With the launch of the big Village and Pillage expansion for Minecraft I went back to our server, now almost four years old, in order to see some of the new things. Pandas are, and remain, and item on my list, though I did at least manage to find some bamboo.
I have also spent quite a bit of time in villages that I had previously found. Villages and villagers got a bunch of changes and I was able to see some of them by just visiting familiar villages.
The new villager skins were there, and it was quite apparent that Mojang increased the density of villagers that a village would support since the villagers started breeding immediately upon my arrival.
This introduced me to all of the new crafting elements that are now part of the game. Unless a fresh villager finds an appropriate crafting location they won’t choose a profession. I ended up with a lot of them in plain brown attire in old villages that had just a crafting table and a furnace.
But building those, some new like the cartography table and some old like the brewing stand, changed that. Professions were mostly adopted by the new villagers.
I was also able to find some of the new items, like the town bell, available for sale from some villagers who had been leveled up previously.
Basically I spent a lot of time working on villages, which is something of an obsession of mine at times. It was certainly something that slowed down the road and rail work I did in the past as I felt the need to stop at every village I passed in order to improve it. This time around I was also making a lot of beds, since villagers sleep in them now and you cannot if a villager gets to the bed first. (And villagers seem to be able to go to bed before you can, so you won’t get that one bed in the village!)
But one of the things that came with the expansion was new villages overall. After tinkering with old villages for a while I decided I wanted to find a new village or two in order to see the new buildings and new layouts. As it happened I was in one village with a portal to the nether, which had branch line off of it to a place I couldn’t recall off hand.
I couldn’t remember where the location of the “western isle” was or who built that spur line, just that it didn’t seem to be my handiwork, something confirmed when I arrived at the far end of the line and went through the portal there.
There was a house built there which was very nice, meaning it was most certainly not mine. My building style tends to be awkward, blocky, and utilitarian. That works well enough on the big public works style projects like building a 22km rail line. But my houses four years in look about like my houses from day one.
I got the coordinates for the location and looked it up on my last map rendered with Minecraft Overviewer. It lay on something like an exploration peninsula jutting out from the main explored area. From here I could set out in a boat in any direction save east and almost immediately be in unexplored territory. So I built a boat and headed northward.
And, naturally, I ran into a warm ocean area in about two minutes. There is nothing wrong with that, except that when the Aquatic Update came out for Minecraft last year I spent a long time searching for a warm ocean.
Still, I carried on for a bit and found some land not too far off and started sailing around the shoreline until I caught sight of some buildings. I was along a savanna biome, so got to see what a fresh village there looked like.
It was a few releases back that villages began to reflect the materials of the biome in which it was located, but now there are a whole set of new building models unique to each biome.
In addition to new buildings they also incorporate some of the new materials.
I camped there for a bit then started exploring further afield. The savanna opened up into a grassland biome in which I found another village not too far away.
This also had not only new building layouts, but bits of construction new to the release.
Crops in each village also seem to depend on the biome. The grassland village had the traditional crops laid out in the wood bordered planters with water between the plants. In the savanna the crops were just wheat and watermelons laid out in little patches around a square of water.
The second village also had pen with some animals, including a pair of horses. Back at the savanna village you’ll see a desert temple adjacent to it… so close that one of the buildings juts into the temple… which yielded a saddle when I cleared it out.
So I tamed one of the horses and used it to ride around in order to explore. Doing so I found a third village as well as another desert temple.
Structures such as villages seem to spawn much more densely than they used to before the expansions. I can look at the maps I have rendered previously and see the gaps between them. However, when I rendered the area I had explored I saw that things were noticeably closer together than I had expected.
Minecraft Overviewer is mostly working with 1.14, but there are some issues, as you can see with the black squares over the savanna village.
Anyway, four villages and three temples in that somewhat restricted area seems like a lot compared to what I have become used to. It isn’t a bad thing, though it likely means me spending more time “fixing” villages.
And I will feel the need to fix them because while some things have changed, others remain the same. As before the expansion, villages are just set down on the terrain as it was laid out, leading to odd and awkward building placement. Also, in the savanna village, the agriculture plots seemed to be dropped haphazardly, ending up in the middle of paths or intruding into buildings. Also, while the new buildings are neat, there are a couple of designs that end up with villagers getting stuck in them.
Such is life in a world of procedural generation I suppose. And I remain impressed with the changes. But when I rendered the map of the area I noticed something else that I had to go check out. That will be the topic of the next Minecraft post.