A Funny Thing About Valheim & More Peace of Mind

Haha, made you look.

Nope, still not on the Viking bandwagon yet. Quite content to wait out for more development, as I’m just not in the mood for wrangling with annoying monsters in my building sandbox yet.

But it doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy reading and watching other people enjoy Valheim, and recently, one of my favorite irreverent Youtubers Josh from Let’s Game It Out got his hands on Valheim.

For those not in the know, he basically makes a living playing games WRONG. Very very wrong. Gamebreakingly framerate droppingly wrong. So destructively wrong that it’s a delightful paean to every Explorer/exploiter type who pushes the game boundaries of rules and has wholesome gleeful fun feeling out the game world’s absurd limits.

It’s hard work being gloriously absurd, but it’s also hilarious and joyful to be reminded that these games are toys and fun can be had in different ways. Even and especially ways completely unintended by the designers. It’s like getting a toy for your cat and realizing the cat is happier sitting in the box that came with the toy and batting around the wreckage of what -was- the toy.

Well, this -was- Valheim, supposedly verisimilitudinous dead Viking simulator.

As a closet game pyromaniac, I love the campfire thing the most. Some of us just like to watch game worlds burn.

On a *cough* brighter note, enjoying the whole video has refined my appreciation of Valheim’s aesthetic to “Okay, I quite like the pixelation of the world, it’s quite close to Minecraft… it’s just the player character model I still can’t stand.”

No worries, I’ll wait. It’ll keep.

Back on a Minecraft front, the great Pam’s Harvestcraft 83 crop types farm facility is finally done.

Work-in-progress shots:

Second floor skeletal structure going up.
40 crop farm plots… and then 4 extra more when I realized the total number of Pam’s Harvestcraft crops is 83, not 80.
Filling in all the holes – glass roof, fertilized dirt for the crops to grow in, labeled Bibliocraft fancy signs in alphabetical order for each crop.
Second floor with crops all in and beginning to grow.
The finished product, from one angle…
…and another.

Certainly, it’s one of the more massive builds I’ve ever attempted in Minecraft. Feels pretty good to see it done.

Almost feel like doing another big building project. Almost. We’ll see.

In the wake of these things – a big completed goal – I started casting around feeling that usual sense of aimlessness. Drawing a blank, I just went for a short term goal, actually finding an Ender stronghold and an End Portal and popping over to see what’s up in the End.

Possibly one of the more infuriating things I tried.

One is supposed to start with a bunch of Eyes of Ender to toss into the air and follow to the stronghold.

Fortunately, by this time, I had some Ender Lilies growing on End Stone provided by Astral Sorcery mod transmutation, and I’d figured out Blaze Rod creation from compressed Netherrack, so I had no shortage of Ender Pearls and Blaze Powder. I stocked up on about 36 Eyes of Ender and started hurling them into the air.

About 20 eyes later, following at a slow crawl, this not only felt boring but also wasteful. Then I got a bit smarter and said to myself, maybe I should attempt triangulation.

I marked my start point on the Antique Atlas, followed an Eye of Ender and marked where I ended up. Flew on ahead in the extrapolated direction and tried it again. Still one long straight diagonal. Rinse and repeat until I hit a point where the Eye of Ender flew backwards somewhere rather than forward. Aha!

Located the spot the Eye of Ender gravitated to. Dug a 2×2 mineshaft down to bedrock and found absolutely… nothing.


More wiki reading pointed out that a) the Eye of Ender is not as kind as to lead you -directly- the End Portal, nor does it b) lead you to the entrance of the stronghold. No, it c) leads you the CENTER of the chunk the stronghold ENTRANCE is in.

So the center is at 8,8, and the entrance is usually, says the wiki, at 4,4.

So I hit F3 to bring up all the debug coordinates, shifted myself away from 8,8, located 4,4 of the same chunk and dug straight down again.

This time I hit the entrance, and proceeded to explore the stronghold. Fairly peaceful exploration, of course (yay! peaceful mode!), except there were over a dozen rooms with no End Portal in them, one giant ravine that tore straight across the stronghold breaking up its structure, and what might have been the start of a mineshaft set piece. Aka, one super disrupted stronghold architecture.

It got to the point where I was getting extremely lost and decided to mark every single room I’d been in with a white cobblestone block and a torch laid on top of it.

Soon I wound up with what seemed like the whole place explored and no End Portal room.

More third-party website reading suggested that the End Portal room was probably hidden behind some walls, as might happen if other set piece features got layered on top of it.

So there were a few options left to me.

I could give up and try to find another more cooperative stronghold, but I’d have to wander off far enough that the Eyes of Ender didn’t lead me back to this one.

I could dig up every last adjoining wall of the stronghold and basically turn the place into a gigantic square quarry hole in the ground until I found the End Portal room which was -probably- there.

Or I could cheat and turn on /gamemode spectator to ghost through walls and peek at the various structures in the world.

Guess which most simple option I decided to go for.

Observe, all the rooms with lighted torches and a whitish block under them. My absolutely legit wandering exploration of the stronghold. Zero End Portal room.
Turning around 180 degrees. Well, EFF ME, look where that dang portal room is.

It was indeed surrounded by solid rock on all sides, except one entrance leading out to hitherto unexplored stronghold rooms, all completely cut off by mineshaft spawn disruption.

It was SO close to my initial two borehole mineshafts, except that I had gamely just followed the entrance and went off exploring the rest of the stronghold in the completely opposite direction.

So I just pickaxed myself a new entrance to the portal room and popped over to the End.

Where I found out the Ender Dragon still very much exists in Peaceful mode. Whoops.

One hasty escape via the Home teleporting Inventory Pet (best mod and best pet ever), I went back armed with lots of glass bottles to collect Dragon’s Breath and a Terra Shatterer sword and Crystalline Bow from Botania to make quick work of the Ender Dragon. It’s kinda unfair when you can also fly around with an Angel Ring. All good. I already did the suffering in other less well equipped Minecraft game worlds.

So that was that, I had one more Dragon Egg, popped over to the End Islands to collect some Chorus Fruit and am now having a gigantic case of the What Nows?

I suspect the answer will lie in trying to go down another mod that I’ve been avoiding for fear of its overly complicated tech progressions. There aren’t that many mods left in Peace of Mind, alas. Magical Psi looks fiendishly complex. Astral Sorcery seems only a little less so. Botania is always intimidating. Solar Panels is the simplest but requires ridiculous amounts of resources. I would love a Quantum Quarry but that requires tons of RF power and this modpack lacks my usual suspects for generating tons of power.

All signs point to giving my best go at Immersive Engineering. We’ll see. Probably take things more leisurely from now and might start exploring other things in my games library.

Minecraft: Peace of Mind – Projects & Wanderlust

This is possibly one of the most spread out bases I have ever built in Minecraft.

In most other modpacks, they turn into little square walled up or glassed up compounds, compact underground rooms or cobblestone rectangular islands in the sky, limited both by the reluctance to light up every square inch of space to prevent mob spawns and the laziness to hand build excessively large barriers between the outside and safe insides.

In the Peace of Mind modpack, one literally has peace of mind to sprawl out and claim territory.

It was shortly made easier by me finally going deeper into the Extra Utilities 2 mod and crafting an Angel Ring, which gives creative mode flight at the cost of a type of passively generated resource called Grid Power. Besides setting up a bunch of Water Mill blocks to passively generate it (all they need are water touching all four sides), I lucked into a loot chest item offering me a Dragon Egg. (Normally only attained after defeating the Ender Dragon on the plane The End. No idea how it works in Peaceful mode, I haven’t found a stronghold with a portal to The End yet.)

One Dragon Egg Mill later, I now had a passive generation of 500 GP plus the 100+ from the Water Mills. Way more than the 32 GP required for the Angel Ring. So zooming around in speedy flight constantly was pretty much on the 24/7 menu.

It made it much easier to travel around and explore. Lots of visits to floating slime islands in the sky, and discovering other interesting structures with treasure chests inside.

This pirate ship was very cool. Normally, I gather it would be full of hostile pirates. In peaceful, all I found was a blue parrot chilling out near the ship’s wheel. Snapped it up with a golden lasso to take home. (Hmm, come to think of it, I haven’t taken it out of my backpack yet. Oops.)

It even had functional “cannons” in the form of dispensers loaded with fire charges, and an oak button alongside each one. It gave me a bit of a scare when I hit one of the buttons, not really expecting anything to happen, and then a loud BANG fired off next to my ear and I saw a ball of fire leaving the vicinity of the ship and soaring over the horizon. Then I investigated the dispenser inventory and put two and two together.

A strange druidic looking grove / oasis in a biome of crystal forests and trees. It’s probably two mods stacking on top of each other. I think the Crystal Forest comes from the Plants mod. The structure itself seems to be from the Recurrent Complex mod. It’s oddly fitting. Like something smote this entire region of land, turning it crystalline, except for this little protected grove still green and growing.

I spent an immensely long time searching for slime trees on floating islands. For some reason, the most populous color was a purple slime sapling, which was Goal Number 2 in my quest book. Goal Number 1 was a blue slime sapling. It was practically nowhere to be found. Spent days flying around, checking every island, seeing only purple trees. Finally stumbled on one.

Then Goal Number 3 was an ORANGE slime sapling. Spent even MORE days flying around tearing my hair out.

I eventually got suspicious and went, hang on, let me check the name of this orange slime sapling. Magma Slime Sapling? Waitaminute… Magma. Lava. Are you telling me this sapling is found in the Nether, rather than the Overworld I’d been scouring for literal Minecraft weeks?

Checked third-party wiki. Yes. That would be a yes.


So I went to the Nether to look for my orange slime sapling. At least I could fly now. Which is pretty much the only way to happily traverse the Nether.

Imagine my surprise when I found a biome hitherto unseen, and found an interesting mob… courtesy of Mystical World mod.

They’re like typical Minecraft ocelot cats, except LAVA, so practically on fire. Fortunately, they don’t exactly set anything around them alight.

Instead of fish, they like blaze rods.

I really wished I could take them ALL home.

But I didn’t even have a golden lasso with me at the time, and I flew over goodness knows how many netherrack islands surrounded by lava to get there. (The plan was just to teleport bampf back home with a Home Inventory Pet, which kindly does so at the cost of an ender nugget.)

I did, however, have one gold ingot with me, and the Peace of Mind modpack allows you to make blaze rods out of smelting compressed netherrack (in lieu of fighting a million and one Blaze mobs.)

So I embarked on a massive mini-project to make a netherrack furnace to burn up even more netherrack for blaze rods. Charcoal and crafting table generously provided by some Nether trees nearby. Getting string for the lasso (gold nuggets + string + 8 experience levels) was insane.

Made a wooden crook out of sticks to smack tree leaves, which coughed up a silkworm egg. Put the egg on leaves and left it to grow over time. Eventually, the silkworm got fat enough to cough up a silkworm cocoon. Made a spindle out of more wood plank and sticks. Silkworm cocoon + spindle = 9 silk threads which could substitute for string in the golden lasso recipe.

Finally victorious, I crafted ONE golden lasso.

So one lava cat came home with me.

Some day, I’ll be back. With a lot more mob moving tools.

The big project of the last blog post was my aboveground farming facility. Progress has been gradual. I kept finding a lot more other things to do and get distracted by.

Added the second floor, and then a cantilever roof.

Kept tweaking it.

Added a bridge over a small gap I kept falling into or having to go around, before the Angel Ring days. Added some cream white polished sandstone stairs. Subtracted most of the blue glass railings holding the glowing blue water fall in place.

Experimented with arch-like walls for the rooftop garden, as planned in the previous post, out of a cheap wood material… and ultimately decided they looked too thick and heavy. Didn’t quite work out as hoped. Better as a ground structure perhaps.

Went for a more rooftop urban farm style aesthetic. Poles cut with ArchitectureCraft’s saw (same mod as provides the arch blocks.) Glass chiseled for an iron fence pattern to simulate a sort of greenhouse-like frame.

More experimentation with lighting. The Paper Lanterns from the Quark mod look surprisingly good with my current shaders. A close runner up was Rustic mod’s iron chandelier, but that felt a little more medieval.

Haven’t decided what to do yet with all the torches littering the place. That’s to be addressed at a later time, if ever.

There’s supposed to be one more floor to go, stacked on top of this one. We’ll see how that goes. Every floor is an experiment.

On a non-aesthetic and far more functional front, these were the other distractions from the pretty building project. I really wanted better storage options, and the Refined Storage mod essentially provides an unlimited ‘wireless’ inventory, as long as the proper infrastructure is in place.

It meant a side trek into providing enough Flux power for the Refined Storage. Which meant generators of all types. From thermoelectric generators which provided passive power based on the difference between two blocks next to them (packed ice and uranium in this case) to solar panels, which passively provide power when there’s sun around. To active power generators like a culinary generator (power based on food fed into it) to furnace and nether star generators (combustibles and nether star respectively.)

I automated the culinary generator to eat cooked apples and cough out power, but got lazy with the other two. The passive power generators seem to be enough for now.

I had to figure out the goddamn cabling to transmit power between blocks. This modpack is pretty much missing all my usual stalwarts like EnderIO. It was pretty much a choice between Extra Utilities (blocky, takes up space, energy transfer nodes were so costly on redstone, which I was desperately short of) and learning this other advanced mod called XNet. Which essentially combines all cabling into one. Transfers items, fluids, energy, you name it, through the same cable.

Downside: Never used it before, and a heck lot of configuration required per block connected to the network. (Obviously, with a one cable system, you have to tell it what exactly you want it to transfer – energy, items, et. al. and whether to input or output and so on.) It was okay… just…different.

Refined Storage has its own cabling to deal with. Wireless transmitters only work in a 16 block radius range, and have to be connected to the cable network where your storage system is hooked up. So for a real life day or two, it was just digging out little cable tunnels all across the vast expanse of my base, and sticking a wireless transmitter every 16 x 2 blocks, to basically blanket the base in a field where I could click my little remote and access my storage network at will. (I haven’t even reached my farm facility and kitchen yet, that’s going to be yet another project.)

Then there was Botania.

The main driving need pushing me further into this mod that is designed to be machinery and automation-complex (just with flowers) was to re-stock my metal and redstone, which was rapidly diminishing from the above struggles with power and storage mods.

It’s fiendishly annoying, in the sense that every last accomplishment with this mod needs to be a mini-automation project of some kind. By design, I’m sure, but it’s time-consuming, when you want item A, and realize you need B and C in place before A is even on the table.

Item A, in this case, is the Orechid flower, which turns stone into ores, given a steady supply of mana.

Crafting the Orechid flower requires one to push all the way into opening an Alfheim portal. Which means b) enough mana to open said Alfheim portal, and c) a mini-automation project to feed every last generating flower that provides said mana. That’s just crafting the flower. Then you need d) enough mana to power the flower, and e) since you’re already doing all this work, how about something simple that puts the stone in place for you?

Once upon a time, Botania had simple passive mana generation flowers called the Daybloom and Nightshade, which provided mana in the day and night respectively. Folks who didn’t want to deal with more complex automation chains just scaled them up on a massive scale. This was an intolerable state of affairs to the mod author, and so… we no longer have said passive mana flowers.

So now the simplest way to get mana is to make a ton of Endoflame flowers, and set up some kind of chain that makes burnable stuff like Charcoal for them. The charcoal goes into a hopper, which links to an open crate which drops the charcoal where the Endoflames can snap it up. In order to not drop all the charcoal at once, a pressure plate is linked to a redstone chain which stops the hopper from dropping more charcoal when a piece of unconsumed charcoal is sitting on the pressure plate.

No, I did not think this up.

My brain was burning already, considering the tedium of making more than one Endoflame, let alone how to power them. So I ripped it off a five year old Reddit thread.

My main contribution was to just add an Analog Crafter before this entire process to turn the Charcoal into a Block of Charcoal, which would hopefully feed the Endoflames for a little longer and produce more mana.

Still. It’s not enough mana. It’s never enough. Is it?

So the next generating flower that I could conceivably bear to automate was the Gourmaryllis. Which eats food to produce mana. Cooked apples are a thing in this modpack, I knew, given prior culinary generator experiments.

It’s never simple with Botania though. If you feed the flower the SAME food all the time, you get fast diminishing returns. You HAVE to alternate foods.

So someone else’s clever solution (very much not mine) was to put a Hovering Hourglass that can be configured to any interval you like, and have that trigger an Animated Torch, which basically triggers a redstone pulse on one side before rotating in the opposite direction.

This redstone pulse activates a dispenser block, which pops out the requisite food to feed the Gourmaryllis.

Again, my only contribution was to figure out what alternate food I could feed the flower, with the least amount of extra automation chain required (hooray for Applesauce, which just requires apples and a pot that is not used up).

That, and cursing and swearing while I laid pipes all over the place trying to connect up machinery to each other.

So the source of it all is a huge array of apple saplings in hopping bonsai pots, which produce Logs, Sticks, Leaves and Apples into various chest inventories. All that gets sucked into a consolidating storage made out of Storage Drawers. The logs and sticks go into furnaces to be made into charcoal to power the Endoflames. The apples get processed into Cooked Apples (via furnace) and Applesauce (via Analog Crafter) and then go into the dispensers. Which feed the Gourmaryllis.

(Gourmaryllii? I have two of them. Mind you, managing some kind of round robin distribution of items into the dispensers was another problem altogether with Extra Utitilies’ transfer pipes. Ended up settling for an Item Filter that only allowed one stack of items in the first dispenser.)

The Alfheim portal itself needed its own two personal Mana Pools. I was a bit leery of trying to fuel the whole thing with just the mana from my main pool. So I ended up with some more backup Endoflames and a separate redundant charcoal system, so that the mana pools could be maintained. (If you don’t, the portal closes, and then re-opening them eats up way more mana than just keeping the portal open.)

I refuse to go down the Bore Lens rabbit hole with Botania again, after prior attempts at a tree farm in older modpacks. Adjusting how the mana spreaders aim, just to cut down trees properly, was an exercise in frustration. I don’t think there’s any other machinery that automates tree chopping in Peace of Mind, so I made only a semi-automated Munchdew system.

Basically, after hand collecting a bunch of leaves produced from hopping bonsai pots across the rest of my base, I chuck them all into a chest near the Munchdew. Another hopper/open crate passes the leaves to a Rannuncarpus flower (it of the orange yellow hand petals), which places the leaves on a glass roof for the Munchdew to steadily attack and produce mana.

I suppose some day I can figure out some kind of import/export bus from my storage network to feed leaves into said chest. (But I worry there aren’t enough leaves just yet.)

It has just occurred to me while writing this that I could make a lumber axe for a Mechanical User to chop down actual trees. And a hopperhock to pick up the pieces. And maybe Autosmelt on the lumber axe to turn it into charcoal directly. But timing it so that the Munchdew gets to eat the leaves first would be something to solve. Meh. Whatever. Problem for another day. Frickin’ Botania.

The bottom line is, there’s enough mana steadily accumulating now to actually run the Orechid I made, post Alfheim portal, every now and then.

I bring over some stone, and toss them to the Rannuncarpus on each side of the square grid. They place the stone for me. The Orechiid in the center does its noisy thing and slowly converts the stone to ore. I run around wild with a pickaxe for a while.

(Well, actually, it’s a pickaxe with Silk Touch, so I get the ore block itself. Then I bring the ore blocks over to a Crusher, which doubles the metal ores and gives me more return from the Redstone ores instead of just mining them outright.)

I’m sure it’s not as complex as it could be.

It’s complex enough for me.