Sunday, October 6, 2013
By Bixyl Shuftan
Following the pirate ship battle in mid-September, Nydia wanted to do more group activities with her new server set up for uploaded maps. She found a couple more she liked, and on two different occasions invited residents in the HV Community sim group and her friends in the Angels community to take part.
On the evening of September 22, she uploaded a "Lord of the Rings" map. It was meant to be seen with some additional textures uploaded, so mobs could be seen as attacking orcs, etc. And the "swiss cheese" texture seen on some builds led to a few jokes. But there was quite a bit of detail, especially in the palaces and towns.
Nydia took on the role of a dungeon master for this game, leading the party down the path after leading us to a chest with a little gear, giving us a few rules and reading the introduction. We soon had to go through a dark cave, and when mobs attacked many of us lost sight of one another. Nydia ended up having to port those behind to the group. Our journey went across fields, mountain passes, towns, underground passageways, and more. Every so often, we would come to a chest with a notecard describing the next chapter in the action, such as having to carry a message to a leader.
One of the more thrilling parts of the map was the mine area, complete with a fast-moving minecart ride, which got a few comparisons to the one from "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom." Unfortunetly, if anything went wrong, the character would end up off the cart, and one wrong step off the track and into the darkness. I myself ended up in a cavern under the rail, and had to find my way back, and go down the track until I finally found the cart.
Probably the scene that gave us the most headaches was having to go through a mob-filled town. The action was harrier than Nydia had expected, and she passed us chainmail armor, and then diamond. But we ended up getting split up again, and Minecraft veterans can pretty much guess what happens to players who get repeatedly assaulted by attackers. I was among them, but managed to find a two story house where I could wait for Nydia to port me over. Others weren't as fortunate.
The adventure for me lasted a few hours, and over 25 levels of experience from clobbering mobs. Before it was finished, players began to drop out as it was getting late in the evening, and we had real-life work or college in the morning. Perhaps Nydia's next map adventure will start on a weekend afternoon.
Nydia's next map was "Race Fo Da Wool." This would be a competition between two teams: red and blue. Each had an identical obstacle course to search for three colors of wool: blue, lime, and magneta. The base had receptacles for one of each of the wools, with trunks nearby with armor, weapons, food, and torches.
Just in front of the base was a forest area, which had some underground caves one could dig down into. Getting through the forest was a building a few stories tall. But getting through it, or up it, one had to get through a number of mob spawners. Past that was a chasm in which players had a choice: build a bridge across it, or go down and then back up, across a number of mob spawners. Getting past that was a thin bridge over a lava pit, followed by a vertical maze in which one went up and down some steep ladders. One wrong move near the top and one would plummet to their avatar's demise.
If one croaked, one had to take a waterfall down. To keep from drowning, one had to poke out just enough to breath, but not so far as to plummet. Player versus player action was allowed, either arrows or the cannons at one point on the course. But in the games I witnessed, the players concentrated on the mobs and getting through the course. For one player, the vertical maze part was the hardest, "Gaaah! I'm afraid of heights!"
We had choices to make, such as taking the time to destroy mob spawners or take chances and try to speed through. During the day, the mobs couldn't usually get far from the building. But at night, they could sneak through and attack the base. And for a newly respawned player whom was alone while the rest of the team was deep in the obstacle course, the relentless waves of zombies, skeletons and creepers could send them back to the respawn point before they could so much as grab a weapon. Players who respawned at night began to wait until daybreak to go back down.
I took part in two games, both which took well over an hour. In one match, I had found one of the wools, and was on my way back, only to find nightfall had come, and ended up pushed off the edge by attacking mobs, and therefore loosing the wool that had taken me a while to get. My team lost that match.
Despite the frustration with getting clobbered and having to respawn repeatedly at times, everyone had fun. And the player who was afraid of heights, by the end of the game wasn't so afraid.
In the meantime, progress continues in the new Angels Village, with players spreading out again and making new builds. But this is another story.