If you’re a frequent Minecraft player, you’ve probably noticed that you start each new world at midday. This means you have half the amount of time you normally would to gather resources and do your plundering before the things that go bump in the night appear. This always used to annoy me, but it’s finally clicked: it forces you to stop looking for that perfect spot to build a base and just make up your mind and get hunkered down already.
It’s easy to be a perfectionist in Minecraft. You can sculpt the land and your creations however you want, but nothing beats finding that perfect spot to settle down. Sometimes that’s a forest clearing with a lush pond or scenic stream, other times it’s a large tree, and sometimes it’s a mountainside with a brutal but gorgeous overlook. But what if your spawn point is in the middle of a desert? Or on an island surrounded by water? Or in a frosty tundra? Do you walk all day looking for familiarity and comfort, or do you say “Oh God, oh fuck I gotta build some walls, man, the creepers are coming, man, they’re almost here!”?
This might not be too much of a concern for casual players, as dying simply sends you back to your spawn point. But, if you haven’t made a bed yet – and let’s face it you won’t have, unless you luckily spawned near sheep – that’s right back where you started. I doubt many people have the patience to make that trek again, so you likely just build a base at that one spot on the way that didn’t look too bad now that you think about it.
I started playing Minecraft with permadeath to help get over my fear of change, so my drive to get building before sundown is mostly spurred on by my very reasonable and not at all necessary setting change. If I get got by a creeper or a skeleton snipes me from 200 metres away that’s it, game over, man, game freaking over. I hunker down out of sheer necessity and gradually learn to appreciate my surroundings. A big cliff may not be the prettiest thing in the world to look at, but it keeps the mobs away and it can be carved into a pretty neat Hobbit hole.
If we all just went on and on looking for that perfect spot we’d never stop. We’d just wander Minecraft’s infinite world eternally, because the perfect spot doesn’t exist in the game, only in your mind. Every spot you stumble across could always be better, but it isn’t. You have to put in the work and make it better yourself. You want a waterfall and a stream? Make one. You want to see mountains off in the distance? Build them, one block at a time.
Or, you can sack off the base and go forth as a nomad, ceaselessly pursuing an unreachable goal, a non-existent nirvana. Begin each day anew and wander the world forever, with nothing but the items in your inventory to keep you safe. Turning Minecraft from a base builder into an adventure game is oddly rewarding. Just remember to get to bed early on day one.
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