The Minecraft MMO: Hack/Mine

Pronounced Hack Slash Mine, this mod has fueled my Minecraft fire once again. I had become quite bored with the game after spending a lot of time with it. I tried the Technic pack which was amazing but when i found out that the pack would not be fully playable in multiplayer, I quit using it. However, yesterday I had something brought to my attention. An online-enabled MMO mod for Minecraft.

Hack/Mine is playable off- and online so if you have no one to play with or would rather enjoy it solo, you can do so. No matter what mode you pick, the mod starts you off by creating a character. This won’t change your appearance or skin but it is a bit of fun. You can choose between four races: Steves, Elves, Halflings, and Dwarves. Then you’ll pick one of three classes: Warrior, Mage, or Ranger. Each class gives you a set of skills/magic that you can use to help you out in combat or maneuverability. Warriors can leap to high places. Mages are able to teleport up to 16 blocks. Rangers automatically climb up any natural block like grass, stone, and gravel.

Once you compete the character creation, just like normal Minecraft, you’re off on your own. You can see you’re given a set of tools, a sword, a crafting guide, and armor. If you look at the top right you’ll see a mini-map with the name of the area you’re in and the level range of its monsters. You may have also noticed when putting on your armor that every item in Hack/Mine has stats and attributes. As you play you’ll notice that the mod automatically creates more maps as you uncover more land and adds level rangers, monsters, bosses, dungeons, and tower challenges. There is a lot to do in Hack/Slash and judging by the creators, there is a lot more coming.

One of the first things I did during my first play session was run into a group of level 1 slimes. I dispatched of them quickly but I heard another jumping around. I looked to the right and found a giant slime stuck in a water pool surrounded by dirt blocks. It was a boss/named creature. His name was Sludgedick. No, I’m not kidding. The fearsome creature proved quite a test but it gave me a good sense of what I’d be up against in Hack/Mine. The big, vulgar slime dropped a magic axe which increased my wisdom and fortitude by 1 and also gave me +10% unholy resistance. I’m feeling a true RPG vibe now.

When you level up, you gain 5 stat points which you can distribute into Strength, Agility (coming soon, not in the game right now), Dexterity, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Fortitude. As I continued my adventure moving from area to area, level by level, I soon ran into a sprawling tower. Inside I was met with a lot of opposition as each floor has 1-3 spawners that consistently brood more monsters. The challenge here is to clear a full room just so you can get to the spawners. This isn’t so bad in multiplayer, especially when a Warrior is around. Warriors can taunt nearby enemies which makes them all attack him. This allows the other player to take out a pickaxe and destroy the spawners. You continue to do this as you climb the tower until you reach the top and a chest is awaiting to reward you.

Towers are just one challenge as you’ll find underground dungeons which test your platform skills with lava covered floors and high-placed pillars.

I really felt like this mod gives Minecraft that sense of teamwork that you can’t get just working together to build something. There are goals here in Hack/Mine and more are coming. It really is exciting to play and you get into it. I see more towers and I can’t log off until I clear them.

Hack/Mine has a lot going for it in terms of fun factor. Finding new items is a blast and when a tower pops up on your screen you feel the need to clear it out. However, it is missing quite a few things (as is the nature of Minecraft and its related mods and thingies). There are no towns and therefore no way to sell items and earn some sort of currency. There is a need for potions or some sort of healing items and rejuvenation. Aside from towers and dungeons there is little else to do. More challenge could be added with actual bosses differing from the named creatures.

As of this writing I didn’t find many bugs with Hack/Mine except one for really annoying one. Every now and then (ranged from 2 minutes to an hour) my number keys would cease to function correctly. This means I was unable to select any magic or skills or change which items I had out on my toolbar. I couldn’t use the top number keys, number pad, or my Razer Naga’s side keys. I had to completely exit out of Minecraft to fix this because just logging in and out would not stop the issue. I then found out it was because I was Alt+Tabbing out of Minecraft to check e-mails. I had to hit Alt twice to make my number keys active again. Not so much a bug but annoying nonetheless. Aside from that, I was pleasantly surprised by how well Hack/Mine ran. Minimal lag was present but a quick logout/login would fix it. This did’t happen all too much.

The best part about all of this is that at its core, it is still Minecraft. You can dig, mine, find ravines, build, and enjoy all of the other glorious Minecraft aspects.

In order to play Hack/Mine you need to download the Technic pack, launch Minecraft through their launcher, and choose Hack/Mine from the upper left mod pack selector. This launcher ensures that both Minecraft and all of the mods present in these packs are updated. It is very easy to use and contains more packs than just Hack/Mine, like the jam packed but offline-only Yogbox. However, that’s a whole other beast to tackle. Also, something for another day.

If you’ve been looking for an online mod for Minecraft that epitomizes the success of teamwork with rewards and plenty of RPG elements, I believe you’ve found the winner here. Hack/Mine is only going up from here and that means only more hours of my life lost on Minecraft.

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