Yesterday, we got the pleasure of a hot surprise from Mojang. The latest Java Edition snapshot adds new blocks, items, accessibility improvements, and even new music. But we don't care about any of that (okay, we still care about the accessibility improvements; those are important.) All that matters right now is the new basalt delta, which becomes the fifth biome for the Nether where a few months ago we only had one. Mojang is being very busy with the Nether Update.
The basalt delta is possibly the coolest (I meant hottest) biome added to Minecraft, period. It's a dark, gloomy place overshadowed by a constant fog of ash and heat, with pools of lava and towering columns of gray and black adorning the place like twisted decorations. It's wicked, and will be my go-to for every single one of my so-so Nether fortresses. I'm not that good of a builder, but luckily other people are already doing some cool stuff with the new biome. As this post from Reddit said, welcome to the basalt deltas.
The basalt delta amazes at every angle
The basalt delta isn't supposed to be habitable. It's built out of basalt and blackstone (a new block added to the Nether with the biome), and is home to lava, more lava, and magma cubes. Yes, magma cubes have a home now — no longer will they wander aimlessly through the Nether.
Yet, despite an inhospitable environment, the basalt deltas are drop dead gorgeous. You also may very well drop dead from inhaling all the ash here. People have already taken some breathtaking images too. Don't worry, I'm not going to make another joke about the ash... probably.
This example shows a basalt delta slotted between other biomes in the Nether like a mottled scar on the landscape, but it also shows that, like everything else in the Nether, the basalt deltas can have a degree of verticality. This presents some very interesting possibilities for ominous castles fitting for only the most gruesome of vampire overlords. If, you know, vampires existed in Minecraft. Also, is it just me or does this kind of look like a bird?
A blend of old and new in the Nether
While most of you probably forget about them, nether fortresses still exist in Minecraft. As it turns out, they can intersect with basalt deltas at infrequent periods. Suddenly, I'm interested in nether fortresses again! I'm not sure I'd want to go inside this one, however, since the sinister environment of the basalt deltas adds a new layer of spooky-ness to the nether fortresses. I feel wither skeletons probably feel right at home here.
If someone made a fantasy-fiction movie in Minecraft, this would be the perfect locale for the heroes to stumble upon long forgotten ruins swallowed up by an unforgiving world. They'd probably have a moment of clarity that would reveal the path forward, or something. Either way, it looks awesome, and is another great example of the contrast the basalt deltas adds to Minecraft. Actually, someone could actually recreate the entirety of Lord of the Rings trilogy in Minecraft now.
Inject a little creativity into the basalt deltas
The snapshot hasn't even been out for a full day at publication time, and people are already building full fortresses in the basalt deltas. In this amount of time, I'd be lucky to build a small hole in the ground. Then, I'd probably just lay in it and pray I wasn't swallowed up by lava.
This fortress has an open-floor plan and an open-wall plan. And an open-ceiling plan? Even with all that, it looks awesome, and with more time with the basalt deltas people more creative than I are going to build some mind-boggling awesome things.
This Minecraft player wasn't too ambitious, and instead elected to erect a makeshift campsite in a basalt delta. That happens to look like it came out of a completely different game than Minecraft. Mottled greys and blacks, broken up only by brief flashes of blue fire? Awesome. I'd live here, if it weren't for the constant threat of slowy, hoppy invasion via magma cubes.
This madman is playing in the basalt deltas on Survival! But they also built himself a nice little house, so at least they'll have something to pass on to their kids if they should perish in the Nether. Again, people have had next-to-no time in the basalt deltas, but already we're seeing hits of just how much this opens the door for creativity in Minecraft. No longer to people have to resort to texture packs or mods to elicit this kind of moody effect that makes for gorgeous atmospherics.
We're going to wrap up with one of my favorites that I found in my time perusing Reddit. This player achieves a great level of contrast, in an exciting build that just makes you want to see more of it. I want to see a finished version of this on a larger scale when the Nether Update is officially released because this build rocks. It's also built of rocks. Get it? Yes, that's the lame joke I'm going to end on, deal with it.
How do you feel about the basalt delta biome?
Is it totally rad, or utterly lame? Let us know in the comments below!
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Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer primarily focused on covering the latest news, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life, and have been with Windows Central and its sister sites since 2019. While originally brought on to write about all things Minecraft, Zachary has since expanded to write about practically everything that Windows Central covers. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.
I can't wait to see what this looks like in minecraft RTX
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