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  1. #1
    Jexter's Avatar Minecraft Addicts Operator
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    A History of Thestria




    I was browsing through my massive pile of Minecraft screenshots I've collected over the years and it brought back quite a few memories. Having taken an extended vacation from the game, the trip down memory lane made me realize just how long the Thestria project - or once known as the Halls of Moria - has been going on. Originally started in late 2011 to replicate the classic J.R.R. Tolkien location, the Halls went through various updates and revisions over the years. Much of those changes came about due to my poor project planning early on. I constantly sought ways to make the build better than the previous versions, and eventually a location intended to be part of Middle Earth morphed into my own medieval fantasy land I named Thestria.

    I stopped updating the original Follow My Build years ago, but there are many screenshots of the old halls there. That original Halls of Moria FMB thread can be viewed here: http://www.minecraftaddicts.com/show...Halls-of-Moria

    I'll periodically try to update this thread with the newer projects that are going on in Thestria. Currently the focus is a fortress flanked by two large statues that I call Riverguard. An overview of how that currently looks can be seen on the live map.

    Now for the trip down memory lane! Some of these are random events that happened outside the project, but good times nonetheless and thought I'd share here.

    Mining out the original halls (in the days of the trusty gold pickaxe)
    https://i.imgur.com/NSrRN2E.png

    The original halls once the ceiling went up:
    https://i.imgur.com/spjaEn5.png
    https://i.imgur.com/nod1JnK.png
    https://i.imgur.com/rE5aHxM.png

    My first tree farm, which was nestled in the ceiling of the halls:
    https://i.imgur.com/azTGUvu.png

    Mining out the first areas outside the halls. The idea all along was to mine terrain down to bedrock to permit maximum building height for the project. Dozens of players contributed to helping out here, as this was right before enchanted tools became the new norm and progress was much slower.
    https://i.imgur.com/6BVuYoF.png
    https://i.imgur.com/cGrlusc.png
    https://i.imgur.com/przll0M.png

    Crazy chunk error that showed up in the halls one day:
    https://i.imgur.com/imkhzXB.png

    Alien having some fun with the mining crew at the dig site:
    https://i.imgur.com/tEgIuH1.png
    https://i.imgur.com/EG3B8TI.png

    Jumbo zombies and strikerpro gets turned into a ender dragon:
    https://i.imgur.com/9QyJOUg.png

    4th of July celebration on Maple's Fallout aircraft carrier:
    https://i.imgur.com/yoZGcyr.png

    This screenshot was funny in that I originally thought the caption DCL inscribed on the mining pit read "DCL is hot - sorry", as opposed to "DCL is not sorry":
    https://i.imgur.com/4rElj5X.png

    As for what DCL was not sorry about, I believe this was in reference to the ugly harold netherrack statues he liked to terrorize players' plots with:
    https://i.imgur.com/gBvH4zf.png

    A few more screenshots of the big pit mine:
    https://i.imgur.com/hfwN2HZ.png
    https://i.imgur.com/qFvf6KJ.png

    Wireframe for the Misty Mountains, which were intended to cover the halls. Most of this mountain has since been deconstructed to provide more room for the newer Thestria projects:
    https://i.imgur.com/1VxeTTX.png
    https://i.imgur.com/GqBUKpb.png
    https://i.imgur.com/psgd9WI.png

    Screenshot of the Christmas spawn we made one year:
    https://i.imgur.com/GYYlYdx.png

    The Halls of Moria once they went through a pillar design overhaul:
    https://i.imgur.com/f9Vzc60.png
    https://i.imgur.com/HMFG7Qh.png

    A wall design I was tinkering with after updating the pillars:
    https://i.imgur.com/2jdZy7R.png

    The first sentry statue goes up:
    https://i.imgur.com/9nfPrIz.png
    https://i.imgur.com/hOSWucs.png
    https://i.imgur.com/s3hZorP.png
    https://i.imgur.com/4ukKpe6.png
    https://i.imgur.com/ckSPIsJ.png

    First statue after completion:
    https://i.imgur.com/fmBBCgb.png

    The new mountain entrance begins. This was the point in which I decided to turn this into my own fantasy project and do away with the Halls of Moria. While this new entrance was being built, the halls were being torn down:
    https://i.imgur.com/gbO484w.png
    https://i.imgur.com/PHFwfBU.png
    https://i.imgur.com/8L6YORX.png
    https://i.imgur.com/mEBmzj1.png
    https://i.imgur.com/JHFeAsW.png

    Old halls being taken down:
    https://i.imgur.com/mce7TZ2.png

    Designing the walls for the mountain entrance:
    https://i.imgur.com/zGKGduX.png
    https://i.imgur.com/87m2jhV.png
    https://i.imgur.com/JXnfXU7.png
    https://i.imgur.com/oZ10rlw.png

    Banner designs are put up:
    https://i.imgur.com/KGcLspG.png

    The completed entrance at nighttime:
    https://i.imgur.com/jiDaMI9.png

    Trebuchet designs:
    https://i.imgur.com/uK6hPgs.jpg

    The first edition of the passages leading up to the mountain entrance, as well as the outer wall:
    https://i.imgur.com/MwTIDT4.png
    https://i.imgur.com/MU0l76w.png

    While the first attempt at the entrance was meant to be scenic, what I ultimately wanted was an entrance that was more fortified. We did away with the hillside and outer wall and opted to replace it with a much bigger fortress which I call Riverguard:
    https://i.imgur.com/WeRrrzr.png
    https://i.imgur.com/Svm1CIu.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/Tz4iUme.png

    Inner keep completed with trebuchets in the towers:
    https://i.imgur.com/8giEIDe.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/cBxmqWT.jpg

    The idea behind Riverguard is the fortress is primarily carved out of a mountain, so this is the start of the cave system underneath the fortress. The cave floor will have water eventually:
    https://i.imgur.com/3amCx3X.png

    The current task is finishing this underground port. This is the back end of the cave under Riverguard:
    https://i.imgur.com/XhEAHhc.png

  2. #2
    Jexter's Avatar Minecraft Addicts Operator
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    The Mining Pits
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    534

    We've made a lot of progress the last couple of weeks. Some additional work was completed at the dockyard (including a portion of the cave ceiling and flooding the cave floor), but most of the work has moved back outside the fortress walls. After you work underground for awhile it's nice to build in the daylight.

    I took a bit of time to learn World Painter as I've not been satisfied with the terrain profile that was partially finished outside the walls. I wanted a more rugged yet lush appearance, and this program proved to be an excellent aid.

    After about a week of tweaks and adjustments, this was the blueprint for the terrain outside of the walls I came up with in singleplayer:



    The custom tree profiles have proven very valuable in creating a more realistic atmosphere. The difficult part has been re-creating this land profile on the server. It is taking time but we are slowly getting it done.

    Most of the new terrain that has been built is on one side of the walls. The old terrain is getting torn down on the opposite side, and the new cliff faces in front of the gate are a work in progress.









    Here is a screen capture of where we've made some progress strip-mining the area in front of the gate. A special thanks to bobcatfish9, Tsar_Maple, dph, limoman and Major__Chaos for their regular assistance in this mammoth undertaking!


  3. #3
    Jexter's Avatar Minecraft Addicts Operator
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    The Mining Pits
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    534

    The terraforming outside the walls is coming along. I've spent most of my time working on the left side of the build and getting the terrain ready for water. Thanks to bob and Maple for helping me get the place flooded today. I still need to work on finishing the terrain directly behind the statue and add a few trees to that area.




    Bob has been busy working the terrain on the right side of the walls. Meanwhile Maple, Major__Chaos, and Eohiza have continued to mine out the areas in front of the main gate. Thanks to dph for his help as well mining a large portion of land north of the build.



    Also, I thought I would include a few images of what the underground port is looking like beneath the fortress / mountain face. There's still a lot of work to do here still (particularly adding lighting) but it's off to a good start:



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