While Minecraft has come a long way when it comes to terrain and the variety of biomes it has, there could always be more. As you spawn into a new world and wander around, it takes time to find anything interesting. There’s trees, hills, grass, mountains. Sometimes those trees, hills, grass and mountains will have snow on them. Sometimes you’ll see a desert. But most of the time it’s all the same. The genuinely interesting biome variants, things like Bryce Mesas, Mushroom Islands and Ice Spike Plains, are often so rare that you could go for weeks without seeing anything like that. Really, you spend more time wandering through hilly plains and standard forests than anything else.
There’s also a handful of structures that can make normal biomes more interesting, but these are just as rare as anything else. Except villages. I think they’re more common now – or that might just be me messing around with flooded maps – after all, structures only spawn when there’s enough space and worlds with raised sea levels provide a lot more free areas than normal.
Okay, yes, there’s the exotic extra-dimensional lands of the End and the Nether, but they’re actually even MORE boring than the main world. That’s because the extra-dimensional lands don’t really have biomes. The Nether is the same anywhere you go, only occasionally punctuated by the odd Nether Fortress, while the End has two ‘biomes’ – the floating arena where you fight a dragon and the vast, empty End Plains, where you MIGHT find a city. Maybe. Most likely not though, because they are so far away from the End spawn points.
But anyway, what better way to vary a world than by adding more biomes? Eventually, if you add enough rare biomes, then the standard biomes will be rare too. Here’s a couple of nice ideas, all free to use.
Idea 1 – Bone Fields
With the addition of Fossil structures and the bone block, why not put them to good use? Better than shoving them underground in caves that 99% of people won’t see. The bone block structures already form in a handful of fossil-like stripes, but there could always be more. What would be nice though is seeing these structures on the surface. A whole alternate desert biome could be created with much larger bone structures. A mesa variant could also work, with bone structures sticking out of mesa mountains.
Idea 2 – Micro Nethers
It’s weird how only the player can access the Nether. Only we can build portals and go to the Nether, and other creatures only get there by accident. But what if there was a chance for a Nether portal to spawn naturally and bring some of the Nether into the real world? For all we know, we’re not the only beings around, and it’s pretty clear via villages and other structures – mainly Strongholds – that there was intelligent, sentient life around at some point.
So where are all the failed Nether portals? Surely there’d be some that some being had made to attempt to go to the Nether? This biome would consist of a broken Nether portal, surrounded by a biome with a mixture of gravel and netherrack. Soul sand should appear periodically, and all water should be replaced by lava, with obsidian around the edges where water from nearby chunks meets up with the Micro Nether. Won’t be any Ghasts spawning here, but Zombie Pigmen and Wither Skeletons should spawn at night.
Idea 2.5 – Micro Ends
Just like the Nether, for some reason, there’s no evidence of how anyone even discovered the End. I doubt that a villager, a being that can’t even deal with one zombie, somehow managed to create a stronghold and build a portal to the End right off the bat. A Micro End would basically just be just like the Micro Nether, but with a broken (and un-fixable) End portal and that boring as fuck sand-like shit everywhere. And maybe a single Obsidian tower for the sake of it.
Idea 3 – Crater Sites
There are stars in the sky. That means there might be shooting stars. That means that a shooting star might crash and leave a tattered impact site. This biome would be filled with broken, burning trees and large cuts in the landscape, some of which break through into caves and ravines below. Scattered around would be large deposits of the non-stone stones – Granite, Andesite and Diorite – the remains of a meteor that crashed into the ground.
Idea 4 – Oasis
I’m actually surprised there’s no such thing as an oasis in a desert yet. Sure, there are wells and pyramids, but these are pretty sparse. Oasis spawns should be rare too, but who wouldn’t want to see a nice island of green in the middle of a ton of yellow?
Idea 5 – Slime Islands
Basically Mushroom island biomes, but with slimes everywhere rather than Mooshrooms. Slimes are pretty rare outside of swamps and random chunks, and it would be cool to see a place where they can jump around, free from the danger of players desperately in need of slime balls. This terrain would have almost neon green grass, with clumps of slime blocks scattered around. Perhaps it could have a new type of plant structure as well, such as a bubble of slime blocks. Would be the perfect place to introduce a new liquid as well – a slime liquid that you can breathe in but slows you more than even lava does.
Idea 6 – Displaced Far Lands
The Far Lands are an amazing place, something I only discovered after they were patched out when Minecraft left beta. While the Far Lands Edges are mostly just weird, unchanging walls with holes in them, the Far Lands Corners look like floating islands stacked on top of each other. This creates a cool combination of both bright areas with animals and trees and heavily shadowed areas filled with enemy mobs. It would be cool to see something like this implemented in Minecraft properly.
These ideas are all quite simple, but they’re also ideas that could be done using in-game elements that already exist. And they probably already do, in the form of mods. But to be honest, I don’t like mods because whenever I play Multiplayer (particularly LAN worlds), things get weird. Plus, new things to the base game are what brings new players and brings old players back. After all, I wouldn’t have started playing again if it wasn’t for the new mansions that can spawn in certain types of forest.