Mystcraft is a mod for Minecraft, inspired by the computer games and books of the Myst series, In these works, special books could be written to reach new worlds, chosen (or created, the argument continues) according to the mystical contents of the books. Some such worlds are beautiful and safe, but others can be unstable – dangerous to lesser or greater degrees.
In Minecraft terms, each Age is a separate dimension, whose contents can range from an endless void, to infinite worlds similar (or not so similar) to the Overworld. Players can produce special books which link to (and arguably, create) new worlds called Ages, with varying amounts of control over the Age contents. However, be warned that Minecraft does not allow for the level of control described in the original Myst material! Even so, it does add a great deal of variety and usefulness to the game.
Mystcraft allows players to create and explore their own Ages for adventure, settlement, or material gain. Control over the contents of their ages is gained by collecting and using the mystical symbols that compose the books. However, playing with such powerful forces will expose players to equally powerful dangers. It is a player's own responsibility to make sure they have a way home, and if they want to avoid harsh or bizarre conditions, they will need to collect and use many symbols, then learn how to write safe and pleasant ages to inhabit. (In general, greed makes for hazardous ages….)
Choose your Mystcraft version and a matching Forge version according to what version of Minecraft you are playing.
The current version is Mystcraft 0.11.0, for Minecraft 1.7.10, which can use Forge versions 1180 to 1224. Version 0.11 features a major rework to the mechanics and game balance for instability.
Important: Do NOT use Twilight Forest biomes in 1.7.10. Disable those pages in the config files. Twilight Forest had reasonable success in 1.6.4, but the forest-specific decorations are failing in ages, and can result in a world being unloadable without NBT editing.
Older versions of Minecraft can run older versions of Mystcraft, as follows:
|1.7.2||0.10.15.0||1085 to 1112|
|1.4.7||0.10.0||527 (minimum 515)|
Other Technical information:
Poorly (or greedily) written ages can be unstable to varying degrees. Instability can appear in various forms. Most commonly, various status effects and debuffs will be inflicted upon players. Some of these can be limited to the surface, but others will affect the player at any depth. There can also be changes to the world rules, such as monsters regenerating or all creatures (including the player) being set afire by sunlight. More seriously unstable ages can face natural hazards such as lightning or meteors. The most unstable worlds will face decay, rotting into useless blocks, or crumbling away entirely around the player. Note that most forms of decay, and some of the natural hazards (explosions, meteors) represent “death sentences” for the world, destroying any area where the player stays long enough, and quite likely making the original spawn point unusable.
The exact details of how instability is produced have varies greatly over mod versions. In any version, an “incorrectly” written age, or a “greedy” one, will be unstable, but the standards for correctness have generally gotten looser over time. In version 0.9 and early 0.10, worlds needed to be specified completely, and any missing features, or “greedy” symbols, would add instability. Version 0.10 added a new grammar for writing ages, and errors can add instability. As of 0.10.4, underspecified ages aren't intrinsically unstable, but may have random features that add instability, and using certain symbols can also add instability. In version 0.11, instability no longer depends directly on the symbols used, but is calculated based on the accessibility of ore and other resources. (There may still be a few symbols that add instability for non-mining related reasons.) It is possible to slightly reduce an Age's instability by purposely specifying certain natural hazards or limitations. More information on instability.
Even beyond outright instability, ages can be otherwise dangerous – they may be permanently dark, or islands floating in the void, or barren of useful resources. The tool to return from whence you came is called a Linking Book. Always bring a Linking Book. Or three… that link also has other advice.
Another warning: Whenever you use a book to travel to a new age, the book does not go with you, but stays behind. Protect your books! They are fragile and can go poof. If a book is used from a lectern or bookstand, it will stay there, and be somewhat protected from the environment. However, if a book is used “out of hand” (that is, from your own inventory), it will be left as an entity in the world you left. These dropped books are not item entities, but appear as open books lying on the ground. They can be used (or picked up) by right-clicking on them, but if left alone, they will take damage from the environment and eventually be destroyed. (This will not occur in unloaded chunks, but be sure the chunk actually is unloaded!)
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