Erica's Monument-al Adventure! Days 12 & 13

Here are another two considerable longer days on this segment of Erica’s Monument-al Adventure. I’m still further behind than I want to be, and time hasn’t been nice to me. But without further ado, here are some updates to this crazy adventure.

Erica's Monument-al Adventure: Day 12

Upon entering my world, Tim joined me right away. Within minutes of venturing down to the cave base and into the tunnels, we struck diamond! Not just one or two pieces, but around eight or nine. From here, we set out to completely strip mine the east-west connection tunnels between the north-south tunnels. We were pretty much planning on completely digging out a huge portion near the cave base. Once we started digging, we came across more gold and diamond, along with stacks and stacks of coal.

One thing I noticed is that within the first forty minutes of playing, Tim and I discovered such an abundance of diamond and gold that it added up to be more than all the diamond and gold we found in the first nine days combined! Luck was on our side today. We continued to strip mine and dig in a crisscross pattern for a good while, dodging mountains of lava and finding more resources.

Soon enough Tim had to leave, so I took a quick break before heading back out. After the break I continued to strip mine for a while, but was coming up completely empty handed. After around twenty-five minutes of striking out, I climbed out of the tunnels to kill some cows and pigs for meat, and then I called it a night.

Quick Intermission: Erica Memory

I’m not proud to admit this, but I am not ashamed of it either. One day while playing Darkstalkers 3 against Erica, she whipped my butt and beat me seventeen times in a row! It was one of the most ridiculous trouncings I have ever received in a fighting game.

Erica's Monument-al Adventure: Day 13

I started today with Ryan joining me after him being away for a while. Because of his long absence, I had to show him around the newly constructed village. Within minutes of me showing Ryan around, we were attacked by seven Creepers and loads more of enemies. I tried my best to kite as many away as I could. Ryan ran straight into a group of Creepers and died heroically. He quickly respawned to fight once more! We eventually took them down, with minimal damage. After the fight, Ryan climbed the ladder to the top of my fortress and encountered a lone Creeper blowing up in his face. He survived, but my roof did not.

Once all this excitement subsided, I finally brought Ryan down to the new mine area and introduced him to the layout. We immediately found diamond on our first dig. Continuing around the corner, we ran into some Creepers. Ryan and I nimbly dodged these while they blew themselves up, which actually took down a stone wall that revealed some gold! Within seconds of that happening, a Creeper snuck up behind Ryan and blew him to high heaven.

After he respawned and made his way back down to the cave, we continued to dig and found a pretty nice cavern which contained a great amount of gold and iron ore. Ryan continued to die from enemies, nearing double digit deaths, but he was somehow able to not lose any resources he collected. We dug out the cavern some more and found more gold. Ryan ran this gold back up to the village, without actually dying, and then made it back to the cave base before we called it a night.

I’m still having some issues with this save/world. On top of that I’m missing a huge amount of the updates. I really hate to start over, but everything has been uncooperative, and it’s been stalling my progress. Some changes might be occurring next segment.

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Erica's Monument-al Adventure! Days 7-11

My life has been very hectic lately with work, volunteering, and a few side projects, so this segment of my blog contains a few quick periods I was actually able to get some play time in. I played mostly solo for these days, with Tim Smith showing up as well. I planned on playing a lot over my winter break from work, Dec 21 to Jan 6, but a corrupted save file kept me from playing. It took me a while to restore the save, and luckily nothing was lost. Also, Minecraft on my Xbox 360 was being very moody, and took a few uninstalls and reinstalls until it would work properly. I’m sorry it has taken me so long to update, and I promise I will be putting much more effort into this over the coming weeks. Thank you for everyone who has been reading and supporting me. All of your kind words keep a smile on my face!

Erica's Monument-al Adventure: Day 7

I’ve been having really bad luck trying to find gold lately and still haven’t found a single piece of diamond. Since my village and the underground chasm are pretty much located at the southwestern part of the map, I decided that I needed to focus my efforts down at bedrock. I climbed down into the chasm and dug out a staircase all the way down to bedrock. I dodged a few lava spouts here and there, and had to alter the direction of my staircase a few times. I made sure to mark the lava points so no one would accidentally mine a block and flood the stairs with the fiery hot death! From here, I started digging tunnels to the north and to the east. My plan was to make these tunnels the entire length of the map, and eventually complete a tunnel system at bedrock level.

After tunneling for a bit, my luck finally changed. I found a few pieces of diamond! I was so happy that I dropped my controller to celebrate. Right at that moment I heard a hissing sound, and found a Creeper strolling up behind me! It then exploded in my face once I turned around. I somehow survived with no armor and a half a heart of health. I ran back up to the surface to store the diamond and save the game. I did not want to lose this first bit of luck I’ve had since I started. After saving, I went back down into the tunnels. I continued to mine for another twenty or so minutes, finding a good amount of coal, iron ore, and redstone. I once again traveled back to the surface, saved, and ended the night on a great note!

Erica's Monument-al Adventure: Day 8

Today was a short, solo day. I headed back down into the tunnels and started to dig north. I had to clear out a few enemies, mostly skeletons but it did include a Creeper or two. I tunneled until I broke down a stone wall to come across a nice, little cave pond. Just looking into the cave, I noticed a good amount of iron ore, coal and redstone. While mining, I once again came across both gold ore and diamond! That’s two days in a row I have been able to mine some diamond for the monument. I continued to clear out the cave, then ran everything back up to the village and called it a night.

Erica's Monument-al Adventure: Day 9

Another short, solo day. I traveled back down into the tunnel. From the cave pond, I continued to dig north. After about ten minutes, I dug into yet another cave pond. These seem to be frequent in this current seed. I cleared out that cave, expanded it outward, and found some coal and a few pieces of iron ore. When finished, I once again started to dig north, mining both redstone and lapis lazuli along the way. After a few minutes, the fun started. With every stone block I mined, lave started pouring out at me, like it was out to get me. I dodged these lava spurts, blocking them off with cobblestone for a good twenty minutes, trying my best to tunnel around them. While tunneling around all the lava, I came across more gold ore and diamond. I almost lost all of it when more lava attacked me. I blocked up the lava, took all the ore back to the village, and ended the day here. I will have to rethink my tunnels a bit and alter their course. But it has been three days in a row where I have found both diamond and gold ore. Things are starting to look up!

Intermission: Erica Memory

A little while after meeting Erica, I started getting really close to her and just visiting her as often as I could; even when I wasn’t technically volunteering that day. I started to gauge her interest in video games, what genres she liked and disliked. I knew well she enjoyed TimeSplitters and Minecraft. She also really enjoyed role playing games and loved any game on the Nintendo 64. There was a week I visited the hospital every single day after work for a few hours. We spent that time running through Quest 64 together. Erica was always happy to see me walk in because she knew we would continue our game. Even though Quest 64 isn’t the greatest RPG, she had a ton of fun with its simple structure. I truly had a great time running through this game again with Erica.

Erica's Monument-al Adventure: Day 10

Since I’ve been spending most of my time down at bedrock, I decided to clear out a huge portion of the tunnel right at the bottom of the staircase, next to the branching paths, and build myself a new cave base. I did this to decrease my chances of losing valuable ore and cut down on travel time. It took a good thirty minutes to clear out this chunk and add in all the chests, furnaces, and beds.

Once finished, I thought of another interesting idea. The Nether might have materials I could use as well, but because I need to save every piece of diamond I come across, I cannot craft a diamond pickaxe to mine obsidian. I decided on making a nether portal anyway, but using the bucket trick instead (pouring water and lave over each other after making a mold for the portal). This process took such a long time. It would have taken much longer if I didn’t have a source of both water and lave within close proximity. I now had a nether portal located in my new cave base!

I didn’t have much more time to play for the night, so I headed down the east tunnel and mined for around twenty minutes. I did find a good amount of iron ore and coal, a few pieces of redstone, and 10 pieces of gold ore! I headed back to the cave base, smelted the gold ore to ingots, and ended on a positive note.

Erica's Monument-al Adventure: Day 11

started in the cave base, took the north tunnel, and continued to mine. Right away, I found some gold ore and diamond. But I came really close to losing everything when the next block I removed opened up to lava, and I wasn’t able to close it fast enough. Luckily, I had a bucket of water on me (I’m always prepared for the worst) and was able to put myself out. A few minutes later, Tim Smith signed online and joined my game. I quickly showed him around the rebuilt village, where the supplies were now located, my cave base, and the tunnel system. We then got down to business and started tunneling north (which included dodging a massive amount of lava).

We took all the ore collected back to the cave base, and I made a quick inventory check. I currently had collected and crafted: 10 gold blocks and 6 gold ingots, 2 diamond blocks and 5 diamond, and finally 30 lapis lazuli blocks and 7 pieces of lapis (which will be used if not enough diamond is found). I do feel way behind on my progress, and definitely need to start picking up the slack.

After heading back out to the tunnels to mine, Tim and I started to tire of constantly having to run back to the cave base in order to travel back up to the village. We resolved to build a second staircase back to the surface from the farthest point we dug to. While carving out this new staircase, we discovered a cavern about halfway up. Tim and I stopped to look around and found a bunch of gold ore and lapis lazuli, along with three Creepers. We kited and killed the Creepers, mined the precious ore, and continued up to the surface. Once we made it topside, we visibly marked where the new staircase entrance was for future reference.

Before stopping for the night, I really wanted to tackle the stronghold Tommy Bruner and I discovered a little while back. Tim and I suited up and traversed down where I thought the stronghold was located. It turns out; I forgot where Tommy and I had marked the location. We had to find a spot I knew was pretty close to the location and started digging. We pretty much got lost, but discovered an area filled with gold ore and diamond! While we were mining, Tim and I looked across the cavern and noticed something. We quickly realized the stronghold I thought I had found was just a dungeon, with one dungeon spawner and two chests. I was a little sad, but there ended up being some decent supplies in the chests. After clearing out the rest of the area, we traveled back to the surface, stored all the supplies, and ended the day.

Now that my Minecraft and saves are all fixed and running properly, I plan on putting in a ton of effort to catch up on my progress. I’m very far behind, so it’s time to take this into overdrive!


Erica's Monument-al Adventure! Days 3-6

Erica's Monument-al Adventure: Day 3

I was only able to play for a little over an hour on Day 3, but enough was accomplished. Tommy Bruner joined me once again. He continued to mine out the cave and tunnels that were being dug down into just east of the village. I started out by fixing and rebuilding all the damage done to the village from the previous day’s shenanigans. I rebuilt houses that were destroyed or torn down and even restructured a few of them. While this being done, I was pestered by Creeper after Creeper. They weren’t able to kill me, but would continually blow holes in the landscape in and around my village. I would have to stop what I was doing and make sure those holes were filled. And yes it’s because I want the village to look nice around the monument.

When the village was fixed and the Creeper attacks slowed down, I had to figure out what was best to do next. I decided on making a ladder from the newly blown skylight (thanks to Ryan and his TNT antics) down to the enormous chasm underneath the village. I used some cobblestone to make a barrier around the hole, to prevent future adventurers from falling down and losing their valuable items (although it would be quite funny, maybe a trap door for the future perhaps?) A cobblestone wall was then erected down to the bottom of the chasm. The ladder was placed upon the wall and created easy access from the village to the bottom of the chasm for future exploration.

While I was working on the village and getting the new chasm ready for exploration, Tommy was braving the caves just east of me. He was able to dig multiple tunnels and eventually set up a base of operations inside the cave. Tommy came across a few lava beds, some gold ore, but still no diamond. He told me to join him down at his underground base once I was finished up on the surface. Once I traveled down to the tunnels, we heard monster noises coming from the other side of a wall that was near a lava bed. We just thought a few zombies were in another cave nearby. I had TNT in my inventory (don’t ask why) and decided to blow the wall. I set the TNT and blew the wall, even some of the ceiling. The monster noises were now much louder, and we crept up to see a monster spawner and eight zombies staring us in the face. We possibly found a stronghold!

Tommy and I tried to reach the monster spawner, but died multiple times in the process. We decided to plug the wall, mark the spot, and wait to tackle the possible stronghold until we had help from some more people. Even though we found little gold and no diamond, the possibility of finding a stronghold bodes well for us.

Erica's Monument-al Adventure: Day 4

Day 4 contained the bulk of my playtime for this segment. I started the game solo and remained that way for the first few hours. I had to replant all the wheat that was used for bread and made both a cactus and sugar cane farm, for future materials. I planned to start building the base for the monument today, just outside of the village. I decided on a 19x19x3 stone base, with the bottom layer being a stone floor. I mined 505 cobblestone blocks and smelted them all into stone blocks. I then made eight buckets and traveled from the village to Tommy’s lava cave and back, hauling buckets full of lava. I filled up the next layer of the base (which is 18x18x1 inside the stone wall) with lava until every block was basically a source block. This took maybe 90 minutes in all. I would have used more buckets, but I did not have enough iron to spare. While I was hauling the lava, I was smelting sand into glass for final layer (another 18x18x1) of the base. A total of 324 blocks of glass were used and meant as a platform to help illuminate the monument.

A little while after I finished the base for the monument, Ryan McGinley joined. Since Ryan’s bed was destroyed the previous day, he spawned all the way across the map. He had a fun time trying to get back to the village and died quite a bit (he wasn’t able to use his mic at this time). Because he was continually traveling and dying, I wasn’t able to sleep through the night and had to battle waves of skeletons, zombies, and spiders. I decided to barricade myself in my house, and leave to get some ice cream (yes, you heard that right) until Ryan was able to manage his way back.

Once I got back to the game, with twenty dollars’ worth of sundaes mind you, the first thing I saw was Ryan being blown up by a Creeper, taking half a house with him. I don’t think I laughed harder that whole night and nearly lost one of my sundaes in the process. When the damage was fixed and the excitement died down, Ryan went and traversed the chasm. I started to build a new fortress in the village, which would act as item storage and my main base of operations. While I started planning that out, Ryan had an idea for a flower bed to put in front of the monument. He gathered the dirt to place around and dabbled with some waterfall ideas, but decided against it. He started placing flowers and roses across the dirt. We ran out of roses, so we were unable to finish.

And this is where Day 4 ended. No gold or diamond was found, but a lot of construction for the monument was accomplished. We have a great idea how we want the surrounding area to look!

Intermission: A Memory of Erica

It is well known that Erica was a fan of the Timesplitters franchise, Timesplitters 2 being her favorite of the series. About a year ago, I had a free weekend to myself. I decided to spend it over at the hospital with all the kids. Erica was in a really good mood that weekend and feeling energetic. I always stored a bag full of games and a few game systems in my truck every time I went to visit the hospital. When Erica saw me walk in, she gave me a huge hug. I read a few stories to the kids and then asked Erica what she wanted to do. She yelped ‘Timesplitters!’ So I hooked up the PS2 and booted up Timesplitters 2. We ran through the single player mode cooperatively and all the challenge missions the rest of the day. Some of the other children sat and watched us. I decided to spend the night over in the visitor’s area (I still find it funny the staff allowed me to do that all the time). The next morning I woke up to Erica shaking me. Apparently she snuck out of her room to wake me up. After breakfast I booted up Timesplitters 2 again for some multiplayer. I tried to get some more of the kids to play with us. We played until about mid-afternoon. No matter what, Erica was always Monkey in multiplayer. That was her favorite character. She did win the majority of the games, which always made her happy. I left later that afternoon knowing I made her weekend.

Erica's Monument-al Adventure: Day 5

Day 5 was another extremely short day. I really didn’t have much time to play. I started by finishing up the basic structure of the new fortress with what stone brick I had left. I added more chests inside the fortress as well. There was a severe shortage of Creepers today, which made me happy that I didn’t have to worry about patching up random holes in my village.

Another fraternity brother, Bryan Cobb, joined me. He knew I wasn’t playing for that long, so he went searching for my village and got a feel for the layout of the world. He searched all the buildings and the cave below. He made a bed and went off on his own searching for materials.

At this point I started wandering around the map, marking interesting locations and caves that I deemed important enough to dig out in the future. There still is a lack of diamond, and I am determined to change that over the next few days. As I was wandering, I made sure to collect supplies to bring back to the village for when we decide to storm the stronghold. I also searched for roses! Once Cobb and I made it back to the village, we called it for the night. Not much accomplished (no gold or diamond today), but we did what we could.

Erica's Monument-al Adventure: Day 6

Day 6 was another day of minimal playing during a hectic week. I finally had enough stone brick to put a roof on the fortress. Again, I ran out of wood and wooden planks for tools and went out searching for more trees. This was becoming a mind-numbing task. I started saving the saplings that the trees dropped when chopped. They would be planted in and around my village for easy access to materials. Once I got back to the village, I dug out a huge section and placed down some dirt blocks and water. I planted the saplings and made myself a tree farm.

Tim Smith joined up with me right as I finished the farm. Because he’s been absent since Day 2, I showed him around the village and the progress made on the monument’s base. Once finished looking around, Tim gathered supplies and traveled down the ladder to the chasm and started excavating. I could tell Tim was rusty because he died right away from skeletons, and then died a few more times after that! I ran down to help him, but fell down a waterfall, was bum rushed by zombies, and died. I gave up on helping Tim in the caves and focused on the farm. Luckily I had collected an enormous amount of bones over the course of six days. I was able to make bonemeal and speed the tree growth.

I heard Tim screaming through the mic. Apparently he was being attacked by more skeletons and zombies. He ran away from the enemies and started digging his way to safety. Lo and behold Tim dug up right into my tree farm! We decided to keep it as a secret entrance to the caves underneath the village. I gathered some more wood using the saplings and bonemeal. Tim dug out more tunnels. This is where we stopped for the night.

Over the course of Days 3 to 6, a lot of work was done for the monument and the village. There is still more gold to be found, and the lack of diamonds thus far is a bit unnerving. I hope to log in a good amount of hours over the coming days!


Erica's Monument-al Adventure! Day 2

Erica's Monument-al Adventure: Day 2

I started the adventure spawning down in ‘The Crib.’ I made sure to run up to the surface and pick up Ryan McGinley at the village base. Shout out to Ryan for joining the adventure tonight! Yea, Yea, Yea! I showed Ryan around the main cavern and ravine, made sure he had his bearings, and then I immediately went back to the surface to search for food. The lack of steak and pork chops in my inventory was very depressing. And no one wants to starve to death tonight. While searching for said animals, I harvested about 2 stacks of sugar cane to make paper for all the maps that were blown up and lost in lava on Day 1.

As I ran back down the cave, I was immediately flanked by 2 creepers and blown to bits. Ryan was in plain view, laughed at me, but saved all my stuff. Once I received my stuff back, about 4 skeleton archers came at us from all sides. I somehow managed to annihilate three of them and survive while Ryan took care of one. I swear Erica had to be laughing at us at that point for getting ganged rushed by so many enemies within 15 minutes of spawning in the world. I made a few maps to store in the chest then headed on out to dig out more of the ravine. Ryan ventured off to explore more of the tunnels.

An old gaming buddy Kyle, who I haven’t played with in a few years, randomly joined the game. And Tim Smith came back for Day 2! Tim collected his stuff from the chest and immediately hit the ground hard and lost it all. Kyle was able to find his way to ‘The Crib,’ but fell straight into lava at the bottom of the ravine and died. I almost fell to the floor laughing at the double death, but I was too busy hunting down and destroying cave spiders so I could finally make a bow.

After about an hour of playing, a young, determined, curly-headed dwarf spawned in the world! Just kidding! My wonderful friend and Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity Brother Tommy Bruner joined in on the fun. He was the final member to join for the day, bringing the total adventurers up to five. As Tommy headed to the ‘The Crib,’ I see Kyle being chased by and kiting two Creepers to the village house that was storing the few gold blocks I had made thus far. I almost forgot I had my newly crafted bow in my inventory. I was able to snipe both Creepers and collect the gunpowder (which would be useful much later) before any damage was done. While I was picking up the gunpowder, a Creeper snuck up behind me. Luckily he prematurely exploded, and I survived with about a half a heart of health and no armor. Tommy witnessed this explosion and screamed like a girl.

Quick Intermission: Erica Memory

The first time I met Erica; she was extremely shy and did not really like talking to anyone. A nurse mentioned she was really into video games. I decided to bring in my Nintendo 64, 2 controllers, and a copy of Goldeneye 64. I asked Erica if she wanted to play, and her eyes just lit up and a quick smirk appeared on her face. For the next two hours or so we proceeded to play both the single player campaign and some one-on-one multiplayer. The first few games of multiplayer, I took it easy on Erica. But soon enough she started holding her own and winning some matches. I was really impressed. This was the first time I had seen a genuine smile on Erica’s face, and it will always be burned into my memory.

Now Back to The Adventure!

Ryan decided he needed some time apart from ‘The Crib’ and the huge ravine. He ventured out heading north. At this point, the rest of the group split up to explore the rest of the map. Someone had the smart idea to sleep at this point to set spawn points. Everyone except for Tommy had a bed. So he had to sprint all the way back to my location to sleep in a bed. He was followed by multiple enemies, which I took care of. And then the fun began. We tried sleeping, and Tommy was attacked right away and perished. He spawned all the way across the map and had to run back once again. This happened multiple times until we realized one of the windows was busted open, which is why he was relentlessly attacked every time we tried to sleep. Needless to say we were never able to get to sleep and morning came before anything was accomplished.

For the next little bit everyone was on their own and some shenanigans ensued. During these shenanigans, we did find some more gold ore and a lot of lapis lazuli, but still no diamond. The lapis might be used as a backup plan if diamond is not plentiful in this specific seed. Ryan and Tim ventured out together, searching a few caverns. Tommy and I found a wonderful new village, much bigger than the old one, and decided to do a dig down in a cave that was located just east of it. Kyle was wandering about, and I wasn’t really sure what he was trying to accomplish. After the dig down with Tommy, I decided that we needed to make this new village the main base. I traveled back to the small two-house village that was still serving as the main spawn. As I was running back to that village, I saw something interesting. Both of the houses at the spawn were set on fire. I had no clue how this happened. No source of lava or fire was anywhere near the village. I rushed back to save all the items, and moved everything back to the new village. I later learned it was Ryan who set the houses on fire and also flooded our main cave.

After everything was moved to the new village, everyone came back to join me. Ryan and Tim started fighting over who gets what house. Kyle started destroying some of the smaller houses for materials. Tommy and I just quietly moved in and tried to get things settled. There were more shenanigans at this point then I had hoped for. When night came, we were bombarded by Skeleton Archers and Creepers. It was exactly like a bad horror movie. A few of the members died multiple times. Once we were able to make it to morning, since not everyone had a bed, I finally settled everyone down and laid out a general plan for the rest of the night.

A few minutes later, I was walking around the back of the village next to the ocean area when a Creeper snuck up behind me and blew up. I fell down deep into a huge underground chasm. This might be the biggest stroke of luck on the night, since we have yet to find a single piece of diamond ore. I ended up searching about the tunnels, but ended up dying and losing the gold I had in my inventory. Luckily the world autosaved right before the Creeper blew me into the cavern.

I reloaded the world and invited everyone back in. This time, I decided not to wait for a Creeper. I made a few blocks of TNT. Ryan dug a little opening around where the Creeper blew me up last time. Ryan placed the TNT down in the hole and set the explosion off, being the kamikaze he is. We blew a nice skylight to the chasm. And this is where the night ended. Day 2 wasn’t as productive as I was hoping it would be. We were able to find some gold ore to smelt down into ingots, but still no diamond. My plan for Day 3 is to rebuild what was destroyed in the village, make some sort of way to get up and down the new chasm, and plan out a base for the monument. Here’s hoping for a little more luck!


Erica's Monument-al Adventure!

Recently, a girl I have gotten to know over the last 2 years while volunteering passed away. Her name was Erica, and she was one of the children I participated in my Extra Life Marathon for (Go Team GIO!). One of her favorite games to play was Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition. We would constantly play every time I would visit. She was also a fan of Timesplitters, which still confounds me with her being that young and knowing about that specific series, but still very cool nonetheless. So the day I found out she passed away, I decided to pick up Minecraft again after taking a hiatus due to the huge fall releases. When I woke up the next morning and had time to think, I decided I needed to do something in honor of Erica. I decided to go on a Minecraft Adventure and build her a monument while blogging about everything that goes on.

A little about me before I continue; I truly love kids. I am currently working at a middle school with Behavioral Discipline students. I volunteer at a children’s hospital. I fundraise and do various activities and events for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and most recently Extra Life. And I’ve been a volunteer little league coach since the start of college. So when I lose a child that I’ve gotten to know extremely well over the years (and one that called me her big brother because she was an only child), I feel the need to do something for them rather than sit around and mope about even though it does hurt.

Now getting back on track to the point of this blog; some of my friends told me to build this monument in Creative Mode, since it would just take the night. But that’s not the way to adventure in Minecraft. And that is definitely not the way Erica would want to play. She would’ve told me to ‘man up and stop being a baby!’ I started up a new world in Survival mode and cranked up the difficulty to hard.

After toying with ideas for the monument, Ryan McGinley whom I met through the Overblood and Replay Communities suggested making a giant gold heart and writing her name above the heart in diamond blocks. I loved this idea and started planning out dimensions. The heart would be made out of 46 gold blocks, which would take 414 gold ingots. Erica’s name would be made out of 54 diamond blocks, which would take 486 diamond ingots. The monument dimensions made me realize that this task would take a good amount of time. I put out an open invite to all my friends to join me if they feel up to the task whenever I was logged on.

Before anyone asks, I’m not looking for any type of monetary donations or gifts. I am only looking for people to listen to my story, support what I’m doing, and keep up with my blog if they choose to. I am truly excited to do something like this for someone that meant a great deal to me and had a huge impact on my life.

So in short, I’m honoring a child I’ve gotten to know over the years who passed away recently by adventuring in Minecraft on Survival Mode, Hard Difficulty and building a massive monument out of gold and diamond blocks in her honor. I will always have an open invite to anyone who would like to join and adventure with me. I am also doing my best to take screenshots and record some nice video clips of this journey. Thank you for all your support. I really hope this inspires some of you to go out and do something special for someone you truly care for!

Erica's Monument-al Adventure: Day 1

I started out the day spawning at my village, and figuring out what supplies I had. I already had a great deal of coal, a set of iron armor, 15 cooked steaks, and enough iron weapons and tools to begin a cave excavation. I made sure to grab some extra wood to make planks and sticks before heading down. I started excavating the cave, coming across much more coal and a few iron ore, and into a massive ravine filled with water, lava, and a boatload of monsters. Across the ravine, I found my first wall of gold ore. I made a makeshift bridge to carefully get across and mine the gold. Once finished, I rushed back to my village on the surface, dodging three separate Creepers on the way up. I managed to smelt five gold ingots, only four hundred and nine to go!

Before heading down, my friend Tim Smith joined me in my world for the adventure. I made sure to equip him with what extra items I had, set his spawn point in my village, then finally showed him the way down the cave. We instantly ran into trouble with Zombies, Cave Spiders and Skeleton Archers. But I made sure to channel my inner Michael from Achievement Hunter and release Mogar on the enemies! Needless to say they were no match for the Mogar in me. Tim was stunned by the ravine and quickly learned that the lava was everywhere by burning himself a few times.

The next hour or two wasn’t very exciting. We both ventured around the ravine, dodging the water and lava, building bridges, and mining the massive amount of iron and coal found. I did manage to kill myself in lava twice, but was able to retrieve all my dropped items. Tim had the smart idea of making a base of operations for this cave right above the ravine. We nicknamed this base, ‘The Crib,’ and filled it with chests, furnaces, a crafting table, and 2 beds. When trying to rest in the beds to set our spawn point, enemies kept attacking us in our sleep because Tim kept forgetting to shut the door and closing up a wall! We died a few times, but I managed to sprint back down the cave and fist the enemies to death. We learned our lesson and closed up the base before setting our spawn for the night.

We found a few more pieces gold ore to mine and smelt down, but no diamond. We finished up the night by doing a dig-down, making a staircase next to the base down to bedrock. This will be used to create a system of underground tunnels and caverns. Mind you we both lost our maps in lava and yet to make new ones. We were winging it on direction. Maps would be one of the first things to craft the next time.

We managed a total of 25 gold ingots in the 4 hours played, but no diamond. Not the best start, but we were getting our bearings and exploring for most of the first day. We’ve hardly touched the world, only exploring around and under the village. There is still 90+% of the world to explore (above and below ground), and the more people we get to help out the next few days, the better chance we will have of actually finding some diamond and maybe hidden strongholds and mines with useful items.