Minecraft: Keeping an iron door open longer

I haven’t spent much time working with redstone circuits in Minecraft, largely because I didn’t know what on earth I needed them for, but I finally found a use.  I have an iron door going through a wall into a local village.  I didn’t want the villagers leaving the safety of the town (I’m a control freak like that), so I was using a button, mounted on the wall next to the door, to open the door.

The problem was that the button only keeps the door open for maybe a second. If I got the angle wrong and got caught up on the door, or if I just didn’t move fast enough, the door would slam in my face and I’d have to try again. I could often get through on one try, but I failed just often enough to go searching for a solution.

I found this neat video on YouTube, explaining how to use redstone relays to extend the duration of a button’s action:

But, unlike in the video, I want all of this to be hidden away underground, invisible, so that the button just “magically” lasts longer.

Here’s what I came up with. (Note that this is a mock-up I built in my back yard, so it’s a wooden door in an incomplete wall. I later installed this same configuration in my village using an iron door, and it works a treat.)

The circuit starts on the block under the button (the gray box to the right of the door), goes through the repeaters, and then goes back up under the wall. The last segment of the circuit, on the left, points at the block the door is standing on (it makes a right-hand turn in the open space under the wall).

This setup keeps the door open for approximately 4 seconds. To keep the door open longer, keep adding rows of repeaters.

Once it’s built and working, just roof it over with dirt, and it’s practically invisible.

A few notes and gotchas:

  • Full blocks set on point with the redstone circuit will break it; that’s why I covered the row closest to the door with wood slabs.  The other side of the wall is all solid blocks.
  • Redstone repeaters are directional. When you are placing them, face the direction you want the current to run.
  • The circuits have several positions, which control the speed that the current flows through them. Right-click on the circuit to move the setting. The further apart the two posts are, the longer it takes current to flow through.
  • To power the door, the circuit needs to end with the last section “pointing” at the door.

Quick Tip: Queuing Up Skills During Global Cooldown

In Rift, one of the most annoying things for me about the combat system is the global cooldown. If you use the default settings, you have to wait until the global cooldown is complete before you can queue up your next skill. I wanted it to work more like LOTRO, where I can queue up a skill while the previous one is executing.

Turns out, I can!

  1. Go to Settings > Interface > Misc
  2. Change the Skill Queue to “Full”.

There will still be a delay between skills – that’s what the global cooldown is for, after all – but your next skill will start immediately when the global cooldown finishes.

Quick Tip: Getting enemies out of range of AOEs (and keeping them there)

If you run with a group that has a lot of AOE-happy classes (Champions, Wardens, Lore-masters), you’ve probably discovered that crowd control of melee combatants is borderline useless.  But still, there are enemies that are better taken out of the fight for a while. Here’s a tip for getting them out of range, and out of the fight.

This trick works best if two character work together. The first character needs to have a fear skill (Hunter, Minstrel). The second character needs to have a nice long daze (Lore-master, Burglar).

  1. Fear the troublesome enemy.
  2. Let him run for a bit – the goal is to let him get far enough away that you won’t hit him with AOEs.
  3. Hit him with the daze.

Now he’s dazed, so he’s completely out of the fight, and the daze won’t be broken by your AOEs.

Quick Tip: Oathbreakers + Fellowship Maneuver

We had a group running Hall of Crafting last night, and came across a fantastic combination of skills to kill bosses fast.  This particular combo requires a Captain and a Burglar.

  1. Burglar sneaks up on a boss and starts a Fellowship Maneuver (FM, also called Conjunctions – CJ).
  2. At the same time, the Captain uses Oathbreakers Shame.
  3. Everyone contributes Yellow to the FM.

Oathbreakers Shame increases the incoming damage on the boss by 35%. An all-yellow FM puts a nice big Damage over Time effect on the boss.  Combined, they are devestating. The boss just melts.  It’s a fantastic thing to see.

Of course, this only works on bosses that are not immune to FMs. ;)

Using Skins

A quick guide for anyone who wants to use skins to tweak their LoTRO user interface.

This is not a guide about creating skins, just about using skins other folks have generously made available.

Get it here

Guides for Carn Dum and Urugarth

I’ve added a page of general information about Carn Dum and Urugarth, covering some of the things that I get a lot of questions about.  While I intend to create proper walk-through type guides for these instances, I thought a overview would be a good place to start.

If you have questions or suggestions, drop me a line and we’ll see what we can do ;o)

Check it out here

Reinstalling or Moving LOTRO (without re-downloading or patching)

Over the weekend I had to replace my main system drive (7 years of reliable service, RIP old buddy).

I followed a hunch and found a way to get LoTRO up and running on a fresh OS install without having to re-download or re-patch.

This will also work if you want to move your LOTRO install to a different path/drive.

Instructions are here