Monday, June 17, 2013

Minecraft is Witch Hunting

If you were ever worried that the normal mobs in Minecraft just weren’t enough, never fear because as of the “Very Scary” update Minecraft now has witches. These mobs look very much like the standard villager but with witch themed attire paler greenish skin and a stereotypical wart on the already oversized villager nose. The reasons to go after these ladies of the night however are less about their appearance and more about what goodies they carry with them.

Why Hunt Witches?
I’m sure if I looked back in history a bit I could find a couple good reasons to hunt witches, but none so good as the loot drops of witches in Minecraft. A witch has the potential to drop up to 6 items ranging from sticks, glass bottles, gunpowder, redstone dust, and even glowstone dust not to mention the occasional rare drop of a potion or two. With all these resources becoming available in a farmable format it’s not surprising that many people would choose to set up a witch farm. Like any kind of non-spawner block farm it’s a big project that involves lighting up the areas around, above, and below your spawning area to get maximum effect. This is the easy part however, while finding a witch hut is going to be the challenge. These structures will spawn randomly in swamps upon world creation and if your world was created before the introduction of these new lucrative mobs you’ll have to go a ways out to find an area you’ve never seen in order for the huts to spawn.

How to Hunt Witches
Once you’ve found one of these huts you’ll have to do a little deconstruction to make it a more valid spawning platform for a farm, When witches were first released this included the entire area of the hut (inside floor level and two layers below the floor with a boarder marked by the roof’s overhang. However based on my own recent testing it seems that the valid spawning area for witches has been curtailed as of 1.5.2 to include only the inside of the hut which means farming them is now much more difficult (though not impossible). Unfortunately my testing also revealed that if you made your world without generated structures you will not be able to set up a witch farm even if you were to build an exact replica of a hut where one would normally spawn (used same seed with generated structures on to find exact location. Spawning area it seems is generated with the structure). Still, if this is the case for you, you can always trade villagers for both redstone dust and glowstone (and villages can be set up without generated structures, though it’s difficult) and I’m sure you’ll find some way to get the other things (I know sticks are hard to come by, but you’ll just have to soldier on). For those who can set up their farm however it’s as simple as making the spawning floor (which will end up being quite small) and set it up with a drop or some sort of lava blade if you prefer to kill your witches in the traditional fashion. Be aware however that witches can heal themselves with potions so they’re quite difficult to kill for experience or through drowning and as such you’ll want to make sure your trap is lethal.

Conclusion

Even with recent nerfs a well-built witch farm will supply you with all kinds of resources that you might otherwise have a fairly limited supply of in your N3rd C0rn3r.