Sunday, April 29, 2012

my ship is sinking but it's all good and I can go down

Remember what I said about the particles?

(from the Minecrafting album)

Yeah. Where blazes are concerned, less really is more. Trust me, you'll want to turn particles down.

(from the Minecrafting album)

On the other hand, full particles or not, they have their own odd beauty.

At least, until they realize you're there and try to burn your face off.

(from the Minecrafting album)

Transition points between biomes are sharply delinated, as with all things in Minecraft. (There are no curves, after all, unless one makes the curving object very large.

Still, even with the blocky construction of ecologic zones...there are times it all comes together into a perfect shot. This was one of those times, I think.

(from the Minecrafting album)

Let's get back to exploration. Also understanding. Now, a few days after the original Nether portal was built--long before the blaze generator was up and running, which took about a week--two other residents set up Nether portals of their own very near the main village.

This was not a good idea.

Both of them remapped, causing linkage, which is why it's not good. You see, when a Nether portal is built, it acts as a two-way channel--the fixed spot on the dayside world, wherein one enters to travel to the Nether, and a generated point inside the Nether (which will be marked by the same obsidian-and-swirling-glow that marks the initial portal). That's all well and good, but when another portal is built too close to the first one, it will map over it, causing one of several effects. These can include:
  • walking into the portal resident A built and coming out of resident B's portal (either entering or leaving the Nether);
  • walking into the portal resident A built and coming out at some random disconnected point (either in the Nether or in the dayside world);
  • walking into the portal resident A built and not going anywhere at all.
Upon researching, we discovered that many believe (though there's no concrete surety) that Nether portals must be built at least 1,024 blocks from each other to be effectively disconnected. Learning this, I set to digging out a passage, to ensure that any portal we built would be a sufficient distance away. This took a great deal of time.

(from the Minecrafting album)

Along the way, I discovered the greatest hazard in all of Minecraft...over and over again. We call it the "chunk error".

Part of what made Minecraft so revolutionary was that it used a new world generation system. Put plainly: if I'm not in a given block, or "chunk", of Minecraft code, it doesn't exist. If no one's there, it just doesn't load, end of story. This allowed Notch to create incredible, spanning vistas, because--for the most part--the world you're not in is imaginary; it's not draining your system's memory, it's not fighting for control of your computer's graphics card. If you're not there, it's not there.

How'ver, on occasion this backfires. The glitch is this: sometimes chunks won't load for you. This isn't a constant happening, but it does happen a fair amount, and the main reason it's so dangerous is because, if you forget to stop, and happen to walk into the chunk error, it confuses your computer terrible. The world is telling your computer you're no longer on solid ground. Your computer is trying to insist that you are on solid ground. No one wins in these fights.

The only successful traversing of a chunk error happens in a boat. Because your forward movement is being handled by a separate object (the boat, in this case), you can sail right over the nothing where the chunk's gone invisible, and come out safely on the other side.

Unfortunately, this only works on waterways. You can't just flip out a boat and slide across sod, for instance. Or stone, or ice, or lava. Can't be done.

Also, this trick doesn't apply to minecarts. If you ride a minecart down a section of track and hit a chunk error, you're toast. And the only way to fix the eternal falling that happens then is to disconnect, quit the game completely, the restart the program and log back in.

And even then, once you log in you may be relocated to another area, because the server "forgot" where you were before. (It's kind of like SL that way.)

More to come; having some annoying comp problems (on the loaner comp now, yay...), so that's delaying things a tad.


TheFamousEccles said...

Actually, with regards to Minecraft chunk errors, the code has been redone so that you can ride a minecart through unloaded chunks with ease and panache.

That is, unless your stop is in said chunk.

Emilly Orr said...


How'ver, anything that trumps your own animation (read: boat or minecart) is not the issue. I still don't think you can walk INTO chunk errors and emerge victorious on the other side.