Read an Excerpt
Minecrafter 2.0 Advanced
By Triumph Books LLC, Joe Funk
Triumph BooksCopyright © 2014 Triumph Books LLC
All rights reserved.
State of Minecraft
Before we dive into those tasty, tasty strategies you came to this book for, let's take a moment and look at the state of the Minecraft phenomenon and where it has come in the last year.
Biggest Year Yet
It's not often that a video game (or anything for that matter) reaches its greatest successes yet nearly five years after originally coming out, but that's exactly what has happened for Minecraft! 2013 was truly Minecraft's year, as not only did the fan-base absolutely explode, but the game itself became much more complex, and there were even two entirely new versions of the game released for the Raspberry Pi and the PlayStation 3!
Speaking of the fans, just take a look at these numbers: It took the PC version of Minecraft from 2009 until January 2011 to be downloaded 1 million times, but as of 2014, the computer version of this much-loved game has now seen an absolutely stunning 13 million downloads. That's 12 million new copies downloaded in just three years! The Pocket Edition and Xbox 360 version have equally impressive numbers, with the PE earning 10 million downloads (calculated May 2013) and the Xbox version having been purchased a cool 8 million times (August 2013). Considering that these numbers don't even include the brand-spankin' new PS3 version or the Pi version, not to mention the months since May and August (for the PE and Xbox, respectively), the number of official copies of Minecraft out there is estimated to be over 40 million as of the start of 2014, making it one of the biggest entertainment titles in history.
Two New Platforms to Craft on in 2014
If 2013 was Minecraft's biggest year so far, 2014 looks like it just might rival that title in a big way.
To begin with, Mojang and 4J (the makers of the console ports for the game) have stated that not only will Minecraft continue to be updated for the Xbox and PS3, but that a version will also be released for the new PS4 and Xbox One systems! These versions are said to be compatible with the previous version for each system, meaning players should soon be able to move their Xbox 360 and PS3 worlds onto the newest, most powerful gaming systems on the market.
What to Expect Next
As we've mentioned, this book deals primarily with the two fastest-growing versions of Minecraft (the console and Pocket Editions), and boyoh-boy is there a lot of new stuff that is set to come out soon for both platforms!
For the PE (Pocket Edition), it's been hinted that an official, working multiplayer version is soon to be released, and we can only hope that such an update will also bring the PE closer to the console, adding more materials, mobs and features.
On the console side, we've already seen one major update since the last Minecrafter, and that added such awesome new features as the Jungle Biome, the fearsome Iron Golem, the adorable Ocelot and new events like Villager breeding and Zombie raids. This may seem like a lot, and it definitely has made the game even more interesting, but it seems that the best is yet to come for the console versions.
Among the rumored additions in the upcoming TU14 update for the console are the long-awaited Horses (you can ride 'em!), Withers, Anvils and Hoppers, with some hopeful Minecrafters saying that there's a chance we might see Emerald Ore, Ender Chests, Temples and even trading with Villagers added in. These have all been in the PC version for some time now, and we should see at least a few (if not all of them) on the console in upcoming months.
Speaking of the PC, while this book isn't specifically about that version of the game, we can learn a lot about what's to come for the PE and console versions by looking at what has come out for PC. 2013 saw one of the biggest updates yet to any version of Minecraft with version 1.7.2 for the PC (October). With an absolutely massive amount of new content, including new Mobs, new Biomes and tons of new materials (Stained Glass!), not to mention the awesome new Amplified world type (ravines that go all the way down to the Bedrock!), this update was called The Update that Changed the World, and it shows us that over the next year or so we should continue to get huge amounts of new content added to the other versions of the game.
Where We're At
With all of this (and who knows what else) in store for us from the folks at Mojang, and with Minecraft expanding to just about every major platform out there, this is the most exciting time yet in the world of Minecraft! For you new folks, welcome to one of the most exciting phenomenons and communities in entertainment, while for you veteran Crafters, let's get to work and make even bigger, even better builds. As they say, the sky's the limit in Minecraft.CHAPTER 2
What Exactly Do We Mean by "Biome?"
This might seem like an easy question to answer, and in a basic sense, the definition of "Biome" in Minecraft is pretty straightforward: Biomes are the different types of land you can find in Minecraft. However, there are actually two distinct types of Biomes that can be found in the game. For this book, we'll call them "Area Biomes" and "Feature Biomes," respectively, and you'll notice when you play that you'll often find them existing together, with the Feature Biome set within the larger Area Biome.
Area Biomes: We use this term in Minecrafter to refer to the large sections of land that contain certain plants, mobs and aesthetics (for instance, Desert Biomes are mostly yellow and tan with little life, while the Jungle Biome is lush with life and is full of deep greens and browns). When running around the world of Minecraft, Area Biomes are what you'll most often be in when above ground, and the border between one Area Biome and the next is usually pretty easy to see, as the ground will change color from one Biome to the next. Think of Area Biomes as different types of nature, or environments.
Feature Biomes: Where Area Biomes refer to areas where certain plants and mobs live, Feature Biomes are more recognizable by their shape. Think of them as natural structures, including Beaches, Rivers, Ravines and Hills. Caves aren't technically considered a Biome, but we've included them with Feature Biomes as they have many similarities.
Why You Should Know Your Biomes
Other than the obvious reason that you want to be an ultra-level, super-guru, Minecrafter genius-person, there is an important practical reason that knowing your various Biomes is a great idea: some items, mobs, structures and even Feature Biomes exist mostly or even exclusively in specific Biomes.
For instance, say you're looking for a lot of Wood and you need it really quickly. Well, if you know your Biomes, you know to stay away from the Desert Biome, and hopefully there's a Jungle Biome nearby. Ready to go cave-diving? The Extreme Hills Biome is your best bet, and you're unlikely to find what you're looking for in the Jungle.
The fact that not all Biomes are created equal, and that some contain resources you'll need more often (like Wood) and others don't, also makes it important to know Biomes at the beginning of your game when choosing a spot for a home. There's nothing worse than building a super-sweet house and then realizing that you'll have to hoof it about five minutes to the north to get more Wood because you built your home in a Biome without many trees.
The Biome Breakdown
So now that you know why you'll be an even better Crafter when you get your Biome game on lock-down, let's get into it! While we're not going to get into the crazy math that goes behind each Biome (it's out there online, if you're interested), we are going to give you a basic idea of what each Biome is like, what you can find there, why you might want to visit it and whether or not it's a good spot to build a base. We've simplified the info for the Feature Biomes, as they are more about looks and things don't spawn exclusively in them.
Plains Biome: What It's Like- One of the more common Biomes, the Plains (or Grasslands) is full of Grass, Flowers and some smaller Trees. It usually features plenty of mobs (both hostile and friendly) roaming about, and you can sometimes find caves, lakes, Villages and Lava pools scattered around it.
Unique Items, Resources and Mobs: None
Reasons to Visit: It's peaceful and has plentiful Grass (for Seeds) and peaceful mobs to hunt. It's also good for later in the game when you have a lot of resources and want a big space to build something in.
Good for a Base? Only on the edges. Building too far into the Plains will lead to lots of time spent running to Forest Biomes and others with more resources, but building on the edges of the Plains can be fun.
What It's Like: Trees, Trees and more Trees! Another very common Biome, the Forest Biome is one of the most useful early in the game, as they provide large amounts of Wood.
Unique Items, Resources and Mobs:
Wolves are often found wandering outside of Forest Biomes, but they tend to spawn here.
Though you can find plenty of Trees elsewhere, the Jungle Biome is the only Biome with a greater concentration of Trees (and those are almost exclusively Jungle Trees).
Reasons to Visit: You need Wood! Also, they are excellent for mob hunting, even in the day, as the shadows created by Trees are ideal for keeping hostile mobs spawned.
Good for a Base? Absolutely! The easy access to wood makes Forests great for your first base, though you might want to find an edge of the Forest so that you don't have to clear out so many leaves.
What It's Like: Sparse of life and resources, the Desert is pretty cool-looking, but is not a great place to spend large amounts of time unless it is near another, more resource-heavy Biome.
Unique Items, Resources and Mobs: Cactus grows in the Desert and can be used for traps and decoration.
Sand and Sandstone, while not exclusive to the Desert, will be found in the largest amounts here.
Dry Bushes also grow here and are mostly used for decoration.
Reasons to Visit: The three primary reasons people head to the Desert are Sand, Cactus and Desert Villages. For whatever reason, Villagers love the Desert, and you'll often find a Village or two within. Primarily, however, Deserts are best for grabbing Sand for making Glass and Sandstone.
Good for a Base? Only at the edge of the Desert and another Biome. It's good to have a Desert near your base (as you'll probably want Glass at some point), but its utter lack of trees is a huge drawback for building a base there.
What It's Like: Lots of little bits of land surrounded by water. Features short Oak Trees covered in Vines, often has Mushrooms and Lily Pads around.
Unique Items, Resources and Mobs: Lily Pads are most commonly found here. These are fun decorations, but you can also build bridges across water with them.
Reasons to Visit: Swamps are okay for Wood, but you're always better off finding a Forest Biome when you need large amounts. Most of the reason players go to Swamps is to find the resources that are common there, such as Lily Pads, Vines and Mushrooms.
Good for a Base? Can be a cool-looking spot for your home, but you'll need to have a Forest nearby in the long-run.
Extreme Hills Biome
What It's Like: You'll know this one when you see it: huge hills with massive cliffs, overhangs and even waterfalls. One of the most interesting-looking Biomes there is, and a fan-favorite.
Unique Items, Resources and Mobs: None as of now (Emerald Ore is exclusive here but not yet included on the console versions of Minecraft).
Reasons to Visit: When looking for caves and resources, this is by far your best bet. Extreme Hills Biomes are absolutely riddled with cave openings, and because there's so much exposed rock, you'll often be able to simply look around outside for Coal and Iron Ore.
Good for a Base? Again, yes, but only if there's a Forest nearby. One trick is to start at a Forest, collecting a lot of Wood and Saplings, and then move to a nearby Extreme Hills Biome to build your home. As they're great for caves, it helps you later in the game, and you can always plant your Saplings on the Extreme Hills (which looks awesome too).
Mushroom Island Biome
What It's Like: Maybe the most unique Biome, this features purple-ish Mycelium as its primary building block and has Huge Mushrooms that look like trees. Always found out in the Ocean Biome.
Unique Items, Resources and Mobs:
Mycelium, a unique Dirt-like building block that is purple/grey and which Mushrooms like to grow on.
Mooshrooms hang out on the Mushroom Island. These are Cows that have Mushrooms growing on them. These are great food sources, as you can get Milk, Beef, Mushrooms and Mushroom Stew from them, as well as Leather.
Giant Mushrooms are another great food source, as chopping them down gives you large amounts of Mushrooms.
Reasons to Visit: For one, there are no hostile mobs on these islands, so they're nice as sanctuaries. They're also very good for food, and if you can manage to get a Mooshroom back to your base, you'll have a constant plentiful food source.
Good for a Base? Nope. You could always build a secondary base on one, or a bridge or tunnel connecting your base to one, but because they are so isolated out in the water, you're going to constantly have to go back to the main landmass to get other resources.
What It's Like: Can often be snowy and is a sort-of "Russian"-style forest with Spruce Trees and Wolves.
Unique Items, Resources and Mobs:
Another great place to find Wolves (though again, they aren't unique to here).
The best bet for Spruce Trees
Reasons to Visit: Mostly just to chop down Spruce Trees or find Wolves to tame.
Good for a Base? Can be, though you'll be stuck with just one Wood type for the most part. Mostly good for raiding for Spruce Wood.
What It's Like: BIIIIIG Trees. Like, really, really big Trees. And lots of them. Tons of foliage in general, and usually some hilly areas and lakes.
Unique Items, Resources and Mobs:
Jungle Trees. These are absolutely the best Wood resource out there, and you'll love finding a Jungle just to get at these giant Trees. They can be as big as four times wider than a normal Tree and many, many times taller. You'll often find them covered in Vines as well.
Cocoa Pods are sometimes found on Jungle Trees and are used in food crafting.
Ocelots! One of the cutest and most useful mobs, the Ocelot is very hard to catch but when tamed they can be used as pets or as guards against Creepers (that's right, Creepers hate Cats and won't go near 'em!)
Reasons to Visit: Get on top of Jungle Tree and chop down all the Wood you'll ever need (well, for about a project or so at least). You'll also want Cats at some point to protect your stuff, so Ocelot taming is a good reason as well.
Good for a Base? Sure! With all that Wood around, why not try a tree-house? You'll probably need to visit others for certain resources, but the Jungle is a great Biome for building, if you can clear out a spot.
What It's Like: Lots and lots of water, going off into the distance. There are also underwater caves and Squids!
Unique Items, Resources and Mobs: Squids can sometimes find their ways into Rivers, but you're mostly gonna find these neat little guys (that drop Ink Sacs) in the Ocean.
Reasons to Visit: If you're feeling adventurous and want to try an underwater cave, or if you need a Squid. They can also be pretty good for taking a Boat around, as you can explore the coast.
Good for a Base? Not at all. The Ocean has zero Wood and is hard to build in, not to mention breathe. Of course, everyone wants to have an underwater base at some point, so if you've got the resources, it's a fun place for a secondary home later in the game.
Excerpted from Minecrafter 2.0 Advanced by Triumph Books LLC, Joe Funk. Copyright © 2014 Triumph Books LLC. Excerpted by permission of Triumph Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.