Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tales of a Minecraft Server Noob, Part 3: Claiming Sanctuary

So there I was on the Pretz, working away for my first Ninja Decorators client, when I began to hear whispers across the Twitterverse about something called “Sanctuary”. Reportedly a server where you could build some awesome stuff, where you were actually asked if you wanted either vanilla or builder/creative status right at the start-amazing! I was led by Astragali to the MinecraftGeek, who linked me to his whitelist application, where all I had to do was tell him who I was, along with my favourite type of cheese, and voila! I was in.

Spawn was set on the top of a gorgeous tower from which you had to take a “leap of faith” to reach the bottom. Stepping outside, you found a beautifully manicured small city, outside of which rested the 'Geeks jail and (gasp) Execution Chamber. Traveling further outwards, you'll cross a rail line that seems to extend from horizon to horizon, and just a bit past THAT, a creepy, ruined house. If you venture inside, you will find a very interesting tomb that leads to a VERY interesting, five level dungeon. That dungeon, in turn, leads to a Nether portal, and all this dungeon-y goodness was created by the Geek himself.

Further out from this was Astra's house, where I took a little breather to get oriented before moving on to find a home of my own. On our way out the door, we were jumped by spiders, and learned by Astra's swift demise at my hands that PVP was enabled (I would make much use of this later-Astra got used to being arrowed in the butt.). I trekked on, ever outwards, and found a cozy little cave to call home, where I started to build a huge crow in the sky...but I ended up struggling with the location in terms of building my home. It just didn't seem to fit, no matter how I worked at it. Seeing my frustration, Astra suggested wolf hunting as a bit of a break, so off we went.

You brought them home, YOU clean up after them!

We found very few wolves, but we found HAVEN.

You know those places in Minecraft that are simply gorgeous, that are breathtakingly beautiful, that make you stop and gape at the landscape for minutes? Haven was all this AND a bag of chips: pools of water, stunning outcrops, thick trees, secret grottoes, an amazing aerial archway, and potholed with caverns as far as the eye could see. THIS was a site that dreams were made of.

Haven, Pre-Construction

So I turned to Astra and said, “Wanna build a house?”

That “house” ended up being the complex that is Haven. The main house of sandstone and glass, capturing the sunrise, complete with a balcony covering most of the first floor, embedded into the rock wall of one side of the enormous archway. It connects to the main entrance by a suspended walkway, which hovers over the twin pools at the heart of the site (pools which are perfect for plunging into, if you have fly mod...which never gets old, btw!). Flanking the main house to the left is the Administration building, which sports a staircase leading to The Minecraft Scribe's office as well as leading to the meandering path down to the tiny town made entirely of tree-houses. The Ninja Decorators office is located in an outcrop at the back of the site, and my crow, moved from his previous home (yes, I built it TWICE) spreads his wings in flight above the site.

The Main Complex at Haven, Sunset

Main Floor, Dining Area-Cake for everyone!

The Crow spreads its wings over Haven.

Haven is home, and I love it dearly.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. By the time you read this, Sanctuary will be gone forever, existing only as a single-player map. The server will go down on October 20th, never to return. Once again, I am bereft of a home, and though I can visit any time I wish in single-player, it just isn't the same.

Thank you, my dear MinecraftGeek, for allowing me the pleasure of unleashing my creativity in your playground. It was a glorious experience while it lasted.

The MinecraftGeek unleashes the Endermen to dismantle Sanctuary. *sniffle*

Sanctuary is dead. Long Live Sanctuary!

Requiem by The Eagles: The Last Resort

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Being Broken

I'm a broken girl. Most of you know that. Pain is life, and life is pain. I've basically got a broken back. I'm pretty much bedridden. Those who didn't know, well, there it is. Every once in a great while, I get to remember what I was, and it's a great dichotomy: what I was, and what I am.

I got some shots today.

These shots always make me feel invincible, they make me remember how I was, and forget how I am. How I'm broken, how much I've lost-that's reality.

I get to escape, if only for a few hours. I get to remember, if only for awhile, how I used to be.

If only for a few hours, I get to return to myself:

Intelligent, attractive, in control, logical, alluring, ready and able for anything. Able to follow any whim, no matter how outrageous; able to sing, discourse, create, react, play. Able to be NORMAL.

Able to actually leave my house, to get up out of bed, to DO.

Just to be ABLE.

After those few hours, coming down is a huge crash. The pain comes back, always. The limitations come back, always.

I realize how much I miss myself. And I realize how much I've had to change, to accept, to adjust over these last few years.

How much I HATE it.

Such is life.

And it sucks.

I wouldn't give up those hours of ability for anything. No matter how many mental gymnastics I have to do afterward.

Not. For. Anything.


Thanks for bearing with me-this shit doesn't last for long, thank goodness. Mental equilibrium will be restored with liberal application of common sense and meditation.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

That Evil Genius Laughter

Early this morning, I woke up from a vivid dream of being chased by a man in a dress, sporting a snappy pair of red high heels. And he hadn't been alone. Coffee first, then explanation.

Surprisingly, he can run in those heels!

<cue veritable inhalation of copious amounts of coffee due to being awake all night playing Minecraft>

Last night was the fourth incarnation of Capture The Record. The guy in the dress? Astragali, due to a tweeted quip from a friend about how “Astra's (theoretical) dress” would hamper his gameplay. Of course, that meant I had to design him a Minecraft dress, complete with those sexy high heels. That he hadn't been alone? Those other folks would be the complement of Team Gold...except the ones with the swords. THEY were the Green Team, hell-bent on our destruction.

We Haz Highbrow Covered: Evil Genius Artwork, Titled "Green Sucks"

Funny how something you've been planning for a few weeks can become part of your dreams so readily, and my dreams had a lot of fodder after last night's event. We were a team full of Evil Geniuses, complete with Patented Evil Genius Laughter (demonstrated willing and enthusiastically several times over the course of the game) and with the typical Evil Genius Laboratory (aka The Pretzelcast server) to perform our Evil Genius Experiments (testing devious gameplay strategy). We had Evil Genius brainstorming sessions, complete with spreadsheets, flow charts and Google docs. There were Evil Genius hashtags and taunts flying across the Twitterverse for two straight weeks. And did I mention that Astra was wearing a dress? Low cut down the back and with flowers in his hair? Oh, yeah-I did. Right-must need more coffee.

We. Were. READY.

We built Evil Genius contraptions, designed fiendish Evil Genius traps, had an Evil Genius secret hideout...and an Evil Genius hot tub. After five hours of preparation, we armed for battle appropriately, in white, lab-coat-like iron armor. Lightning crackled in the Minecraft sky. We flew at the opposing team, and like Evil Geniuses, we DOMINATED. We got so much loot from the opposing team that we ran out of storage chests. TWICE.

The Evil Geniuses relax in the hot tub as Mirosta explains the facts of life...

But we didn't win.

We didn't lose, either.

The game ended at a draw, the first Spawn CTR game to ever have done so. At the end of the two-hour PVP time, neither team had discovered the other team's record. Both teams had missed by miles. We Evil Geniuses of Team Gold had hidden ours in a layer cake of falling blocks, burning lava and running water, where the chests themselves went totally undiscovered by the opposition. We found later that Team Green had hidden theirs in a suspended lava cube, which we had duly ignored. When the search began, SeriousCreeper said, “No-one ever hides anything up there” to which Green Team Captain stahscream later responded “One had our record, the others were full of lava”. At that point, I chimed in with “We were going to do that, but decided not to because I thought it was too mean!” (I'd better watch it, I'll lose my Evil Genius Union card!)

The Evil (floor)Plan

My personal high point was, after getting killed well over 50 times while playing CTR 3, I only died ONCE in CTR 4. This was at the hands of RPGamer99, who said, “I was putting you out, you were on fire!” Indeed I was, but he didn't have to help THAT hard!

Relaxing for pictures before killing the monument with fire.

And Astra looked REALLY good in a dress. Those high heels didn't hurt his running ability one bit.

<Evil Genius Laughter to Fadeout>