I started my 8th year with some more exploration. The last update had added new potions, and I was pretty confident I knew where to get ingredients for at least two of them. And while I was flying around, I detected an asteroid I must’ve missed all this time. Interesting life forms were living there, but unfortunately I couldn’t bring them home with me quite yet. Maybe I’ll build some bridges in a couple of years. I did gather a few pieces of mycelium though, so at least I got something out of the discovery.
I continued on to my target area and brought home the first batch of likely candidates for potion ingredients shortly after. I grabbed some water bottles and headed over to my ship to confirm my suspicions. Cacti make for great potions! Unless you want to drink them yourself, that is. Drinking them is definitely not advised.
I had one more place to check out, but while flying close to my intended target location, I noticed that one of the asteroids had a mineshaft that was visible from the side. Since the asteroid in question looked like it had huge amounts of gold, and one of my plans for this year was to build up my beacon a bit more, I decided to check it out. I found one minecart chest that wasn’t too impressive, a few cave spider spawners, and massive amounts of gold and iron that I immediately brought back home to upgrade my beacon. It was enough to place down the other two beacons as well, even though right now only two possible effects came in somewhat handy.
Beacons sorted out for now, I resumed my hunt for potion ingredients. I cleared the ice maze of all the berries I could find, and returned to the surface just in time for Summer to arrive. I flew back home, and when I got there, I found the area flooded by meteors and magma cubes. I wasn’t about to complain about the meteors, I did get a lot of material from them, but for a little while, I was a bit worried about the number of magma cubes. Once I had cleared them all out and nothing respawned though, I relaxed and headed over to the ship to confirm the berries as potion ingredients.
The rest of Summer was a mix of different activities: mining, expanding my villager holding cells, trying to find blazes to hunt, killing fireflies… The blazes and fireflies were especially important since the only thing missing for more shield generators was blaze powder. Toward the end of Summer, I had finally gathered enough of that to build a second generator which I placed next to my sheep and cows to keep them as safe as possible. My sheep had been flooded more than once already, and I don’t think they were too fond of those experiences.
At the beginning of Fall, when I wanted to head over to my ship to check out some recipes and mob drops, I found a little wolf pup running around the area all alone. Originally, I had planned not to adopt any more dogs, but I could hardly leave a little puppy out here to die! I gave him some bones to gain his trust and took him back home where I named him Deimos. Phobos, Sammy and Penny took him in like he had been part of their family all along, so I didn’t have to worry about leaving them alone for a bit.
Speaking of making new friends: This year, the guardians were back full force. On one hand, it was pretty exciting after how boring last Fall was without them, on the other hand, they did kill me a few times while I was trying to get some meteor drops out of the water and when I was subsequently trying to recover my items. But all in all, the excitement of having them back made it all worthwhile.
I spent most of Fall well away from water though. It was shulker season, and I saw the best chances of finding them in caves, so I went down and found myself some unexplored cave systems. I got a lot of ores to improve my beacon with, and, more importantly, I found 3 more shulker shells to add to the one I had found the previous year, allowing for me to craft two shulker boxes. Now I didn’t have to throw away useful stuff to be able to bring home even more useful stuff anymore! Hooray for new technology!
When Winter started, I decided to use the season to farm sea urchins. It was technically something that was extremely easy to do with the sort of base I have, but I somehow never really got the motivation needed to do it. That changed this year because I finally got tired of sitting at 6 armor when it was so easy to get up to 8. Preparation was quickly done, I basically just needed to cover the hoppers at the bottom of my murder hole with water to make sure the sea urchins didn’t die on impact when they fell down. And then, it was just a matter of finding the perfect way to reduce the amount of hits needed while leaving them with just enough health for me to kill them off with a pearl. Because pearls are awesome!
Whenever there were no sea urchins around to kill, I killed a few skeletons, so by the time I had all the materials and could remove the water, I was sitting on 50 levels of XP. That was more than enough to do a bit of enchanting, so I headed upstairs and went to see what nice enchants I could get. Straight away, I felt obligated to craft a new diamond sword, I couldn’t pass up on the new Sweeping Edge enchantment! It also got a nice Smite bonus, the only thing missing for a perfect skeleton farm weapon was basically Looting and Mending. I also got a few minor upgrades on my bow and my Fortune pick, but that’s pretty much all I got in terms of good enchantments. No Looting III for any of my swords…
I spent the rest of the year working on my villager area and some more automation. At some point during the year, I don’t remember when, I had built the chicken farm I had planned to build, and my sugar cane farm was working perfectly, if very slowly because of it being so small. This year, I added a butcher and a farmer to my list of useful villagers, so the chicken farm came in handy straight away, but in terms of crop farming, my automation was pretty much limited to carrots, which I want to use on villager breeding as much as possible until I’m confident that I have all the important trades at reasonable prices. So I definitely needed to do something about my crop situation.
For now, I traded as many resources as I could and built up my beacon base with as much iron, gold and emerald as I was willing to spare for now. Eventually, I will probably go back and replace the iron and gold with emerald blocks, but considering how many blocks are still missing even with the mix of materials, that’s probably still a long way off. Well, until then, my beacon is certainly looking… interesting.
I used the last day or two of the year to start the construction of my automatic melon and pumpkin farm, but so far it seems like observer blocks and redstone torches don’t get along too well what with the really short observer block output. Before I continue building it next year, I’m going to have to do some research on how best to get around the problems I’m encountering. But I’m sure I’ll find a way without wasting too much time or resources! I’m definitely looking forward to the challenge.