Back in the dark times before Minecraft’s official release, updates were frequent, and new content was delivered to us in the form of patches that created more glitches to patch. It was the beta, so patching glitches was the point, but if you played back then, you probably got as pissy as I did when my diamond pickaxe fell victim to the glitch that caused your equipment to take damage twice when mining. Having returned to the game after a few years, I’m satisfied to find that updates are infrequent, robust, and weighed by the quality of their content. Minecraft’s newest release, known as the “Exploration Update”, made ambitious promises in its name alone. While it might not completely deliver on its own tantalizing name, it delivers a lot for a free update. If you like hillbillies, llamas, treasure hunts, and backend maintenance, then there’s fun to be had for you.

At Minecon 2016, Jens mentioned that the name “Expedition Update” might be more appropriate than “Exploration Update”, and that bears out. Villages now have cartographer villagers who will trade maps for emeralds, and these maps can then be taken on expeditions to ocean monuments or woodland mansions to squeeze on the sumptuous booty within. While ocean monuments are old news, woodland mansions are a new addition. They can be found in dark oak forests, but beware!

Mansions are populated by illagers in Minecraft, the xenophobic backwoods cult analog of the villager. When illagers aren’t busy summoning the devil out of the swamp or hitting you with an axe, they spend their time carving idols out of lye soap and making magic powder out of graveyard dirt and anvil dust. Those who defeat them will be rewarded with a totem of undying, a fetish that will save you from death. If you’re anything like me, though, you will raze the earth and steal their entire mansion so you can tack it to the shitty brick cube with stairs on top that you call a home. But how will you carry that mansion?


                                                                           Look’it the llamas!!!!

With your llama friends, of course. They wear swanky carpets, carry your crap, form caravans, spit at your foes, and even tolerate your presence in their lives. If having an army of llamas in Minecraft now isn’t enough, you can also make a shulker box, which will keep all its contents inside even if you break it and allow you to have an inventory inside your inventory. An expedition, indeed.

The Expedition Update dropped a couple of days ago. So smoke it if you got it.