Voice and text chat has come to 87cubed.net

Friday, 7 September 2018

I've two things for you. First, I'm harvous to say that 87cubed.net finally has text and audio chat! The Discord server is up, use this link to join:
Feel free to forward the link to any players not on the e-mail distro list. I know some of you already use Mumble and I'm still open to trying that, just let me know.

Second, I've set up permanently-loaded chunks at the server spawn. I can set up more, but the server-side mechanism doesn't behave intuitively, so if you want to use this feature for farms, etc., let me know and we'll work on it.

Third, I've added two more custom recipes: cobblestone to sand, and wheat seeds to wheat. As always, all custom recipes are on the Stenverden recipes page.

P.S. You can find out what harvous means on the 87cubed.net Discord server

Minecraft 1.13.1 is out, update to join Stenverden at 87cubed.net

Friday, 24 August 2018

Version 1.13.1 (AKA "The Real 1.13 Release") is out, and the server has been updated, which means you'll need to update your clients to connect. Changes include performance fixes, 100+ additional bugfixes, some server-side stuff, slain fish now may drop bonemeal, coral and coral fans may be grown in warm water oceans, and squid now only spawn in ocean and river biomes.

I've also added more custom recipes: leather from rotten flesh, and stone tools are now craftable from other stone types besides cobblestone; a small but very useful change. Again, all recipes are available on the Stenverden recipes page and the in-game recipe book.

Minecraft 1.13: The Update Aquatic ... AKA "Minecraft 2"

Monday, 20 August 2018

TL;DR: Massive gameplay and technical overhaul, so the old server is getting sidelined, starting a new 1.13 server from scratch.

Minecraft 1.13 has manifested and is upon us! I put off writing this announcement, partly because the changes are VAST, and partly because of the changes happening at 87cubed.net. Originally two separate releases, Mojang decided to roll them together. Some have nick-named this update "Minecraft 2" because of the sweeping changes, both gameplay and technical.

First the fun stuff, game play: it's all about water and the oceans! Items float on water, and water can flow "through" non-solid blocks. There are now many different sea creatures (besides squids), sea grass and kelp that grow and can be planted and harvested, underwater zombies that haunt underwater ruins and shipwrecks, underwater ravines, more and more and more! It is the closest thing to literally adding an entirely new dimension to the game.

The Oceans overhaul

  • SWIM by "sprinting" underwater, this switches you to horizontal position and is faster and very cool
    • Allows swimming in all directions and through 1x1 gaps, similar to gliding
  • Living oceans: kelp strands, sea grass, coral, dolphins, schools of fish, turtles
    • Oceans come in different colors from their temperature variants: warm oceans harbor brilliantly colored coral reefs
    • Icebergs now form in frozen ocean biomes, and are made of ice, snow, packed ice and the new blue ice block (even more slippery)
  • New items to make a Conduit - like a Beacon that grants underwater powers (not drowning, etc.)
  • The Drowned are aquatic zombies that swim after you and may have a trident weapon
    • All undead mobs sink and do not die from drowning
    • Husks and regular zombies can turn into The Drowned
    • Tridents: powerful, can be enchanted to return to you, to summon lightning, or do other fun things!
  • Shipwrecks have treasure chests, as do underwater ruins that may have maps that lead to buried treasure
  • Underwater ravines with branching underwater caves and obsidian floors peppered with magma blocks

This isn't the water you know

  • Water can share space with and "go through" gates, sugar cane, fences, half-slabs, iron bars, stairs, etc.
    • Everything Floats In Water now: you throw something in ... it floats up. Yes, XP orbs float
    • You can see much further underwater, even down in deep ocean, or under icebergs
    • Underwater sounds different, has background ambiance, and is very well done
    • Breath meter refills slowly now, be careful
    • Bubble columns will sink or launch you upward, depending on what's causing them (magma block or soul sand)
  • Fish: catch live with a bucket, maybe to make your own aquarium
  • Dolphins: play and act like real dolphins, and are friendly, when fed fish they try to help you find treasure
  • Turtles: lay eggs, which monsters will try to trample :-(
    • Baby turtles grow and drop their old shells, collect these to make an extended breathing helmet
  • New potions, new enchantments, from and for all the new creatures and items

Meanwhile, back on land

  • Phantoms! If you don't sleep for several days, these undead flying creatures spawn and swoop to attack you
    • They only attack if you are above sea level and not under cover of solid blocks
    • Their wings are a potion component of slow falling
    • Phantoms and now baby zombies burn in the sunlight
  • The Nether now has massive ravines as part of the hellish terrain
  • You can add map markers to maps, via banners placed in the world
  • New textures, colors, and blocks: stripped logs, and "Wood" blocks that have the bark texture on all sides
  • Buttons and pressure plates in all wood types, stairs from prismarine, chiseled red sandstone and more
  • Custom recipes via datapacks, choose your own way of obtaining existing items
  • Hundreds of bug fixes of pre-1.13 code, improved game and graphics performance
  • A massive overhaul of the core game code, re-writing most of the remaining old stuff from scratch
  • Blocks are now stored differently - old pre-1.13 save games are converted upon first load

Those are merely the gameplay highlights, I've skipped a number of lesser features. The whole feel of the game has shifted with the new aquatic realm. The Mojang Update Aquatic release page, with an excellent video, is here: https://minecraft.net/en-us/updates/aquatic/

The second aspect of the update, the code overhaul, brings other game features. Besides the simply beautiful and arresting aesthetic changes, the custom recipes give the ability to adjust the gameplay balance, and let you do things like turn slabs back into whole blocks, sticks back into planks, or saplings into sticks, etc.

These custom recipes are set on the server, no need to download or install anything separately on the player side of things. At this time it's not possible to add entirely new items to the game. Custom recipes only provide a different way to get something, such as: crafting 9 coal blocks into a diamond, or cooking sugar cane into charcoal, etc.

A Whole New World

Yes, a new world to explore, literally. I've dropped the modded server effort, instead starting a new 1.13 server as the default you will reach when connecting to 87cubed.net. Anyone can join without asking, no whitelist is in place.

For now, the new server is pure Minecraft with no mods: so no safe zone, no overview map, no creeper heal, no warps, /back, /home, etc. I've added over 140 custom crafting recipes. Don't freak out, most are variants on a theme, like crafting stairs back into blocks, one recipe for each wood type, and each stone type. Remember that all recipes can also be viewed via the in-game Recipe Book. Most of the custom recipes are about convenience and common sense (combining like slabs to get whole blocks again, etc.), but I'm open to suggestions.

To connect to the old 1.12 world of Glacier, you'll have to change the Server Address to 87cubed.net:25567. Glacier will never be updated past 1.12.x for various reasons both technical and practical. If there is no interest in keeping the world active, I'll shut it down by the end of the year and provide a download link for the map.

I'm happy to have provided the World of Glacier for the last 6.5 years, there are many amazing and fun creations to be found, I'm looking forward to the years ahead. Anyone that wants to help build up the realm of Stenverden, welcome!

87cubed.net now running Minecraft 1.12.2 and soon other things

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

The Minecraft server at 87cubed.net is now running version 1.12.2, "World of Color"! In this update: vivid glazed terracotta blocks (formerly hardened clay) giving 16 rotatable patterns, parrots from the jungle that mimic other mob sounds and sit on your shoulders, colored concrete powder blocks that harden in place instantly on contact with water, and colored beds, and of course much more.

The new Knowledge Book is a handy shortcut or can be hidden if you don't care for it. My favorite new feature: items left on a crafting table or grid will just go back to your inventory if you hit escape. It's like having an itch that scratches itself!

What about these other things?

I'm looking at creating a modded server, focused on exploration and building/design. I don't want to use a standard modpack (as fun as those are) in part due to the heavy RAM & CPU requirements. Interested? I'd love to hear about mods you would like to see.

My criteria for the new server features:

  • Interesting and varied biomes and landscapes and/or dimensions
  • A wide range of materials for construction and design/architecture
  • Any client mods needed must be lightweight as compared with non-modded Minecraft
  • Not technology-oriented, so no electric furnaces, computers, 5-tier tech trees, etc.
  • Not magic-oriented, so again, no 5-tier tech trees, no equivalent exchange
  • Redstone mods might be ok, as long as it stays focused on improving redstone somehow
  • Provides for fun, rapid movement from place to place (jetpacks are fast, but boring)

So, with those criteria in mind, I'm considering the following mods for starters:

  • Biomes O' Plenty
  • Grappling Hook
  • ArchitectureCraft
  • Treecapitator
  • Iron chest

Because of the relative complexity of modding the Minecraft client, I'm also planning to put out a modpack via the Technic site. If you feel that there is a better avenue for this, like maybe the Feed the Beast, or something, please let me know. I'd like to have everything ready to rollout within a month.

Until then, stay mining, stay crafting.