- Minecraft Everyday, by Viktor Cepeda
- Survive the Night, by Approaching Nirvana
- Minecraft Epics, by Bobby Yarsulik
For the last couple weeks, I’ve been playing Minecraft again, maybe half an hour a day at lunch or evening. I set up in a desert village at the corner of plains and savannah biomes, fortified it, then headed out looking for an End stronghold. A bit ago, I noticed a desert bunny had wandered over into the plains, and it was bouncing around; I didn’t get too close and it was fine.
When I came back recently, I noticed a wolf which had somehow travelled a long ways from the nearest taiga, and realized it’d kill the bunny, so I tamed the wolf, brought it into camp and sat it down; I don’t really like to haul them around, they get into fights and die quickly.
Today I went out, and apparently got too close, “spooked” the bunny, and it hopped right down into a ravine, with that horrible death cry YEEEEEeeek! Well, that sucked. I dug down and retrieved the hide, and made a grave at the edge.
It’s just some pixels that were there, somewhat out of place by random chance, that amused me until they made me sad, but it’s got me pissed at Mojang again. The bunny AI is still awful; they routinely jump down tall hills that hurt them. It’s been 3.5 years since bunnies were added (and the killer rabbits added and then removed because someone got scared a survival game might fight back), and nothing’s been fixed.
The rest of the AI in the game is similarly still broken and awful. As noted, I don’t use tamed wolves because they leap to their deaths off cliffs, into lava, under water, fight burning mobs, charge into skeletons firing arrows, or wander aimlessly as creepers blow up. Golems constantly get stuck spinning in circles between two or more goals they won’t choose between; so I have to fence off villages, I can’t rely on the golems to do anything. The polar bears look impressive, but are passive, the AI can’t figure out how to attack when you do start a fight, they’re super weak, and easily pillared out of reach (try that with a real bear and they’ll climb up or knock over what you’re on). Monster AI isn’t too bad, if all you want is roughly pathfinding towards you regardless of hazard.
There’s some amazing stuff in modded Minecraft, my favorite being Life in the Woods Renaissance, and things like the old Feed the Beast mod packs, but Mojang still slogs along adding trivial nonsense that doesn’t work, or redesigning the file format so everything will break, instead of getting someone from Microsoft to help them with AI (maybe Microserfs explode if forced to write in a real programming language?), or adding some of the modded level of detail.
I simply don’t understand their lack of development priorities on Java/desktop edition, which ought to be the hardcore version, the one where everything amazing is thrown in and “Hard” difficulty is actually hard.
The pocket/”Bedrock” edition’s terrible in different ways, the controls are unusable for survival, the mobs seem even dumber, and exploration rapidly fills all flash storage, but I suspect nobody on pocket’s ever played survival, they just stack blocks in creative mode. The half-billion or whatever customers playing that don’t need smart mobs, just a cash shop full of bland skins instead of making their own.