Faithful readers will remember our introduction to Sigil a few weeks ago. Since then the server has seen a lot of new blood...and a lot of blood has been shed.
Our faithful leader reech led us out on our first exploratory excursion last week, a sojourn in to the wilds that lead us for many days and nights through unfamiliar terrain. Caves were found, mountains crossed, outposts built, and I was even eaten alive by another player's wolf. Good times.
We stumbled upon an island rising out of a lake - it looked from afar, if memory serves, like half an egg laid on its side. I said something off-hand, like "This reminds me of some islands where I go camping" and reech decided we would build another outpost here - wooden cabins to mark our progress at Camp Island. By nightfall three were almost built. Almost. That's when the siege began.
Read on after the jump.
Perhaps the most unexpected element of Minecraft is its propensity to elicit terror from its players in quiet ways. Night falling that first night on Camp Island was not a particularly frightening thing. We had travelled in a group six strong. We had swords, axes and bows - more than enough to defend ourselves. We circled our few dwellings with a paltry few torches, perhaps expecting that each of us would keep the other safe. But at night in Minecraft, things spring up from the ground where no lights shine. Noisy zombies are little trouble. Skeletons with their arrows are more bothersome, but they have poor aim and deal little damage. Spiders seem to ooze out of the shadows, but are happy to announce their presence before you can see them. These things were no trouble. But there is much worse hidden in the obsidian mists of night than those. Fast things with four legs and straight aim, and that announce themselves only to give you enough time to realize how dead you are.
Creepers descended on Camp Island, heat seeking missiles attracted to our noise, our torches, or perhaps our unpreparedness, in numbers that we will never know. They don't bite, they don't shoot arrows...no, creepers explode. They explode, leave craters behind, blow holes in wooden cabins, and blow out the torches you've placed to give yourself light. And when you come back to life you have no light and no weapon, and may not even see the stars if you fall in to a crater. Usually you have time to get out, but on our first night on Camp Island I fell twice in to a crater and was blown up by creepers before I could get out. These successive explosions turned craters in to death traps. Holding our ground proved impossible, and by dawn the extent of the damage was laid out before us.
Two of our cabins were reduced to their facades and craters littered the landscape, some as deep as six metres. Some of us spent much of the day filling holes and repairing our homes, while others scattered torches and built watch towers. The message we had received from the island, however, was clear. Our presence here would come only at great cost, a cost exacted by the island's true owners.
We named it Creepertown.
While we were getting our asses handed to us, Mojang was busy at work getting beta 1.5 ready. Below is a video straight from Notch's Twitter feed showing some of the new improvements. I'm particularly impressed by the snow and rain. Nothing upsets me more than seeing snow or rain that's just falls across the screen rather than falling real-time in the game environment. Enjoy folks, and as always, we're happy to receive your fan art, videos and screenshots of your amazing creations. Just send me an email.
A big thank you, as always, goes out to reech for some of the shots above, as well as for letting me play Minecraft with other gay gamers!