A simple idea, a compass that points to the nearest Nether portal. This would work in both the Nether, and the overworld. If a Nether portal has not been created, or simply is not in that world, then the compass will spin randomly, like the normal compass does in the Nether.
It would be crafted using 4 obsidian blocks, surrounding redstone, similar to how a normal compass is crafted.
to make it a bit unique, it could instead of an arrow be a "hot-cold" kind of thing- this would make it a bit more difficult to use *which is kind of the point- it is the nether- it shouldn't be too easy ;D
In that case, it could use glowstone as opposed to redstone. When in moderate proximity to a portal, it starts glowing. But in order to do that, 2 things would have to happen.
1. dynamic lights would need to be supported (if they arn't already)
2. you would have to be holding it in your hand.
I personally think it should stay a compass, because you really need to know where you are going in the Nether. You should at least have some form of navigation, and hot/cold wouldn't be very effective if you are a long ways away from the nearest portal.
Not sure about this, to be honest, if we were meant to have compasses down there they'd just let the ordinary compass work in the Nether in the first place. A "hot-cold" item that glows more strongly the closer you are to your portal might work as a compromise for me, but I'm not sure.
A compass point's to spawn, in other words one location.
Coding a compass so it points toward a portal would be much more difficult than it pointing to one set of coordinates constantly, especially when there is more than 1 portal.
It would be horribly inefficient.
In the ADD mod, we have aproached this problem in in many ways, and have made it quite easy to find your portal, along with anything else.
Firstly, every "main dimension" (The overworld and the nether are "main dimesnions" along with the kyther, our water dimension, and the zenith, our sky dimnesion) has it's own spawn point, and it's own bed spawn
When you die in a main dimension, instead of returing to the overworld, you return to the spawn point of that dimension. This includes beds, even if you slept in a bed in the overworld, you won't default to it when you die.
Here's a diagram to better explain the mechanic.
The arrows representing where you end up when you die. Notice how in vanilla, no matter where you are, you return to the overworld when you die, while in ADD where you die is where you re-spawn.
Beds are universal, you can use them to set your spawn in any dimension with them, and since every dimension has it's own bed spawn, you will only return to the last bed you slept in, in the dimesnion you're currently in.
Normal compasses are also universal, as they will point to the spawn of the dimension you're currently in.
As for finding portals, we solved that problem as well with a radar/minimap-like device called the "Portal Finder"
It displays all active portals in the entire dimension, so you can keep track of all the portals that exist at the same time, as well as where they lead to, how far away they are, and of course where they are.
It's rather handy.
As for anywhere else, there's the lodestone compass. It's a compass that points to, well... anywhere really.
Say you find a dungeon but you don't have enough room in your inventory to take the items in the chests, you place a lodestone block inside the dungeon, strike the lodestone compass on the block, and that lodestone compass will point towards the dungeon!
You can go back to your house, empty out your inventory, the follow the lodestone compass back to the dungeon to retrieve the items.
What the lodestone compass does, is it stores the coordinates of the lodestone block when you right click on it.
It will point to the location of the block, even if the block is destroyed by would be griefers, or not loaded in the world at all.
It can point to anywhere you please.
Just remember that the compass won't work if you travel to a different dimension. It will be deactivated until you return to the dimension you originally charged it in.
Sorry for the shameless self advertising, I hope that helps though.
The problem I have in the Nether is not where my portal is (I pretty much leave F3 on all the time), but how to get back to the portal. After leaving a nether fortress if I haven't marked my way there I may lose the path home and run across pits and lakes that prevent me from going further. The Ghasts keep me from just building cheap bridges. Also, a compass might point to the x,z coordinates, but in the Nether the y can be pretty important too.
If you have not marked the path home, a compass would certainly be helpful. But you are right about one thing... the Y axis could be utilized with a Nether compass.
If you want to do that, you would have to make the compass into a 3D model, one capable of pointing at any location. The lodestone compass is a shpere, and thus can point in any direction, invcluding up or down.
Your best bet would be to do something like that, considering the nether is such a vertical dimension.
Hmmm... yeah, in SMP, it should direct you to one you built... but as a fail safe, if you didn't build one, or it was destroyed, it should first direct you to the one you used to get in the Nether (if it was someone elses), and finally to the nearest one, regardless of ownership.
After a long time of thinking... the Nether is supposed to be a difficult place. Because of this, I think it would be best not to have Y axis support. This would make it a bit over powered, because as stated earlier, it can find other peoples portals as a last resort.
Likewise, a Nether compass is not an excuse for not leaving your tracks. You are in the Nether afterall.
Also remember that this can be used in the overworld.
as long as this suggestion is unique in some way, it doesn't matter.
Not exactly. We (the staff) reserve the right to decide if an idea is too similar. The only difference between all those linked threads and this one are the various crafting recipes. That is the kind of thing that could be discussed in a single thread. Therefore, I must lock this.
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