Before, the Nether is just a dreary burning hellscape. Now, with all the new Nether biomes and mobs, it’s actually fun to explore and roam around. Out of all the new biomes, my favourite is the basalt delta. I’m not sure why, but I really like the atmosphere there.
The biggest part for me, however, are the new blocks available for building. New wood, new stones, and even new lights! I enjoy building a lot, so I’ll be talking about those now.
Shroomlights are the newest light blocks to be added into the game. It is, to me, tied with sea lanterns as the best light block in the game. Jack o’Lanterns are dirt-cheap but rather unsightly. They are hard to visually integrate into a build unless you either hide them under carpets or go for a Halloween build. Glowstone is moderately easy to get, and basically available for free once you have a witch auto-farm up, but its texture just doesn’t look good to me. Redstone lamps require a redstone power source to light up, so most of the time I used them as indicator lights instead of lighting. There is once I used the pressure plate/item frame trick to make redstone lamp street lights with barely-visible redstone power sources. I do like redstone lamp’s texture quite a lot, just a shame that it needs to be powered.
Sea lanterns look good, but they stick out when used in areas with a warm colour palette. Shroomlights, however, are great for this. Since I normally build with wood and clay, shroomlights are perfect for me. I’m going to have to find a way to auto-farm them though, manually replanting and harvesting huge fungi is rather laborious.
Onto the huge fungi themselves, the stems are great. The planks I am not terribly fussed about, since they have rather unnatural colours and I’m not 100% sure on how to use them, but the stems are amazing. They have these animated glowing textures that just looks magical and otherworldly. I used the crimson ones for my potion hut’s pillars to make it look more magical.
As for trapdoors, crimson trapdoors look OK, but I love the vine-like slots for the warped trapdoors. Those are great. On a side note, I probably should’ve used sea lanterns for this picture here.
Chains make hanging chandeliers and lanterns look much better than iron bars ever could. Not to mention, chains look great. And as of the time of writing, 1.16.2 is out, so chains can now be orientated sideways.
Soul campfire, soul torches and soul lanterns are amazing. Not only are they blue, they are also of a lower light level, so you can use them to illuminate snow and ice builds without melting them. I haven’t built with ice and snow before, but I’m now more tempted to try.
Blackstone and all associated blocks are some of the best things to come out of this update. For the first time, we have black building blocks that are available in wall, slab, and stair form! Not to mention, gilded blackstone dotted among blackstone floors creates an interesting look.
I’ll be building a lot with blackstone from now on. They look good, are easy to find in basalt deltas, and I seem to run into veins of blackstone all the time while I go ancient debris mining. This is probably the best set of blocks added in this update so far.
And lastly, basalt.
Regular basalt is fine and has a good texture for pavements. Polished basalt, however, look almost exactly like petrified tree trunks. In fact, it looks almost like greyscale oak logs. Acacia may have greyish bark, but polished basalt’s cooler colours makes it look much closer to stone. Thus, for my petrified forest build, I used polished basalt. Lots of it.
Good thing I built a basalt generator.
All in all, the Nether Update added a lot of new stuff. New mechanics, new biomes, and new ways to die in the Nether. I myself have built an auto-farm based on the new Hoglin mob. But the new blocks are definitely one of the major highlights of this update for me.