Tag Archives: Village and Pillage

Finding the Pillagers

I mentioned at the end of the last Minecraft post, where I was searching for freshly generated villages, that there was something interesting on the map I rendered with Minecraft Overviewer.

What I saw was a tower.

From the map

Naturally I was keen to run out and check out that tower in person, unconcerned about what function the tower might serve.  So I got on my horse and rode out to see what I could see.

As I got within sight of the tower I noticed that there were a few pillagers in the way.  I had seen pillagers wandering about already, so this was nothing new.  I had slain some before, avoided others.  Just another hostile mob.

I dismounted and left the horse to wander… we’ll get to that… to go pick off the pillagers.

The tower is just over yonder, a pillager band in between

I stormed in and started killing off the pillagers only to find more arriving.  I ran towards the tower when things started to get a little overwhelming, finding even more pillagers as I got closer.

I ran in one of the openings in the base of the tower and quickly filled it up with some cobble stone to keep the pillagers out.  The I ran to the far side and did the same to the other opening, then filled in the window opening along the other two sides of the base to stop the crossbow wielding pillagers from shooting me.

I used to be an adventurer like you…

So for the moment I was safe, but I seemed to be in deep with the pillagers.  It was about then that I went to the wiki to see what might be up with this tower only to find that it was a Pillager Outpost, literally the place where pillagers spawn.

I went up through the tower, checking out each level.  There was a chest up at the top with a few items in it, but not much else.  Night was also falling, so I went to one of the lower levels that was enclosed… exposing yourself only draws more arrows from the pillagers… and built myself a bed.

However, it was already night and there were already zombies and skeletons spawning around the place, so I spent the night awake and sniping at the pillagers.  Come the morning I was still firing away at pillagers whose numbers seemed to replenish and remain above my ability to run out and solo.

And they all had eyes for me

In my inventory I have a stack of a dozen units of TNT.  I considered how best to use this to cover my escape.  I leaned out the second floor and placed some above where the pillagers were congregating, then some more lower down, and one right in the center where the door was.  I then hit one of them with a fire arrow to detonate them while opening up a hole on the other side of the building through which to make my escape.

I did seem to have thinned out their ranks as I ran to where I left my horse.  However, try to form, it had wandered off beyond line of sight.  Meanwhile, the remaining hostile pillagers were giving chase, so I headed back north to the village, turning to fight… or to drop a block of TNT to detonate amongst them… every so often.

The pillagers are persistent and would not give up the chase, but I was able to knock off the last of them by the time I got back to the village.  However, on entering the village I learned about the bad omen curse.

When you kill the pillager captains, the guys with the banners, you get the bad omen and as soon as you walk into a village it triggers a raid.  The bad omen effect stacks, and the more you have the more waves you get in your raid.

So it was a further fight, during which most of my villagers were wiped out.  Pillages go straight for them if they can.  They also open normal doors, so just being inside is no safety.  That also introduced me to the ravager, the pillage beast/mount, which has a lot of hit points and hits like a truck.  Fortunately it is too big to fit through a single door, so I was able to find a spot from which to fire away at the one that spawned during one of the raid waves.

Eventually I prevailed, though I was close to death a few times… and, as I said, most of my villagers died.  But I got the achievement for defeating a raid.

Hero of the Village also gets you a discount on buying items from villagers and makes giving them things to increase their level more effective.  This would have been useful had I had many villagers left.

Meanwhile, there were still pillagers lurking about on the route to the pillager camp, though no captains, so I could knock them down without having another raid hit.

Pillager lurking by my village – Also, Hero of the Village effect icon at upper right

That done I headed back to find my damn horse.  I found him up the hill overlooking the pillager camp.

The horse could pretty much see me the whole time

From up there I could also move around to get a look into how much damage I had done.

The tower after my first run

I blew a pretty big chunk out of the side of the tower, and a tree that was there, against which I had placed some of the TNT, had gone completely missing.  But I saw that at least one block of TNT remained.  That seemed like an invite to return.  So I went back in, placed the last of my TNT at various points around the tower, all while avoiding pillagers who began to chase me yet again, and started blowing things up.  Releasing the iron golem they had caged up helped some, as they fought with him for a while.

Then I set the tower on fire, just for good measure before running off again.  Again, a bunch of pillagers were following me.

Not happy with me

I managed to kill off the followers and avoid the captains, leading them into the ocean and out swimming them.  No bad omen this time.

Then it was back to the village to start fortifying it against pillagers, first by building a wall around it.  I also found a few of the pillager banners in my inventory from my fights.

Banners of my defeated foes

I decided to hang some of those up on my defensive structures.

Fortifying my village

Later, I went and rendered a fresh copy of the map to see what was left of the tower.

Tower after the TNT and burning

There are still two blocks of unexploded TNT around the tower, so I might have to go back.  We’ll see if pillagers stop spawning there if I tear the whole thing down.

Finding New Villages

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.

Villagers and Pillagers

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.

Love is in the air

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.

Young villagers, without occupations, sleeping in the new dorm

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.

The Western Isle?

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.

The Western Isle house

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.

Savanna Village

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.

New buildings in the savanna

In addition to new buildings they also incorporate some of the new materials.

Something fresh in the savanna

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.

Grassland village building

This also had not only new building layouts, but bits of construction new to the release.

Town bell and some stalls

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.

Pretty sure there is a zoning violation here

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.

Map of the area around the first village

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.

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.

The Minecraft Village and Pillage Update Lands

The Minecraft 1.14 update, the “Village & Pillage” release, landed for both the Java (old school) and Bedrock (Win10 and consoles) editions this week.  It has been described by the team as the biggest update to villages ever.

Villagers and Pillagers

And, given the list of new items and changes, I won’t argue with that description, even extending it to the biggest update overall I have seen for the game.

The list of just “new” things added to the game is already pretty impressive:

  • Bamboo jungles with bamboo trees and pandas
  • Barrels
  • Berries
  • Blast furnaces
  • Town bells
  • Campfires
  • Cartography tables
  • Composters
  • Crossbows
  • Fletching tables
  • Foxes
  • Leather horse armor (dyeable)
  • Lanterns
  • Lecterns
  • Looms
  • Pillagers
  • Raids
  • Ravagers
  • Wandering Traders
  • Scaffolding
  • Smithing tables
  • Smokers
  • Stonecutters
  • New flowers
  • New dyes
  • New decorative blocks

Back over the summer, when they first started talking about this update I thought pandas were going to be the big deal.  But now there is so much more.

And those are just the new things.  The Minecraft team has also changes up how a lot of things work in the game.  Cats are now their own thing, separate from ocelots, villages now work differently, and all of that new stuff has it own mechanics as well.

In addition, textures were updated as well, so the world even looks a bit different.  And all of that is just scratching the surface of what is listed out for the update.

As usual, I face some of the “old server” problems.  New biomes do not appear in already discovered areas, so if I want to see pandas I am going to have to mount an expedition to find one, the way I did for the warm ocean.

However, this time around a lot of the new stuff is right there in front of me.  I went to a village near our server spawn point, literally the first village we discovered almost four years ago when my daughter and I started out with a fresh server, and found the newly updated villages… well… making new villagers I guess.

Love is in the air

The villagers have new textures, as do a lot of things in the game.

Villagers doing it in the new wheat texture

They also have some new behaviors.  They need some of the new work stations to go about their business, which will appear automatically if you discover a new village but which you need to build for them in an old one.  The villagers also all now sleep in beds, which I discovered when night fell and I went to use the one bed in the village only to find it occupied.  So I had to make beds for everybody.  It is a good thing I had some sheep within the walls of that village.

Young villagers, without occupations, sleeping in the new dorm

I also collected a few cats.  Cats are now strays and they spawn around villages.  You have to sneak up on them and give them fish to tame them.  The wall around this village helped me corral them as they couldn’t wander off, but I understand that if you village is open they will spawn and move away.

A calico kitty caught

There is still a lot to do and a lot to explore with this Minecraft update.  There were some initial problems with people logging in and, as is often true with new updates, Minecraft Realms servers seem to be struggling under the weight of the changes… taking a mine cart anywhere leads to some ragged movement… but the update is live.  Time to go play.