Since Minecraft 1.18 has launched, I've been totally wowed by the scale and beauty of its huge new caves and cliffs. I've visited dozens of worlds already just eyeballing lovely views. The thing is, landscapes are pretty good at obscuring the machine behind the world. I don't typically look at a mountain range and try to figure out why it's been generated in that particular shape. With Minecraft's villages, the logic of the world is partially exposed for me to puzzle over. In the new 1.18 update, the entire jigsaw has gotten tossed on the ground.
Each Minecraft village has structures like houses and smithies and temples, all connected by paths, which the game's world generator attempts to arrange in a sensible fashion. On a mostly flat area, Minecraft easily creates a branching town layout, all connected by tidy dirt paths that have no trouble navigating small hills.
Not in 1.18 though. No, no. The new update has me asking one question: are villages okay?
Wait, look closer.
Seriously. Who did this? I just want to talk.
I've always enjoyed hunting for Minecraft villages, so I regularly use the Chunkbase seed finder to sleuth out seeds with villages close to the world spawn point. It's not unheard of for villages to be poorly behaved in past versions, but since hunting for villages in 1.18 it seems like they are absolutely determined to act up.
Now that they're able to generate on more varied terrain, Minecraft's villages are having an existential crisis every time they encounter a hill. They'll attempt to span the entire altitude of a mountain or create paths that can't possibly be climbed.
Don't get me wrong. I think it's wonderful. The results aren't always pretty, but they're fascinating. I've said that I love how experimental 1.18 feels, and villages are really putting world generation through its paces.
Please join me on a tour of the silliest villages I've found so far in 1.18. I'll share the seeds too, in case you're as compelled as I am to get in creative mode and fix these poor things.
Take note that these are all Java seeds. Mojang has gotten close to identical seeds for terrain in Java and Bedrock 1.18, but structures like villages aren't always consistent.
This Taiga village tried its best and almost got away with it. The aesthetic of a town ascending a forested hill is one I know all my fellow fantasy dorks enjoy. It's a great concept, if only all those paths weren't just dripping down cliff faces. There's no way any of these villagers are getting to the town square up there in less than a full day's climb. I'll give credit where it's due though. Only the shepherd's house has been partially swallowed by the terrain. The rest are perched rather precariously.
I decided to visit this village specifically because towns that straddle the border between two biomes are a favorite phenomenon of mine. Nevermind that these villagers have tracked sand into the swamp. That isn't the only problem with this village. It has houses half built into cliffsides, a concerningly hollow foundation, and a farm plot that no one can actually climb up to. That's right, your only entry point to the wheat field is falling from the plateau above. I doubt the village council approved that blueprint.
Look closely and see if you can guess how many blocks tall this village is. That is a very, very long drop from the very peak of this Plains mountain. It's 87 blocks from the houses at the top to the ones beside the river. I take back what I said about the Taiga village now. It looks totally reasonable compared to this place.
This hilly village isn't even that disastrous, scaling a modest-sized hill with paths that nearly work. It's just hard to miss the very sensible neighboring village behind it. If you want a bit of a project fixing up a town in 1.18, this one probably deserves it.
Along my travels to cursed villages I've seen dirt paths falling straight into ravines, all sorts of altitude-defying city planning, and more than a few curiously inaccessible houses. One bingo square I'm still searching for is a village with at least one house at the bottom of a ravine, so do let me know if you spot one out there in the wild.
Villages aren't entirely doomed in 1.18. I've also seen plenty of “normal” villages on less tricky terrain, but these overly adventurous towns have gotten a lot more common. As ever with Minecraft, the details could very well wind up tweaked in another update to tame some of these silly new villages. For now though, they're determined to have a bit of a crisis and I don't at all mind being their audience.
Oh look! I finally found a village spillage. I'd say that's close enough to a ravine dweller.