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Condor_Connor

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about 1 month ago
Staff Applications 2020

inecraft Username: (Your MC username): Condor_Connor

     Discord Username: (Your Discord username): Condor_Connor

     Age: (Your age): 23

     Position: (Either moderator or engineer): Mod

     Current Rank: (Your rank on the server): Retired Staff/Gold

     Why you want to be a mod/engie: "Vip_admin [✦][Admin] Grxffxn » connor apply for mod so i can make u set up ur own arenas lmao"

 

 

3 months ago
Player Suggestions

Can the votes for fly/god be changed from being 24 votes for 24 hours to something like 2 for 2 or 4 for 4 or whatever? Nobody is gonna get fly and actually use it for 24 hours straight, so it's just waisting fly time for the player.

Plus, at least for me, if it takes 3 days of votes to get fly, I'd just go screw it and do it by hand instead and not vote at all, but if I could just go and vote that single day and get fly for a few hours, I'd be much more likely to actually vote. 

4 months ago
Build points

The build point system is not being used on the sevrer right now. I dug it up off the old server mostly for the building guides parts of it, since engie apps are open and it would let people see what went into top quality builds. 

 

4 months ago
Old Build Point Tutorial

The Cardinal Rules of Building...


1. Variation is crucial! Try to avoid using large, unbroken amounts of the same material. Always try to add in different materials or architectural features to break the monotony of solid walls, solid roofs, solid floors, etc.

Too often, I see people relying on just a few very basic materials -- such as cobble, planks, stone, and wool -- as their entire palette when building. While those are great for just starting out, and can be put together in some pretty cool ways, the simple fact of the matter is that unless you start expanding your horizons, you just won't be able to get those high points I'm sure you want! If I've learned one thing in my past 4-5 years of building, it's that oftentimes, the best use of a material is that for which it was never intended! Furnaces, crafting tables, and noteblocks make great floors, fences make great windowsills, item frames and signs make great armrests, and trapdoors are great for things like shelves, plant pots, and window shutters!

So, instead of only ever using things like stone, cobble, planks, and wool, instead use those types of things to accentuate builds, rather than compose them entirely.

Floors

Let's start with floor patterns -- boring, single-material floors are perfectly fine when you're starting out, but one of the easiest ways to distinguish your builds is to put aesthetic detail into everything, even something as mundane as the floor! A quick Google search turns up some great ideas to get you started, and offers inspiration for all sorts of geometric patterns, possible block combinations, and more.
My personal favorites when it comes to making floors are those that incorporate multiple "tiles" composed of the different types of wood planks and those that make use of mineral blocks combined with furnaces (that's right -- even functional blocks like furnaces, crafting tables, and note blocks can make for some really interesting and unique floors!).

[PUT EXAMPLES HERE]

Walls

Most builds I see use flat, 1-block-wide walls with glass put at semi-regular intervals to serve as windows. Such walls are usually just one type of material, and are fairly boring to look at. Luckily, there are some really easy fixes to make them much nicer to look at!
One of the easiest ways is to use a stone-type material for a "foundation" and save wood- and wool-type materials for the rest of the walls. Experiment with special materials as "accents" around windows and doors -- mushroom stalk blocks, carved sandstone or stonebrick, whole logs, etc. Use wooden, netherbrick, or cobblestone fences to add depth and character.
Don't rule-out materials like sand, gravel, and (soft or hardened) clay, either! I've seen some great Tudor-style builds made with soft clay, and the textures of gravel and sand aren't readily replicated by any other block, and sometimes they're just what a build needs!

[PUT EXAMPLES HERE]

You should also consider building thicker walls so that you can add columns on either side of the windows, to give the windows a "recessed" look. That also lets you add plants along the bottom of those columns, let's windowsills not stand out too much, and generally makes the build look sturdier. I find that log columns with plank walls often go nicely together (my current favorite being oak or birch logs with birch planks and acacia half-slabs for accents), but stone, brick, mushroom stalk, etc. also make great column materials! You can also vary the columns themselves -- if you're building a column of stonebrick, consider accenting it with carved stone, cobble fences, etc.

[PUT EXAMPLES HERE]

Finally, arches are a great way to make something look more grandiose. You could build columns like I just mentioned, and connect them at the top with arches over the windows, or you could use arches to support an extended roof that goes out over the walls. Columns and arches work great on inside walls as well, and you can often create a more "open-feeling" space by substituting archways for doors.

[PUT EXAMPLES HERE]

Windows
First off, windowsills are a great way to break the monotony of plain outer walls. Something as simple as an upside-down step makes a surprising amount of difference! You can also experiment with putting shutters on your windows -- hatches off to the side can also add quite a bit, especially with 2-wide windows. Even better, put a few flowers on the windowsill, to make the outside of your house just as inviting as the inside!
Also, as a general rule, panes almost always look better than blocks! They're more realistic, and automatically create "mini windowsills" on either side. But you don't need to stop there! I've filled windows with fences (to create a more "open-air" home), occasionally created detailed 3-wide windows with a single 4-way glass pane column in the center, etc. -- there are a ton of different ways to make some amazing-looking windows!

[PUT EXAMPLES HERE]

Roofs
In general, there are two styles of roofs -- flat and angled. If you're going with a flat roof, add crenelations so that it isn't too boring, and if you're going with an angled roof, try adding log roof beams, attic windows, chimneys (with corresponding fireplaces, preferably), etc.

[PUT EXAMPLES HERE]

Walkways
I'll admit it -- my favorite style of walkway is a gravel path with cobble half-slab borders (or "sidewalks") on either side. In general, for town roads, it's usually a good idea to have 2- or 3-wide roads with an extra 1-wide sidewalk on either side; some good combinations and materials are brick/netherbrick/stonebrick, cobble/gravel, planks/stonebrick, stone half-slabs, etc.
For "personal-use" walkways, you can often skip the borders/sidewalks and just build 1- or 2-wide paths -- if you want to make them fit the terrain, use materials such as gravel with cobble steps and make sure to eliminate overly long straight lines. To give a "weathered" look, try breaking-up the path a little, but putting some of the natural surface type (i.e. grass in plans, sand in deserts) in the road, as if those road tiles have become buried.

[PUT EXAMPLES HERE]



2. Nobody wants to look at an empty, strictly functional house. Add some furniture, and mix it up with how you decorate!

For furniture, there are many, many ways to go about furnishing your build. It's hard to be comprehensive here, so instead I'll just link you to some of my favorite pages on www.minecraftfurniture.net, which I find is a great site to get inspiration for all kinds of furniture -- pool tables, drum sets, work desks with a laptop, kitchen cabinets, etc.

Kitchen Furniture - http://www.minecraftfurniture.net/kitchen
Storage / Shelves - http://www.minecraftfurniture.net/storage
*Bathrooms - http://www.minecraftfurniture.net/bathroom
Bedrooms - http://www.minecraftfurniture.net/bedroom
*Misc. Decoration - http://www.minecraftfurniture.net/decoration
Electronics - http://www.minecraftfurniture.net/electronics

*These are the sort of things that really start to distinguish the "great" builders from the "just okay". How many Minecraft builds have you seen that have bathrooms, mirrors (that show the room they're supposed to reflect!), grandfather clocks, fishtanks (with fish inside!), pinball machines, etc.

Some other important aspects of "good" builds to consider...

Lighting
I also recommend taking a look at the page on www.minecraftfurniture.net on lighting -- regular torches on the wall don't usually cut it if you're shooting for a high-point build, so definitely take a look and try to find your own style to start branching out! One trick to make a torch on the wall look more like a proper brazier is to put an item frame with an anvil or half-slab in it, with the torch placed on top of it.
Actually, item frames (and signs/pictures) are great for a lot of things! They make great sides to chairs and benches, can serve as screens on televisions and computers, can hold clocks and maps, and much more!

Outdoor lighting is also important, too. Consider putting torches on top of fence posts for "tiki torches", putting hatches around glowstone to create lamps, and combining daylight sensors with redstone lamps.

[PUT EXAMPLES HERE]

House Plants
As far as house plants go, the relatively new flower pots make things a lot easier, but a block of grass with trapdoors on all sides makes for a great base for larger plants that won't fit in flower pots! There are also a number of ways to "fake" a tree using fences and leaf blocks, since bulky log blocks don't usually work for houseplants (they're far better suited for the actual house/structure itself). When using flower pots, I'll often place them on top of a note block, since I like the look of noteblocks as end tables, etc. I've also put them on top of bookshelves, on windowsills, etc.

[PUT EXAMPLES HERE]



3. Landscape, landscape, landscape! How many million-dollar homes are in run-down urban areas? Quite the opposite -- they're usually surrounded by lush, well-maintained and quite aesthetically-pleasing gardens.

It's one thing to build a fantastic interior, and yet another to make the outside of your building look as nice as the inside. To be sure, there are plenty of really nice, really expensive apartments that are located in really urban locations. But this is Minecraft, and there aren't a whole lot of congested cities, so take advantage of all that free, open space!

Attractive Functional Gardens
Often, the hardest part of growing crops in your gardens is figuring out how to hide the necessary blocks of water. One easy way is to put the water block beneath a tree trunk, or underneath a garden wall -- remember, irrigation spreads to up to four plowed blocks away, so you can surround a planting bed with regular grass, and have the water block be one block away from the actual crops, hidden under a tree, wall, or raised walkway. You can also experiment with creating fountains, planting along winding streams, etc.

[PUT EXAMPLES HERE]

"Natural" Water Features
Creating natural-looking water features isn't easy, but it boils down to a few simple rules -- avoid sharp corners, don't make waterfalls too wide, and don't let the water get out of control. A wall of water cascading down the corner of a hill from a single source block isn't realistic, but neither is a giant lake with barely a trickle coming out of it. Often, the best-looking water features are things like 1-block-wide streams that snake their way down a hill or wind themselves through a garden.

[PUT EXAMPLES HERE]

"Artificial" Water Features
This includes two types of water features -- swimming pools and fountains (those you can have both in the same feature, to be sure). The typical raised source block with water pouring into a pool below will only get you so far -- try creating unique sculptures out of steps, half-slabs, and even regular whole blocks to create some eye-candy as the water pours down over it. Make sure to "tile" the walls and floor of a fountain or pool, so that it isn't just a dirt or cobble hole in the ground.

[PUT EXAMPLES HERE]

Terraforming
This one is really hit-or-miss -- you either have to make it obviously and deliberately artificial (in the case of clear corners, right angles, and straight lines) or make it look ultra-natural, so that it blends seamlessly with the surrounding world. The "artificial" style of landscaping generally looks better in cities or along coastlines or mountain ridges -- where you might want to have a corner or your house drop off into the ocean or into a valley, and have a series of rectangular terraces along the way. On the other side of the spectrum, "natural" landscaping is probably your best bet when you're building in the middle of nowhere, in which case you want your garden to blend seamlessly into the surrounding landscape. In that case, avoid sharp corners, follow the natural lay of the land, and don't create large drops where there weren't any before.

[PUT EXAMPLES HERE]

Architecture vs. Landscape
If you put a really boxy, obviously man-made house into the middle of a plains, it's going to stick out like a sore thumb. Likewise, if you put a really low-lying house in the middle of the jungle, it will simply blend in and no one will ever really notice it. There's a balance that you have to strike, and it's not an easy one to reach. Oftentimes, you can landscape the surrounding area to make the actual build fit-in better, so always, always, always landscape!

4 months ago
Old Build Point Tutorial

So, you'd like to go the builder route, but aren't quite sure whether your builds are up to par, or maybe you feel confident about your building ability, and just want to take it to the next level. Or, perhaps someone has given you advice, but you aren't quite sure what they're talking about. In what I hope will be a useful attempt to clarify what we expect when it comes to build point applications, I'm going to first briefly go through how the new five point system works, and will then go into greater detail about how you can improve upon your building style.


If you give the build anything less than a 4, you must post at least 2-3 things that the builder could improve upon -- the point of expanding the score system is to let players feel like they can really track their growth as a builder, so we need to make sure to always give constructive feedback whenever possible.


0 Points
Builds that are only functional in nature or show very little concern for aesthetics should not be awarded any points. If it is evident that the build was designed and built to serve primarily as a functional abode (i.e. to store, craft, smelt, grow, or harvest items) without much regard for aesthetics, no points may be awarded. If the build was designed to be primarily aesthetic, but appears sloppy, rushed, unfinished, or otherwise lacking in attention to detail, it also should not be awarded any points.


1 Point
This is for simplistic builds where it is clear that the builder didn't put a whole lot of thought into aesthetics. However, this also isn't a "pity points" score -- to get any points, there must be something about the build that justifies notable mention. If you can't find at least 2 or 3 things to genuinely compliment about the build (for example -- "I really like how you added windowsills with flower pots and window shutters, and I also like how you added cabinetry to your kitchen"), then it should not be given any points.
One-point builds do not necessarily need a lot of landscaping, furniture, or non-functional decor, but it should be evident that the build is not strictly functional in nature -- it's fine if it's obvious that it started out as a noob hut, so long as it's also obvious that the player expanded upon it as they got more materials, and did so in an aesthetically pleasing way (as opposed to just tacking on cobble or plank boxes, perhaps they added some columns along the outside, or added non-functional furniture, etc.
One-point builds are those that show some degree of promise, but could be reasonably constructed within a day or so.

Checklist:
- Attention given to landscaping aesthetics.
- Attention given to exterior aesthetics.
- Attention given to interior aesthetics.
- One of the above three categories may be lacking if the other two are noticeably present.
- Does not look unfinished or rushed.


2 Points
This is for relatively simplistic builds where it is clear that the builder put at least some thought into how everything should fit together. It should be well-furnished, have some sort of landscaping around it (so that it at least meshes well with the surrounding landscape/biome/terrain), and should make use of multiple materials -- requiring, of course, that the materials chosen go well together and the variation improves, rather than detracts from, the build.
It should be highly evident that these builds are not strictly functional in nature -- if it started out as a noob hut, there should be only minimal traces of that early-game incarnation.
Two-point builds are those that look like they probably took a few days to complete.

Checklist:
- Attention given to landscaping aesthetics.
- Attention given to exterior aesthetics.
- Attention given to interior aesthetics.
Significant attention paid to at least one of the three above categories.
- Does not look unfinished or rushed.
- Makes competent use of multiple materials.


3 Points
This is where we start looking for builds that are definitely shooting towards being primarily aesthetic, with functionality being only a secondary concern. They should show an obvious attention to detail, a masterful command of the materials used, and multiple examples of high-quality builds (for example, lots of detailed furniture, very pleasing landscaping, interesting, rather than mundane, walls, professional-looking lighting, rather than just torches, aesthetic storage, rather than just stacks of chests, well-designed, artfully-inspired windows, etc.).
If it's a nature-inspired build, like a giant tree, man-made mountain, etc., it had better look hyper realistic and be of an exceptional quality.
This would also be about where large compounds that are composed of less-than-top-quality builds should be graded -- while we give "extra credit" for size, players cannot advance past 3 points unless they show at least a starting mastery of aesthetic detail.
To be a 3-point build, the project should look like it took at least a solid week to complete.

Checklist:
- Significant attention given to landscaping aesthetics.
- Significant attention given to exterior aesthetics.
- Significant attention given to interior aesthetics.
Very significant attention paid to at least one of the three above categories.
- Does not look unfinished or rushed; clearly took time to build.
- Significant attention to detail.
- Makes very competent use of multiple materials that are well suited for each other and for the build.


4 Points
This is where we start looking for large high-quality builds or compounds of several builds that are still of a high quality, but perhaps not enough to individually all get into the 3-4 point range. To be a 4-point build, the project must have obviously taken quite a lot of time to complete (a couple of weeks or so) and should demonstrate an absolute mastery of aesthetic detail. There should still be room for improvement (for example, perhaps the interior is fantastic but the landscaping is lacking, or perhaps they focused too much on the exterior and not enough on furnishing and decorating the inside), but attention must have been paid to all three areas -- landscaping, exterior, and interior.

Checklist:
- Very significant attention given to landscaping aesthetics.
- Very significant attention given to exterior aesthetics.
- Very significant attention given to interior aesthetics.
Masterful attention paid to at least one of the three above categories.
- Looks like it took a very long time to build.
- Clearly shows a very significant attention to detail.
- Displays a clear mastery of multiple materials that are very well suited to each other and to the build.


5 Points
To get five points, the project must be well beyond reproach. A few improvements will always probably be possible, but to give a build five points, it must have obviously taken a long time to complete (getting into the month-ish range), should be fairly large, and should use a great variety of materials. It should be evident that the builder has taken a long time to perfect their craft, and is able to wield a full palette of building materials with great ease and excellent vision.

Checklist:
- Masterful attention given to landscaping aesthetics.
- Masterful attention given to exterior aesthetics.
- Masterful attention given to interior aesthetics.
- Looks like it took a very long time to build.
- Clearly shows an extremely significant attention to detail.
- Displays a clear mastery of multiple materials that are perfectly suited to each other and to the build.


General things to consider when it comes to the grading system...

If you are considering a build for the 4-5 point range, you should start switching your mentality from finding things that make the build good to finding things that make the build bad (well, "not good", but you get the idea  ). What I mean by that distinction is that while it's fine to be moderately forgiving on the lower half of the point values (without being overly so, of course), you need to be absolutely brutal when it comes to giving 4 or 5 points. However, that also means you need to be honest about what you're dinging the build for, and be sure to give lots of feedback -- I don't want to go so far as to say the higher the score, the more feedback should be given, but that's almost a necessity, since you need to really start nit-picking as you go up the spectrum.

This being a survival-based game, all builds should be functional, but except in the very low point ranges, that functionality should be masked by a primary emphasis on aesthetics that should cleverly not inconveniently mask the functionality of the build. For example, a 4- or 5-point palace should still have working crafting/smelting/brewing room (perhaps disguised as a luxurious kitchen or blast furnace), working farms (perhaps disguised as extravagant gardens), a working enchantment room (perhaps a library or sorcerer's keep), etc.
By "masking" functionality, I mean to say that farms and crafting rooms, for example, should not be roughhewn square rooms in the basement lit by torches, but should have thought put into visibly incorporating them into the rest of the build. Rather than having boring rectangles of fenced-in plowed land outside a 2- or 3-point house, create a terraced garden with a walking path winding through it. And so on and so forth.

When grading cities, particular emphasis should be paid to landscaping; a city made of 2-point builds could very easily get 3 or 4 points overall if those builds are spectacularly incorporated into the city with superb urban planning, landscaping, cityscaping, etc. As a quick and dirty rule of thumb, probably look to give equal weight both to the individual contents of the city and to the overall appearance of the city as a whole.