Minecraft. It fundamentally changes the update and launch mechanism for Minecraft. It allows for a sophisticated system of different profiles to you fine-grained control over what and how it is launched Put simply: by default, you can effortlessly switch between versions of Minecraft.

On to The New Stuff!

  • Horses, which can be tamed and bred for up to 35 variations in appearance - not to mention greater strength, speed, etc.
  • They can also wear horse armor, found in dungeons
  • They can jump more than two blocks up and at top speed can outrun minecarts and easily jump over ravines
  • Donkeys and mules, which can carry chests
  • A new item called a "lead", which is a rope that you can use to hook to peaceful animals (no, not bats) to drag them around and tether to fences as you choose
  • Color-able carpet squares, which are about as thick as snow
  • Name tags, found in dungeons, can be used to name your various critters
  • Hardened clay blocks, which can be stained with the colors that wool can use
  • Blocks of coal, great for automatic furnace operations on stacks of stuff
  • Texture packs are gone, now replaced by Resource packs, which can also hold sounds and other things

So go download, before 1.6 comes out and you have to mess with manual set-up of 1.5.2 to continue playing on older servers. As always, will remain on 1.5.2 until Bukkit and other plugins are updated to 1.6 compatibility, which hopefully won't be more than two weeks following. As always, if you have any questions: ask early, ask often.

(Admit it, you thought I might make a lame pun about horsing around, but neigh, I did not)

Losses, gains, and a solution to version whiplash

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Alas, the SSD developed an "attitude" and had to be sent back, so performance is slightly pokey again until it's replacement arrives.

The up side: Minecraft 1.5.2 has been released which fixes a number of bugs but is not compatible with 1.5.1 servers. If you're tired of the whiplash from server vs. client versions, Mojang has a solution: the next generation of the Minecraft client launcher eliminates the manual copy & paste of .jar files!

The development version of the Minecraft launcher lets you pick the version of Minecraft to launch, right from the main screen. Originally meant to let you test the 1.6 development snapshots without special effort, Mojang has said that it should work to let you switch between the regular versions (1.5.1, 1.5.2, etc).

To get the new launcher:

Note that this is not a mod loader or installer, so if you want to use mods you'll still need to do it manually and MinecraftDev.exe may not "recognize" the resulting modded client.

Although the MinecraftDev.exe launcher can update itself, occasionally it may say that you have to download it again. Just hit the link above again, and replace the MinecraftDev.exe file.

Upgrades are here

Monday, 15 April 2013

The server has been upgraded: is now running Minecraft 1.5.1 from an SSD! This means you shouldn't see any lag when multiple people are on the server or when teleporting (seriously, it's super smooth). If you already upgraded to 1.5.1, then manually downgraded to 1.4.7, here is how to upgrade again: Launch Minecraft, and when you see the main "Minecraft News" screen, click the "Options" button, then click the "Force Update!", then "Done", and "Login".

As a recap, here are some of the changes in 1.5:

  • Redstone improvements galore! You HAVE been saving up all that redstone you've been mining, right?
  • Improved / more inventory sorting and handling - crafting just got a little easier
  • More challenging monsters (yay?)
  • Quartz, gotten from mining in the Nether, used for decorative stone & redstone devices
  • Minecraft is now HD capable, without mods

I decided to simply start over from scratch with the Nether realm - there is much quartz to be dug out! I'll be experimenting with redstone-fueled dropper "pipelines", they are ridiculously fast.

One last thing: please keep the doors to the Nether portal room closed, zombie pigmen tend to wander through ...

In days of Ore: Seeking your input

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

I'd like your input on this issue: Should I "trim" the Nether, to allow for easier / quicker access to Nether quartz ore?

Sometime in the next few weeks will be upgraded to Bukkit/Minecraft 1.5 - this means that there will be blocks, devices, etc. that will be available only by mining Nether quartz ore. The ore will only appear in newly explored Nether areas, and the way it is now, you'd have to make a serious effort to get to new areas.

So I'd like your input on two issues:

1) Do you think it's right to seriously cut back the Nether world, to get easier access to the new ore?
2) Do you have any construction or otherwise valuable stuff in the Nether that you don't want to lose? If so, where?

My current plan is to cut everything outside a ~150m "diameter" that would encompass the Nether spawn point and the portal linked from the town center. I'm not sure about this, because I spent a fair amount of time on the rail link to the Farlands portal, but it's the current plan. If Bukkit & the plugins are ready by April 6th, I will proceed, based upon your input.

I'll be standing by for your response.

Redstone rising

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Today sees the release of Minecraft 1.5 - The Redstone update. If you like redstone mechanisms, this is the update you have been waiting for - the number of changes are multitude. Before you update, backup! If you forget and then need to revert, you can always use the Help page to get the older versions of Minecraft:

Redstone updates:
  • NEW: daylight sensor, dropper, hopper, "trapped" chest, activator rail, TNT minecart, hopper minecart, weighted pressure plates, redstone block, and ... the Comparator.
  • All new and most old/original redstone devices will now give off a redstone signal level, with a strength of 0-15, like the power of redstone wire based upon the distance away from the power source. For example: A chest will put off a redstone signal based upon how full it is.
  • These mechanisms are exceptionally nifty – they can do stuff like: auto-fill minecarts, chests, dispensers and fuel furnaces; build item transport "pipelines"; automatic lights, armor closets, etc., etc., etc.
  • If you want to know more about the world of redstone, the following link contains three separate guides, each excellent in their own right, covering all manner of redstone mechanism behavior & circuit design, from the very simple to the very complex:

Monster updates:
  • Skeletons are now harder to hit in melee combat, based on game difficulty. They also now shoot faster when their target is closer, and can shoot players only one block away
  • Zombies are harder to shoot (based on difficulty), they now group up on targets, now become aggressive and come towards you when shot from further away, and now, when they are on fire, they can set players on fire!
  • Slime spawn rates in swamps now depend on the current moon phase

Minecraft appearance & interaction:
  • Textures are now independent of each other, and each object/block texture can be changed individually, with support for animated textures, as well as HD textures. No more need to use mods to get high-resolution & animated textures in Minecraft!
  • The game font can be changed - HD fonts can now be used and are downloaded as part of a texture pack
  • If your computer has the oomph, you can set Smooth Lighting to Maximum, which fixes some minor lighting issues with stairs
  • Better customization of the chat window when you're on a server
  • New inventory tricks: Double-click = tries to pile-up a full stack of that item; Right-click drag = lets you spread that stack over the inventory slots, like drawing

New blocks and stuff:
  • Nether quartz ore - obtainable only in the Nether, in newly generated regions
  • Smelting produces quartz, which is used in the recipes for new redstone devices: the Comparator and the daylight sensor
  • Combine 4 quartz to make a quartz block, milky white, which can be used to make: quartz slabs, quartz stairs, and quartz pillars (chiseled)
  • Netherrack can be smelted into nether bricks, which when combined, will make... Nether brick blocks, just like you would get from a Nether fortress
  • Block of Redstone – acts as both a power source, and as a compact form of redstone storage – it's like a redstone torch that can be pushed by pistons without losing power!

So there are big changes – HD textures & fonts are possible, awesome new redstone powers & gadgets, smarter and meaner mobs. Naturally, will not be updated for a bit – be sure to use the Help page in case you want to play 1.5, and still be able to jump back on the server. Happy Minecrafting!

Attention all pyromaniacs

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Are you a pyromaniac (or a wannabe like me)? is now running Minecraft 1.4.6 - the Fireworks addition. Also, there are minor changes to enchanting and nicer, more 3D-ish graphics for dropped stuff.

If you already upgraded to 1.4.6 and then downgraded to 1.4.5, you won't be given the choice to automatically upgrade again, so you have two choices:

a) Wait for 1.4.7 to come out tomorrow (just a bug fix, works with 1.4.6 servers & vice versa)
b) Manually upgrade to 1.4.6 using the instructions on the Help page.

Remember: if you upgrade to 1.4.6 or later, you won't be able to connect to earlier version servers.