This page is currently under development.

USOOG features its own unofficial Minecraft server, accessible at usoog.com using a valid Minecraft account, where both vanilla maps (port 25565) and maps using Mad Pack (port 25566) are hosted.

You can ask The Swedish Tower (TST) to be whitelisted to the server if you cannot join.

The in-game chat is transferred directly to IRC channel #minecraft, so you can discuss with other IRC users playing Minecraft even when you are not playing and vice versa.

The server also hosts a DynMap at usoog.com:8123, which allows you to have a look at the current state of the server.

Below is a list of all articles written by AeonMasamune, one of the server's active players.

New blog series coming soon!

Hey everyone :)

Starting from next Sunday, and then every last Sunday of each month, I will start a blog series, where I will comment about things that took place in our Minecraft world in the past month. There will also be pictures to help illustrate what has been going on in Minecraft.

Next week, I will talk about an island village that I have been building up over the past few months or so, so the first post in the new blog series will be about the current state of the island village, then each post from then on will be about things that have been going on in our Minecraft world.

Of course, if you are a Minecraft player and you want to see the island village and other places for yourself, feel free to ask our own The Swedish Tower (TST) in our IRC network to add you to our whitelist, and join in the fun :)

Working in the Minecraft World: The Island Village So Far (June 2013)

Hey everyone

My new blog series will be titled "Working in the Minecraft World", where I will explain the various things that have been going on in our world in Minecraft.

For the first part in the series, I will explain about the current state of the island on which the village has been built and developing in the past several months.

Island Village in Minecraft

From the picture of the island village, many of the buildings and amenities are in place. There are various farms scattered around the main village square; there is a potato farm for producing potatoes; a carrot farm; a sugar cane farm for making paper for books, or refined sugar for desserts; two twin-floored wheat farms, one used for making bread, and the other that also doubles as a cocoa farm for making cookies; a pumpkin farm for growing pumpkins mainly for making pumpkin pies; and a melon farm which is not seen in the above picture - it can have up to as many as 42 melons at a time, which equates to more than three full stacks of melon slices.

There is a five-storey department store located in the village square, where people can buy various items, such as food and drinks, weapons, armour and tools, and decorative items for people to spruce up the interior of their homes. The top floor serves as an observatory floor, where people can take a break from shopping while observing areas around the village square.

The hilltop park and open-air conservatory deck is a recent addition to the island village. It is where people can experience a change in scenery and look at natural scenery and foliage, as well as get great views of much of the island itself.

For people looking to get useful enchantments to their weapons, tools and armour, or to simply read books, there is a library situated to the outskirts of the village square.

To the north of the island, there is a farm in which animals are reared and culled for meat and useful materials. There is a house, where raw and cooked meats, wool, and food for the animals are stored.

Also dotted around the island, are various homes with five of the larger homes serving as part of the village square. The village square is also where people can trade with residents using emeralds, a currency used for trading goods.

There are various entrances to caverns; some of them are naturally accessible, while others were manually created for easier access in and out of the caverns when transporting ores and other minerals out onto the surface.

Well, that's all for now, and of course I am looking at ways to develop the island village still further than at its current state. Until next time, see you there in our Minecraft world!

Working in the Minecraft World: A New Village Foundation (July 2013)

Okay, so last month, I talked about the island village in its current state, which has many of the features of a village in Minecraft, including homes for people to live on, farms for growing crops and other food items, a farm for rearing animals, and a large multi-storey department store.

Since then, I started building up a village to the north of the central stronghold, with its own farms, homes, a nether portal for fast travel to other villages, and a market place for buying, selling and trading goods, and that will be the focal point for this edition.

As you can see here, there is more open land for which to build the village, in comparison with the island village as shown in the previous edition. It is, at this time, a work-in-progress as there are more homes, farms and other amenities within the village to build, but with the land being more open and flat, it is rather ideal for rearing animals for meat, and for growing crops. The homes will generally have a single floor with space for a bed and some chests, furnaces and decorative items, though some of them will have an open-top second floor for things like flower pots, with a ladder for easy access between the two floors.

The village market place is a hub where market traders can provide their wares for people travelling from all over the world. These places may even eventually offer items, delicacies and other goods you would not normally find elsewhere. While it starts off relatively small with twelve market stalls, as the village grows, and new items and equipment become available, the market place has potential for expansion as well.

The village has its own portal to the Nether, in which these are constructed as a means for fast, safe travel between villages all over the world, so you can easily travel to places without fear of being attacked by the hostile creatures that lurk in the Nether.

The wheat farm here is built for growing bales of wheat which can be used for making bread, as part of baking treats such as cookies and cakes, and for feeding horses, cows and sheep as a means for breeding. The open, flatland nature of the area meant that I could build a much larger wheat farm than I could within the island village; in fact, the farm itself can grow up to 320 bales of wheat at once - enough for around 100 loaves of bread with the remaining bales of wheat left over for breeding horses, cows and sheep. The seeds also produced from harvesting wheat can be used for feeding chickens, or for establishing wheat farms elsewhere.

And finally, here is the pumpkin and melon farm, which I designed so that large quantities of pumpkins and slices of melons can be produced using the same area of farmland, while also saving land for buildings for which to store food items and crops.

That's all for now, and I am certain that both the island village and the plains village can be developed even further in the coming weeks and months, so see you there in our Minecraft world!

Working in the Minecraft World: Village Expansion (August 2013)

The village north of the stronghold has expanded somewhat since last month's edition of Working in the Minecraft World. In between exploration of the surrounding areas, I found time to build two new homes and a library in the village. The two houses are there for people to reside in; like other homes already built, they are left empty with the exception of torches placed around the ceilings to keep them well-lit at night.

As you can see here, the building to the left of the image is the library, where residents and travellers can read interesting books and novels written by famous Minecraft adventurers as well as enchant their tools, weapons and armour to give them a decisive edge over the hordes of hostile creatures that lurk in shadows all over the universe.

The internals of the library itself is a work-in-progress, with an oak wood plank serving as a placeholder for an enchantment table, and two bookshelves behind it already placed with more bookshelves still to be crafted and ready to build.

These two homes were built using the cobblestone and oak wood stored in reserve from a while back. Wood that were getting low in stock were replenished by plating more saplings in the surrounding area; the fresh wood can be stored in reserve, or used in constructing new buildings and paths, and in crafting new tools.

The images below, show the insides of the new homes. These right now are empty, but occupants staying in these homes will no doubt want to fill the rooms with chests, a bed, furnaces and other items.

Now, as a little extra, our own Swedish Tower and I decided to go exploring in nearby caverns south of the village. After much exploration, we decided to find some place to mine our way out of the caverns, having to drop stuff that wasn't particularly critical to us on our way up. As we mined our way up while placing cobblestone as makeshift stairs, we managed to reach the surface in the middle of some rather tall hills. While I carried some items back to the village, our Swedish Tower continued mining his way up, until he reached the top of the hills, and then created entrances/exits for both places, as seen here;

That's all for now, and I'll provide more reports on things that are going on in the near future, so see you there in our Minecraft World!

Working in the Minecraft World: Mushroom Islands & A New Village Settlement (September 2013)

Great news this month! The Swedish Tower and I managed to find an island - with mushrooms! We now have a perfect area with which to cultivate mushrooms, so there should be plenty of mushroom stews to go around.

A look of part of the island in the daytime;

And of course, the good old portal for quick and easy travel between areas of the world;

We also located a village settlement, which also happened to be a prime spot for a nice mob farm for gathering materials quickly and easily. Here is the area so far;

We also had to relocate the settlement slightly, and rebuild the village from scratch. The village itself will be a mix of homes, farms, amenities and villager huts, so it will become a prime location for people to trade with villagers. Here is the village so far;

Of course, the settlement is a work in progress as well, as we need to expand it with more buildings, homes and amenities for people to work and live in.

That's all for now, and if you happen to come across villagers on your travels, don't be afraid to trade with them for emeralds and other goods. So see you there in our Minecraft world!

Working in the Minecraft World: Village works in progress! (October 2013)

Hey everyone, and welcome to this month's edition of Working in the Minecraft World.

Now, the village has expanded quite a bit since last time, with a new cocoa farm, a building for storing crops, an animal farm for meat and materials, and more homes for villagers. It just needs more amenities and homes for the village to be a great place to live in.

The cocoa farm is built as a dual-floor building with the jungle logs on the ground floor placed in such a way that maximises cocoa bean yields. A second floor is built for storing cocoa beans in chests, and ladders can be used for moving between floors. The cocoa can then be transported to other villages and settlements, or used in crafting other items. (Or for dyeing sheep brown, if needs-be)

There is also a large single-floor building, which is used as mass storage for crops and other stuff. In fact, one could store a lot of items in this one building alone, given the amount of room available within the building's interior.

There are also two animal farms in the village; one for cows, pigs and chickens, with storage for raw and cooked meats, leather, feathers, charcoal for furnaces, and a large chest used as feeds for the animals; and the other solely for sheep, with a storage building to be built soon, for storing wool for carpets, beds and other things.

Our own Swedish Tower has been busy building huts in the village lately. He even upgraded one set of huts into a double floor building complete with a deck as the balcony.

That's all for now, and there is still plenty of work to go around within the village and elsewhere. So see you there in our Minecraft world!

Working in the Minecraft World: Archipelago Village & Other Sights (November 2013)

Hey everyone, and welcome to this month's edition of Working in the Minecraft World.

I decided to venture out and explore the world by boat, when I came across a small archipelago, which is essentially a cluster of islands in a body of water. Naturally, I wanted to explore the area and see what's interesting - and of course, build a village on the archipelago.

Now, building a village on an archipelago can be tricky, as there may be limited space on land available for the essential amenities, such as libraries, farms, and places to store many items. Also, I wanted to keep hold of whatever cobblestone I had in possession for practical items such as furnaces, pistons and dispensers, so I opted to use wood for my buildings.

Here is my crop farm, which I opted to build three floors for, to conserve space for more buildings on the limited land mass space available. The upper two floors have the floor two blocks in height, consisting of the lower block being made of wooden planks, with dirt above it. A hole in the centre allows for water to flow through and keep the tilled soil suitable for growing crops on all three floors. It's a work in progress, though, as I still need to finish building the structure using more wood.

Also, I took the time to light up the caverns underneath the islands, though I first had to create an entrance to the caverns as initially, there were no entrances leading into the caverns. Lighting up the caverns and ravines, it seems, can lead to some interesting sights...

I also took the time to designate an area in the north of the archipelago for farming wood lately, while placing plenty of oak wood saplings tightly packed together to maximise wood yields. Here are the results so far;

Meanwhile, our Swedish Tower has also been busy - he was further expanding the village I mentioned last time. When I paid a visit for a short while, the changes to my animal farm were the first thing that caught my attention...

That's all for now, folks, so see you there in our Minecraft World!

Working in the Minecraft World: Island exploration & The Great Mob Contraption! (Plus an announcement) (December 2013)

Hello everyone, and welcome to this month's edition of Working in the Minecraft World.

Now, before I begin with this edition of the blog series, there are two things I wanted to mention at this moment in time;

* I opted to bring forward this edition from its usual spot of the last Sunday of each month, because I will be away from this Friday up until New Year's Day, and it just so happens that the next edition fell on one of those days, hence this edition coming earlier than usual

* I will be making some changes to this blog series to keep it from going stale over the months, and possibly years. Firstly, from next month, "Working in the Minecraft World" will be renamed as "This Month's Minecraft Shenanigans", which will aim to bring together all the things that happened in the last month. Secondly, each edition will be posted on the last day of each month, rather than every last Sunday of each month. And thirdly, each edition will have more in the way of things to say about what went on in a given month, along with screen captures taken in-game.

Now, onto this edition;

Our Swedish Tower and I recently discovered a small collection of very small islands, which he found by accident after tunneling too far in the Nether when connecting the islands I covered last time to the Nether network. So naturally, I wanted to build a settlement there with its own farms, homes and other amenities. Here are the obligatory farms;

The homes and other buildings are made entirely of wood, again mainly to conserve cobblestone for other uses. The buildings are kept small, so as to conserve space on the islands. One of the buildings lies the library for enchanting equipment.

I also took time to explore the neighbouring oceans on a boat, and came across more islands, and part of the mainlands. The other islands seem to be large enough to build settlements there as well, from what I have seen.

Our Swedish Tower also connected the islands to two towers that he built for access to the caverns by way of bridges. He also created an entrance on land, which can be seen by the trapdoors on one of the islands.

There is one more thing our Swedish Tower has been busy with lately; building his great mob contraption! He first built a really tall tower using cobblestone, and then built his contraption above the clouds. Here is his contraption for all to see...

That's all for now, and see you there in our Minecraft World!

This Month's Minecraft Shenanigans (January 2014)

Hello, fellow Minecrafters and USOOG'ers, and welcome to this month's edition of Minecraft Shenanigans, where I bring the lowdown to what has been happening in our Minecraft world over the course of the month. So here are some of the highlights of this month;

Island Settlement Expansion

Over the course of this month, I have been working on expanding the settlement on the pair of small islands by constructing more homes on top of existing ones on the islands, and building wood paths that connect the upper floors of the homes together. The wood paths serve as the balconies of the buildings. Each of the homes on the island are designed to house one occupant each, with the exception of the librarian's house and the villa that The Swedish Tower and I occupy, which can house two occupants. Those small homes have enough room for a single bed, a crafting table, a couple of chests, a couple of furnaces, and a few decorations.

The Perpetual Wood Harvest

When building a settlement using mostly wood, how would you make sure you have a steady supply of wood? Establishing a wood farm, of course! The idea of a wood farm, is to plant as many saplings as possible, wait for all the saplings to grow into trees, use axes to chop down the trees for the wood, and then plant the fresh saplings on the ground for more trees. That way, you have a constant, renewable supply of wood for a very long time.

Of course, what if you end up with more wood than you know what to do with them? Well, you can always use any excess wood for charcoal, which you can use for torches, fuel for furnaces, or even to sell to villages in exchange for emeralds (villagers will accept charcoal as if it was coal that was mined underground). Or maybe ship them off to other villages without easy access to wood.

Going Underground!

The Swedish Tower and I often have a habit of going spelunking in caverns, ravines and other underground places. Oftentimes, we mine mainly coal, iron ores and gold ores, although we do get great pleasure from finding ores containing redstone, diamonds, and rarely natural emeralds.

We also come across abandoned mineshafts, which could be rich in minerals - in fact, the more, the merrier I would say. Although, mineshafts often tend to be quite dangerous, with spiders crawling everywhere, skeletons wielding bows firing at people, zombies trolling the area for fresh meat, and creepers that often love to explode on people unaware of their presence.

That's all for now, and until next time, see you in our Minecraft World!

This Month's Minecraft Shenanigans (February 2014)

Hello, fellow Minecrafters and USOOG'ers, and welcome to this month's edition of Minecraft Shenanigans, where I bring the lowdown to what has been happening in our Minecraft world over the course of the month. Well, actually, "worlds" rather, because since the past month, The Swedish Tower and I have been experimenting with mods lately, so we now have two worlds; one for vanilla Minecraft, and one for the mods. So this month is all about the brave new world...

So anyway, in this new world, there is a huge amount of stuff you can't find in vanilla Minecraft, from various berries, fruits and vegetables, to various kinds of trees, even to means and ways of creating your very own tools and equipment! And of course, there are different kinds of new creatures as well, from variety of new creatures to much more powerful variants of existing ones. (And of course, the zombies don't burn to death in sunlight like the vanilla ones do...)

The Swedish Tower and I have got various farms going, and I have a penchant for making various fruit juices from various fruits and berries and, since we found a small village that just so happens to be close to mountains, I can make smoothies with the use of all that snow high up in the mountains. I just collect the berry bushes, get some stone for making juicers, collect the berries, and just keep on making berry juices. We haven't yet managed to get to the more "complex" food items though, so juices and smoothies seem to be the quickest and easiest to obtain at this time. (Though to be honest, while you can plausibly get by with just fruit juices and smoothies in Minecraft, I don't think you can do so in real life as such, so better to stick with a balanced diet.)

We also started raiding towers and dungeons as well, and we noticed that we can get a lot of great stuff in various treasure chests from foodstuffs to equipment with enchantments you can't ordinarily find in vanilla Minecraft. What I particularly like, is boots that lets us move around much faster than we normally can. I think with some good equipment, we can explore the various places to a much greater extent than we can right now.

Also, I think it would be a good idea to experiment with tools and equipment with the materials we have so far, and see what we come up with.

That's all for now, and until next time, see you in our Minecraft Worlds!

This Month's Minecraft Shenanigans (March 2014)

Hello, fellow Minecrafters and USOOG'ers, and welcome to this month's edition of Minecraft Shenanigans. This month, we're still getting to grips with the MadPack Minecraft world, and we have been continuing to build up the village settlement and main base.

The village itself has undergone expansion with new dedicated areas for farming crops. So far, we have farms for cotton, sweetcorn, various berries, sweet potatoes, wheat, carrots, potatoes, corn, pineapples and other crops and foodstuffs. That means we don't have to rely solely on fruit juices and smoothies, and can just eat other kinds of food available.

I found out that one can create a berry medley by using two bowls and one of each kind of berry (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and maloberries (a yellow kind of berry found on bushes)), or one bowl, one maloberry, and either one blackberry and one blueberry, one blueberry and one raspberry, or one raspberry and one blackberry.

The cotton farm comes in very useful, in that there are various uses of cotton in Minecraft, from making string for bows and other tools and weapons, to woven cotton as substitutes for leather in making leather armour! No more hunting spiders for string in the wilderness, and no need to kill cows and horses for their leather for the purpose of making armour.

I also built my own house for storing my own items as well as for making new ones. It is comprised of cobblestone and sakura wood, a type of wood not ordinarily found in vanilla Minecraft, and the trees that sakura wood comes from, have leaves that are pink in colour.

We also did various other things in the meantime; we built a new wooden road that connects the two locations together, and fenced off the surrounding areas with wooden fences. We came across two different underground springs, one of which heals you, and the other harms you. We also decided to remove a lot of sand underneath the wooden house The Swedish Tower built both as living quarters and a place for storing all kinds of stuff. I ended up using some of the sand for making glass for bottles used for bottling juices, and glass panes for homes.

And one last thing; The Swedish Tower apparently managed to find a way to easily farm otherwise non-renewable resources - the power of essence. So far, he is able to grow crops for coal and redstone, and as I speak, he is working on producing seeds for growing other kinds of special crops.

That's all for now, and until next time, see you in our Minecraft Worlds!

This Month's Minecraft Shenanigans (April 2014)

Hello, fellow Minecrafters and USOOG'ers, and welcome to this month's edition of Minecraft Shenanigans. Throughout April, we have been doing various kinds of stuff through the MadPack mod in Minecraft, and continued to find out what it has to offer. Here are this month's highlights;

Tower Tomfoolery

The Swedish Tower and I decided to explore a tower close to the main base of ours. It is full of hostile creatures, and indeed, the ground floor consisted of blazes and another fiery kind of creature you won't find in vanilla Minecraft for sure. They were a real pain to clear out and part of the forest around the tower was destroyed, but after a while, we were able to make the ground floor safe to enter. After that, climbing up the tower was fairly easy, and once we reached the top, we could get a really good view of the surrounding area. The next time I tried to pay a visit, the tower was since completely demolished, but we did get some useful stuff out of it.

Making Renewables out of Non-Renewables

The Swedish Tower has been busy expanding the farms for a range of different essences available. The really cool thing about essences, is that you really can obtain items that would otherwise be difficult to obtain safely, or be otherwise non-renewable. There is one main farm for growing raw essences, which form the basis for making all kinds of crops. Of course, one still needs the actual items themselves before they can become a renewable resource, first by forming essence seeds of the respective resource.

Gold is one of those rare resources that can otherwise be a pain at times to obtain as a renewable resource. Thanks to essence, gold can be formed much more safely.

Iron is a rather versatile metal that has various uses as it is in vanilla Minecraft - now it too can be created much more safely.

Even diamonds, a valuable, non-renewable gemstone used for some of the best tools, armour and weapons, can now be farmed renewably, thanks to the power of essences.

There are also crops derived from various creatures as well. For example, one can make bones just by using essences derived from skeletons.

A better way to mine underground...

Apparently, there is a way to mine minerals underground without actually going underground to mine the minerals yourself - quarries! The basic idea, is that you set up an area that you want to mine underground, connect the pipes from the quarry to the chests, connect the engines or other power source to the quarry, give the engines some power, and away it goes.

To do this, The Swedish Tower and I headed up to the snowy mountains near the farm village. I came prepared with beds and wood for building a makeshift shelter, since we were going to be at the quarry site for a prolonged period of time.

The pipes are constructed in a way that blocks and materials that are not desirable to us during the mining operation (i.e dirt, stone and cobblestone - since we can already craft them using essences) are filtered out and destroyed, while the other minerals and materials are channeled to the chests, where the items are stored. Four engines are used to power the quarry, but the engines can begin to overheat overtime, so we filled the engines with water to keep them cool during the operation.

Here are just some of the things we got out of the underground;

Salt, a mineral that can be used in cooking...

Coal, a mineral made of carbon that is used as fuel for furnaces and for making torches...

Copper Ore, which can be smelted into copper ingots, which are used for various things...

Force gems, which are used to power various machinery...

And of course, lapis lazuli and redstone which respectively, are used to colour things a blue colour and as a rudimentary material for powering primitive machinery.

That's all for now, and until next time, see you in our Minecraft Worlds!

This Month's Minecraft Shenanigans (May 2014)

Hello, fellow Minecrafters and USOOG'ers, and welcome to this month's edition of Minecraft Shenanigans. May is the month of this year that we decided to try our hand (and luck) at playing the Mad Pack, the way it is meant to be played - and thus, it means we're in an all new world to explore, and of course, to avoid getting slaughtered by a random infernal mob...

Anyway, here's at least most of the things going on this month;

A New Base

While we were set with a makeshift base with a couple of beds, chests and other stuff enclosed with fences, I got to work building a large house made entirely of wood, a nice starting material for building homes as you know by now if you read my earlier entries in the series, or have been playing Minecraft yourself. It was designed in a way that allows for two floors instead of one, with access to the upper floor using a ladder at the middle of the inside of the house. Each corner would serve a different purpose; on the ground floor, a corner each is dedicated to storage, force-related stuff, magics (brewing and enchanting), and crafting and smelting. The upper floor currently has one corner, dedicated for people to rest in the provided beds.

We are also building up farmlands for growing crops used for cooking all kinds of foodstuffs, as well as various drinks. Over the course of the month, we managed to rustle up some very nourishing meals, such as sandwiches, savoury breads, and even footlong sandwiches!

We still have a long way to go, but at least we have a functional base for all kinds of operations.

Raids Underwater

We also decided to do a spot of raiding an underwater base close to our own base. First, The Swedish Tower took out a skeleton spawner just outside the underwater base, while I look for a way into the base. Once inside, we raided the chests in each of the rooms that make up the area; I also took the liberty of taking the chests, beds and other stuff as they would come in handy as well. From that exercise, we got some pretty good stuff that are worth using as we develop our base still further.

As you can see from the above screen capture, it's worth going back just to get hold of the glowstone, at the very least for extra ambient lighting for our base, and eventually for production of glowstone crops!

That's all for now, and until next time, see you in our Minecraft Worlds!

This Month's Minecraft Shenanigans (August 2014)

Hello, fellow Minecrafters and USOOG'ers, and welcome to this month's edition of Minecraft Shenanigans. We have been busy raiding yet more places throughtout the world this month, and we got involved with various other in-game stuff as well. So here's the main activity we have done over the course of August of this year;

Pillaging Places

The Swedish Tower and yours truly have been roaming the lands in search of valuable treasures from various locales, oftentimes returning with a mix of some great equipment, valuable items, food (after all, it doesn't hurt to grab A LOT of delicious food in Minecraft), and some junk. In one walled off village, we encountered a HUGE crowd of mobs as we explored the area; the end result is one wrecked village, lots of stuff obtained, and a large mob clearout.

We actually ended up clearing out the dungeon underneath the village, as that area was also infested with hostile creatures. Throughout the raid, I did lose some of my own weapons from the Tinker's Construct mod, so thus I had to rely on my trusty bow (which has grown very powerful over the course of the month with several enchantments imbued on it) to snipe at the creatures from a distance.

I even brought up the idea of lighting up the pirate ship we raided close to our base earlier this month. We ended up completing the raid and finishing off the last of the pirates, so I thought of a way to celebrate a successful raid - after all, I wanted to take the opportunity to burn down the pirate ship just because ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Other Things We've Done

* The Swedish Tower apprently wanted to begin collecting all of the enchantments in both vanilla Minecraft and the Mad Pack. He needed the enchantments so that he could clone them somehow, and use them for enchanting our equipment.

* He also found a helmet with an enchantment that accelerates crop growth after defeating an infernal mob a little while ago. So he decided to try it out on wheat crops that feed the cow pen; I had a hard time harvesting the wheat as while The Swedish Tower was around, the wheat crops were growing faster than I could harvest them. But while that meant plenty of food for the cows as well as wheat for bread and other food for us to eat, it did come at a cost...

* We now have a more powerful solar panel for use with mass storage of items and equipment. More storage space in a small area means less need for chests to store items in, since everything would end up in one place.

* The Swedish Tower also apparently likes to collect a full set of essence equipment, including an essence sword, an essence bow, and an essence pickaxe. Essence tools and equipment are apparently unbreakable and have different special properties that other equipment do not ordinarily have.

That's all for now, and until next time, see you in our Minecraft Worlds!

This Month's Minecraft Shenanigans (July 2014)

Hello, fellow Minecrafters and USOOG'ers, and welcome to this month's edition of Minecraft Shenanigans. This month, we dabbled with different aspects of some of the mods available in the Mad Pack, and tried to raid a pirate ship to the northwest of the base. Here's some of the stuff that's gone on this month;

Raid Time!

The Swedish Tower and I attempted to raid the large pirate ship located next to the snowy biome north of the base. There are a lot of pirates on the ship, some of which were of the infernal kind (one even had health in the thousands!). We did manage to loot the chests for stuff in one of the rooms on the deck, though, so at least we got something out of the raid.

Every time we encountered an infernal pirate, that was the time we just fled sharpish from the ship, since we still weren't strong enough to take down the stronger infernal mobs. All being well, we should be able to fully complete the raid soon.

Tinkering with Infusions

The Swedish Tower certainly loves dabbling with Thaumcraft this month - in particular, he has been busy experimenting with infusing stuff through a structure known as the "Infusion Altar" used for the process of item infusion. There are plinths used for placing items needed for infusing an item, as well as jars filled with a peculiar liquid called "essentia" placed around the altar.

Here, a pair of leather boots is being infused using the Infusion Altar, as shown here...

Once the infusion has finished successfully, the leather boots become...

Can't Get Enough Of Farms

We have also been busy with further expansion of the farms, with more space for other kinds of essence crops, a separate farm for growing pumpkins and melons, a cow farm, and dedicated plots of farmland for feeding crops to animals for breeding purposes.

The cow farm is semi-automatic, in which it requires wheat to be fed to the breeder in order to get the cows to breed, and thus produce baby cows. The baby cows are then transferred to an adjacent pen via. the transporter, until they grow into adult cows. When the cows are fully grown, they are then slaughtered through the grinder, which collects the resulting drops and deposits them into an adjacent chest.

That's all for now, and until next time, see you in our Minecraft Worlds!

This Month's Minecraft Shenanigans (June 2014)

Hello, fellow Minecrafters and USOOG'ers, and welcome to this month's edition of Minecraft Shenanigans. This month was mostly a time of exploration, some experimentation, and base expansion (along with some attempts at finding valuable ores in dangerous places).

Here's some of the main goings-on this month;

Exploring Wider Areas

Naturally, I wanted to explore the landscapes after setting up our base, especially to pick up various stuff that just wasn't found in the biome that we set up base at. Over the course of the month, I found grapes and various kinds of berries, different kinds of wood, exotic foods like star fruits and even dragon fruits, and other items. I traversed through mountainous terrain, plains, fields and other biomes mostly in search of grapes - not just for juices, but for other kinds of food. I even found a tree that bore peaches on a tiny island as well, so naturally, I wanted to grow them in our base along with the other items that grow on trees.

I hope to find other kinds of fruits and other food items to add to the farm on my travels in the coming months.

Base Expansion

The Swedish Tower has been busy expanding the base, with greater portions of land fenced of for various purposes. In particular, the farms for growing essence crops and food crops now incorporate more space in the base, with plots of farmland dedicated to more kinds of crops. We have areas outside dedicated to different kinds of mods within the Mad Pack, and the rest of the land can be dedicated to other things, such as wood farming.

A section of new land was devoted to growing food and other crops that grow on trees. Any new such items I come across can be used as saplings in order to expand the farm.

As you can see in the above picture as it stands, the items seen growing on trees are as follows from left to right; avocados, star fruits, cherries, walnuts, dragon fruits, apples, pomegranites, vanilla pods, plums, peaches and peppercorns.

Later on, we could look at building a larger house for storage and other functions and purposes.

Experimenting with Mods

This month, The Swedish Tower has been exprimenting with mods such as Ars Magica and Thaumcraft, and it seems he has discovered some things about the mods that never really crossed my mind as such, so I just typically leave it to him to experiment with those kinds of mods.

If there are any mods within the Mad Pack that I would like to experiment with, it would have to be the Tinker's Construct; it has a range of weapons and tools that I can experiment with in order to make the most of the components that make up each individual tool or weapon, based on the different materials available.

That's all for now, and until next time, see you in our Minecraft Worlds!

This Month's Minecraft Shenanigans (October 2014)

Hello, fellow Minecrafters and USOOG'ers, and welcome to this month's edition of Minecraft Shenanigans. We haven't really been playing much vanilla or Mad Pack Minecraft together lately, so we haven't had much opportunity to cover the "things going on" stuff in either server...

So this month, I decided to cover what I have been doing in single player creative mode in vanilla Minecraft towards the end of this month. One day, when I started a new creative world in Minecraft, what I got is a relatively small island with a ravine that has access to caverns at the bottom. The ravine divides the landmass into two areas of different sizes, with the larger area having enough space for a small village. I ended up removing all of the trees on the island, so I can see clearly what could be built somewhere on the small island.

Here is what the island looks like so far;

The first building I constructed on the island basically represents a small general store that serves the island's community, as well as travellers from further afield. It sells a range of food and drinks such as fruit, bakery items, various meats, milk and fresh water, as well as souvenirs such as the heads of mobs slain by some of those arriving on the island.

It has two floors; the shop floor itself, and a living area accessible by ladders.

The other building is also a two-floor structure, which was created as a take on the forge, the workplace of the metalsmith. The ground floor itself has an area of cobblestone around a two-block area of lava, meant to simulate a hearth or fireplace designed to heat metals so that they become malleable enough to be worked with. The upper floor is also accessible by ladders, and is where the metalsmith will reside.

And one last thing; there is a fairly small body of water by the main area of the island. I think that it could be used as a small port, where people can travel to and from the island by boat as they please.

That's all for now, and until next time, see you in our Minecraft Worlds! (Oh, and I'll poke The Swedish Tower regularly in IRC chat in order for us to play Minecraft together much more often, so that we plenty more stuff to write home about next time!)

This Month's Minecraft Shenanigans (September 2014)

Hello, fellow Minecrafters and USOOG'ers, and welcome to this month's edition of Minecraft Shenanigans. This month marks a month in which we tried out vanilla Minecraft again since the 1.8 update, so that meant we had a brand new world to explore. So here's what we did this month;

* We had to build up a base from scratch, which meant that I had to build a small wooden house for the two of us to sleep in for the time being. There's not much space for the two beds, crafting table, furnaces and chests, and the flooring is just dirt and grass, but it's more of a stopgap until I build a better home for us both.

In fact, I was actually doing just that, and what I built was a two-storey house with a cobblestone edge with oak wood flooring, and the rest of the house being constructed with wood. I even built a small outdoor area for decorations such as flower pots, and even perhaps, a parasol made of coloured blocks of wool.

* We also have farms built close to the house, with pens for the animals, and two wheat farms. This means that we can use surplus seeds and wheat to breed the chickens, cows and sheep, but we will need some carrots for the pigs, so we should be able to start breeding pigs soon.

And here are the animals we have...

* We even had a small area where we harvested a lot of oak wood for all kinds of things, So here it is in a nutshell;

* We even did a spot of fishing in the river close to our small house. With a fishing rod, you can catch different kinds of fish, though you can also catch bits of garbage, or even valuable stuff that you can find at the bottom of bodies of water.

That's all for now, and until next time, see you in our Minecraft Worlds!