Dwarf Mining

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Dwarf Mining

Post  Brendanan on Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:07 am

Almost a year ago now I proposed an idea to the minecraft forums. One for a cooperative mining experience. One which would greatly increase the yeild of resources within a multiplayer community. One where we would achieve synergy. This, I named the Dwarf Mining.

After countless hours of discussion, planning, and refining, we finally got in and tested the system. With the use of servers provided by generous hosts, we had multiple attempts at perfecting the system, and in the end, the goal was achieved, but, even more, it gave birth to the amazing dwarven city project.

Now, it is time for the dwarf mining to make a return. It has laid where it is, being ignored as Mons Domus was carved from the earth. We shall return to the beginning, and as the MCDwarves, relive what began it all. Below you shall find a refined version of the original thread, which contained all of the information from the trials. It will explain every aspect of the mining system, as well as those which weren't fully experimented with, so that even those of you who were not a part of the dwarf mining will understand fully. We can then organise a time where as many people as possible will be available, and we will try it again. Sret mentioned prevoiusly about our nether journey. That took us 17000 blocks overworld equivalent, to somewhere that we have never been in this world. This is where the dwarf mining attempt will be staged.

The original thread can be found here, which includes my final feedback on the tests, as well as an incomplete tutorial (which will be finished and shown to you all below) http://www.minecraftforum.net/topic/830403-dwarf-mining-testing-complete/#entry10689219




Tutorial
Spoiler:

Note:
This is a tutorial designed for use in SMP, where the players on the server can work together to achieve a common goal. For this to function properly, all players need to be able to forget about individual material wealth, and leave everything they gain for everyone. Due to this need, it would be suggested to use this method for servers where the players are a close group, used to working with each other.

About:

As one who has played rpg and watch fantasy movies, you would know that dwarves are generally high efficiency miners. They do it fast, effectively, and leave nothing behind. There are many systems of Mining available for single player minecraft; uncovering maximum blocks in minimum digging. But has anyone considered multiplayer mining. Mineshafts with many players working together, like high efficiency dwarven miners, with minecarts for transport of both resources and dwarves, scouring the underground for all ores to be found.

The Dwarf Mining is a high efficiency mining system developed for use in multiplayer servers. The term "efficient" is used in the context of the highest number of resources with respect to time, rather than, as most use for their solo mining exploits, the most blocks exposed with respect to blocks dug. A prime example of the efficiency we are not aiming for is "Phoenix mining" and the "Quad Mining". Since this is a team effort, a method was required which would work just as well with 2 players mining, or 20. To avoid confusion, things need to be kept simple, as not everyone can comprehend many complex routines. These points led us to the classic mining style; the branch mines. Simple, straightforward, yet effective. It's hard to go wrong.

Begun in mid November of 2011, the dwarf mining went through a long period of development and testing, before reaching the stage where it could be declared a successful and viable mining option. The original thread on the minecraft forums had over 10,000 views before it was removed by a stubborn moderator who misinterpreted it as a "poorly veiled attempt at server advertising". After countless hours of planning many aspects, multiple tests were done with the asisstance of dedicated players across the minecraft community. On the final test almost everything ran smoothly, and the final goal was reached.

The number one requirement for this system: Cooperation. A large effort like this needs to have 100% trust and agreement between all players, or everything will crumble into a big mess.

The Goal:
To develop a high efficiency, self sustaining mining system for SMP, that will gather as many ores as possible in the shortest time, whilst giving everyone a productive job. The word efficient, in this sense, is number of ores with respect to time, rather than number of ores with respect to stone dug, a concept not often used when mining. The mine will need to be able to provide the materials for tools, and sustanence for the miners

Key aspects:

1. Mining system

2. Mine sustainability

3. Jobs for the dwarves

4. Process

5. Key Issues

6. Unimplemented




1. Mining System

The branch mine was chosen as the best format to follow, with a few modifications. Whilst it is not the "most efficient" in terms of blocks exposed to blocks mined, it is simple, expandable infinitely, and easy to follow, reducing confusion for the miners.

This branch mining system starts with a staircase descending from the surface down to the mining layer (layer 12 recommended to avoid lava pools), and consists of a main trunk tunnel perpendicular to the stairs with branches at regular intervals off the sides; every 4th block. The trunk will have a width of 3 blocks (5 if minecarts are included), and will continue forever. Each "branch" will be a tunnel 1 blocks wide, 2 blocks high, and 100 blocks long. At the end of the branches, there is to be a 'stop marker'; a tunnel which extends parallel to the trunk, used so the miners can tell when they have reached 100 blocks of digging.

Once the branch has been dug, instead of walking back down the branch to start another, the dwarf will move across 4 blocks, then dig back to the trunk. This essentially means that two branches are being done in one trip, and saves the walking time between digging.

The image below gives a floor plan representation of the mine layout.


The green square is the staircase down
The yellow is the walls of the trunk
The black is the branches
The green lines are the stop tunnels
The brown line is the first tunnel dug, which is then used as the starting point for digging the stop tunnel



2. Mine Sustainability

Digging is all very well and good, but there are a few things that need to be considered. Storage for the valuables, trees to provide chests and tools, and food production to keep the miners alive.

Due to the distance from the surface, cheap and efficient farms need to be set up along the staircase, just high enough that they wont interfere with the digging below. The tree farm needs only be big enough to supply chests for storage, and a constant supply of sticks to make picks, shovels, and torches. There are multiple options for food, which will vary depending on availability, and number of mouths to feed.

Store room
The store room should be set up directly connected to the main staircase, on layer 16. The store room needs to be simple to sort, and have capabilities for smelting. There should be a chest for quick depositing of materials from the miners, as well as somewhere for them to quickly get gear from. Efficiency is needed in the design, so that the miners waste as little time as possible sorting their gear, and more time mining. In case of deaths, a bed should be kept in the store room to save time getting back to mining

Tree Farm
Initially setting up the store room requires a decent amount of wood for the chests, however, once that has been taken care of, all that needs to be grown is a couple of trees at a time, to ensure enough sticks to make the tools and torches. A small area dug out near the storage area is all that is needed to keep wood supplies constant

Food
The biggest issue faced by the miners is hunger, and as such, a steady supply of food is required. Given the large variety of food available now in minecraft, farming focus needs to be directed to a filling but easily reproducable food source, which has as little impact on inventory space as possible. Beginning the game there are generally 3 readily available sources of food. Wheat, mushrooms, and animals. Mushrooms and meat are filling foods, however it takes quite a bit of effort to reproduce. Instead it is suggested that all animals close by at the beginning be killed for an early food source, and collected mushrooms used, but not harvested.

Wheat is the obvious option, with bread stacking up to 64, and it being easy to grow and harvest. A simple 9*9 plot, with a single block of water in the centre is the best option for farming wheat, with a yeild of 80 per crop. With the meat and mushrooms early on the dwarves can be sustained as the growing begins.




3. Jobs
To have the mine running efficiently and effectively, each dwarf is assigned individual jobs, so that every required aspect is covered, and there is no redundant players. The jobs can be put on a cycle to prevent boredom and so that each dwarf is putting full effort in.

Farmer: The farmer is responsible for setting up the tree and wheat farms, and harvesting the goods. If there is any spare time, the farmer will then assist the storage operator. There should only ever be need for one farmer.

Storage Operator: The job of the storage operator is to ensure that there are always tools readily available for the miners, and that all the raw resources are sorted, and ores smelted. This dwarf makes sure the miners have empty inventories, full stomachs, and strong tools. If the number of dwarves participating is low, this job can merge with the farmer.


Miners: The most important job, of course, is the mining. The miners are responsible for digging out branch after branch, gathering all valuables they come across. Each miner will be equipped with a stone sword and a bucket of water in addition to digging tools; the bucket to turn lava lakes into obsidian, and the sword to deal with the occasional mob that might get in the way.

The most important thing for the miners to remember is consistency. There are branches every 4 blocks, but since two are done at once, the branches start every 8th along the wall of the trunk. There is no need to count the number of blocks being dug once the stop marker tunnel has been dug, however, torches need to be placed regularly to ensure there is no mob spawns in the tunnels. All ores are to be mined, including coal.

In the event of caves being discovered, the miner will throw some torches around, then finish the branch like nothing has happened, building cobblestone bridges where necessary to cover gaps. Any high value ores easily accessible should be mined, but cave exploring is not permitted. The sword should provide the required protection in case the miner is attacked.


At the end of each there-and-back branch, the miner will assess whether he needs to make a trip to storage. There are 3 reasons to do this:
1: Almost full inventory
2: Many valuables in inventory
3: Tools wont last another branch

If at least one of these happens, the dwarf will run back to the storage to empty his inventory of materials, and grab what is required. This is to prevent running out of space halfway along a branch, and having to walk all the way out of the branch, then all the way back in afterwards, which is a big waste of time.



4. Dwarf Mining Process

This process assumes a small group of 8 players, but the jobs can be adjusted according to player numbers.
All the players participating in the dwarf mining begin at the same time, at the start of the day. Upon the signal to go, everyone gets to gathering necessary resources (food, wood, mushrooms, and whatever else), whilst 3 of the miners begin to dig the initial 3 wide staircase, being given the necessary tools by the others gathering. As soon as the staircase has been finished, all the dwarves move underground. A 4th miner will join the 3 who dug the staircase, and between them they begin digging the trunk, 2 to each direction. The storage operator will begin work on the store room, with the assistance of one of the miners, and the farmer will start digging out a small area to plant some crops and get food flowing in. The last miner will begin work on the first branch, measuring out 100 blocks, then commence digging the first section of the stop marker tunnel. The direction this miner chooses to dig in will be where the first branches get dug. Once the store room has been significantly progress on, the assisting miner will then begin digging the stop tunnel in the other direction to what the first miner did.

Once the miners are satisfied that the trunk has progressed significantly, they will then turn their attention to beginning the branches, and getting the mining in full swing. The most important thing to remember when mining is to ensure the branches are dug correctly. Mine up one branch, move across 4 blocks, and mine back down.

As soon as it is possible, stone and iron picks will be replaced with diamond, however, shovels can stay as stone.


5. Key Issues:

The main issue with the mining system is that of communication. The chat needs to be clear so that everyone knows exactly what is going on, if there's a creeper hiding out, or some other issue. Cheering every time a diamond is found will just clog up the chat.

Going hand in hand with the communication is understanding the jobs. If everyone knows exactly what they need to do, then it makes communication much easier.

6. Unimplemented

There are a few concepts that were introduced, but not originally tested. Perhaps later these can be figured out and used effectively.


Minecart Tracks - To save the dwarves having to run 50 blocks back to storage to replenish their tools, minecart tracks can be used to deliver tools to the workers, and transport goods back to the store room.

Enchanting - Even basic enchantments can make tools last much longer, and be much more efficient. With the experience gain from ores recently added, enchantments are that much easier to make, however, it still takes much effort to get successful enchanting started.


Ask any questions you need to, as I probably missed a lot. I kind of rushed the last half, as I was desperate to get this out

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Re: Dwarf Mining

Post  sret on Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:38 am

About time we got this up. Such a nostalgic read! I hope we'll get this going soon, I can't wait to relive it Very Happy

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Re: Dwarf Mining

Post  spectrumwars on Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:42 am

I thought we were opening a new mine off the forge? Granted, it's more for aesthetics than productivity, but it still needs to be actually dug out, and that's mining.

Are we in desperate need of high-value materials? The current major project is the farm caves, which is still in the diggy diggy GINORMOUS hole stage. All we really need is wood for tools and torches, food, and stone for tools (and a bit of iron or diamond for those undwarfy sort not content to dig with stone picks). We got all those in good supply at the worksite.

Dwarf Mining with the heavy division of labor, unmanned carts bringing ores back to storage, and unmanned carts bringing tools and food out to the miners, requires 3-4 people on at once to be worthwhile, minimum. We rarely have more than 1-2 on at once these days, and can't have more than 6 in any event. As much fun as it would be, we kinda can't do it. So we've been doing the next best thing: mining individually with a common store-room, to a common plan.

If we're gonna mine way on the other side of the world, that in itself ain't a horrid idea, as long as we do it under an Extreme Hills biome and can get some emeralds in the mix. But trekking the ores back to central storage, and food and wood and other supplies back to the mine, is gonna be a pain. I sure hope your nether adventures included digging a safe and secure transit tunnel to the new site, as I ain't looking forward to dashing through the open hellscape dodging ghast fireballs on a dodgy computer while carrying a load of valuables past fires and lava lakes.

Why dig a new storage/supply center far from town when we've got plenty to do back closer to home?

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Re: Dwarf Mining

Post  Brendanan on Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:45 am

You're missing the point here... This isn't at all for the purpose of contributing to the city. We were almost tempted to start a new map for it, then delete the map and go back to dwarven city. This is entirely for fun and nostalgic purposes. Once we've got it working between us we could possibly use it as a recruiting technique. To see how they can handle it all.

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Re: Dwarf Mining

Post  Bran2939 on Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:43 pm

Brendanan wrote:You're missing the point here... This isn't at all for the purpose of contributing to the city. We were almost tempted to start a new map for it, then delete the map and go back to dwarven city. This is entirely for fun and nostalgic purposes. Once we've got it working between us we could possibly use it as a recruiting technique. To see how they can handle it all.
Uh oh.
I'd be up for that. Cool

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Re: Dwarf Mining

Post  Brendanan on Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:58 am

I'm sure you'll be fine :p

Anyway, I'm thinking that we'll start this thing early january. It's getting close to christmas, and as I understand, people get busy around that time. I'll propose a date, you guys say yay or nay, then we keep going till we have a date and time penciled in. I'll try and message all those who have dropped in activity and see if they wanna join in as well, and hopefully get them back in with us again as well. Really keen to start this, but I'm not sure if we'll get a chance before the new year

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Re: Dwarf Mining

Post  sret on Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:02 am

Just contact people and plan a date and keep at it until we find something that works Smile

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Re: Dwarf Mining

Post  Supacreator on Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:34 am

sounds like a lot of fun. Also this could be our new way of training dwarves. We would hold applications until we had the minimal amount and then set them out to gather resources like this. After a set amount of time we would come take a look and see A if they are still alive and B if they were productive enough to be a dwarf. We could easily maximize new members (perhaps too much) and make sure that they are reliable as well. could work, plus we would reap the resources gathered. This is more of a thought I decided to share rather than an official proposal. As we have said before, too many players can be as bad as anything.
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Re: Dwarf Mining

Post  Brendanan on Wed Dec 12, 2012 9:23 am

Just remember that the main idea of this is just to have fun and enjoy this Smile the only resource we really need is emeralds. Getting new players along is always a positive, but we've got a pretty strong core group of us right now Smile

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Re: Dwarf Mining

Post  Supacreator on Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:48 am

Brendanan wrote:Just remember that the main idea of this is just to have fun and enjoy this Smile the only resource we really need is emeralds. Getting new players along is always a positive, but we've got a pretty strong core group of us right now Smile
Their diamond and diamond picks would be welcome.
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Re: Dwarf Mining

Post  Brendanan on Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:10 am

Diamonds are always a pretty extra Wink Can never have too many.

Now, with you guys, what are the chances of getting a run through done before christmas? I really want to try to get this going. I'm thinking maybe the 19th, at 10pm GMT

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Re: Dwarf Mining

Post  Supacreator on Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:26 am

Brendanan wrote:Diamonds are always a pretty extra Wink Can never have too many.

Now, with you guys, what are the chances of getting a run through done before christmas? I really want to try to get this going. I'm thinking maybe the 19th, at 10pm GMT

There is about a 70% chance I will make that, otherwise I will be a couple hours late to that party.
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Re: Dwarf Mining

Post  Brendanan on Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:28 am

That's a start :p Later is better, cause that time for me is 8am...

Another topic, you wanna jump on the server

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Re: Dwarf Mining

Post  Supacreator on Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:33 am

Brendanan wrote:That's a start :p Later is better, cause that time for me is 8am...

Another topic, you wanna jump on the server

sure
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Re: Dwarf Mining

Post  sret on Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:17 am

That's like two days before my holidays start. I'll have about a 5 % chance of being able to join :/ after friday I'll be able to play at any time for a few weeks.

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Re: Dwarf Mining

Post  Brendanan on Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:49 am

Well, anything past the 20th I cannot do. 22nd is my birthday, and the 21st I need to spend the day getting ready for it. I leave on the 24th to go away for christmas, and I'm back by new years

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Re: Dwarf Mining

Post  sret on Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:01 am

So you're gone most of the little time I actually have to play Very Happy

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Re: Dwarf Mining

Post  Brendanan on Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:18 am

Getting it in before christmas was a desperate hope. Perhaps we shall try early in the new year then?

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Re: Dwarf Mining

Post  sret on Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:07 pm

Worth a shot.

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Re: Dwarf Mining

Post  Brendanan on Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:36 am

New date... 2 days time! Who's in?

Proposed time: 0:30 3/1/2013

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Re: Dwarf Mining

Post  Dr. Steel on Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:57 am

I am. likely.

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Re: Dwarf Mining

Post  sret on Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:55 am

In which timezone is that?

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Re: Dwarf Mining

Post  Brendanan on Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:20 am

GMT as always... Sorry, forgot to specify

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Re: Dwarf Mining

Post  sret on Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:21 am

I can't make it then

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Re: Dwarf Mining

Post  Brendanan on Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:22 am

What times can you make?

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