Space Expedition Year 12 (& 13)

When I started the new year, I found myself surrounded by lots of unknown creatures. There was a big map update, and while there weren’t any new technologies or ruins in this update, I was more excited than ever to walk around and find all the new things. The first new mob I encountered was the frog, and they were extremely annoying to chase around. I killed a couple of them anyway; couldn’t hurt to collect a few of their drops after all.



Within the first day, I found a snail, as well as a few bluebirds and a handful of bees. Pretty soon, I detected one of the new bee hives. Since the bees’ drops don’t have a real use quite yet, I just stayed long enough to punch a couple of them, before I left to look for more new faces.



After flying around for a little while, I found my next target in the big crater. The bony biters looked pretty funky, but despite my armor, their teeth had the potential to actually hurt a little. Nothing too dangerous, but I wouldn’t want to get caught off guard by a bunch of these guys.



After a while, it seemed like I had seen all Spring creatures, so I went to check out some places I had pretty much ignored these past couple years. I made my way over to the smaller asteroids, and the first one I took a closer look at was actually more interesting than I had imagined. There were some zombies armed with mushrooms and shields, and before I knew it, I went home with some nice new shields in my pocket. On their own, they were worse than the one I had, but the enchants were more than worth bringing home in order to combine them with the special effect on my shield.



On my way home, I found out that I had actually not seen all Spring creatures just yet. In the middle of the extreme hills next to my base, there was a weird tree trunk chilling out. When I got closer, it started hopping my way, following me all the way to my base. A really weird looking creature, but it was kind of fun to watch it jump down cliffs in order to follow me home like a little puppy. I was determined to keep one as a pet, but three of them died in mysterious circumstances near where I wanted to keep them, and Summer started before I could go look for a fourth one. Not that they would’ve survived for very long, since I was told later that currently, giving them a name doesn’t prevent despawning…



Summer brought a whole new set of creatures. The first ones I found were a bunch of turtles who had somehow managed to share this tiny little pond despite nutrients seeming to be quite sparse. That was pretty impressive!



Since Summer has a lot more daylight than night time, I decided to check out a few caves. I met this little guy who was half buried in the sandstone. His red eyes looked rather scary, but his bite wasn’t all that bad after all.



My first Summer night was absolutely horrible. I probably ended up in an area without any nearby caves, so there were lots of mobs spawning. I found the new design for the fire ant, the new magma slime queen, the new zombie pony rider, and tons of husks and skeletons. The ponies were so fast that it took me a while to put enough distance between us to pillar up while staying out of range of the skeletons. Ironically enough, it was an unexplained huge lag spike that saved me. The mobs were just standing still for a long time, giving me a chance to hop off my pillar and simply run away.



When I returned home after that stressful night, I found out that even my dogs were plotting against me. They were sitting in a tight circle, heads put together. As soon as I took a picture of the scene, they all immediately turned their heads toward me. Now I couldn’t even feel safe in my own home anymore! I really hope that an escape plan was the worst of the ideas crossing their minds.



The rest of Summer was pretty boring. The next couple nights weren’t nearly as bad as the first, and the most interesting new creature I added to my list of discoveries was the seagull. So I was pretty excited when I saw the message that the weather was changing. There were more new animals to find! Immediately when I left my base, I saw my first sparrow.



Another creature I met pretty soon was the ash sprite, a distant relative of the wood sprite. Frogs and snails made a reappearance, and eventually I returned to my base to empty my pockets. Right next to my base, I must have triggered a trap skeleton horse, since shortly after I started sorting my items into chests, the entity count in my debug screen rose extremely fast. By the time I found the bugged rider as the source, there were over 2500 ash sprites, sparrows, and flinty biters (the fall and winter cousin of the bony biter), so Dan quickly developed a new way to prevent this bug from happening ever again. No matter how hilarious the scenes look, I doubt that too many players would be too thrilled to be on the receiving end of this bug :)



I found a few flinties in the extreme hills later to officially add them to my list of discovered creatures. Since I couldn’t find anything new during the next few days, I started flying around a bit more to expand the range of blocks mobs could be spawning on. That actually led to some cool discoveries of locations I had missed so far, like this cute little greenhouse sort of ruin!



Not long after I left the greenhouse area, I discovered yet another ruin. When I started exploring this one, I triggered a tripwire and went into panic mode for a bit, but I quickly realized that the dispensers triggered by that tripwire were empty. The trap was probably exhausted by curious animals a long time ago. Those animals didn’t manage to take off with the loot though, that was all mine!



For the rest of the season, I decided to do something a little more productive. I realized that I had plenty of industrial diamond to craft a block breaker module, so I created one of those and headed over to the mossy caverns. I checked out the big entrance area first, curious to see if I would find any more creatures. For the most part, it was all old mobs though, but there were a couple flinties that weren’t too thrilled to see me.



A little disappointed by not seeing new faces, I went into the adjacent ruin to do what I came for. I wanted to see if I could break into the bedrock box behind the husk baron’s throne, and I was rewarded for my efforts with lots and lots of valuable materials and a shield that improved my armor even more than the one I had! I left the place feeling anything but disappointed; I was actually rather glad that I had a second one of those enchanted shields that I could combine with my new treasure.



Winter started soon and brought with it the last set of new creatures. Two of those creatures were discovered as soon as I left my base, the crab and the karp. The karp was pretty much the same as the regular fish that can spawn during Spring and Summer, providing the same sort of loot, and they were as harmless as their cousins. The crab on the other hand pinched my toes a few times I got too close to them. But they were still so adorable that I just couldn’t stay mad at them for very long!



I headed over to the crater once again since it seemed to be a good spot for mobs to spawn. My favorite new creature is one I found over there, the poltergeist with torches floating around it, which, thanks to OptiFine, caused some really cool lighting effects.



Another really cool creature was the ender sprite, the only sprite in the game that will actively try to kill players. I think I’ve seen it fly through walls, and sometimes they attacked me out of the blue when I wasn’t even aware there was one around even though I was keeping a close eye on my surroundings. During Winter, that sort of thing can be really annoying, I for one was pretty glad that I had a full beacon with regeneration.



The flinty was also still there, and their mob mentality started to get really dangerous during this season. Their bite really hurt, even with decent armor, so when there were a couple of them coming for me, the only way I could guarantee my survival was to run for my life, preferably without running into other dangerous creatures along the way.



Not all flinties were bad though. One little fellow just wanted to cuddle with my feet and followed me everywhere without attacking unless I attacked it first. It was almost cute! At least it was until it invited a friend over who also wanted to cuddle, at which point it just became creepy and I killed them.



For the last few days of the year, I decided to head over to the flooded library again to see what I missed over there. I was pretty confident that there was still something in the area, since last time all the guardians distracted me too much. I wasn’t disappointed, I did find an amazing unique item! I immediately brought it back home to keep it safe, since dying out in the wilderness during Winter wasn’t all that unlikely, and knowing my luck, I would’ve lost all my stuff. Better to not take that risk.



Winter ended, but I was pretty sure that I was still missing one particular creature. Since I wanted to do some AFK fishing at some point in the near future anyway, I decided to do it in my 13th year and just go out occasionally to look for the elusive shroud. In late Spring after my first AFK session, I left my base to find the waters outside invaded by a ton of frogs. The game had collected roughly 800 entities throughout the first couple days of fishing, which Dan took as a hint that the current spawn system needs some tweaking to avoid situations like these in the future, or at least reduce the impact a bit.



Summer brought a similar shower of turtles. Thankfully, these masses were easy enough to despawn by just flying up a hundred blocks, and they didn’t even lag my game as much as I would have expected from the entity count since most of the entities didn’t require any rendering.

The interesting season of my 13th year, however, was Fall. Fall was the time when I found my first shroud. And with a witch and a cave spider close by, it almost even managed to kill me; that axe was as painful as one would think! Definitely not a mob for hugging, unlike the flinty who at least sometimes wasn’t out to murder me…



The rest of the year was literally just more fishing and testing a few things for the Beta release this Friday. I’m definitely looking forward to that update, I can’t wait to see more people enjoy this map! 😀

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