When I first started playing Minecraft a few months ago, I played with a rule: if I die, I have to delete the entire world. This is the tenth entry in the diary I kept of that experiment - the first is here .
< Day 9
Day 11 >
I am distraught. I've lost the best world I've seen, forever. This one is just a bunch of blocks.
The next day, in a cruel twist, Notch adds a 'Crouch' key that prevents you falling off ledges.
Come nightfall, I still haven't sorted out a safe house or torches, and I take one too many risks with an arrow-firing skeleton. Dead.
I'm still playing with my rule, but the fear is gone: the world I'll lose if I die now is replacable. This one's snowy, which is nice, but nothing special.
I'm killed by an exploding Creeper on my first night.
Mobbed by spiders.
Ignored own advice, dug straight down, plunged into lava.
Fell off one too many mountains.
Skeleton Archers again.
Okay, this is getting silly. I need an objective. The hardcore rule doesn't really work if your only goal is to survive: that's not something you can make progress towards, so no progress is really lost when you die. Unless you spawn in the absolute perfect place in the absolute perfect world, as I did in World 3, the stakes are actually pretty low.
Happily, this realisation hit just after a major Minecraft update. I'd taken a quick break from the experiment to preview it a few days earlier: it's a new, hellish dimension called the Nether. You get to the Nether by building a doorway made out of the hardest usable rock in the world, obsidian, then setting it alight. It creates a portal to a world full of zombie pigmen, ever-burning stone, and giant flying jellyfish that spit fireballs.
The objective I needed was obvious: go to hell, journey as far as my tools will take me, and get back alive.
Now, where the hell do you get obsidian?
On Thursday: Oh, there it is .