With each new update, Minecraft gets both a little bit more complex and a little bit easier.
LogicalGeekBoy wants to know – does this make the game boring?
An Old Problem
I’ve actually been thinking about this issue for quite a long time. When OG Minecrafters get nostalgic, we often talk about how simple the game used to be. We were content with the purity of each newly generated world and were in no rush to build massive farms or get to the end game. Most of us didn’t even know that stuff existed and were proud just to get a working cobblestone generator.
Times were simpler, but in my opinion, the complexity still existed. Just below the surface it waited for some intrepid creators to figure out the secrets of the game’s code. In the early days of Minecraft, YouTube was an entirely different place, and it wasn’t so easy for people to find out the latest technical farms to add to their worlds. Today there are so many YouTubers that are rushing to be the first to make advanced and complex creations, that it doesn’t take long at all for people around the world to hack the game using its own mechanics.
Try as they may, Mojang was fighting a losing battle in limiting the power of some of these farms (like the recent removal of zero-tick cheatiness). But even they have admitted that they don’t actually want super-efficient farms removed from the game in their entirety, though some critics of the studio like to claim otherwise.
In Response To Complexity Comes Simplicity
As more and more players have joined the game’s community over the years, there has been a push to build bigger, more elaborate worlds that can stand out amongst the sea of other creations shared. This is especially true as Minecraft YouTubers continued year after year to push the limits of the game both from a technical standpoint and a beautiful one.
It’s not enough to build one single nice house over a period of weeks that you can enjoy the simple life with. If you want to impress other people, you need to create magnificent cities, alien home worlds, and lifelike organics. Some of these projects can take thousands of blocks and many hours to complete, and for the new player that may just be too daunting of a task.
So, what have we gotten from Mojang to help new players get started? Simpler mechanics that can replace most of the hyper efficient farms that are as complex as they are powerful. New Villager mechanics in 1.14 brought easier-to-manage Iron farms. 1.15’s Bees make growing crops faster than ever before. And now in 1.16 we have the new Piglins that serve several purposes through their bartering, Hoglin-hunting, Soul Fire fearing mechanics.
You don’t need advanced understanding of boolean logic and Redstone in order to get all of the supplies you need to start on your massive creative projects – the game now makes it easier than ever to get started, and it’s not hidden below the surface anymore.
A New Approach Is Coming
“I feel like the minimal effort farms are so good now that there’s no point pushing any further.”-LogicalGeekBoy
I’ve felt this same way as Logic does here: What’s the point in building massive farms if I can get by just fine with the intended mechanics recently introduced in the game?
But there’s been a similar problem in Minecraft for ages. I’ve seen so many people, and have even done this myself, who jump into the game, rush to beat the dragon and build insane automated farms, and then not know what to do with all the supplies they now have. They finish their farms, close the world, and then start a new one repeating the cycle endlessly with nothing besides a plethora of storage rooms to look at.
This might be totally fine for some people, but not for me. I even asked Logic in an interview with him (and other members of LegacySMP), “How do you keep from getting bored after building all the farms?” You should give it a listen and see what he said in response for yourself.
What I keep coming back to with this question and the one Logic brought up in his tweet today, though, is the early days of Minecraft. The complexity in the game’s mechanics that made advanced farms possible has been there since day one, but it took us time to find them and use them.
In the same way, I have a feeling that just below the surface of the game we will soon once again find a new way of approaching the game. There will still be SciCraft and Hermitcraft-type servers building insane farms and rushing to the late game. There will still be players like Logic who take pride in completing massive technical projects just for the sake of saying that they could. People will always be looking for ways to bypass the long grind of getting all the supplies they need and pushing the limits of the game to make that happen faster.
But with the advent of easier-to-construct farms, we may soon see a break in the endless cycle that many players find themselves in of starting a world, building farms, getting bored, starting a new world, etc… With the game requiring less technical knowledge in order to just get started, and therefore less time spent just during the prep-cycle of getting the supplies together, a new age of Minecraft creativity is upon us.
The Age Of Diversity
Back in 2010 when I first started playing the game, I had no idea that one day there would be countless farm designs that would shape how many of us would approach our projects. In the same way, as we enter an era when technical Minecrafters have less reason to go big with their automated systems, I don’t really know exactly what the future of the community looks like.
I can try to take a guess, though.
Whenever a technology advances to a point of being made more accessible to a larger audience, creativity is given a boost. With intuitive and easy to understand farms being pushed in front of people with each new update, more people from around the world are going to find themselves able to bring to life the visions in their mind. Especially those who don’t speak English natively and so have a more difficult time understanding the advanced farm tutorials.
With more diverse people able to grasp the concepts of getting massive amounts of supplies easily, we’re going to start seeing much more diverse types of builds and imaginative stories being told through the game. Creative mode has always existed, but there are still a lot of people who only play Survival, and it is those people who are starting to get that creative boost.
YouTube tutorials in the future may be more focused on unique cultures (other than Western-focused modern or medieval builds). Players will talk more about how to create a captivating story rather than how to build a bigger technical farm. People will push the limits of their imaginations in new ways because they’ll be able to spend more time doing so, since they won’t need to spend it on following and understanding advanced tutorials.
The game will change from seeing how fast you can beat the dragon and build late-game farms, and transition to seeing how engaging the world is that you’re building for your Villagers to live in (and other players to experience).
Or maybe it won’t do any of that at all, and instead of rich storytelling being found below the surface, folks like Logic will find new mechanics that will blow all of our minds. That’s probably much more likely. Have you seen this guy’s videos? 😀
What do you think? Is there a change coming to the game that we just haven’t figured out yet? Is the game going to get boring as time goes on and fewer difficult accomplishments in building crazy technical farms are to be found? Will new mechanics be revealed that keep us pushing further and further into a new late game?
Sound off in the comments or pop over to Logic’s Twitter thread linked above. I’m certain, if nothing else, there’s an interesting conversation to be had.