Was the Warden worth the wait?
Minecraft’s Warden lead developer hits back at players stating the Warden is not a new feature
This morning I woke up to a Twitter thread started by @kingbdogz, who has been the lead developer for Minecraft’s Warden mod since the announcement at Minecraft Live 2020.
He was arguing that the Warden, Deep Dark and Ancient Cities are new content as they've not been officially released into the game yet. Clearly in response to others suggesting these features are no longer new because they've seemingly been around for so long.
During the Minecraft Live 2020 livestream, which was the announcement of what was supposed to be Minecraft 1.17's Caves & Cliffs update, a new biome to be known as the Deep Dark and a new mob to be known as The Warden were going to be released in the summer 2021 Minecraft update, called the Caves and Cliffs, alternatively known as Minecraft 1.17.
However, these features were then put on hold as the Caves and Cliffs update became too much to handle for a single update. It was split into two parts and announced that the Warden mob and the Deep Dark biome were being put on hold until further notice.
...almost 2 years ago...
At Minecraft Live 2021's livestream it was once again announced that these features would be picked up again and planned to be included in Minecraft 1.19, otherwise known as The Wild Update. Mojang even added in more features than were originally planned including the Ancient Cities.
Now, because these features have been in front of us for so long in terms of game development, it could be argued that they feel old and that they're no longer new features. However, because they have never been included in a stable release of the game, they are still in-dev features and by that logic, they will still be new when 1.19 officially releases this summer.
Yes we've seen videos and imagery of them since mid 2020, almost 2 years ago at this point, and yes they've been in snapshots and beta versions of Minecraft for several months. But that doesn't make them old features. It just makes us a little more familiar with them than we would normally be for most new features.
This should be praised. We've had an eye open on the continuous development of these features since their initial announcement and so much of our player feedback has influenced how these features have changed along the way. For us to then complain that these features are old news must be infuriating for the developers diligently working on them, as is proven the case by kingbdogz' outburst this morning.
...Even kingbdogz has forgotten how long this process has been...
@kingbdogz started his thread in clear response to these allegations and comments that the Warden, Deep Dark and Ancient Cities don't count as new...
"Warden, Deep Dark and Ancient Cities don't count as new content because they were planned for 1.18"
When we announced Deep Dark and Warden, the plan was much smaller than what we have in 1.19. Since 1.18, we've been making it bigger."
He then continued to point out exactly how these features are substantially different from what they were originally planned to be if they had been released in Minecraft 1.17. Notice here though, that @kingbdogz references their original release being 1.18 a couple of times in this thread. Even kingbdogz has forgotten how long this process has been as these features were quite clearly originally planned for Minecraft 1.17.
...it wouldn't have emerged from the ground at all...
Anyway, how has the Warden changed from what was originally planned? Was it worth the wait? Let's see what it would have been like by reading the rest of @kingbdogz' thread.
"The differences are worth noting:
- Originally, there were no Ancient Cities. There were only small abandoned cabins
- There was no unique loot
- No Music Disc 5
- The Warden itself was going to be much simpler in its AI and would not have done a good job at providing stealth gameplay (no sonic attack)
- Sculk spreading would be as simple as a random patch no matter what sort of mob died nearby, and would be instantaneous with no unique mechanics around charge and XP conversion
- Sculk Shriekers wouldn't exist and instead Wardens would randomly spawn while in the Deep Dark
- Sculk Sensors wouldn't have any of their unique mechanics around vibration frequencies
- Wardens wouldn't have any unique animations for its complex behavior. In fact, it wouldn't have emerged from the ground at all.
My point being, I don't think players would have very much enjoyed the Warden and the Deep Dark if we had released it with the scope we had planned in 1.18. IMO it was very much worth pushing it to 1.19 to do it properly with a bigger scope and more content.
I would say that it absolutely does count as "new content" considering how much these features have changed since 1.18... And regardless of that, anything that wasn't previously accessible counts as new content ?"
...how pointless the Warden was...
So to summarize this thread, if the Warden had been released a year ago for 1.17 as originally planned, it wouldn't have had a sonic attack or any unique animations for its complex behavior, and it wouldn't have emerged from the ground at all.
Those, in the grand scheme of things, don't feel like much of a huge change, particularly over a years worth of extra development time. And considering how quickly they were able to introduce the Sonic attack over the last few months after the debut of the Warden in the snapshots and betas fell flat proving how pointless the Warden was and how easy it was to kill in its current state at the time, you could argue that the same feedback would have lead to the same outcome for the 1.17 release. I.e. it would likely still have been given a ranged attack.
But this is speculation. At the end of the day, personally I'm glad it was delayed and that more care and attention was able to be put into the development of the Warden as well as the Deep Dark and the Ancient Cities. I do believe, despite how long we've known about these and had access to them in development versions of the game, they are still new features.
Article Author: FoxyNoTail
Foxy is a Minecraft player, content creator and official Marketplace Partner. He's been playing the game for over 12 years, delving into the code creating datapacks, add-ons, resource packs and other tools for the Minecraft player base and communities to use and enjoy. He also hosts The Minecraft Update weekly podcast. You can find Foxy on Twitter @foxynotail
Publisher: Minecraft Update News
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