Beacons, amirite? Considering they're one of the most challenging things in the game for your average player to obtain, they're kind of a let down. You've got to fight a Wither, invest a copious amount of resources, and for what? Some basic status effects. You can make the thing out of any material, but it has no impact whatsoever on said effects. What's more, they're of no use whatsoever in multiplayer; granting said effects to any players in their radius. Which, again, isn't that important, since their effects are kinda dinky. If they weren't the only way to get Haste, they probably wouldn't be used at all.
...Tirade aside, this mod aims to fix these issues, and make the most of that lost potential, particularly in regards to making beacons useful in more competitive multiplayer settings. As a quick overview:
- Beacons now have 15 effects to choose from, with each additional layer unlocking 5 new effects. Some of the new ones include increasing the beacon's radius, summoning spirits to defend the beacon, and higher levels of haste.
- Beacons now require a supply of experience in order to supply their effects. This won't be much of a draw in singleplayer; but the beacon will burn through energy faster the more things it's targeting.
- Different materials increase the capacity of the beacon. (Diamond, for example, is better than Copper.) A higher capacity allows you to have more effects enabled at once.
- Beacons can be Locked using a named Sigil item. When locked, a beacon will only provide positive effects to players carrying a matching Sigil, and will provide negative effects to players without one.
- Beacons have some nifty new sound and lighting effects, because honestly, they ought to look/sound cooler. Sound effects are based on the power, type, and number of effects of the beacon.
~ A Disclaimer: This mod has not, at this point, actually been tested in Multiplayer; and is still in development; in its current state, there may be bugs I haven't spotted; or balancing issues that could be done better. That being said, I am open to suggestions, and will continue to update the mod taking them into account. ~
- The beacon recipe is unchanged. Use a Nether Star, three obsidian, and five glass to create a Beacon. If you're loading this mod in a world that already has beacons, you can also use a crafting table to convert your old dumb beacons into my fancy new ones.
- Once built, you'll need a Pyramid of resource blocks to activate the dormant beacon. Any mineral block, (Unoxidized Copper, Iron, Emerald, Gold, Lapis, Diamond, and Netherite), as well as Crying Obsidian, can be used for this; they're listed in order of power. More powerful, (rarer), blocks will provide your beacon with a higher capacity for abilities. You'll need a minimum of 27 capacity in order to have one ability active. (That's 9 Emerald or Gold blocks, 6 Lapis blocks, or 3 Diamond blocks.)
- Your pyramid can have multiple Layers; up to three of them. Each completed layer will unlock a new tier of (more expensive), more powerful abilities. Keeping this in mind, you may want to use cheaper blocks for lower layers to unlock new abilities, if you don't happen to have 49 diamond blocks on hand for layer #3.
- Your beacon needs enough Capacity for each ability it's providing. First level abilities require 27 capacity each (The equivalent of 3 Diamond Blocks); second level abilities require 56 capacity each, (the equivalent of 6 diamond blocks), and the third level abilities require 81 capacity each. (The equivalent of 9 diamond blocks.)
- The Beacon will also require a supply of experience; the EXP button on the beacon consumes your EXP in order to fill up the beacon's energy bar. (If button mashing isn't your thing, you can also just stand on top of the Beacon to drain your EXP bar.) More powerful abilities will consume energy faster; and all abilities consume energy based on the number of entities they're targeting. Punching a beacon will extract some experience from it, but you won't get as much back as you put in.
- The Beacon has a default radius of about 36 blocks in any direction, but this can be upgraded with certain abilities. Entities within its radius recieve its effects, which gradually fade when they leave the radius.
- Ability #1 provides Speed I to all friendly entities within the Beacon's radius.
- Ability #2 provides Resistance I to all friendly entities within the Beacon's radius.
- Ability #3 provides Strength I to all friendly entities within the Beacon's radius.
- Ability #4 provides Haste I to all friendly entities within the Beacon's radius.
- Ability #5 makes all hostile entities within the Beacon's radius Glow, making them visible through blocks.
- Ability #6 provides Absorbtion II, (Four extra hearts), to all friendly entities within the Beacon's radius.
- Ability #7 summons Sentinels to attack hostiles within the Beacon's radius. Sentinels are small, spirit creatures that hover around, homing in and ramming your enemies. They die and deal magic damage on impact.
- Ability #8 inflicts Weakness on all hostile entities within the Beacon's radius.
- Ability #9 provides Purity to all friendly entities within the Beacon's radius. Purity immediately removes any negative status effects the entity is experiencing, such as poison, slowness, wither, etc.
- Ability #10 increases the beacon's Radius to 52. (By 20 meters in all directions.)
- Ability #11 provides Regeneration I to all friendly entities within the Beacon's radius.
- Ability #12 summons Wards to attack hostiles within the Beacon's radius. Wards are larger, flying spirit creatures vaguely resembling flying glowing magic laser octopi. They hover around slowly, firing magic laser beams at your enemies.
- Ability #13 Inflicts all hostiles within the beacon's radius with Slowness II. It gives hostile players Slowness I.
- Ability #14 grants Haste II to all friendly players within the beacon's radius. If Ability #4 is also enabled, it provides Haste III, at which point the game literally cannot render your pickaxe moving any faster.
- Ability #15 increases the beacon's Radius to 66 (By 32 meters in all directions.) If ability #10 is enabled, it increases the radius to 82. (By 50 meters in all directions.)
- If you're dealing with enemy players, (or if your friends are just obnoxious), you can Lock your beacon, making it only target players who know its password, and treat uninvited players as hostiles.
- To do this, you'll need Sigils, (you'll want two of them), which can be crafted using 1 Crying Obsidian, 3 Diamonds, and 1 Redstone dust. Name your Sigils whatever you like, (make sure the names are the same), and insert one of them into the Sigil-shaped slot bottom left of the interface. Once the 'lock' button is pressed, the beacon and its interface will turn an ominous shade of crimson. The Sigil you've kept in your inventory will start glowing if you've done it correctly. If it doesn't, you'll probably want to run.
- To unlock your Beacon, simply remove your Sigil. Just keep in mind your enemies will probably be trying to do the same.
- A locked beacon will only provide positive effects to players carrying a Sigil that matches the one in its slot. It will no longer target hostile mobs with negative effects; but will instead target other players as intruders. In addition to inflicting intruders with negative effects, Sentinels and Wards will attack players who aren't carrying the Beacon's Sigil. Their magic attacks can take out unprepared players with relative ease, even without the help of the Beacon's superpowered owners.
- Activated Sigils warn their holders of any intruders within 160 meters; blaring red and making an alarm noise whenever there are any non-friendly players nearby.
- In addition, a locked Beacon can generate a protective shield around itself. (You can do this with a normal beacon, but it's kind of useless unless you really like blendering zombies.) Crying Obsidian in the Beacon Pyramid won't increase its capacity, but it will increase the power of a magical forcefield that violently repels any intruders in its immediate vicinity. A more powerful forcefield deals higher levels of damage, covers a slightly larger area, and knocks things back with more force.
Importantly, Beacons consume energy based on the number of entities they're targeting. The amount of energy for each entity is determined by the layer of the effect, but it's applied to every entity that recieves that effect.
- This means that an effect like Weakness or Slowness, targeting hostile mobs, may consume much more energy, despite being on the same layer as Purity and Absorbtion. Whereas positive effects will only target you and other players, the Beacon has to apply negative effects to every hostile mob in it's radius. The short of it is, if you're building a mob farm to power the beacon, either keep it away from said beacon, or don't have hostile effects enabled. (Otherwise you're going to burn through experience really quickly.)
- Similarly, if you're building a beacon to defend a base with a lot of players in it, your positive effects will consume more energy for each player they have to target.
- This isn't true for effects that only target the beacon, (Such as Radius effects), or entities that summon things. (Which only consume energy when summoning.)
- If you're in a singleplayer world, you shouldn't have to worry too much about energy. With only a couple of abilities selected, a beacon can target a single player more or less indefinitely, and easily be powered by collected experience and/or a small mob farm.
The Materials you use for the Beacon matter! Rarer materials offer higher capacity, but are a much bigger investment, especially if you're not so enthused about a lengthy mining session. In addition, the most powerful beacon materials are non-renewable ones. (Such as Lapis and Diamond.)
- Cheaper materials such as Copper, Iron, Gold, and Emerald, (all of which can be farmed), provide less capacity. That being said, you can still run a single beacon ability off of a 1-layer Gold or Emerald beacon.
- Lapis Lazuli is a good material early on, since it's a bit more powerful, and you're likely to have quite a bit of it lying around from enchanting. However, it is, (to the best of my knowledge), non-renewable, and will thus require actual mining to obtain.
- Diamond and Netherite are, of course, the most powerful. They're also the only materials with enough capacity to run more than a single ability on a Level I pyramid. Of course, in most cases you probably won't need enough abilities enabled simultaneously to necessitate an entire pyramid of solid Diamond. (Even if you did, a solid diamond pyramid, requiring a whopping 747 diamonds; is still only enough to run 14 abilities at once.)
- ...And a Netherite pyramid is even more ridiculous. While it would enable you to technically run every single ability at the same time, it'd be so insanely expensive, and consume so much energy as to be pointless. But of course, if you already have all that Netherite just lying around, there's no better way to show off.
- Beacons are only sort-of portable. Breaking one, (regardless of whether you have Silk Touch), will only drop the Nether Star, meaning you'll have to make a new casing whenever you want to move the thing. Not a problem if you've got plenty of Obsidian and Glass on hand, and the willpower to constantly move a giant pyramid around, but something to keep in mind.
- Multiple Beacons do not increase the power of effects. If you have two beacons in close proximity, both giving the Speed effect, you'll still only get Speed I, you'll just be paying twice as much for it. In addition, you can't place beacons within 24 blocks of each other. However, multiple beacons can still be helpful for increasing the coverage of effects, increasing the spawning speed (but not the maximum number) of Sentinels and Wards, or making it harder to fully disable all of your beacon effects if you're worried about an attack.
When dealing with a Locked Beacon, there's several things to keep in mind:
- Crying Obsidian is Non-Renewable. This may seem pretty obvious and kind of unrelated to the point at hand, but the only way to get Crying Obsidian is to locate ruined portals. On a related note, Sigils and Shielding for your beacon require Crying Obsidian; meaning that protecting a Locked Beacon is similarly limited by your ability to obtain this rare resource, and willingness to spend it making Sigils for your allies.
- Milk is, for reasons unknown to me, pretty overpowered. It removes all effects, including the beacon's ability to target you- even briefly confusing sentinels and wards. A bucket of milk will only buy you about eight seconds of time, but that may just be enough to escape and/or deactivate the beacon. That being said, it's also non-stackable, and you'd need to drink it constantly to totally avoid the beacon.
- Sigils are just like any other item- they can be stolen, and, more importantly, counterfeited if you happen to know the password. The simplest way to avoid detection would simply be to have the Sigil of your enemy. Of course, knowing this, said enemy could just as easily change their Sigils regularly.
- ...Or, worse still, if your enemy has multiple Locked beacons, they could have a different sigil for each one. As long as at least one locked beacon is targeting you, you won't receive any positive effects, and will be treated as hostile by all of them. You'd need to have the Sigil of every beacon in the area in order to proceed safely.
- Wards and Sentinels deal magic damage. While you probably should be more worried about your enemies noticing you, (which they will if their Sigils are giving the alarm and you happen to be glowing), there's something to be said for a swarm of incessant spirits that deal 5 or 6 damage per hit. More importantly, both of them deal damage regardless of armor. Sentinels are pretty easy to avoid, but the beacon will spawn them near you every eight seconds or so. Wards only deal a heart or so of damage per shot, but that's half a heart of shield-piercing magic damage, and they fire constantly, and they have a pretty big detection radius.
- Unlike Sentinels, Wards will only spawn pretty close to the beacon. With this in mind, your enemies will probably try to position them in more strategic locations.
- Locked Beacons always consume a tiny amount of energy- meaning that if you somehow enable a Forcefield, don't have the correct Sigil, and don't remember the password you chose, it will turn itself off. ...Eventually. You could also just use milk if you're really desperate, and not willing to make yourself a new Sigil.
- Beacons operate by applying status effects to entities within the beacon's radius. (Radius is a bit misleading; as the effects are applied in a cube.) A regular beacon applies 'Benevolence' to players in its radius; whereas a Locked Beacon applies 'Benevolence' to players with a matching sigil in its radius, and otherwise applying 'Malevolence.' Malevolence always overrules Benevolence, and is required for hostile Sentinels and Wards to target players. Benevolence is also applied to Sentinels, Wards, and Forcefields in a beacon's radius, and these entities despawn if they're not recieving said status effects.
- Beacon Beams are now rendered as entities; and only spawn if they have a valid path to the sky, transparent blocks excluded. (Beacons no longer require sky access, and will no longer render beams in the Nether.) The height of the Beacon Beam is now an even 1000 blocks, (instead of about 900), but will be higher or lower depending on how high up the Beacon is placed. Because the beam is an entity, blocks cannot be placed directly in it without first turning off the beacon. (The same goes for Forcefields.)
- The Beacon runs on an eight second tick cycle, applying its effects/summoning things each time it ticks. However, it needs to be in a loaded chunk in order to do so. (This shouldn't be an issue though- even if the radius is maxed out, you'd need to have your render distance set below six before you started having problems.)
- Each experience orb the beacon consumes gives it 5 energy; standing on top of the beacon drains 5 EXP/25 Energy every second or so; pressing the Experience Button consumes 20 EXP/100 Energy. The Beacon can store a maximum of 10,000 energy, and drains energy every eight seconds based on the selected effects.
- Level 1 effects consume 2 Energy every time they apply an effect to an entity.
- Level 2 effects consume 4 Energy every time they apply an effect to an entity, or summon a sentinel.
- Level 3 effects consume 6 energy every time they apply an effect to an entity, or summon a ward.
- Sentinels and Wards should be limited to 40 and 20 at one time, respectively; and the Beacon will not spawn more of them if this max. is reached.
- Turns out rendering a 1000 block tall texture is kind of weird; the Beacom Beam for some reason gradually loses color after about 150 meters, then regains it after another 50 blocks or so. Since this is only really visible from very high up, (and doesn't look that bad), I'm going to consider it good enough until I can figure out how to properly remap the thing.
- Sigils cannot be named with square brackets, or they will be removed upon activation. This just has to do with Minecraft's item naming system, and how the beacon processes item names. There is not a way around this, so on the off chance you wanted to use Square Brackets in a sigil name for some reason, don't.
- Wards sometimes spin around at high speeds when idle, for reasons I cannot determine. However, this doesn't seem to otherwise affect their pathfinding.
- Sigils will remain lit up whenever the player has benevolence, regardless of whether it comes from the corresponding beacon. (If the player leaves one Locked Beacon's radius and immediately enters another, the sigil will remain activated until the player is out of range of all beacons.) Once again, this shouldn't come up very often, and doesn't have much of an impact, so I'll likely just leave it seeing as fixing this would require completely rewriting the Sigil code.
- Beacon sound effects occasionally take a moment to play- this is a side effect of Minecraft's sound processing system. Because beacons are on an eight second loop, if you leave hearing range it stops producing sound, and then only starts again once it completes the loop. A minor annoyance, but one that unfourtanately does not have an easy solution.
- Iron Golems treat Sentinels & Wards as Hostile. Again, there isn't an easy way to disable this while still allowing these entities to attack things, short of rewriting Iron Golem Code, which is beyond my knowledge.