Part 3: It’s a Trap!
Since my last journal, Minecraft was updated to beta version 1.3, adding some neat features. The most drastic is the fact that you can now build beds, which allow you to sleep through the night. If you're anything like me and tend to get incredibly involved in a massive and time-consuming project, you probably hate to have to cut it short due to nightfall, which always seems to come far too early. Now, you can just hop in your bed and wake up the following morning. It's convenient, but can also be dangerous if your bed isn't strategically placed in a safe location.
While I thought the bed was a great addition, I decided to not use it too frequently. It seemed like sort of a copout to me, since at this point in my Minecraft adventure, I felt ready to take on the creatures that had been grieving me since I first started playing the game. I had spent weeks dodging baddies, and there was vengeance brewing in my heart. I began concocting schemes that would put me on the offensive side, rather than continually reverting to the "run and hide" method of self-defense I had been using.
The first part of my battle plan was to surround myself with light. Monsters will only spawn on blocks that are below a certain level of luminosity (meaning they only spawn in the dark). I surrounded all of my structures (I had quite a few fortresses complete by this point) with torches. Hundreds and hundreds of torches. In the middle of the night, my glorious beaches were pretty much emitting radiant beams of brightness.
My next step was to stock up on weaponry. I had been saving all those chunks of flint I'd been collecting in my caves, and combining those with sticks and feathers makes arrows. I had built up stacks of arrows, and had some hidden in every one of my fortresses. The next time I ran into a creeper, I knew I would be prepared.
Then I started building traps. And that, my friends, is where Minecraft's creative tools really started showing their potential.
The first thing I did was to make a simple water trap. I have to be honest: this was a method I discovered on YouTube rather than something I thought of on my own. The concept was simple: I built a multi-tiered river that drained into a basin too steep for monsters to climb out of. When any sort of animal tried to cross the river, it would get caught in the current and washed into the basin. Monsters and friendly animals alike would be stick in a pit. There was one problem with my trap: I was mostly capturing cows, pigs, and chickens. The occasional skeleton would get thrown into the mix, but this was a fairly rare occurrence. I think the reason for this was that this water trap was too close to my home base, which was basked in a constant glow of light no matter what time of night it was. Monsters weren't spawning close enough to my trap to get caught in it very often.