Like many of us, before Minecraft's Aquatic Update was released, I felt that Minecraft oceans could use an overhaul. Ideas that I initially had back in 2014 slowly built up over time, and after discovering MCreator I tried to begin working on this mod in 2016. Some things fell through, however; I felt like I didn't have enough to work with, and I later abandoned the project.
I came back to it in early 2020 and thought I'd give it another shot. After a lot of brainstorming- and inspiration from the Aquatic Update itself, I felt like I was finally prepared. And now, after almost two years of on-and-off development, I present Aquatic Craft!
This mod mainly* consists of one new dimension, which itself contains:
- 9 unique biomes,
- A sea level of y=128,
- 70+ blocks,
- 140+ items (about 70 of those are edible potion fish, ~35 raw, ~35 cooked),
- 80+ mobs (excluding those 70 fish - which aren't mobs),
- Technically 10 bosses, with one being a miniboss,
- Essentially 10 weapon/tool sets, some come pre-enchanted,
- 15 new armor sets, most with their own set effects,
- 4 new status effects, (details below)
- Environmental hazards (details below)
- And a new fishing system! (details below)
More internally speaking, there are also:
- 200+ procedures,
- 460+ recipes (about 100 of them, and another 130 of them, are for cooking the aforementioned fish, and for craftable spawn eggs respectively),
- 120+ advancements,
- And a whopping 1,345 total mod elements!
*I do intentionally want to be a little stingy on details regarding exactly what all is in the mod since I'd like to give players the joy of discovering things for themselves.
I have tried to keep things pretty intuitive, though. But I will certainly describe anything important that you may want to know beforehand.
By all means play how you want, but I highly suggest playing through things in survival mode before playing around with things in creative!
The portal to the aquatic dimension consists of just a single block, which when right-clicked will transport you between dimensions.
All you need to craft this portal is some iron, glass, prismarine crystals, and a heart of the sea. Acquiring a bucket will start a short series of advancements to guide you towards creating a portal and will grant you the recipe to craft one.
In order to make things a little more beginner-friendly, I created a "prismarine fish" that spawns in the Overworld at depths of y=45 or below. This does require finding a deeper ocean or some underwater caves, but should prove more convenient than locating and defeating guardians.
Lastly, while I haven't made the process of acquiring a heart of the sea any simpler, if you weren't aware, you're able to feed dolphins raw fish and they'll lead you towards the nearest underwater chest - if there are any within their detection range. This feature can help immensely when searching for a treasure map!
...Or if you just can't wait to dive in... "/give @s aquaticcraft:aq_portal_block"
Good to know:
Due to the increased height of sea level, having clouds enabled makes things look really bizarre. I highly suggest disabling clouds in your video settings!
The vast majority of items have tooltips. Many of them are useful and hint at the items use, some are just for flavor.
The mod has its own advancements tab, loosely guiding you through the mod and rewards you with recipes when you collect certain items.
Many pieces of equipment have their own enchantments or armor set effects. Most items must be crafted in order to gain their enchantments, so if you pull them straight from the creative menu, they won't be enchanted!
Each biome has its own boss, and boss progression goes as follows: Tranquil Archipelago, Commonwaters, Kelp Forest, Bright Reef, Sea Mount, Algid Brine, Thermal Ridge, Unrelenting Expanse, Abyssal Depths.
You'll unlock recipes for boss summoning items as you collect their key ingredients.
In terms of difficulty, I tested the first couple of bosses with Sharkmail armor and an iron sword, and the last boss will require endgame equipment.
The mod adds 4 new status effects: Blood Loss, Crushing Depths, Pulled Down, and Cooldown.
Blood Loss is essentially the same as Wither. While I definitely took some fun, creative liberties with things (e.g. an Ice Skate mob) I wanted to keep some things closer to realism. Most sharks will not be immediately aggressive toward the player. However, if you are low on health, or bleeding, then they will be!
Higher levels of this effect will increase the rate that the target takes damage.
The way its coded, the Crushing Depths status effect does not actually inflict damage, but instead warns the player of it. One environmental hazard (see more below) in the aquatic dimension involves players taking pressure damage if they dive too deep without having a sufficient armor rating.
The Pulled Down effect causes the target to be forcefully dragged downwards whilst they're in water. At lower levels players will still be able to outswim the effect, but higher levels can make surfacing impossible.
The Cooldown effect was created simply as a way to measure the passing of time without needing to constantly add to- or subtract from- a variable, or tell procedures to wait so many ticks and then perform an action. Many things make use of the Cooldown effect to determine when or when not to perform their own action. This method seems to give me more control over when certain things should be performed.
To make things both a little more challenging and interesting, I decided to add several environmental hazards to my dimension:
Poison: A few mobs, including an "algae" mob, are able to poison players (and in some cases other mobs, too) that get too close to them. Beware the box jellyfish!
Pressure: At certain depth increments, players need higher armor values to prevent taking pressure damage while they're in water. This effect functions very similarly to suffocation.
The player must have an armor rating of 5+ at depths of y=90 or below, 10+ armor at depths of y=70 or below, 15+ armor at depths of y=50 or below, and 20+ armor at depths of y=30 or below to prevent taking pressure damage.
Once you begin taking damage you will receive the Crushing Depths status effect (see above) and receive a warning message briefly explaining what's happening.
Blindness: At depths of y=30 or below, players will be inflicted with a constant blindness status effect - regardless of whether they're in water or not.
Being underwater in the Abyssal Depths biome will also function similarly to blindness without actually inflicting it, due to the blackened water.
Cold: The Algid Brine biome will inflict Slowness on players who swim there. This effect can be countered by wearing a piece of Thermal armor.
Heat: The Thermal Ridge biome will continuously burn players who swim there. This effect can be countered by wearing a piece of Algid armor.
Not really "hazards" per se, but still worth mentioning are:
Time of Day and Moon Phase: The spawn rates of a few mobs, namely different jellyfish and nightfish, are tied to both the time of day as well as the phase of the moon.
The closer toward midnight and the fuller the moon, the more jellies will spawn - leaving little to no jellies on nights where the moon is emptier and plenty during nights with a full moon.
- The closer toward midnight but emptier the moon, the more nightfish will spawn - preventing them from spawning during nights of the full moon, but making them commonplace on new moon nights.
This mod includes its own fishing system - which functions very similarly to, but still a bit different to Vanilla. There are six new fishing rods - each having their own "wait time", "bite chance", and pool of catches. There are also three types of bait that are required to catch the mod's fish. Note that helpful tooltips are provided on both bait and rods.
To try and explain this system, in order to catch one of the mod's fish, you must hold a certain type of bait in your off-hand slot - the type depending on the biome you're fishing in. Fruit Paste is crafted from wheat and tropical berries (uncommonly found in the Tranquil Archipelago), Shrimp can be obtained from killing small shrimp-like mobs, or large creatures that would eat them, and Fish Chunks can be crafted by putting 'suspicious' fish meat by itself in a crafting table.
Each biome has its own pool of potential catches and each fishing rod has its own sub section of 4 items from each of those biomes' pools. Things aren't so specific that you must use x rod in y biome in order to catch z fish, as there is some overlap between what each rod is able to catch, but higher-tier fish are generally restricted to higher-tier rods. You are able to catch every unique fish using a combination of the Stone Rod and Aquamarine Rod, however!
A fishing rod's "wait time" is how much time passes between each "bite chance", which itself is a percentage of how likely the rod is to successfully catch a fish.
For example, a stone rod has a wait time of 48 ticks and a bite chance of ~1/15. An aquamarine rod has a wait time of 28 ticks and a bite chance of ~1/12.
How will you know if you get a successful bite? The fishing bobber will suddenly jerk downwards about a block or so and there'll be an audible 'sploosh' noise. Right-click after that happens to reel your rod back in. I tried to make it pretty obvious. Just be patient and you'll work it out!
Now, why would you want to fish, if you aren't already so inclined? Most of the fish correspond to a certain status effect - they're basically like fishing up potions! Some act as loot bags and can give a variety of miscellaneous resources. Those that do function similarly to potions generally provide a level I effect when eaten raw and a level II effect after having been cooked, but not for as long. Some do provide effects of a higher level and I tried balancing them pretty well, but the concept of 'raw = lower-tier, longer-lasting' and 'cooked = higher-tier, shorter-lasting' remains true for most of them.
Several fish are also required to craft items to summon the mod's bosses.
Not much to mention here, but I have altered the loot tables of Turtles and Dolphins to include scute and a new item, sinew, respectively.
I don't know what this may mean for any potential incompatibility with other mods that have also altered these loot tables, but I can't imagine too many mods have done this.
There are still several things to work on, update, or improve, of course; and I have several ideas as to what I'd like to add for a minor expansion, but as of the time of writing, the mod is considered 'complete' in the sense that it has satisfying progression from start to finish, and I'll be taking a break from development for a little while as I watch and see how well it is received.
What about 1.16+? Well, when I started working on the latest version of this mod in MCreator, it was being designed for 1.14. At that time I didn't have too much in the mod, so updating it went fairly smooth. Once MCreator was first getting around to supporting 1.16 I did make a backup and tried updating again; however, I just couldn't get biomes to generate correctly, so I stuck with 1.15. I believe this issue was later noticed and resolved; but another problem is that I also have a lot more stuff in my mod now, and quite a bit of it has locked code. While I don't fully understand Java, often times I will tweak existing code, or add or remove something that MCreator doesn't have the option to simply select by default. Essentially, it'll take quite some effort to update versions; so, as of now it's a low priority.
Please feel free to mention any questions/concerns on this mod's discussion thread. If and when questions have been asked frequently enough I shall update this post- or the discussion thread- with a FAQ. Feel free to play it in multiplayer, record playthroughs, add it to your own private modpacks (hopefully there won't be any conflicts), and all that jazz!
I do not give permission to create and upload custom modpacks containing this mod online, yet, however; as I'd like to see how things go first.
If you do record a let's play/playthrough, please provide a link to this mod's page on the MCreator website.