Thick Moustache: Gentlemanly Studies on Modern Leisure

Building The Magma Subway

Posted by Sean on May 3rd, 2011

Game: Minecraft
Project: Nether Base Delta

I’m not entirely sure why this is, but it in games like Minecraft I tend to set my own goals and constraints to challenge myself. I think that in the real world they call that kind of thing masochism, but I just like to call it a healthy challenge.

I have always been a fan of building extensive structures in The Nether as a result. What’s not to love about it? It’s filled with lava, hostile demons, and fire. Not just a little fire either, I mean pretty much everything is on fire, which creates a nice aesthetic. Clearly, if I’m going to build stuff worthy of bragging, this is the place in which to do it. Also, Spawn did it, and Spawn is pretty awesome last time I checked. [Last time I checked "pretty awesome" didn't mean terrible. -ed]

My latest project is a structure I’ve tentatively named The Nether Delta. The name makes logical sense because my first two structures are named Nether Alpha and Nether Beta. There is, however, the unfortunate detail that “The Nether Delta” sounds like a poorly-produced porno set in ancient Egypt. Probably gonna have to come up with a better name.

The structure has two purposes:

1. Facilitate the safe(ish) harvesting of Glowstone
2. Look really, really cool.

Phase 1: The Magma Subway

Every great structure starts from humble beginnings. In this case, my humble beginning is a glass tunnel directly through an ocean of lava. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Parthenon.

As one might expect, building a tunnel through a magma ocean is not what would be generally described as easy. Standard building techniques are not terribly effective due to being on fire and burning to death.

Thankfully, advanced minecraft engineers have developed innovative techniques to deal with Lava without being lit on fire and burning to death in a dark hell-tunnel. Passable blocks will actually prevent liquids from flowing through them. So using a row of ladders at the bottom of the lava ocean keeps the magma from turning me into charcoal.

Now that I’ve got something that, if I were a madman, I could call a roof, from here I can start replacing my advanced ladder-based force fields with something a bit more reasonable, like glass. Because that makes sense.

Questionable glass magma roof completed, I can continue my tunneling until I’ve reached the exact center of this patch of magma ocean, at which point I can begin work on the passage from the bottom of the magma lake to the surface. Unfortunately, that phase of construction is actually more dangerous than casually mining directly under a roof of suspended magma. I’ll have to build a bridge to the center of the lake…while being fired upon by a large group of angry, flying demons. It’s like Doom except instead of a BFG 9000 I get a sharp rock tied to a stick.

At least there are no cyberdemons.

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