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The ramblings of Minecraft addict VladTubaka

Category Archives: Extra Utilities

***Inasmuch as I am moving my family and me to a different State next week, and inasmuch as I am finishing up revisions for a book of mine that is being published, in light of my resulting lack of Minecraft playing time this week, I hereby offer up to the Minecraft-blog-reading community this post, originally begun several months ago, rather than a further spotlight of the v25 update to Rotarycraft, GeoStrata, and Electricraft. Therefore, be aware that some of this information may be slightly out of date. Nevertheless, enjoy!***

Underground Biomes by Grom PE (originally by Exterminator Jeff) is an outstanding mod based on a very simple idea that adds tremendous aesthetic versatility to the rather bland gray stone of vanilla Minecraft. I’ve actually switched over to Underground Biomes Constructs by Zeno410 because of its addition of slabs, stairs, and walls for all of the stone types. These two versions, I expect, will find their way into a single mod before too long, but either way UB is now one of those mods that I cannot imagine playing without (or, as one sees stated so often on the forums, this really ought to be in vanilla Minecraft).

One of the side effects, though, of playing with UB , is the complication of your stone storage. You can’t simply have one double chest worth of cobblestone anymore. There are 16 new kinds of cobblestone (vanilla stone still shows up where lava and water mingle, so you have a total of 17 kinds of cobblestone), and 8 kinds of sedimentary rock (which doesn’t turn into cobblestone when you mine it). While you’re likely to only encounter 1-3 kinds of rock in a small area around your initial base, it doesn’t take too much exploration to gather generous amounts of all (or at least most) kinds of UB stone. Not that this is really that big of a complication. It just takes space.

Yup. A whole building dedicated to sorting and storing rocks. I'm such an interesting person.

Yup. A whole building dedicated to sorting and storing rocks. I’m such an interesting person.

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I did not successfully get a normal post published today, so I thought I’d very briefly give a preview of something I’m working on. Strangely, in the world my wife and I are playing at the moment, NPC villages are surprisingly rare. I finally found one in a Marsh biome with three villagers. I decided to kidnap two of these (using Extra Utilities golden lassos) and transplant them to an NPC village of my own construction nearby to my wife’s and my bases. We’ve decided to build it in an Asian theme. As the focal point of our Asian NPC village, I am building a five-story pagoda of oak, birch, and cherry (from Biomes O’ Plenty) wood, and granite and komatite stone (from Underground Biomes). Here are some quick screenshots of what I’ve built so far. I’m really pleased with the upswing of the Japanese-style gables on the corners. This is not something that is easy to do in the cube-world of Minecraft. Obviously, the design is not entirely original, and there are people out there doing things that are way more amazing than this, but I think it’s going to look pretty sweet when it’s finished. Continue reading


Last post I talked about how I rapidly breed and unethically slaughter hundreds of sheep and cows using magic and computers. This post should be a little less offensive … at least once I get past the chickens.

These chickens are actually very happy. Really.

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There are lots of ways to automate the breeding and slaughtering of animals in Minecraft. I tend to like using a ComputerCraft Turtle and a Thaumcraft Brain-in-a-Jar on the slaughtering end of things for two reasons: 1) I can turn it off easily, and 2) unlike vanilla slaughtering methods, this method preserves the experience orbs that drop from the disemboweled bellies of my unfortunate, definitely-not-free-range animals. I know the Ars Magica 2 Sigil of Butchery drops the experience orbs, as well, as do Thaumcraft golems (I’m pretty certain), but I like ComputerCraft for this job. But prior to the slaughtering process there is a wide variety of ways to accomplish the other tasks involved in an automated breeding/slaughtering system (i.e. breeding, separating out the babies from the breeding stock or separating out the adults for a slaughtering stock, collecting drops). In a past build I created a ridiculously efficient cow farm that used Railcraft for everything except the slaughtering that filled up Factorization barrels with leather and beef in a surprisingly short period of time. In subsequent games, however, I’ve tried to find a less OP balance that I can leave on all the time and that will produce what I need and maybe a tad more. What I’ve put together in my Magriculture game with my wife, at least for cow and sheep slaughtering, is very close to achieving that balance.

Breeding and slaughtering pens for cows and sheep. The shape of the building is not strictly required. This is just the way I built it (using Biomes O’Plenty Pine planks and Extra Utilities thickened glass).

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The space within my water mill building pretty quickly proved insufficient. But it was never intended to be my final base. After doing some work on farming and animal husbandry (which I will discuss in future posts), what I really needed more space for was 1) ore-processing and storage, and 2) first-stage magic and magic mod stuff (research tables, AM2 crafting altar and nexi, enchanting table, potion-brewing station). Because facilities for ore-processing were the top priority, and because I had from the very beginning of this game wanted to put a blacksmith building nearby to my water mill, I decided to build a two-story thatched roof smithy whose second floor would be dedicated mostly to the magic mods and their research stations. Here is what resulted:

The smithy. Dadgum, this took a lot of wheat.

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