The Minecraft Nether Update

I meant to write about this when it came out last month, but I wanted to first get a peek at some of the new features in person.  And then the war in EVE Online ate almost all of my gaming time and, well, here we are.

Well, the war there and that quirk of Minecraft where, when they add new stuff, it doesn’t necessarily appear in any world you already have running.  You have to run off to some unexplored area of your world to generate fresh chunks to have a chance for something things… warm oceans, and such… to spawn.  It can be some work.

And this update is no different, save for that it involves the Nether.  This would have been easy if we hadn’t been to the nether in the new world Skronk created a few months back, but of course we’ve been.  There are nether portals in our two main towns connected by a nether highway,  taking advantage of that 8:1 distance reduction you get with nether travel.

But I wanted to see some of the new stuff… and if you look at the wiki there is a lot of new stuff, new mobs, new blocks, new structures, and new nether biomes… so I set out a bit to explore.

The population of the nether has been adjusted, with new mobs added.  I was able to spot one right away, the Strider, which are in the Nether Update graphic I made above.  They wander around in the lava seas of the nether.

The larger screen shot with Striders

Then there are the Piglin.  Once there were just Zombie Pigmen living generally in the nether, with the occasional critter or ghast, but that has been changed.  Now there are the Piglin, a humanoid pig race, and the Zombie Pigmen are now Zombified Piglin.  They are still passive, becoming hostile only when attacked, and they still wander all over.

The Piglin, however, are hostile.  I wasn’t particularly interested in the Piglin, being keen to see one of the new biomes or structures when I went down to explore.  But the Piglin can be a problem as they blend in with the Zombified Piglin in the low light of the Nether.

Mostly Zombies… but not all

The Nether is already a dangerous place when compared to the overworld.  There are plenty of sudden ways to die, and you don’t have to wait until night time for something to attack you.  I don’t listen to music or podcasts in the Nether, because you really need to hear the sound of that ghast that just spawned behind you before it starts shooting fireballs at you.

Possibly my favorite Minecraft video of all time is Screw the Nether, which first sings the praises, then sings the perils of being down there.

So exploring was already a challenge of terrain, lava, and occasional hostiles, but now you can add in the Piglin, who can blend in with the passive zombie crowd if you are not watching carefully, but who will run right at you and attack if you get too close.

Oh, here he comes

I did find out, a few deaths into my exploration, that if you wear a piece of gold armor, the Piglin are no longer hostile.  I ran back to town to fix that.

A new gold hat

So I am setting our in the Nether to find some more of the new stuff, though even with the Piglin no longer hostile, there are still plenty of dangers.

A wither skeleton coming to get me

I ended up dying yet again to get that screen shot.  He had a friend.  Sometimes being the tourist doesn’t pay off.  And, in running back, I realized that I didn’t have my gold helmet on, so ended up getting chased around again by hostile Piglin once more.  At least they don’t chase you too far.

But the skeleton wandered off before I got back, so I was able to collect my stuff and continue on my way.

More Nether to explore

We shall see if I end up finding anything.  Dying in the nether is a pain, as I currently respawn in the over world and have to run all the way back to where I fell.  I need to look into the respawn anchor block, as beds cannot be used in the Nether.

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