|Travel:||Travel will only be from in-context VoxelPorts from other curated areas, for now (e.g. a ship between two cities, etc.)|
The Holocene Highlands is a small curated area in the far southeast of Holocene. It measures about 1800x2400 blocks in size, although room is left to expand to the east if necessary. The region is completely cut off from the rest of Holocene by a half-render-distance barrier of void, so it cannot be seen visibly from the rest of Holocene.
The purpose of the Holocene Highlands is to provide an area where the sea level is very high, to allow projects that require digging far below sea level. Sea level in this region is at y = 147, instead of the standard y = 29. This should allow a wide variety of cutting edge new build concepts that were impossible in Holocene proper. For example, some planned builds include:
Deep Sea Biome
This will be a region of very deep water (up to 100 blocks or so) with dramatic underwater cliffs and landscapes, coral reefs, glowing sea life, giant squid, underwater wrecks, schools of jellyfish, etc. Visitors will be able to view their surroundings by some combination of underwater glass tube roads, lookout points, and "SCUBA diving" areas with airlocks. Creative uses of redstone lamps and glowstone, as well as hidden lighting will help to make the dark undersea areas visible from a distance. The possibility of clientside underwater flashlight mods (or server mods after the API) is also not out of the question.
"Inverted" City Concepts
The high sea level will make it possible to build deep, cavern-based cities. For instance, a wide crack or fissure in the floor could extend dozens of blocks downward, with buildings lining the walls, and more poverty-stricken slums extending downward as the light becomes more and more scarce, with scenic waterfalls cascading into the unknown below. Fortresses or palaces could extend some distance above the water nearby in prime sunny real estate.
One version drawn up by GavJenks, designed to be built into the carved out core of an old collapsed volcanic atoll, kept dry with windmill pumps, sea walls, and evaporation from volcanic heat. In this concept, underwater tube roads connect to other areas in the Highlands:
Whirlpools or Storm Scenes
One possibility under consideration is storm-tossed seas with struggling ships being thrown around, weather effects, dark lighting, etc.
Shredded Earth Region
At the request of one of the members of the VoxelBox during an in-game brainstorming session, one area of Holocene Highlands could involve high-fantasy floating chunks of land. They would be shaped to match corresponding holes in the ground, as if huge sections of earth were shattered, and then torn up from the ground and made to float at odd angles in the air. This concept requires approximately equal space above and below sea level, making it perfect for this region and potentially unique to Minecraft.
The Holocene Highlands will start out not as a finished piece of land, but rather as a large sandbox-type area. A ring of land at y = 129 will surround the whole area, at about 60 blocks wide. This will be covered with 18 deep ocean as a reference point to the desired y = 147 ocean level. This area will also serve as a cushion for large snipes, so that they do not extend beyond the region.
The rest of the interior of the Holocene Highlands will be dirt at y = 20. This again serves as a small cushion, reminds builders not to stray too far into the fog zone, and gives people something to snipe without having to use /vs range. Builders wishing to have some flat ocean near their build as a reference or to fill in space between zones of interesting things can se /b fo yl129 yo147. This is a flat ocean generating brush, which takes an entire chunk (arrow) or 3x3 chunks (powder) and wipes them into flat ocean floor similar to the outer ring of the Highlands. This brush does NOT undo currently, so be careful. If you are going to use this, it is suggested this be one of your first steps. Also, a 3x3 chunk usage of this brush is almost enough to start lagging the server, so please wait for tps to = 20 again before sniping more than once or twice, out of courtesy to others.
All other terrain will need to be sniped entirely by hand, however. To preserve system resources, many of the builds are recommended to have hollow cores.
Also, be aware that sniping discs or other objects high above open air results in shadows being calculated, and can create an unexpected amount of lag, even if very few blocks are changed. When shaping out your initial area, use much smaller brush sizes than you think you need at first, and keep an eye on lag meters until you know what you can get away with. After initial sniping of rough shape, detail sniping can occur at normal speed.
GavJenks will oversee building in the entire region, but will accept applications for individual projects or mini-regions within the Holocene Highlands, over which sub-curators will have almost total control (subject to review for quality and theme). if you are interested, please find GavJenks in game, or send him a forum PM or /vmail with your idea. He will also want to see a small mock-up example of your plans in a cubicle before granting you permission to build in the actual region.