Minecraft 1.15, the Buzzy Bees update, is out and it's smokin' - use it!

Friday, 13 December 2019

TL;DR: Update your client to 1.15 for use with 87cubed.net's Aquilo server, whose map will be trimmed upon the eventual upgrade.

The Buzzy Bees update has been released - I'm very happy to say it squashes a great number of bugs. "Erm, what?" you say. Yes, while the gameplay features delightful things such as bees, beehives, honey, honey blocks, etc., the real effort was fixing gameplay bugs. There were 300+ bugs fixed and best of all: the performance is immensely better.

Performance with Minecraft 1.14 took a bad hit, and with 1.15, Mojang dug deep into the code and revamped core client behavior that was slowing it down. This update vastly improves client performance, putting it on par with OptiFine's, in my not-very-humble opinion.

Ok, enough! Here's the stuff:

  • Mobs are now better at avoiding walking through lava
  • Iron golems show increasing cracks when damaged, can be repaired with iron ingots
  • Bees! Live in nests, or hives, friendly by default
  • Hives & nests fill with honey as bees return with pollen from flowers
  • Use campfire (smoke) under beehives to collect honey safely
  • Bottled honey: cures poison and feeds you, can be made into honey blocks
  • Honey blocks: when pushed, move connected blocks (like slime blocks)
    • Blocks moved this way don't drop you through them (unlike slime blocks)
    • Limit jumping, slow when walking on them, mobs try to avoid walking on them
    • Greatly reduce fall damage
  • Other awesome technical stuff: https://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Java_Edition_1.15

So, about that upgrade

Use Minecraft 1.15+ to play on Aquilo; this is available so quickly because of helpful technical info Mojang started providing as of 1.15. This also means Aquilo may very well be ready for upgrade in less than a month. When this happens I'll trim the map surrounding the town center, so you won't need to go on a quest for BEES!

As always, if you have questions or requests just let me know.

Finally, mcMMO has come to 87cubed.net

Sunday, 20 October 2019

Although long overdue, the wildly popular plugin "mcMMO" is now running on Aquilo. As the name implies, mcMMO is a Minecraft massively multiplayer online plugin, which replicates the skill progression of common MMOs.

mcMMO highlights:

  • Performing routine activities increases your points for that activity
  • As points accrue for a skill, your skill level increases
  • At certain levels, there are active abilities and passive abilities that are unlocked
  • Example: Swords skill increased levels let you use a longer "Serrated" attack, which causes lingering damage to targets
  • Some skills have passive components the way Acrobatics (falling) does - you get an increasing chance to tuck & roll, avoiding fall damage
  • Skill categories are: Combat, Gathering, Alchemy, Repair, Taming, Salvage & Smelting

For more information, see the mcMMO site: https://mcmmo.org/wiki/Main_Page


Another week+, another custom recipe: craft a water bottle with charcoal to get two black dye. While more resource intensive, this can save a lot of time versus hunting down squids.

I'm looking into potential uses for an Aquilo "economy". By this I mean: if your character sells something and then gets creds, or dollarz, or whatever, then what in-game items or capabilities would be reasonable to offer in exchange for said currency? Ideas are welcome!

More better security, more better recipes

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Aquilo continues to improve, this week sees the addition of the AuthMe plugin, and two new requested custom recipes.


An excellent authentication tool that lets you lock your login on this server. It keeps someone from logging in as you, useful if you share your Minecraft account or your computer with others. If you register with an e-mail address, you can get a password reset sent to you automatically if needed. Your password is securely stored and transmitted - I never see it and never can find it out, even if I wanted to. To get started, use the /register command.


New recipes to obtain sand and slimeballs:

  • Cobblestone in a blast furnace gives sand - excellent for building with a lot of glass
  • Craft 4 bonemeal with 1 gunpowder to get a slimeball, this is a shapeless recipe

I intend to add at least two more plugins soon, so stay tuned.

Aquilo lockification and de-attacketizing

Friday, 27 Sepember 2019

This week brought additional "security" to the Aquilo server: 1) PVP is disabled 2) Chests & other containers can be locked and are locked by default when placed. Unrelated: All mob spawns in Aquilo's creative level have been disabled.

Locking overview

  • Containers (chests, furnaces, droppers, etc.) lock when placed, can only be used by the owner (the player that placed it)
  • The container owner can change the lock state:

Final note

The #1 rule is to be respectful. I thought this would be obvious but I'll clarify: griefing is disrespectful and will result in a ban.

The Aquilo Minecraft server at 87cubed.net is at full strength

Monday, 5 August 2019

The world of Aquilo at 87cubed.net is at full strength: I've added features and made some changes to provide a better playing experience. Remember that Aquilo is not white-listed, anyone can join.

  • Aquilo, like Glacier now has it's own map, seen on the 87cubed.net Map page, and WOW is it nice looking!
  • A town wall is up (yes, with gates) that protects from roaming mobs
    • Inside the town walls, mobs won't spawn from levels 40-180, though some may be able to climb over in places
    • Phantoms may spawn at night, if you're too close to the wall, then come attack you inside the town area
  • No more worries about using the exact version of Minecraft, as long as it's 1.14.x, you can join Aquilo
  • A stairway to a mining operation has been started, from under the spawn hut
    • Remember that you can't mine inside the spawn area, at any level - this is marked by fancy polished diorite blocks
  • There is a creative world, which can be reached via the portal under the spawn hut, also shown on the Map
  • Tree leaves will rapidly disappear when you chop the tree/branches away from them

You may have seen the red numbers and hearts that show up near the bottom of your screen - they're health indicators for mobs that you look at, hostile or friendly. I'd prefer they fade out a bit faster, but if you don't want to see them at all, let me know and I'll disable it for you.

If you have any other feature requests, let me know, I'll be happy to look into it. Keep in mind that Minecraft 1.14 is still relatively new in regards to mods, so some won't be available for a while. Happy Minecrafting!

Aquilo rises in the wake of the Stenverden dissolution

Saturday, 6 July 2019

Welcome to Aquilo at 87cubed.net - this is a new Minecraft 1.14 server, a new world to explore and build. I wrote about 1.14 in May, and naturally, it took a little longer than I'd hoped for everything to line up. Aquilo replaces Stenverden, and so it can be accessed at 87cubed.net, port 25565.

Enough chit-chat. Minecraft 1.14.3 brings us changes from 1.14

  • Stability, in the way of no more randomly disappearing item frames & mobs
  • No need for the grindstone for repairing, can just craft like items together (again)
  • Enchanting system rolled back - works like 1.13, 1.12, etc.
  • Pillager Raids don't have Vindicators any more, and waves are further between

The world of Aquilo brings us

  • Custom recipes from Stenverden have been tuned for 1.14, i.e.: cobblestone -> sand, etc.
  • The same commands as from Glacier (mostly): /home, /spawn, /back, /sethome, /setwarp, /warp, etc.
  • CreeperHeal-like automatic terrain repair
  • Custom datapacks - I'll be installing those that let you craft enchanted items with unique properties

Although I've re-created the permissions groups, you'll have to logon first, before I can grant you those permissions. If I'm not available when you logon, shoot me a /mail, or just e-mail me to let me know. The world is still very fresh, I've not even finished the spawning area. You are free to build anywhere outside the redstone-delimited spawn area. As always, if you have any questions, please ask!

Minecraft 1.14 "Village & Pillage" is out, it's AWESOME ... and some restraint is advised

Friday, 17 May 2019

Minecraft 1.14, "Village & Pillage" is born, and it's another doozy: new animals, new crafting blocks, new plants & biomes, new blocks, new sneaking abilities, new gameplay! This brings a change to the NPCs and villages: there were villagers, then the mansion-bound illagers, and now the roaming Pillager patrols! These guys are bad news so you'll want to equip a shield and (the new) crossbow to take them on to defend the villages from raids.

Up front

Due to some serious bugs, 87cubed.net will forego upgrades until 1.14.2 is available, which may come within a week - I recommend you also wait. Worlds created now with 1.14 or 1.14.1 may have to be deleted and re-created to eliminate severe behavior & performance problems.

So about those villages, illagers, and pillagers

  • Villages: structures are biome-specific, generate with beds, chairs, and sometimes crafting blocks that act as job sites
  • Villagers: apparel is biome-specific, they have jobs, collect for meetings, gain experience, and sleep in beds at night
  • Job sites: Change a job site block, and you can change the profession of a villager
  • Bells: lights up/outlines Pillagers within 32 blocks when struck during raids
  • Wandering Traders: appear randomly in the world, have lots of trades, hang out for a couple of in-game days
  • Pillagers!
    • Roving patrols of crossbow-equipped pillagers appear, if you kill their captain, you accrue a bad omen status
    • If you have bad omen status and walk into a village, a raid begins; the higher the bad omen level, the tougher the enemies
    • A raid = waves of Pillagers, Illagers, witches, Evokers & Vindicators, accompanied by Ravager beasts
    • If you save a village from a raid, you get steep trade discounts in the Village for a couple of in-game days
    • Don't want to deal with raids? Drink milk to cure your Bad Omen status
    • Pillagers have their own outposts, they're sorta like villages, but ... not

Bounteous additional animals and plants

  • Bamboo: found in (new) bamboo jungle, may appear in jungle or chests, grows very quickly, used for Scaffolding
  • Wither rose: generated on a block on which a mob is killed by a wither, inflicts withering if touched
  • Sweet berry bushes: commonly occurring, grows edible berries, slows movement, cause damage when moving through them
  • Foxes: passive, appear in taiga in small groups, can jump HIGH over fences to kill chickens, can be tamed
  • Pandas!: spawn in bamboo forests, eats bamboo, "usually passive" (personalities vary), read their emotions on their faces
  • Ravagers: Big, very angry, very tough, and can swim, only appear during raids
  • Cats: Now scare off phantoms, stray cats appear in villages, tamed cats will sleep on their owners sleeping in a bed and upon waking will leave a gift

All the new stuff: walls, slabs, stairs, and crafting blocks

  • Crossbows! Can be enchanted for quick-loading, multi-shot, piercing, and can shoot fireworks!
  • New functional blocks (there are more than these, that are used only by villagers that I'm not listing here)
    • Stonecutter: make stone stairs, slabs, and decorative variants, most recipes more efficient than crafting table
    • Grindstone: Must use to combine-repair items! Removes non-curse enchantments & returns xp for each enchantment removed
    • Loom: lets you apply (new) re-usable patterns to customize banners
    • Blast furnace: furnace upgrade, only smelts ores & metal items, 2x faster than furnace
    • Smoker: furnace upgrade, only cooks food, 2x faster than furnace
    • Cartography Table: Allows cloning, extending, and locking of maps
    • Composter: converts crops and plants into bone meal
    • Campfires: Like a fireplace without fire spread, cooks food slowly, makes a smoke column
    • Lecterns: put a book on it, the open page is persistent and shared between all readers
  • Barrels: act like single chest but can be opened with solid block above them
  • Lanterns: hang under or stand on a block, they give a bit more light than torches but don't wash away
  • Scaffolding: made from bamboo, lets you climb really quickly, entire structure breaks when the bottom block is broken
  • Signs: now come in all different wood types, text color can be changed by using any of the 16 dyes
  • Slabs and stairs: all stone blocks now have slab and stair variants - yes, even plain stone
  • Walls (as in cobblestone fence): except for plain stone, all stone blocks have wall variants

Let us not skip the little things

  • To repair like items by combining, you MUST use the grindstone!
  • Book and Quills editing now has copy & paste, keyboard & mouse use (like selecting text), line wrapping, etc.
  • Sneaking now really reduces your height, to 1.5 blocks, lets you to walk through 1.5-block-tall gaps
  • You can now close trap doors over yourself on land, and thereby swim (crawl) through 1-block-high passages
  • Leaf blocks that break now may drop sticks
  • Updated graphics engine, better performance

These are rich changes, the (non-listed) technical bits of which will require a world reset - again. The good news is modded servers and plugins are keeping close pace, some are already available for 1.14.1! So, I am very hopeful that within two weeks, Stenverden will be ready to re-incarnate, with at least some basic mods.