A Better Minecraft

Ash is Awesome

Creativerse 2015-09-24 21-13-06-88

I have a really huge wishlist on steam, in part because it is a nice way of tracking all of those games that I see every now and then that interest me.  Steam will remind me through their UI when they go on sale, and sometimes this is extremely handy.  However occasionally it has unintended consequences, like for example…  during Pax Prime my friend Ashgar somehow acquired a copy of the sandbox building game Creativerse.  The other night he handed me a key for it, and over the last few days I have been playing a significant amount of it.  I remember looking at the game and thinking “Pretty Minecraft” and honestly…  after playing a lot of it that title still largely applies.  Minecraft is a charming game, but it is also a fairly primative game.  The magic of Minecraft comes from the fact that it has been so easy to extend and create new types of experiences out of.  So in the meantime there have been lots of games that have come out providing a much more aesthetically pleasing experience.  Until recently I would have crowned SkySaga the king of this new breed of “pretty minecraft” games, but after playing Creativerse… I think maybe it is more fitting the title.

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When you enter the game you are asked to create a name for your character and choose a simple boy or girl avatar.  The game loses some points with me right out of the gate because these avatars really are not customized in any fashion.  From there you can set up your own private world or join someone elses, and similar to a minecraft server you can toggle different variables.  My world for example has PVP disabled, and I set a password…  but for the life of me I cannot seem to remember what password I set which will probably come back to bite me in the ass at a later date.  You are plunked into this pretty world with a power glove that allows you to pull blocks up from the ground, and a stick that serves as your default weapon.  The first thing I noticed was how generally difficult combat is because I died quite a bit trying to sort out which types of creatures I could kill and which I could not.  The other item that I finally noticed I had in my inventory allowed me to change my spawn point and plunk down a teleporter allowing me to pop around the world freely and teleport back to my spawn point later.

The Struggle is Enjoyable

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With Minecraft, from almost the first moment I set foot in game… I had resources that I could draw on.  There are wikis of every sort that contain detailed information about what every block does and how you can best use it in the game world.  So far I have not found anything similar for Creativerse, or at the very least when I google for anything… all that returns is a series of YouTube videos.  Since I don’t want to have to wade through a YouTube video to find the one nugget of information I need… I just started falling back on the things I know as true in Minecraft.  The basic logic of how the world works is very similar, but the primary difference comes in the actual creating of things.  Recipes in Creativerse are significantly more complicated than they are in Minecraft.  For example to create stone flooring, you need raw stone which is a given, but also stone rods and melted wax.  You get the melted wax by taking honey comb that you can only find way up high in the leaves of trees… and melting it in a forge.  The end result is this complicated sequence of chicken and egg scenarios where you never actually reach a point of equilibrium where resources no longer are a problem.  Coal for example is one of the basic resources needed in both Minecraft and Creativerse… but the primary difference is very early on in Minecraft I reach a point where I no longer care about getting Coal, however here since I have to use special expendable extractor items to harvest it… I am constantly searching for a new supply of both the resources to build more extractors and more coal nodes to extract.

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The problem with Minecraft is ultimately that we know that game too well.  Within thirty minutes of a new game I can go find every resource I need to do pretty much everything I would want to do.  In Creativerse I feel more at the whim of spawn dynamics and hoping to find the right needle in the haystack to keep moving forward.  I’ve learned several things, like how to find Diamond, but I still cannot for the life of me figure out a way to get a reasonable supply of obsidian…  which is needed for most of the Diamond item crafting.  One of the nice things about this game is that as you collect an item it starts opening up your recipes for said resource.  Then by crafting sub components it will unlock further things that you can create with it.   Occasionally while out in the field you can find books or pages of paper that contain special “fancy” versions of existing items that you already know how to create.  As you go through the game you upgrade your weapon and powercells for your glove, that allow you to do progressively more advanced things.  However at no point even though I am swinging a magitek looking sword… do I feel like I have made combat any easier.  When I see a creature especially while delving deep into the earth… there is still a high likelihood that I am going to get faced rolled and add another “death statue” to my collection.  The game keeps giving you these rock idols each time you die… and I’ve started surrounding my base in them as a bit of a sign of honor.

Darkness is Dangerous

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Much like Minecraft there is a day night cycle and during the night things spawn that do not appear during the day.  For lack of a better term I am going to call these things “corrupted” versions of the normal monsters that you can find during the day.  When the sun raises they disappear just like they do in Minecraft.  One thing that is different however is during the night treasure chests also appear to spawn, and wandering around the countryside looking for them is much easier because they give off a glow that you can see for a large distance.  However to do this you also have to survive the onslaught of aggressive critters that are generally slightly tougher than their day time counterparts.  These treasure chests also often give you access to materials that you cannot find yet on your own and give you a bit of a jump start.  The problem being however… if you find an item in a treasure chest you have no clue where  it actually came from.  There has been a lot of trial and error and me taking on things just to see what sorts of materials they might drop.  Funny enough it took me a really long time to figure out how to get a reliable source of sinew which is used by so many crafts.

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While the game does not have the sort of food and water survival system that Minecraft eventually adopted and so many addons provided, it does have something interesting.  When you are exposed to dangerous conditions you start to see an exposure bar appear.  For example if you are roaming through the solidified Magma area, you will start see a flame gauge begin to creep up.  I am not sure what happens when the gauge reaches the top, but I am guessing you catch on fire and die.  Similarly in the above image you can see a purple biohazard gauge which is when I broke through into the “corrupted” zone.  Deep under ground I found an area that had a slight purple glow, and featured corrupted trees and all sorts of nasty creatures.  It has been extremely difficult to explore because I broke through into the cavern way the hell up into the air, and I can only spend so much time in there before my corruption creeps too high and I have to retreat.  I need to figure out how exactly you can fight these influences and see if there is a way to counteract the exposure gauge.  Similarly I went out exploring and found a tundra biome and the entire time I was there a cold exposure gauge kept creeping up.  With no real way to counteract it I finally had to teleport back to base.  The tunnel to the corrupted zone is deep under my base so I figure at some point over the next few days I will explore it further.

Speaking of Bases

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Almost all of my time so far has been spent underground, but towards the end of the night I started working on an above ground dwelling I can be more proud of.  For a long time I had a simple stone shack plunked out in the middle of the Savannah.  Last night I started raising walls for a courtyard and building a proper stone floor.  I am not sure exactly where I am going with it, but I just wanted something more noticeable while I am out roaming around.  I want to build some sort of a tower and place a beacon at the top of that now that I finally have all of the components to build one.  I am certain that once I build a white beacon it will start unlocking the patterns for different colors.  The building system is pretty intuitive, but it reminds me more of Trove than it does of Minecraft in that you toggle back and forth between building and combat modes.  Trove would honestly be my ultimate “minecraft-like” game if it weren’t for the simple blocks and insanely garish color palette.  I love the combat though, and that along keeps me coming back… I am just not that big of a fan of the building aspect.  Creativerse however seems to have that side of the equation for me, and if you also really like Minecraft, but are getting tired of its primitive client…  you might check this game out.  Right now it is $19.99 on Steam Early access, but supposedly if it ever launches it will be free to play.  They originally planned on being in early access for 4-6 months… but now it has been a little over a year so who knows how long it will last.

Hot Coffee and LFR

Snowed In

Good morning everyone, hopefully you are staying warm out there.  Here in the central part of the country we had a mass of ice and snow dropped on us.  Generally my point of reference is when two school districts on opposite corners of town call schools the next day, I decide I am going to stay home.  Since this happened I put in a day of vacation for today and slept in.  Apparently my absence was noticed, since I have already received tweets saying that a snowstorm was no excuse for not posting.

I think we probably got an inch or two of ice last night and then over night that got covered up by three to four inches of snow.  Which to the northerners probably doesn’t sound like much, but here in Oklahoma we get glaze ice that is nearly impossible to drive on.  Additionally we really do not have the infrastructure to remove large volumes of ice and snow…  since we only go through this at most once a year.  Over the last three years we have had really mild winters that never really produced much in the way of an ice storm.  While this is nothing like the 2007 or 2011 storms, it is far more significant than anything we have seen in years.

Hot Coffee and LFR

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As a result I am snuggled up on the sofa with my fuzzy pants and my fuzzy blanket and a thermal shirt blogging away on my laptop.  I just finished off hot oatmeal and some hot coffee, and the only thing of any substance I really have planned today is to play some World of Warcraft.  I have five 90s in various states of gear and the easiest way to get upgrades for them is through the LFR system.  As much as I have railed against pugging in the past, something odd happens if I pug as DPS.  I simply stop caring much about the success or failure of the group.  As a DPS I can compartmentalize things and focus only on what I am doing and stop caring that the group is burning down around my shoulders.

As a Tank or a Healer… I simply cannot do this.  I have to care about the group and how stupid they might be acting.  My job relies on them doing their jobs.  When playing one of those group roles I simply cannot stomach pugging or lfr, it ends up stressing me out way too much.  However apparently as a DPS I have the patience of a saint.  I keep plugging forward towards the goal and right click reporting anyone who is too abusive.  It all seems simple and pure, and in an odd sense relaxing.  It’s like I have reached into my brain and flipping me into DPS empties me of “fucks to give”.  That is not to say that I don’t care about me keeping up my end of the bargain, but I simply don’t care as much about others not doing so.

So my intent today is to run as many LFR instances as I can this week to try and get my tribe of alts gear.  The hardest thing seems to be weapons, and as a nice side benefit from these runs my blacksmith seems to be getting quite a few motes which will help him upgrade the weapons of those who have not gotten their turn at the LFR treadmill.  That is still one of my biggest frustrations that I hope they will address in WoD.  Crafting resources like Spirits of Harmory should be bind on account.  I like the feeling of all of my characters working towards a bigger goal, its like I have my own little imaginary guild.  Anything that adds to this feeling is a positive for me, since you have earned the item on one character already.

Trove Patch

I am sure at some point today I will be hopping into trove.  Yesterday they seem to have had another patch.  I am really impressed at the speed at which they do updates.  This one seems to be mostly a patch full of tweaks but one of the more interesting points is that the block destroyer is no longer an item and no longer works in adventure mode.  This could have some odd ramifications since I know I used it in adventure mode quite a lot.  Another needed note is that they reduced the quantity of treasure chest spawns in the desert and frost biomes.  Normally nerfs like this meet a groan, but this one was really needed.  There were times I could see 6 treasure chests on screen at a single time. 

I wasted so much time chasing these down because seriously…  you cannot bypass a treasure chest.  I figure at some point over the next few days I will be making a new video as I am sure the server has reset again and I will have to collect more weapons and gear.  If there is anything you would like to see me cover let me know.  I am not above having a purpose for my videos even though they are mostly just me roaming aimlessly around the wasteland.  I hope you all are safe and happy and warm, and that if you did get the snow and ice I did, you also had the presence of mind to take a vacation day.

Trove Feature Suggestions

Contest Complete


Over the holiday weekend I schemed up a contest as a way of getting rid of my spare Trove Closed Alpha key.  The basic idea was for folks to post in the youtube comments a feature they would like to see added to the game.  While I was not absolutely flooded with responses, I did get quite a few of them.  Of them quite a number of them were really insightful.  As I said during the contest I would be collecting all of the results and compiling them in a single post.  Since the contest ended late last night, here goes nothing.  I am leaving the content of the comments completely unedited.

Trove Feature Suggestions



I would like to see pvp/duels


My thoughts will focus towards the combat system, even if I wanted a lot of things.  I think that Trion should make the combat system more dynamic.  Now, battles are way too soft and boring to be enjoyed.  If, as the developers said, they focus on exploration, the combat system is the core of the game and they should make it great and complete.  Imo they should AT LEAST:  – add the base of MMORPG battle:  physical and magical damage (and reduction), status effects (poison, stun, immobilize, knockback, etc…);  – add a dodge mechanism, this way you greatly improve the dynamism, and you can also for example allow bosses to have greater skills that you have to dodge;  – we should known the monster level we encountered, it seems pretty obvious but it not the case today.  – add different classes.  I think I’m not the only one to hope for this one, I think everybody want to play in various ways, for example to play a ranged character.  They should allow to customize the way we play our class, maybe with a classic tree builder system.  I also think that the M2 skill should be bind to the equipped weapon, and the other skills linked to your class, but these changes are not as important as the above ones.  Hope to test this soon to give you a more in-depth throught of the game.

Miz Ick

I think it would be cool if you could link cornerstones with friends, and they would become neighbours or something. Also, cornerstone options where you can adjust who can and cannot build/manipulate terrain in your cornerstone. I would like to see easy party systems to keep track of the friends you’re playing with. 
It would be really cool if they made content that needed a group to complete, AND had class/party dynamics similar to the trinity (traditional mmo) combat. What I’m trying to say is unique classes that work well together with other classes. 
I could spend all night thinking up fun stuff, lol . Good luck all! 
edit: I would love to see a pvp realm, where when you step out of "friendly territory" you go into pvp mode.. mua hahahahaahaa


I think player created instances would be cool. Kind of like being a DM, you could create a world for others to play and share


I would love for the cornerstones (private piece of land you bring with you from world to world) could be turned into massive vehicles like boats, ships, flying castles and/or moving fortresses.

Game By Night

Awesome video and thanks for the offer, Bel! There are two things I would like to see. First, is some kind of whimsical story with charming voice over ala LittleBigPlanet and Stephen Fry. The game’s art style just oozes charm and begs for good narration. Second is some equivent of Minecraft’s redstone. Building is great but could you imagine an MMO with player-built trollies and rollercoasters?!

Aymeric Bruzzo

Hello, Nice video :D; I’d like to see some building block ( that we can craft maybe?) that can float in the air and move back and forth, and maybe some that breath fire, for maze/ obstacle race etc :D

Lorenzokwant Kwant

I like having a key like all the another people who want a key to but my ideas are adding new weapons like a bow and a axe and  my another ideas is for blocks doors and signs so people can create a home where nobody can walk in because it have a door what only the owner of it can open and a sign is for tips or warnings (example) like you walk to a dungeon and there is a sign says danger across fearless

Jack Buxley

I’d love to see the game adapt more toward the play style of traditional ‘grinders’ and ‘builders’, to compliment the adventure aspect already implemented.
These changes wouldn’t need to be supremely vast, but small additions in all branches add tones to the longevity of the game. There could be simple additions such as rare minerals which spawn underground (and don’t alter those who don’t want to mine) to a crafting system for furniture and other miscellaneous items.
Looking forward to seeing more!

Bridget TruLove

I’d like to see unicorns. Or maybe just ponies. No wait, bro-nies!  Unicorn bro-nies.
Seriously, though, thanks for vid, Bel!  (And mail me that code ASAP. ;p

Nick Hoff

Dang, after reading through all the comments here, all the good ideas are gone! XD
I’d love to see customizable pets in the future. I think it would be really cool if you would have to sort of rescue them from dungeons and then they would be your partner. I live this sort of aspect most from Kotor, even though they are frok different genres.
I would like the key because I want to be a part of this game in early development but I can’t buy it as my financial situation sits, and I don’t have the time to sit around the subreddit all day hoping for a key.
Thanks, and good luck to all! :D


Mounts, minions, guilds, custom capes, and crafting recipes out the wazoo!

Daniel Brown

This game looks awesome, and I’d love a key for the alpha!
My suggestion would be leaderboards/rating/voting on the structures and buildings. There could be different categories of awards; Aesthetically, decorative etc. leaderboards would work the same, you’d get a global and a local category here. The people with the number 1 position could get special rewards in their account to redeem?


Hey man, awesome idea with the random number generator!
I have to say, I’d love to see a lot of features.  One I was really hoping for is falling blocks, like if you destroy the bast of a tree, it falls down, I feel that really changes the perspective of the game.
I’d also love to see some flying type of item/class, like jet boots or a jet back, with some kind of a short burst of flight. 
I also want to see some really big world bosses, ones you’d need a few people to take down! That really appeals to me, I’d absolutely love something like that. 
Thanks for the added chance for this man, I really appreciate it! I’ve been having horrible luck with all the current contest, and I’ve been so close. Hope I’m lucky! haha


I really want to see some Town/City/Faction features. (MC I know, but I think that the devs could put a twist on it ;)   
I’d also LOVE to see a party/group system (with Private Text/Voice chat of course).  I think It would add to the community part of the game 😀


Awesome vid man! i already love the game but i guess i would like to see a rework on how the ingame avatar looks? his face looks so long. Another thing is mass quests, like a main story line different to each server or world, and then multiple quests creating a side story line like in various RPG’s! I really want this game too cuz i wanna make some vids on this too, it looks sick!

Josh Geoff

I think that having pets that follow you around would be cool.  I would also like being able to customize your weapons (such as color, name, designs). since i have not played the game i can’t know what is in it. but i would have many more things to say then too. I have liked and subscribed, so i’m all good, see ya’!

Grayson Soldahl

I would love to see programmable minions! That way you can build kingdoms like in adventure time. By programmable minions I mean npcs that you can create and determine a function for them such as crafting, building, security, etc. It would add a whole new way to play the game!

Michael McGlade

I’d very much like to see this game done right and one of the biggest gripes I seem to always have about online multiplayer games is the poor implementation of the chat and community features in game.
I’d very much like to see guilds/clans be a keystone of this game. Getting together to do massive dungeon raids, large scale boss fights, or even attack opposing guilds. It would help drive a real, true sense of community as players strike bonds with allies and clash swords with foes.
As far as the chat interface goes, I think World of Warcraft did it best. Have three separate tabs on the chat box; Chat, Loot, and Combat with the ability to create additional tabs and modify existing ones. Without this, servers would be filled with players talking over one another while messages pertaining to obtained items or money and critical strikes against monsters flood the chat logs even further.

Paul Zelano

crafting would be a great idea.  A talent tree of some sort would also bring it closer to the MMO side of things.  Its hard to really say what I would want, I mean its already a cross between two types of game genres (MMO and Building game) right now and that seems to be pretty good from my point of view.

Drumroll Please

2013-12-04 06_27_07-RANDOM.ORG - True Random Number ServiceFor the sake of fairness I created a Google doc that you can see here, and dumped everyone’s names into the list.  All in total we had 20 contestants.  I then went to Random.org a free random number generator and put the range in as 1 to 20.  I hit the generate button and the results ended up picking 10.  You can check out the screenprint of the results right justified in this paragraph block.  If you refer to the list that means that our winner is Bridget TruLove aka GeekSprinkles.

I want to thank everyone who commented greatly for their results.  I will be cross posting this over on the Trove Reddit so hopefully the Trion folk will benefit from your work.  Additionally it would be really amazing to do something like this again in the future.  So maybe just maybe they can throw me a few more keys over the months of alpha to do other contests.  I have a few ideas that might be interesting.  Basically I want the end result of any contests to benefit the community as a whole.  Additionally let me know what you think.  Was this a useful idea, or do you think I should have changed the prompt slightly?  I will be contacting Bridget TruLove to pass out her key, I doubt in any circumstance she will not accept it, but if she for whatever reason does not… I will be doing another roll off against the list I posted.