I mentioned the Nether Update for Minecraft last week and expressed my desire to find some of the new stuff that came with it.
The problem is, as always with new stuff in Minecraft, that you need to spawn fresh chunks for the new stuff to appear. That means exploration, which means some danger in the nether. Also, getting lost. Roaming around on the floor of the nether and trying to find your way can be difficult and disorienting. Lava and mad terrain and lurking threats keep you on your guard.
The safe path is to get up into the roof of the nether and tunnel. In our old world we ended up building a whole transport nexus in the roof of the nether, and in the new world out nether portals were close enough to the roof that I went with that option.
Working in the roof is not without its challenges though. You go through a lot of picks. Your inventory fills up with netherrack. Hidden pockets of lava can surprise you, and lava flows very fast in the nether. You also have to be careful to dig ahead. I accidentally dug straight down just one block only to find that there was only one block between me and a long drop into the middle of a lava lake. Feel the burn.
And progress can be both slow and difficult to measure. Every once in a while you need to dig down enough to see if you’ve gotten close to anything you are seeking. This is when I fell into the lava lake. Eventually though, I poked through some netherrack and saw something new down below.
It isn’t easy to distinguish in the gloom of the nether, but that is one of the crimson forest biome mushrooms just down below. There is also the bridge/causeway system related to a nether fortress visible as well.
Now I just had to get there.
In Minecraft, as in the real world, it is much easier to build upwards than down. I have not figured out how to build down to something, so my usual plan is to jump down and build up. To do that, I needed to find a place I could safely jump down. So I eyeballed a potential spot and started digging around in the roof trying to get over it so I could drop onto it.
A couple of tries led me to the right spot and I jumped down onto one of the big fungi and then built some steps back up into the roof. Then, using the fungi as an anchor, I was able to get down onto some solid ground to complete the steps.
From there I started to explore a bit, and quickly got lost. I am sure the dark red on dark red with dark red highlights color scheme wasn’t helping me. And, of course, I was on a high spot above a lava lake, so watching my step was kind of important.
I did grab some of the warped stem blocks from the fungi, which is a form of wood which you can use to make some alarmingly ugly doors, among other things.
I hadn’t gone too far and managed to retrace my steps with the wood and some shroomlights, a new light source that you can harvest in the biome. I ran those back to a chest I had up the tunnel a ways, then went back down to poke around some more.
There were Piglins about in groups. They seemed to respect the gold armor rule and just looked at me when I got close.
There were also hoglins, the pigs who now live in the nether. They were not at all impressed by my gold helmet and proceeded to attack me. The little ones were not so bad. They run away when you whack them a good one, though you then have to chase them down to finish them off.
The big boars though, they were a bit of a hazard. The charge and have some knock-back, which is just what you want when you’re on a platform full of pitfalls over a lake of lava.
I was a bit surprised by the relationship between the Piglin and hoglin though. I kind of expected them to be partners together in the world. But then I saw a group of Piglin chasing a hoglin around and found of different.
I once again got turned around and ended up fairly far away from my one landmark, the steps coming down out of the nether roof, which was hard to spot amid the towering fungi.
I tried to carefully make my way back towards them, vowing to make some sort of more obvious marker and path to guide me. At one point I was near the edge of one platform when something whacked me from behind, sending me flying off and down.
The drop wasn’t too far. I had been at full health and still had two hearts left. I looked around to try and get my bearings when I saw a Piglin coming down the slope and straight towards me, gold sword in hand. He killed me.
I am not sure what I did to aggravate him, but he was clearly after me and the gold helmet wasn’t convincing him of anything. Still, I had found at least one of the new biomes the update brought to the nether.
I still need to find Soul Sand Valley, a Warped Forest, and a Basalt Delta, plus some of the other new things. That probably means back into the roof, though first I have to get back to base for some fresh equipment. I had barely put any wear on that diamond sword I had with me.