Tell Me There’s A Heaven: Minecraft’s Aether

By Alec Meer on July 25th, 2011 at 8:56 am.

Did Duke Nukem Forever 2 just get released?

Something else to add to The Infinite Download List Of Infinite Downloads is Aether, a major mod for good ol’ Minecraft that’s so fat with features and changes that you could almost call it a total conversion. It’s also an extension of Minecraft’s ill-defined, open-to-interpretation fictional universe. If The Nether is Minecraft’s hell, then Aether is its heaven – an even more abstract cube-world of floating sky-islands, angry birds (no, not those ones), loot-holding dungeons and flying whales.

They had me at ‘flying whales.’ Oh, and there’s a ton of new block types (including trampoline-like bouncy clouds) plus an expanded, more RPG-like accessory system and even difficulty tiers for the new dungeon runs.

This one will require full exploration for a longer, later post, but meantime find out more and get it installed here.

Bit of a bastard to install, requiring a few other mini-mods first, so if you’re struggling or not in place where you can download lots of random zip files, here’s The Yogcast’s exporation of The Aether:

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28 Comments »

  1. TheOneKnownAsMe says:

    Looks absolutely great, though I fear 1.8 may render a large majority of the features useless, mainly the “accessories” system, as I’m sure Notch has a similar system in mind. But who knows?

    I’ll stay for the flying whales, though.

    And the floating islands. I do enjoy floating islands.

    • Gnoupi says:

      I hope he has, because for now, it seems like (vanilla) Minecraft is a nice sandbox, but not yet an actual game. Sure, you can mine stuff, build stuff, craft stuff, but that’s pretty much all.

      I realized that when Terraria came along, focusing on exploration, items, enemies. Minecraft is a bit left behind for now, on the “actual gameplay” plan.
      It’s a great tool for people who like to build, but not so much for people who like to explore. Sure, you can explore in Minecraft, and find great places, but it does feel a bit “pointless”, for now. Infinite world, but not so much “goal” in it. You know that however long you will walk, you will still find the same things.

      I hope the “adventure” update will give a meaning to exploring.
      In the meantime, since I’m more of an explorer than a builder, I’ll get back to Terraria.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Gnoupi: I think the sandbox, make-your-own-game aspect of minecraft is what make it so interesting to me.

      It’s also a big part of why I don’t feel the need to try out terraria.

      Now, I don’t mind Notch adding all sort of stuff, as long as people will still be able to do the same sandboxy stuff within the game.

    • Gnoupi says:

      Yes, for builders, it’s a very nice sandbox.
      Unfortunately, myself, I will build a little house, make my own mine, my little farm maybe… but that’s all. I lack the ambition/creativity to do something more, so I quickly reach the limits.

      That’s why Terraria is more appropriate for me. It’s focusing on exploration and actual “game” rather than sandbox.

      They are not opposed, they are complementary, as of today.

      Terraria is an adventure/exploration/action game in which you have the possibility to do some basic mining and building.
      Minecraft is a sandbox for builders which offers a great toolbox with switches, redstone, pistons, etc, with a basic “survival game” with some NPCs.

      So the choice is mostly in what exactly you are looking for, today.
      But the good news either way is that both games are influencing eachother. Building possibilities will be improved in the future for Terraria, and Minecraft is adding achievements (quests), adventure, dungeons, sky cities…

      So gamers are the winners here, with either game.

    • Coins says:

      Where did these silly ideas come from. Why isn’t minecraft a game because it’s a sandbox? Lego isn’t toys either just because they don’t have a fixed story? What nonsense.

      Secondly, Minecraft is a game like every other, as in, you don’t -have- to like it. Minecraft, at the moment, is a builder’s toy. Thus, if you don’t like building, it’s not your type of gamubmit.x=38

    • malkav11 says:

      Legos are toys precisely because they don’t have a fixed narrative or any sort of goal structure. Same goes for Minecraft. It’s a toy. Games have rules. They have goals and objectives. Minecraft doesn’t. This isn’t to say there’s anything wrong with toys. I just have never personally had much use for them.

    • aerozol says:

      It’s still a game if it doesn’t have an objective.
      It does have to have some ‘rules’, but it is enough that these define elements of the ‘play space’.
      look up Paidia vs Ludus rules.

    • Kent says:

      You pretty quickly reach Terraria’s limits as well and at that point it offers less than Minecraft. I spend like 10 hours into Terraria and got the best armor, explored pretty much everywhere I care to explore and defeated all the bosses a couple of times.

  2. Wilson says:

    That looks pretty awesome.

  3. Fwiffo says:

    That’s lovely work. It’s reminiscent of a late 90′s expansion pack the way it’s bolted onto the main game and has that ‘similar but cooler’ vibe.

    Also feels a little bittersweet seeing it, since deep down you know whatever Notch is planning for his aether won’t be anywhere near as detailed or feature heavy, but also shows mods are the true future of Minecraft.

    • Foxfoxfox says:

      Might not be as detailed or feature heavy but it will be more balanced, naturalised into the game, and less buggy. I’ve been fiddling with Aether and had two crashes due to memory leaks, one world file totally corrupted, and countless bugs from the amusing to the game-breaking. It is good fun though, farming weird birds and fending off angry clouds.

    • Ginhyun says:

      This is probably the most frustrating thing about Minecraft. It’s a game with limitless potential, but the way things have been going, I just don’t see Notch allowing it to reach said potential. Notch seems to have no clear idea what he wants to do with it, which is evidenced by how he constantly changes his mind and adds features in a seemingly random and haphazard manner. 1.8 does look promising so far, though.

      @Foxfoxfox:

      You think it will be less buggy? Are we playing the same game? The big updates have always contained huge game-wrecking bugs. Multiple updates have had a world corruption glitch, duplication bugs, crashes, etc. If I remember correctly, pistons actually had a bug where if you tried pushing a certain kind of block, it would crash your game and corrupt your world.

      Then there was also the “bug fix” update, which almost created as many bugs as it fixed. The black screen crash, which started appearing with decent frequency around the Nether update of last year, still has not been fixed. There’s also a few crashes to desktop that have cropped up as well. Minecraft is a buggy game, and it’s been that way for a while.

  4. Corrupt_Tiki says:

    Am excited for this 1.8 update, actually the pistons dragged me back into it!.
    I would be happier if I could make catapults or somesuch, but alas, grinders, pits and dispensers will have to do for now.

  5. Latterman says:

    First thing that came to mind when i saw those sky whales.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grAm0qA9qOk

  6. Kaira- says:

    I’ve heard some rumours around the internet that this mod has some malicious code inserted in it (as in, the mod creators can disable the mod unless you have clicked some ad.fly-thingy?), but google brought up nothing of this sorts. Does anyone know more about this, or is this just a rumour?

    • Ace says:

      Yeah, I have read the same thing. I had also read that Lewis of the Yogscast contacted the creator about it and he was cut off from the mod. Not sure how true it all is though.

    • Daniel Is I says:

      I highly doubt that the three creators would do that, but I can see why a rumor like that would start.

      How would you feel if you spent months of your free time laboring on something for the public that you don’t profit from because someone decided they couldn’t wait 5 seconds to download a mod?

      Always keep in mind that *spoiler* not everything on the internet is true!

    • SquareWheel says:

      There is a black list built into the mod, yes. The Yogscast have been blocked not because “they didn’t want to wait five seconds”, but because they disapproved of adfly – an ad-based URL shortening service which sometimes distributes malicious ads.

      The dev’s are being immature prats, and I wouldn’t trust installing their mod if they’re willing to hide a black list in their code. Who knows what else they may have included?

  7. Mistabashi says:

    After a bit of googling it seems the rumours come from one of the modders who worked on the Aether mod, in an email to (somewhat ironically) Yogscast.

    See this post here: http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3383735&userid=0&perpage=40&pagenumber=577#post393873034

    Thing is, some people have looked through the mod code and haven’t actually managed to find anything that looks like a “ban system”, so it’s quite possible the modder in question was just talking out of his ass (I belive he’s 15 years old).

    The reason for the spat seems to be that Yogscast made some comments about modders using Adfly links for their downloads – Adfly is an advertising system that generates revenue for people, but has a reputation for displaying ads with malware embedded.

    • killerkerara says:

      I have also had issues with forced, un-skippable scam surveys that no amount of refreshing will get rid of.

      I would be more than happy to donate $5-15 to a very large and expansive mod such as the Aether or Better Than Wolves. However, the amount of shit they give the Yogscast over their mod makes me boycott them instead and tell all my friends to avoid them. Good game, modders.

      Also, it is now common knowledge that adfly has malicious advertisements. Modders still force people to use it by not giving any alternative download links.

  8. freepower says:

    Those bird things are clearly greasels!

  9. PJMendes says:

    That’s a very nice video you’ve got there…
    Simon and Lewis are the best. The Best!!

  10. MythArcana says:

    You can’t really call it a total conversion since there is very little base game to convert in the first place, but this project just goes to show that any group of talented modders can do circles around Mojang’s less that stellar work ethic.

    • Mistabashi says:

      Ah, I remember, you’re the guy that comes into every Minecraft thread (and quite a few non-Minecraft threads) to moan about Minecraft / Mojang / Notch.

      Congratulations for being committed, but isn’t it time you gave it a rest yet?

    • aerozol says:

      Made by one guy, entertains thousands for millions of hours.

      Terrible work ethic right there, for sure.

  11. Soram00 says:

    Very cool mod, I stopped playing Minecraft but with 1.8 and this mod releasing its multi-player version at some point, I’ll be going back.

  12. Aldehyde says:

    If it’s flying whales that you want, I suggest you read the book Leviathan by Scott Westerfield. Great book.
    An alternate reality take on the first world war.

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