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    posted a message on A Brief History of Minecraft

    2009 ~ An obscure Swedish game developer by the name of Markus came across the idea largely by accident; drawing inspiration from the voxel-based system off 'Infiniminer,' another Indie Game centered around combat, he created what would ultimately become 'Cave Game.' Originally intended as an RPG of some sort, Perrson posted videos of the game's development, and took feedback from forums in the development process. He eventually quit his job to focus full time on the game as sales increased, and hired more programmers, creating the beginnings of Mojang Studio. Updates to the game were free, and from the start, development was focused on community feedback and trying new ideas. Origins such as this would prove crucial, as the game almost unknowingly began to pioneer new territory.


    In 2011, the beta version of Minecraft released. Around the same time, Jens Bergensten, a Mojang Employee, became the lead creative director of the game. Minecraft was eventually acquired by Microsoft for an enormous sum of money; but continued to develop under Mojang's direction.


    Growing to become one of the most influential games of the twenty first century, Minecraft pioneered the idea of an open world game; a medium in which players could do whatever they pleased. Regular updates continued to keep gameplay engaging, and continued to attract more and more new players. In 2013, 'The Update that Changed the World' brought new biomes and world generation to the game. Beginning in 2018, Mojang set about updating existing areas of the game, with the 'Update Aquatic,' 'Village and Pillage Update,' and 'Nether Update' all bringing needed improvements to existing areas of the game.

    --------------------------------------

    2021 ~ Minecraft celebrates its tenth anniversary, marking it as one of the oldest games still in active development, (rather than, say, a franchise; sporting both the indie game vibe, and the support of a multi-million dollar studio). The game is still going strong, and indeed, has seen a recent uptick in popularity. With the 'Caves and Cliffs' updates in 2021, and the subsequent 'Wild Update' in 2022, Mojang enhances begins the process of enhancing the biomes themselves, bringing more life and grandeur to everyone's favorite voxelated worlds.

    ...Walking amongst these places feels strange for older players; for those who have been with the game since its infancy. It's still Minecraft, obviously, but the game itself has changed and matured alongside them. The world is still familiar... but also distinctly different from what it once was. It feels both a familiar place to return to, as well as a place changing and evolving with time.


    From 2023 to 2035, Minecraft continues to receive regular updates. Archeology is added to the game, alongside long-awaited new combat mechanics, and a much-needed revamp of many naturally generated structures. Over the course of the next few updates, different biomes are improved in turn.


    At long last, the aptly named 'End Update.' (Affectionately termed 'The Update to End all Updates'), drops on all platforms. Mojang declares that this will be the last major content update to the game: in short, that with this, Minecraft is nearing the end of three decades worth of development. They assure the community that this does not mean the end of all future updates; merely that future updates likely won't be so intent on fundamentally changing the game, and will focus more on its technical capacities, modding capabilities, and other such areas.

    True to its word, the End Update is fairly long in coming, but is a stunning final update, dramatically overhauling the barren third dimension, while still retaining its strange, ethereal atmosphere; adding a variety of new biomes, creatures, and game mechanics. It remains a dangerous and transcendent place... but also a beautiful and serene domain, beyond the comfortable familiarity of the Overworld, and savage ferocity of the Nether.


    Those who played Minecraft as young people have children of their own now; they have lived to pass down the game to their own offspring. And why not? It remains a versatile sandbox of possibilities- and though many have tried to emulate it since, Minecraft remains the original- one of the first games to not merely question the linear style, but to throw it out almost entirely.


    For these older players, traveling to the new End is a surreal experience. Minecraft is supposedly complete- and they have been with it from the beginning. Now, in this strange, floating domain, is its finale recognized. Parity has been achieved; all three realms have been overhauled, combining the old with the new. They feel uncertain... but strangely at peace.

    -----------------------------------

    2050 ~ Over the next thirty years, Minecraft sees the full potential of new technological advances... and takes advantage of the gradual shift towards VR games: In particular, the style of Open world game it helped propagate. These days, the vast majority of major games are at least partly, if not entirely sandbox, open world experiences in a similar vein. Especially with the immersive nature of VR headsets, players increasingly are leaving behind linear games in favor of ones that grant them more initiative: games that serve as worlds to explore, rather than stories to live out.

    Mojang continues to studiously update the game; albeit without adding much in the way of new content; focusing on smaller community suggestions, technical upgrades, bugfixes, and the like. Render distance becomes a thing of the past; Cubic chunk systems allow players to reach new heights. The game now features built in developer resource packs, allowing for far more realistic, (or stylized) visuals than ever before... however, most players still prefer the traditional look of the game, in spite of all the upgrades it has undergone. Nostalgia is a powerful thing.


    Perhaps most crucial in the continued popularity of the game, (If not the raging popularity it once boasted during its early days), is, (firstly), its eventual full-blown move to VR systems, and the dramatically increased capacities of public servers. This era sees a sort of Minecraftian renaissance: while plenty of other, newer games boast for more complicated, intricate, Massively Multiplayer worlds; Minecraft still holds claim to being the first, and still holds sway over a considerable player base. Servers now host thousands of players at any given time, as they push the boundaries of the game: previous servers are dwarfed by these new centers of player activity, and Mojang implements more features intended to aid in multiplayer interactions.


    With the game now almost exclusively played in first or third person via. a headset, many of these new players, introduced to the game by their old-fashioned parents, have little idea of what it was once like, and are soley accustomed to the modern version of the game; complete with fancier graphics, bustling, sprawling cities, and the immersion offered by VR. Only the older players recall what it was like, some almost forty years ago; to walk alone in an endless world of limitless possibility. To view this world through a screen, and, upon finishing the game, to commune with its gods.


    -------------------------------

    2111 ~ Minecraft celebrates its one hundredth anniversary, sparking a brief renewal of interest in the game, which has gradually seen decreasing popularity over the past decades- though its longevity still remains a phenomenal feat: its servers still by far the oldest in the Virtual realm, and its player base, while decreasing, still multitudes larger than it originally was. The festivities are celebrated over countless well-established servers- both the large, new domains of the renaissance, and some of the particularly ancient worlds that transferred into VR from the earliest versions of the game. These older servers, generally maintained by very small groups of players, see a sudden and dramatic increase in activity during the celebration, as interested tourists arrive to explore historic places- terrain generated before various updates; locations maintained for literal decades, enormous monuments gradually assembled over the years... the celebration lasts quite some time, and marks one of Minecraft's last big moments in the spotlight in a fitting fashion.


    ...And by no means does Minecraft abruptly disappear, or gradually fade. Indeed, the game remains strong, and an important piece of history. Games are now regarded as by far the most consumed (and most important) artistic medium, and historians acknowledge Minecraft as by far the most crucial turning point in the idea of 'games as art,' as well as the tendency towards more modern, open-world styles of gameplay. However, unlike old literature, which might seem dreadfully outdated; Minecraft is a world, simultaneously a work of art, and a place one can visit.


    However, it is no longer the biggest game in the world, even if it is still acknowledged as by far the oldest still active. Many people still make frequent visits to this historic realm- some even prefer its simplicity to the far more elaborate, complex new recreations VR has to offer. Indeed, nearly every user visits some part of Minecraft at some point or another- there's no reason not to, as the game is now largely free to play- though its developers still accept donations towards historical maintenance. It is seen much in the way its original players might see a classic novel- interesting, masterful even, reminiscent of a simpler time- but not preferable to a more contemporary, action-packed story. People still dwell here, and a dedicated cult following still wanders increasingly abandoned worlds, living in the remains of lost servers and forgotten cities.


    -------------------------------

    2300 ~ As humans colonize other worlds, they take their recreations, their headsets with them. Minecraft is played for the first time on an alien planet. As sentient AI, bred from deep-learning processes, finally gain civil rights, it is inevitable that these strange, self-aware algorithms begin to explore the vast domains humanity has created for itself in VR- it is inevitable that a sentient machine plays Minecraft. With new neural rigs, VR is more alluring than ever, and there exists a growing divide between those who crave the virtual world, and those who insist on living in the real one. Even with modern advances in medical technology, everyone who was alive to play the original versions of Minecraft is long dead.


    With the aid of the Sentients; humanity is now capable of transferring their minds completely into the Virtual World; digitizing their consciousnesses and living as gods in VR. Some eagerly defy death; others refuse, and begin to abstain from VR entirely. These new immortals initially act as one would expect ordinary people to act, having suddenly obtained god-like powers. Living exclusively in VR, they have no need to eat, or sleep. They can experience every feeling imaginable, can go anywhere, be anything. It is the fullest recognition of the internet; of humanity itself: they have beaten death, and now live in an environment they are in complete and total control of.


    Rapidly, these beings begin to change. No longer bound by death, they are no longer mortals... they can experience things we cannot imagine, can replicate their minds, tamper with their own psyches. Build entire worlds down to the smallest detail, live entire lives in a role of their choosing. Imagine, if you will, a roleplaying game in which you are the main character- with your memories of the real world blocked off, you live an entire life convinced that the world you find yourself in is real, a lucid dream that lasts a lifetime. Imagine, for example, a hardcore world that you live through.


    Some of these beings lead entire lives in Minecraft, for the novelty of it. They lead lives in fantasy worlds, and far flung futures; in abstract worlds, and in historical depictions of Earth. They lead lives of joy, and pain, and heroics, and obscurity.


    Even this begins to bore them.


    In the depths of their world, Minecraft remains- one place of many increasingly muddled domains. Its inhabitants are no longer quite players- they are literal gods. Some come to build inconceivable designs, others to descend in mortal form into a world of blocks that is, for all purposes, as real as anything else.


    ...And here, the gods of VR begin to realize their error. If the world is utterly at their whims, then what even is reality? In defying all restraints, have they lost what it means to be human? Once, they were a mind in a body- a mind capable of observing and thinking and influencing, while existing within the world. Now, they find themselves completely untethered- and ungrounded.

    ---------------------------------

    ???? ~ Millenia pass. The inhabitants of VR would no longer be recognizable to their primitive ancestors outside the simulation, in the same manner that a human city would be incomprehensible to an ant. Their minds have endured so long, been shaped so extensively, have become so vast, and mutated, and evolving, that they no longer resemble anything coherent to mere mortals. They no longer care about the outside world- they understand it in abstract terms. Their thoughts are vast and unknowable, their intentions as confused as the realm they inhabit; a chaotic, colorful ocean of mutated code, incomprehensible thoughts, unknowable powers, forgotten relics, intertwining webs of information and light, churning seas of confusion. They did not become immortal; because ultimately, immortality and death are identical. They became the primordial chaos of the Universe, out of which new order might emerge through random chance. The dreamtime had begun once more.


    Amidst all this, fragments of one of the oldest dreams remains; blocks, and worlds made from blocks- lonely worlds inhabited by a single living soul; vast, colorful cities built by hundreds. Humans dreamt from the moment their sentience arose from the chaos; they reached for greater and greater power, seeking to become separate from the Universe, to retain what was ultimately a transitory state indefinitely- but in doing so, they returned to the greater chaos, nonetheless.


    Nothing lasts forever- like Minecraft, it evolves, and changes constantly- order rises here, an island in the sea- only to sink back again; only for others to emerge. People. Worlds. Games. We shape it. We are a part of it. We return to it. We are the players.

    ---------------------------------


    (And yes, that dog you left in your single player world in 2015 is still sitting there, waiting for you, unaware that its owners have transcended into pure chaos and become one with the universe. You really ought to take better care of your pets.)


    (In the future, when anyone asks you where you think Minecraft is headed, just start rambling about the inevitable immortality of humankind within simulations, and the metaphysical implications of attaining godhood. The Combat Update might at least be a bit more divisive, but believe me, if you act like this, people will think you're really intelligent, and just stop asking.)


    (A big thanks to C418's 'Cookie Clicker' soundtrack for inspiring this bit. If you think that sounds absurd, check it out for yourself.)

    Posted in: Discussion
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    posted a message on Distant Horizons Mod (64+ Chunk Render Distance w/out FPS hit) (Pros/Cons)

    To be perfectly honest, I didn't think this thing was going to work. However, I've seen 'Distant Horizons' touted as one of the best survival-friendly render distance mods out there... but I honestly didn't expect it would live up to the hype. However, I have to say, I'm thoroughly impressed. (It's rare that a mod thoroughly impresses me. Usually it's more like, 'Oh cool, it does exactly what I'd expect, that's neat,' but this one really does go above and beyond.)


    ...Enough so that I wanted to make a proper thread about. Distant Horizons: Is it worth it? Obviously I've already come to a conclusion on the matter, but by personal observations are as follows:


    CONS

    -The most obvious disclaimer to get out from the start is that Distant Horizons does not actually increase your render distance- instead, it generates lower-detail copies of chunks, which decrease in resolution the further away they are from you. If you look closely, (with the Optifine Zoom, or a Spyglass), it's easy to tell where the 'fake' chunks begin and the real ones end.


    -The Mod also takes a fairly long time to get running- once you teleport into a new area, or load into a world, it can take about three minutes for all of the fake chunks to finish loading at the standard distance. Once you're in the world, (as long as you're not using elytra-rockets), they seem to update much more consistently. (Just walking or running around, for example, I didn't have any issues.) During the initial loading period, however, it can look a bit strange, especially if you load in at high altitudes.


    -To the best of my knowledge, this doesn't work with shaders. (Or at least, it doesn't work with Complementary Shaders or Makeup Shaders, which are the only two I actually tried.) However, it looks nice enough once everything's working properly that I'm kind of disinclined to mess with it.


    PROS

    -Again, most obvious things first; by default, Distant Horizons allows you to have the equivalent of a 64 chunk render distance, without any hit to FPS. throughout, my FPS never fell below 20, and hovered around the 30-50 range, when I wasn't flying or actively loading into an area for the first time. The settings can be turned up much, much higher, but I personally find the default distance to look the best.


    -Fake Chunks... actually look kind of nice, enough so that I could imagine this system in Vanilla Minecraft. The system of decreasing detail with distance works quite well, and transitions between different detail levels were smooth and barely noticeable. The Chunks also seem to accurately depict the areas they're modeled on, including player-made and naturally generated structures.


    -The Mod does work with resource packs, as far as I can tell. (I'm using the Stay-True resource pack, along with Optifine 1.18.2 in these screenshots, and as you can see, the orange pallete for the birch forests is accurately loaded.) I'm honestly not sure how this works, but it works quite well. As far as I can tell, it's also Client-Side, and has multiplayer functionality.


    -------------

    If you want to try Distant Horizons, it's available on Curseforge, (Linked here), for versions 1.16, 1.17, and 1.18. (I recommend keeping the default render distance, but increasing fog density to around five for the best visuals.)


    (As you can see with the screenshots, the mod creates some visual glitches when initially loading, and has a distinct border between real and fake chunks it one looks closely- however, once everything is fully loaded, it is quite consistent, and has minimal impact on FPS. All of these images were taken with a Render Distance of 10, on a relatively dinky computer.

    Posted in: Mods Discussion
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    posted a message on I'm making a Modular Desert & Jungle Pyramid (And I could use some Ideas...)

    It's no secret that the Jungle and Desert Pyramids could use some serious redesign. Maybe they were interesting when they were first introduced, but at this point, everyone knows exactly how to approach them, and they're seen only for their loot. My goal is to change this, taking inspiration from a structure that's aged a bit better: The Woodland Mansion.


    In short, the Mansion incorporates a bit of randomized arrangement to its rooms- meaning that while you can have some idea of what you're getting into, you never quite know exactly which rooms you'll encounter, or in what order. I think by incorporating a similar modularity into the Dungeon and Desert temples, things could become a lot more interesting.


    This project, (Like my much messier procedurally generated arena project), will be made using a structure block system to randomize the generation of the Pyramids using different pre-designed components, including trap rooms, loot rooms, puzzles, etc; with the end result eventually being posted as a world download on Planet Minecraft. (Obviously, if something like this were actually implemented, it wouldn't rely on a structure block system, but I digress.) This is intended as more of a cool showcase than anything else.

    -------------------------------------------------------

    The Desert temple is currently complete! (More or less)! It features mining-detection traps, mosaic puzzles, creeper puzzles, and far more explosives than you're porbably comfortable with! You can find the world download on curseforge if you want to check it out (or try your luck) against the thing!


    The Jungle temple is currently in progress.

    Posted in: Discussion
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    posted a message on The Deep Dark Frame ~ Theories and Ideas

    If there's one question that seems to be on everyone's minds, it's, (rightfully so), what the heck is the enormous frame of unbreakable new blocks in the center of the Deep Dark City? I wanted to record my personal theory, (and my thoughts on others), in this thread. Please share any ideas or suggestions you have about this topic!


    Important Points

    • Mojang has stressed they don't intend to add any new dimensions until all existing areas of the game have been updated. (In particular, I think this means the Overworld's biomes for the Wild Update, and the End in a subsequent update.)
    • The fact that Mojang has not revealed the function of the frame yet, (nor outright denied various theories regarding its purpose), suggest it does has some purpose. Furthermore, the rarity and difficulty of the cities, (compared with the somewhat lacking loot), suggests it will be a function well worth the risk.
    • ...The Frame is weirdly large compared to the other two existing portals in the game. (Nether portals can be of a similar size, but the ones we find naturally generating in the game are not.)

    Portal Theory

    ...In spite of Mojang's suggestions about overhauling existing parts of the game, it's entirely possible the most obvious solution is, in fact, the right one. I do not think this is the case, (for several reasons), but I don't want to entirely rule it out. ...That being said...

    • The Deep Dark already has enough unique features, that it's hard to picture an entire new dimension based off of it. (On a larger note, the three existing dimensions are already distinct enough that it's hard for me to imagine a fourth dimension at all, when there's already an overworld, underground, and sky themed dimension in the game.)
    • Again, there's the issue of so many other things, (namely the End and Overworld Biomes), needing updating, (and already having updates confirmed to some extent), that it's hard to imagine an entire new dimension just coming out of nowhere.
    • ...Plus, the Deep Dark has already been delayed once before. I seriously doubt another enormous expansion would be in the works.

    Teleporter Theory

    Another idea is that the Deep Dark Frames will serve as some sort of portals between cities, allowing players to travel instantaneously. ...I actually think this is more plausible than the first idea, but still falls apart pretty easily. Consider:

    • The Nether is already used for long distance transportation.
    • This wouldn't be very helpful, firstly because of the rarity and random locations of the cities, and secondly because of the difficulty of getting to them. A place that frequently spawns terrifying soul abominations isn't exactly the best place to build a travel hub. (Honestly, there is literally no worse place in the overworld to try to build a travel hub.)
    • ...It also makes little sense given the shape and size of the frame. If you were going to implement some sort of teleportation system, something like Waystones would be much more sensible.

    Reverse Portal Theory

    Another idea suggests that the frame is a portal, but not a portal for us- that instead, the portal lets something in.

    ...Again, it could be possible, but I honestly don't have any idea how this would work. The city itself is far from ideal as a boss arena, (it's clearly designed for the warden, not something else.) I don't really have much more to say about this idea.


    Enhancement Theory

    Perhaps the portal grants some sort of special, never seen before upgrade to the player upon passing through. ...Again, it's possible, but seems unlikely, or at the very least underwhelming... and to me, not nearly as amazing and inarguable as my personal theory, which is as follows:


    WIP Theory

    Personally, I think the portal is a work in progress, and has something to do with an upcoming End Update, possibly replacing strongholds as the means of accessing an overhauled End-Dimension. This isn't just a hunch, I have a couple of reasonings for this particular theory: (Again- theory! Theories are hardly set in stone, and are up for debate.)

    • Mojang has deliberately avoided mentioning anything about the Portal, or the Strongholds in the past few updates- the strongholds in particular being quite outdated. ('Otherside,' for example, can be found in both the Strongholds, and the Deep Dark.)
    • It would make sense to keep the function of the frame secret if an end update is in the works- revealing the function of the portal would spoil the theme of the next update, (and might serve as a letdown to the community if the Wild Update hadn't yet been released.)
    • From a Gameplay perspective, (...as well as a lore perspective?) the Deep Dark makes far more sense as a means of accessing the End than the Stronghold, which hardly poses any threat to the player. (Though it's unclear how Eyes of Ender would interact with this, if at all.)
    • Strongholds are one of the older structures in the game, and, (unlike mineshafts, and to a lesser extent, dungeons); recieved no changes whatsoever with a new update deliberately devoted to the underground.

    ...These are just my thoughts, but I'd love to hear your theories regarding the frame! (...Either way, we'll know soon enough.)

    Posted in: Discussion
  • 1

    posted a message on I don't like Minecraft 1.18 terrain generation

    I think there's a fair bit of misunderstanding about the new system- from what I understand, the engine generates terrain first- and then different biomes are more or less likely to generate based on the terrain. Not every biome is compatible with rugged terrain, or vice versa. Swamps, for example, are supposed to only generate in low lying areas, in particular around rivers. This is also why biomes now tend to avoid generating next to each other when they have big differences in temperature or humidity.


    ...Personally, I'm a big fan of the new terrain. Not necessarily because of realism, but because it feels far more varied and interesting to explore- and yes, more aesthetic. I'm more than happy to travel far from spawn when the scenery is this fantastic.

    Posted in: Recent Updates and Snapshots
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    posted a message on Better books - but not in the way you are expecting!

    Good idea- I often keep journals in my survival world, and it can be infuriating to have to page through everything when you want to keep writing. On a side note, (as long as books are being tweaked), it would also be nice if you could dye written books for clarification- (I've also frequently mixed up books with similar titles...)

    Posted in: Suggestions
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    posted a message on Unpopular opinion: Basic furniture would be great for Minecraft

    My thoughts on this:


    • Pro ~ Furniture would add new possibilities for building, more customization and decor options, etc.
    • Con ~ The same can be said of any addition to the game.
    • Pro ~ Proper furniture would certainly look nicer than the existing methods of combining different blocks that sort of resemble furniture.
    • Con ~ Personally, I find the whole block-hacks community to be really interesting, and it's kind of fun to see new and creative ways of making new things out of parts of the game that weren't necessarily intended for it.
    • Con ~ There are plenty of readily available mods that add furniture, if you really feel that strongly about it.
    • Pro ~ This isn't really grounds to dispose of any idea; in the past, things that started as mods have been incorporated into the game in some respect.
    • Con ~ ...However, if the idea is an especially controversial one, I think the mod argument holds a bit more weight.
    • Major Con ~ Adding furniture to the game would invalidate all old builds that used the previous methods of decoration, including many existing naturally generated structures. Generally, Mojang does not add things that would affect existing worlds in such a fundamental way.
    • Pro ~ ...Admittedly, some of the naturally generated structures could use a redesign anyways.
    • Con ~ Personally, I just don't like furniture. I'd rather see more options for existing blocks than an entirely new system. However, that is just my opinion.

    Thoughts on my thoughts?

    Posted in: Suggestions
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    posted a message on Illusioner Outposts

    I like the idea of a new Illager structure featuring the Illusioner. However, I don't think the mining fatigue concept is a good idea- Minecraft is all about being able to build and destroy the world around you, and while mining fatigue would be really convenient for new, more challenging dungeons, it doesn't seem like an entirely fair mechanic. I'd rather see mechanics that naturally encourage players to be careful; such as better traps for temples, silverfish infestations in strongholds, etc.


    I also like the general idea of the structure; it would be cool to see various rare materials found inside, or something unique to the illusioners. (Maybe, like the barriers you suggest, some sort of invisible material that can only becomes visible when impacted by something, powered by redstone, or using a specific enchantment?) However, maybe instead of the structure always spawning an illusioner, there could be ruined outposts that have a chance of having a secret Illusioner area, similar to how the Igloos have a chance of having a secret lab. Or just a new structure entirely, so long as it isn't redundant with the existing mansion or outposts.


    ...And of course, the Illusioner could provide more challenge to the mansion, or higher level raids.

    Posted in: Suggestions
  • 1

    posted a message on Biome based Steve Retextures

    Lately, I've been working on some biome based retextures of the classic Steve Skin. Each one has a fairly simple base, with exterior garments based off of the villager skins for each biome. (Including the unusued Jungle and Swamp variants.) I've linked a render of the full set below, (from hottest to coldest biome, incidentally), because I still can't figure out how to insert images directly into a post.


    If you want to download any of these, you can check them out on my Skindex profile.

    Posted in: Discussion
  • 1

    posted a message on Minecraft - Armor/Weapons Rework

    Some more depth in the armor and combat system could be nice, but I feel like it needs to expand upon the existing system rather than completely rework it- it would just disenfranchise too many players. (Hence, adding new equipment or mechanics to better balance the system... or just to add cool new options for players to use, such as the Trident.) And this is true of most of the additions Mojang seems to consider: things that expand upon the world, rather than fundamentally change it.

    Posted in: Suggestions
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