Bamboo Proliferation in Minecraft

The Village and Pillage update has me back and running around in Minecraft.

Villagers and Pillagers

While the first day login issues seem to have passed for Minecraft Realms, the world does still seem to be loading up slowly.  If I jump in a mine cart and take a ride it does seem to take some time for the world draw to catch up with what I am doing.

Not that it isn’t interesting.  The draw routine seems to start way down at bedrock and often I am treated to a glimpse of what is going on underground and can see the shadow outlines of all the usual dark dwelling mobs.

Something going on down there

It is occasionally disconcerting as my mine cart rolls on into empty space, but since I keep on rolling and the world eventually catches up, I guess it is okay for now.  I am still not sure if this is because the 1.14 update is that much harder on the CPU or because Minecraft Realms is just over burdened by people coming back to the game for the new stuff.

New stuff was certainly one of my goals.  And at the top of that list was finding a bamboo forest and some pandas, because of course it was.  But, as I have mentioned in the past, having an old world is a burden at times since a lot of new stuff only spawns when the area you are in is first generated.  So any place I have already been won’t have bamboo forests or pandas or the new villages or other things like that.

That mean that, as with the warm ocean, I was going to have to go exploring.  So I got out the last render I did with Minecraft Overviewer to fine a likely direction to head off towards.  As a group those of us on the server have wandered about pretty far, so finding unspoiled country is a challenge without the map.

With the map though I was able to spot a potential place to start.  There was a bit of coastline up off of the great northern rail line that I had not explored beyond, and it was not too far from an outpost I had already provisioned.

Just past an ocean monument that has been cleared out

So I headed there, grabbed a boat, and set sail.

Some stuff beneath the ocean floor visible

Boats are pretty much the ideal exploration vehicle in Minecraft these days.  They are now pretty durable, they move as fast as mine carts, and they don’t wander off like horses.  Also, open water is reasonably safe at night, even with the sea zombies (the drowned) about, so you can just keep on rowing… and a number of underwater things are lit, so much easier to spot at night.

Of course, it is still a crap shoot as to what you will find if you head off in any given direction.  But I got lucky.  Not too far into my rowing I ran across an island that had a shipwreck at one end.

I added the torches to it

Shipwrecks have chests on board that have a chance of having a number of items.  From one chest I got a few items, including a buried treasure map.  But from another I got three pieces of bamboo.

That wasn’t the bamboo forest I was looking for, but it was something new to work with.  I turned around to bring this new item home… and then my boat got caught in a bubble column above some magma and sucked down to the bottom of the ocean.

Note to self: Don’t stop and stare at bubbles under your boat.

But I had some wood with me, so I built a new boat and headed back towards the mainland.  There I jumped back on a mine cart and headed to the nearest town where I started experimenting with planting bamboo.

Bamboo is planted the same way you plant trees.  No need to cultivate soil or anything, just stick it in the dirt or sand or whatever it seems.  Unlike trees, bamboo doesn’t seem to care about being in the shade of its neighbors or anything.  I played with spacing and found it would grow no matter how densely you packed it, though moving around through it was much easier if I left some empty row.

And it grows fast.  Very fast.  And tall.

A couple of my doggos in a bamboo patch

You harvest it the way you harvest sugar cane, which means chopping it off and the second block up from the ground if you want it to grown back.  While you can chop at it with an axe, one swipe with your sword will work if you’re in a hurry.  The only problem with that is it does seem to wear out your sword pretty quickly.

Though maybe I was just chopping a lot of bamboo.  My three pieces soon turned into a dozen then a couple dozen then a stack then a few stacks.  I decided to move along from the village I was hanging out in, and as I passed through the nether transit hub I left a stack in a chest for Panadar to grab.  Now he has bamboo to plant as well.

As I move around I keep planting some bamboo as I hit each new village.  Those three initial pieces have now been spread far and wide as I carry a bit with me to plant where every I go.

Of course, there is the question as to what one should do with all of this bamboo.  You can make sticks out of it, which isn’t useless if you need a lot of sticks, but isn’t something I need a lot of.  It also makes a quick to obtain, if inefficient, fuel source for furnaces.  I might need that in a pinch.

But the key thing you make from it is scaffolding, which is what you think it is, a temporary, easily removed structure that you can climb around on as you build your real structure.

Where was that when I needed it a couple years back?

Anyway, should I decided to build more structures I will have scaffolding as an option.  But I still have to find a panda first.  Back to exploring.

3 thoughts on “Bamboo Proliferation in Minecraft

  1. Pete S

    For some reason the announcement of the Villagers and Pillagers content caught my attention and I’m playing Minecraft for the first time in eons. I’m actually playing on the (I guess) much maligned Bedrock edition, but I like it since I bought a 2-person realm and play the same world from PC, Xbox or Nintendo Switch depending on how lazy I’m feeling (could say it as “Office chair, couch or bed). (I was going to run it on LAN but for $4/month I opted for the convenience of not having to have the game running on a PC all the time.)

    Some friends lured me into trying a heavily modded version of Java Minecraft but I think for me, less is more. I kind of prefer less stuff. I’m really having a grand old time. More than I’ve ever had in Minecraft before.

    Anyway, thanks for the post; it’s a treat to find someone else playing and blogging about “vanilla” Minecraft.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Naithin

    I had heard about this and considered coming out of Minecraft-retirement for a quick look around as well. It has been *so* long since I looked at it though. Last I knew the new version from MS that forwent the Java code-base was sort of a second class citizen version of the game.

    Now I don’t even know if that Java version is also updated or not. It had some fairly major and impressive mods back in the day.

    Come to think of it, I’m not even sure if owning the Java version also gave you the Microsoft version? I feel like it did, but could well be wrong.


  3. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Pete S – Yeah, I am fond of the vanilla version for a few reasons. There is the purity aspect, but also the lack of dependency on third parties to update their stuff. Plus Realms doesn’t support mods.

    Ideally the Bedrock edition ought to be better, being done in C++ rather than Java. For a while it was behind in features, but it has since caught up. If I could convert our world to that I might even try it on Windows 10, just to see if it runs better. As I have noted, there is some slowness with this update and I know part of it is just the Java overhead.

    @Naithin – While I have been expecting the Java version to be neglected, for 1.14 it was actually released a day before the Bedrock edition. So yes, it is up to date.


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