Friday, 30 September 2011

Minecraft Suggestion: Expanding the Lore -- The Necromancer, Final Boss

A suggested long-term goal for Minecraft!
Minecraft's wilderness and caverns are full of undead creatures: zombies, skeletons, zombie pigmen, creepers (maybe?). Where do these monsters come from? Ancient texts found in abandoned libraries or dungeon chests speak of an evil immortal entity who creates and controls the undead scourge:

The Necromancer.

The Necromancer lives in an imposing tower built of obsidian and nether brick in a weak point between the worlds, where the Nether has begun to seep into the overworld. His tower sits in a depression far below sea level, and it reaches far into the sky above. Within, there are unimaginable riches and hordes of the Necromancer's undead minions. At the very peak of the tower resides the Necromancer himself, wielding an artifact of incredible power that grants him dominion over the world's dead.

The Necromancer's Tower.
The Necromancer's Tower

Upon creation of a world, the Necromancer's tower is assigned an XY coordinate on a circle several thousand blocks from the player's spawn point. It's very important that this coordinate is predetermined and fixed — I'll get to that later.
Entrance hall at the base of the tower.
The tower is the centre of a unique, roughly circular biome: the Tear (as in rip, not crying). The Tear is composed of the same materials as the Nether: netherrack, soulsand, lava. Nether monsters can spawn within the biome, as well as zombies, skeletons, and creepers. The area itself is a semispherical cutout all the way down to bedrock, with the tower at its centre.
A view of the Tear from the top of the tower.
The tower is much like a stronghold or fortress, with many types of rooms, monster spawners, and treasure chests. Rooms with creeper spawners should be wholly composed of obsidian, so that creepers do not destroy their master's tower. Treasure chests contain high-end loot: diamonds, gold, watches, maps, powered rails, etc.
A few interior floors in the midsection.
The Final Boss

The Necromancer himself is found at the peak of the tower on a large platform. He functions as a spawner, constantly generating undead to defend himself. Unlike most mobs he actively avoids the player, shooting fireballs from his staff every few seconds. He's got a lot of HP.
Another floor of the tower.
His unique loot drop, the Necromancer's Staff, is an infinite-use item that shoots fireballs. It also has the property of making all undead mobs neutral to you as long as it's in your inventory. They'll still defend themselves if you attack, but they won't come after you or damage you.
The boss platform at the top of the world.
Getting There

Here's where that fixed, pregenerated XY coordinate comes into play. Using a few very rare items in a multi-step crafting process, the player needs to build a Chronometer and a Sextant.

Chronometer: watch + crystal oscillator (4 ender pearls)
Sextant: 6 blaze rods + compass + tear lens (4 ghast tears)

Once the player has both a Chronometer and a Sextant in their inventory, two things happen: compasses in the Nether point towards the nearest portal; and the Necromancer's tower is marked on maps (the item). Most likely the tower will still be far away, so it displays a pointer at the edge of the map in the direction of the tower. And using the pregenerated coordinate, this actually works!
A garden at the end of one of the tower arms.

Once you defeat the Necromancer, you haven't "won" Minecraft. You continue playing as normal, except now you have all the loot. You can choose to start a new world if you'd like to experience the challenge again, or you can just keep exploring and building in the same world -- only now, if you choose to carry the staff, you don't have to worry about undead. It's like any other sandbox game where clearing the plot missions doesn't end the game.

So, in summary: we have both a lore explanation for where the undead come from, AND a difficult yet highly rewarding long-term goal for the player. Let me know what you think in the comments!

Another view of the tower.
* please note * screenshots are not exactly what I expect to see, nor are they totally finished / polished. It's an example I built to illustrate my ideas.

1 comment:

  1. I think this is a very exciting idea. Personally, I am not as into Minecraft as others, but I enjoy the idea of giving the player an option of going on a quest, or actually doing something. Making buildings and exploring and defending yourself against monsters is one thing, but actually giving you a purpose, or even the hint of intrigue, that's very exciting and interesting to me. Thanks for sharing, and I hope others find this just as exciting!