Rage, Rage Against the Dying of the Avatar

In what is becoming an all-too-common occurrence, Minecraft is once again eating away at my free time, time which should have been spent cleaning. In fact, it might not be too much of a stretch to say that whenever I write about Minecraft, it’s likely because the game has sucked me in again.

But Minecraft is not all fun and games, building and exploring. There is the ever-present risk that you may die.

Yes, this is going to be a rant.

There are many things trying to kill you in the world of Minecraft: long falls, drowning, slowly flowing lava. And those are only the environmental hazards. At night, monsters come out: zombies, skeletons, giant spiders, and creepers. Zombies bite, skeletons shoot arrows, and creepers explode. Usually when you least expect it. Or at least when it would be most inconvenient.

Death is not final, of course, but it can be a huge inconvenience. When killed, you teleport back to your spawn point (usually the most recent bed you’ve slept in), but all the stuff in your inventory gets spilled on the ground. If you want it back, you must rush back to your gravesite before all your equipment disappears into the electronic aether. Did I mention items despawn after 5 minutes? Good luck finding your stuff!

It seems I tend to only die when I’m on my way back to my base after a fruitful caving expedition, inventory full with ore and other resources. It’s hard (read: impossible) to tell what time of day it is underground, so more often than not I resurface with the sun a distant memory below the horizon. At this point, I can either sit out the night in a small dirt shelter, or I can make a run for it. I usually choose the latter. I often die because of this.

Usually, this is enough to make me ragequit the game; when it’s so easy to lose hours of progress, the last thing you want to do is spend another large chunk of time replacing what you’ve lost. Especially when you had rare, irreplaceable resources you needed to finish a building project.

I will admit, however, that the minimap mod I recently installed does make it easier to find my equipment, but it’s still really annoying. But at the same time, I don’t want to completely remove the danger that hostile mobs provide. On my personal maps I’ve reduced the difficulty, which in turn reduces the damage that mobs do. But as I explore in multiplayer I find this isn’t a setting I can change. I guess I’ll just have to face the more “game” aspects of Minecraft.

But I’m not necessarily going to be happy about it.