Desert Survival – Part 2
Spoiler warning: Reading this before playing the map may spoil the experience a little, although I don’t cover many of the hidden resources mentioned in the forum post.
As fishing was my only source of food I’d be needing more string for fishing rods. A mob trap would be excellent for this and would also complete one of the challenges. Due to the difference in mob sizes I made two different traps – one for spiders and one for everything else. I wanted to come up with my own ideas for these rather than go looking online for things and I also wanted them to be relatively simple.
The “everything else” trap just used channels of water to push the mobs onto a cactus. This wasn’t perfect as occasionally the cactus also killed the loot before it could be funneled away if it dropped too close. I didn’t put much more thought into improving it as it would do as it was.
The spider trap was pretty effective. It consisted of a pit with an overhang so that the spiders couldn’t climb out and cacti on the inner walls to kill them as they tried. The water was simply to funnel the loot into a convenient collection place, much like the other trap. The only problem was that spiders didn’t generally fall into here themselves but if I went to lure them into it it did the job nicely.
I now considered myself to be well established in terms of actually surviving so I’d satisfied my own initial requirement. However, I decided at this point that I may as well try to complete the set challenges as I already had two done (the sugar cane farm and the mob traps). So next I decided to do the underground tree farm. This was just a token effort to complete the challenge – I had no real need for a tree farm underground as I had a few growing on the surface. I walled off more of the open areas in the first part of the main cave system as it was still quite open and I was frequently ambushed. I then cleared out an area big enough to accommodate two trees and once these had grown I checked off my third challenge.
The diamond mine challenge was a little ambiguous. Technically any mining activity can be considered a diamond mine and as I had already found a few diamonds I also considered that checked off. Maybe I should put up a sign at the mine entrance saying “Diamond Mine”. Would simply declaring something a diamond mine without ever finding a diamond qualify for the challenge?
Since I had plenty of coal now and sand was certainly not a problem, the glass house was quite easy. I wasn’t going to use it as my main house so decided to create a simple observation tower further out on the flat sand plain near the lava column so that I could go there at night and laugh at the monsters as they fell into my traps. I linked this back to the basement of my house via an underground tunnel, which also connected to one leading to the mine shaft. Another challenge checked off.
The automated cactus farm was also just a token effort, much like the underground tree farm, as I already had all the cacti I needed. It consisted of a water channel and three cacti. Sandstone blocks at the third cactus level caused the last block to pop off the top when it grew and fall into the channel for collection at the bottom.
The brick fireplace was also simple to construct as there was a pit of clay just nearby. I’d actually done this earlier, but wasn’t really happy with it. The bricks were fine but the “fire” was just a torch. This wouldn’t do – I had to have real fire. So the final thing to do to really call this complete was to head into the Nether briefly to snag a piece of Netherrack to set alight in the fireplace.
This wasn’t as tricky as it sounded as I already had some diamonds for the pick and there was plenty of lava in the caverns. Once the portal was built it was a quick matter to pop in for a second to grab a piece of Netherrack. Luckily there were no ghasts around as the portal was two blocks away from a huge drop into lava. The view was great though.
So that was it, the challenges were done. Because when I started I wasn’t sure if I was going to keep playing, I hadn’t bothered looking for any of the extra hidden resources. I decided to go have a quick look and see if I could find anything good. I headed over to a small patch of lava in a hole nearby and started digging about. I eventually decided to move the lava out of the hold using a bucket and found that it had been sitting on a piece of grass. The annoying thing about this is that I’d had a brief poke around this area much earlier on but had managed to set myself on fire and didn’t bother with it any further. I’d also used the lava as a reference point when searching for a piece of grass that I’d believed to be near here under the sand, which I didn’t find. Oh the irony.
Having grass earlier would have given me the advantage of two earlier sources of food (pigs and wheat – bonemeal can be used on the grass to create tall grass for seeds), leather for armor and the ability to make a bed to change my spawn point. It was still possible to complete the challenges without any of these but the convenience would have been nice. I created a soil snake to let the grass spread to my house, but since I’m really done with the challenge I’m not going to wait for this as the grass would take an age to get there. Had I found the grass earlier there would have been plenty of time.
So despite my initial concern that this map may be a little silly, I ended up thoroughly enjoying it. It’s not the focus of this blog to review maps, just to share the journeys through them, but I’ll go so far as to say I’d definitely recommend it to people who like survival maps. I look forward to version 2.
The final screenshot here shows pretty much the whole of my surface construction so you can see how it all fit together.