X (from X's Adventures in Minecraft) recently posted a long blog post
about what he thinks Minecraft is missing, and he makes a few interesting points, but what struck me were his comments on the Nether:
In fact, I can picture Haste, Jump, Fireball, and an upgraded bow making the Nether seem easier to handle. And hey, maybe people wouldn’t have to turn the game to Peaceful just to travel in the Nether!
And yes, I realize the Nether is SUPPOSED to be a hellish place where if you linger for any length of time, you’ll die. But if a player puts forth the time and energy into creating the necessary resources through adventuring (spells, armor, powerful weapons, plenty of food), that player should be able to enjoy the reward of being able to face the Nether and actually use it for fast travel between Nether gates. Isn’t that what the Nether was originally made for, anyway? Give players a way to use it without having to switch to Peaceful.
This made me wonder, do you guys struggle with the Nether? Because I have a working portal network set up and I haven't yet died in there. I admit that I set it to peaceful when fixing the glitched portals so that they work the way they're supposed to (Notch, be a dear and fix that at some point) but everything else I've done in the Nether has been legit, including a sky-bridge across a cavern that I built while two ghasts were attacking me. Even that wasn't so hard because I was building it from cobblestone and ghasts can't destroy cobblestone.
I just find it odd because he spends most of the post complaining that the game needs more of a challenge to it, but in the part of the game that's a bit more challenging than the rest, he complains that it needs to be made easier.
Anyway, I've upgraded Mount Vulcan with some rooms, a dock, a rail-station and a much more impressive lava-flow. I am now ready to begin work on the final section of my rail/path/tunnel network to Bartlet cove, completing a 6-month old project.