Minecraft’s original map system is inefficient – it works more as a novelty or decorative object than anything useful. ExplorerCraft by zeno410 greatly improves upon the game’s map system, making them worth the resources used.
This mod introduces a few new significant items. First, map paper, which is used in the mod’s recipes in place of larger amounts of paper (mostly for simplicity and convenience):
One piece of map paper can be used to create a regular map instead of regular paper, for example.
Larger maps can be made using map paper. This ends up being slightly expensive, though paper generally isn’t in short supply:
The advantage of these maps, aside from showing more area, is that they can be tiled in the mod’s atlas, creating a perfectly seamless collection of maps. Which brings me to the atlas:
Atlases act as maps of books, just as they do in real life. They can hold up to 36 maps at a time, including empty and expanded ones. Players can insert existing maps or empty maps into their atlas, and the book will populate itself as the player travels. The atlas must be held to be used properly, and will display the most relevant map available to the player at the time.
Atlases and regular maps can also be marked using colored markers. Markers can be made by placing a single piece of paper in the crafting grid, by itself or with dye. One sheet of paper will create eight markers. Dying markers is important, as only one marker of each color can be placed in a single region.
To use a marker, simply right-click on any block with it in your hand. This will place a marker of that color on every map in the player’s quickbar, as well as every map in the player’s atlas if it is also in the quickbar. The block in question must actually be on one or more of the maps for the marker to be activated.
To remove a marker, put the map(s) you wish to remove the color from in your quickbar, then right-click with the marker. If all maps in your quickbar have the designated color, the marker will be removed.
When not using an atlas, new maps can be created for specific regions by using the old map in a recipe:
This results in a larger map with available information tiled in the direction chosen. The direction is determined by where the compass is placed in the recipe. This is much more efficient than the previous map system as the player is not required to find the exact center of the next map to create a tiled, seamless larger map.
Finally, maps can be copied with a recipe as well – useful for putting a map on the wall and keeping one in the inventory, or simply sharing with friends on your server:
The most appealing part of this mod to me is the potential to create a gigantic map of one’s region to place in a town hall or a billboard, for example. Maps with specific markers could also be useful for player-made quests, treasure locations, and destinations for mini-games, giving the maps far more value than they were originally instilled with.
How to install ExplorerCraft for Minecraft 1.7.2
Download and install Minecraft Forge mod loader
Download the latest version of ExplorerCraft.
Hold Windows key and press R to open the Run… dialog, or go to Start > Run.
Enter %appdata% and navigate to your .minecraft/mods folder.
Drag and drop the .zip file downloaded in step 2 into this folder.
This mod is already fairly robust in terms of what it attempts to accomplish. Can you think of any other interesting additions to this mod to make its maps better or more fun to use? Leave your ideas in the comments below!