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In Progress Moria Great Mines


Staff member

~:~|~:~ The Great Mines ~:~|~:~

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Project Leader: @Wyattrox03
Co-Leader: @Joske50
Project Staff: @Mershy, @barteldvn, @Human100,
@Larry881a, @WieldableMars0, @Topcatflap



Approximate Overall Progress Percentage: 30%
Current Progress State: Planning + Building



Sing goddess, the rage of Davyck, Daom, and Lacotax. The bane of such great builders returns, to be beaten to a bloody pulp by commoners and builders alike. Great Mines is the greatest single mine complex laid out by Despott and connects the areas of moviecave and eastgold on the fellowship path. Great Mines is shown in the extended version of The Fellowship of the Ring as the place where Gandalf shines his light over the edge and says the wealth of Moria is in mithril. These mines, unlike others built thus far, are primarily made for the extraction of mithril, a precious and quite uncommon ore, and the dwarves have delved eagerly to reach it.

Project Sections


Section 1: This is the eastern exit towards Eastgold. The connector itself is low priority but the scaffolds at the end of the cave have been pretty much laid out by Joske already.

Section 2: This is probably the most densely built area in great mines, the wall is covered in horizontal mining layers facilitating surface level quarrying/mining, and also large wooden mega structures for mining high on the walls, and moving material between levels.

Section 3: Opposite section 2, section 3 is also very busy, there are less quarrying levels than section 2, but there are many deep cracks inside of which are ore enriched veins.

Section 4: Section 4 has a large steep side cave facing into it which is heavily quarried, there is also a large elevator shaft for minecart transport which feeds into the main ore collection and transport hall.

Section 5: Section 5 is relatively small, but the density of large wooden mega structures will begin thinning out at this point going towards section 7.

Section 6: This area has a number of hall connections, mostly relating to foot traffic between great mines and chamber of light and also mining tool storage. There will not be many huge structures here, but there will be a few hanging cranes, mimicking the style of section seven as seen in the movie.

Section 7: Section 7 is the movie scene, we want to try and recreate this as accurately as possible, and in the movie there are not many huge structures visible outside of a few hanging cranes (see inspiration image 1). Seeing as how there are only a few structures here, this will be the western reaches of the actively mined area of great mines. Going on westward, there will be very little mining.

Atlas Cave: Pending a better name for this large area of the project, Atlas cave is essentially a large terrain project which encompasses the huge cave between the great mining chasm and moviecave. This area needs a gradient to be made for it and also concepts for cave detailing. There will be no recent mining remnants in Atlas Cave.

Project Progression

1 - Cave Voxelling and Layouts - 75%
2 - Wood Megastructures/Main Cave - 50%
3 - Tunnels and Connectors - 40%
4 - Halls - 10%
1 - The main cave and over half the tunnels are layed out. The south side of the project however needs more tunnels and larger interior caves. These will all need to connect into the future hall complex leading to the Chamber of Light. There is also a minecart system which has a number of elevators and conveyor belts included.

2 - Joske has planned a large number of wood mining mega-platforms and elevator/conveyor systems on the eastern end of Great Mines and we are moving west. There will also be large structures in the bigger caves within the tunnel systems. Because of the complexity of many of these structures, the planning of their shape will probably be a foreman/artist job, but detailing can be done in plots. The planning consists of a wool layout of the structure and the movement system, and the detailing will entail blockmixing, ruining, laying out of crates/cobblestone mining areas and crane construction. There will also be a number of jobs in the main cave for rubble detailing and roads so look forward to those!

3 - Here is where the community gets its overdose in involvement. Great Mines will probably in the end be the densest concentration of mining tunnels and caves that Moria will ever see. Each level of the outside cave will have an entire system of carved out passages behind it, connected through various large carved out caves with structures, as well as more simple mineshafts. More information will be available once we find the best workflow, but it is very likely there will be plots on these, if not jobs or even a build day. Due to the likelihood of burnout on these as was seen with the relatively few tunnels in westgate, I intend to involve as many people as possible and maybe even some adventurers.

4 - Although Great Mines is a large area, there will be relatively few halls within this project, currently there are three planned that face directly into the main cave, but because of the rarity of the ore the dwarves are extracting there will probably not be a need for many ore storage halls, or refining halls with chamber of light so near. What is needed though are the connecting highways to the chamber of light, offices, wood storage, tool storage/repair, and resting areas for the workers. The halls will be an artist (daom/joske/human) task but is overall low priority compared to the rest of great mines, pending the chamber of light revamp. Also (fingers crossed) we might have a new framing block **wink wink bart**.

Section 1:
Cave Voxelling and Layouts: 90%
Wood Megastructures: 70%
Tunnels: 75%
Halls/Connectors: 0%
Section 2:
Cave Voxelling and Layouts: 90%
Wood Megastructures: 70%
Tunnels: 0%
Halls: 0%
Section 3:
Cave Voxelling and Layouts: 100%
Wood Megastructures: 75%
Tunnels: 85%
Halls: N/A
Section 4:
Cave Voxelling and Layouts: 90%
Wood Megastructures: 25%
Tunnels: 0%
Halls: 0%
Section 5:
Cave Voxelling and Layouts: 100%
Wood Megastructures: 25%
Tunnels: 85%
Halls: N/A
Section 6:
Cave Voxelling and Layouts: 80%
Wood Megastructures: 0%
Tunnels: 0%
Halls: 0%
Section 7:
Cave Voxelling and Layouts: 100%
Wood Megastructures: 20% (Need detailing Concepts)
Tunnels: 85%
Halls: N/A

Atlas Cave:
Cave Voxelling and Layouts: 90%
Cave Detailing: 0%
Side Caves: 0%

Background Lore

Great Mines is ultimately a movie location, but there does exist some justification in lore for a large mithril mine on the northern reaches of Moria.

'The lodes lead away north towards Caradhras, and down into darkness. ... they delved too greedily and too deep, and disturbed that from which they fled, Durin's Bane.’ LoTR Book 2, Ch 4, A Journey in the Dark

Mithril is the most valuable metal in middle earth, because of that we imagine the handling and transport of that ore to be well guarded and accounted for. The processing of this will take place in the Chamber of Light in a very concentrated fashion.

'Mithril! All folk desired it. It could be beaten like copper, and polished like glass; and the Dwarves could make it a metal, light and yet harder than tempered steel. Its beauty was like to that of common silver, but the beauty of mithril did not tarnish or grow dim.' The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 4, A Journey in the Dark

'The Elves dearly loved it, and among many uses they made of it ithildin, starmoon, which you saw upon the doors.' The Return of the King, LoTR Book 6, Ch 5, The Steward and the King

Note: This is not where the balrog was awoken in our Moria headcanon, that will be in the yet to be laid out Moria Deeps.


The style we will be working with is very much inspired from Moviecave, Upper Mines, and what Dave left us, but we are of course building on a bit of a bigger scale.








How to Help?

Join Jobs when they happen or DM Wyattrox03 or Joske50 on discord or in game for plots!
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Build Update:

Seeing how it has nearly been two months since we announced this project I feel like it is high time for a progress report on the Great Mines.

Since the cave was pasted into the Moria world, several areas have been worked on which you can now see by visiting /warp great mines.

Most noticeably, the planning for the main structures at the east end of the cave have both progressed and have been improved upon by @Joske50 . A bit more work is required in the first three sections in terms of planning before we work west towards the movie scene.

In the main cave there have also been a few plots and a few jobs run on detailing the wool planning. The foreman applicant @WieldableMars0 has been doing some very poggers jobs on the north side of the cave with more in the works to allow people to detail and ruin these wooden scaffolds.

A huge chunk of the mining tunnels have also been completed on the northern side of Great Mines by a large assortment of commoners and team members. To name a few, we could not have done it without @Memory_Apollo , @Topcatflap , @D3rr3x , @_Jacek_ , @Dahl , @Human100 , @bruceboy55 , @Maximator , @0odz , @Larry881a , @LordReavanPlays , @14_2, @greencaver , @Manyayeet , @Artale , and @Arnep (in no particular order) and also many other commoners I have not mentioned here. Looking forward to those artist applications guys! ;)

Since the initial project post, we have made further distinction between types of mining tunnels, which are now denoted by wool colors in planning:

Yellow - These are the main mining tunnels where ore extraction takes place, these are often dead ends or exploratory tunnels. These make up most of the tunnels in Great Mines.

Orange - These are exhausted mining tunnels, they are similar to the yellow but lack crates or other mining equipment and are often blocked off.

Blue - These are the transport tunnels which are either foot traffic or minecart tunnels.

Light Blue - These are new transport tunnels which are like the blue tunnels but can have scaffolds and excavation equipment around it to expand its size.

The tunnels on the north side of the Great Mines are well past halfway completed, and with a few more plots they should be completed soon!

This is the lion's share of the work which has been done in the last few months but that is not to say that there have not also been advances in other parts of the project. The mining tunnels on the south side of the main cave going towards what is presently still Chamber of Light have been laid out and to a large degree smoothed. These tunnels still need to have planning finished for each tunnel's purpose but there will still be work for people when the northern tunnels wrap up!

Finally some concepting has begun for Atlas Cave, this large cave is already mostly voxelled, but cave details and blockmixes still need to be made. If you are an artist or foreman and interested in trying something out with this please message @Wyattrox03 on discord.

If you are interested in helping with the project, you can message @Wyattrox03 , @Joske50 , @WieldableMars0 , or @Larry881a in game or on discord to get plots. Also keep an eye out for jobs and be sure to ask Mars all the hard questions.

If you are not building oriented I also would like to invite people to try their hand at taking screenshots around the project, the best ones may just be used in a future build update post.

Tally Ho!

(Screenshots from @GingerlyGinger1 )


  • Great_Mines_Tunnel_Entrance.png
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  • Great_Mines_Tall_Scaffolding.png
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  • Great_Mines_Minecart_Square.png
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  • Great_Mines_Outer_Cave_Scaffolding_Two.png
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Build Update:
Well it has been a month since the last Great Mines project update, and we have not been idle.

Main Cave:

@Joske50 has completed the planning of the wood scaffolds on the south side of the main cave. Many of these have been blockmixed and detailed through a series of jobs run by our new foreman @WieldableMars0 . Now Joske has just a bit of planning finalization to take care of at the easternmost end of the cave, then he intends to help with some hall layouts in the south.

Northern Tunnels:

On the tunnel end of things, work has not slowed down. I would like to give a special shoutout to @Memory_Apollo and @Topcatflap for being absolutely clutch in progressing the mine progression. Many others have helped including but not limited to @_Jacek_ @GoofySandwich @godzillafan @Smaug_Niphredil @Bean and @Maximator . I expect the northern side to finish soon, and it might have finished by now had we not also expanded the mines further north into a new area of the project at /warp Northern Lodes.

The Northern Lodes are mentioned by Gandalf in the Fellowship of the Ring, and essentially are a series of tunnels following mithril enriched stone veins deeper into Moria. We have utilized the new height limit to make these tunnels stretch an additional 500 blocks from what was previously the extent of northern mining in Great Mines. Through a series of jobs and plots this last weekend much of the largest lode has been built up, with detailing remaining. Look out for more jobs and plots to help out here!

Additionally @Human100 has begun work on a miners tavern in the northern side of Great Mines. This faces into an exhausted mining cave, and makes use of some of the new blocks in the dwarven pack so be sure to check that out.

Southern Tunnels:

The southern tunnels have also been blockmixed and planned to a degree over the last month, with work ready to be started once the northern side wraps up. Planning has begun for a hall complex surrounding the forge district near Chamber of Light as well.

Building QOL

To make building tunnel plots easier, a new build guide has been built and instructions laid out at /warp MiningPlotGuide. Now you can see instructions for any type of tunnel plot you are given, be it yellow, orange, blue or light blue.

Finally, the dwarven pack has received another update which includes the fabled blue framing block to the delight of Daom. There also exists other blocks which will be of use in this project including new darker pillars, benches, chairs, tables, shovels, mushrooms, and metal scraps.

Overall I am very pleased with the progress made in the last month and I can't thank everyone who has helped enough including our project staff. I look forward to bringing you all another progress filled update next month!


(Screenshot by FoolhardyFish)