Adrift!

Creator: TheWova
Site: Minecraft Forum
Map’s challenges:

  • (many – see the forum post)

My own choices:

  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Hardcore: No
  • Beds may only be used to set a spawn point.

Spoiler warning: This post contains spoilers relating to some of the secrets in this map, as well as the general gameplay.

Hello? Anyone?

The start of this map puts you on a becalmed ship as the only survivor with nothing but water in sight. The start scenario of this map is what interested me here, particularly as the most of the challenges centre around the building of an island. Scattered around the ship are some chests with a few useful things in as well as some signs instructing you to read log entries (on the forum post) which give you snippets of background information, adding to the feel of the setting.

Fishing from my new front "door".

Wood was certainly not in short supply as the entire ship was made from it. It would certainly have been possible to chop the ship up and turn it into an island but I was reluctant to do this and chose to make one of the cabins my initial base of operations. One thing I should mention is that if you decide to go for a swim be aware that you will not be able to get back up the ladders on the side of the ship due to the recent change to Minecraft which requires a ladder every block instead of every other block (the ladders don’t quite go far enough down). Just make sure you make a ladder piece first or be prepared to punch a hole back into the ship (which is what I did). Another option would be to take a piece of wood from somewhere and stick it to the side of the ship to allow you to reach the ladder (which is what led me to accidentally punch a hole in the ship).

A great feat of engineering.

Not many of the challenges could be completed with just wood so the first problem to solve was how to get to the ocean floor. My plan was to build a shaft straight down to the floor using planks taken from the ship (specifically, converting the log masts into planks for minimal ship damage). This would be quite a slow process involving building a single layer at a time, using a block to remove the water then attaching a ladder. However, as I started to smash my way through the bottom of the ship I discovered chests full of “ballast” (gravel) which is one of the six secrets to find. This meant I could simply drop that a block at a time to create the shaft in a much shorter time and then just attach all the ladders as I dug down through the middle.

The first of many spawners.

After reaching the floor I pretty quickly broke through into a cave system. The difference here from your average cave system is that there are frequent monster spawners which require disabling (not as part of the challenges, but for your own safety) which keeps you on your toes.

Nasty.

One particulary tricky spawner was one placed in an alcove about 10 blocks above your head which impeded access to some clay beside it and spawned creepers.

The start of something... average.

All throughout the cave system are occasional pockets of dirt which is perfect for the creation of the island. After getting a few stacks I made a start on the island. I’m not fully sure on the requirements for the island regarding the definition of “dry land”. The challenge states that “dry land is defined as a solid surface block which has ocean located neither above nor below” but does this mean anywhere below or just one block below? I went with one block as building up the island from the ocean floor would have taken far longer and required at least ten times as many blocks as I ended up using. So for the island I created a stone base just above the water attached to the front of the ship where I’d punched my way back in and built a layer of dirt and sand on top of that. The first layer didn’t need to be stone but that was an obvious choice due to its availability. There was a single piece of grass at the bow of the ship (the end I was at) which I used to spread down onto the island. Grass brings lots of resources with it and pretty soon I couldn’t move for wildlife. However, it also brings nasties, which didn’t seem to spawn on the ship at all but now were appearing every night both on the island and in the water around it.

If you’re attempting the vegetarian challenge then this may be your first real source of food as you can now plant plenty of crops. Just be sure to fence them off from the stamping hordes. I had discovered red mushrooms pretty early but it was a long time before I found any brown ones. If you’re not attempting the vegetarian challenge then food won’t have been a problem as you’re supplied with a fishing rod.

Interesting...

One night, while at the edge of my island I noticed light coming from the ocean floor. I went down for a quick look and it turned out to be an underwater lava cave. I didn’t try to enter it as I (incorrecly) assumed there was a glass wall and this assumption caused me a bit of a setback. I decided to build another shaft down to the room so that I could safely break through the glass and get in. However, as there was no glass the shaft actually caused water to be redirected into the cave, turning all the lava to obsidian. The problem here was that this was one of the secrets and contained blocks of diamond in the lava (and one above it).

Free at last!

If I’d got in here without the water flooding in (as I could have easily done by simply walking in had I realised there was no glass) it would have been a relatively simple matter to use blocks to gradually lower the level of the lava or to wall it off and access the diamond blocks, however there was now a layer of obsidian over the lava and only one block of diamond uncovered. This was the only diamond I had at this stage and wasn’t enough to make a pick to remove the obsidian. I got round this by carefully digging my way down the sides of the lava until I was able to uncover and safely mine two more blocks of diamond. Then I was able to make a diamond pick to remove some of the obsidian and allow me to start lowering the lava.

It was during this process that I did what is possibly the most stupid thing I have ever done in Minecraft. While lowering the lava I came across a vein of iron. As I mined one of the pieces of ore it revealed some more lava and fell to the floor beside it. Rather than write off the soon-to-be-roasted piece of ore I jumped into the hole in front of the lava to retrieve it. Of course, I burned to a crisp (ironically, with a whole ocean of water just out of reach above me). Amazingly, I didn’t lose anything too important in the lava (I had either my diamond pick or some diamond in my inventory – I can’t remember which) but I was reminded not to jump into the path of lava for a single piece of iron ore.

Another of the secrets I found was an inactive portal to the Nether. I didn’t go through it so I don’t know if there was anything especially interesting (such as another secret) on the other side and unforunately I wasn’t able to locate it again (and I also forgot to take a screenshot). This brings me to a problem that I frequently have with Minecraft cave systems. Some of them are so huge that I eventually lose track of where things are as it all gets too much to fit in my brain at once. I do occasionally signpost things and I always use a torch system (torches on the right wall as I go in) so that I can at least find my way out but eventually it all becomes a blur of similarity and would require many signs to mark everything. In restrospect I should probably have at least signposted the portal but I think I thought I’d remember where it was. Anyway, subterranean navigation is something I need to think about more for future caving operations.

By this stage I had completed the following challenges which is about one third of the total:

  • Make an Island. Build at least 300 blocks of dry land. Dry land is defined as a solid surface block which has ocean located neither above nor below.
  • Raise Some Livestock. Earn this award the first time you see a pig, sheep, cow, or chicken spawn on your Island.
  • Frolic in Green Fields. Have at least 40 grass blocks on your Island.
  • Discover Secret #1 [The ballast]
  • Discover Secret #2 [The “laval tube” where the diamonds were]
  • Discover Secret #4 [The “rumbling cave” where the clay was]
  • Discover Secret #6 [“Benson’s portal”]

Drop by any time.

I wasn’t using them as a score with a modifier as suggested in the forum post but rather just checking them off as objectives. Some of the other challenges were much longer term goals, such as building the railroad and collecting 64 diamonds (unless there’s some huge vein somewhere) so I decided to wrap things up there with this map. I had, however, reached the point at which I considered myself to be well established, so that’s all for the “Adrift” challenge map.

Just as a point of note, please see the “about this blog” page for more information on when I consider moving on from a map.

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Posted on 20 July 2011, in Games, Minecraft and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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