Minecraft: Regrowth – Expanding

On the Minecraft: Regrowth front, it’s been more expansion and progression down the HQM book, though I’m getting to that stage where the HQM quests stop handholding and I start cudgeling my brain and running out of ideas for, “Well, I could do anything I want, but what do I really want to do NOW?”

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My little hobbit hole is still functional, if cramped, for now.

I finally got to the point of discovering storage drawer controllers, which make sorting out all the little pretty items much easier.

Eventually, down the road, I expect that one could automate the whole chain of growing things, harvesting, sending them along pipes into a drawer controller which feeds into a giant storage drawer wall of everything-you-could-want (that is, until Applied Energistics comes along with their inventory system.)

I live and work so primitively and manually that I often find myself making things I don’t have an immediate use for right now, like the worktable just sitting up on the ceiling. I’m -sure- I’ll eventually have use for it, assuming I remember I have it, but eh, I don’t really have that many recipes I’m repeating right now, beyond a lever, a piston and some magical crop food that have already been stored in the picture frame thingummies.

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Function a little limited by form. I made a second drawer controller system for flowers and dyes and seeds downstairs in the experimental breeding chamber. Would it be nicer in one single gigantic storage system? Maybe. Possibly. But it would also mean a gigantic wall of drawers that my hobbit hole can’t exactly accommodate right now.

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It was made somewhat brutally clear that in order to get Mutandis to experimentally mutate through different plants to collect all the possible specimens, one was going to need quite a bit of Mandrake.

Problem is, if you pull Mandrake by daytime, they come alive and become a little annoying mob that creates nausea and screams horribly into your ear.

I’d figured out by chance that keeping them in a pit helps to limit all the crazy running around chasing after them, and watching a Youtube video suggested the clever idea of using Punji sticks as mandrake killing traps (they like to run towards you and screech, so you can pull them places.)

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A coincidence of sorts, I’d made a little chamber under this room because I’d previously found a rock hive while digging out stone to replace it with dirt for the crops. (The flowing dirt seems to be some kind of texture bug with an Agricraft water pad, but I kind of like the effect as it sort of hides the pit.)

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Inside the pit is a little safe zone for me to climb up and down with ladders, and at the far end, a little tunnel that connects to the Mandrake growing zone, filled with Punji sticks.

Basically I can cut down the whole Mandrake zone with a few Scythe swings, and then race up the ladder leading out of the Mandrake area and down this ladder into the pit. Any live Mandrakes that have been humping the walls screeching realize they can path right to me via the tunnel, and run through many many spiked punjis, conveniently falling over dead by the time they get to or near me.

Since I made a Ring of Magnetization via Botania some time ago, even if they fall over dead further away, the delicious Mandrake crop that is looted off their dead bodies floats right to me regardless of which trap offs them.

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Further along, I improved my mushroom and nether wart growing corridor from lazy pitch black 1 person-wide tunnel risking mob spawns and blocked by a door to a small low light growth chamber.

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Me attempting a little primitive aesthetics, while wondering if it was possible to block the brightness of light emitted by torches with a semi-translucent block or microblock. I ended up with stained glass microblock covers over an empty square with a torch in it.

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There’s a page of the HQM quest book devoted to creating life from Spawn eggs.

So I had to improvise little animal holding pens/zoo/stables thingummies.

At first they were just stone chambers with fence and fence gates at the entrance, but the opaqueness of the walls annoyed me. I wanted to be able to look through the pens and see what was being kept as I walked by.

I was debating something with glass dividing up the chambers, but some experimentation later, I couldn’t really find a good shape that would take up exactly the middle point of the block beyond a microblocks pillar or post.

Couple this with the madness of clucking chickens and baying cows doing their best to cross pens (the grass looked greener on the other side, presumably), I soon gave up making it perfect and just went for something, anything, vaguely fence-like and got out of there.

I count my blessings that no one has modded in chicken shit and cow dung yet in Minecraft (not in this pack anyways.)

Can’t seem to find a noise muffler block in Regrowth, sad to say.

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Ok, this might be slightly inhumane, but well… it keeps them easily accessible for trades!

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I’m contemplating some kind of see-through monster tank/specimen chamber for the other side. Part of said quest line is to make things like Spawn Zombie and Spawn Creeper eggs. Not sure what I would do with those really. It’s not like they’re really endangered species…

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The crops chamber has stood up to massive expansion, thankfully.

Presumably one day I’m either going to have to rearrange some of them so that they make sense (flowers together, metal crops clustered somewhere else, etc.) or make an even larger chamber to grow squares of crops and pipe them all to a big storage wall somewhere…

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Machinery experiments have been haphazard.

It’s been one Forestry machine after another (Carpenter, Squeezer, Centrifuge, Fermenter, etc) and the odd grey Rolling Machine all opportunistically hooked onto anything that supplies RF power.

The garishly candy-cane colored pipe is a quartz kinesis pipe that transports said RF power.

There’s a starter Hobbyist’s Steam Engine behind that mess somewhere, which I was initially using, and then swapped over to the multi-block steam boilers feeding into a more intermediate steam engine version in the background.

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More garishly colored Buildcraft pipes, along with my absolute disregard for linear systematicity.

On the left is a steam boiler consisting of a low-pressure tank block and a solid fueled firebox, and the right is a low-pressure tank block coupled with a liquid fueled firebox.

I’d been working desperately to try and get to the liquid fueled one, because I’d been accumulating a LOT of creosote oil from the coke oven, but progression-wise, the solid fuel one had to come first.

In the end, well, why waste either?

Both are temporarily still manually filled with water and the desired fuel. I’m still looking for the equivalent of an RF storage in this modpack – I’m used to not wasting RF power and storing it all up in a RF cell of some kind – before I start automating it all.

The neon green extraction pipes are emerald fluid transport/extraction pipes – one step up from the wooden extraction ones – that pull a fluid out of the block’s inventories.

In this case, they’re pulling Steam and feeding it into the Steam Engine (blue thing in the center), which then converts the Steam into RF power.

Said RF power is then being pulled out by the neon green kinesis pipe version and fed into the mini-network of rather haphazardly linked machines.

Oh, and the bright yellow pipes are gold fluid transport pipes, which are the more efficient fluid transport versions.

Having been completely defeated in my attempt to hook up the white quartz kinesis pipes adjacent to the green fluid extraction pipes so that the RF power could power the extraction, I threw my hands up and stuck Wooden Engines (with lever attached) onto each and every one of the green pipes. Now they will go and keep going and I don’t have to think about it further, beyond how ridiculous the whole thing looks.

(You may safely ignore the cactus. The cactus is for the bee hives. Turns out the edge of this cobblestone platform was conveniently reaching over into the Ocean biome, which has a conducive temperature/climate for normal-ish bees, and I just used the most available ocean biomes squares I had left.)

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Yet another primitive and garishly ugly attempt for me to work through and understand the various machines involved in this cycle.

The block on the left with a whole bunch of Wooden Engines sticking out from it is a Buildcraft Pump, pulling water out of a 3×3 infinite water source.

It is pumping an unlimited supply of water into the (currently green) Combustion Engine, which is supposedly one of the top tier engines of this mod.

Cos if you don’t and it runs out of sufficient water coolant, it goes boom.

Or so they say.

I am frankly not interested in finding out (there’s already enough craters in this ‘ere blasted wasteland), hence an infinite water cooling system first of all.

Said Combustion Engine can run on Oil, to produce RF power, but inefficiently. It does better on Fuel.

In order to convert Oil into Fuel, one needs a Refinery (the red gizmo) and to power it with RF.

Hence the tank of oil on top of it, to constantly feed oil into it. (Much to my exasperation, the pipe was incapable of delivering oil via gravity, and thus yet another clunky emerald fluid pipe with a tail of Wooden Engine+Lever was attached onto it.)

The converted fuel is then extracted into another tank, by way of Emerald Pipe+Wooden Engine+Lever contraption. (Can I shorten it to EWEL from now on?)

One can feed the Fuel back into the Combustion Engine to keep it going, but I’m sitting back on joining more pipes and larger tanks to this for now, mostly because I’m still looking for something that can store up all the RF energy produced.

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I pumped up the little oil pool on the left into the big tank too, by the by. I was getting tired of falling into it accidentally and trying to clamber out of it, with its quicksand-like properties.

Turns out it didn’t really have that much oil in there, but well, some is better than none.

I’ve seen much larger geysers and spouts of oil, while exploring out on the ocean, but I’m not 100% sure how I’m going to collect those, beyond a gigantic ugly kilometers-long golden pipe floating in the air and leading to an impromptu pump platform by the spout… I suppose I could lay it down on the ocean floor for a little more authenticity…

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This part of the outside is devoted to machines that look a lot less rainbow.

The red brick Bloomery Furnace creating Wrought Iron from Iron is in the foreground, the Tinker’s Construct Smeltery behind it with casting basins and a casting table, while the multiblock Blast Furnace for making Steel out of Wrought Iron is on the left.

Mariculture’s Crucible Furnace, hastily automated via hopper and adjacent ingot caster, is just beside the Blast Furnace.

I’m starting to run out of easily reachable short-term goals, which is a little bit demotivating.

Everything I consider doing next seems like it’s going to take a while.

I still have magic seeds to create via runic altar and grow, but collecting the requisite components is a rather tedious multi-step process. One has to find the ingredients, operate and power the runic altar, dig out further expansion in the seed chamber, fill it with more rows of garden soil and crop sticks, etc.

I can make more spawn eggs of different creatures, but ditto, it’ll also involve a lot of runic altar creation, digging out chambers to house the creatures, and so on.

I could make an upgraded automated farm, but that would mean finding the space, digging it out, laying in the blocks, growing stuff, automating it and hoping it works…

Maybe I’ll run around in the Nether and hope I can find Nether Copper Ore for the next quest in my HQM book… except I’ve already searched the area around my portal in a 50-100 block radius and can’t seem to find any…

😦

Guess I’ll have to think on this a little more.

 

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Blaugust Day 20: Asura Alt Collection – The Ranger (GW2)

I need another one of those quick posts again, because I’m seriously starved on time lately.

It’s all I can do to knock out one set of GW2 dailies (hit the three easiest – < 30 minutes), and then go on to one set of Trove dailies (fill the star bar – also < 30 minutes.)

I think Paeroka is on to something, showing off all her MMO mini-mes

Ditto Rowan Blaze, with his SWTOR character biographies.

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So, this is Kujl.

Pronounced “Cudgel,” as he will tell you sourly, if he deigns to tell you at all.

He shares the typical asura trait of assuming all bookahs fairly stupid and not worth conversing with, plus a little extra helping of bitterness for being teased mercilessly through progeny-hood for his un-asura-like name.

(No double-vowels, not even a double-consonant, not the usual short sharp exhalation of a one syllable male name, but a double syllable one slightly more typical of female asura names… the only thing vaguely respectably masculine is ending in a consonant… and the sexy ears, of course.)

Personally, I sometimes slip fondly into something more vaguely resembling “Cujo” or “Cujill” when I’m thinking of bringing him out for an sPvP spin, but it’s ok, we’ll whisper it and he already thinks we’re all a bunch of bookahs anyway.

He’s been level 39 for a very long time, having officially replaced my necromancer as my sPvP ol’ reliable some time back.

And he’s one of the rarer combinations of race and class – something I love my characters to be, so that they’re a little bit atypical and I can infuse a little more backstory into them.

Why asura ranger? Well, mostly because I thought the idea of a pet being as big or bigger than his ranger master would be hilariously awesome to play.

In my head though, Kujl is an extremely antisocial (probably even asocial) asura who doesn’t even want to mix with his own kind, due to said horrible childhood teasing making lab and school life a living hell.

Obviously, animals don’t judge in that fashion.

Since nature and the outdoors are where most normal and ambitious asura only venture to when their labs suffer an unfortunate accid- “learning experience” and require some ventilation time… or when they need test subjects… Kujl has probably discovered or decided that this giant free-from-rent-and-research-grant-requiring-(aka-political-schmoozing-needed) venue is where -he- will set up lab instead.

Being also a typical “I’ll show them… I’m a genius” asura, Kujl is busy pioneering work in “living” golems.

Yep, his pets are implanted with all manner of technomagical control devices for “guaranteed reliability” (fine print: beta version, some testing still required.)

It’s a curious thing, but I’ve always thought of Kujl as being fairly young, and his levels tend to match, I haven’t moved him beyond level 39, and not really sure I want to, even if I do want a level 80 ranger at -some- point.

Yet, he has a very old, serious, bitter soul.

He was one of the earliest characters I made, probably in one of the original five slots.

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I found a portrait of him at level 9, some time in Dec 2012, and I suspect he was made earlier than that.

At the time, I knew he was young, I tried to color him flamboyantly, yellow and purple “rich” colors, mostly because I was sick of dyeing all my alts some version of ebony, grey or brown for natural metal/leather colors.

It just didn’t quite click. He was kind of saying, this is not who I am.

I suppose we can assume he was still schooling at this point, dressing up in a more civilian style, if only to blend in, but just not comfortable with city life.

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Around 2013, I start attempting to level the ranger alt again, and give him a bit more of a makeover. He still has the purple intensity, that reflects the deep blue intenseness of his eyes. The yellow has been dialed back to something more cream-leathery, and more natural dark leather armor is protecting him on his ventures afar.

He stalls somewhere around lvl 20ish.

When I next revisit him, probably at least a year later, I have a free makeover kit lying around, and I decide to check out the exclusive asura hairstyles.

I have no idea how to describe it. A mohawk? A ponytail? Something vaguely Aztec-inspired? But somehow, I know it fits. He’s grown up.

He doesn’t need that kid hairstyle with the purple hairband anymore.

He’s moved from kid to teenager to young adult, at least.

I take him PvPing. I’m relying on his totally nondescript lowbie leather armor to signal that I’m a nobody, not at all prestigious, I can be overlooked, I probably suck, maybe we’re small and sneaky, but that’s about it for the fear factor…

… We do suck. For quite a while, as I throw myself gleefully into build-testing the hard way, under fire.

But slowly, surely, one experimental tweak after another, as I and he grow more comfortable with his weapons and what he is capable of, I start winning matches. Not a whole lot, but enough to tilt me back to a 50% win/loss kind of ratio.

Several months later, GW2 opens its very first sneak peek of Heart of Thorns, and somehow in the closing of that, something funky happens to the old pre-launch early start accounts and Anet says that our particular version of game doesn’t quite exist anymore. They’ve given us the heroic edition of the game instead, and the heroic edition comes with an extra bonus GW1 heritage/legacy armor skin from the gem store… Take your pick, heavy, medium or light?

The medium Krytan armor looks to my eye like the best of the lot, and it really reminds me of my GW1 ranger, who spent quite a while wearing a style like that.

But do I even -have- a medium armor class who can wear it?

Oh wait, yes, I do.

Somebody’s come of age.

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Some months after that, I was on my scientific skins collection kick.

When it was done, I was struggling to figure out who else could use green skins besides my necro (who already sports Tequatl sunless styles and a rare dreamthistle skin or two.)

And then I knew who it was absolutely perfect for.

Scientific and steampunky, as in asura-like technology?

Green and acidy, as in condi damage?

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Thank you, Kujl. Take a bow.

(Just don’t take over the world while I’m not looking.)

This post was brought to you by the letters B for Belghast and Blaugust, and the number 20.

Drowning… But in a Good Way…

What do I do now? Let me count the ways…

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Draining half my resources appears to have successfully rekindled a fire in me to start making a list of things to do (which will also coincidentally earn some gold, plus some that might take the stockpile in the opposite direction.)

I need to get my new-ish asura warrior to a waypoint in every map that has a dungeon, as he is the one character that is 100% meta compliant (as opposed to 95%), and more importantly, isn’t overloaded with 101 “fun” fireworks, tonics, spare gear sets and assorted Silverwastes junk. That kinda gets in the way of the ideal “zoom from dungeon to dungeon without pause and earn tons of gold” routine.

I suddenly have the intense craving for a number of Scientific weapon skins from the Black Lion vendors (or TP), which means I either need a ton of gold, or convince myself to spend the equivalent of a month’s subscription on being sorely disappointed on Black Lion’s Chests (or trade in the equivalent sum for gold, which would guarantee at least one skin) and/or farm Black Lion Keys and trade time instead of hard currency. To even figure out where to begin, it seems like a good idea to watch a video of all the skins first and prioritize “must-haves” versus “nice-to-haves.”

It occurs to me that I have a number of basic collections and left over collect some coin or badge or other item from Dry Top/Silverwastes that I have yet to complete. Those should be far easier mini-milestones or goalposts for the feeling of mini-wins than building a legendary…

Speaking of which, I have now used up my two Gifts of Exploration from world map completion, which means another alt has to circumnavigate the globe at some point. Each map is another potential mini-goalpost.

Speaking of alts, not only do I have alts that should be brought to level 80 -some- day, I had the vague desire to take nifty screenshots of my characters and discuss my relationship to my in-game avatars in similar fashion to Rowan Blaze, who has also been inspired by Syp to wonder about how various players fit on the roleplaying versus puppeteering spectrum with regards to their characters/avatars.

And and, if I want gold, I should really get on Silverwastes chest farms or an easy world boss train cycle to replace all those ectos nommed up by Kraitin.

Steam Sale

I have been feeling a little more financially solvent recently, and this has manifested itself in an enthusiastic attempt to clear my Steam wishlist (which dates back to 2012 and earlier.)

I haven’t completely lost my mind or loosened my purse strings entirely, but I decide it was time to actively re-look at the wishlist and ask myself hard questions as to whether I really wanted to ever play the game and/or buy it when it reached 75% off. (Yeah, my wishlist is mostly to keep track of when games I’m interested in hit that threshold.)

It helps that I’ve now decided I can watch and enjoy Youtube videos via streaming to the TV, which then helped me throw out some titles whose setting and potential story intrigued me, but whose gameplay I was left very hesitant about after seeing other peoples’ reviews. (Solution: Find a Let’s Play of the game on Youtube, watch someone else play through it for me while I do other constructive chores around the house.)

Other games, I decided to toss entirely, like Dungeonbowl – where the vitriol about it being horrendously buggy and not having any singleplayer worth speaking of suggested that I’d never actually play it (may as well just cut out some paper miniatures and play my own solo game via tabletop rules if it’s that bad) and the Walking Dead Season 2 – its setting/theme/characters just doesn’t strike a note with me, for some reason.

(I valiantly struggled my way through the first Walking Dead, alternately bored with the mundanity of everyday America and uncontrollably metagaming every time an obvious “no-win” moral dilemma scene/scenario came up. I limped my way through two or three vignettes of 400 days, and then decided there was just no way I could stay interested in these characters, which were either fated to be killed horribly by some other mortal or mortal turned zombie. Nihilism / Anomie 1: Jeromai 0. Except I guess I also win by choosing not to buy or play any more goddamn seasons.

Perhaps I’ll keep an eye on Tales from the Borderlands once it finishes, that seems a little more lighthearted and up my alley, as opposed to something like *ugh* Game of Thrones, which doubtless contains more blood-grimdarkness-politics-nowinscenarios, I’m guessing.)

Despite those that didn’t make the cut, there were a LOT of suddenly-now-75%-off games on my wishlist that were mostly under $5 that didn’t have any obvious reasons for why they shouldn’t be bought and given a try…

Self-control 0, Steam 1 (or 19, rather:)

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(Plus a few more in the $10 range that were just too tempting, solid reviews though.)

So…uhhhh… yeah… I need to find the time to install and at least -try- the games for an hour or two. No plans to complete them entirely, but I really should play them and have fun with the lot.

It’s only Day 3 of the sale. I’m doomed.

Free-2-Play Games On the To-Try Someday List

I mentioned my new TV channel surfing habit of flipping through “recommended”  Youtube videos, right?

Some random dudes made a Top Ten list of Free 2 Play Steam games, that probably turned up on my suggested watching list because they mentioned Dota 2 and my TV channel surfing account has a bunch of Dota 2 related channels on subscription, and I suddenly accumulated a list of free-2-play games that I ought to try for fun. After all, they’re free and on Steam, right?

Warframe, Robocraft, and TERA are all stuff sitting in the back of my mind, poking me every now and then that I should make a go at them, if only for a night to get some initial impressions.

They mentioned Marvel Heroes, which is one of those games which are just so colorfully attractive in terms of IP, and yet equally intriguing to me is the “Is this all there is to it?” question that hits me every time I dive into it. Kill a metric ton of PvE mobs that put up no fight whatsoever, accumulate many numbers on many things, find increasing numbers and wear those things to kill even higher metric tons of PvE mobs that put up no fight whatsoever? Surely there’s -more- to Marvel Heroes than what initially hits the casual eye… (who knows, I’ve never made it beyond the second story mode difficulty because it got so damn boring and I end up diverted running cycles through Midtown Madness instead to increment higher and higher numbers.)

Then they talk about Path of Exile, and I’m like, YEAH, THAT GAME IS AWESOME. And I’m SO going to be back when the Awakening expansion is finally done and I get to play Act 4.

And they close with the utter king of Steam Free-To-Play games… Dota 2.

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Uh… right. I was supposed to be playing a match every day.

Except I got busy, and then distracted doing a whole bunch of other stuff.

I still -do- intend to keep playing it, and learning more, of course.

And apparently they’ve JUST announced a rework of their client, calling it Dota 2 Reborn.

Which is kind of awesome, in more ways than one.

Being all newbie and stuff, I’m especially intrigued by the advertised new tutorial, as well as the feature that will allow one to “demo a hero” to try out their abilities and practice last hitting, which seems like a quick and convenient way to get a feel for various heroes and learn their abilities, as opposed to having to click a bunch of buttons to start an entire bot match just to do so.

Seems like next week, they’ll make some kind of announcement regarding custom games, likely building it in as part of the client’s UI and streamlining the process of downloading/trying out/joining custom games, which might make the subgenre more popular and possibly attract more folks to work on such stuff, potentially yielding all that player-generated content that saves the devs from needing to focus on such things.

(Hey, maybe we’ll eventually see a few maps/modes that support singleplayer gameplay, which would be amusing to try out. Casually skimming the existing list of custom games reveals a great deal of apparent junk, but also a few intriguing sounding maps, such as survival against various enemy waves or a new map that is almost RPG-esque in its looks but presumably plays like a normal MOBA. Presumably good stuff will rise to the top in time.)

Regardless, there’s plenty of extra shiny that seems to be coming Soon(TM).

Gratuitous Screenshots of a Real Life Kind

With this many games that I could be playing, what have I been doing instead these past weekends?

Playing tourist in my own country.

Beyond visiting various heritage enclaves (Chinatown, Geylang Serai, etc.) and sampling all the highly recommended food therein, the family finally got around to visiting one of the newer attractions the other day – Gardens By the Bay.

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The infamous boat atop the Marina Bay Sands, as seen via the Dragonfly Lake in the free public areas of the Gardens.

To my surprise, it was a lot better than I expected. Seems several years passing has given the plants a chance to settle in and look a little less sorry.

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The iconic, yet rather weird-looking, Supertree structures.

Ostensibly some sort of marriage between urban modernity and nature, the outer layer is covered by a vertical garden and apparently lights up like a Christmas tree at night (something I have yet to get around to seeing.)

We found ourselves more impressed by the “green” sustainability story around these structures. There are apparently photovoltaic cells atop them that store energy during the day and provide the power to light themselves up at night (and maybe a nearby fountain or two.) Some of them help to vent air out of the cooled conservatories (aka giant greenhouse domes,) yet another plant-like function.

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The lighting’s poor in this one, but hey, there’s actually plants managing to ascend and partially cover the horribly bare purple and green metal “fake branch” canopy on this particular Supertree.

I suppose they might actually look tree-like in another decade or so… assuming the vines don’t barbeque in our tropical sun and wilt, falling off the structure (seems someone may have been a tad idealistic in hoping the plants would cooperate regarding this design.)

The cooled conservatories, which are ticketed, were really quite nifty.

Ah, the irony of the tropics. In temperate countries, people build greenhouses to keep their plants warm and create humidity. Here, we air condition the greenhouse to make it cooler and more temperate.

The Cloud Forest aims to simulate a tropical or subtropical environment at higher elevations, atop mountains and so on. So only the temperature is cooled and the humidity is left to run hog wild.

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A seven-story concrete structure covered by plants to simulate a “mountain,” er… “a hill,” er… ok, ok, a “mound.”

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It really is pretty though. And the cool, damp environment is extremely pleasant to walk around in, as contrasted with the outside weather.

We managed to be in the right place at the right time to catch one of the scheduled mistings.

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Feeling a little like stepping back in time to the Jurassic.

Then I turned around and went, “OMG, GW2 god rays!” (sure sign one plays too much) and started snapping like a madman.

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*dreamy sigh* Right out of an Anet landscape… Heart of Thorns, eat your heart out.

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This bromeliad was pretty cool. Looked to be one of those that form its own mini-pond community, aka a tank bromeliad that has a phytotelma. (Ah, the things one learns from Google and Wikipedia.)

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A rather sizeable pitcher plant.

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A metric f–kton more pitcher plants.

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Amusing myself with different shutter speeds.

I managed to burn through a new set of batteries (forgot spares) before we even hit the Flower Dome, which left me a touch sparse on good pictures.

The climate in there was glorious though. The air is run through some sort of dehumidifying system, along with being cooled, and it absolutely felt like walking around in a temperate country. Definitely going to revisit again. Cheaper than an air ticket.

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I’ll just leave this photo here which seems to encapsulate most of its contents. Brilliant succulent garden, a collection of baobabs/bottle trees, a lot of plants enthusiastically blooming.

Oh, ok, maybe one more. Because I love these little critters.

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And this is a gaming blog, right? So here’s your mini-game: how many stone plants are in this picture?

(Stay distracted. Kthxbai. Back later with actual game stuff. I hope.)

Landmark: Claim Building By the (Tutorial) Numbers

The claim is starting to resemble one of those exercise books one writes in while working one’s way through a set of tutorial problems.

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Day 1: We learn about arches.

Enter the enthusiastic cut-and-pasting of arches, spaced out only by a few walls because the immersion-seeking part of me slapped the builder silly and said “Stop it with the dang arches already!”

Day 2: We play with microvoxels in the underground studio, and surface in the end with a small modest square window which gets promptly smashed into the wall.

Seeing as it makes no sense for the window to be just sitting there, when there’s like five arches within walking distance on the left, a hasty stall / guardpost / lookout thingmajig is constructed.

For no reason either, really, it just felt better to have a hidey hole for a small window.

Said the hermit, crawling into his makeshift cave, to get away from the desert sun.

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More microvoxel play yields a ladder which looks good but doesn’t work.

What the hell, it can be a scenery prop and I can just grapple over the wall.

The next day leads to more struggling with microvoxel ladders, determined to get a working ladder which also looks good.

A video tutorial I found suggested offsetting the rungs by a voxel, but the end result produced UGLY TRIANGLES on the side. LADDER SIDES ARE NOT MADE OUT OF THICK UGLY TRIANGLES.

We settled for a 45 degree ladder instead, which looked a little more decent and could be walked on.

Except… I’d run out of stuff to prop the new ladder against.

The arches gain a second floor.

Microvoxels played with. Check. On to the next set of tutorials.

Inlaid patterns gives the outside wall a new ankh design.

Then -negative- inlaid patterns for the hell of it to get a new ankh window.

claimside

Except… stone does not float in the air.

Re-enter Microvoxels to try and figure out how to semi-realistically support a lump of floating stone forming the center of the ankh.

New set of tutorials! Antivoxels next!

More play. More puzzling out. More “I wonder if I could make a rope bridge out of these things…”

unnaturallystraightropebridge

Ok, so it is an unnaturally straight rope bridge, but I think my brain would explode if I tried to get it to sag.

Also, no idea where to put rope bridge, so enter third mini-floor and a lookout platform on a tree -just- to give the rope bridge something to connect to.

Lookout platform was also good excuse to practice zero data voxel technique at least once.

TIL: Healing around a complicated pattern is HIGHLY ANNOYING.

Then one realized that the platform was now floating by itself around the tree.

*sigh*

Took some shortcuts with the line tool, to create some supports for now. Also still confirmed that it acts in a very strange manner.

Probably ought to be able to make some straighter supports with antivoxels but blah, not today.

And this is why a little cut-and-paste is a dangerous thing...
And this is why a little cut-and-paste is a dangerous thing…

Quote of the Day on Mob Mentality

As for mob mentality… well, it’s mob mentality. Trying to enforce sanity in mobs is equivalent to stopping a train with a slingshot. Its what makes the age-old statement “If everyone was jumping off a bridge, would you?” funny, as the answer in mob mentality is ‘yes’.

— Ocho, from the comments of Bio Break’s GW2: Nightmare Train post

The exact scenario went somewhat like this: Endeavoring to maneuver around another enemy zerg,

It’s a rehashed picture from half a year ago, but somehow remarkably appropriate.

Only three or four people did -not- follow the commander off the high cliff into too shallow water. They had to rez the others.