Minecraft is one of the most ubiquitous games in modern history. Just ask someone who play games and in the majority of the cases they will answer they played it at least once.
Until a few days ago I was one of the few who never played it. Not for a lack of interest mind you, I mean, I bought the game back when it was still in beta. At that time it was already popular and it was still being sold for a cheaper price than the intended one for the launch version.
Since I often have an itch to do creative stuff in games this seemed like a pretty good deal at the time. The problem is that I just kept forgetting I had Minecraft or would give it a try for 5 minutes, figure out I actually wanted to play something else and then proceed to forget about it again.
But lately I’ve been having an itch to do something more creative so I decided I might as well give the game a try for real this time. I also figured out I might as well write some posts about it as I go along. Just in case I go some years without playing again, decide to start over and forgot everything. Or at a worst case scenario to amuse myself on the foolishness of my past self.
Having said that I have no idea how long I will post about Minecraft. I will write about it for as long as I keep playing it regularly…. which might end up providing a couple posts or might be a hundred. Who knows?
With all that explained let me tell you how my first attempts went…
Punching trees and dirt houses
Since I want to learn the basics of the game first I am playing with just vanilla Minecraft. No mods, on a single player world with default options. Well, I lie. I did enable the option for cheat codes just in case there is some terrible bug that requires using the cheat codes to bypass it like in Bethesda games. But since Minecraft is a very different beast I doubt I will need them. Or at least I hope so. :p
Since Minecraft pretty much drops you into the world without any tutorial whatsoever I did search for a tutorial for starting out. Having also played Terraria before also helped to understand a lot of its concepts: start by getting some basic materials like wood to build basic tools then proceed to build a shelter for the night.
With those basics taken care of, I proceeded to hunt down some sheep for wool and meat. It didn’t take me too long to find them from my spawn point. Still once I made a bed I decided to move my shelter to a small cave not too far from there as it would put me much closer to other caves in the area.
Exploring those caves taught me two things:
- Trying to pick a fight with a monster while armed only with a wooden sword isn’t usually a good idea (to the surprise of no one)
- Finding iron ore is pretty hard
Now if this was Terraria my modus operandi would be to just dig down until I found some good sources of iron. Since this is not Terraria I decided to google about it to get some tips. Unfortunately all the tips I found were pretty vague, pretty much telling me to keep exploring the caves.
I kept trying that still getting very little in terms of iron. I also tried to explore further away from my home base which only led me to getting lost.
Eventually I got so frustrated that I decided to start over with a new world.
This new start turned out to be slightly better. I found a small flat piece of land amidst some hills, with sheep, cows, pigs and even some lamas not too far from it. It also had a huge cave entrance nearby that I went exploring.
It was still a bit rough due to some dumb mistakes I made like trying to work on the shelter during the night only for a creeper to sneak behind me and destroy half my shelter. Let me tell you, spending the night playing tag with monsters isn’t as fun as it sounds.
While in my first world I did manage to find some iron ore by exploring caves in this new one I had no such luck.
Since I didn’t learn my lesson the first time I just went googling for tips on finding good sources of iron. This time I finally stumbled on something more tangible. The advice was to mine down to about y 11. At that level they should be more common.
It also taught me that I could check the coordinates by pressing F3.
I don’t know if that is the best way to do it but while mining down to that level I did find some iron ore. Enough to make me a whole set of iron armor, a sword, a new pickaxe plus some left over ingots for future projects.
It also gave me an actual goal which helped a lot.
I also got so much cobblestone that I decided to change my shelter from dirt to stone as well as expand it a little. It still looks like crap but at least I got some more space.
Right now I am not entirely sure what my next goal shall be. I am thinking of exploring my surroundings a bit more but I want to make more paper first to make a map. I found some canes on a river nearby but not enough to make all the paper I need. The leftover canes I planted by a lake nearby to harvest later.
While I wait for the canes to grow I might just expand my mine a bit more to see what I can find.
There is so much more I want to do but for now I think keeping those goals small are the best way to go.