Minecraft manhunt and how it's inspired me to take on open world games.

Dream has done it again

This is a bit of a late one. It's been sitting in my drafts for a while. For anyone who might not be aware of this particular video: There's a professional Minecraft speedrunner who goes by the gamertag "DreamNotFound". He has been playing a challenge where he has to beat the final boss in Minecraft before his friends can get a single kill on him — the friends are free to die any number of times. He's been gradually increasing the number of hunters he has pursuing him, and for the first time, he beat 4 at once.

I watched the video a few hours after it came out and it was truly a work of art. I would definitely like to see a couple more of these challenges to see if the 4 hunters can take down Dream reliably. I think with a little more planning they might be able to do it. From my analysis, their biggest mistake is teaming up to take on Dream.

No matter how good they are, even when they had fully enchanted diamond armour sets on all 4 hunters they still managed to bumble into a trap set by dream. The right idea at that point where Dream made a run to the nether would have been to send 2 people in instead of all 4. Or if all 4 came in, then 2 stay to guard the portal.

This seems like a far better strategy because we've seen that Dream targets all the hunters at once generally. In fact, the only time there wasn't team wide meme was when Dream hopped down from way up high into the water with ice making enchanted boots and one of the hunters was still chilling down at the bottom. So when the others collapsed and died on the bottom after hitting the ice, that one that didn't go up (I think it was AntFrost) was left to hunt down Dream. Dream made pretty short work of him but that was because of the surprise mostly.

If I was hunting down Dream with 3 other friends, I'd employ the strategy of 2 to track and bully so as to slow him down while the remaining 2 split into resource gatherers. Dream is a world class speed runner and PVP expert which is why all 4 sticking behind to gather resources doesn't make sense. Leaving dream to do his own thing would be suicide which is why you need 2 bullying him constantly.

Once enough resources have been gathered and items have been made, the full hunter team needs to regroup and split into ranged and melee combat. Ranged combat bullies. Melee can try and take on Dream or just ruin his day by constantly slowing him down.

As for death? The goal is to always be cutting off Dream's guaranteed travel points. Whether it's the nether portal or the ender dragon, there are some places that Dream has to go to. And the strategy is to delay/hinder Dream's movements to/in those places. In this way I think the hunting team pulled off an incredible move when they brought their own healing crystals into the end. That's the kind of move I'm talking about.

Ultimately though, the only thing that matters is whether Dream dies or not. The fact that Dream is such a force to be reckoned with in PVP means the hunting team needs an advantage in battle. And they aren't going to find that advantage being bunched up like, as BadBoyHalo puts it so succinctly, "muffin heads".

Now watch the video and get muffined.

Speaking of minecraft

Actually, speaking of open world games, I've been playing some open world games recently. I'm picking up breath of the wild again. I'm returning to Temtem. I'm going to be picking up Minecraft and I'm currently in the middle of Need for Speed Heat. I think I finally found out why I couldn't make my way through open world games. I realised it only after I had watched several hermitcraft videos followed by watching several Minecraft manhunt ones.

At some point a little light bulb went off in my head that left a glowing idea: "I'm not playing these games the way it works for me!".

Essentially, I realised that if I try to play the explore/grind for rewards/spend lots of time on building or customizing cycle I eventually switch off. I do a lot but get nothing done. I tried this out with Need for Speed Heat and found that it's best if I work towards the goals as they are set in front of me. That seems to be providing more than enough entertainment. And that's really what I'm seeking right? I'm seeking entertainment.

The problem has been that I keep getting addicted to this idea of grinding or getting side tracked as a form of endless entertainment. This doesn't make any sense for me. I never feel guilty that I haven't had enough entertainment from a game. Also, I've never felt any accomplishment from only having lots of entertainment in the game. My feeling of accomplishment has always come primarily from actually finishing the game.

So, when it comes to minecraft and all the other open world games I have, I'm approaching it a little differently this time. This time, I'm choosing to go with the path that appeals to me the most: actually finishing the darn thing.

But, and this is why I put the secondary title "Speaking of minecraft", how does one "finish Minecraft"? Minecraft isn't an open world game. It's a sandbox game. It's very definition of what it means to complete it is open. It's complete when you say it is. Did you want to complete it by building the world's largest hand-mined-diamond encrusted lavafall? That's up to you. But luckily for me there are a few things that are set out as concrete things that can be completed in Minecraft.

Firstly, there's defeating the ender dragon. This is a pretty difficult challenge on its own and unless you happen to be a professional, you are going to want to collect a few things like diamond enchanted armour. This means that there's already a pretty chunky goal that has a few definite set of steps to go through.

  • Enter the nether.
  • Find a fortress.
  • Acquire blaze rods.
  • Hopefully acquire some ender pearls on the way.
  • Craft your eyes.
  • Find the stronghold.
  • Find the end portal.

And only then is it time to kill the ender dragon. How much hardware you need depends on the skill of the player — speedrunners complete it with just a shield, some beds, and if lucky something more than a bow and arrow combined with an iron axe. Plus, you can always make it harder for yourself by playing this game until you've beaten it at every difficulty setting.

Secondly, there's the achievement list which is pretty vast and which is nigh on impossible to complete in any kind of sane amount of time without the most lucky blessings from the RNG lords. Good luck getting your wither skulls to make the wither.

And finally, and the part that I think takes the most amount of time is the sheer number of items to craft and biomes to visit. A game would be fully complete if one actually visits the full range of biomes and crafts every item there is to be made in the game. To be fair though, I think the crafting every single item in the game is a bit of a fools errand. It would be satisfying to enchant a trident so that you can hopefully get a thunderstorm to charge your caught creeper and then have it explode to obtain a mob head but at that point, I'm not sure how I would feel regarding the enjoyment of that.

But what I definitely am not going to be doing in my coming playthroughs is spending time building perfect houses and getting the right gear. I always admired players who do that but I've come to realise that no matter how much I aspire to be that player, I don't have the concentration for it ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. For me, whether it's breath of the wild, temtem, or Minecraft, I'm going after the thrill of completing the objectives laid out.

One can only wait to see if this new found enthusiasm lasts 😅.

It's entirely likely that I'll transfer the diaries of my game sessions to my blog. I keep little logs in my personal notes in Obsidian so it's not too much to transfer. This blog post for example is an edited version of some reflections I had written down while working. But if I do actually stick to the plan, it should make for some fun updates here.

Posted on November 02 2020 by Adnan Issadeen