MINECRAFT: Wizard Tower

Ello Yewchewb and welcome back to my Minecraft build series!

Quite recently (as of the time of me writing this) Mojang has released their ‘snapshot’ preview builds for the upcoming 1.16 Nether Update, which is quite exciting, as they’re finally adding new biomes to the Nether! And boy, does it come with a lot of new blocks!

To keep things simple for you but challenging for me, I’m sticking to ‘one-chunk’ builds, which means they have to fit in a 16×16 square.

Today I’m making a wizard tower!

The blocks

Yes, it’s true: we have more wood blocks. Meet Crimson and Warped wood.

Depending on the play-style of the person you ask, Minecraft either has not enough wood or way too freakin’ much. We already have 6 types of Logs (Oak, Spruce, Birch, Jungle, Acacia, & Dark Oak), which can be crafted into Planks, Slabs, Stairs, Doors, Fences, Fence Gates, Trapdoors, Pressure Plates, Buttons, Boats… and Wood, which is just a Log that has the bark texture on all 6 sides.

If you think that’s too many wood blocks, I shan’t tell you about the community-beloved mod Chisel, which adds great and necessary blocks like Oak Wood Planks In Disarray.

However you feel about it, too bad. We have more wood. Let’s deal with it.

The build

This build was a request from my spouse for a ‘wizard tower’, because they are obsessed with all things wizards. They showed me a few pictures of what they meant, and I did my best to wing it from there.

I wanted the main color palette to showcase the new wood, but I figured the preexisting Nether Brick would be great to tie it together. Since I had 2 main colors and a darker color that connects them, I thought about alternating between colors in broad stripes, which I thought would play especially well with the tower’s vertical element. Plus, stripes are cool and wacky and kind of gothic, which is what you want if you’re building a base in the Nether, right? If you really want the Beetlejuice look you can try vertical pinstripes, but I thought that would just be a pain in the butt when I was already working with circles.

Crimson and Warped Planks aren’t actually wood from trees – they derive from Stems, which you can harvest from the Fungi structures in the new Nether forest biomes. You can also use bone meal on a small Fungi, which you can pick off the ground or get from bartering with Piglins.

A big concern for me is that if you don’t have a Zombie Pigman farm for collecting gold to barter with Piglins, you won’t have a renewable source of Fungi [edit: Piglins don’t even give you Fungi now]. And who even knows if 1.16 will break gold farming! Fungi don’t have the same spreading mechanic as Mushrooms, which is understandable because they generate the valuable Shroomlight blocks, but really raises a lot of questions about how farmable fungi will be. This could potentially be a very expensive build…

Where there’s cyan wood, I have red stained glass, and vice versa. I hung some of the new Soul Fire Lanterns from slabs above the windows – they’re dimmer than regular lanterns, but lighting doesn’t affect spawning in the Nether, so I think they’re perfect here.

I wish I had more pictures of my building process, and it’s something I’d like to work on getting better about in the future, but I wasn’t really confident that I’d be able to pull this off, so I just made it first and took pictures later. I have a lot to learn about communicating the ‘how’, since building things in Minecraft feels like doodling to me – and that’s not necessarily a good thing. True learning of a skill isn’t just about the end product, but being able to explain how you got there.

I’ll try my best regardless: every tier is roughly 4 blocks tall, with dividers of Nether Brick. Up above is a crude graphic I have made of my circles, in case it helps you make circles; on the right side of the graphic, you can see the overlay of the cross-shaped housing structure, as well.

I did not decorate the interior, save for a spiral staircase to take you to the top. It’s pretty cramped in here! Mobs will spawn unless you replace all the floors with slabs and buttons, so be prepared to have some visitors.

Roofs

I’ve already been asked to do a tutorial on roofs. This is not that tutorial. In the meantime, I talk a little about it anyway to tide you over until I have the time to write that one.

The housing portion utilizes a simple gabled roof, which I have reproduced here with blocks that will hopefully make it easier to interpret. Gables are the easiest kind of shaped roof to build, and a pitch of 45 degrees is the easiest angle for your gable. In more plain terms, you just have to use stair blocks.

In my opinion, a 4-block-high ceiling is a perfectly comfortable height for a small house. If you agree, you’ll actually want to start your roof on the 4th block of the exterior – meaning you can only see 3 blocks high of the outside wall. This may instinctively feel wrong to look at, but since the roof moves up as it goes inside the house, it works out.

The tower has a conical roof that I made by building some circles and hoping for the best. Not a great technique! On top of the roof I put some fences, and on top of those fences I put some Shroomlights, so you can find your way home.

My thoughts

There’s nothing in the real world that could be simply described as ‘mushroom wood’ because we don’t have giant mushroom-trees in real life, but there actually have been recent developments in fungal building materials. 2016 saw the rise of MycoWorks, a Silicon Valley startup making mushroom-based bricks and leather; 2017 lead to the exploration of myceliated wood, a compound of otherwise valueless wood chips bound together with mycelium. And just like Minecraft, I have no idea if these things will be sustainable in the long run, because right now they cost a shitload of money. It’s cool to think about, though.

There’s tons of fantasy medieval tower builds in the Minecraft world. I don’t think I could even begin to go into the history. I wouldn’t be surprised if a tower was one of the first Minecraft builds ever made. I tried to go in just making something relatively neutral and not too inspired, but I’ll admit mine came out a bit looking like this one by LichOftheNorth, which wasn’t at all intentional.

What’s a wizard doing in the Nether? Making potions, probably. The Nether is the source of so many potion-making essentials: Blaze Rods, Nether Wart, Glowstone Dust, Magma Cream, Ghast Tears, Gold (for Golden Carrots and Glistering Melons)… it’s a great place to make a brew. Good luck on water, though.

Speaking of ingredience, I was recently surprised to be messaged by a friend informing me that you can’t make potions on Peaceful, because Blazes just don’t spawn. You can’t use Blaze Rods to make a Brewing Stand. You could take a brewing stand from a village, but then you can’t even turn Blaze Rods into Blaze Powder to brew the potions. I have no idea what I would do in that situation! There’s at least one datapack that addresses this, at least.

There’s plenty of space for storage inside the build, but not a lot of room for the basics – certainly no space for an enchanting table. I would probably put the ‘grab it and go’ storage and brewing stands on the first floor, and keep my knickknacks at the top, just to save myself the trouble of running up and down the stairs.

I think this would look nice surrounded by some Nether Wart farmland – just be sure to have a clear path to the doors, in case you’re under attack…

Thanks for reading. If you like these, feel free to support me on Patreon, where I’ll be taking requests and posting previews and all sorts of stuff. Have fun!

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