The modding scene for Minecraft is thriving, giving creative folks an outlet for their own creations and maximizing the appeal and freshness of the world’s favorite sandbox simulator. I wasn’t a fan of Minecraft until I found the modpack Hexxit, a series of mods that turns Minecraft into a exploration heavy high fantasy adventure, complete with monsters, magic loot, and deadly dungeons. What about Hexxit opened my heart to Minecraft’s magic?
Hexxit’s New Experience
I was never sold on Minecraft. I gave it a few good tries, single and multiplayer, creative and survival, softcore and hardcore, and it never completely turned my crank. While I could recognize that Minecraft might actually be a perfect video game, the crafting, mining, and combat left me flat. The thing I enjoyed the most was loading up creative mode and flying around the randomly generated maps discovering natural structures and exploring them to their bottom. Unfortunately, there’s only so many abandoned mines and underground rivers you can explore before you get bored.
Then a friend told me about Hexxit, a modpack that promises high fantasy adventure. It’s a collection of mods that all work together to fill up your world with fantasy dungeons, tons of new magical loot, and minimize the resource gathering/grinding. I updated my client, downloaded the slick launcher, and gave it a shot. I was immediately impressed.
Within the first few evenings I was exploring strange fey worlds and castles controlled by liches. I was finding treasure chests brimming with magical swords, wizard’s staves, and magical essences at the top of monster filled towers. Portals to pocket dimensions cleverly played with my perceptions and then shat me out three miles away from my home base. Unique monsters slammed me around, picked me up and carried me away, and popped out of very walls of dungeons. Add to this the fact that you only need to dig about 20 squares down to find diamonds and you have a game that’s nearly 100% about the exploration!
Hexxit focused on exactly what I found fun about Minecraft: exploring a procedurally generated world. Only now there’s very real rewards and very real surprises as you’re zipping around looking under every rock and raiding every ruined fort.
Minecrafty High Adventure
The most impressive part about Hexxit is that it focuses the player’s experience without betraying the core spirit of Minecraft. It is not an RPG, there are no stats. It is not a story game, there are no pre-made structures. It is Minecraft in every single way.
I like to think of Minecraft like a generic set of Lego blocks: you can do most anything with them as long as you provide enough elbow grease and imagination. But Hexxit is the Castle set of Legos that provide a granularity and specificity that aids imagination without restricting it. The mods provide you with new pieces and tweaks that promote a very new exploration-heavy experience, but ultimately you’re still finding your own fun by combining the bricks at your leisure.
A Few Examples
If “exploration heavy high adventure” doesn’t convince you, here are some of the mods that are included within Hexxit:
- Tinker’s Construct: Craft tools and weapons out of component parts to create your dream shovel. Socket in diamonds to increase tool durability, cover it in magic slime to make it tools repair themselves over time, and even craft a pick axe made out of flaming gems to instantly smelt ore! It’s complicated but a hell of a lot of fun.
- Asgard Shields: I just adore shields in fantasy games. Asgard Shield adds in a variety of shields that replace your sword’s normal parry as long as they’re in your Action Bar. In addition to each shield giving you unique passive bonuses (stone shields reduce fire damage, wooden shields allow you to “catch” arrows as they stick in them) the shields give you a chance to reduce incoming damage completely instead of simply reducing it. The depth of the mod is a lot of fun, especially for sword’n’board nuts like myself.
- Better Dungeons: This mod fills your world with awesome locations like volcanoes and jungle temples, but the real draw to Better Dungeons is its tweaks to enemies. Human enemies will be equipped with real gear with very real powers, so now your enemies may have their own healer, their own grappling-hook to pull you in, or even a grenadier to blast you and your buildings to bits from a distance. This mod also includes awesome staves for players, allowing them to fly like the wind and trap opponents in bubbles.
- Battletowers: Hope you like spawner and treasure filled towers with highly unstable golem bosses at the top of them.
- Dimensional Doors: Find moon-portals in the world that teleport you to Xen-like hallucinatory worlds. You can even build your own for people to discover!
- Chococraft: Chocobos. Chocobo breeding. Riding chocobos. How are you still reading this, go download this mod for Christ’s sake.
- Legend Gear: Inspired by Zelda, this mod provides you with a ton of awesome toys to play with, including magic medallions that charge as you take damage, boomerangs, and even special grass that provide you emeralds shards, arrows, and hearts. (The hearts do heal you!)
If you enjoy the excitement and exploration of Minecraft, or simply want to build your own castle in a world filled liches and giant mushrooms, you should download Hexxit immediately. It made me a believer in the magic of Minecraft.