Minecraft's Modding Decline

Minecraft's modding community seems to be in a decline. Why is that?

Why are fewer and fewer mods being made for for Minecraft? This question has been getting brought up within the community of the game quite a bit. While there aren’t any definitive answers, many signs point towards past experiences and answers to the same questions within the game’s modding history. In this article, we will be talking about a community that has seemed to be disappearing at a rapidly declining rate (or at least to the large majority of players).

Clarification

The Aether

While there is a very large community of modders still around and creating content, it’s easily noticeable that mods have become very underappreciated as time has progressed. In a community that was surrounded by mods along the lines of “The Aether”, “The Twilight Forest”, “Too Many Items”, “‘Mo Creatures”, and much more, we can only wonder why we no longer hear about them. The quite funny thing is, however, most of the mods are still being updated. While “The Twilight Forest” and many other mods like it have been out of commission for quite some time, “The Aether”, “Too Many Items” and much more are still getting updates.

While these updates aren’t frequent, they’re still existent. However, because of their infrequencies, players can only assume that these mods have since died and went to what I like to refer to as “Nostalgia Heaven.”

Consistent Changes

Minecraft, Mojang

As Minecraft will “never be finished” (as far as we’re aware, in terms of new original content created by Mojang), modders never get a break from tweaking their creations for the game. These changes, both big (updates such as the “Exploration Update”) and small (updates such as revisions, bug fixes, etc) cause modders to consistently nitpick each individual strand of code, as Mojang tweaks theirs.

When Mojang changes their game and it interferes with a code a modder has created, the modder must tweak his or her code until the game can recognize the input. If Minecraft can not recognize the input, it may crash the game or bug out, making the mod (and sometimes the game itself) useless and broken. These consistent updates on Mojang’s behalf are great for the core game (which should always be the main focus of it’s audience and selling strategy), but inadvertently tears down at times weeks, months, or years of work within seconds.

Mojang’s updates have never affected Minecraft’s core structure, as the core structure is what their product is meant to be. To Mojang, while the modding community is a large part of Minecraft’s history and present, it’s not the priority that they are focusing on. Mojang’s priority has always been (and arguably always will be) the game itself. Many can only assume that while Mojang is very knowing to the problems that the system they have for updating their game is broken for modders, they’re putting little focus into making the workload easier on said creators. With attempts to move their core game’s community to the other editions of Minecraft failing, Mojang will definitely need to cater to the original players of the game who still use the “Java Edition.”

Not Worth The Effort

Minecraft viewed with a shader mod.
Minecraft viewed with a shader mod.

When modders have their works pushed to the side for the main game, they can only wonder if what they are doing is worth the effort. Another factor of this may be whether or not people are actually downloading and using your modification. Many modders create and use their own mods, for the reason of wanting to play and experience a game in the way that they would actually like to. For that group of people, modding may be worth the effort. For the community that wants to create experiences for everybody in hopes of a large majority of individuals using their mods in Minecraft and enjoying them, this is harder. When a mod is downloaded in very small increments, the doubt of whether or not a project should be continued slowly settles in.

These factors play into the “Not Worth The Effort” category very much so, especially with the added stress of Mojang consistently changing their game in unexpectedly large ways.

Boredom

You can only do something a specific amount of times until it becomes bland. The same goes for modding video games. Many wonderful modders, teams, and projects have been entirely disbanded, given up on, dismantled, forgotten, and more because of the insane factor of potential boredom. While creating mods is undoubtedly an artform, it’s practice is very precise and hard to master. Some mods are simple in their nature, but complex in their creation (and vice versa).

While some modders get bored of the concept of modding entirely, there also arguably comes a point where the modder has added as much as they feel they can add. This may be because the mod feels finished, or because the modder feels finished with the project. Many mods never leave the development stages because of the lack of interest in finishing the final product. This stems from a form of art block, causing the creator to potentially call-it-quits.

Command Blocks

With mods taking a very long time to create, many creators have went to a new approach, which has almost immediate results. Many players have moved to Command Blocks, to create their “mods”. While they’re not traditional modifications that are made outside of the game and then brought into the game through other means, they still have very similar results. Command Blocks use Minecraft as a whole to code various scenarios to appear, interact, and utilize the game’s many features.

Command Blocks have went as far as creating a “flying sleigh” in Minecraft. These creations would have normally been done with the use of actual coding through mods, but have utilized the game itself to create, tweak, and see results within moments. The benefit with a large majority of Command Block creations has also been the fact that as updates roll out, most Command Block creations stay intact and continue to work afterwards.

While mods are definitely more useful than Command Blocks, having the option to not use mods at all comes in handy when trying to only use vanilla Minecraft. Command Blocks have proven to get the job done, having thousands upon thousands of mini-games, structures, interactive entities, and more created with their uses and complex methods. These various options for releasing ideas into Minecraft adds many opportunities for creators to take chances and see what interests them in a big or small ways. As time has progressed, more ways have come about in various other editions of the game, offering limitless possibilities.

The Brightside

Mods aren’t dead and they never will be. However, popular mods may lead the pack for a very long time and eventually disappear. When this happens, this doesn’t mean the community of modding, modders, and mod enthusiasts are dead, it means that the communities need to seek out another mod for Minecraft and try it out. After every update, a large majority of players feel cheated because they feel they need to make a choice on whether or not to play a lesser-updated version of Minecraft and their mods, or to play the main game with zero mods.

While this leaves many players frustrated that giant mods that were intended for past versions aren’t able to be used in current versions, it should give those frustrated players the initiative to find another mod to enjoy their time with. Very shortly after the release of an update (big or small), mods are released for Minecraft and are able to use immediately. While they may not be as wonderful as what you were using in previous versions, they arguably have their perks and bonuses.

In Conclusion

While it’s community may seem nearly nonexistent among a large majority of players and is definitely declining in popularity, it’s still as strong as ever amongst its fans. With new creations spawning from the creative minds of individuals whose talents have yet to be matched, Minecraft’s traditional modding days are nowhere near over. While the format may shift to Command Blocks or other means, the community will still exist in one way or another. As long as Minecraft still exists, so will the strive to create new and exciting ways to play the game.