Tangents: Sharing a gaming experience

This is a tangent, it’s about a very particular feeling, and still about gaming, but will more be like a musing, similar to my other blog.

Me talking about my experience in the Nether, and some of the stressful elements of it, reminded me a lot of Loa and I playing Terraria on stream the first time we streamed, years and years ago, and a lot of people joined to watch the stream, and asked if they could joined the game. We allowed them to join us, and thought it’d be fun to explore a new game with people.

But, these people were a lot more geared than we were, and just threw things on us that we didn’t have to work towards getting hold of ourselves. And it quickly turned me off the game entirely. Clearly, we have ourselves to blame for inviting them, and I… but I don’t think it’s only on us.

I feel like something is missing in gaming communities and the conversation about new players and established players, and that’s the “how do you want to play?” question when we join someone else. People have different styles and ideas about how they want to enjoy what they are doing. Instead, we pick up our friends and carry them on our backs instead of sitting back to watch them while they explore this game we love with fresh eyes.

I guess these thoughts are also strongly connect with the “let new players be noobs” thing I wrote recently. This is something I’ve seen in streams too, or your favorite YouTuber’s comment section, as they are playing a game people love. Instead of people just enjoying watching them experience it, they want to butt in and backseat and tell them how to do it the best way, the most efficient way etc.

I used to have a big problem, in my everyday life, if I couldn’t do something as efficient as possible it wasn’t worth doing. It kind of goes along with the stupidest saying in the world “if somethings worth doing it’s worth doing well”, and I had to practice for years to allow myself to just do, anything. No matter the result.

So I do think it’s definitely a trigger for me, for the perfectionist in me, when people are like this. But I also know that I can be like that or have been in the past at least, the frustration of someone not doing a thing in the game you love the right way, so now they might hate the game you love. Yes, this is slight hyperbole to make a point.

The actual point I do want to make is, that we should look for consent when playing with someone who’s new to something you’re not. Ask questions, ask guiding questions, ask meta questions about questions.

  • Do you want to experience the story?
  • Do you want to just see what you uncover and discover organically while I follow you?
  • Do you want me to help you get better x or do you want to figure it out?
  • Oh, do you want me to straight up give you the answer to the question, or are you just thinking outloud?
  • Do you want me to give you a hint?

Negotiate with your friend, your favorite streamer, etc. And then just enjoy that sense of awe and discovery together with them!

Returning to Minecraft

Oh, hi, it’s been a while! Both away from Minecraft, and away from writing on this blog, neither of which were necessarily intentional. Last year was a whole thing, and while I stuck to my year of experiences, for the most part, I didn’t write or publish anything about any games, which felt weird. Maybe this year will be different?

Watching others play

Recently I returned to Minecraft, first by watching YouTube videos for quite a few weeks. I was in a bit of a mental and physical slump because of the periodic nature of my chronic conditions, and watching Minecraft while laying down and trying to recouperate was perfect. I found some lovely YouTube channels after only having watched Etho for a while I discovered GeminiTay and PearlescentMoon. I started by watching Gem’s solo videos, but she happened to be on Hermitcraft as well, so eventually I slid into those episodes when I ran out of other recent things to watch.

I had thus far mostly avoided watching Hermitcraft, because I probably had some misconceptions about SMPs in general (heck I even had to look up what SMP meant). I think my own social anxieties about playing such a creative game (because I knew it was creative) came in the way of giving it a chance, and probably that I wasn’t actually interested in Minecraft at all up until a few years ago. After playing Minecraft last however, I had not been watching many videos, but it would seem that a hyperfocus turned on in my head this time.

What I really appreciated was the chill nature of her builds, and the way she engaged with her world and talked to her audience. It was just what I need at that time. The videos were short, but not speed cut. If that makes any sense.

As I began watching her Hermitcraft videos as well, and seeing some of the shananigans they get up to, and finding PearlescentMoon having the same silly humour as myself, I knew I had to watch her channel as well, so I did. And from there it kind of escalated, and then with the Christmas break, and early january break, I had to venture out further and further from these two to find content I wanted to watch. Eventually there was only one option left, playing myself.

Playing Minecraft again

I knew I wanted to play again, and Loa had some time off work, so we decided to venture out on… well an adventure! As usual we couldn’t quite agree on how to play Minecraft, since there’s so many ways, so we started off with a Hardcore world, with no real intent of finishing anything but rather just see how long we can go before we die, and use that time to decide how to continue playing after that.

Eventually we died, but we definitely survived a lot longer than I thought we would, and built some cool farms WITHOUT redstone (which felt like an achievement on its own), and had a lot of fun. Our death was epic, and I feel like that needs a whole dedicated post on its own! (this is going to spawn a lot of new posts)

So then what? Well, we decided that since I’ve never really gone through the end of the game that we’d play, at our normal pace, to get there and get some feeling of accomplishment. We also decided to keep it entirely vanilla, since last time I played with mods. We’ve not quite reached that point yet, but we have gone to the Nether, and I guess that needs to be another adventure post comparing it to the last time I visited the nether, soon™!

Opening up to different aspects

I think one of the charms with Minecraft is how many different ways people can enjoy it. You can do it solo or with people, you can organize everything in such a way that it’s automated, or pick every single flower by hand. You can build the most magnificent fantastical buildings, keep it simple or rebuild the entire world. You can just go adventuring, you can play hardcore so a death is a death, or let yourself not die. You can adjust the difficulty settings as what works best for you.

I know things like this apply to many games, but I’m still really enjoying myself right now by being inspired by many different playstyles at once, and I guess that’s one of the charms of watching Hermitcraft as well, there’s so many different people and types of players to get inspired by.

I think that’s all I wanted to say today, that I’m really enjoying being back in Minecraft again.

Another year of experiences: 2022

Time flies. It turns out that it was 5 years ago that I presented you all with my year of experiences. Where I decided to stop buying games and books for the year, and actually play and read what I already have. Last time I did it I was quite low on money, so it was a whole lot easier then, than it probably is going to be now. Yet I’m committed. Mostly because I find that I get distracted by purchasing, rather than experiencing.

That said one of the biggest differences this year, is that I ended up buying a lot to both read and play just before the new year began, because I could envision them in my plan for the year. And probably overestimating how much I’ll get around to experiencing, as in typical ADHD fashion.

All the things meme image, from a comic
All the Experiences!

I will focus on telling you about the game side here, and I may post another post on my other blog about the reading, as I’m very likely to be writing my type of review to books over there rather than here.

Games, what do I want to experience this year?

Well, to be honest it’s a bit of a mix. We got a Playstation 5 in November, so I definitely want to keep an eye on the free games on there with Loa’s subscription to Playstation+ (that’s his subscription not mine, I just need to make that clear). But I did however fill out my library with a lot of old gems. Like some of my favorite games from my teens up until my early twenties before I stopped gaming for a few years and genuinely believed that I would never game again (that’s a story for another time).

I’ve been meaning to make a list, I meant to do it before the end of the year, but a lot of health stuff came up and in the way, as usual. Since I’m one of those disabled gamers, trying to work and make money on gaming feels like it’s a lot harder because of it. And there’s still a few things I need to balance. Different disabilities causes different hurdles. Mine are energy related. You may have read and enjoyed my Minecraft series? I have an unfinished draft, but after that I just stopped, partially because I got sick, and partially because I played something else. And there’s a mix of ADHD hyper focus and energy management which come in the way for me when wanting to and actually achieving any of the projects I want in the meanwhile.

Let’s start with some questions:

  • What do you think were some of me favorite games growing up?
  • What was some of your favorite games growing up?
  • And finally: do they still hold up?

Feel free to take your time with these questions, and respond to me on here or on social media.

The Goal of 2022

I want to play at least one “new” game every month. That’d be 12 games by the end of the year. I will be focusing on non-sandbox games where I can, with a few exceptions (I may have acquired Theme Park, which is one of the very first games I played as a kid outside of solitaire). Though I think there may be a story hidden in there somewhere, of conquering different places and setting up a functional theme park.

I want to complete some stories, that includes games that are half-played in my library that I still keep installed because I’m finishing it soon™, some of which have been there for 5-6 years.

I want to play at least 6 heavy story/narrative focused games. Even if they have good game-play too. My definition of heavy story narrative focused may be different from yours, and I can’t quite wrap my head around it now.

And lastly: I want to re-experience some of my youth, by playing games I loved then.

How am I going to share these experiences?

This is where it’s not entirely clear cut yet. I want to share my experiences in video format, but I don’t have the mental fortitude for streaming atm, because it takes a lot of energy. I am however considering doing a few recording sessions, and see if I can publish it with minimal edits in an enjoyable format. It would reduce work for my disabled ass, and it would still let me show you what I’m doing, and share my thoughts on the fly.

I also want to keep writing about games and my experiencing them. I’m still carving out my little corner of the gaming internet, in a way that’s healthy and sustainable for me. And I hope you’d be willing to join me in that.

Thank you for reading this entire post! And now, before you go there’s one last thing I’d like to ask of you. Consider supporting me on a monthly basis with $1 or more, via ko-fi. There’s only 1 tier, to rule them all, and you can add as much as you want to it. This money is predominantly going towards my student loan this year and the foreseeable future.

The Beauty of Choice in Narrative Gaming: Frostpunk

Frostpunk, the game where you have to make some really tough decisions while leading your colony. I discovered something really beautiful as I began exploring the additional content, the added scenarios, and how much they bring to the story. They both continue the story in the past, present and future sense.

We start with A New Home, where we’re invited to fight out some tough decisions, in a world that is just filled with misery. Some of these decisions we get punished for, and some rewarded for, but we are left to wonder, was it really the right choice, once we finish the campaign. Did we go too far?

If you’ve seen any part of the game, you know that almost always there are choices which are between bad or worst. Like, there’s no winning, even when you “win”, it’s almost anti-climactic because you’re still stuck in this cold landscape and every next challenge could kill everyone in your colony.

As we continue on through the stories, the scenarios, we get a glimpse of what was going on elsewhere in the Frostlands while we were doing our best to survive in New London, we get to see glimpses of a story that never was, because it wasn’t the story we played. They didn’t make the same choices we did. We were continuously creating alternate realities within this universe.

It’s a game full of what ifs, and I feel like the accompanying achievements continue to bring those “what if?”. What if I save all the children from working, on every survivor challenge I run. It may be hard as nails, but it’s got to be possible.

So here I am, after a month of playing this game obsessively, since it became available via Twitch Prime (through GoG.com) writing about it. Writing about how I’m discovering this game, as if for the first time, because it is the first time for me, and I didn’t see many of the other scenarios from other people since they came much later (I don’t know the timelines, it doesn’t matter).

A New Home was a proof of concept, but set in a world rich with possibilities. Where we’ll look for allies best we can, as the world gets harsher and harsher. And I haven’t even touched the endless modes yet. I think this is a game I’ll be playing for a while, and then take long breaks from to come back and figure out more things again. Kind of how I play RimWorld even though it’s a completely different kind of story generator.

I wanted to give you something different in regards to this game, for you to share the experience with me, but I’m unfortunately currently unavailable to do so. Hopefully this post, and these thoughts may offer you a chance to try it out yourself. And maybe I’ll write something else down the line.

In the mean while, good luck, whichever path you choose.

If you’re enjoying reading these little articles or stories, consider throwing some support my way: via ko-fi or alternatives. I’m currently trying to cover my student loan debt payments and that will be my goal going forward too.

Why I never tried D&D before today

I got thoughts, and I got feelings. I’m currently coming down from the session, my first ever D&D session, and feeling all the nerves seeping back into me. Like during the session it was mostly fine, but after the session was over my body started to feel weird again. It’s all in all been a very strange day so it may be related to that, or it’s just my body relaxing.

I wanted to start by explaining a little bit about why I’ve never tried D&D before, because that feels relevant to a post like this. Over the past 10 years or so, I’ve noticed myself getting more and more uncomfortable with doing things where I have to improvise, I hate guessing (have for most of my life), and I just feel very very uncomfortable if I don’t know what I’m doing. I can’t join social games, like the Jackbox games that are super popular on Twitch, or like the normal “get to know each other” games with larger social gatherings, like say a guild meetup. I will often make other excuses for why I’m not participating, even if those excuses were true, I’d never tell anyone that I wasn’t participating because it makes me feel uncomfortable/sick to my stomach…

I also don’t actually know when this happened. I think I used to be quite keen to join games as a kid, at kids parties etc, but over the years that part of me just got mangled and kind of destroyed. I don’t know if it was because of my undiagnosed ADHD, or if it was because of other things, or you know a combination of it all.

I knew I was feeling this fear, indescribable fear, for joining anything like this. That’s why I never talked about it. So I just kept avoiding it instead, I’d just watch and observe. And I kept hating that I couldn’t join, because sometimes I wanted to but I just couldn’t get over that fear. I’m sure at times it would seem like I would think I was “too good” for these social games, but that was never the case. I just couldn’t cross that threshold, an no one saw or knew that I needed that extra help to join and feel safe.

About a month ago I wrote a flash fiction (that’s not been published anywhere) about the invisible social rules, and getting judged by a metric I didn’t have access to. And I feel like around that time did I begin to realize that I had over time cut back on things that I used to enjoy, because of how the world around me would often react to things I’d do, because I didn’t understand the normal rules of the game we call life. That did however help me realize that this is what I’ve been doing to myself, and that I’ve stopped doing so many things that I love to do, because I’m afraid. Things that I either already knew I’d love to do, or that I knew I used to love.

So now, about a month later, a friend called for participants for the last spot or so, to a one-shot D&D session, with a group of people they regularly have sessions with, and I dared to say the words “I’d like to join”. I kind of feel like a combination of that introspection, and reading Non-Player Character by Victoria Corva, a book about a group of friends playing a tabletop rpg together, helped me dare cross that line. Because like, yeah I’m a bit weird and stupid, and I might get hung up on stuff, but this is an environment where we’ll be guided through a story, so I don’t have to have all the answers, and I’m allowed to tumble and fall, and we’ll get a good laugh about it together because I wont be the only one falling (yes it’s a reference to the session, I’ll get to that).

I didn’t only ask to join, but I also was able to articulate my needs, like taking a break to get up and move around and drink water or whatever. And say that it was my first game, and that made me nervous. Luckily for me this was the kind of game designed to onboard new players.

When I told Loa that I had signed up for not just a D&D session, but my very first D&D session (and that it was a one-shot) he was like legit excited and happy for me. And I told him about why I haven’t in the past. And I went on to explain why I was able to now, in a much more abbreviate form than this:

I now take medicine for my ADHD, so some of my overwhelming fears of rejection, rejection sensitive dysphoria being an example of that, has lessened. When I regularly take my meds, and there’s nothing else screwing with it (like hormones and stuff), my RSD is a lot milder. Like I’ve had triggers of it with Loa, and just did a 1min cry about something and then able to move on. Instead of it taking 3-4 hrs to come down from just crying inconsolably. So yeah, not having that big of a fear of rejection, made it a lot easier to say yes.

I wasn’t fearing rejection in the sense of them telling me no to join, but rather it’s just a lot of social gatherings through my life where I’m just incompetent I guess. Everyone else is playing according to some other rules that I don’t understand. The normal ADHD / Autism feeling. The worst part is that I most of the time didn’t realize. I just would be very drained afterwards, and feel dejected over time I guess. Or recognize that something was wrong but not understand why. I’ve had more friends than I can count that just kind of turned on a dime for me, from friendship to not friendship, and it’s probably because I did something that didn’t work well with those rules, that I couldn’t see or understand, and that no one told me went wrong. And this fear kept leaking into other aspects of my life.

I’ve spent a lot of years watching streams with D&D, but actually not Critical Role (figured I’d preempt that one), I’ve just found other groups that have interested me and told interesting stories. I used to play a lot of RPG games on the computer too, like Neverwinter Nights and such, so I was familiar with the fighting, and I do love me some turn based fighting.

The thing that scared me was the story and improvising part. Which it turned out was a lot easier to do once I sat down with this group, than I thought it could ever be. Occasionally my mind would freeze and I couldn’t quite get my thoughts out, but the story could move on fine without my input, and that was okay.

I had a very enjoyable evening, and now I’ll probably still be nervous as I keep doing it in the future, and we’ll have to see how drained it’ll have me tomorrow, because this was a lot more social energy than I’ve spent in months. But I do hope to be able to do it again.

And in the meanwhile I’m just going to enjoy my other friend’s book about a group of friends playing a game together.

We went to the Nether, how did it go? Day 9 of Minecraft

This day in Minecraft took a few weird turns, and instead of explaining it away let’s get started, shall we?

Today Loa and I decided to finally go to the Nether, it was supposed to happen a few episodes ago, but we never actually got around to it, mostly because of the heatwave, and tiredness. So instead, we decided that today was going to be the day. I honestly don’t know WHY I wanted to do this without finishing writing episode 8 first, but here we are, we’re ready to embark on another adventure.

First things first, we need to build our portal, out of Obsidian, close to the house, I wanted it to be within visual distance, so up on the hill felt like a perfect place for it. Loa is standing in the spot we wanted it.

Behind some trees, up on the hill across the pond Loa stands indicating where we're planning to put our portal. His head is also barely visible on the edge of the mini map
Loa: Here? Me: Yeah, that looks like a good spot!

I had learnt from a friend’s recent video that you could sink your portal into the ground, something I probably wouldn’t have thought about on my own. So we decided to do that. Loa explained to me that this also makes it a lot easier to go through it. Which makes sense, and is also kinda cool.

4 blocks of obsidian laid into the ground, between grass and stone.
Foundation laid

We quickly realized that we were slightly short of blocks, but luckily the missing blocks were in the house, so we didn’t have to go digging for anything, it was just fine to go down the hill and fetch them.

Loa running back up the hill
Got the mats?

This wasn’t a huge building project or anything, you just need the inside of it needs to be 2 wide and 3 high, which is about 14 blocks in total, if you include the corners. Which you apparently can skip too. Not important, but just tidbits I’ve caught here and there. And this is the minimal size, so apparently you can just make it a lot of different shapes and stuff, which I thought was pretty cool, but nothing we tried today.

An almost complete portal, but too close picture to see that it's not complete on the top.
Just about finished

Capturing things in still photos isn’t nearly as easy as capturing them in in recorded footage, but that hasn’t stopped me from trying thus far. So I tried to take a photo of the grand opening of the portal, when I used the flint and steel to spark it.

The black obsidian portal is now filled with a purple moving surface, indicating an entrance to another world
Purple goo

And I missed it, it all happened to fast! I used the steel and flint, saw the spark, got super excited, and then POOF the portal was a portal, and it was too late to capture anything. I kind of wish it was a slightly slower animation, to really relish the moment.

The world wobbles as I stand inside the portal
Let’s go!

And as I’m editing this I realized that there are no photos from the Nether. There must’ve been a disturbance between the Overworld and Nether world, so no images were saved. Fear not, for I am a wordsmith! And I shall forge a beautiful story of the anxious adventure we went on!

Going in we were both donning at least one piece of golden armor, looking incredibly stylish with pink and purple armor mixed together, as the gold and iron armors were both enchanted. The golden armor’s main purpose was to to let us safely pass any Piglins we’d meet. Damn, it was lucky that we were wearing that as we stepped through, because our portal put us right at an area teeming with zombie piglins and piglins. Actually think it’s worth mentioning that I didn’t look too closely if it was both piglins and zombie piglins or only zombie piglins, but for the sake of this story it was both!

The piglins weren’t the only swine like things in the nether, there were also hoglins… many many hoglins ready to eat us for breakfast. No, but seriously the piglins were fine, the hoglins not so much. They were a real pita. Any time we got too close they’d charge at us and knock us around. Made it really hard to make progress. Occasionally they would corner us and body blocking us so we couldn’t escape them. And then we also had to avoid friendly fire while fighting them which wasn’t the easiest!

And as if that wasn’t enough, this particular area that we spawned in to was also ripe with Ghasts, I don’t know how many showed up in the first 5 minutes… To say the least, it was rough, and we wasted a lot of our arrows on them, because it’d be really hard to gauge how far away they were, and sometimes it felt like the arrows just went straight through them (and not in the piercing sense!) We soon began fretting about the number of arrows we had left, even though we both had piercing arrows on our crossbows, if we shoot it too far away or into the lava being able to pick them up won’t actually help us very much.

I definitely did not expect ghasts to be something we’d run into so quickly, I thought this was more of a “you’ll run into it later” thing. But then I also learned that where you are in the nether has a correlation to where the portal is in the real (over) world, and that was something I found very interesting. So we were probably just very unlucky with where we ended up spawning in the beginning.

While I was trying to take it all in, this new place I had never experienced before, something had already caught Loa’s eye. Something I can only describe as a Bastion, even though couldn’t see it clearly yet, just indications of it on the map. It was high high up, we were not. So we decided to slowly make our way in it’s direction and see if we could find any good paths up there, while still allowing me to explore and chop down random wood, and look for netherquartz and glowstone etc.

Loa was excited about the amounts of glowstone, and I didn’t know where to look, so I was trying to ask him to point it out to me, and I still wasn’t looking in the right direction, so he had to help me by directing my sight up, and it was kind of amazing. Some of it was just hanging over lava beds, did I mention that there’s lava in the nether? Yeah, there’s lava in the nether. A lot of lava, like everywhere. And if it’s not lava it’s fire blossoms, which spoiler alert, will catch you on fire when you step over them. Also, some thorny types of bushes, which… made some of the adventuring even more difficult.

As we were trying to find our way up there, after pathing around some obstacles, working on getting altitude, I was trying really hard to keep the coordinates correctly in my head as I walked around and took new turns, I found myself thinking “the best way to get up there is to dig here”, so I started to dig a stair. In the meanwhile, Loa was digging up more netherquartz and glowstone where he could find it, I informed him that we had a safe space within the stairs if he wanted to close it behind us, as we by this point had struggled a lot with skeletons and hoglins catching us off guard and spawning in behind us. And ofc the ghasts chirping at us, in a cute yet chilling way.

For some reason, and I’m not sure why, it was probably just one of those days, I got really confused. As I just kept digging up and eventually hit bedrock, I was sure there should be an opening somewhere. So I tried backtracking and digging somewhere else, and then I realized, that I had dug in the entirely wrong direction. So we tried to backtrack and see where we’d last seen the path we wanted to take.

Me and Loa borked around for a bit, still very confused about where we were, slightly upset about fiery flowers that kept catching me on fire, and that together with a combination of Skeletons, Hoglins and Ghasts completely messed with us, and in that flurry of a mess Loa died, while I was still alive. I kept running around trying to deal with the hoglin that had killed Loa, and did my best to stay alive while getting his stuff off his corpse, so he could get back into the zone with all his gear.

Luckily, and something I’ve not really been mentioning much in recent episodes, we had our magical backpack. Our backpack wasn’t only a backpack each, it had been accidentally duped on day 3-4 when I was trying to recover my corpse, but couldn’t find it, but used creative game mechanics to recover my items (this was before I discovered the level zero fuckery of the Corpse mod). Basically, we had more than one backpack, that could access the same inventory, as a shared inventory. And thanks to the corpse mod, I could also pick up his stuff, use the backpack to send it back home to him (because we had additional 2 in a chest which were our backup emergency ones), and I was able to send him back all his stuff.

After I sent his stuff through, and while he was taking his time to get organized and prepared to come back into the nether, I ended up dying as well. At this point I was mad and sad because of that. And damn did I blame him for it! I just needed a moment to be mad, and then was like “okay let’s get ready and go back and fetch my stuff this time.” and at least I knew how to get back there, mostly.

So we both went back in, and while adventuring there, finding our way the best we could, I said that I didn’t want to stay after we found my body, I wanted to just get my stuff and get out of there. I didn’t feel like our gear accommodated for our different play-styles at this particular moment in this particular place, so I needed out.

I definitely have thoughts about why I felt like I had had enough, so let me elaborate.

My thoughts about the Nether

After we left the Nether, and decided to not go back, Loa asked me if the Nether scared me. And scared isn’t the word I’d use to describe it, however going into the Nether with Loa at this time was incredibly stressful to me, probably similar to the mineshaft yesterday, because it was entirely new to me, and a lot going on all the time. I’d hear the ghasts make a sound, every few minutes, and I knew they were baddies, and they usually had you in their sight when they chirped. Like, from others playing I’d seen it as that they weren’t that abundant, but maybe it’s just different areas… Or editing…

I also noticed that we weren’t doing anything like we would in the overworld, in tunnels and caves, putting torches down to make areas safe, like I don’t even know if that works in the nether I didn’t get a chance to ask Loa about it (don’t answer this!), and we both only had iron and gold gear. And Iron weapons. Which is like, it’s probably doable, but it wasn’t great. We were wasting a lot of our arrows, and our food on silly things. Neither of us had fire-protection on our gear (this is an afterthought, because I’m not even sure I knew it was a thing at this point in time).

Loa really just wanted to get to the bastion asap because “good loot”, but I was like “this is entirely new to me, and I want to experience it, I want to explore it with that awe of a first time”, and I honestly don’t think it’d be possible with someone who’s a lot more familiar with it and comfortable in that environment. And I think that ended up turning me off of this specific place, on this particular night.

I think adventuring together with someone you love, in a game they love, can be a fantastic experience, and it definitely has been at times, but it can also have very frustrating elements in it, like when your playstyles are completely different, which they were this day and in this case.

I feel like I need to clarify, and I guess this connects a lot with my “let new players be noobs” post I posted recently, that I am not talking about any of this in a hateful manner, I understand his excitement of going into a “cooler” place of the game, to go get “good shit”, but I was still in that exploration and awe phase, just enjoying the overworld a lot. Not looking to progress by going to the Nether. I still wanted to go there, that’s why we did it, but I didn’t have a specific goal in mind other than maybe picking up some glowstone. Unfortunately, us doing it together at this specific time wasn’t the right time.

As it stands right now we’ve set another plan for possibly going to the nether again together, and I’ll tell you more about it when / if that happens. There’s still a lot more adventures as well as chill gaming ahead in the days to come. Speaking of chill gaming:

A chill night ensued

So, I continued the night with some more chill adventures, I asked Loa if he wanted to go on another adventure, because I saw something on the map that looked like it could be another village in a different biome that was still fairly close to us, but I think he didn’t quite hear me. So I’ve saved that adventure for another day.

We both started doing other things, I just headed out to dig up some gravel because we needed more flint. For arrows. So many arrows.

At the bottom of the river by our house (indicated by the minimap) digging up gravel.
Need more flint for arrows please.

I’m very much in love with my neptunium armor, so I can breath under water. I’m very spoiled by it.

More gravel, this time in a cave. Some blocks are on the ground.
Dig dig dig

Putting gravel blocks back so we could dig it up again at some other point.

Putting pieces of gravel back into the big hole digging it out in the first place created.
I’m weird okay, don’t worry about it

I know it’s weird to put the gravel back, but I keep thinking “I’d fill this up with stone anyways, and this way when someone else comes through they may be like “oh gravel, let me just dig this out” because they too need flint. That’s actually pretty neat, that you can just keep placing the same gravel block to get more flint out of it. Which I think I only learnt by accident, or asked Loa about.

I also went deeper into the mines, just going digging for more ores. I was mainly hunting for diamonds so we could get better gear and prepare for another big adventure and make sure all our tools were diamond and enchanted.

Gold ore among the stone, in between a lot of moss and green.
A little bit of gold
Lots of iron nodes in the stone wall of a tunnel
And a little bit of iron
4 visible diamond blocks next to a little bit of water in a dark cave
And a lot of diamonds
Mined out 2 blocks of Diamond, uncovering another 2 blocks of diamond.
Underneath 2 more blocks
All in all there were 8 blocks of diamond here.
Jackpot! 8 all in all

We also figured out if we tame our own llama, if we could put stuff on it. Loa started with the one we already had at home, and was only able to put 3 item slots on it. Neither of us could figure out why.

A llama on a hill in the dark rainy night. I'm holding a lead in my hand.
Wanna be friends little llama?

After he logged out I tamed another one, and brought it back home. And I managed to figure out how we could get better llamas. Apparently they have a strength stat, and a 3 strength Llama gave 9 inventory slots. Which I thought was pretty neat. I still need to go see if I can get any more and better ones.

Me sitting on the back of the llama at home, in order to tame it.
Are we friends now?
The llama now has a cloth on it's back, and a storage box for carrying stuff

A lot of this day didn’t quite go as intended, but there were still enjoyable moments. And yes, those gold pants did break before I managed to repair them.

I’ll see you again soon.

If you’re enjoying reading these little articles or stories, consider throwing some support my way: via ko-fi or alternatives. I’m currently trying to cover my student loan debt payments and that will be my goal going forward too.

Allow New Players time to be Noobs in #Minecraft

This can apply for any game, so here’s a thought:

Let new players be new players,
Let them learn and experience things for the very first time on their own.
You don’t have to tell them the best and simplest way to do things,
or how to do something they haven’t figured out yet, unprompted.
And even if they do ask what seems like a question, check in with them if they want to know out right, or if they want to get a hint where to look, or if it was just a rhetorical question.

But why you might wonder? And let me tell you
You only really get that fresh new feeling once when playing a game,
and often once you’ve learned things you don’t just magically forget about it (unless for health reasons, that’s a completely different post)
Even moments of frustration, or moments of wonder, doesn’t mean that the optimal solution or simplest solution should be offered to fix things.

Just watch someone’s video
or read someone’s blog post
chronicling their experience
in order to join them in the fun
of discovering everything for the first time.
Join them in learning new things as they go along.
Struggling, or being frustrated
can be part of the experience,
it can also be part of the show.
Enjoy the show. And if you don’t, change the channel.

And sometimes it’s not part of anything. Sometimes it just is, and that’s okay too.

I understand that you want to help new players, and help them learn things,
but if they aren’t asking you, don’t just tell them.
Let them do,
Let them be,
and first, and probably foremost,
let them create and enjoy themselves in doing so.

Let them have conversations that revolve around what they know,
and sometimes the best thing you can do is bite your tongue.
This is something you probably need to practice,
I sure know I have,
but you’ll get there, I believe in you. I allow you to be a noob too.

Just let us be as we experience this game for the first time.

First time experiences with something like Minecraft
that has 10 years on it’s neck is somewhat of a niche.
And eventually you grow out of it.
I’m painfully aware that I’m going to grow out of the niche I’m currently residing,
and maybe that’s why I’m extra protective of myself and others who currently live here.

Most of my readers on here, and my other online communities, have been fantastic about this, so this isn’t about you, but this is for those moments when you play any game and just want help telling someone to shut the fuck up, without explaining in excruciating detail why you just want to experience this on your own but sharing in the fun.

This message is brought to you by “the comment section ruins everything” and “people on discord don’t understand when people just don’t want to know every detail when they are a new player”, but it is written with love, because we were all noobs once.

If you’re enjoying reading these little articles or stories, consider throwing some support my way: via ko-fi or alternatives. I’m currently trying to cover my student loan debt payments and that will be my goal going forward too.

Dungeon diving, and boat rowing. Minecraft Day 8

Before I start, I feel like it’s worth mentioning that what I will refer to as “dungeons” in this post, I’ve since learnt that they are called Mineshafts, do correct me if I’m still wrong (since I’m asking). Anyways, I’ll keep referring to them as dungeons in this specific post, and may adjust my language in future posts. I do not actively try to look for the “proper” language in these posts, because part of the charm for me personally is figuring out what stuff is, and naming things or referring to things in the way that makes sense to me. Okay okay, let’s get started shall we:

I hate this game. Okay, I may be exaggerating, but I did die enough today to utter the words “I HATE THIS GAME” more than once. And I honestly didn’t die that much, but the XP, THE XP! It was all lost… *Cry* Luckily we were, as before, able to get our corpses back so it wasn’t too bad. And yes, I’m saying We, because Loa joined me for an entire full session today and I think that was the first for us, and we had a lot of fun doing a lot of different things both together and separately.

As you remember from yesterday, I had logged out in a very safe spot, because I wanted to pick up where I was and to explore further. I wasn’t entirely sure what this “dungeon” would bring, but I wanted to go down there to have a look. I asked Loa a few times if it was safe, if I would die, and if I should be worried about whatever he’d mentioned yesterday, he said I could go on and that the thing he mentioned shouldn’t be relevant because apparently I need a key (I still have no idea what he was talking about.)

Me on the edge of a deep ravine inside of the cave system
Don’t look down

Loa joined the game. But went on his own adventures for now.

Looking down into the ravine and the entrance a the bottom of it that I want to reach
I looked down…

So I started to make my way down, but I kept getting distracted by iron, and coal, and anything mineable really. Me, distracted? No, Never! (I legit had to open a stream to distract my involuntary attention so I can keep writing this, why ADHD brain, why?) I kept making all the ores and coal, and redstone and lapis into blocks, to be able to fit more into my backpack, and so I could see how much I had gathered by the end of it all (keep reading and I’ll show you!).

Lots and lots of iron ore nodes along the cliff edge wall
How can I resist this?

I even ran into a giant slime, and to my dismay it split into more slimes after I killed it. Let me say I had been very surprised at how easily it died just milliseconds before I realized that it split, and that they were all coming for me. I had been hoping that the big slime was friendly but it was walking towards me in a way that scared me, so I had to attack in self-defense (Yes, I hear how bad that sounds.. ew).

Several different sized slimes bouncing towards me.
They are not happy with me

I also did some swimming again…

Swim swim swim, what if I missed something

I can’t stop exploring in this game, it always fascinates me.

So much ore, everywhere, pick pick and gather and never actually going back to where I was planning to go.

Iron ore blocks just by the surface of the water
More iron

I was so confused when I found this, I knew I had blocks of Raw Iron in my backpack, but I didn’t expect to see it in the wild!

Block of Raw Iron in the cliff-face
Have you seen these?

Looking back I honestly think I was very nervous and just trying to do ANYTHING but going into the “dungeon”.

Another cliff-side full of iron ores. with a waterfall in the foreground
How am I supposed to resist this?

But look at all this ore though like some things you just don’t leave behind.

A slightly different angle, I'm in front of the cliff-side covered with iron ore.

I finally made it to the entrance and looked back up, to show you where I came from.

Looking up the waterfall, towards the place I took the picture looking down. Lots of green vines growing down from the ceiling and moss around the place
Gorgeous isn’t it?

Dungeon Time

A wooden pier with an opening in to inside the cave system
The entrance, I dreaded it.

Finally I made it into the maze like tunnels of the “dungeon”, and after exploring a lot of the tunnels in there, and stripping all of the rails that I could, I did find some chests and some nifty loot. The chests were in minecarts which I knew could be useful so I picked them up after looting them

vine covered walls, cave supported by wooden beams, and sporadic pieces of rail along the ground
And so it begins

I tried to go through it methodically, but I’m wonder if the mini-map was actually a hindrance to me because I kept seeing things I couldn’t quite get to yet, and I’d obsess about where I was on the map and not figure out where I could actually go.

A tunnel without any green, a torch at the end of it, and a rail at the very far end
Deeper we go

First spider web, surely it’s nothing to worry about.. Right?

Tunnel with a spiderweb in the corner, rail leading further into the darkness
Let’s venture further

But then I saw one tunnel that was completely filled with spider web, I feared going there, and asked Loa if I should, if it was safe, or if, you know, I should just turn around and never look back? He assured me it was safe.

Very many spiderwebs blocking the path in the tunnel
I should’ve brought fire.

I cut my way through some of it, and used my shears to cut them down a little bit faster (at least I imagined it was faster).

I seemed to have disturbed something, and small cave spiders (smaller than I was used to) started to attack me.

Still cutting through some of the webs, and an arrow is sticking out of the support column on my left.
This could go bad fast.

As you can see there’s an arrow sticking out of the post on the left side of the screen, so I was fighting not only what felt like invisible enemies, but also ones that would actively seek me out.

Quickly more and more small cave spiders came out of it to attack me. And they all did poison damage, something that was completely new to me. Which drained so much more of my health than I realized, so when I thought I was good and safe to kill the skeleton that was behind the webs and next to the spawner, I was not, and I died before I knew it. I think this was the very first time I was incredibly mad about dying in this game, and I was like “how the fuck do I get back there”.

Death screen, red tinted with the text: "You died! kinkymal was shot by Skeleton"

Look at all that xp though, 27 enchanting levels!

Back home

Loa was back at the house by now, after having set out to the village when he logged on. I don’t know what he did at the village other than trade for a bit, and heal some Iron Golems that were suffering from low health. He offered to join me to retrieve my corpse, so we headed back out again.

Loa dressed in purple looking iron armor, with his blue overall with yellow cuffs sticking out covering his arms.
Loa looking at me disappointingly.

As I got dressed in golden armor I felt ridiculous. Most of this was looted armor, but I did not realize how pink it was because of the enchantment.

A brownhaired character wearing a yellow/pink armor. The pink is due to enchantment adding color on top.
Photo from Loa’s perspective of me.

Pet break. Horses I brought home yesterday. Before we head back out on adventure I had forgotten to show these off yesterday (yes I’m still calling it yesterday even though this post is published much much later).

Two black horses almost indistinguishable from each other in the rain.  

a black sheep ins looking at them from the inside of the fence. And Loa is running off.
We did not go on horse back, but I wanted to show these pretty horses.

Corpse Recovery

So when making our way back to where I died, I was trying to find my original entrance again, which was under water, but in doing so ended up taking another tunnel under water which led to the surface on the other side of the land… Loa tried to follow me and died in the process… I laughed and cried while I waited for him to come back again.

"Loagames drowned whilst trying to escape Skeleton" Loa's corpse floating on the water.
Rest in peace sweetheart.

As we continued and got to above where my corpse would be, Loa was like “we can just dig straight down to get to your stuff, I can do it and put water at the bottom for you so you can jump down”, and I was like “okay, it’s at -31”

Loa digging down a hole while I look down at him
Bye for now
Loa disappearing in the even deeper hole
Are we there yet?

After a while of digging, as we were quite high up compared to where my body was supposed to be, Loa was like “don’t they end up at 0?” and yeah, that was true.

He dug down to that level, and he was like “so where is it?” and I had to tell him, just dig in a circle at that level, and OMG! he laughed so much when he finally found my corpse! The same laughter as when I found my first one at one of those “in the middle of the mountain”-points.

My corpse blueish with the sword in my hand sticking straight up, inside the stone.
Photo of my corpse, by Loa

It was time for me to follow him down and retrieve my corpse.

Looking over the edge moments before I jump down.
From my perspective jumping down to Loa
Loa's perspective: looking up through the deep hole we just dug, seeing me falling.
Photo up my skirt as I’m falling down, by Loa.
Water is visible at the bottom of the hole as I fall down towards 0.
I’m coming down
My corpse from my perspective. different matching colour gear.
got all my shit back

Now that we had recovered my corpse, and were ready to continue down into the caves and dungeons, and so we did another dig straight down and another puddle of water for me to jump into.

All in all we went down close to 100 blocks in height. From 67, to -28

We were back in the dungeon, and decided to try and find the new path I knew I hadn’t explored yet. But just kept running in circles before we found a way to go elsewhere, and found a new path and a new adventure. Almost immediately we ran into another monster spawner with the horrible horrible poisonous spiders. And they all aggroed on me, while I was trying to hide behind a corner, and I think in that moment Loa managed to destroy the spawner, while I died. I had to make my way back again, and then we had to find our corpses again, because he died from a creeper.

Minecraft death screen: "You died! kinkymail was slain by Cave Spider"
Dead again.

Loa made a fancy but also very dangeours “elevator” to go back down the same hole we had already dug out, and he said “You can come with” but I plainly refused because it felt way too scary. Basically he used a water source block which he’d pick up before it was too late, and it freaked me out enough to watch.

Looking down the damn hole again as Loa uses water to elevator his way down.

Another fall all the way down, let me spare you the pictures of that…

We decided to only retrieve our corpses and then leave that dungeon for now.

I felt like it got a lot more stressful going together, because if he’d rush ahead I’d always try to catch up instead of going carefully and make sure it’s safe. I think it may be doable when I’m more used to the game, but not right now.

Your regular scheduled cave exploring

So we were back out in the “normal” cave. And Loa found some diamond nodes that I had completely missed before. So of course I had to come back and help mine it. We only had one mining pick made of diamond. And I think it may have been enchanted with Fortune I at this time.

Loa standing below a cave wall covered in a few blocks of diamonds
Precious diamonds.

After we left the dungeon we eventually went our separate ways within the caves, and I decided to keep moving towards the desert region that had been my initial goal when heading out yesterday (feels like forever ago now). I kept doing it through the caves, but had trouble finding a way out and kept running in circles, still digging up more resources.

Gold ores in droves, some mined out some still in the walls.
All the gold
Ores of iron in a smaller part of the cave system
and more iron, can never have too much iron

During our adventures Loa and I were talking about how satisfying mining is in this game, and that we both just wanna keep doing it even when we’re trying to do other things. So we decided that if we end up with 64 blocks of Iron Ore, we both have to stop mining for a while.

I guess there’s a reason it’s called Minecraft, huh.

Glowing squid under the water next to some red stone
A tunnel, with 2 torches on the right side, showing the way.
Is this the way out?

I kept looking for caves that would help me get out, while keeping walking in the right cardinal direction. As you can see in the above photo I’m turned the wrong way, but hoping this twisting cave can lead out.

Take aim, get set, row!

Eventually I did manage to get out of the ground and to start my trek North West (I think accidentally wrote North East before/yesterday), and I made it to the ocean, and realized that I had to keep crossing it to get to wherever I was going. Remember, it was almost 3000 bl from home, which is quite a way to go on foot.

Map of what I've "discovered" thus far. It shows the loaded chunks of the game, a setting that can be adjusted.
Map, home is approximately by O.

Since I knew I had to cross a lot of water to continue, I decided to build a boat.

Me looking out over some grassy islands and a lot of water, minimap shows half and half in water and land.
More adventure ahoy

I already had a crafting table in my backpack to be able to craft things on the fly when needed. It’s very nice for tools that were still iron, or emergency stone tools, or just a new full stack of torches.

I also use the crafting table to compress resources into blocks of the resource, so blocks of raw Iron and Gold ore, and blocks of Redstone and Lapis, and of course coal, which I just kept mining even though we don’t really need it.

Me rowing my boat, you can see 3 distinct biomes intersecting with each other
tricky water terrain ahead

I rowed the boat, North/West, I went over a lot of open ocean and places that hadn’t loaded in yet, which got quite laggy to do while both of us were on the server. Took a while for us to realize that was causing Loa trouble though. Whoops.


No adventure would be complete without even MORE distractions.

Looks like a wooden structure in the water, but is a capsized ship. Me in a boat rowing towards it
What is that?

Could that be, a boat? Wonder if it has treasure!

A chest hidden away behind trap doors inside the upside down boat

I don’t know what I expected, but this wasn’t it! Heck, that’s amazing.

The contents of the chest, filled with iron and gold bars and nuggets, emeralds, 1 lapis.

We already had some emeralds, but tbh more emeralds never hurt anyone. And iron and gold is always useful.

Rowing into the night, dark blue ocean, jet black sky. a bee flying just above the water surface.
what are you doing outhere little bee?

Just keep rowing

Map, showing where I started, the short distance I've gone, since our death adventures. My death marker still on the map. Just hit open ocean as far as the eye can see.
Gently into that dark night we go.

While rowing, I tried my very very very very best to not get MORE distracted, but we do know that any adventure game is just ripe with distractions. I rowed over this gorgeous underwater temple, and I know approximately what’s in side, but I definitely want to go back there when both me and Loa have Neptunium Gear so we can both breathe and see under water. I’m looking forward to that!

Me in boat on the surface of the water, below the surface a big structure is lit up. There's a looming feeling an adventure waiting to happen.
An adventure for another day

Row row row your boat, gently across the entire fucking ocean. Phew. Okay we did it. There’s only so many images you can take while crossing an entire ocean. But we did it, we made it, we found hat looks like sand dunes.

Me in the boat on the water, below the surfaces are a lot of colourful corals, and in the background you can see land, sandy hills.
Don’t get distracted by shiny colors.

I finally made it to the the desert, it wasn’t desert only it was mixed with something else but I don’t remember. Before I went up on land to look for the cacti, I noticed the beautiful corral in the water, and decided to go in and have a closer look

Underwater image of the corals, mostly purple, some blue.
Just looking.

Underwater I found sea pickles, which kind of worked like glow lichen but in the water, and I picked one up and unlocked the lime dye recipe. Lime dye was why I was out in the desert to begin with, because I needed that green dye, to mix with the white dye. And here I discovered a plant that immediately gave me Lime Dye. I may or may not have facepalmed at this.

Sea pickles at the bottom of the ocean. They shine a light in a small radius around them.
Sea Pickles!

The funniest thing right now was that I still had no idea what I needed the lime dye for, but it was something cool, and I knew it was worth the epic adventure to get it. And I was going to show Loa as soon as I got back and built it.

Under the water, baby zombies coming at me. They look darker and more muted than normal.
Baby zombies under water

Even the zombies were different here. Considering how far away from home I was I still had to be careful, so I didn’t have to struggle too much to make it all the way back if I died.

Gorgeous sunrise in the rain, the sky is red. with hints of blue at the very top.
That view though. It never ceases to amaze me.

Neverending adventure

Of course I found a pyramid (is that what it is? I’m having trouble with words atm), and I knew what was hiding at the very bottom, I just had to be careful to not blow up.

Sandstone castle, gorgeous architecture, I hadn’t seen sandstone yet, nor Terracotta. And here I found both.

Chests at the bottom of a very deep fall. In the middle there’s a square block in a different color.

Do you know what’s underneath? Do you want to know? If not I’d scroll by now.

This is a very deadly trapped room, but because I already knew about it, I didn’t die horrible to the copious amounts of TNT that was hidden just below the surface here. And instead I just brought home as much loot as I could. Heck yes!

Can you see the trap? In the middle of the screen there's a pressure plate. The 4 walls have a chest each built into them.

I promptly forgot to take the rest of the screenshots here.. So I’m sorry I can’t show you any more, I promise I’ll do my best to show you next time I run into one of these.

Jungle Hills

I started the trek home, and I found new biomes. And Loa wanted me to sample some to bring home. Because these jungle trees could house cacao beans, and vines!

A very very tall tree, probably about 10 blocks high at least.
So big

I tried to row through the area, and get to the other side, but in some places I had to pick up my boat and walk again.

A tight river, with mountain on one side, and green leaves on the other.
end of file rowboatjokes.txt
water leading into very lush jungle, and in the water there's piranhas.
I don’t want to sleep with these fishes

Let’s not find out if piranhas in this game wants to eat me alive. That’s an adventure for another day.

I couldn’t resist the urge for some last minute roleplaying, by cutting my way through the leafy bushes to get out of the jungle and make my way back home. It’s not easy to catch this well on a screenshot.

Me with my sword out, cutting my way through the leaves in my path.
Cutting my way through the bush

Home Sweet Home

Finally I made it back home. and I’m running out of words.

My 3 sheep, 2 horses, and 1 llama by the front garden.
Anyone fancy a pickle?

Loa had been making our house look nicer in the meanwhile. Because our chests were just filled with stuff and I just thrive in organized chaos (don’t judge me, you know what ADHD is like).

Loa standing in front of an Armor Stand with Chainmail full armor on it.
Putting our armors on display

While I was inside, minding my business, I heard these words form beside me “IS THAT DIAMOND ARMOR?”. Loa was still wearing iron mostly, and I was like “maybe”.

Loa standing on the windowsill, outside the house looking in.

Back in side, he kept crouching to look at me in disapproving manners (see it was disapproving! I’m not projecting, this is what you do Loa!).

Loa crouching, looking at me even more disapproving.
Is it diamond????

Yes, I had made one diamond helmet, but the armor was Neptunium. Because fishing is OP.

And to wrap things up

As promised, the collection of blocks of ore and things. 64 blocks of redstone, 31 blocks of lapis, 54 blocks of Iron Ore, 16 blocks of Gold, 51 blocks of coal. A lot of coal was used while adventuring because torches, but I think all in all this is a pretty good haul.

Screenshot of the backpack, 64 blocks of Redstone, 31 blocks of Lapis, 54 blocks of Iron Ore, 16 blocks of Gold, and 51 blocks of Coal.
So much from exploring

Additionally, some blog site related things: This post took the longest to write, mostly because this week was a weird week, but also because a long gaming session translates into A LOT of adventures all squeezed into one.

I hope you still enjoyed it, and I’m trying to figure out a nice balance going forward, but I don’t quite know what it’ll be like yet. Loa has had 2 weeks off, and that’s the time we’ve been playing Minecraft together (except for the first few days), and going forward he’ll be back to work (in real time, not blog time, this posts’ adventure was started 10 days ago), on the night shift, so I’ll probably be playing a lot more on my own again, and we’ll see how that all goes. I mean most of the time when we’re playing together we are often playing apart and then showing each other things later. As you’ll see in upcoming posts.

Until next time, try to not explode your house.

Loa standing next to a block of TNT inside of our very wooden house.

If you’re enjoying reading these little articles or stories, consider throwing some support my way: via ko-fi or alternatives. I’m currently trying to cover my student loan debt payments and that will be my goal going forward too.

A week of adventures & it’s only getting better, Minecraft Day 7

Today me and Loa made a plan and logged in to execute it. Unfortunately most thing didn’t go to plan, but it was still an incredibly adventurous night for me!

Horse standing around in the darkness wearing its diamond armor
Let’s go get Loa, horsie!

Loa spawned in back over at the village, where he had logged out last time, so I got on my horse to head over to meet him, and to show off the horse obviously. When I tried to ask for directions he didn’t know where he was, but we did our best to find each other.

Also, you’d be surprised how hard it can be to ride a horse through a forest with sweet berry bushes, the thorny fuckers.. We (me and the horse) kept getting stuck and hurt, but eventually we got there.

Loa made some lowely friends

On the way Loa picked up some friends that we brought back home, one of the reasons we’d headed out in the first place the previous day: Cows! Mostly for milk.

He was trying to bring the cows back with hay in his hands. Fortunately I had some leads on me, which would make it a lot easier to get them home.

Soon after I handed over the leads to Loa, I had to fight off some pillagers and I told him “go! I’ll fight them off and protect you!”, damn I if that didn’t make me feel heroic.

I was already low in health, from stumbling through the bush, so I had to run away from the pillagers to get some distance so I could eat to regain some stamina and health. I managed to quickly defeated them all. And it was all worth it for this cutie: look at this tiny creature, aren’t they just adorable?

I tiny baby cow looking to the side.
am I not adorable?
Smol cow looking up at me
Baby cow do do do do do do

I’m in awe of how cute these baby animals are in this game. Doesn’t matter if it’s the cow, the pig, the chicken, the sheep. IT’S SO FLUFFY.

Do you want to go to the Nether?

This was the question Loa had posed to me before our session today, and I went like “sure, but I think we need more obsidian first”. I explained to him how I knew the approximate way to get there: I know we need to make a circle, approximately 6×4; and somehow light it on fire. Either with lava, or something else? Loa quickly told me yeah just put it on fire the other way. What way? Turns out it was flint and steel, which seems to be the only reason to use it (that I’ve noticed since fires rarely go out).

We decided to jump back down the caves to some proper lava lakes to make obsidian, as he’d already showed me how it works. But had only been on one source block, and deeper in the caves we could find more. So we went down the secondary route to the caves (the one I’d recently built after I went a bit overboard with digging upwards).

Loa, still armored up in his pink (enchanted) glowing iron armor, and blue arms, behind him is a lava fall, and in front of him is some water.
“We need to go deeper”

From here we built a simple stair down the wall, to a much deeper spot where we found a small lava lake, I’m aware that it’s a gigantic one on the mini map. And again, I forgot to take any cool pictures of that particular experience, Loa definitely distracts me too much.

We prepared it the “smart” way to make obsidian. Basically the idea is that you keep water on top, so when you mine it and it opens up, it opens up to the lava but water immediately touches it again so it becomes more obsidian, and most likely the obsidian doesn’t actually go back into the lava and get destroyed. I even managed to position myself in a way so the water flow continuously brought the obsidian blocks straight to me.

When we got about 30 blocks of obsidian from our mining operation, some extra iron and diamonds too, we decided to head back up to the surface. And because we built a nice stair up it was fairly easy to get back.

Due to the heatwave going on in real life (the UK), we took a break to go to the store and buy ice cream.

When we came back from the store, my adventures in the game continued alone for the night.

Trader visit gone bad

Back at the house, another Llama trader came to visit. While I went inside to look if I had anything to trade with them, they moved around to the other side of the house.

Trader with two llamas at the back of the house. They are all wearing blue cloth with red and golden accents.
Oh hi there, please do come to the front of the house.

Quickly I noticed something was going on around the trader, and turns out that since it was night, a zombie had arrived and was fighting with the llamas, and the trader. Once the zombie was dead something strange started happening.

The two llamas next to the trader on the other side of the house, the brown llama is jumping and you can see white specks on the ground.
What’s going on?

One of the llamas was running around and jumping around like crazy. The trader himself disappeared, and the health of one of the llamas kept going down. I was really confused, and I asked Loa if he knew what was going on. Then he said the magic words: “It’s attacking the other one, because it probably attacked it by accident when they fought the zombie.” That’s when I noticed the white spit spawning everywhere, but it did disappear quite fast so I hadn’t quite noticed it at first.

The two llamas, the trader is no where to be seen, and the brown llamas health is in decline, it's still jumping around.
Why are you like this llamas?

The white llama became the victor, if you can call it that, and the trader was just gone. I had seem him drink a potion before he disappeared and after that he just didn’t show back up.

I tied his surviving white llama to the fence, just in case he came back for it. And apparently I could sit on it, but not feed it to make it friendly and useful to me. That said I did not try to put a saddle on it, maybe next time.

Me sitting on the white llama that's tied to the fence at the front of my house.
Guess we’re friends now.

Night time fishing and extended fishing trip

I decided to go on a fishing trip while waiting to see if Loa wanted to come back on (spoiler, he didn’t he continued his night with his other mistress, Guild Wars 2, the game we met through over 8 years ago). The last time I just got distracted by the horse, and didn’t really get much fishing in. This time I had a goal in mind.

Fishing rod into the water, some bubbles around it, the sky is reddish as the sun is setting.
Just me and my fishing rod

I wanted to capture how visibly good the fishing is in this game, the bubbles that swim towards your bobber is such a nice visual, and the audio captions does tell you when it sinks, which you can get read out to you too. I keep the captions on because they help me be sure I’m not hearing things that aren’t there, a great way accessibility features can help everyone *she says like she’s not disabled*.

Bubbles moving towards the fishing bobber almost arrow shaped
Fish about to catch

If you’ve ever fished in real life, you know it’s not quite like that, but there’s definitely more bubbles around the bobber (depending on depth) before it pulls, and that’s also very visually represented here and bubbles start popping up before they finally gather to move towards the bobber.

I continued fishing through the night, and I don’t really know how many days I was out for. But definitely long enough to eventually get attacked by phantoms at the worst possible time.

Daytime, still fishing, but now it's raining and the surroundings are a lot ligther
Here fishie fishies

I was legit wondering if more fish or other fish catch when it’s raining. There’s a mod called aquaculture in this modpack, and I don’t know if it’s has any of those type of effects, but I do know that it can matter where you fish to what kind of fish or loot you get.

night time fishing again, the sky along the horizon is tinted red, and it's raining.
on and on we go.

I soon got distracted from doing the actual fishing, but I had gotten what I came for, a very particular chest, and I started to explore the coast, and cut a lot of trees until my inventory eventually was too full to continue.

Another Ruin

A few days ago a friend read all my chapters of this adventure so far, and they were very excited because they’ve been playing Minecraft since the very beginning, and appreciated seeing it through someone’s very fresh eyes, which is honestly kind of the reason why I’m writing these. Because I know you can only have that fresh experience once and I wanted to share it with you.

They did say something funny, to me, though and that was “You’ll lose your shit when you find out what those ruins are”, which got me thinking. “Do I already know what they are, or don’t I?”

Which leads me onto this: today I ran into another ruin, that actually looks a lot like a netherportal, and it even had flint and steel in the chest this time, which was such a clear giveaway, especially after Loa told me today that that was an alternative way to spark the fire needed.

A ruined netherportal, almost completely solid except for 3 blocks, with a shiny gold block at the top, and netherrack around it.
Today was not the day, but it could’ve been

Turns out, I may not lose my metaphorical shit, until I actually go through and experience it. The previous ruin didn’t actually look much like a portal, but this one definitely did. I am excited for that adventure, but that’s for another day.

Aquatic Friends

One of the first things I saw while on my fishing trip earlier today was a dolphin. And I was in glee over it.

Looking over the water, a dolphin is in the distance along the shore just under the surface
Can you see it?

Here you can see it looking at me under the water. I noticed that they’d give you a speed boost occasionally, which was very exiting!

Under the water among the kelp a dolphin is looking at me
Hi fren!

I continued my exploration, and saw something else in the distance.

There's a green blob on a small island across the water from me.
What is that green blob?

“Is it a turtle? or a tortoise? gotta be a tortoise, right? because I bet it’ll go into the water” (not me getting turtle and tortoise backwards during this conversation with myself, nope not at all).

A turtle on the beech
It is a Turtle!

It really was a turtle, while I was rummaging through my inventory to find something to feed it, like jellyfish, it had dove into the water and began swimming away.

Me left holding jellyfish in my hand, while the turtle is swimming away in the blue water.
good bye, friend, until next time.

It was time to make my way back home.


All in all the fishing trip was good, and it resulted in me getting the one thing I was looking for.

Inventory opened, hovering over a turquoise box that sayd "Neptune's Bounty ??????"
What could this contain?

Neptune’s bounty. I knew this was in the game, and being the dopamine addict I am (hello ADHD), opening chests with secret loot may be one of my favorite things. Especially when I know there’s a chance something really cool is in there.

Neptune's Bounty, the turquoise chest placed in my house.
Let’s open it shall we

*I hope I get a piece of gear, I hope I get a piece of gear*

Inside the box there is kelp, see grass, driftwood and Neptunium Chestplate
Oh shiny!

Heck yes! I got Neptunium Chestplate with Neptune’s Lungs which allows me to breathe under the water! Of course I immediately had to try it out in the pond in front of the house and got some mining done.

Me descending towards the bottom in the pond in front of my house
I can breathe underwater!

Then I spent an exorbitant amount of time trying to sort through my inventory and move stuff to the correct chest so I could leave the house again, but every time I thought I’d emptied it, I kept finding things to move out of it, because probably the last time I opened a chest I found something that wasn’t where it was supposed to be.

And then I decided to just dump the rest in the dump chest, so I could go on another adventure because that whole thing had me feeling like I was stuck in an endless loop while trying to get out of it.

The adventure is truly just beginning

“I’m sorry little man, I got an adventure to go on”, me probably to this sheep before I left the house. On the hotbar you can see, if you squint, a compass. It’s aimed straight ahead, which is approximately north-east. I got a new mission, I’m going to go find cacti, because I want green dye. Do I remember what I wanted the green dye for? No, I only remember that I wanted to make lime dye, out of green and white dye, but apparently sea grass and kelp can’t be made into green dye, so I’m just going to bite the bullet and head out towards the closest type of desert biome Nature’s Compass could find me. Which is almost 3000 blocks away. Pray that I don’t get distracted along the way!

What do you think, will I get distracted again?

In front of me is a baby sheep it looks like a white sheep wearing a black sheep suit. It's staring directly at me.
Baby sheep looking at me adoringly

I hope to come back in one piece to see you when you’re all grown up.

It was truly a beautiful day to head out on another adventure, I had also made sure to get a nights sleep, because I be damned if I were to be chased by phantoms again first thing as I was leaving home.

I can take scenery pictures too

I don’t remember why I went into the water, but this time I ran into two dolphins that boosted my speed incredibly while I swam.

Underwater with two dolphins at my feet.

They gave me an incredible push, and I found a deep hole under water, which quickly led me to a cave, and that led me on the last and possibly most epic adventure of the night.

Once in the cave (forgot pictures because I was so flustered), I managed to fall down a lava fall, and land at the very bottom. Because of the lava I didn’t die from falling from a great height, but I did die from the fire, while trying really hard to eat my sushi to get my health back before I was even off the lava. I was so flustered trying to quickly get my health up, that I didn’t really realize I was still on the lava I think, I just needed to survive. But I didn’t.

I ran back without anything, not even a simple pickaxe, to get back there I had to get through the deep water into the cave without drowning. I knew how to swim fast, it should be doable. I paddled along the surface collecting my courage before I made the dive, I figured that with full lungs and a swift swim I could make it, and worst case I’d just have another corpse to get to.

I got back to where the lava fall started Loa was like “don’t jump, I think the lava will just kill you again”, and I was like mining the stone blocks with my hands. “I can’t do this to get all the way down”, and then I looked around flustered. Looking around helped me find a path down to my corpse, still with sushi in hand next to the lava. (The mods make it so corpses float, and will float off of lava if it’s moving.)

I picked up all my stuff again, and continued my cave adventure. I decided that I may as well go in the direction of the compass, but through the caves, and try to get to wherever I was going (the desert probably). Totally not distracted, still aimed at my goal, just taking the scenic route.

A tight cave, one torch on the side, and a redstone block in the middle of the path. Coordinates currently at -1 depth.
Deeper we go

I kept following natural caves where I could, keeping an approximate North-east direction, and mining where I needed to keep going when there were no natural paths left.

After delving much deeper, I noticed an interesting looking structure on the minimap. Let me zoom in so you can see it:

Strange, non-natural shapes in the darkness of the cave. Currently at -24 depths.
Funny looking shapes on the map

I tried to dig straight to it, but I wasn’t able to quite get there. I couldn’t find the right level. So I decided to try to walk around, maybe access it from another side.

I found a path that led towards the other side of it, so I figured that I may as well continue down it, especially since it’s in the direction I need to go anyways.

Some green plants at the other end of the cave, giving off natural light with their glowberries
Where there’s light, there’s hope

I kept digging, and no matter if I dug up or down, I couldn’t find an opening through to the structure I could so clearly see on the map.

After much exploring of the world around, I eventually found where it was, I had honestly given up and decided to go elsewhere, so I swam up through a water fall, swimming up brought me to this huge pool, the water spilling over the edge as waterfall going straight down to the depth, and over the edge I saw this:

A big cave opening with a pillar structure in the middle, and another path on the opposite side, also a zombie is hiding in the dark on a ledge straight ahead.
Do you see anything?

No no, not that, look down:

Far below is more water, and something that looks like a wooden pier attached to the pillar in the middle of the chasm. Location depth/height at 14.
Please don’t fall over the edge

You can clearly see that there’s an entrance here. Loa did spoil it for me a little bit, what this structure. But I will let you know when the game lets me know.

After regaining my bearings, I decided to look around the pool for a bit, I didn’t really want to go further into this new place tonight, it was already getting very very late.

I found so much fun stuff under the water! The cave was just full with axolotls and I didn’t know what to feed them, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to bring them home so I just watched them.

A golden axolotl under the water, the water is dark blue, but there's some light seeping through from the surface lighting up a large area behind the axolotl
The elusive golden axolotl

It was so magnificent to swim around and explore this cave, and a ripe opportunity to get some extra mining done, I even found some diamonds!

3 visible blocks of diamonds deep under water, so very dark and difficult to see. Depth/height coordinates at 7.
Diamonds are nice, but my best friend is underwater breathing!

Through this adventure from leaving home after saying good bye to the sheep, I mined so much and just kept making it into blocks of ore, to be able to store more in my inventory, because I knew this path was going to be a long winding road ahead, especially considering how easily I get distracted.

Preparing to stop for the night, I tried to capture a picture of the the illusive Enderman in front of this entrance. But as soon as I hit capture he was gone. I have a rough feeling we’ll run into plenty of them when we go further down here.

The wooden pier deep down in the chasm again, a slightly different angle. no Enderman in sight.
Pictures and words. say things.

This was when I decided to call it a night, and I prepared myself a safe spot. A trick I’d learnt by Loa some years ago when he was playing next to me. Make yourself a 1×2 block hole, and close everything around you. I added a torch for good measure, I don’t remember if that was actually needed.

A space of two single blocks, with a torch in the middle.
My campfire for the night

Good night sweet prince or princess, thank you for joining me on this journey. This week has been fantastic, and I’ve really appreciate you all being with me on this very new exciting adventure.

I have yet to decide if I will keep doing “daily” posts, especially as this one took me two days to finish. Let me know if you appreciate them and want to continue on this journey with me.

That said, if you want to, and can afford to, make it a little easier to keep writing these without worrying too much about how much time I spend on it, you can support my writing. Monthly donations can be made via Ko-fi (prefered) or Patreon. One off donations can also be sent via Ko-fi (paypal or stripe), Liberapay or directly via PayPal. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

See you in the next one.

Exploring a village and more, Minecraft Day 6

This session was quite short, but I did enjoy myself. As promised the enchantment table corner!

Enchanting table surrounded by bookcases, in front of a window, one of the book cases has a chest above it
Our little enchantment corner

I mostly played alone today, I continued exploring the villager, and ran around farming some stuff to trade with the villagers, and came away from it with 35 emeralds in total, 5 of which I spent on slime balls.

Looking over the village we found, two of the houses are on top of the mountain.
Quite a big village

I took over one of the houses, and put down two furnaces, a few chests, and a crafting bench, so I could keep doing some stuff.

As you can see my levels went up quite significantly from that.

Another angle of the village
For some reasons none of my images caught guards or golems

I also tried to harvest some honey, but I just broke the bee hive, and I have no idea how to avoid that. But I don’t mind, it’s a learning experience throughout this game and will continue to be.

After a few days I decided to start walking back home.

My home visible in the dark across the lake
Home sweet home

I definitely had too many thing on my mind when I got back, and it was quite hard to focus on one thing at the time. So, I managed to get back to finishing the Tackle Box for fishing (through Aquaculture 2). I was very ready to start fishing, but realized I didn’t know how to get bait.

A tackle box on the ground in my grass floored house.
Ready to go fishing?

I figured it out (with some help from the internet), and now I have a lot of the things I wanted for fishing.

I spent 25 levels on enchantments, mostly minor ones, and forging different items together to combine those enchantments. As in repairing my iron pick, and my iron armor. I’ll keep getting XP back, as we keep exploring, so I thought it was good to spend it on something that will improve exploring a little bit.

Anyways, I wanted to go fishing, so I decided to head out.

But as usual I got distracted by shiny…

Shiny Friend

By the ocean there was a horse, so it was in my way to get to where I wanted to go. Okay, okay, I knew it was there, and I had the lead with me, so I was trying to figure out how to get it to join me.

Hiding under a tree and spying on a horse, while I'm holding an apple in my hand.
See it? I’m ready with apples

The lead worked, and it followed me home. I was way too nervous to stop to take more photos on the way back. It refused to go inside the garden fence, so it had to stay outside.

Me looking at a big brown horse, holding horse armor in myhand
Ready to be friends?

I got thrown off the horse the first time, but was not ready at all to take a screenshot of that, and I expected it would happen again, but I fed the horse another apple, and right clicked with free hands in order to get on. And was ready with the F2 button.

Myself, fully armored on top of my new horse, with hearts around us indicating it's happy with me.
Yey, love.

These hearts do NOT mean that the horse wants to fuck. I feel like I need to put that out there considering the chicken and sheep issue I had.

I really didn’t expect it to work so soon! Figured it’d be more fickle, that said I’d pretty much been feeding it treats every session, so maybe something of that helped.

Still on the horse, but now it's wearing it's own diamond armor shining in turquoise. We're in front of the vegetable garden, nose towards the ocean.
So shiny

Let’s go on an adventure!

Riding through the field full of trees toward the ocean.

Look how pretty they are? Prettiest horse there ever was. Also, I didn’t craft this armor, it dropped in a chest. And damn, that’s nice.

The horse from the side, covered in the turquoise diamond armor, and a saddle, with the ocean behind it.
We made it without further distractions

Here fishie fishie

And it was finally time to fish!

Fishing in the ocean with my diamond fishing rod.

The animation for when the fish is about to hook is great, because you see bubbles going closer to the bobber, and I just love it.

Fishing in the darkness, and just received an achievement (advancement) Fishy Business.

I didn’t fish for very long, because I was getting tired and it was getting dark, so I went back home, and had a snooze. More adventures tomorrow.

If you’re enjoying reading these little articles or stories, consider throwing some support my way: via ko-fi or alternatives. I’m currently trying to cover my student loan debt payments and that will be my goal going forward too.