Llamas & Illagers arrive in Minecraft Exploration Update

Minecraft [official site] today launched ‘The Exploration Update‘, adding a little more structure to the activity that, well, has been one of the core tenets of this whole ‘Minecraft’ malarkey since the start. Woodland Mansions with fancy treasure and surly guards! Treasure maps! Great treasures! L-lamas? Llamas!

Here’s the score. With update 1.11, cartographers will live in villages to sell you maps in exchange for emeralds. These maps might lead to Ocean Monuments in the dark seas or to the new Woodland Mansions. The new ‘Illager’ enemies live in these procedurally-generated buildings but what the heck do you care? You’re a hero! Roll in, murder them and the imps they summon, then seize their totems of immortality. Adventure!

Other new things include magical Shulker Boxes, which keep their contents even when picked up, and llama friends who can form into convoys.

Here, check it out in this trailer:

This is all for the original Java version of Minecraft on Windows and Mac. Minecraft updates do have the issue that many players don’t see them because they’re used to playing on older versions with a familiar, comfy set of mods which likely haven’t all been updated. Is version 1.8 still the go-to version? I’m a bit behind the times.

The Windows 10/Pocket Edition is getting a big update of its own soon too. Version 1.0, the Ender Update, will introduce, ah, the end. Y’know, the big boss battle against the Ender Dragon. The actual end of the game, which most people won’t see because they’re too busy building stuff and larking about.

The Ender Update is due in Minecraft’s Win 10 edition before the end of this year.


  1. MrFinnishDude says:

    Who plays vanilla Minecraft? Do people actually do that nowadays? Haven’t played in 2 years so I’m clueless.

    • andu says:

      I haven’t played in a few months but I used to play it online with a group of people while the server allowed us to fly in survival. Once the server took flying away, my interest waned because it’s too tedious to build big structures without flying on. But yea, the mods add more than the actual mine craft team has been able to produce in the past few years.

    • rochrist says:

      Many millions of people.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      *raises hand*

    • brucethemoose says:

      Probably more people than any other game on Earth.

      • PseudoKnight says:

        We have limited data on this, but this is probably correct. Currently active players on a fraction of Bukkit servers alone nearly matches that of DOTA2, the largest on Steam. This doesn’t include singleplayer, vanilla servers, most modded servers, and even many bukkit servers that either don’t have plugins that report this data or disable the reporting. This also doesn’t include consoles, mobile or Windows 10 Edition, if people wanted to count those.

        • brucethemoose says:

          And I believe the console/mobile versions outsell the PC versions.

    • Niko says:

      Played it with girlfriend (she’s new to Minecraft, and to first person games in general) yesterday, had a very fun adventure of taking a herd of llamas from a faraway land back to our home. We had to build a bridge across a snowy mountain gorge, spent two nights in a swamp, went through a burning forest, found a village between a spruce forest and a great plain, where we got delayed because a sudden thunderstorm happened, and our llamas got scattered, and somebody got lost. And that was roughly about half of the way back home.

    • fabulousfurrygingerfreakbrothers says:

      I do. I also play the VR version on my gear, which mainly consists of me climbing as high as I can and then looking down.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    Last I looked, the go-to version for modpacks and the like is 1.7.2.

    Yeah, pretty old.

    Now and then I try to get into vanilla minecraft, but it’s just so flat compared to all the mods have added.

    • brucethemoose says:

      I think you mean 1.7.10.

      1.10 was supposed to be the next big version, but the community hasn’t really settled on it yet.

      • Kirasath says:

        To be fair to 1.10.2 it has gotten a direwolf20 pack and quite a bit of nice and stable mods now :)

        also, PSI!

        • brucethemoose says:

          Yeah, it’s getting there.

          I just hope 1.11 is ignored by the community for now.

  3. mtomto says:

    They should focus on actual support for modders and not rely on 3rd party modsupport. When that is done, then focus on the actual engine…

    Stop the pointless updates that can be done 1000 times better by modders.

    So many great mods out there that died because Minecraft shits on the modders.

    • charlesg says:

      We’re still waiting on the MOD API that was promised. It’ll never get finished probably.

      Modders managed fine without it, although it means staying on old versions of the main game.

      • brucethemoose says:

        It’s been too long. Forge+Sponge has long surpassed anything Mojang planned on putting in an API.

        Honestly, if they did implement one now, it would probably do more harm that good.

    • PseudoKnight says:

      3rd party modding would always be superior, except in seamless loading into the official unmodded client. The lack of a Mojang API has nothing to do with mods dieing.

  4. Mrice says:

    I never understood the drive to make vanilla minecraft into an adventure RPG based game. To me it was always building first, what it lacks most is a reason to build beyond pure aesthetic pleasure.

    Even the hunger mechanic doesn’t really help this as it can be broken inside of the first day and from then on its just a chore you need to keep track of.

    • charlesg says:

      :( that hunger mechanic was the worst addition. I was pretty happy playing legos in a procedurally generated environment.

      Eventually I enabled cheats so I could focus on just building stuff.

      • Mrice says:

        See i wouldn’t mind it if it posed an actual challenge. But as it was it provided no challenge and merely created a chore to keep track of. That aint no fun.

      • Hmm-Hmm. says:

        Well, that is only a problem if you:

        a) want to play with hostile creatures
        b) don’t want to use mods

        And even then it’s fairly easy to get a farm up and running to solve your hunger problems. Not that I don’t understand the complaint; my personal bugbear is Endermen, notably their ability to pick up blocks and teleport.

    • PseudoKnight says:

      It doesn’t have many RPG elements. You can’t level up or improve attributes except through equipment.

      Mojang agreed with you on the hunger thing. They just made all but health regeneration take up less exhaustion/hunger in 1.11. So you can go 3 – 5x longer without eating.

    • Konservenknilch says:

      At some point I just switched to creative mode and built a happy little world while watching TV on the side. It’s a good combo.

      Sadly, they never really focussed on that part. Especially the more dynamic parts, like villagers not sticking to their homes or nether portals not syncing up, making them rather pointless.

  5. magogjack says:

    Whip it.

  6. PseudoKnight says:

    You forgot to mention one of the key features of 1.11: the new observer blocks. They monitor the block state in front of them then activate the redstone behind them when a change is detected. It’s really exciting for redstoners. Previous block update detector contraptions were more limited and a little bulky, though they’ll still have their place.

  7. DemonButter says:

    Better Than Wolves mod basically hit the nail on the head for me. It encompassed what I thought Minecraft was meant to be, contrary to the vision the Mojang staff have. Better Than Wolves, first and foremost, creates a need for building which I find to be the main objective of minecraft. Then it refines most of the other systems. Food is no longer trivial, mining is no longer trivial, exploring is no longer trivial, dying is no longer trivial, mobs are no longer trivial, and among many other that would make this an insane post of no longer trivial things that Better Than Wolves adds to the game. Despite this, everything gets reasonably easier the further along you go and build.

  8. tonicer says:

    Minecraft is a wonderful game but i really wish mojang wouldn’t waste their time on additions that are nowhere as good as what modders can do. They should work on the mechanics. For example if you want to shoot an arrow but you aim at something useable you instead of shooting an arrow you use the useable thing instead. Separation of using and blocking/pulling the bow/etc. would be amazing.