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Minecraft "Exploration" update adds Cartographers and the Illagers

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The Minecraft "Exploration" update, which went into pre-release back in September, is now fully live for everyone. The update introduces a new type of villager known as the Cartographer, who will offer maps—treasure maps!—in exchange for just a few measly emeralds. But don't expect to just walk ten paces and start digging. 

"These locations won’t give up their bounty so easily!" Mojang said in the release announcement. "Some maps may point you to mysterious Ocean Monuments, patrolled by spiny Guardians, others to Woodland Mansions—a new location, inhabited by the Villagers’ creepy cousins: the Illagers!" 

Illagers, as their name implies, are not particularly gracious hosts, but if you can survive their "toothsome traps" and the beastly Vexes they summon, you'll come away with the Totem of Undying, a powerful ward against an untimely demise. The update also brings llamas to the game, a handy way to move inventory across the land, and the Shulker Box, "a special chest that retains its contents when when knocked down." 

"There’s loads more to discover!" developer Mojang promised. "But you’re brave adventurers, right? Find it for yourself!" 

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.