I am having some trouble with Kamyu's Populate Chests application. When I run it, I get this error:
Processing the overworld
Exception in Tkinter callback
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "Tkinter.pyc", line 1410, in __call__
File "Populate Chests.py", line 133, in main
File "Populate Chests.py", line 162, in process_world
File "nbt\region.pyc", line 190, in iter_chunks
File "nbt\region.pyc", line 231, in get_chunk
Anyone know what this error is or how to fix it? Thanks!
While I don't know the specific error, I'd advise against using that filter in the first place. First off, it's about 4 years old at this point and thus has issues, plus minecraft already has a built in system that will randomly populate chests for your based on a pre-set list you create (loot tables).
More important though, is that random loot with a lot of variance is not a good idea for making a map. Instead of doing random loot, try flying through your areas and asking yourself "what will the player want while they're here?" and giving them loot based on that. For example, if there's an area with a lot of blaze or ghasts, give some arrows and maybe some fire prot or blast protection armor, along with some blocks for building in a chest. The player will be happy when they find that loot chest instead of having a random chance of being disappointed if you use that filter. Doing it this way gives you much tighter control over the balance and flow of your map, and the overall experience will be much better for it.
Before I start, I’d just like to comment on the main gimmick of this map; taking Hypixel’s maps and making CTMs out of them. I actually don’t think it’s a bad idea, because it has some major benefits. For one thing, Hypixel does a VERY good job with their maps, and your area and aesthetic design is already done for you. I personally have played on Hypixel’s server, and enjoyed their minigames. So when I heard about this map, of course I had to at least give it a shot. Another advantage is that, with your map design covered, that takes out a lot of the time you would normally spend building area aesthetics, and lets you spend it on placing spawners, designing interesting encounters and loot, and doing command block stuff. With 2000+ advertised dev hours, I would not say its wrong at all to go into this map with high expectations.
I’m just sad I was so disappointed.
(Screenshots included by request)
I may have burned it a little.
Prisoner(game: Quakecraft): Rating… Just Okay
For all the epicness this map claims to have, it starts off really slow. Nothing here is particularly difficult. I appreciated having little natural spawns. It was nice to only deal with spawner stuff. However, during this area, one of the major problems with the map rears its ugly head. Namely, lighting and guiding the player to important points. Most of the lighting was removed from the copied maps, leaving the only source of light most of the time as your own torches. This is actually really bad, since its hard to see important stuff. The little emerald chandelier? How the heck is anyone supposed to notice that? Its good form to put redstone torches on the important stuff, but as it is, the exit to the area and the pig fishing secret is REALLY hard to find, because there’s no lights or area design to guide your attention to it. I had to go into spectator mode just to see it!
MONUMENT: Recovered Haven: Rating… Good
I don’t know what lobby this is, but it looks fine. All the command blocks work (a consistent thing throughout the map, one of the things done right), a good base is given… everything is okay. I just wish the convenience teleporters were two-way… oh, and the emerald blocks were neat too, but many of the emerald locations were a bunch of crap. Hidden in some far-off island that requires a stack of blocks to get to and was just a little aesthetic thing in the Hypixel server? Was that really necessary?
In any case, the next area is where some of the map’s problems start to really show.
Wrath of th- I mean, LOST BRETHREN: Rating: The start of the problems
This is where the central problem of the map shows up. The gameplay has exactly two modes: “Boring” and “Bullcrap”. The first part of this area is boring. Many of the spawners, here and elsewhere, aren’t primed, so if you’re fast you can just break them before stuff spawns. You walk down a long, winding path, and if the mobs do spawn, they’re the same every time. Boring.
The town, on the other hand, is bullcrap. The buildings are all very close together, and things are packed tight. That means that while you’re dealing with the mobs from one spawner, the spawners in the floor above you are spawning, and mobs in the buildings near you are spawning. Basically, it builds up REALLY FAST, and if you want to loot all the buildings, multiple trips back to make them despawn are required. The good news is, you don’t need to beat all the buildings! You can just run right to the next place once you have the head in the town hall!
(Do you need a screenshot here? It’s just Wrath of the Fallen…)
Rustaay Castle: Rating: Boring
There are all these huge areas in Hypixel, and you take them without cutting them down at all, and fill them all with spawners and some secrets… but there isn’t much interesting to do in many of them, so its just running around a big area and smashing spawners as you go. It wouldn’t have
disappointed anyone if you just sealed off some of the castle and left it empty to streamline things. This applies to a lot of areas, really.
Wisdom Mines: Rating: Okay:
There wasn’t much to say here. It’s just the mines with a lot of spawners added. Honestly, the first few areas out of the monument, you’re just exploring a spawner-filled survival mode of Hypixel’s second map. It goes on way too long, and anyone who was hoping to get to playing on Hypixel’s minigame maps really has to slog through this and wait a while before they can. It would have been better to replace all of these areas with minigame renditions, or mini-size the whole map into one big area as opposed to 3 medium ones. The long haul through all three of these areas probably made several players give up before the map really got started.
Intersection 1, Rotten Firstfruit: Rating: Eh
Its an okay intersection. We’re all happy to be done with Wrath of the Fallen, this is essentially where the map REALLY starts. The most notable thing is the NPC villager dialogue at the bottom(or was it the I2 guy?), which I think was where we actually learned what the heck was happening, the rebellion in Hypixel. I’ll talk about the lore and how messed up it is at the very end.
It takes just as long to run through as it looks!
Formidable Resurrection(??? Whats with the name?)(game: Blitz SG): Rating: Long
This area had okay mobs, but it got boring after a lot of running through them. This is not the last Blitz SG map. I have to say, a lot of the areas were Blitz maps. I feel it is overrepresented. I guess now is as good a time as any to note the custom mobs in this map; many of them were rather simplistic. Rather than creating new interesting situations, a few custom mobs were taken and had their spawners scattered throughout the area. You fight the same mobs in the same way many times, and it really wears on you. Much of the time, each new area only brings a slightly more powerful zombie than before, or a slightly more powerful skeleton than before. In that regard, I’d compare the map to Savage Realms, though that map had more redeeming qualities.
No Such Thing as Magic(game: TNT Wizards): Rating: Above Average
This area was alright! It was neat enough, running around, exploring buildings, and grabbing points. I do appreciate the witch changes! However, I feel like it could have been even better, by giving the player speed/jump boost buffs like in the real TNT wizards, and priming the spawners, putting more guard around the points and a miniboss mob instead of an obsidian-encased spawner. Then, you could have been dashing around, smacking mobs aside as they chased you, capturing all the points and trying to win the battle! It might have been good then. As it is, it goes really slowly, and the TNT Wizards maps weren't built for slow play.
Under the Bridge(game: Paintball): Rating: Above Average
This area, too, was okay. You had a fair choice of which route you wanted to take to get to the other side. The invisible maze was more an annoyance than anything, though. The worst part. The void almost felt unnecessary, not really being a threat if you played with any careful-ness. The only time it came into play was the Creeper Head usage, which was actually a nice shout-out to the real server. Good on you.
As an intersection, this place is nice, if a bit more dangerous than expected. As for the sidequest… well, once again, the entire upper part of the mansion was used when it really didn’t need to be. It felt like a really long slog for just 2 emeralds, even if the ability to instakill ghosts with glass was cool. The cheesy potions WOULD have been helpful… if they’d been given in stacks. As it is, with them taking up a lot of inventory when you can’t even use them at full efficiency, it’s really better to stick with conventional food.
Quake Tribe(game: Quakecraft): Rating: Okay
All the twisting hallways were tough to navigate! At least the next area and head are easy to find. Really, I can’t imagine anyone still trying to find the emeralds by this point… There isn’t too much to say, just that the map could’ve had so many neat Quakecraft-like gimmicks, and instead chose to just go with an above-average skeleton custom mob. Disappointing.
On one hand, neat! On the other hand, a lot of running to do!
Citadel of Legends(game: Blitz SG?): Rating: Okay
The name and the Assassin generics made me expect something special, but its really a rather ordinary area. The blazes have a tendency to burn down the forest. This would’ve been a good place for a boss fight or a climax, but while its tense running along the top, there is again nothing too noteworthy.
Gets two screenshots because they’re so different
Ivory Fangs(game: VampireZ): Rating: Bullcrap, then Above Average
Here, in both parts of the area, another major problem in the later areas of the map show up. Specifically, the custom mobs aren’t explained at ALL. The first part of the area, due to this, is an utter crapfest. First off, the headless horsemen. They might have been okay as rarely seen, almost miniboss-type enemies… not spammed everywhere as normal enemies! They give you blindness AND wither with when you’re in a couple block radius, and there isn’t anything you can do about it. And its hard to realize that it’s the HORSES, not the zombies, that give it to you! Not only that, but the nearby vampires heal up to almost full when they hit you, which would be okay… if not for the map detecting the damage you take from wither as them hitting you, constantly healing the swarms of vampires. A deadly combo I’m fairly certain is entirely accidental. The saving grace is that its all totally skippable, just run right to the other end of the town if you don’t care for the not-worth-it loot.
The second part is pretty much a completely different area. Free infinite iron, yay! The jump boost and parkour design, combined with skeletons, but giving you knockback-resist items… it was actually pretty neat! I actually liked it! Good job!
So, this area would have been given an “Okay”, if not for one thing: You randomly have Mining Fatigue! There’s not a reason for it or anything! It’s just there! Why?? What’s the point? To make it more of a challenge? It felt totally pointless, and cast a shadow on what was otherwise an alright area. The mobs were somewhat challenging this time, although dealing with the swarms and spawners that spawned more spawners got annoying after a while. And this isn’t the last time the player is randomly debuffed…
You start at the bottom. Have fun getting up!
Intersection 3: Rating: Bad:
Okay, I’m just going to yell this… WHY WOULD ANYONE EVER DESIGN AN INTERSECTION THIS WAY?! There’s no bridges, or ladders, o-or anything! Just empty space for you to bridge! I didn’t even bother. I fully admit to using spectator mode to get around places from this point onwards. It was just… so annoying! At LEAST give us a block chest at the bottom! You didn’t even do that!
Looking at the torch trail, I think this screenshot represents the best way of playing the area.
Blizzard(Game: Blitz SG… again): Rating: Okay
I didn’t even stay long enough to see the blizzard mechanic. The main problem with the area is the elevator at the start; it takes WAY TOO LONG. Block by block by block… for what surely must have been at least 100 blocks… didn’t you notice it was a 5-minute trip during testing? For one way? It would have been FASTER to chop down trees, craft ladders, and use those to get back up!
The boss fight was unexpected, but terrible. Once again, some explanation would have been nice. I wasn’t sure whether I was supposed to be killing or helping the villager. The boss mechanics result in tons of swarms while the villager heals up as you try to swat away the minions. However, if you use the Ground Pound axe, it becomes a little less terrible… so I hope you don’t lose that item!
The Intestines of the Network: Rating: Awful
To anyone reading this planning to play the map, go right ahead and skip the area. It’s bad. First off, the guy clinging to your back is annoying and laggy. Second off, the first thing you do at the start of the area is replace all the players current torches with redstone torches WITHOUT warning them. Hope you weren’t carrying too many! And it’s pointless too, since it’s perfectly possible to use glowstone. Once inside, it doesn’t get better. The mobs are numerous and aggravating, and its hard to find the spawners to break them. The only good part is that it isn’t THAT long. It would have been better as just a couple tunnels and a very short walk there.
Thought you were done with Adventure maps? YOU THOUGHT WRONG.
Developer’s Mansion: Rating: Ranges from bad to Above Average
Okay, so this area was an odd mix. Simultaneously cool at some parts and bad at others. The wizard’s special items were cool, it would have been nice to be able to move him back to the monument. The monkeys and Beetles outside hit WAY too hard, and they swarmed! The inside of the mansion was SAFER!
The inside of the mansion would have done much better with a proper explanation. The Indecisive Mages were neat with them going from extra-tanky to essentially a period of vulnerability. However, the Lightning they hit you with was totally unavoidable, and got really frustrating after a while. The Angel Boots were also cool. The crypt below was actually the best part, with a sort-of cool lantern gimmick and some good, simple mob encounters. That part with codename_b at the bottom, though… that was dark.
Also. This was the worst part of the map for me. Not the crypt, but the side area in it. A lot of the areas in this map are biased towards Blitz SG, taking representation from a lot of the other games that could have been in. Blitz SG was an important game, but arguably more important were the games Walls and Mega Walls, some of Hypixel’s most influential works. Walls was only represented through one small transition area. Mega Walls? …Well, I went into the map wanting to play a Mega Walls area. Almost expecting it, as some major climax. A big epic area; it might have even made a good final area. What did we get to represent the biggest, the most epic game on Hypixel?
THIS. One itty-bitty bedrock arena wither boss fight! As an optional emerald area! I guess it could have no representation, but… it’s SO boring! You could have had something amazing, not this! Maybe it was a plan for one of the future maps, maybe not, I don’t know…
This area ties with the last for being the worst. It. Is. BAD. AWFUL. HORRIBLE!! Everything about it is imbalanced! It mostly messes with your interface, dragging your vision away as you try to break spawners, shifting you around… this would be okay as a little gimmick, but this is a HUGE area! You have to put up with it for WAY too long to get anywhere! And the mobs, oh goodness, the mobs… I have PTSD flashbacks to creepers that TELEPORTED YOU INTO THEM so they could IMMEDIATELY explode you, one enemy that gave poison(the easiest one), another that gave Mining Fatigue that prevented you from breaking spawners, and still another that gave Negative Jump Boost, preventing you from jumping… All with no explanation or warning, of course. I ran straight through, grabbed the head, and got out. Nope nope NOPE.
The Main Attraction(Hypixel Main Lobby): Rating: Okay
Alright, this one isn’t so bad. The chest mechanic was annoying… you could just give us the items, you don’t need to make us buy easy-to-lose very overpriced keys! Once you made it to the actual castle, it was actually a fun area, with some finally INTERESTING combat encounters rather than spawners everywhere(that’s totally what the outside is, though). The ending was so disappointing, though. No real conclusion to anything… I’ll talk about that in a bit.
Peripheral Memory Access: Rating: Good
We would have all been better off is this was the final area.
The mobs take a lot of hits to kill – all the endgame mobs do, it makes fighting them more aggravating than anything – but other than, this area was okay. A neat mechanic, it kept itself fairly short, and felt like a really good buildup for the finale! I actually did like this one, at least a little.
So… after all this buildup, all this time, what do you do for the final area? The map slows to an UTTER crawl. Why? Because you’re debuffed again! Weakness 11. Slowness 3. Mining Fatigue… 2. Because it NEEDS TO BE MORE OF A CHALLENGE. Seriously? The final area in a map is usually about you throwing everything you have at an insane challenge, not bringing you back down almost to the power level you had when you started, so you can VERY SLOWLY move through an incredibly long area!
Now, I won’t go on. Because I fully admit it. I gave up. I went into Spectator mode and skipped straight to the final boss. I. was. DONE. I did not want any more.
And the final boss… was even worse! Not only did you keep your debuffs, you went into adventure mode and lost block-placing power! Instead of fighting an actual enemy, you fought Herobrine, who hovered just out of the reach of your weapons. The ONLY opportunity you had to hurt him was when he shot a fireball… which happened about every 3 minutes. Good luck if you didn’t get it! The rest of the time rotated between A: Dealing with a ridiculously OP attack that killed you incredibly fast(even with the best armor, don’t expect to last more than a couple hits) or B: Waiting for Herobrine to do something. The final boss battle was just boring! It would have been better to just have a regular fight, instead of the slow waitfest we got.
It is done.
THE STORY AND LORE:
All the philosophy stuff was just silly. I’m not going to comment on it.
First off, the map does very little to establish the story, what’s going on, and what you’re doing in. What I COULD gather:
*You’re trying to stop a rebellion
*Almost everyone is on the rebellion’s side
*There’s this person called “His Divinity”
And all of this is hidden away in optional dialogue and books that are very possible to miss. It all falls flat. There’s nothing to save and nobody to help. It’s just you, murdering a bunch of people in a “rebellion” with no opposition except for yourself. You don’t know their motivations, just that at the end of the map in the second-to-last area, they successfully execute Hypixel and win. And in the real last area, you totally forget about the rebellion and go fight Herobrine instead. All of this together means no investment, or reason to care. The story might have done better with more fleshing out; establish the situation, motivations, and give it a proper conclusion. As it is, there isn’t any payoff for paying attention to it.
All in all, I give the map a "bad". There are some good ideas, but they're lost and buried amidst everything else.
Gonna drop this here as well, for archiving purposes:
Hey guys! I'm not dead, I swear!
SP03 has been giving me a really hard time lately, so I took a little break from it and look what came into being: a minimap! Looking at it, this actually is my first miniCTM that was not made for Strawberry Jam. :0
Ligebied Length: 3 objectives Made for Minecraft 1.10.2
An old chapel stands alone, looking over the distant sea. It is said that long ago, the secret of fabled golden oaks was kept there. Perhaps it is what you seek?
Now, this a bit of an experiment. I wanted to do something relatively small, to be able to just play around with cool ideas. Main thing I wanted to try out were resource packs, and I have to say I'm now addicted to them. It's so easy to bend vanilla minecraft textures just a little bit, and it gives so much more atmosphere to the map! Definitely will be making use of them in the future.
Other than that, Ligebied also has small, but full-fledged lore, and actually is set in the same world as SP03 (you will find a couple of connections between the maps)! This is also precisely how lore in Entropy will look as well: just sitting in small portions on a bunch of items all around the map.
Overall, I'd say this turned out as a sort of "bite-sized" preview of Entropy. This basically is what my mapmaking style has turned into over the years, and it should roughly reflect how SP03 will feel as well. Also while we're on the topic, I'm very aware of how I keep talking about Entropy every time and then disappear for another couple of months, but bear with me here. We're gonna get to the release eventually, even if it is taking far too long. C:
I’d like to begin by saying one thing: this map comes with a resource pack. Now oftentimes, resource packs in minecraft maps can fill a number of functions, from being obnoxious and over-the-top with replacing Minecraft’s whole palette, to providing background music or necessary voice acting. However, the resource pack for this map only did one thing: Added a few special-looking objectives, and changed some blocks to slightly-modified versions of their current textures. Even though they were small changes, this was one of the best use of resource packs I’ve ever seen - because this map looks AMAZING. I constantly wanted to (and did) stop and stare at the beautiful environments! The entire thing gave off a Dark Souls vibe for looks, but with Minecraft’s brighter colors. Normally, I don’t devote too much time to talking about aesthetics, but this map did a truly special job, and even gave you a binocular-type item so you could take a closer look!
With that out of the way, most of the other things about the map came off as average – a very solid average. The gameplay wasn’t anything special that hadn’t been done before, but it all came off as a very polished package, with the mobs and loot being well-balanced. One thing I particularly liked was the complete removal of natural mobs from the map, allowing it to rely solely on spawners. An audacious change, but a very effective tool in the hands of the right map – which this one was! The areas and world felt alive and interconnected, with side paths containing bonus loot frequently appearing, and usually in ways that felt organic and natural.
Without getting into too many specifics – I don’t want to spoil it for those who want to play it – I had a good time playing this map, and I would recommend it without hesitation to someone looking for a shorter and simpler CTM to play.
The beginning of the map was very simple. A minecart track to take you where you needed to go, and a short walk until you make it to a basic base and the intersection for the next areas. The resource management is immediately odd – you’re given the resources you need to make stone tools and some basic farms right off the bat, but it doesn’t provide wood in chests, forcing you to break wooden planks from the environment to get what you need.
Other than that, the lack of honeyboxes is immediately apparent, as the base area is a small well-lit square surrounded by total darkness, which resulted in an eternal siege of zombies during my stay at the intersection. Surprisingly, it actually made for a fairly interesting start – but got annoying fast after I was done gathering resources. The intersection was overall simple, and with no order book saying where to go first. It was only by luck I went the right ways first.
Intersection rating: 6/10 Too many mobs…
Workshop and Research*(White Wool):
The map surprised me here – upon walking in I expected an extension to the base. Until I saw the spawners. With the high numbers of natural spawns and the cramped nature of the area, this place managed to hit the mark of challenging without being too hard only because it had very few spawners. The place was full of brewing stands right away, but netherwart was never available at any point during the map. Overall, the area was winding and twisty, with a lot of dead ends, but still quite short and overall okay.
Area Rating: 7/10 A surprisingly good starting area
*: I’ve put the area names into google translate - the map is in French
Red Cave(Orange wool):
This area is immediately much bigger and more open than the previous one, but also more difficult. The natural mobs are still everywhere, but thankfully, there are few spawners so we’re still dealing with just them. Despite the objective only being a short walk away from the start, the large amount of mobs made it feel like a drawn-out struggle. I managed to remain deathless by virtue of the potions I was generously provided at the beginning of the area – potions are the one thing the map gives out on a whim.
Area Rating: 6/10 A very simple area, with surprisingly large numbers of enemies
Massif arkeoma*(Magenta wool):
Deaths: 3(2 Accidental lava slip, 1 surprise creeper attack, 2 attempting to retrieve stuff after surprise attack)
At the beginning of this area, it really seemed like the map had stopped pulling its punches. It proved MORE than willing to throw out skeleton spawners in an area consisting of hole-filled bridges over lava, making the place feel incredibly tense and stressful. And then, 1 minute in, all that ended, with the area seguing into a much simpler inferno-mines style sandstone cavern, with natural spawns aided by the occasional creeper spawner. This proved to be more challenging than expected, but the spawners were hidden in ways that made it hard to find and disable them - always an annoyance.
Even further in, we got our first show of random loot, which can be best described as an incredible inventory-filling deluge of good things. Hardly unwelcome, but wholly in contrast to what the map had provided so far. Continuing onwards, the area changed again, into a stone cave pockmarked with many, many small spider-filled holes. It proved easier to run through than try to eliminate anything. This area was significantly longer than the other two, and varied vastly in difficulty throughout. It did at least provide you with good rewards. The loot chest was a definite highlight.
Area Rating: 7/10 Good but too much lava.
*Google translate failed me here
Intersection of Fire and Explosions*:
While exploring massif arkeoma, I noticed in the bridge over lava portion a bridge which didn’t connect to anything. Upon bridging over, there was a little dungeon-type area with some zombies and loot. It initially seemed like a neat side-area… until I found the ladder tucked in the corner. The ladder led down into a little chamber with some more loot and a tree in the middle, with creepers and lava guarding it. This also wasn’t the end – there was another side-cavern, leading into the place you see in the picture above. Now, I thought this was a full separate side area. But I was wrong! It’s an entire intersection! I was lucky, sure, but it’d be incredibly easy to miss this!
What’s more, just look at it. Can you see why I didn’t think it’s an intersection? It has creepers, dangerous bridges above lava… and worse yet, there’s no base or chests or teleporters or railways back or ANYTHING! The only thing telling you its an intersection at all is an area with four poles and some signs! What’s worse, this proved to be a consistent theme through the map. Moving your items every which way is a huge hassle, so its better to set up a new base for each new place you go to, which gets annoying after a while.
All in all… Hard to find, no base setup of any kind, no convenient way back to the previous base, unnecessary and frustratingly hazardous… this place has all the parts of a bad intersection.
2/10 A decidedly mean little place!
*: My personal name for it
Cavern of Water/Main Point:
I was only able to find this on a tip from someone else. Back in the first intersection, there was a small hole in the walls on the coal-filled part of the area. This led to a large water drop into a cave, which led straight to another intersection, also fairly easily accessible from the first areas! At this point, the map started to seem confused. There were 2 intersections stemming off from the first one, neither with a base or any connection to the others, and the remaining area left in the first intersection was lategame content (surprise – I’ll talk about this later). The map was expanding rapidly in every direction, but I had no idea where to go next or what order to do things in, and the map refused to provide any indication. Even some of those carpets along the ground indicating which area had what wool would have been helpful!
With no other choice, I decided I would set up base at the new intersection I had just found and try to get stuff done here. The intersection itself wasn’t too bad, but still lacked any semblance of a base*. Or a way to get back up the massive water drop I had gotten through to get down there.
Extra note: The water cavern you see in this picture? Even though there’s no indication its anything but a small transitional area for the next intersection, it contains the entrance to 2 wools, brown and yellow (see if you can find the one in the picture). Brown is just in a small cave led to by a hole in the ground, but yellow is an entire dungeon that I didn’t know was there until someone else told me.
*There actually was a small base in Infernal Road, but if you didn’t go to that area first you would be out of luck.
Intersection Rating: 3/10 Less dangerous but same problems as the other one
Infernal Road(Gray Wool):
The entire area was pretty much just the road you see above. A hole-filled, boring, burning road. Walking along it is very easy, and if you stick to it, you’ll make it to the wool without problems. There are a handful of ghast spawners along the way, but they aren’t primed and won’t be triggered if you’re quick. Though there were some dangerous-looking custom mobs at the bottom of the road, I never saw any reason to actually leave the road. Overall, the whole area just felt… pointless. Why have a giant road if nothing’s going to attack you along it? Is the map relying on people slipping off into the lava below? Why?
Rating: 4/10 Boring.
Skeletown(Cyan Wool AND Light Gray wool):
This place seemed like it was going to be pretty terrible. And it wasn’t great. There were lots of skeletons. Skeleton spam and eventually blaze spam was what the entire area relied on for its challenge. The “meat” of the area relied on buildings, some with spawners inside and some not, shoved very close together, so that while you were taking care of any one area, the others were filling up with mobs at an alarming rate, until you needed to retreat for a little while so things could cool down. I had to retreat a few times for things to be manageable. But there was one even more major problem with this area: It had 2 wools in it. Okay, that’s not the problem, it’s how that’s indicated to the player that’s the problem. Specifically, it isn’t indicated to the player. The wools are hidden in 2 places: One in a tucked-away underground sewers-type section, the other in a large, important-looking building on the surface. I got lucky, and found the sewers wool first by pure accident. But I could easily see someone in a hurry to get through the area(because, skeletons) getting the wool in the building, and fleeing the area never to return, because, why would this area specifically have more than wool? It’s not like areas having more than one wool is presented as a possibility early on. This area just happens to have more than one wool.
This is especially bad since the entire intersection is far away from the rest of the map, and it would be a huge hassle to come back here when you found yourself one wool short later on.
We can be thankful for one thing: These were 1.8.9 skeletons, not 1.9+ skeletons.
Rating: 5/10 Not boring, at least
Fungal Gallery(Purple Wool):
This area’s aesthetic tells a lot about it: Its just a stone cave that happens to have mushrooms on the floor. The primary enemy is natural mobs, along with some clumpings of cave spider spawners along the way. The area felt more annoying than challenging, but as usual, it didn’t last too long. Even the final challenge was simply boring – there was an island above lava you had to approach, but the only thing defending it were non-primed witch spawners. It was all very easy, and it never really presents any interesting problems for you to solve.
Rating: 4/10 Also boring.
Of note, there was a shortcut in this area that led back to Magenta wool. If you don’t like blocking your way back up huge water drops, this is your only way back to the intersection you started in.
At this point, we’re out of the water-drop intersection and back at the first intersection, there were some areas I hadn’t gone to yet.
The Furnace(Green wool):
Yes, the green wool was connected to the first intersection. It was behind a glass wall on a minecart track on the way to the last area of the first intersection I was actually trying to get to.
Now, I imagine trying to just bridge this area would be hell, even though the map does provide you some blocks. I instead used a water bucket, which proved to be… surprisingly not area-breaking! The design of the lava, in upper and lower parts, meant that it would often flow into my obsidian pathway, sealing off my exit. The prevalent natural mobs would also spawn behind me and mess me up. Plus, the main challenge is trying to get up to the highest part while ghasts assault you, which needs blocks with or without a water bucket. I made it through okay, but… why is this in the same region as the earlygame areas? There isn’t even any indication its meant for the endgame! Just… lava cave with ghasts, this is your life now if you didn’t think to go to other places first!
6/10 – Dangerous and misplaced
At this point, I headed back to the intersection buried in Magenta.
Creeper Climb*(Light blue wool):
This area was just creepers blowing up. Repeatedly. Over and over. The entire thing consists of you trying to climb up while creepers spawn from spawners in clumps of 4 and rain down upon you. The area is designed so that you can’t get up to the creepers easily, but they can get down to you with no troubles. I’m happy I had the loot from the later areas for this one! The place is devoid of loot, which should be a point against it, but it probably would have just been blown up by the creepers anyway! At least, it was mercifully short.
Rating: 6/10 – Short but explodey
*No name was provided, I made it up
Magma Sector(Red Wool):
Notice anything? Yeah, this looks really similar to The Furnace with Green Wool, doesn’t it? Just, a straight path instead of a big circle. I ended up water bucketing myself a path forwards, wondering what would attack me. Ghasts? Blazes? Wither skeletons?
…Nothing attacked me. Literally nothing. I got in, grabbed the wool, and got out with zero mobs seen whatsoever. And a free fire resist potion was provided at the end, presumably to help with The Furnace, which may or may not have been intended to play before or after this. I don’t even know what to say. Why even make an area if nothing is going to happen to the player in it? There’s nothing here! Just a lava-filled cave with wool at the end! It wasn’t even brown wool! Why?? Is this all some master-level trolling course!?
2/10 – Defied expectations…
Apothecary Ruins(Lime Wool):
Have you ever wanted a much shorter, more compact version of Inferno mine’s Lush Ruins? Well here you go! Outside of the main “ruins” area, many of the spawners were hidden in such a way that they were hard to find. The inside was a little better, with the spawners not hidden but appearing in clumps of up to as many as 8 at a time. The area would probably have been really hard if you took the “intended” path, but you can get through fairly easily if you choose to break the 1-block thick walls and go into rooms from the side.
Even if it was really spammy, it was probably my favorite area of the map – stuff was finally happening, and it was a more tense area.
At the beginning, this place was a desperate run through a bunch of nether-themed diamond MCedit brushes, while being assaulted by the Vestige Protector forces – our first semblance of a custom mob, even if the only custom thing about them is their spawners, which have a wider detection radius and a faster spawn rate. It proved to be a fair challenge, so the first part of the area wasn’t too bad – but getting the wool was a massive pain. It was another repeat of some previous challenges, with you needing to block up to the top to reach the wool – this time over 127 blocks of distance! And throughout, you would only be attacked at one point: The very tippy top, where blazes would unexpectedly spawn and shoot you down, forcing you to go aaallllllll the way back up, assuming you didn’t splat from the unexpected fall.
In the end, not a terrible place, but getting the wool was the worst part. Once I found the monument and nether portal to the final area, I was ready to be done. Sadly, it turns out I had missed a few things.
Rating – 6/10 The pointless climb to the wool drags down what would otherwise be okay
The Monument of Explorers:
Other than being hidden at the bottom of a big hole in Final Vestige, there is nothing special about the monument whatsoever. It comes with some average-level loot, and doesn’t want metal blocks. There isn’t much more for me to say.
Monument rating: 6/10 – it works as a monument, but isn’t anything special.
Creeper Cave(Yellow wool):
I was only able to find this wool thanks to someone else telling me, so by the time I got to exploring this dungeon, I had full diamond gear. If I had had anything less, then this place probably would have been terrible. The entire dungeon can be essentially summed up as “creepers”. Creeper spawners in stacks, creeper spawners in the walls and floor, with no indication of where… and each area is blocked off by gravel, which you need to break, ensuring they have time to spawn. This would be genius, if it wasn’t HORRIBLE. It is blessedly short, but if you tried to attempt this in the earlier parts of the game when it was initially available for you to find, you would end up just flat-out destroyed. There isn’t any thought to the spawners, there’s just a lot of them.
Rating – 4/10 mob spam
Bedrock Zone*(Pink Wool):
Also found only with someone else’s help, this was hidden behind a wall of vines in Magenta wool, and you had to bridge over a pit of lava to get to it. And then go down a LONG ladder. It wasn’t worth the effort to find it. It’s a simple, short bedrock cave with a bunch of spawners, with the map’s only proper boss fight at the end. The boss itself is a simple skeleton, with a lot of health and nothing special except having Thorns armor, the least fun enchantment in the game. Fighting him consisted of smacking him with a sword over and over, while occasionally taking a break to heal yourself for no reason other than thorns damage.
Rating – 4/10 Hard to find and annoying
*No name was provided, named it myself
The Finale(Black wool):
Through a nether portal located just above the monument entrance, this place could be found. The picture you see sums it up well – bedrock walls and lining, with tons of monster spawners everywhere, forcing you to slowly conquer it. It’s not a bad concept for a final area, but the main problem is – it’s been done before! By a lot of people! And they did it better! It wasn’t necessarily unfun, but very unoriginal.
At the very end, the map provided me with a small base(FINALLY), and a teleport to the last area. I thought we’d finally get a REAL boss, but it was just one last wool, guarded by standard mobs plus an extra-fast spider. A fairly disappointing conclusion. But, at the very least… we’re done.
Rating – 3/10 Unoriginal and unfulfilling
This map was boring and confused. It felt like it was trying to emulate a lot of other maps, rather than doing its own thing. All the area designs were simple and unoriginal, if you could even get to them all, what with how they were hidden. It seems to be trying to channel Myriad Caves’ spirit with a more open-world linear-branching style, but instead it just sort of goes everywhere without feeling interconnected at all. Easy areas are smashed in right next to difficult areas, and its hard to tell where you should go at any given time. Any area you enter could be far too hard for you or incredibly easy. The fact that many wools are hidden in obscure locations doesn’t help at all. The aesthetics were very simple, if not ugly, the gameplay did nothing special, with the lack of custom mobs making it play like a map from a much earlier version. Overall, while not explicitly painful to play, it isn’t worth the effort required.
So, got a bit of hype to perhaps liven up the thread a bit...
Team Epic is pleased to announce MONUMENTA, an open-world survival CTM MMO. Made over the last year by expert builders such as Heliceo, Render, Fangride, Kaladun, and Chipmunk, Monumenta boasts over 2 square kilometers of survival terrain. In this gigantic world you'll find:
- Over 50 respawning mini-dungeons, from old mines to massive temples
- Player owned apartments, plots, and guilds
- Over 300 custom items
- Epic quests with fabulous rewards
- Custom class system with powerful abilities
- Massive multi-hour raid dungeons for groups who want a true test of skill
This epic adventure will be free to play. Join the Monumenta discord channel: https://discord.gg/hdrQHu2 for more information and for a chance to join the closed beta soon.
The map's beginning... well, it makes the top ten for "most insane". It gives you nothing, yet immediately expects you to do parkour and fight off hordes of natural mobs. Well, it does give you one thing, in an open chest marked "for Vechs":
I used it without hesitation. Or I would have, if in my first attempt at the parkour, I forgot I had to delete options.txt to make the older version work. I pressed q instinctively, expecting to spring. Instead, I threw the door into the lava. Then jumped into the lava.
Aside from that upset, this room you see here pretty much sums up everything about the area, except for the creeper fountain in the back. If you manage to get through an area filled with lava and enemies with literally no gear to your name, you’ll be set on iron forever! The start is really difficult, but the entire rest of the map afterwards is much easier. You also have to do a sponge parkour to get wood. Yeah, if you can’t tell, this area is REALLY weird. And it sets a well-followed precedent for the rest of the map.
Rating: 4/10 - So weird I don't know where to place it
(I won't rate the intersections, as neither of them are notable in any way)
The shrine(read: monument) was an absolutely excellent base, providing you with everything you would need to get started, if you were willing to do some farming. Of special note is the mon- SHRINE... it used non-wool blocks, instead being composed of every ore and ore block type, and even had a door that would open when every block was placed. Somehow, this feels almost ahead of its time.
Tree of Souls(lapis lazuli ore):
This area was similar to the last one – chock-full at the start, but very easy after you cleared out the horde of natural spawns. Once you made it inside the titular tree, it's very simple, with no threats but a few spiders(and you have iron gear now, plus a Sharp X Looting V hoe). The only thing was, one wall off to the side had some bedrock-surrounded spider spawners, as you can see. You can’t disable them, or stop them. They aren’t guarding anything, as far as I could tell. I have only one question… why!?
Other than that, the map once again tries to force you to do parkour towards the top. But let's be real here, the whole reason anyone plays a CTM is so they won't have to do parkour. I just blocked past it.
Rating 3/10 Just a tree
The Graveyard(coal ore):
As you might notice from the screenshot, there's a small blast hole. As soon as you walk into the area, it explodes. No real reason, or way to prevent it. It just explodes.
From there, you have a very simple environment, with no threats except natural spawns. You have the standard gravel graves, but nothing in them. Two bedrock creepers, one with loot and one with an intersection. And one big grave with coal ore. And that's all.
Rating 3/10 Why did it explode?
The armory(diamond ore):
Upon walking into this area, you were handed some weapons. If you stuck around, you could find a gravel/sand ceiling, with the diamond ore chest hidden inside. If this were a normal map, I'd consider this the "brown/troll wool" equivalent, but in all honesty - this really wasn't much easier or harder than most of the other areas so far!
The mines(gold ore):
What you see above is pretty much the entire area. The minecart track didn't even work at the start - when it wasn't intentionally bringing you down dead ends, it was too choked with natural spawns to be usable. The end managed to be actually threatening, with skeletons and spiders coming out to swarm you. It ends very quickly though, with no loot to get.
Rating 3/10 - At least it had some spawners!
Castle siege(redstone ore???):
Looking at the name, I expected something interesting! What I got was a floating bedrock platform with four monster spawners. But the ore wasn't on it. In a one-block hole in the ceiling above, you could find four more spawners in a mob grinder setup designed to drop enemies on the floors below. The ore wasn't there either. There were four small openings in the corners of the ceiling on the main level. Three were empty, and in the last one, there was a chest containing... iron ore.
In the end, I gave up. I had searched high and low and found no ore to speak of whatsoever.
Rating 2/10 - A dissapointment with a simply terrible and confounding scavenger hunt. That's not why I came to this map, dangit!
This map is entirely confused. The loot throughout is incredibly broken, each area is simply a cave with some stuff in it, and the difficulty ranges from ridiculous to ridiculously easy. I frequently saw things that made no sense, or were easily bypassed and pointless. In the end, the map managed to defeat me, not with any combat-based challenge, but by hiding the wool in a spot that I couldn’t find, even with the entire place cleared.
And I had a good time! Remember, this map is REALLY OLD – back from the beginning era of CTMs. And its interesting to play through a map from the time back when CTM mapmaking – and all “adventure mapmaking” in general - was still much more experimental than it was today. I think its safe to say that a map like this would never have been released in today’s minecraft era. Seeing all the insane design might not have been particularly engaging, or immersive, or good, or even fun… but it was certainly entertaining!
(Doesn’t change that the map is total garbage by today’s standards, though)
Gameplay: ++++----- 4/10
Aesthetics: ++-------- 2/10
Functionality: +++++----- 5/10
Verdict: +++------- 3/10
Oh, and the door didn't lead to anything special, if you're wondering.
To preface, this is a sequel to Magical Mines. The Magical Mines was the first in the series, and this is the third. I skipped the second, Volcanic Wastelands, because it looked like a tiny open world map. Looking at this one, I think I made the right decision.
This map is much like the first, but with much of the whimsy removed. While Magical Mines toed the line between between being annoying with its general insanity and that insanity being somewhat fun, this map just spends every single area doing nothing but troll you. The beginning area has a cave with a few natural spawns, and a trap fortress that spawns tons of mobs on you. It’s the closest the map gets to a real challenge. Every single other area is nothing but a troll – every single one! You have all the standard tricks, endermen swarms, void drops, gravel traps, etc, but the map only very rarely uses actual, normal mob spawners. You’re handed loot more than strong enough to take care of all the natural mobs(the primary source of actual enemies) but it doesn’t matter much when you’re constantly being destroyed by unavoidable proximity TNT traps. I get that the map only had 1.3 tools to work with, but most of the traps aren’t particularly creative or interesting – with the exception of the one trap fortress I mentioned with hordes falling from constantly triggering dispensers above.
For example, this is what one of the BIGGER areas looked like. This is about the closest it gets to providing a real challenge rather than trolling:
In fact, this sequel makes me doubt my first review. The last one was fun to play because of how insane it was, but this one went off the deep end, taking the design decisions of the first map taken to their logical extreme – and it isn’t pretty. The map never provided any good food, so I was always starving. You were never provided with a base, but it didn’t matter, because the map is 30 minutes long if you’re going at a good pace and don’t get dragged down by the unnecessarily well-hidden ore blocks.
The map maybe could have been improved if it stuck to at least trying to maintain a semblance of structure and challenge like the first did, however insane it was – but instead, it continues to trap and blow you up right up until the end. It isn’t a CTM, so much as it is one of those “troll” adventure maps, so if that’s what you’re looking for, maybe fire it up – but if you enjoyed the first for what it was, then this one probably won’t make you happy.
Gameplay: ++-------- 2/10
Aesthetics: +++------- 3/10
Functionality: +++++++---- 6/10
Verdict: ++-------- 2/10
(This map has nothing to do with Herobrine, by the way)
Immediately upon starting the map, we can see that this map uses some newer, special stuff – maybe it wouldn’t be considered so today, but at the time, this stuff was the newest of the new! All natural spawns are removed, but rather than being replaced entirely by spawners, the areas are filled with “persistent”(non-despawning) enemies, which lets the mapmaker carefully design his encounters. Once the mobs are dead, the area is clear. How well the map used it varied depending on the area, and for this area, I’d say it was done… fairly well. However, the first challenge of the map has you swimming up – in water - to attack two skeletons, with nothing but your bare fists. No more will spawn in to help them, but it doesn’t make things any less impossible. Pitting you against two skeletons in a water area as the map’s first real challenge is an incredibly rough introduction, and it would have been fine to have you simply dodge some zombies in the water.
Once you get a handful of unbreakable wooden tools and stacks upon stacks of cookies, things get a little easier. You have to go through a cave to get to the first intersection, and it’s a nice introduction to the concept! There are a lot of nooks and crannies where mobs will attack you, and there are a few interesting encounters there. The map has a fairly solid start!
Rating – 7/10 Good introduction to the map’s capabilities
Intersection 1: There was a skeleton ladder climbing challenge, but you didn’t need to do it – it was easy to just build up the cliffs to make it to the intersection. Other than that, the intersection is fairly normal.
Rating – 6/10 What’s with the skeleton ladder?
Happy Happy Fun Times(White wool):
Deaths: 2(Falling injuries)
This area was almost too simple. Giant stone pillars protruded from the walls, and you needed to get down to the bottom to acquire the wool. The area had permanent enemies hanging out to harass you as you proceeded downwards, but no clear intended structure or route. Getting down was done by simply dropping from spike to spike. When you reached the bottom and acquired the wool, you were left stranded, with no ladders or shortcuts to take you back. Getting back up wasn’t hard, but with no blocks provided in chests and only wooden tools available, it took an aggravatingly long time. It could have been improved by providing a clear way back up, and possibly a path down as well.
On that note, we also see the map’s second gimmick, that each wool is guarded by a special custom mob. For every single area save Black wool, that mob is always an iron-armored zombie holding the wool color. This map came up with the idea of using boss mobs, but it doesn’t really do anything with them – it’s different from a wool box, but its still the same thing over and over throughout the map.
Rating – 5/10 Getting down is only half the fun…
Troll Caves(orange wool):
A very simple, but brutal area. A cave with more spikes protruding from the floor, which spawned invisible endermen and… wither skeletons carrying Flame bows. At a point when we not only don’t have our own bow and arrows, but have only leather armor and wooden tools. The progression in this map is so restricted, we haven’t even seen wood yet! Not no saplings or anything, but we haven’t had a single wooden plank so far! Getting through the area is a matter of successfully avoiding the wither skeletons, as they’ll likely kill you or at least seriously injure you if you end up fighting even one. There is some good loot in a few corners to encourage exploration, and the “boss” was backed up by a spider spawner and 2 witches (remember, some of the mobs don’t respawn). Overall, the wither skeletons were too intense for this early on, and it felt like I was in the same environment as last area. If they were just regular skeletons with a Punch bow or something, then it would have been much fairer.
Rating – 5/10 I hate skeletons!
Duality island(magenta wool):
At the start of this area, to counter the long trails ahead, we were given enough minecarts, tracks, and powered rails to build an impressive minecart track! The problem: The chest didn’t contain levers or redstone torches or any such thing, and with wood still entirely unavailable, that left us with no way to power the minecart tracks. Well, it’s the thought that counts.
The area consisted of a two-sided island, with a fortress on top. The outer portion was completely devoid of mobs, but did contain trees (made of wooden half-slabs… yaaaaaaayy…) and a reliable food source to replace our cookies (melons… yaaaaaayyyy…). There was also a brief “mine” portion where we were given TNT and levers with which to explode coal deposits. Sure, we still have no wood, which means no sticks to make torches, and there was a major TNT clump in the mines serving as a trap, but again, it’s the thought that counts.
The fortress consisted of 2 parts, a building made entirely of gravel and sand which collapses into the void at the slightest poke – its blatantly obvious that it’s a trap, but you’d be in for a bad time if you didn’t notice. The second portion is an obsidian fortress with skeletons (both of the regular and flame-wither varieties) sitting on blocks to shoot you down as you tried to ascend. However, we were finally given a bow and arrows, so we could just shoot them off their platforms. Given that, the area was surprisingly easy!
Overall, this area could have been improved if there were more things interesting to do in the outer portion without the fortresses – but other than that, it was okay.
Rating – 7/10
Intersection 2: Another “underground stone cave” design. No checkpoint back, which is bad since the previous area began with a huge drop into water. Have fun blocking back up!
Rating – 5/10 – No skeleton ladders this time.
The High Way(Light blue wool):
At the start of this area, the map hands you some very long-lasting Swiftness IV and Jump Boost IV potions(!!!), and a nigh-infinite ladder supply – as if it actually expects you to parkour, well, THAT in the picture. If your immediate reaction the very idea is the word “NO” repeated over and over ad infinitum, then we’re on the same page. The area is the biggest one we’ve seen yet, and gives you no indication of which direction you’re supposed to be going. The only enemies are some skeletons hanging around on blocks to screw you over, which we’ve already seen before. This map overall seems to have an odd obsession with skeletons, especially skeletons sitting on blocks shooting you and making you fall down. Which is bad, because skeletons are my least favorite enemy. Once you actually find and make it to the boss area(a small mossy cobblestone platform), getting the wool is no big deal… if you built a bridge through the area, like I did. It’s okay to have some parkour in an area, or to have floating platforms with enemies. But this is just a random bunch of single blocks scattered around, and you’re told nothing but “make it to the (unseen) end”. There was no point to even entertaining the parkour idea the area presents you, as there’s no reward for doing anything but “cheesing” it by building a bridge like any normal CTM player would and SHOULD.
Another note: While most of the blocks are silverfish stone, but there’s some iron ore scattered in there, too. I didn’t get any. It’s not worth it. It’s just… not worth it…
Rating – 3/10 Too stressful to play legitimately.
Web of Water(Yellow wool):
This has got to be one of the worst areas I’ve ever played, in any CTM.
It’s a water maze. But not your average water maze. It’s a BORING water maze. There is no aesthetic variation whatsoever, with the walls being made entirely of lapis blocks. The maze is very large, and filled with dead ends – most of which have no chests or rewards for getting to them, making exploration feel pointless and stupid. The map does provide some night vision/water breathing potions, which you will need to complete the area… but because that isn’t brutality enough, they have hunger and Mining Fatigue tacked on for no real reason. It also gives a fair amount of glowstone to mark your way and where you’ve been, but if you don’t get lucky and find the end quickly, there isn’t enough to last you, even when used fairly conservatively.
The only actual threats in this area are a handful of cave spiders, which only appear intermittently throughout the whole thing – the rest is just you swimming and hoping to actually find something. Since we’re in water, and this is before Guardians, its generally very hard to make combat in water actually interesting – and this map doesn’t really try too hard. Just stay below the ceiling where the spiders are swimming, and you’ll be completely fine.
The main flaw of this area wasn’t the bad aesthetics (which it had), or the bad combat (which it had). It was that it was long, and boring, and pointless. It would need a complete overhaul to be any good at all. Fill the dead ends with loot to make the exploration feel less terrible. Vary the aesthetics as you go through to give some sense of progression. And add some actual challenges and threats. As it stands, the area has none of those things. It’s just a boring swimming exercise with nothing to do but test your patience!
Rating – 2/10 Terrible.
Blazing Fields(Lime wool):
This area was over in 2 minutes.
It’s literally just a trek through a (very short) netherrack field, that has more spikes protruding from the ground. Sometimes, you’re attacked by blazes which don’t respawn. There’s also the occasional non-primed and easy-to-destroy creeper spawner. The “boss” at the end was totally unguarded, and the way to the next intersection was immediately behind him.
Rating – 5/10 I was expecting more.
Please refer to my Intersection 2 segment. Because this one is basically the same.
The monument! It’s perfectly serviceable, comes with some items – and best of all: It has shortcuts to both the previous intersections! Both very inconveniently designed with minecart tracks instead of teleporters, but it’s better than walking!
Rating – 7/10 Finally, a place to set up and take a break.
Tree of Life(Pink Wool):
Deaths: 2(Flame bow Wither skeletons!)
This area was split into 3 sections; a giant stone plain filled to the brim with more flame-bow wither skeletons. When I saw them the first time, I expected them to use more custom mobs. But instead its just these same skeletons, over and over again. They aren’t placed creatively, just dotted throughout in a huge crowd! The field is harder to get through than it needs to be, being completely empty with no cover, and arrows are still a very limited resource. When you get to the tree, you then must climb a mostly empty mossy cobblestone spiral (The “Tree of Life”), while occasionally being jumped by a skeleton or two. The third part is the only interesting part, where you have to dig up from underground into an area filled with regular skeletons and the armored wool enemy.
The central problem with this area is that its just so EMPTY. The stone plain you see in the background of the picture is the first part I’m talking about, it contains NOTHING but those stupid skeletons. The tree climb is boring, and only the end has anything interesting to offer. It’s just an area filled with nothing but skeletons. If it was actually filled with loot and buildings and other interesting things, then maybe it wouldn’t be so bad.
Rating – 3/10 More like, Tree of Death
Race of the Demigods(Gray wool):
To start, this area extended from a side passage from the previous area – and since the previous area mostly consisted of a long, boring walk to the destination, that wasn’t a good sign.
This area actually had something of a gimmick – at the start, it gave you some carrots-on-a-stick and saddled pigs to ride! Its an interesting idea, but… the map did nothing with it. The entire area once again consists of the mostly-empty sand field you see in the picture above, and you’re occasionally attacked by immortal ghasts. There’s nothing to do with your pig friend except watch him struggle to jump up the very hilly terrain. If you chose to totally ignore the area’s gimmick and walk, you would lose nothing. You might even get done faster. The problem with this area is that, again, it’s totally empty. It does try to be interesting, but the gimmick it gives you is totally useless. If the sands were filled with buildings to take shelter in, or some sort of challenge where having a pig to ride would have actually helped, then it would have been much better. It might have even been interesting.
Rating – 4/10 If the picture looks boring, it's because the area is boring!
Explosive Nest(Light Gray Wool):
VOID! The horror!
In all seriousness, this area is actually interesting, if only because the void provides suddenly greater tension. That said, the level of resources the map provides don’t feel sufficient for void to appear just yet – with how little loot chests are in all the areas, it would be very difficult to recover from a major inventory wipe.
The area does keep things interesting by throwing creepers at you, but it doesn’t do much to vary things, and you can create a safe path through for yourself if you’re observant of where the spawners are – this area lacks the usual pre-placed enemies. If there had been a little more going on than creepers and bridging over void – and maybe replacing the void with something less deadly. The entire area’s concept also feels very unoriginal – even in the 1.4 mapmaking era, “creepers attack you with TNT and void nearby” was a pretty well-used concept.
Rating – 6/10 Scary…
Again, see my comments on Intersection 2. It feels especially bad to have no way back here, since the monument actually gave us some minecarts back to old intersections, but no more ways back were ever provided from this point onwards.
Experimental Alchemy(Cyan Wool):
Deaths: 3(Misguided choices)
This area was actually interesting! It essentially had many rooms where it would pose a riddle, and based on that you had to choose one of 4 buttons. One would give you the potions you needed to pass through, one would hurt you but let you live, and the other two were instant death. The riddles started out as simple logic puzzles, but quickly progressed into obscure minecraft knowledge(use cobblestone blocks to find north!). Though not perfect, it does get points for actually being interesting!
Rating – 7/10 – Actually an okay gimmick!
Caves of Brutality/Seeds of Hope(Purple wool):
Deaths: 1(Tried to run past skeletons)
One thing about this map, it has good names for its areas. But that only makes me feel more disappointed when the areas don’t live up to them. This area was – AGAIN – a stone cave, made of obvious MCedit diamond brush strokes. It was very windy, and though the actual wool wasn’t hard to find (just go in a straight line from the start, and at one point pillar up a cliff), there were a lot of pointless dead ends going every which way, with little loot to fill them up. I do have one good thing to say about this area; it finally varied the enemies! In addition to the flame bow wither skeletons we’ve been seeing… and seeing… and seeing… we also got resistance-buffed zombies and normal skeletons to go with them! And even a handful of spiders too! Hurrah! The area could have been improved with varied aesthetics – if you’re going to copy Vechs diamond-shaped MCedit brush area, at least go the full way and make it sandstone and nethherrack too. It should have also been more focused – make the main path a bit longer, but remove a lot of the pointless side-hallways. Other than that… this one was okay.
Rating – 6/10 It wasn’t particularly brutal.
Also, this area did have one gimmick, hence the “seeds of hope” alternate title. It had one absolutely crucial, critical, insane piece of loot: Guess it. Come on. Guess. What have I mentioned I’ve been lacking since the map’s beginning?
This is the first point in the entire map we actually get wood! Have I mentioned that the loot curve in this map is very odd? When it does give chests they generally have stuff that is absolutely critical to you, but it gives very, very few chests. Our main food source is still cookies, melons, and some apples (okay, you could get bread if you were willing to grind forever), and we have iron, but not sticks to actually make it into stuff. Denying wood actually causes some problems up to this point, like being unable to make new tools or torches, certainly dooming you if you lost too much stuff. Up to this point, I suffered no completely catastrophic(IE, can’t recover items) deaths, but if I did, since I don’t have sticks to make new tools and the map is very stingy on giving them out, I probably would have been left practically unable to keep going. With all the void and lava this map tosses around, it just doesn’t give enough loot to justify it!
Super Maze of ???(Blue wool):
At first, this had all the makings of another Web of Water. The entire thing was made out of stone corridors filled with more annoying resistance-clad zombies and skeletons. However, I was pleasantly surprised! Not only was I able to find the wool and intersection pretty fast, it actually had loot in a lot of places, even the dead ends! If for that alone, this area was an improvement. The aesthetic and design consisted entirely of “stone-surrounded 3x3x3 corridors”, but other than that, it was okay! Plus, I’m getting used to having absolutely no aesthetics involved by now. Still, there was little variation and not much reason to explore it fully.
Rating – 6/10 What was the ??? ?
Sandstone-Bedrock Zone(Brown wool):
Do note that this area and the next were not named, I made them up. These two areas were also in the nether, but there was no real reason why this one couldn’t have been in the overworld. It was very simple, you were given several very short paths filled with monsters, and you needed to pick one and get through it to get the wool. The brown wool is generally supposed to be a shorter “troll” area, so it gets a pass for being really, really easy. There was also a loot chest guarded by an invincible skeleton, which was a neat touch. This area was, overall, itself – it could have been improved by having an aesthetic other than “bedrock”, or by having more to do, or loot to encourage going more than one of the paths.
Rating – 6/10 Brown wool.
Stone Brick Zone(Green wool):
Deaths: 8(3 Mob swarms, 5 attempts to retrieve dropped items from other 3 deaths)
This place… phew. A very simply designed dungeon, made out of stonebrick rooms. In them were six pillars piercing through the whole fort that contained massive columns of spawners, which spawned every mob type in the game. If you didn’t realize what was going on immediately – and even if you did – then these columns would quickly cause the area to be swarming with MASSIVE amounts of regular minecraft mobs. At this point, we MAYBE have some diamond tools and iron armor. Good, but not enough to handle the insane outpouring of mobs this area gives out! The gameplay is trying to destroy the spawners, which are hidden in huge pillars, while not dying, because if you do, its going to be very, very difficult to get all your items back. There’s no reward at all for trying to scale the fort the normal way(the entire area seemed to be devoid of any loot), so the best option is to simply use the spawner-columns to pillar to the top floor and get the wool out as quickly as possible.
Despite that… at least this area wasn’t boring. Stuff was happening. It felt the most like a “normal” CTM dungeon, using spawners instead of pre-placed mobs. Still, if the spawners and area had had some semblance of structure and balance, instead of just a building flooded with uncontrolled amounts of enemies, then it would have been better.
Rating – 5/10 Spammy.
Minotaur’s Maze(Red wool):
Back to the overworld for our last areas! This area initially seemed to present almost a conundrum – if you stayed down inside the maze, the buffed spiders couldn’t get to you, since the entire thing was made of twisty 1-block wide passages. The problem is that the maze is too insane to even consider solving “legitimately”, and the spiders aren’t a big enough issue to make it worth it. Beyond that, this area is MASSIVE, and the only thing filling it is row after row of spider spawners. They’re all arranged in giant rows, with no thought given. The wool within is hard to find, hidden in a little part below an identical-looking maze, and I only stumbled upon it by pure chance. There is, again, no loot to be had. All in all, it’s a very poor maze. It isn’t even a maze at all. It should have either been replaced with an actual, reasonable, solvable maze, or a wholly different dungeon.
Rating – 3/10 We’ve had enough mazes already
Forest of Imagination(Black wool):
This was… sort of an interesting final area? I wasn’t expecting to come out into a forest, of all possible environments. At the start, you’re handed a massive stash of diamonds(assuming you survive the trap guarding it). Then, you’re subjected to a huge climb up the “volcano” in the middle – yet another stone-based hill. There’s a staircase ringing the volcano, but its swarmed with insurmountable amounts of blazes. Enchanting and potions aren’t really an option, due to the type of loot the map gives you, so trying to climb the mountain with the staircase is sure to end in pain. However, there is nothing stopping you from digging up a staircase through the stone mountain and skipping everything – which I did. The final boss is in a small arena dangling over lava, and its… a wither skeleton, with a Fire Aspect(insert high number here) sword, and a projectile protection chestplate. Defeating it is easy. That’s the final boss. That’s the end. We’re done. That’s all.
This last area could have been improved by making the climb up the volcano feel more rewarding and necessary, as the setup was actually somewhat epic – its just too difficult to play it in the epic way the map wants you to. For example, the blazes could have swarmed outside but the path up could have had some walls and a ceiling, letting you avoid the blaze swarm and encouraging you to stay on the path. Or even just put loot on the path to reward people who decide to take it with some last-minute endgame loot to help with the final boss. As it is, the main path is just too hard and unnecessary.
Rating – 5/10 At least the forest looked kind of nice.
The map starts with a unique concept, but fails to execute on it well. The first area is the only one which tries to use the pre-placed non-despawning mobs in any meaningful way that couldn’t have been done with spawners. After that, it simply feels like either they’re replacing natural mobs, or serving the same purpose that spawner mobs would have – And by the end of the map is almost entirely relying on spawners. The areas consistently look drab and dull, and the map constantly revolves between 2 difficulties: “Boring” and “Way too hard”. Web of water was 20 minutes of boring. The first part of Tree of Life was unreasonably hard. Loot is provided in quantities too small, leaving things very open to the possibility of losing everything good you have and being forced to rely on “the crap gear” - made far worse by the lack of wood and sticks. All of this adds up to a map that is all-around regular bad, and its central gimmick – which was a good idea – isn’t enough to save it. It makes me really sad, too. If this map had been better, then more people might have picked up and used the idea of “no natural spawns” early on.
All in all. It’s a major disappointment with little inspiration or fun to be had.
Preface: This map is the first map in a very brief and now abandoned series called Hardened Fury. The specific title is Consumed by Darkness, although that has little meaning on what the map is all about. Inspired by Super Hostile, the difficulty is labeled “Easy”. Let’s see if it lives up to the labeled difficulty or the difficulty promised in the series’s name!
Starting Area(White wool):
Deaths: 1(1.5 skeletons)
Upon logging in, I was pleasantly surprised. The area was a huge valley, made with stone, glowstone, grass, and some sloppy circle MCedit brushing (there were some holes in the walls that weren’t patched over). However, after the last several maps I played, this was the first one in a long time that seemed to put an actual effort forth into looking even a little bit good.
The actual spawn area was neat – you COULD simply head straight on to the first intersection, but if you so desired, you could stay, explore, and gather useful resources like an anvil and enchanting table. Right from the start, it gives the player some options, which is very much appreciated. The area itself is very short, with a few spawners out in the open. With natural mobs around, and no armor given, it still felt like an appropriate challenge for the beginning. Overall, I approve!
Rating – 8/10 An above-average starting area!
Intersection 1: Not dangerous. Free glowstone + Lapis, if you dug up the walls. An okay intersection. Rating - 7/10
The monument area, bright and early! It made me happy to get it right away. Other than that, there was nothing to say about it, save that the ore blocks were moved to a “bonus monument” area rather than being included in the main monument. A bit of an odd decision, but otherwise the monument was fine.
Rating – 7/10
Burnt-Chip Caverns(orange wool):
Deaths: 1(Skeleton + Creeper combo)
This area was very simple. All you needed to do was travel forward, as the game threw natural mobs, skeletons, and lots of creepers at you. Speaking of natural mobs, this place was full of them. At this point, we still don’t have food or bows/arrows to handle skeletons properly, making it frustrating when the area seemed to contain a disproportionate amount. However, there weren’t too many spawners around, making the place have average, if very random, difficulty. It could have done better by having a little bit more “going on”, so to speak. The only notable parts are the end cave, with an abundance of creeper spawners, and a tower with some skeletons and loot on top. There’s a lot of unused space just spent on “forest”, and filling it up would have done some good.
Rating – 6/10 The difficulty begins to climb
Deathly Shallows(Magenta wool):
Deaths: 1(4x skeleton attack)
This area began with a large upper plains-type area, which was easy to traverse in day and overcrowded with natural spawns at night – typical of sunlight-exposed areas. Just below it was a simple path with water and void, where you luckily weren’t attacked by mobs. This is the only place where the “shallows” part comes into play. The meat of the area is in the small maze you have to get through. Like mazes I’d seen before, finding the end was easy – just go straight forward, more-or-less – but there were many pointless side-paths.
Mazes can oftentimes be not fun to explore, but if you put a little reward in every dead end, it makes the player feel much better and makes the maze more fun. Why, they might even stick around once the maze is finished! But if you don’t put rewards or any reason to navigate the maze, it just feels frustrating every time they meet a dead end. This maze sadly was in the latter category. Once you’ve found the exit, there really is no reason to stick around. Not helping was that the maze area was full of natural spawns in an incredibly cramped area, and all the spawners it did have were witches – the difficulty is already getting a little too hot. It could have definitely been improved by seeding the maze with more loot but making the end harder to find. It’s no Web of Water maze, but it’s not a good maze either.
Rating – 6/10 Spammy
Intersection 2: No checkpoint, but railways were provided. Aesthetic much the same as I1. Not dangerous. Okay intersection.
Rating – 6/10 for repetition
The Malicious Mushrooms(Light Blue wool):
Deaths: 3(Burning enemies)
Let’s do a little gear check, just to give you an idea of what gear the average player has. Weapons/Tools? Stone. Food? Zombie flesh, if that – its amazing how stingy the map has been with food. Armor? Leather. So what mob would be the best to put in right now? BLAZES! Better yet, the spawners should be hidden, giving the blazes plenty of time to spawn! And the whole area should be filled with natural mobs, forcing the player to contend with skeletons and spiders while trying to search for the hidden spawners, with blazes that can kill them in 3 fireball hits spawning all the while!
And that’s pretty much how the area went! The design of the area was simply walking around on a mushroom shoreline next to a lava ocean, while being constantly attacked by hidden blaze spawners. The player doesn’t have the gear to handle blazes properly yet, and the only real option is to pull back and attack with limited arrow supplies, and then hope you can find the hidden spawner before more spawn. At least, the food problem is solved by the end, with mooshroom spawn eggs and bowls provided to our starving selves. This ends up being the primary food source for the rest of the map.
The second part of the area is aesthetically uninspired (it is literally a stone cave) but it has more to offer with gameplay, having spawners that spawned zombies with diamond swords, but also slowness. They created a more interesting challenge, since they actually had something to balance out the huge damage they did when they hit. I only have two complaints: It went on for too long, and if you wanted, you could grind them until you got your own stash of diamond swords – which is a little too powerful this early on.
Rating – 3/10 All the fire but nothing to put it out…
7x10 Horror Festival:
This area tried to mix it up a little bit. It promised an extra-hard area, with good loot at the end but no wool. The area itself is just a long hallway filled with tons and tons of spawners. However, it’s really bright from the lava flows. So bright, the vast majority of the spawners don’t even work! It actually adds an odd element of strategy, with you having to figure out which spawners are dangerous and produce enemies and which ones you can destroy at your own pace. It helps that at the end, actual useful loot is provided, and it doesn’t go the “stick” route, one of my initial fears upon entering the area.
It could have been improved by being a little less spammy overall, and possibly by seeding the loot throughout the area rather than having it in one chest all at the end, giving the player the opportunity to leave if they wanted to. This area really only works as an optional sideshow, but as an optional sideshow, it works okay!
Rating – 7/10 A neat side-area
Nether Passage(Yellow wool):
This area was designed far too simply. The entire thing is just a long, winding “bridge” that isn’t hanging over anything but netherrack ground a couple blocks below. Skeleton spawners are scattered throughout, but they aren’t primed, so you can simply run up and destroy most of them. You just keep walking, get handed some loot, and eventually you arrive at the wool. If you decide to stick around and get the loot near the wool, things get a little more interesting, and it starts to throw the same skeleton spawners at you in much larger quantities. But it’s too little, too late, and the loot isn’t even worth the trouble.
Overall, this area could have varied on its theme. As it is, it is literally just walking down a path and taking out spawners until you reach the wool. It’s terribly boring.
Rating – 4/10 Skeletons and boredom, my least favorite things.
I3: Hanging over void, but no traps. No checkpoints back were provided, but a rail kit was. It looks sort of nice, and at least a little unique.
Rating – 6/10
Explosive Death Floors(Pink wool):
Just so long as you weren’t playing stupidly, this place was actually pretty relaxed! It did live up to its name, throwing creeper spawners at you constantly, which forced slow-but-steady play to not be blown up into the lava below. Once you made it past the short pathway and into the tower, there weren’t that many floors to fall, and the wool was at the bottom rather than lava, making things surprisingly easy. The area wasn’t all that bad, and I don’t have too many complaints, just that it would be better to have more loot and the tower should be a little more dangerous. As it is, once you make it past the area approach, the tension disappears.
Rating – 6/10
Miner-Intense Zone(Lime wool):
Upon entering the cave, there was one thing you’d see right off the bat: Iron. And LOTS of it. This area essentially began with a huge gear upgrade, as you couldn’t have gotten even gold or chain from the chests thus far. Aside from that, however, the place was rather boring. There was a water cavern, with some holes in the water to drag you under, but nothing you’d encounter when swimming through. There was the occasional creeper spawner, but they weren’t primed, and even with the water I could generally break them before they did anything. Its more-or-less just a straight shot to the wool with few detours.
There was one interesting part, and one I saw as a lost opportunity. The wool box is positioned in the middle of a large circle of creeper spawners, but one part of the circle is open, so you can just swim straight through. Now here, there could have been a trap of sorts; once you got inside the wool box, you would have been in the perfect range to activate all the creeper spawners, potentially leaving the player fleeing with tons of creepers on their trail. However, the wool box was too far away to activate the spawners, and there was no reason to deal with them at all. Overall, it is once again, easy and not particularly fury-inducing.
Rating – 5/10 Thanks for the iron!
Lava-Cold caverns(Gray wool):
At the start, this area was just a lava river with ghast spawners on the side. There was no real purpose to traversing the river, so how the area actually worked was that you walked on the side, hoping the natural spawns wouldn’t blow you into the lava. It was boring, but bearable. The second part was again when things got a little more interesting, with a cobweb-filled area combined with creeper spawners. It was a more interesting challenge than simply ghasts above a lava river. That seems to have become a theme of the map, with having first portions that are easy and boring, and second portions which do something more interesting and mix things up.
Rating – 6/10 The second half saved it
I4: Bridges hanging above lava, the aesthetic is a netherrack dome. A railway kit was once again provided in place of a teleporter, which is less excusable this time, as the previous area was a lava river followed by a cobweb cave.
Rating – 5/10
Deep-Creep arena(Light gray wool):
The entire area was just a giant downward spiral with lots of mob spawners that spawned zombies, creepers, and of course, plenty of skeletons. There isn’t much to say about it other than that it felt way longer than it was. At this point we can handle normal mob spam just fine, so it wasn’t difficult as much as it was annoying. There was no loot until the bottom, and this area just didn’t feel good to play through at all. The only thing I felt at all was my armor durability slowly draining. It could have been improved by adding any variation to the environment at all, besides just a giant cave-type downwards spiral. It didn’t even have a more-interesting second half to round it out!
Rating – 4/10 Spam
Light-streak ravine(Cyan wool):
This area was very short, which is good because there wouldn’t have been any point to extending it. It’s a cobweb-filled cave, which is supposed to be filled with cave spiders, but there’s surprisingly few of them, so you spend most of the time contending with natural mobs. At the end, you have to build up into a giant cobweb with the wool box inside, but nothing attacks you up there, making it somewhat pointless. I can’t say it didn’t have ANYTHING interesting about it – the area you play in is made entirely of redstone lamps, and the map gives you a chest full of levers at the beginning of the area, letting you use them to trigger the lamps instead of your regular torches. It falls into the “kind of neat” category, but isn’t enough to prevent the area from being anything but a bore.
Rating – 4/10 Not spidery enough.
Blazing Lava tunnel(Purple wool):
It began simply enough, and… well, stayed that way. As you can see in the image, its nether-brick fences hanging above lava, meaning you can’t use your water bucket to neutralize it. If you want to use the water bucket to go below the fences, the map predicts you, with the fences slowly going closer to the lava as the area continues. By the end, the fences are directly on top of the lava… but its TOO close, as the mass of spawners surrounding the wool is lit up so much by the lava that they can’t even spawn anything! In any event, the area’s main threat can be completely neutralized just by sticking to the side and breaking yourself a little path in the netherrack. It could have been improved by, again, adding variations on the theme and giving the player reason to actually fight on the fences – such as chests located in the middle of the path.
Rating – 3/10 A short walk over lava
Intersection 5: A giant obsidian hole, with a natural spawn honeypot at the bottom. No teleporters, just another rail kit.
Rating – 4/10 for unoriginality. None of these intersections are interesting.
Silverhead ceiling(Blue wool):
Deaths: 1(Creeper attack)
At this point, I believe we should stop for a minute and talk about the map as a whole. Its settling into a theme. A theme poison to creativity, and one I’ve seen many times before in many minecraft maps. It’s “hallway syndrome”. This map’s first few areas seemed inspired, oftentimes having a second half which mixed things up. But as time has gone by, we’ve seen this same area template again and again: A giant hallway that leads to the wool. The only thing that changes is the block variation and types of spawners. The hallway doesn’t steadily ramp up the challenge or try different variations, instead, it gives you the same challenge 10 times in a row, and then has a slightly more insane version guarding the wool (but still one simple to overcome). The most clear evidence of this settling in is the disturbing lack of any type of loot. This entire area was devoid of a single loot chest, save the wool box. The map as a whole has been stingy in giving out its backup loot, but this area takes it to ridiculous heights. Loot is an incredibly important part of CTM map design, because it serves as the “bait” countering the freedoms given by survival mode. The map lacking it is a major problem, as it makes playing through the areas feel much less satisfying than it should.
Back to the area itself… The challenge that this area is SUPPOSED to have is “fight silverfish from spawners while some of the blocks in the area around you happen to be silverfish blocks.” Not exactly original, but okay. But what REALLY happens is that this area has TONS of natural spawns. Just SWARMS of them. The whole silverfish thing is really just a side-note compared to the mountains of skeletons, creepers, and spiders that appear in giant crowds! In general, its far better for maps to have lots of honey boxes to control the natural mobs, and the purpose of natural mobs is to make the area appear a little more active, and give your spawners time to spawn – but we’re more than halfway through the map, and the natural spawns are so dense, they’re the primary challenge! This makes the area very intense, but not in a fun way.
Rating – 3/10 Hallway syndrome’s result, and the map's lowest point
Demonic Slim-Caves(Green wool):
Luckily, the map’s final areas do at least manage to break out of hallway syndrome. This area is a small netherrack cave, with some custom mobs finally populating it – zombies with leather armor, iron swords, and speed I. They can do surprising amounts of damage when underestimated, and they were actually fun to play against. The natural mobs again got in the way way too much, but at least the area’s mobs were actually a threat this time. It was certainly better than the last area. It’s very short, however. It could have been improved by being a bit longer or doing more interesting things with the custom mobs aside from just scattering them everywhere.
It also contained a nether portal, our gateway to the map’s endgame.
Rating – 6/10 Better than the last one
The Death Rock Findings(Brown wool):
This place looks a little better, at least! At the start, you have to walk through a bedrock cave with a lot of creeper spawners. Then, you have to walk on a bridge above void with creeper spawners and a huge number of natural spawns. Then, you have to walk through a straight 5x5 tunnel with creeper spawners. Things do change, but there’s little real variation – its just a giant walk with bedrock and creeper spawners. If it had thrown different types of challenges at you on the void bridge, instead of just having pairs of 2 spawners at consistent intervals, or made the final part into a dungeon rather than a big hallway, then this could have been a better area. But as it is, it’s just another hallway!
Rating – 4/10
The Nether(Red and black wool):
I was expecting some truly Hardened-Fury final area. The final areas of these maps vary, being intense, or, well, this. The last areas are just… nothing. The hallway split you see in the picture leads to both the red and black wool, and you almost immediately reach them. To get the red wool, there’s a big void hole, with skeleton spawners on each side. However, the walls are made of netherrack – just break a path through it and you can skip it entirely. There is literally no reason to try and build a bridge. The black wool isn’t much better. Once you cross the blaze lava pool, you immediately reach this place, the FINAL ULTIMATE CHALLENGE:
Two circles surrounding a small island with the black wool. It could have been a proper spiral, where you had to run around and slowly approach the center, but instead you can just bridge straight there. The spawners aren’t primed, giving you plenty time to break them. I didn’t see anything but pigmen for the entire little area. Once you reach the black wool, all you need to do is grab it and leave. And then that’s it. We’re done. The end. I’d say more, but there’s nothing to say – that’s all these areas are. Let’s go talk about the map as a whole.
Rating – 2/10 – one of the most disappointing finishes I’ve seen.
At the start, the map was okay. The areas felt at least a little inspired, and had something interesting about them. But as it went on, it just… died. The areas lose their spark, and become formulaic hallways. By the very last wools, there was nothing left but boredom. Green wool was the closest thing the map had to anything resembling a genuine challenge, but after that, it just dissipated.
Aside from the hallway system and sluggish pacing of the areas, there were many other consistent problems. As you went through the map, the natural mobs got worse instead of better, and multiple times provided the primary source of challenge for areas even in the endgame wools. There is shockingly little loot provided in the map, and I suspect that a few catastrophic deaths in the frequent void and lava would have left you seriously crippled in your ability to complete the map – though thankfully, the map is easy enough that it’s unlikely for a skilled player. So little loot means that taking the fun path in many areas feels entirely pointless, and there’s no reason not to cheese the very easily cheesable areas. Once hallway syndrome sets in, there was very little redeeming about the map onwards. If you’re going to play it, feel free to drop it after the first intersection if you don’t find it fun. The gameplay becomes boring, the aesthetics are uninspired and rely way too much on stone, and stone-cave-type areas. I will say one good thing, at least I generally knew where things were and what I needed to do. Other than that, this map is nothing but a lot of boring areas; some with lost potential, others that were always irredeemable.
This map is the very first in a 4-part series. I’ll play through each map in the series, and review each one, examining how the maps change as we go on through the series – and how they changed, for better or for worse, as the maps go on.
The Humble Apprentice:
Deaths: 1(Fail fall)
It’s not too special of a starting area, but its hardly a bad one. There’s plenty of loot to get and lots to do – it even has a small optional side-dungeon with some loot hidden within! The map gives you some leather armor, tools, and food to start you off, with wood around, and if you search you can find –
…Yeah. The loot distribution in this map can be best described as “an unceasing flood of wonderful things”. Chest filled with lots of good random loot are placed very liberally, and you’re unlikely to ever want for anything, Which is good, because of reasons I’ll discuss in the next area.
In any event, moving on from this area to the intersection is no trouble at all.
Rating – 7/10 Good start.
Intersection 1: Full of annoying vines for no real reason, but otherwise not a bad place.
Rating – 6/10
The Mysterious Castle(orange wool/Sethbling’s head):
The map continues to give an unceasing flood of amazing things in every chest. However, the mob spam begins – the outside of the castle is dotted with several spawners, making the approach to the castle fairly difficult. But the actual inside of the castle has a huge number of regular spawners – making it incredibly enemy-filled.
Let’s talk a little bit about how minecraft’s spawners work. They spawn theoretically infinite numbers of whatever type of entity they’re set to spawn – but only in specific conditions (for most enemies, those conditions can be summed up as “being in darkness”), AND while the player is near them. By default, a spawner has a range of about 16 blocks in every direction. When you’re in that radius, they’ll start spinning up and preparing to spawn things, and when you’re outside it, it stops – but retains how “close” it was to spawning its next batch of entities. Because of this, when you’re in a CTM area, not all the spawners are active at once, only the ones immediately around you. Because of this, most good CTM maps are designed so that when you’re fighting one grouping of spawners, you’re fighting just that grouping – the others are far away, or placed just close enough to give you a sense of urgency in destroying the one you’re on. This map is filled with fortresses and close-together rooms – and it lacks that balance. In this area, while you’re fighting the outside spawners, the ones in the castle are spawning. While you’re fighting the inside spawners, the spawners in the wool room and roof are spawning. Because of this, you’re always fighting TONS of enemies – it adds up quickly, and hordes build up surprisingly fast with minecraft’s spawner rules.
\With all the enchanted gear, it’s easy to cut through the mobs, but there’s so MANY of them, they’ll bring you down if you don’t move fast. There’s so much gear, even at this early part of the map, that it isn’t a big deal in any case. It has a pretty good design for an earlygame area, but there are so MANY mobs…
It also introduces the map’s secondary “bonus” objective, which is to collect the heads of various youtubers in chests guarded by custom mobs. I’ll discuss the heads in the conclusion.
Rating – 6/10 Spam-tastic
Ender pearls(magenta wool):
I liked this area! It had an interesting concept: There are many islands with mobs and chests full of amazing things, and you can use enderpearls to travel between them. It doesn’t give you quite enough enderpearls to explore them all without blocks to supplement, but that’s okay. The wool is easy to get, and once you have it, you can continue harvesting the area for as much or as little loot as you want depending on your patience. It’s the sort of place you could come back to later with a water bucket, if you felt like getting everything you could out of it. It also introduces some custom mobs, such as sword-carrying skeletons and a few other novelties. Kind of gimmicky, but it mixes things up enough to be interesting.
Rating – 7/10 Unique.
Overrun Watch Tower(white wool):
I didn’t find this area until I went back to the start – ah well!
From the outside, the watch tower looks kind of nice, even if the area around it is just a giant stone hole. On the inside, the place plays almost exactly like The Mysterious Castle – huge numbers of spawners and mob spam, with tons of loot to balance it all out. When played in the day, the daylight will neutralize the greater number of spawners, but this place would be a very hard beginning if you tried it at night. For that reason, I’d say the area could be improved immensely by toning down the spawners but putting it in darkness.
Rating – 6/10
Stairway to heav-hell(Light blue wool/Etho’s head):
This area was where the map’s mob spam began to reach its height. This area was simple stonebrick rooms, with nothing but TONS of spawners. Spawners embedded in the walls. Spawners in pillars. Even spawners lying right out in the open! Spawners that would activate as you tried to destroy other spawners! The mobs became an unceasing flood if you weren’t constantly moving forward (due to the overlapping spawner ranges discussed), and even with the amazing armor you had, and chests that provided even MORE great things placed every few blocks… the horde were still incredibly hard to cut through. For perspective, I broke 5-6 stone/iron swords just trying to cut through all the mob!
Overall, this area is more or less a distilled version of the whole map. It spams loot at you, it spams spawners, it spams enemies… it isn’t a carefully crafted experience. Even though you’re constantly in combat, it’s easy to zone out because all the mob slaughtering you’re doing starts to blur together. There’s never a break or pause, just constant destruction. If you like that, then you’ll like this map. If not, then you won’t. And I’d rather have interesting challenging situations than the mindless slaughter of this area.
Rating – 4/10
Intersection 2: A very boring intersection, clearly not designed to serve as anything but a transition.
Rating – 5/10
Back to Basics:
It’s the monument! And with it, comes a very nice base-type area – it only lacks a spot with chests to put your items, but that can be added on. It even contains something interesting; a bonus loot section where you can make a choice between 3 incredibly amazing loot chests with various specialties. The monument has everything you need, and was a very welcome rest amidst everything else. It even looked kind of nice.
Rating – 8/10
Another Day, Another Zombie(Yellow wool + Guude Head):
The mob spam problems I’ve already talked about were present in this area too, so I won’t rant about them too much. But this area is exactly what you expect it to be from the moment you walk in. A “town” with spawners shoved in every possible location. It did look okay, and the central tall building at the end was surprisingly easy compared to the rest of it. However, it doesn’t do much interesting except be filled with buildings which are filled with enemies. The mindless slaughter continues.
Rating – 5/10 It lives up to its name.
Souls of the Dead(Pink wool):
This area was one of the more interesting ones! The mob spam was toned down *slightly*, and the area had multiple interesting parts – the graveyard has custom mobs in it, such as fast-moving skeletons and invisible zombies. The mansion had witches (too many of them). There was a portion with buildings and a long-range spawner that spawned enemies at ridiculous rate, but once destroyed things cooled down. It actually tried to mix things up rather than throwing enemies at you, and I wish that this trend had continued more than it did. For that reason, it’s a better area.
This was really overall a terrible place. It starts with a totally random stone cave with spawners in the walls… for some reason. There’s no reason why it couldn’t just be a regular cave, serving as a short walk to the area, without tons of enemies. But that’s only the first blip on the terrible radar. The “real” area is a giant fortress, far bigger than any area we’ve seen thus far, full of twisting hallways and multiple branches, with lots of dead ends, that sticks to a main central area with stuff falling down on you from above as you ascend it. There are even more spawners than normal, and since the pathways are very close together, while you’re dealing with one, all the other paths near you are spawning more for you to deal with – retreating to reset the enemies is a must to bring things even to a manageable level!
Worse yet, this area spams custom mobs at you, rather than spamming vanilla mobs like normal – extremely durable zombies with knockback swords and Thorns armor! And they come at you in swarms! Its terrible! If they corner you, or knock you off the thin hole-filled pathways to fall into the lava below, you’re essentially immediately dead. This area alone was far, far harder than anything I faced in Hardened Fury or Brutality or any of the other “hard” maps I played! The fact that you get chests full or amazing iron gear and top-tier food the whole way doesn’t make it any better! You just die anyway! It’s a giant thoughtless mess, only balanced out by the loot distribution being an equally thoughtless giant mess! If 80% of the spawners hadn’t existed or at least exposed so I could destroy them all, then maybe it could have been better.
Rating – 2/10 A giant mess.
Intersection 4: Of all the areas to be connected to, did it really have to stem from… there’s still no teleporter, and it again clearly isn’t there to serve as anything but a transition.
The Mansion in the Woods(Cyan wool, BdoubleO’s head, GenerikB’s head):
This area began with a clump of spawners, but it was completely misleading. The actual area is surprisingly different from the norm! The first part has a few spawners that spawn massive amounts of mobs and activate from far away. The problem is, these mobs are speed-buffed skeletons, and they’re almost impossible to approach even all on their own. It spawns them faster than you can kill them, and they’ll charge out and try to slap you away before you can break the spawner. As I was building up from the top to destroy them, I had to deal with this crowd:
Still, one incredibly dangerous spawner is better than many hundreds of little spawners. The second part of the area has a smaller number of spawners than normal, spawning semi-powerful custom mobs. It actually felt like a normal area! It was somewhat fun to play! I actually liked this area! It even looked nice! A very nice break after the last one.
Rating – 7/10 Less spammy than normal!
Maze upon Maze upon Maze(Gray wool, Light gray wool, Amlup’s head):
This area began with an abandoned mineshaft, ripped straight from vanilla, filled up with spawners. It wasn’t difficult, but it was very boring. The wool was easy to find, at least. If it had been any longer it would have been much worse. But that was just a prelude to the “real” area. This entrance hides the way into the maze:
Even though it looks nice, the actual maze was a disappointment. The walls were made of leaves one block thick and were easily destroyed by the frequent creepers, spawned from spawners hidden in the ground. There was one nice touch; the whole maze being lit on fire at the end. I love to see terrible places burning down.
Rating – 5/10 The mineshaft was harder than the real maze
Diamond pit(Brown wool):
A lot of the areas we’ve seen so far have started with small, spawner-filled caves. This area initially had me wondering when the “real” area would start… but it was just a horrible, HORRIBLE spawner-filled cave the whole time. The spawners were hidden in the walls, in the floors, in an environment full of nondescript stone blocks. Even if you could see one of the buried spawners and destroy it, there were five more in your range that were spawning enemies while you were doing so. Trying to actually make the place safe was extremely frustrating with the incessant swarm of skeletons, creepers, and spiders, now with blazes and wither skeletons mixed in. The regular gear at this point was iron armor w/some diamond, and powerfully enchanted iron swords. The mobs weren’t really threatening as much as they were just really, REALLY annoying and frustrating!
When you actually made it to the “diamond pit”, it wasn’t actually a pit of diamonds… it was caves in diamond shapes shoved together. What a variation! I haven’t seen THAT before and done better! (I have, in a number of maps). The wool was guarded by a special custom skeleton, backed up by swarm upon swarm of regular skeletons, with “Vechs1” for a head. Seeing as it was very similar to Vechs head but also wasn’t “Vechz”, it should have been made clear to the player that this enemy WASN’T for the head monument.
While almost every area we’ve seen so far does at least SOMETHING right or unique, this area was just a giant cave filled with everything wrong about the map: Spawner spam too great to beat, where you can’t even find the spawners to destroy them! There was nothing redeemable about this area at all! Nothing! It was complete garbage! It’s especially disappointing to see this after having some interesting areas!
Rating – 1/10 It’s just a cave! JUST A STONE CAVE!
Iron bars(Black wool):
(The area name sign was replaced with item frames with iron bars)
This area seemed very complicated. Void stretched below, as it forced you to run on iron bars while skeletons attack you, battle on thin ore-filled stone spirals with blazes and skeleton spawners embedded in the ground. Like many areas of this nature, it doesn’t give you much to deal with these, especially since the spawners are still as hidden as always. I ended up sprinting through it all, and at the end I was surprised to find black wool! It didn’t feel special or spammy enough. Turns out that this actually WASN’T the final area – the “real” final area actually contains the green wool, going totally against the standard accepted CTM order. It’s fine to go against the norm like that, but you should indicate it to the player with a sign “This area has the wool going in the last space on the monument, but it’s NOT the final area”!
Rating – 4/10 Boring false ending
Into the Nether(Red wool, Blue wool, Zisteau’s head):
At this point, all the areas had begun blurring together. This one contained no custom mobs, just more and more normal mob spam, similar to Diamond Pit. There were big stone towers with spawners in diamond shapes on top, but little point to destroying them since there were mobs coming from so many other places. It was fairly short, so it would be easy to run through, but hard if you decided to slog it out. Red wool was right at the start, barely guarded with a few ghast and blaze spawners, and the blue wool was placed behind a miniature fortress at the end, but none of it felt particularly climactic or difficult. We’re just too strong to worry about non-custom mobs, not even the blazes, since the map starts the area by handing you tons of fire resistance 8-minute potions. The only interesting part was the end, where we got an actual lore book saying dark magic was seeping into our world, and there were some custom wither skeletons guarding a “core”. There was instructions to dig given very non-intuitively (it said dig right… WHICH RIGHT!?), to find the true final dungeon.
But before we do that, there’s a loose end.
Rating – 5/10 We’ve seen swarms too often.
Jungle Zone(lime wool):
A giant jungle area, with the wool straight at the end! This one would have been possible to play regularly, since you can see most of the spawners in the leaves. It’s a pretty normal area, with nothing special about it at all. I pretty much got the wool and got out, so I can’t say too much about it that I haven’t already said somewhere else. It was completely my fault I missed it back in Another Day, Another Zombie too.
Rating – 5/10 Can’t believe I missed it…
The Final Area(green wool):
First off, the map tells you beforehand: Make sure to play through all the other areas before this one! But the area contains the green wool, not the black wool. There’s no indication that this area contains the green wool, and some players might waste time searching for a green wool area that didn’t exist, assuming that possibly a head for the head monument is here. Either the order of the wools should have been switched around to resemble a normal map, or you should have been told, again: This area contains the green wool!
As for the actual area, it was very unexpected, but it was actually an interesting idea! The hallway lined with beacons and a few spawners appeared innocuous, but most of the beacons you see in the picture are “evil” beacons, which give off negative potion effects! This was a neat idea that I haven’t seen done in other CTMs before, and better yet, no mob spam! However, it was an incredibly easy area – the beacons only gave poison, not wither, and all you had to do was smash one of the blocks making up the beacons to disable them. Because of that, it failed to pose a real significant challenge. Still, it was at least something interesting!
Rating – 6/10 Something new
Beneath the void was a giant spamfest. Almost every area was full to the brim with monster spawners. It was difficult, but more difficult in a slow, grindy way, rather than difficult in a challenging or interesting way. In the early intersections, the gameplay of the areas is so same-y they start to blend together. The loot chests dump tons of good stuff on you right from the start, so much you’ll have to make multiple trips through each area to possibly gather everything worth having. But the loot barely gets better as you proceed through the map, and I didn’t feel like I was advancing much in power. The map’s intersection structure was confused, and I ended up playing a lot of the areas out of order. If there had been clear indication of what order to play the areas in, things would have been much better. As for the head monument, it’s an interesting idea to have miniature boss-fights as a side objective, but there isn’t much indication of what is where. I sadly ended up unable to complete it.
However, despite that, you can see some clear potential in some of the map’s areas. A few feel like they have interesting ideas that could have been executed on a little better. The map’s few good moments are generally when it switches out of mob spam mode to try something else. There’s a huge gap in quality between the areas, with about 1/3 of them being interesting and 2/3 being awful.