Monday, March 7, 2011

Minecraft - Mod Balance

It feels like I've come full circle on MC. I'm playing by myself again and am finding the game to both be rewarding and asking myself the question again, "What is the point?" A couple months ago I told myself that the point of the game was to just have fun with it, it's a game, that's what you do with a game, you have fun. Of course there is a factor to MC that has a built in whats the point point to it, what is the point of making things if no one is ever going to see them, hence why there are so many Let's Play series out there.

So here I am, playing on the server with the guys was great because there was a built in "show me" factor, and while I could try to get a Let's Play going, I really think that it would be boring if I did it. For a good LP the player has to have a element of bad to them, and while they can be an excellent player, there is that element of just running off into the darkness with an inventory of diamonds that provides tons of comedy once they die. Me on the other hand, I never die playing MC, that's not to say I'm some freakin expert on the game, hardly, I'm just too conservative. If I see a pit full of creepers, I'll go around to find a way to pick them off one by one, systematically. If I have diamonds on me, I head for the surface. I may not play on hard, but really it doesn't matter because I rarely, and I mean rarely ever get into a fight that I can't win, and cranking up the difficulty wouldn't make it harder, it'd make me more cautious, thus slower and thus less fun. So I don't think a LP would be that good, but it still could be fun.

But while I don't like super hard levels, I do like chaos, lots and lots of chaos. So in an effort to create more insanity in my game I've added several mods that make things unpredictable.

Builder NPC's
303 Arrows
Prefix skeletons

and I plan on adding Mo creatures once it comes out.

Now this has spiced things up. Nothing like exploring a cave and seeing a glowing red skeleton shooting exploding arrows at you, ah now that's a spicy ah meatball. What I really love though is the feeling the world has now. I have the builders set to very very low spawns like 1 and 2 out of 100 so that they don't spam the world with buildings like they have on previous saves. The humans are always fighting it out with each other and the other mobs, so it makes the world kinetic, there is a lot going on. Last night while playing, I'm not sure what happened but I saw a forest erupt into flames from a battle that must have taken place with either a wizard or a skeleton that shoot fire arrows. I'll never know what happen, but the fact that craziness took place, that's a win for me. Also hearing the sound of random explosions taking place in the distance only to find the world with a couple more potholes come morning, that's pretty cool, I never know what I'm going to find.

Another thing that I thought was cool was the town that got built from the builder mod, that had shops. I helped the mayor found the town by leveling some of the land for him, which in the end has helped me out a bunch, one of the shops sells feathers. Feathers? That doesn't sound that cool, oh but it is when you can make torch arrows and fire arrows and exploding arrows, now I have all sorts of different arrows in my quiver and it's a lot of fun.

So that's when it hit me, the world I was playing in was turning into the RPG game that I've always wanted. I have small little huts and houses to explore and ransack for loot, there is a small town to buy items in, there are lots of humans that if I use my imagination are trying to build a settlement within this harsh MC world, and other humans trying to keep them from doing it, along with the natural environment trying to prevent them as well. By keeping the spawn on the builders down it makes the world look a lot more spread out rather than a metropolis building up around my base. Now if only I could have gotten the auto trees to work...

The last piece to this game needs to be a grand overall quest. A lot of people will say, "You don't need a quest you do your own thing." blaa blaa blaa. I agree in principle, but I've dug for diamonds, I've created huge castles, I've made a rail line that is just huge, I've made the mob tower. I've done a lot of stuff in the game, but what I haven't done is had a quest to find something rare beyond diamonds, really a quest that I can't control. I don't want a million quests, I don't want 100 quests, I don't want even 10, I want one, just like in the old days. In Zelda you didn't have a bunch of quests, you had one quest, find the triforce. Sure it would require 9 pieces to get it, but overall there was one goal to "win the game".

And it's not that I'm looking to "win the game" I want to be the hero in my world, I want to have a purpose to build my world and exist in it. Sure I can make all the cool bases but in the end it's all the same game, diving down in caves to find ore, not that I have a problem with the base game, but I'm at a point where I want to go to the next level with the game. I guess that's why it's still in Beta right?

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