Minecrafting 111: Biome Frenzy


It’s been an exciting week. After we got some hints a few weeks ago that the next update would be focused around biomes, Jeb has tweeted a number of screenshots of new landscapes in the game. The first was the image we shared with you last week – a spruced-up version of the extreme hills biome. Nothing too crazy there.

Then there was this picture, a huge set of mesas made of hardened clay in all sorts of colours, layered like the Grand Canyon. That image was followed by this map, which appears to show a number of new biome colours. Reddit user viGnoS has dived into it, taking some guesses at what the new biomes might entail – groves, taiga and even a volcano perhaps?

Finally Jeb dropped this beautiful screenshot, showing some sort of heavily forested river valley, with tall pine trees. The grass is very dark-coloured, with lots of exposed dirt, and there also appear to be some sorts of cobblestone structures visible. Between that and a promise of Icelandic-style cliffs, expect your landscapes to develop dramatically differently in the next major update.

On the community side of things, we’ve seen a couple of neat designs pop up. The first is Chibichuba’s guide to building a completely undetectable secret door behind your enchanting room. It uses a comparator and hopper, and you can even set it up so only a certain type of block, or even an item with a certain name, can trigger it. Lovely stuff.

Also impressive is Ch33zyman’s dam and reservoir construction. It clearly took quite some time to put together, and the results are fantastic – a great example of what can be done with a landscape. If you want to recreate it, though, make sure you curve the dam the right way. I would trust the structural integrity of his.

If you like tower defence games, you’re going to want to check out Blocks vs Zombies, a brilliant minigame that takes place in Vanilla Minecraft, built by Sethbling. It’s very simple. Zombies come from one direction, you need to kill them with the help of arrows and towers. The person that kills the most wins. It comes with a full instruction manual, so grab it from Sethbling.com.

Finally, what happens if you leave a server running with absolutely no rules from the earliest days of Minecraft? This. That apocalyptic screenshot is from the 2b2t server – a vanilla survival server with full PvP, a neverending world and no rules. Its 565GB in size, and 48,700 players have visited it. “You don’t live safe unless you’re 500,000 blocks out,” says one grizzled veteran. Probably not where you want to go for your next family holiday.

That’s all for this week. If you’ve seen anything in the Minecraft community that you think I should be highlighting, tell me about it bydropping me an email. I’ll be back with another roundup this time next week.