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How do I transition to mid game?


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I have a copper anvil, hammer, sword, and pick.  How do I find enough metal to transition to mid game?  The copper pick wears out faster than it can find copper ore at random (in a chunk that where I already found copper ore), the caves spawn an unending stream of drifters - rendering combat impossible under the best of circumstances, and I haven't found any traders that exchange renewable resources for tools.  How am I supposed to progress?  

So far, I have two options:

1) Go on multi-day treks, scouring the surface for more stones containing copper.

2) Spend multiple IRL days sifting for ore.

Both options are prohibitively time intensive, and wouldn't even make me strong enough to cave safely.  The drifters spawn far faster than I can find ore much less kill them.  Do I have to make walkways above the drifters to bypass combat entirely? Do I have to just run past everything, hope I don't get trapped and killed, in hopes of spotting ore?  Nothing I can think of sounds feasible.  Did I just get unlucky on ore spawns, and need to explore more?  Is a nomadic lifestyle mandatory?

  • Wolf Bait 1
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Yeah, the surface deposits are only supposed to get you started. The real mining is done with the help of the prospecting pick. It'll identify areas of the world where it is worth digging down deep into the ground in search for ores. Even cave exploration is better done in an area that has good ore spawn chances, to make it worh the risk.

It's a somewhat complex tool with multiple modes that makes you play a sort of minigame in order to get results. Additionally, your chances of actually finding a worthwhile spot depend at least as much on your structured approach to prospecting as it does on your use of the pick. For this reason, I recommend watching a tutorial video. This one is a pretty good start.

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2 hours ago, l33tmaan said:

Pros make propicks ASAP.

That was far more helpful advice than I thought.  After making the prospecting pick, I realized the cave that scared me off had twice the copper density of my previous lucky find. That gave me the courage to fully invest myself in conquering the daunting cave.

Once I looked up a few spoilers and realized Minecraft rules still apply, it was fairly easy.  Leave the zone to make enemies despawn, return, put torches everywhere, then relax and start mining... then hear noises and realize there was a dark branch I missed, then GTFO with a few thousand copper on me.  

If I didn't know about the despawn rules or the light spawn rules, it would indeed have been impossible.  That's the sort of thing that should be in the survival guide.

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1 hour ago, Streetwind said:

Yeah, the surface deposits are only supposed to get you started. The real mining is done with the help of the prospecting pick. It'll identify areas of the world where it is worth digging down deep into the ground in search for ores. Even cave exploration is better done in an area that has good ore spawn chances, to make it worh the risk.

It's a somewhat complex tool with multiple modes that makes you play a sort of minigame in order to get results. Additionally, your chances of actually finding a worthwhile spot depend at least as much on your structured approach to prospecting as it does on your use of the pick. For this reason, I recommend watching a tutorial video. This one is a pretty good start.

Very helpful video.  Do you consider the second prospecting mode as being a mandatory QOL feature?  It's off by default, so I wondered if it was considered too cheesy for normal play.

I didn't realize that surface rocks marked underground deposits.  I kinda screwed myself by not marking those locations... I'll have to be careful when I survey new areas from now on.

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I consider the secondary mode a natural extension of the prospecting mechanic and will always enable it. Triangulating the position of a nearby deposit is gameplay in itself. There is no reason to not give the player more gameplay. :)

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