Thursday, 25 November 2010

Showcase - My modern snow house

Again, this is 100% legit. It's made out of snow blocks, which unlike snow that has just settled, is resistant to heat. It took over a hundred stone shovels to get all the snowballs to make into the blocks. If you have any questions about this, please revive the Minecraft forum thread.

Planet Minecraft Link

Minecraft Forum Link

Check my deviantART for larger and other Minecraft pictures

Monday, 15 November 2010

Showcase - My Castle

To begin with its just going to be a couple of pictures, but I'll update this with more info (possibly a video too) sometime.

This is very big, and 100% natural legit.
Planet Minecraft Link

Check my deviantART for larger and other Minecraft pictures

How come your Minecraft world looks so clear and pretty?
Well that would be because I recently downloaded this brilliant mod and installed the ambient occlusion and bettergrass bits. It is a very simple and safe mod to use, and I highly recommend it.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Weapon guide. Part 2 - The bow.

"Some monsters think they can outsmart me. Maybe. I have yet to find one who can outsmart stack of arrows."
- Burntcustard pretending to be The Heavy

Part 2 of this guide covers how to use the bow to kill Aggressive mobs (Not including creatures from the Nether) Whilst playing Survival Single Player.

The Basics
If you haven't yet used the bow in Minecraft, the easiest way to find out what its like is to just make one and try it. You will also need arrows, these are simply a stick above a feather (obtained from zombies and chickens), and a piece of flint (obtained from shoveling gravel) above the stick, this makes 4 arrows. Arrows travel approximately 15 blocks when fired horizontally and have a maximum range of around 50 blocks when fired at a 45 degree angle, though they will travel farther if the terrain is sloped downwards. The bow has the disadvantage over the sword, crafting wise, that you have to kill mobs to begin with before being able to make it.

Using just the bow
The bow needs 5 arrows to kill a monster which is quite a lot of hits/time compared to using just the iron or diamond swords. The bow can also take a quite a lot of resources to use if you miss often (you can pick up shot arrows that missed usually). The bow does not run out of uses and break like swords do, this can be an advantage if you don't have much stone or iron for a long period of time or don't like having to craft new weapons often. The most advantageous point with just using the bow is obviously that you don't have to get close to monsters, where they can hurt you. Unfortunately quite often in Minecraft, you can be "ambushed" by monsters, so they are already close to you and the above point is made slightly less important. Using just arrows is the recommended way to kill skeletons.

The bow the stone sword
2 arrows and 2 sword strikes are needed to kill a monster, and 60% less arrows are needed over using just the bow. The combination of 2 arrows and 2 sword strikes on a mob help to keep you at a safe distance from the monster half the time. This technique doubles the stone swords bad number of kills per item up to a more usable 32.

The bow and the iron and diamond swords.
3 arrows and 1 sword strikes are needed to kill a monster, and 40% less arrows are needed over using just the bow. These combinations are great at killing creepers as it stops you having to run away slightly in between each hit. Using a bow with the iron sword triples the iron swords number of kills to 129, the same as using it along with a stone sword. Whilst less efficient, using a bow with the diamond sword doubles its number of kills to a massive 1024.

The "machine bow"
The bow can fire as quickly as you can smash your right mouse button, using the bow as a "machine bow" involves pointing in the general direction of the monster/s and tapping as quickly as you can. Although most of the arrows will bounce off the mobs as they cannot take more than a certain amount of damage in a certain time, you can pick up afterwards the arrows that didn't make it into the monsters. If you are too close to what your shooting at, the arrows may bounce back and hit you. This technique requires that you are holding a large amount of arrows (I recommend at least one stack of 64). Because of the huge amount of arrows you are firing, you are bound to lose quite a lot, so this way of using the bow is only possible if you very rarely go after monsters or have a mob "farm" or large trap. A backup sword is recommended whilst using the bow in this way in case monsters are too close or you run out of arrows.

There are lots of different viable ways of using the bow, all of them having their advantages and disadvantages. Trying them out is the best way to determine which one suits you best. Also, do not use the bow alongside the wooden sword or tools because they do around the same damage of just one arrow. Those items can however be used as back up weapons.

In the next section of the guide i will cover:
The fishing rod as a weapon
Lava as a weapon

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Weapon guide. Part 1 - Close combat.

"Monster hunting? Burntcustard does not go 'hunting' - that would imply failure. Burntcustard goes killing."
- Burntcustard talking in 3rd person

*Update!* - As of the beta 1.2 update, stone and iron weapons and tools last twice as long! I will update this post when I upgrade my computer and can take a better quality video.

Part 1 of this guide covers strategies and items used to kill Aggressive mobs whilst up close. (Not including creatures from the Nether)Whilst playing Survival Single Player on Normal difficulty.

The basics
Monsters in Minecraft can be a nuisance, a tool for getting loot, or can be killed for fun*

*Killing for fun is not a good enough reason to kill any of your pets, siblings or associates in the real world.

Monsters all have 10hp (hit points) each, and objects which are not weapons or tools only do 0.5 damage. It is not a good idea to take on monsters, or even go outside during the night with only your fists as defense. Swords allow you to dispatch monsters quickly, and are nearly essential for survival.

Detailed Comparison  
This video and table shows attributes of the most commonly used close combat weapons in Minecraft. Other tools are not included because they do not kill monsters efficiently. Look at the table here if you want information about other tools. The "Stone/Iron Sword" values are for 4 stone and 1 iron sword.

Wooden Sword
I do not recommend the wooden sword for killing Monsters, whatsoever. A good tactic to use when equipped with it is to RUN FOR THE HILLS. On a more sensible note, you can easily skip the 'wooden' tech level sword and go straight to stone. The wooden sword, however, is 4 times better at killing monsters than your hands, so it is better than nothing.

Stone Sword
The stone sword is okay at killing monsters, but in my opinion it is not good enough to go out at night and expect to survive long. A good use for the stone sword is just to clear spiders and creepers away from you settlement in the morning. The stone sword has the advantage of being able to kill pigs and cows just as quickly as the Iron sword. Another good point about this sword is how "cheap" it is to produce.

Iron Sword
The iron sword is good enough to let you stay out all night safely if you are good with using it*. The iron sword is relatively costly to produce if you use a lot of iron for minecarts etc. An advantage of the iron sword is how good it is with the bow, although that will be saved for the next guide.

Stone/Iron Swords
A combination of stone and iron swords will allow your iron sword to last up to 3 times longer, whilst still maintaining the same number of hits to kills ratio. 2 hits with the stone sword, and 1 with the iron are needed to kill a monster. This technique needs 4 stone swords for every iron, but because stone is so abundant, this should not a be a problem.

Diamond Sword
The diamond sword is the fastest way to kill a monster by hand in Minecraft (Not including pushing them off cliffs). The chart to the right shows how awesome how many kills you can get with the Diamond sword compared to the other weapons. The diamond sword is cheaper than other diamond tools at 2 instead of 3 diamonds, but it is still very costly to craft unless you have a good mine system.

Iron Axe
If you need wood**, have only found 3 iron, and don't have much stone, then you might want to make an iron axe for hitting badies with. The Iron axe however, is only as durable as the stone sword at killing monsters, so I only recommend it as a backup weapon or if you cannot get stone for some reason***.

Diamond Axe or Pickaxe
Again, these alternatives to a sword only do as much damage as the stone sword, but they last much longer. If you are low on iron and diamonds, and are concerned about the stone swords low durability, consider using one of these as a temporary close combat weapon.

*I take no responsibility for people being eaten by zombies, blown up by creepers, or anything else bad happening to them.
**I haven't got wood.
***I've got 4 double chests of stone, even though I built a huge castle.I don't know how you could have a shortage.

The diamond sword is the one you really want. If you cannot get it, the stone/iron combo is very efficient if you can cope with switching weapons quickly. If monster combat is not what floats your boat(or boosts your minecart?), and/or you have resource complications, consider using the iron axe or diamond pickaxe/axe as weapons.

In the next section of the guide i will cover:
The bow, and bow/sword tactics

Happy hunting!

Monday, 8 November 2010

Burntcustard’s Minecraft Beginners Guide, Day 1

So, you’ve just bought Minecraft, and you’ve either come here first for some tips, or you’ve already started the game but you haven’t got a clue what to do. This will help. 

If you would like, I could also personally guide you through your first Minecraft day (if I'm free) just add me on MSN ( or steam (burntcustard).

The basics
The basic controls are: W,A,S,D to move, Spacebar to jump and swim, I to open your inventory (and to do other things on your computer without pausing the game), ESC for menu, right click to use/place an item and left click to hit/gather things.

Your first day
To begin with, you can just admire the scenery, there is no reason to rush around collecting everything you see immediately. 

After a few minutes, your going to want to start gathering materials so you can craft things and make a shelter before nightfall. The first resource you need is wood. Logs can be gathered by running up to a tree and “punching” it by holding down the left mouse button.

After you have collected some logs, turn them into “planks” (I just call it wood) by opening your inventory and placing the logs in one space of your 2x2 crafting table. The wood can then be used to create a workbench by placing 4 in your 2x2 crafting table. You can right click to drop just one piece of wood in each space.
Put the workbench in one of the bottom 9 squares of your inventory and then place it by scrolling to the slot you put it, and right clicking on the ground. Don’t worry where you put it as you can always pick it up again by holding left click. Right click on the workbench to use it, you now have a 3x3 crafting grid to make more complex items. To start off, turn 2 pieces of wood into 4 sticks by putting them one above the other in the table. Next create a pickaxe following this “recipe”:
You can make other tools similarly to this, try making an axe, a shovel, and a sword. Hint: the sword only uses one stick. Tools perform tasks quicker than by hand, for example, the wooden sword kills animals in 3 hits, rather than 10. Also, some rescores, like stone and snow, need tools to be collected. Tools only last a certain amount of uses, and if you use them for something they’re not supposed to be used for, they break twice as fast.

The next resource you should definitely find before nightfall is coal, so pick up your workbench and start searching. Coal looks like this:
Coal can be found near caves like in the picture above, or on the sides of stone cliffs. If you started your game in a desert or on a small island, it may take you some time to find coal, but don’t give up the search! Mine the coal with your pickaxe, and pick up at least 9 stone (the grey blocks) while you’re there too. Now you’ve got coal, you can make torches by putting 1 coal above 1 stick in your 2x2 crafting grid, or the 3x3 crafting grid of the workbench.

Next it would be a good idea to start on your first shelter. This could be whatever you want, a log cabin, a stone house, a small cave you have found, or even the area you mined out while getting the stone and coal. The shelter needs to be monster proof. The easiest way to test this is if you can get in without breaking blocks, then monsters can too. The exception to this rule is spiders that can get in 2 wide and 1 high spaces, so make sure you have none of them. In the shelter you need to have somewhere to let light in so that you can see when it is day time, the safest way to do this is to craft a door by putting 6 blocks of wood in a rectangle in your workbench. Alternatively you could not give your shelter a roof (make sure monsters can’t jump in) or just leave a 1 gap hole(s) in your shelter, but make sure you have somewhere to hide behind if you do this, because skeletons will shoot through the hole. Make sure you still have a few blocks of wood and stone after building your shelter.
This is the shelter I have made for my first night (of this save) note the 3-high walls so that skeletons cannot jump and shoot at me despite the fact that it has no roof. Also note that erecting a building like this uses a lot more resources than digging out a section of ground/cliff. You can “upgrade” your shelter at a later date if you wish, by adding automatic doors, glass windows etc.

Your first night
So you’re hiding like a wimp in your shelter - if you’re not hiding in your shelter, and you think you’re going to take on all the badies with your wooden sword, you are going to die. It’s time to go up a “tech level”.  Stone tools last longer than wooden ones, and are better/faster at doing their job. Stone tools are crafted in the same way as wooden ones, but with stone where the blocks of wood were (duh).  You may as well dig around a bit in your shelter to gather resources as you can’t go outside, but unless you know exactly whats underneath you, never dig down as you might fall into a dark scary cave system full of monsters. 

What next?
Now you've covered the basics, I would recommend you have a look at all of the crafting recipes here. I will be making a day 2 guide sometime soon, although it will just be a suggestion as to what you could do (with several helpful hints) because really, you can do whatever you want. Have fun!