See, I'm a guy who never thought he'd like Minecraft. Until my kids got into it, I thought it was just a digital set of building blocks. My first impression of the game held no appeal for me. When I got into the game, and realized it had a survival mode and wasn't always just about building stuff for the sake of building stuff, I came to really enjoy it. I actually cut my teeth on the Hardcore SMP server with but one life a month. That pressure of staying alive, at a time when I didn't even know enough to check map coordinates, was what I really enjoyed about the game. So, when I discovered Skyblock I was hooked!
Skyblock, to me, is this ultimate test of Minecraft skill and patience. You have to know your stuff with this map. You need to know (or learn!) advanced things like cobblestone generators, water elevators, and spawning mechanics. You have to be patient, purposeful, and diligent. It tests all of your Minecraft might, and offers no forgiveness in the process. Oh, but the end result! When you've built this sprawling and functional skyblock from essentially a blank slate, it offers a level of satisfaction that you will not find in many other games. Noobcrew, I salute you!
My favorite version is this 2.1, with the two islands and nether. I feel it's got an almost perfect difficulty curve to it, if that makes sense. If there's one real complaint I have, it is that things don't seem to freeze anymore. I like the pressure of making sure water doesn't freeze, unlike a lot of folks who seem to prefer avoiding that particular pain in the neck. From what I gather, it looks like after some Minecraft update the map building rules changed and now the default biome is Extreme Hills? I do prefer the Ice Plains; not only is the water freezing issue a desirable challenge for me, but I feel the snow adds to the ambience as well.
I've come across a few different ways to change the biome to something non-snowy, but can we get a version of this with the full Ice Plains biome again?
And if you do happen to do a new version of this, I might recommend a semi-challenging way for people to acquire more dirt. If one were to, say, put a floating gravel island in the nether, it would present a similar challenge to the sand island in the overworld, by having to create a platform to catch the gravel. Additionally, if you combine gravel with regular dirt to make coarse dirt blocks, you can ho that out and get regular dirt blocks. In this way, you could add extras without simply handing them to us. And I think that's the important thing to consider whenever someone tries to improve on this map; it IS a challenge map, and the challenges are what make it so epic.
Otherwise, here's to still playing Skyblock in 2018 with Minecraftv1.13 on the horizon!