Minecraft Has Bad Points Too

November 11, 2010 at 12:13 am | Posted in mmorpg | 15 Comments
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Believe it or not Minecraft does have its bad points. There are annoying, frustrating, or even completely boring aspects to the game that in some ways make peoples addictions even that much more interesting. The game triumphs over so many problems.

And let’s not forget, Minecraft single-player is in Beta, while Multi-player is in Alpha. Keeping that in mind, there are a lot of things I’d like to unload on.

Let’s start with the basic fundamental annoyance of crashing. Got that render distance up? Prepare to crash a lot. For a game that relies on simple functional graphics, I can’t believe how unstable it is. I have to keep my fog on, and render distance to small or normal and even then I’m still crashing once every hour or more.

It’s been a one man operation up until recently, so complaining about technical issues is like stepping on ants, but my god the bugs. Losing stacks of materials in the furnace, things not working the way they’re supposed to, spawning inside the ground, disappearing items, increased spawn rates. I could go on.

One other thing I’ve discussed with others is just how difficult it is to get started without knowing what you’re doing. Without going to the wiki, you’re going to be pretty lost. There is no tutorial, no help, no instructions. If someone is operating in a closed environment not knowing others who play the game, if they don’t think to look for something like the wiki, they aren’t going to get anywhere.

Putting aside the issue of technical details, as again, he’s just one guy, there are actual gameplay elements that I don’t like about Minecraft.

Even with torches spread around it's difficult to find your way.

I can’t get around at night. It’s too dark and lasts nearly as long as day. Often I’ll end up going to read a website while night passes, sometimes for several nights in a row. That gets old real fast. If I’m traveling at night it’s likely I’ll fall into a deep hole, get lost, or get stuck. If I’m exploring, that’s a lot of fun. If I’m just trying to make it from point A to point B it’s a pain in the ass.

If I’m in my mine and have run out of wood, and the only thing I can do at night is dig, and the only way to dig is with wood, I’m stuck waiting 10 minutes for morning to come. This isn’t continuing my complaint about night, this is about long boring stretches. I don’t mind digging out hundreds of blocks, it’s mindless busy work that helps me relax, but if I’m stuck in my hole with nothing to do, it’s more frustrating than relaxing.

Getting lost doesn’t only happen at night. It can be plain as day out and due to the simplicity of the graphics, random sameness of your surroundings, distances needed to travel, you can easily get lost during the day. There is no map, the rising and setting of the sun help little to determine direction. A compass can be made that points to your spawn location, but in my experience, helps all too little in finding anything but your spawn point.

Other complaints are far from the game’s fault, and more the fault of humanity. I suppose the following is more of a list of pet peeves than anything else.

BlueKae’s multi-player server Eternia has a shortage of centrally located trees. To fix that some upright citizens actually started tree farms. Others not only ignore our requests to replant trees after harvest, but don’t gather the leaves afterward. Meaning they don’t collect saplings at all, let alone replant. One individual burned down (yes I’m enough of a nerd to count) about 55 trees and never took any responsibility.

Most multiplayer experiences are great. You visit each others homes to see what they’ve come up with. Brag about accomplishments. Marvel at ingenuity. Or maybe just chat about the game or whatever. All that is great until someone builds too close to you.

Say you’ve built yourself a well put together palace. It’s got all the amenities from a well designed obsidian statue to a perfectly placed waterfall and a library filled with books looking out over a picturesque river. The someone decides to become your neighbour, building quite close to your stately home, cuts right through your view with a grotesque looking gravel wall lined at the top with torches and a other annoying features. All on a server where he could quite possibly have built anywhere.

Personal space can be an issue.

I’ve been pretty generous to the game in previous posts, not even mentioning most of these problems in detail. I thought it would be fair to at least look at some of the problems with the game. Sure it’s been developed by only one person and I’ll give him credit for that, but I’m not going to give him an automatic pass either.

Maybe sometimes the faults are what proves greatness.

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15 Comments

  1. Thus far having no tutorial is the worst thing, imo. You know it took me forever just to figure out how to hold down the mouse button to dig? 😛

    • yeah i kept experimenting with crafting but could never figure out exactly how to make stuff. i figured out very little on my own.

  2. I was definitely ready to quit after my initial trial. I couldn’t even figure out how to select different tools.

    There are tons of bugs to be sure. But I’m cognizant of the fact it’s alpha. If bugs persist long term, then I’ll have more of an issue.

    • so what changed things? the wiki?

      he does seem to fix bugs over time so i don’t think you’ll run into that problem.

  3. Most of the problems are only really plaguing online play, and as I generally keep to single play stuff (mostly because online is not finished yet) they don’t really affect me. I can see why you would be annoyed, as I have run into every single one of these problems even on a server of just close friends.

    Stacks of coal and iron, eaten by furnaces. Unresponsive red stone dust that I have to manually break and replace over and over until the game figures out how levers and switches work. Picking out a nice mountain side, carving an inter-twined stone passage way up the steep cliffs only to have someone suddenly build a floating base far to close to the overall vista I was working on.

    I suppose I have been lucky with crashes, though. This pc is fairly dated, but can still run on far/fancy with lag. Lag is ok online when you have infinite life and a slip off a mountain or stepping into lava are only annoyances, but single player I cannot even kill a chicken due to framerate issues so I commonly have to tone it down. I was not pleased, to say the least, with the spawning changes due to the halloween update, and I am glad they have been since removed.

    But I still haven’t gone back into my mine shafts since I saw three creepers, four zombies, and a handful of skeletons. Some things cannot be unseen…

    Great summary of the bugs and glitches we grin and bare to access this awesome game. I am still amazed at how well it holds up considering it is not even in beta yet. I only wish Battlefield 2142 was this polished when I ‘beta’ tested it.

    • Some of my main issues plague both. Like long boring stretches especially in single player. Sometimes i only end up playing for 10 minutes in single due to not wanting to stand there and do nothing.

  4. There’s also the weirdness with blocks (especially placed stairs) not breaking properly sometimes. Snow and ice seem to have stopped, too, so watch out if you break ice, it won’t ice over again. The impending noneternal torch change isn’t something to look forward to either. There’s definitely an unfortunate reliance on wood for tools as well, which isn’t cool if you don’t have trees around. Multiplayer bugs aren’t cool, but jerks will *always* be a problem.

    That said, the ability to tear the world apart by hand and remake it according to your imagination is still worth the rough edges.

    • i think the latest update said he fixed stairs, but that has been a pretty big gripe with me. quite annoying.

      torches updating isn’t going to happne lalalala i’m not listening.

  5. I’m with you on all of this. The thing about the guy burning down the trees bothers me the most. The last time I was on, a while ago, one guy left and made what I thought was a joke about burning down a bunch of trees. Guess he wasn’t kidding?

    • I don’t know, it happened around the same time, but i’m not going to dwell on it.

  6. Stair placement is much better, but you still have to make sure YOU don’t make a mistake because they only give one block (wood or cobblestone) back when you break them again.

    • well i think getting less back is more than fair for constructed stuff. seems like there should be a penalty to me.

  7. I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t even going to read this whole article, but then I did to give the author the benifit of the doubt. I was wrong. The thing about this game is that you have to be prepared. Yes, it is slow starting out, as with any game like this you have to build up resources. You shouldn’t be out running around at night unless you have torches. Also, knowing the spawn point is enough for me to find my way home, because I had enough sense to make it close. This game is about mining and exploring, not running back home every night. Learn to mark your routes and make ming bases to mine from and you are good.

  8. On the server issue, if you are playing on a public server then except morons and griefers. You really want to enjoy the game with others make or buy a private server. I personally love this game and understand Notch is doing his best to get it rolling. It’s a holiday which is a bad time to release an update. I personally would not have chosen this time to do it, but I can’t make a game of this caliber either.

    • I like minecraft. I called it a triumph in the first paragraph. I’ve got a dozen posts outlining just how much I like the game.

      You seem to have missed those posts.

      Defending minecraft isn’t necessary here.

      I will criticize one thing, you seem to be in denial. This post was essentially a response to all the glowing posts I had about the game, discussing all the bad points I had rarely delved into.

      Minecraft is not a perfect game, it’s just a really good one. that’s all i was trying to say.


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