Apr 16, 2011

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What’s Wrong with Minecraft (and How to Fix it)

UPDATE: IMPORTANT: Notch has responded to this post.  I wanted him to read this blog entry, but it’s clear that he doesn’t want to, AND THAT’S PERFECTLY FINE.  I don’t want a whole legion of people attacking him about his decision, and I don’t want anybody else trying to get him to read it.  

I sincerely thank everyone who thought my critique was valid and who were excited enough about my ideas to try to get Notch to read it.  :)

I will write a blog post and/or make a video about what I’ve learned from this experience later today when I get time.  You can read his response on reddit here: http://fb.me/YYIxWnpQ 

Okay, here’s the post as I wrote it in full:

First, let me say this.  Notch, if you ever read this, please understand that it’s not meant to sound degrading or demeaning.  It is not meant to make it seem like I know more than anyone else, nor do I intend this blog entry to feel like my ideas are the “right” ideas.  No, these are simply my thoughts on Minecraft.

I hope you and the community as a whole will see it for what it is: one man’s experience with Minecraft and his thoughts on how it can be improved for the benefit of the game and the community.

And please note: the first part of this writing starts off with a fair bit of negativity, but it grows into something much better.

Let’s get started.

I don’t mean to ruin anybody’s fun; I really don’t.  (And honestly, I don’t think I will anyway.)  This post is going to sound cynical, but the topic of Minecraft, and how I feel about it, is one that I think very few people actually understand.  And that, naturally, is my fault, because I haven’t communicated it clearly.

I’ve thought about Minecraft a lot, and why I find it (mostly) so very boring these days.  But I’m not the type to sit around and whine about how bad things are and leave it at that… no, I, dear friends, come up with solutions.

These solutions are ultimately just ideas, and they’re ideas that I’m sure are far from Notch’s agenda for Minecraft.  In fact, I’m fairly certain Notch doesn’t even know I exist.

First, let’s talk about why I stopped playing Minecraft.


Minecraft gets boring.

Minecraft has a simple premise.  You mine, and you craft (thus the name).  It’s a sandbox world.  It does have some minor elements of adventure in it, but they are just that: minor.

For a lot of people, the mining and the crafting is enough to sustain them.  These are the people who like to build giant structures that serve no purpose other than to express their builder’s creativity and to sate their creator’s desire to build.  They are the kids in the classroom who play with the Lego blocks, their minds endlessly formulating new contraptions and ideas, their imaginations concocting new reasons for why a block might go here, or might fit there.

And for other people, the adventure part is what draws them in.  The excitement of knowing that in Minecraft, the sun will set, and that throughout the carpet of blackness there are endless hordes of deviant creatures seeking to maim, pierce, shred, and destroy the player if given even the slightest opportunity is what keeps these people playing.  They crave the idea that there are better and better materials to find to craft stronger weapons and armor, and they delight at the discovering a new dark, sprawling cave system.  

These are the kids who are in the playground who are trying to swing as high as they can on the swingset, and climbing the fences to see what’s in the trees across the road.

Most Minecraft players are not either of these two extremes.  Most players are a healthy mix of both of these types, but often tend to lean one way or the other to favor either building or adventuring.  And often, this lean is influenced by situational mood, so a player who normally favors mining and crafting can one day be bitten by the urge to explore, and vice versa.

This is a good thing for Minecraft, because it means when one aspect of the game becomes stale, the other is waiting to be experienced.

But it’s also a bad thing for Minecraft, because it means that both aspects of the game (the gathering/building and the adventuring) must, themselves, remain healthy in equal measure.  If either of these sides grows too weak and stale, the game begins to get boring.

This is why we see some updates that bring in building materials, like fences, sandstone blocks, and dispensers.  And it’s why we then see other updates that bring adventuring up to par, such as with watches, compasses, wolves, and, of course, the Nether.

But, come on.  I mean, really, step back and look at it.  None of these updates has given Minecraft new life.  Mojang is a small team and they are doing their best, and yes, they have achieved phenomenal success for small crew.  They will grow, and Minecraft will grow with them.  But for the time being, they are still only a small crew, and the best that a small crew can afford right now is to bring in these minor updates.

Sandstone blocks and the other building materials like colored wool do not add anything new to the game.  They just add a few different types of Legos to the bucket in the classroom.  The basic premise behind building in Minecraft is not changed by these additions (and don’t worry, I will tell you my thoughts on how this could be improved later in this blog entry), and so updates like this only provide players with a spark of emotional inspiration.  ”Ooh, sandstone!  I have to try that out!”  But when a player does try it out, he or she soon realizes that what they just did was the same thing they did with cobblestone, and dirt, and wood, and obsidian.  The process of finding a new type of block, harvesting a lot of it, and then using it to build something (or compliment another structure) is the same.  Builders have done it before, and with each new colored block, they’ll do it again, and it will again be the same experience over and over again.

As far as adventuring goes… well, the adventuring in Minecraft has been very weak from the start.  And this is the core reason I became bored with Minecraft and have remained bored.  Wolves have brought me back into the game because they were the first real adventuring update in my eyes, and I am playing Minecraft again, but I can’t imagine wolves will keep my attention very long.

When it comes to adventuring, there always needs to be some threat.  Creepers, zombies, skeletons, and spiders… these are all things that a smart player can protect himself or herself from easily.  The X-System, for example, is built in such a way that no monster can threaten me when I am in or near it.  The looming defensive tower lets me spot threats from afar; the X-Light 9000’s angled design makes it so nothing can block the view; the roof of the X-Fort is built with a 2-block rim so that monsters can’t jump on me as I exit the door; the whole place is well lit so that monsters can’t spawn within; and all the entrances and exits to the X-Cave are sealed.  (Yes, I know spiders can climb walls now and thus the X-System is no longer 100% impregnable, but back when I stopped playing this update hadn’t been released and at that time the X-System really was a one-man fortress.)

Case in point: it’s possible to become TOO safe in Minecraft.  Once the X-System became impregnable, and the X-Cave became too well-lit to spawn many monsters, and I had gained fighting skill enough to handle any foe, the danger and threat of evil faded — quickly.

Monsters became just another mob type in the field; just more animals from which to harvest resources.  Resources I already had too much of anyway.

This removed, almost completely, the adventuring element of Minecraft.  And this is why I say the adventuring in Minecraft was very weak from the start, and remains very weak to this day.  The building aspect actually eats the adventuring aspect too quickly.  You can create a completely safe base of operations out of dirt, the simplest resource.

With the adventuring aspect gone from my game, I actually left the X-System.  Without adventuring to do, all that was left was to build.  And I don’t like to build things unless they serve a purpose.  The X-Fort and the defensive tower protect the entire X-System.  The Greenhouse of Harmony goes unused, but it was built to provide food.  Mining Shaft 1 is there to give me a way to collect new resources.  All of my structures DO something; they’re not just for show.

I’m not putting down anyone for building large structures just for the fun of it.  I fully realize that’s a big draw for many who play Minecraft, and I respect that.  I enjoy seeing all the awesome things people make.  But that type of play just isn’t what I like to do (most of the time).  My series is “X’s ADVENTURES in Minecraft,” not “X’s Giant, Useless Buildings in Minecraft.”  (Again, not insulting anyone for what they do in Minecraft; just stressing a point.)

So I left the X-System in search of more adventure.  It was a sad day for all, etc., etc., yadda yadda.  But leaving the X-SyStem wasn’t nearly as sad as the realization I came to when I actually did find something new.

I found Death Mountain.  And it was fun at first.  But the adventure to find and survive in Death Mountain wasn’t *real.*  I had named the place Death Mountain hoping it would make the game feel more dangerous somehow, that there would be a ramp up in difficulty.  But no; Death Mountain was no different from my home back at the X-System.  The creatures were still the same (and killing them was just as easy and non-threatening).  The resources were still the same (and collecting and using them wasn’t any more significant).  The gameplay was still the same.

Shortly after I died and respawned at the X-System, having lost all my work back at Death Mountain (of course later, a viewer would send me a map to get back, but I’m talking about before that happened).

So I lost all my work at Death Mountain… and I was glad.  I was happy that I was finally out of that “adventure.”  It was very dissatisfying, and it was then that I realized my adventure in Minecraft was done.

My series had run its course after that, because the adventuring in the game was over.  I found myself dragging it out because I didn’t want to let go of that feeling Minecraft originally gave me.  That dark, scary feeling that I must hide from the evil things, that I could be confronted with danger around any and every corner.  I wanted to hold onto that, but it was gone.  Because there was no more adventure to be had; there was nothing around the next corner except yet more procedurally generated terrain, more annoying animals, and more easy-to-kill monsters.

I had experienced this once before with EverQuest, an MMORPG I played back in 1999 - 2001 or so.  Norrath, the world EverQuest was set in, was so new and there was so much danger and adventure to be had.  After the first year of playing, though, I found myself familiar with the game’s many places, characters, classes, and threats, and it began to lose its grip on me.  I played the game for many, many months after I felt the excitement leave, searching desperately to find it again, but eventually EverQuest fizzled for me and I had to let it go, disheartened.

Having experienced that once before, I recognized the feeling with Minecraft and I quit playing it much sooner than I did EverQuest.  I feel many people playing Minecraft today are in that boat.  It has been out long enough that I know many players are still playing the game just because they want it to feel like it did before, but they’ll never feel that feeling again from Minecraft.

Not as it stands now.

But X, you can install mods!  Or texture packs!

Yes, I hear this a whole lot.  Texture packs are okay; I like the default look of Minecraft so I don’t think I’ll use one and if I do, I won’t stick with it.

Mods are a different topic though.  I realize they can add a lot to the game, but they do nothing to give real substance to Minecraft.  One commentor said something to this effect on one of my videos: 

"Minecraft is about mining and crafting. No amount of mods will change Minecraft beyond that simple premise."

And it’s true.  Until Notch and his crew can give Minecraft new life, REAL new life, no amount of mods will make Minecraft any more fun for me than it is now.  (And don’t worry, as I said earlier, I have ideas for this.)

I can’t overstate this: Very few Minecraft mods interest me, and those that do, don’t interest me enough to care.

But X, what about adventure maps?!

These have some potential.  I like the idea of adventure maps.  I’ve seen some pretty cool looking ones.

And to be honest, I had an idea for my own adventure map… I may release it at some point in the future, and I may not.  This is why I haven’t released the X-System world for download.  Because I intend, someday, to make it an adventure map all its own.  I have such cool ideas.

But don’t get your hopes up.  Really, don’t.  I may or may not ever get around to this.

But yeah, as far as playing adventure maps goes, I may try one, but it seems to me that (and I hate to say this) Minecraft is becoming to PC gamers what Call of Duty is to Xbox gamers.  That is to say, there are so many people doing Minecraft videos, and so many people doing adventure maps on YouTube that I just don’t want to join in that already diluted, watered down pack.

Okay, so let’s summarize up to this point.

In my opinion, Minecraft, to maintain longevity, needs a healthy mining/crafting element and a healthy adventuring element.

It has a decent mining and crafting element already in place.  This is up to par, but could definitely be improved.

It has a very weak adventuring element.

So, X, what do YOU think would make Minecraft more fun?

I’m glad you asked, voice in my head.

The building part of Minecraft is fine, I think, for now.  I think being able to build more useful things with the blocks and materials in the game, like movable cranes and wrecking balls, or aimable spotlights, or generally just working, moving parts like pulleys, gears, and pivots would be awesome, but I also recognize that the game engine prohibits creations like these.  They are things that would really make Minecraft builders go wild with joy, though, and I’d like to see work toward things like this made in the future.

But for now, I think the building is okay right where it’s at.  Instead, I think OTHER additions need to be made to the game to make the existing building game more fun.  I’ll talk about these ideas in just a bit.  But first, let’s talk about the weak, fragile, and ailing adventuring part of Minecraft.

Let me preface this by saying that, hey, maybe this is all just me.  Maybe Notch never intended Minecraft to be an adventure-type game, and maybe my strong imagination gave the game more credit than it deserved in this department.  I fully recognize this as a possibility, but I really think it’s in the game’s and in the players’ best interests for me to go into this next part assuming that Minecraft not only IS an adventure/survival game, but that it can be a really, really great one.

And here are my ideas.

The first thing I think Minecraft needs is many more layers of progression.  (And I don’t mean World of Warcraft-type progression, I mean progression in the literal sense of the word.)

Let me explain what progression is, first.  You know how spiders have that pesky leap ability which lets them close the gap between you and them very quickly?  For a new player (or any player that has no strategies for defeating monsters yet), this means the best way to defeat a spider is at range, with a bow and some arrows.

But wait, you can’t make a bow until you’ve collected string… and you can’t collect string without… killing spiders…

That’s progression.  Minecraft forces you into melee combat with a tough foe, and you have to do it a few times until you’ve collected enough string to make a bow.  Once you have a bow, spiders become easy, but only after you’ve already beaten the challenge (the spiders) as it was intended to be beaten do you get the reward of being able to surpass that challenge more easily in the future.

You see this in many games, and it’s part of what makes games fun, and makes games rewarding.  In The Legend of Zelda games, many temples have puzzles and challenges that you have to beat the hard way first, such as crossing a large gap with a series of hops, jumps, and moving blocks or defeating enemies.  Only after you’ve crossed that gap the hard way do you really appreciate the Hookshot when you get it later in the temple, making that large gap a breeze - and really fun to cross.

So Minecraft already has progression like this with the bow, but needs more.  One way I think we could build on this example would be to introduce new, and more powerful monsters into the game.  They wouldn’t even have to be designed from scratch, either.  You could make them variants of the existing enemies.

A spider, for example, with glowing purple eyes and a sickly, pale grey skin instead of black would be scary to encounter.  It could have double the jump distance, and it could poison the things it bites.  Poison could act like short-lived fire, damaging the player periodically until the poison has consumed an extra 2 or 3 hearts in addition to the damage it dealt with its attack.  An even more fun idea would be that if the player is wearing iron armor or better, the poison effect won’t apply (the fangs can’t get through). 

Now what if these spiders only spawned deep underground, and dropped a special type of string that when used to make a bow increased the bow’s attack damage?  This would give players a reason to armor up (protection from poison) and go dungeon crawling.  A new, more powerful weapon is the reward, and the fun is in the adventure.  What’s more is that an update like this could be done in a single patch.

All Mojang would have to do is make a new mob out of a reskinned spider, give it spawn rules (could use the slime’s spawn rules, except just make it spawn more frequently), code in some poison damage, and make a new craftable item for the new, higher-damage bow.

It’s a small update, and the players would create their own adventures out of it.  It adds a level of progression, too, keeping the player playing longer.

Now that we see how one small change can have a big affect in the adventurer’s Minecraft, let’s do this for all the existing monsters!  Remember how I said the new spider could spawn only deep underground?  Well what if deep underground, there were variations on ALL the monsters you see normally above ground?

A new zombie type with double a normal zombie’s health, and its attacks have a 50% chance to slow the player’s movement for a few seconds.  This new zombie would be more “tanky” (to use an RPG term) and would work well in groups of other monsters (as zombies often appear).  With all that extra health, having that upgraded bow from the new spider string is a very good idea underground, now!

And a new skeleton type, too, whose arrows fly 90% fast as yours do.  (Currently, skeleton arrows fly much slower than the player’s arrows.)  I don’t think their arrows should fly as fast as a player’s, but I do think giving a normal skeleton more accuracy would increase its difficulty enough to make it a whole new creature with a new threat level.

Creepers?  Maybe they should stay the same.  They are a staple of Minecraft, and they’re already as threatening, I think, as these dark variants of the above ground creatures would be anyway.

Let’s talk drops, too.  As the dark spiders (that’s a good idea, I’ll start calling them “dark” creatures, since they live far below ground) drop the new type of string, the other dark creatures should drop new rewards as well.  Maybe the dark zombies don’t drop feathers, but instead could have a chance of dropping iron ore.  ”What?!  Iron ore should only be mined!” some people may cry.  But remember, I’m talking about improving this game’s adventuring aspect, and adventurers are not always particularly fond of mining expeditions.  Having the dark zombies drop iron ore (not iron INGOTS, but just the ore) would give adventuring players a way to recover some of their lost resources, too, without having to slow down their fun with a mining run.

And because it’s just the ore, the player is still encouraged to return whatever home base he or she has built to smelt the ore and fulfill the “craft” in Minecraft by creating another sword or more armor.  Because remember, the dark zombies we’re talking about have more health, and thus they require more sword swings to kill, and thus will wear out a player’s weapon durability faster.  An adventuring player needs a way to recoup that loss, and having zombies periodically drop ores would be a fun way to do it.

Dark skeletons could drop dark dust, which I’ll go into in a bit.  They’d also have to drop a few arrows, too, so the player doesn’t have to worry TOO much about using that new, upgraded bow (not too many arrows, though; a little worry and resource management is good, and a skill most adventurers like using).

Dark slimes could be an especially rare find, too.  They could be quite dangerous, launching slimeballs at players, and spawning even more rarely than normal slimes.  A dark slime, once defeated, could have a 100% chance to drop a diamond.  Again, this fits with the theme of letting adventuring players collect resources without having to build mining shafts, and since dark slimes would be so exclusively rare, pumping the occasional extra diamond into the player’s personal economy (or even an SMP server’s working economy) wouldn’t hurt things very much, and it would go a long way in making a player feel really good about gearing up, digging deep, and exploring.

Diamond in hand from a fresk dark slime kill, any adventurer would seek to return to the surface to stow it away.  And then comes that sigh of relief, and that personal feeling of a job well done.  At that point, and adventuring player could log out of Minecraft satisfied with what he or she’s done, much the same way builders can look upon their grand structures with that same sense of accomplishment.

Individually, these dark creatures are small changes that could add a lot of fun to the game.  But I realize that as a whole, everything I’ve proposed in relation to these dark creatures could bring up a lot of balance issues and require a lot of coding work.  But once done, I feel that Minecraft and the players would benefit immensely from something like this, and I hope that Notch and his crew could feel the same way at some point.

Great ideas, X!  But personally, I don’t think I’d like stronger monsters…

That’s fine.  I understand a lot of players like the threat level of the monsters right where it’s at.  I realize that many players aren’t like me and don’t have strategies in their heads for going toe-to-toe with the existing creatures and for a lot of players, the current set of monsters is tough enough!

But remember: the game has a difficulty slider.  Perhaps the dark monsters only spawn on Hard Mode.  Or perhaps the existing difficult levels remain exactly the same, but a new ”Extra Hard” option is added to that slider.

I think that would make everyone happy.

More than just monsters

There’s more than just monsters, I think, that could be added to the game to make it more fun for builders and adventurers alike, and everyone in between (remember, I know everyone falls somewhere in between “builder” and “adventurer”).

Let’s take some of the game’s existing resources and make them more fun!  Redstone dust, for example.  Yes, it’s true that redstone can be used in massive contraptions that do simple things like calculate numbers, dispense cakes, fire arrows in one direction, keep track of time, launch packs of TNT, or play music, just to name a few.  But as it stands, to do anything really awesome with redstone you need a degree in Minecraft physics and computer science.

Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration.  But you get my point: for the vast majority of Minecraft players, redstone doesn’t do much for us.  And there’s so much of it to be found!  

Each block drops so many units of dust and redstone is really common at the lower depths.

So, redstone is magical, right?  (Or at least, that’s the theory according the Minecraft wiki and the Minecraft community.)  Let’s make use of that idea… 

Minecraft already has books, paper, and magical redstone in place.  How about a new type of craftable item: spellbooks?  What if you could combine a normal book with some redstone dust and some other item to create single-use spells?  A normal book, some redstone dust, and a redstone torch, for example, could create a Fireball spellbook.  The spellbook could then go in the player’s hotbar, like any other item, and when you selected and right-clicked it would consume the book (just one use per book!) and launch a fireball up to 100 squares.  The fireball could behave like a ghast’s normal attack, except thrown by the player, and when it strikes enemies it could deal heavy damage and set aflame any enemies in its blast radius, but not directly hit by it.

How about that same recipe, except instead of a redstone torch you used, say, 10 snowballs?  Now you can have an Ice Bolt type spell that when used acts as a fireball would, except on impact it covers the ground in snow, sends a few snowballs (not more than 10) flying around, and, like the fireball, destroys a small area of landscape. Except when an Ice Bolt destroys something useful, like a block of coal or iron ore, the resource is dropped as if it had been mined, instead of being destroyed as it would by a ghast’s attack or a creeper’s explosion.

This would make Ice Bolt a decent spell to carry around to help with mining resources and defending oneself underground, whereas Fireball could be the definitive attack spell.

Mind you, these spell books take a lot of resources to create.  We’re talking papyrus and wood (books), snow and/or torches (coal, wood), and a hefty amount of redstone dust.  

Plus these spell books would not be stackable, so resource management again comes into play.  Do players bring some magic with them when they go adventuring?  If so, what do they sacrifice?  A pickaxe, potentially shortening their trip?  Some cooked pork, making it so they might not be able to heal?

Is the magic really worth bringing at that point?  Or is the idea of Fireball and Ice Bolt just a novelty; something you make just to try it out and then never make more of?

If that’s your thought, then remember, since it’s magic, there could easily be more useful things that would be worth the inventory space for that one-cast spellbook.  Let’s add another layer of progression for fun.  Let’s say you can create a new resource of your own: a magical book by combining a normal book with 8 redstone dust surrounding it in the crafting square.  This would yield a magical book that, like papyrus becomes paper, could be used to create other types of magic books.

Say you take that magical book you just created and surround THAT in 8 Lightstone Dust.  You could create a Light spell that, when used, creates a radius of light around the player as he or she moves.  (Again, I realize the game’s engine prohibits this kind of thing right now, but we’re just throwing ideas around here.)  The spell could last one full game day or until the player dies.  This would make a useful and fun alternative to setting torches everywhere as you adventure, and notice how the recipe for it didn’t require any coal.  It actually saves on torches.  And torches, vice versa, save on spell components if you choose to go that route.

How about another type of spell?  Something for the builders.  Combine a magic book with some obsidian blocks and create a spellbook of Fortify.  Fortify, when cast, could ”harden” a 12x12x12 square (or some other area, this doesn’t have to be exact) of already placed material (like, for example, the X-Fort, or a large part of the Greenhouse of Harmony), giving all those blocks the same durability as obsidian (while maintaining their original looks).  Enchanting a whole building in this way makes structures highly resistant to creeper attacks.  There could even be two types of Fortify.  Glinting Fortify, which would make affected blocks “shimmer” just ever so slightly to indicate they’ve been hardened, and normal Fortify that applies the affect without a visual cue (for those who want to maintain the exact look of their buildings).

Notch could go crazy with this kind of stuff.  A magical book and some feathers could create a Flight spell, letting the player fly for short periods of time (maybe 30 to 60 seconds, I don’t think any spell should grant too much power).

Or instead of flight, maybe a Jump spell, similar to what you’d find in Zelda 2.  It gives the player the ability to jump ten times the normal jump height for three minutes.  

Combine that with an also-craftable Haste spell (possibly created by combining a magical book, a pair of chainmail or leather boots, and sulphur) to give the player double movement speed, and you’d have players scaling mountains easily to collect resources or traverse their (by now) large Minecraft worlds more easily.

In fact, I can picture Haste, Jump, Fireball, and an upgraded bow making the Nether seem easier to handle.  And hey, maybe people wouldn’t have to turn the game to Peaceful just to travel in the Nether!

And yes, I realize the Nether is SUPPOSED to be a hellish place where if you linger for any length of time, you’ll die.  But if a player puts forth the time and energy into creating the necessary resources through adventuring (spells, armor, powerful weapons, plenty of food), that player should be able to enjoy the reward of being able to face the Nether and actually use it for fast travel between Nether gates.  Isn’t that what the Nether was originally made for, anyway?  Give players a way to use it without having to switch to Peaceful.

And maybe you could create a Regeneration spellbook that would give the player a slow, steady health regeneration for a full game day, lessening the need to carry food.  But the regeneration should be very slow, like half a heart every 8-10 seconds, so as not to ELIMINATE the need to carry food.  (And yes, just because I know I’m going to get someone spouting, “just turn it to Peaceful,” I know Peaceful mode has this effect.  But not everybody likes switching their game to Peaceful when things get rough.  That gets boring very quickly.)

There’s more.

I have many more ideas than this for improving Minecraft, but I’d hate to put them all in one post.  This blog post is colossal already, and if you’ve made it this far, I thank you for reading it.

Again, I’d like to stress that I do not think my idea of how we can improve Minecraft is the ONLY idea for how to improve Minecraft.  I also realize many people think it’s fine the way it is and that I should stop QQ’ing.  I respect everybody’s opinion in this regard and I ask that you respect mine, as well.

This post is just about why I became bored of it and what I think could be done to improve it for those of us who enjoy its immense adventuring potential.

If you agree with this blog post, please try to get Notch to see it.  Tweet it to him over at Twitter (@Notch), e-mail him, post it in forums, on reddit, Digg, all that stuff.  I’ve never wanted to catch Notch’s eye before, but this time, I really hope to.  I’d love to get his recognition on this, and to see what he thinks about it.

[Edit: He’s already responded (read above) so please don’t notify him about it anymore.]

Please leave your own comments below, too, dear readers.  I’d love to hear what you think.

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