Farm caves and the future

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Farm caves and the future

Post  sret on Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:21 pm

I brought this up in the daily progress thread but it got drowned by other posts, so I decided to make a separate thread as this is a crucial discussion regarding the current project status.

Over the last month or so we have been doing pretty good with digging out the main farm caves. Arro, Supa and Bren have all contributed. SW has been putting in some good work since he came back, trainman has shown his dedication by matching all of their work on his own (sorry if I forgot someone), and I have personally dug about 40,000 blocks, not including dirt, gravel and other stuff. With all of that, we have managed to separate the outer walls, get a decent start on the upper levels, and dug out the bottom 3 levels of the main cave.

Now, there are more than 30 levels left. That's over ten times as much work left to do to get through this massive chunk, and people are already suggesting we do other stuff too to take away from the mundane digging. Let's say it has taken 2 weeks to dig out the bottom levels. That's another 20 weeks to dig the rest, if we keep a good pace throughout, which we probably wont. Also, to be realistic, it probably took 3-4 weeks. In conclusion we're most likely looking at at least half a year of constant digging. Now, add to that the fact that this is just the starting size of the cave, which means we might have to dig even more after finishing this, and then we can start on the actual project, such as making the lake, shaping walls, creating the farm island and everything else that needs to be done. I doubt anyone wants to think about the total time this might take.

Not that we're in a hurry, but I don't think anyone wants to spend 6 months hacking through a block of stone when we could get so much other stuff done. I know I certainly don't, and this comes from the guy who probably loves digging more than anyone else (or at least as much as any given person) and also probably has the most time available to put into the project.


I think we need to figure something out because this is just gonna drive people away even more (half the members have already abandoned the project, and it's hard to find dedicated new ones).


I can think of a few possible "solutions" from the top of my head:

1. We allow the usage of iron or diamond picks to speed up the process of digging. Enchanted ones would cut through the stone like butter. We have all probably dreamt occasionally about doing this, but so far we have dug the entire city with stone picks and I like the idea of being able to say that stone picks are exactly what we used to dig everything.

2. We systematically take out the majority of the blocks above level 30 (to save valuables like gold) with TNT. This could save us 2-3 months of work. It could also keep the pride of only using stone picks, and save the iron and diamonds we would use in suggestion #1. The downside of this idea is the loss of material (not to mention it feels like cheating) such as plenty of chests of cobble (I know I know, we already have tons) and probably 2/3 of the iron and coal. I'm probably the only one who still values coal and we have lots of iron and there's always much more to be dug. Some of the TNT'd iron will also survive the blasts and most of the rest will be exposed and able to be dug out prior to blasting the area.

3. We carry on with new parts of the city, and possible even future cities or whatever we want to do when the time of completion approaches (Bren and I are working on suggestions to further the server, stay tuned). While moving on we also dig whenever possible and will eventually finish this massive cave without feeling like we wasted the time. This is probably the best way to do this, perhaps combined with some TNT'ing or other ideas that you guys might come up with to improve our situation.


So, what do you guys think?




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Re: Farm caves and the future

Post  spectrumwars on Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:55 pm

I can see allowing iron picks. Most of the decorative iron has already been done, iron's now slightly renewable with a zombie grinder, and it will speed up the digging of that much stone. But enchanting something as short-lived as an iron pick seems a bit superfluous, even with the much easier max enchantments since the max level was lowered to 30. Unbreaking III can help a lot with that particular problem, but even with that, it still seems like a waste to me.

But there is a possible solution.

We've got a villager trading system partly set up somewhere, yes? We have an enormous dirt floor in the dig site, yes?

Villagers will buy things like wheat and paper and coal for emeralds. Others will sell diamond and iron picks for emeralds.

I say we lay out an enormous wheat and/or sugarcane farm on the floor of the farming cave (temporarily, at least), with its output dedicated to being sold to villagers for emeralds. And then we find a villager willing to make those trades, trap them somewhere we can reliably find them...and have someone trade an entire inventory's worth of wheat or paper for emeralds at once. Then we find a villager willing to sell diamond picks, buy a dozen or so of those, and enchant them. The silk touch and Fortune III ones go into the warehouse to be kept for special purposes. The Fortune II and non-unbreaking III ones also go there, for use in branch mining for more diamonds and such. The third or more picks we'll end up with things like Efficiency III/Unbreaking III get made available for use in digging out the farm caves. Or perhaps vice versa with the mining-reserved ones, I dunno. Either way, we can probably get ourselves a bunch of diamond picks, enchant them, and not dip into our existing diamond reserves. Using Fortune III on the coal we dig out of the dig site alone will generate enough surplus coal for trading to villagers. They'll also take charcoal, so a slight expansion of our above-ground tree farming efforts would not go to waste, either.

A couple of ditches 8 blocks apart, with water source blocks (to cut down on flow noise) in them and covered by half slabs to avoid falling in, or jackolanterns to light up the crops, with long strips of wheat in between. would produce enormous amounts of tradeable goods. Make a few strips 2 apart for cane. We can harvest them manually for something temporary like this. Heck knows we've got enough seeds stored up somewhere.

I've got to run an errand, but I may get started on this later this evening. If nothing else, will be a good dry run for the villager trading system I'm still trying to figure out how to build on my other server. (One of the other guys there already built one, but it involves using lava to kill villagers with unsatisfactory trades, and I want to be more humane than that).

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Re: Farm caves and the future

Post  sret on Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:05 pm

That sounds like a lot of work for a questionable amount of improvement. Still, it sounds like fun and switching things up, and we could definitely use a working villager trading system. I don't know much about transporting villagers but perhaps we can set up a shop with the needed ones near the production site of the goods they are interested in. This could be a new part of the city, a trade station for the dwarves and villagers which we can actually use as much as possible to get ourselves more goods in return for cheap mass produced things like wheat (if you are in fact correct that they will buy that).
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Re: Farm caves and the future

Post  Supacreator on Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:57 pm

well we may not need any of that jazz.(it would be fun tho) The other option I have in mind is a scheduled hour or two a couple times a month that we email and remind people a lot about until the set date and then we all dig at once together in an organized pattern. It would be a hard thing to do and have everyone together but It could eliminate months of work in only a few hours if there was some digging pattern we followed as a group. This may be a bit ambitious tho. Just a though bounce
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Re: Farm caves and the future

Post  sret on Thu Oct 04, 2012 10:02 pm

We have considered trying to get a large digging session going, but like you said, it's hard to get everyone together. =p
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Re: Farm caves and the future

Post  spectrumwars on Thu Oct 04, 2012 10:44 pm

sret wrote:We have considered trying to get a large digging session going, but like you said, it's hard to get everyone together. =p

Yeah. The major people on this server are in Australia, Sweden/Europe, and the USA. That's three corners of the globe, three widely divergent time zones. Many of us have jobs or school schedules which overlap in the most inconvenient way possible. How many people were we finally able to get together for the Enderdragon? Three? Four?
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Re: Farm caves and the future

Post  sret on Thu Oct 04, 2012 10:48 pm

spectrumwars wrote: How many people were we finally able to get together for the Enderdragon? Three? Four?

It was four. You, Arrowave, Bren and myself. That wasn't too bad really, considering we were from all the three corners.
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Re: Farm caves and the future

Post  Brendanan on Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:26 am

Ok, here is another suggestion, as well as a few clarifications for you guys.

Starting with villagers, the trading is dependant on their profession (clothes). Each different type will offer a different selection of materials to buy or sell. Once a trade has been completed, and you exit, the villager will have purple particles come out of him (similar to a potion), and then a new trade will be available (with the arrow button on the trading GUI). Once a trade has been used 3 times (I believe), it is eligible for removal from the list, as long as it isn't the only available trade. The maximum number of offers I believe is 3 per villager. Once it's been used, from memory, more than 12 times, then it will certainly be taken off the list (except in the circumstances of 2 being used that many times in the one trading session). Check out the wiki article, as I'm pulling these numbers from memory. There are also some villagers that will enchant items for emeralds.

Now, what you're talking about is using max level enchants, which I agree, is wasteful on iron picks. What we could do instead is use a low level enchantment on your picks... Perhaps only efficiency/unbreaking I. With the new mining XP gains, by the time this pick is worn out, you will most likely have enough for multiple more cheap enchantments, as well as having sped up your digging process. It also saves on iron (if we begin using it). it's like what I did with my diamond picks, where a session of branch mining with a diamond pick would yield enough diamonds for two more picks.

TNT is also a possibility, but like Sret, I would like to keep it to a minimum, as it is just too easy to blow the place, and remove all the work. With trainman, I have given in every so often, and we've done a few small explosions, starting at the top, although its never been anything organised, trying to remove stone as efficiently as possible, but rather a case of "we've got a shitload of stone to remove, and I want an explosion"

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Re: Farm caves and the future

Post  Arrowave on Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:14 am

For some reason this post did not show up as new and thus I just discovered it.

I personally think that using our surplus of diamond to speed up the digging is the best line of approach. I really like to dig but I do not always have the time to dig 10,000 a night especially when using a stone pick. It takes 0.6 seconds to break a stone block with a stone pick according to the Wiki. Thats a total of 1 hour and 40 minutes to dig 10,000 stone. With a diamond pick alone the break time is 0.3 so it cuts that time in half to less than an hour. With a high efficiency enchant this time can be cut much farther.

Of course I'd love to say that we did it all with stone picks, but our plans are too grand for that. I think the fact that this project is legit is cool enough.

I've been slacking on the digging lately myself because of school but things should stabilize soon and I should be able to get back to work.

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Re: Farm caves and the future

Post  Supacreator on Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:42 am

Arrowave wrote:For some reason this post did not show up as new and thus I just discovered it.

I personally think that using our surplus of diamond to speed up the digging is the best line of approach. I really like to dig but I do not always have the time to dig 10,000 a night especially when using a stone pick. It takes 0.6 seconds to break a stone block with a stone pick according to the Wiki. Thats a total of 1 hour and 40 minutes to dig 10,000 stone. With a diamond pick alone the break time is 0.3 so it cuts that time in half to less than an hour. With a high efficiency enchant this time can be cut much farther.

Of course I'd love to say that we did it all with stone picks, but our plans are too grand for that. I think the fact that this project is legit is cool enough.

I've been slacking on the digging lately myself because of school but things should stabilize soon and I should be able to get back to work.


I hate to say I agree with you but, I think having 64 diamond blocks in a chest is epic. We should try and keep diamond use low just for the fact of we have so many.... That doesn't really make sense but still it is just for the fact we feel very rich when we look into that chest. Well whatever I think that we can afford to use some diamond picks.
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Re: Farm caves and the future

Post  Arrowave on Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:58 am

That is why the villager trading system above is a good idea. Using it we can keep our reserves high.
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Re: Farm caves and the future

Post  Brendanan on Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:58 am

One of the main reasons our supply is so high is because we have used so little.

A proposal would be to use diamond picks so long as we keep an entire stack of blocks, just to show off and make us look and feel rich as true dwarves Very Happy

Even though this will take ages, I still think we should still at least work on the plans for the forge, and get that all sorted.

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Re: Farm caves and the future

Post  sret on Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:03 am

Brendanan wrote:One of the main reasons our supply is so high is because we have used so little.

A proposal would be to use diamond picks so long as we keep an entire stack of blocks, just to show off and make us look and feel rich as true dwarves Very Happy

Even though this will take ages, I still think we should still at least work on the plans for the forge, and get that all sorted.

Then we're gonna come up with something where we want diamond blocks for decoration and we regret not having extras to keep the stack full Wink
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Re: Farm caves and the future

Post  Brendanan on Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:21 am

That's what I mean keep a whole stack of blocks sitting there ready for use, and not to be touched for tools

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Re: Farm caves and the future

Post  Arrowave on Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:53 am

Sounds like a plan.
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Re: Farm caves and the future

Post  Supacreator on Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:41 am

so is that the OK to start using diamond picks?
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Re: Farm caves and the future

Post  Brendanan on Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:56 am

I guess so... I'd give it at least a mid level enchant as well, just to make it that bit better, and last for more digging

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Re: Farm caves and the future

Post  Supacreator on Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:33 am

Brendanan wrote:I guess so... I'd give it at least a mid level enchant as well, just to make it that bit better, and last for more digging
especially last for more digging..... I haven't used a diamond tool in so long, I'm excited.
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