Minecraft Island Survival

Posted by admin on March 28th, 2015 filed in Games

You got the hang of surviving the first days in Minecraft, but you’re not ready to play hardcore yet? Then the next challenge is to survive being dropped into an… extreme biome!

What’s an extreme biome? I’d say anything that’s not a plain or a forest. Deserts come to mind — no wood, no farming, and sand collapses when you dig a shelter. One of my first random seeds started me off at the bottom of a barren valley, surrounded by steep hillsides. Stone, soil, no water, one tree, and nothing else. That’s a challenging startpoint for a beginner, and just survivable enough to not be frustrating. Grab the wood, run up the side of a climable hill, and look for a more habitable biome nearby.

Recently though, I landed on a island. Wow, island survival is tough… There are several challenges:

  • Travelling is more difficult — water slows you down, and islands can be very steep.
  • You cannot find lacking resources by simply “traveling a bit”.
  • Avoiding and fighting monsters is tougher if your mobility is limited by cliffs.

My first island was a steep cliff jutting out of the ocean. It had stone, lava, coal (yay!), a few trees (yay!), sand, a little soil, a bit of sugarcane — and two blades of grass. :(

Torches and a shelter were easy to get, and I replanted saplings and sugar cane, which worked well. But the grass didn’t give me any seeds, and I was close to starvation as soon as I fell off the cliff for the first time and got hurt. I made a simple sword and hoped to hunt down spiders for string to build a fishing rod, but I had no luck.

Then I spotted a flatter, tree-less grassier island on the horizon. With help of a cockleshell boat, I gathered a good handful of wheat seeds there. Here I made a mistake: I returned to the cliff island and planted the wheat there. The next morning, a skeleton had spawned in the water and didn’t burn in sunlight. I couldn’t climb down to the wheat farm without being riddled with arrows. I had no long-range weapon, no fishing rod, and was already wounded, so I died before the wheat was even ripe. I “rage-quit” and deleted the island, and didn’t keep the seed.

In retrospect, I should have set up camp on the flat grassy island, laid low, waited for the wheat to grow and restored my health, before returning to the harder-to-navigate cliff island.

I thought I was done with islands, but just today, I came across a really nice Minecraft island seed… Try -4993501936725104316.

You start with several small islands within swimming distance: Most are flat and some a bit hilly, none is steep. Sand, soil, grass, and trees are within reach, and one island even has a natural bay. Horses, cows, chicken, and pigs spawn on several of the islands, so even an intermediate-beginner has plenty chance of survival. And there seems to be a larger landmass towards the south…

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