Minecraft: Dungeons recently released a closed beta version. People could sign up at https://dungeons.minecraft.net/ to join, but since it’s a closed beta, not everyone who signed up will receive a key. From what I’ve read, it also seems that keys were sent out and no more would be given, so if you didn’t get one to start with, you’ll probably not be able to join in the beta. That’s ok though as the game is going to be released on May 26, 2020. There are two editions already available for pre-order including the $20 Standard Edition and the $30 Hero Edition. The latter, “includes a Hero Cape, two player skins, and a chicken pet usable only within Minecraft Dungeons. It also includes two DLC packs, when they become available” according to the Minecraft: Dungeons website. I plan to get the latter as I like the game and feel like even the extra special edition is still relatively cheap and a good bargain value that can’t quite be denied.

Minecraft: Dungeons is basically a Minecraft version of Diablo or other similar RPG dungeon crawler games. The player or players traverse dungeons fighting enemies along the way to reach the end goal. There is of course a story tied to this. Combat is quite simple, just point and click (on the PC). You can use a melee weapon such as a sword or sickles, but you can also use a bow with arrows. Basically, by default on PC, you click the left mouse button to attack with the sword and then click the right one to shoot an arrow. There are also other items you can use, with the 1-3 keys on PC, called artifacts. These give different power ups. One of them summons a wolf, which will fight with you. It can die, but can be summoned again after a cool down period. There’s only one piece of armor, but there are different kinds of it that are more appropriate for what kind of character you’re playing as. Some armor will boost ranged attacks, while some will boost melee attacks, and more. You don’t really chose a class type as you would in Diablo, it’s pretty much the armor piece that takes that role.

While playing, you’ll run into many familiar pieces of Minecraft including enemies like zombies, skeletons, chicken jockies, and illagers. Enemies can drop goodies like food, which are used instantly for regeneration, but they can also drop potions, which give different kinds of buffs. For instance, there’s a swiftness potion and a shadow essence potion. You’ll notice that spiders actually act differently in that they’ll shoot web at you, which will make you stick in place for a few seconds. Some enemies, like zombies and skeletons have armored versions and some can even be enchanted. Some times a TNT block will be dropped and you can use it, with the right-mouse button on the PC. It will light a radius around it, so you know the range of the area of affect and can try to avoid it. Some arrows can also explode on enemies.

There are many levels of difficulty, but you’ll start with the default one and advance from there. The higher the difficulty, the harder the enemies and the better rewards you’ll get for completion. You can die in the game, but it seems you get three lives. Right now, in the beta, there are only three mission areas available, but they’re all procedurally generated. Tied with the difficulty scale, this creates a great level of replayability. Each mission area has secrets, like chests or mini-dungeons you can find. When finishing a mission, you’ll get a screen that shows you how much you healed, your ranged accuracy, secrets chests found, etc. You’ll also get a chest that contains some loot. Along the way, you’ll also collect emeralds, which you can trade to a villager or stationary travelling villager at your camp for armor, weapons, and artifacts. While on a mission, you can, by default on PC, press Tab to reveal a map overlay, which will stay on your screen and help guide you around, so you can try to check every area. I find this to be a little distracting, though. I think perhaps if the overlay were at the top corner of the screen or lighter then it would be better.

One other point to note is that you can play multiplayer. It’s up to four players. The game will be available on Xbox One, Windows, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 4.

So far Minecraft: Dungeons looks fun and enjoyable. There are a couple of YouTube channels I subscribe to and was able to watch the game being played and it seems as those content creators were enjoying the game very much. I anticipate that it will be a popular game, since it’s Minecraft and fun and enjoyable, as I mentioned, but also because it will be so widely available for a good price.

Let me know what you think about the game if you’ve seen anything about it or have beta access. Is this something you’ll pre-order or get a launch? Which edition would you get? Let me know in the comments!

And thank you, Jon, for giving me a code, I greatly appreciate it!

jdodson   Admin wrote on 04/05/2020 at 11:29pm

I might write some first thoughts on this but from a high level Minecraft Dungeons is incredibly well polished and brings a very focused simplicity to the Diablo game genre.

jdodson   Admin wrote on 04/05/2020 at 11:30pm

I’m fairly certain I’ll pick this up on Switch.

GregoPeck   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 04/06/2020 at 01:44am

Yeah, I agree. It did have some issues, but they have been patched AFIK. The game used to freeze or lock up, but I'm not sure if it still does that. You're absolutely right about "focused simplicity to the Diablo game genre," that's quite exactly what it is. It's a simplified version of a game like Diablo, but it's Minecraft and fun. I think I'll pre-order the Hero Edition next month as that's when it gets released.

Will_Ball   Game Mod   Super Member wrote on 04/06/2020 at 05:07pm

You guys got into the closed beta? My son has been wanting to play this!

jdodson   Admin wrote on 04/07/2020 at 02:23am

Greg did you get more invitations? Curious if people I invited get invitations to share 😀

GregoPeck   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 04/07/2020 at 05:32am

No, I just got the link you provided, nothing from Mojang. I'd be happy to share if I got some.

GregoPeck   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 04/10/2020 at 04:30am

Check out this video from IGN "4 Things We're Loving About Minecraft Dungeons" for a quick look at the game and some of what I've described. You'll find the video at https://youtu.be/5P8aO9xVJ68 One of the main reasons I wanted to share this with you is so that you can see what I saying about how there are no classes in the game, it just depends on the gear you have and use. You can always switch gear.

I didn't see the Redstone level that was described, it's not available for me. I also didn't see every mob that you see in the video. I think it's a great game and I do strongly recommend it. I'm looking forward to pre-ordering it and it's release next month.

GregoPeck   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 06/12/2020 at 09:03am

So, I decided to get the game and my experience with it turned upside down. I enjoyed the beta and was looking forward to more, but the game itself is a different story. Really, there's no difference between the two, just that the beta had limited dungeons to explore, less content. But, I had fun in the beta, not so much with the full release of the game. From what I see on the Internet, people are liking it or finding it to be very easy, that is not an experience I am able to share. This is a case where the Internet makes me feel bad, because I'm pretty much not "good" at the game. I find it a little more difficult than I want it to be. I find the loot drops to be much more random than I want them to be. I also find myself unsure exactly how to use everything or what everything does. I often would like to get a better weapon, like a better sword, but I have to spend thousands or hundreds of thousands of emeralds just to get one that isn't as "good." It's so much easier to get exactly what you don't want than it is to get what you want. There are power level stats, which seem arbitrary and meaningless. It's a confusing system (see link at bottom for more detail). The dungeons have power levels based on difficulty and the game suggests you be a certain power level to take on that dungeon at that difficulty. The game will show you a green arrow pointing up that tells you one piece of equipment is more powerful than another with a red arrow pointing down, but if you look at the stats, you may find that one weapon does more damage than another. I don't know, it's just confusing. I'll share a link below that offers some tips. You may want to search the source for more of their articles as I have. Maybe, if I didn't play this game alone I'd enjoy it better, I'm not sure. I hate to say that my feelings for this game have drastically changed, but I'm an honest person. I'm conflicted in that I think it's not just a hack-and-slash and I think that's great and yet, I kind of want it to be that. It does seem smart, though, throwing you a curve ball every now and then. Not every enemy or boss can be defeated in the same way, so it takes strategy or simply knowledge of an enemy's attack. I'm not saying don't get this game. You might have a different experience than me. I'm just sharing my honest experience, to follow up with this post.


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