An Unmeasured Response to Minecraft’s Death Mechanic

Jonathan Colmenares
2 min readAug 10, 2023

This post contains my ramblings about what I think about Minecraft’s death mechanic and the recent introductions into modern versions of the game, on a general level. Relevant links are at the bottom of the post.

I believe Minecraft suffers from a severe lack of identity. The way new mechanics are introduced continue to conflict with the design principles and ideas of mechanics that were just added prior. It doesn’t help that a lot of new content doesn’t connect with the old content in a way that encourages acquiring it (aside from building and aesthetics).

A good example is the inclusion of the Warden when determining your early (or even mid-) game progression. Case in point: the death penalty. When you die in Minecraft, you lose all your shit, and then proceed to shit yourself out of rage. How do other games tackle this? Terraria let’s you keep your items but you lose a hefty sum of cash (an otherwise very useful item). Subnautica removes all items from your inventory that you acquired from your last save point. These mechanics encourage the player to try and tackle challenges that might be above their skill or equipment level, even if it isn’t.

Minecraft’s hefty death penalty discourages the player from trying to tackle much more dangerous scenarios head-on. Worse still, once you are able to easily whoops the Warden, it’s reward, the recovery compass, becomes essentially meaningless with how busted you are.

This post was made in response to a prompt by my friend ceresleepy, who I usually refer to as Cheeto.

Original prompt by ceresleepy on the Modding Legacy Discord server.

My original response was made on the Modding Legacy Discord server here: https://discord.com/channels/223938153260515328/223938153260515328/1135744909131915295

A thread containing additional discussion of this, found in the Cryptic Mushroom Discord server, can be found here: https://discord.com/channels/382958565125521412/1135751610732138658

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Jonathan Colmenares

I am a Programmer, Music Composer, Game Designer, and Violinist. I work on various projects with Cryptic Mushroom, Modding Legacy, and Minecraft Forge.