Regulars to this site will know that I like experimenting with the Brown Mob. I usually try to trap them when they cross my path. This particular instance I found one that had fallen down into an Astronaut Lair. I had an experiment in mind, so I decided to try to trap it. There were no Astronauts in the main shaft so I didn’t have to worry about them causing the brown mob to explode. I knew I had to be quick about it though, because there may be other shafts with astronauts inside and it would eventually jump down one. I was playing in explore mode so I couldn’t just jump down the shaft and trap it in a block as I describe in my Alchemy and the Brown Mob blog.
In explore mode I’ve found the easiest way to trap them is to spleef them (mine blocks directly below them causing them to fall down the hole). I’ve learned that I have to keep my distance so I don’t prematurely trigger their explosions. I stood at the edge of lair's entrance shaft and drilled out blocks beneath me until I was about 7 blocks above the floor. Then I shot it. I’ve found that this is the easiest way to get it to do something predictable. Otherwise its hopping and gliding is fairly random and I could be chasing it all day. When one becomes aggressive it will charge straight at you, but it won’t jump again. I had a 1 block deep 2x2 pit already dug in front of me, so it fell into that and was stuck. Now I just needed to drill its 1 block wide trap shaft.
Before I could do that, I saw this streak of white fall in front of me. I looked down and there was a space giraffe in there with it. I figured, “Okay, this will give me a chance to see if its explosion affects other mobs.” So, I started digging the 2x2 block shaft all the way down instead of the 1 block shaft I was planning. I didn’t have it dug down my usual 9 block depth before another space giraffe fell into the lair’s entrance shaft, so I decided to put him in with the others. I started to corral him over to my trap shaft when I heard shooting.
I realized that there must be another shaft with astronauts in it. I hadn’t yet had time to explore the rest of the lair. I was pretty sure that they were far enough away that they wouldn’t affect my mobs, but I decided to take them out anyway. So, I went over to their shaft, placed a block above it, placed a Turret on it, removed the block and let my "turret bomb" fall. It made short work of them and I went back to my trap shaft.
The second giraffe had kindly fallen into my trap, so I didn’t have to do any further wrangling. I’ve gotten into the habit of sealing off the top of my trap shafts because there have been a few times when astronauts have fallen into them and ruined everything. So I bricked them in and was ready for the next stage of my project.
For this experiment I was just retesting Rock because my first transmutation results didn’t agree with the pattern, as I describe in my Colorwood blog. Because we were already so deep underground, pretty much the only thing around us was rock, as Mrob27 explains in his Geology blog. I wanted to be sure that there wasn’t a gravel pocket nearby so I started digging a 2 block wide air space around my test cube. I soon found out that my test cube was next to orthogonal transparency boundaries. I decided to make those boundaries the extents of my excavation so I could look in on my prisoners every now and again.
I hadn’t mined too far when I realized I had 2 more giraffes on my trap shaft. This was starting to get a little bit ridiculous. Before I went down into the lair I had seen a few giraffes, but they all seemed to be heading in different directions. I thought it was more than a little strange that they were now converging on the pit I was in. But what the heck, the more the merrier, right? So I went back up, removed my trap shaft’s lid and let them join the party.
I went back to “diggy diggy hole” and let them do their own thing for a while. When I peeked back in on them in a few minutes there were now 2 small green mobs on top of their cell. At this point I was fairly convinced that this was probably not a random occurrence. Mobs seem to be attracted to my location. On a different open pit project I once had 8 small green mobs in there with me. In my opinion, Mrob27’s Astronaut Wrangling also supports this theory. I went up to let the green guys in too. Things were getting a little crowded, but none of them complained.
I was soon done with my digging. It was time to end this little get-together with a bang. I got within the brown mob’s trigger distance and instantly things got a whole lot roomier. I looked around and the only things that were missing were the brown mob and a crap load of rock blocks. I still find it amazing that the brown mob’s explosion could vaporize or transmute solid blocks, but left me and the mobs unharmed. I wasn’t so kind, I wanted to count the number of blocks destroyed and they were in my way. So I killed ‘em all.
By the way, you get Snow from Rock, not from Gravel as I originally thought. This explosion destroyed 507 blocks and I only collected 20 snow blocks.
If anyone else has noticed if mobs are attracted to you or pits, I’d be interested in hearing about it.