Saturday, October 20, 2012

Rules, Codes, and Definitions for X-Box Minecraft Seed Evaluation

So, a brand new update brings a change to the rules. I still refuse to try names like "boobies" and I still refuse to try any of the Top 200 "1.8.2" seeds that PC users crow about because there's already plenty written about them. This blog is for unique seed names only.


Each seed will be evaluated using the following seventeen categories, each on a scale of one to ten, for a total score of between 0 and 170. Some are judged on quality, others on quantity, some on how much of the map they cover, and still others on their general impressiveness. They are as follows:

  • [FLAT] Flatlands (based on single largest flatland)
  • [V] Villages
  • [M/H] Mountains and Hills (% of map and quality)
  • [RAV] Ravines
  • [CAV] Caves (quantity and depth)
  • [AMS] Abandoned Mineshafts
  • [HOLD] Strongholds
  • [DW] Deep Water (% of map)
  • [OH] Overhangs
  • [LB] Land Bridges
  • [FLOAT] Floaters
  • [SHADS] Shadows
  • [W] Wood Availability
  • [CLAY] Clay Deposits
  • [LAVA] Pooled Lava (on surface and at Y=12)
  • [WF] Waterfalls
  • [LF] Lava Falls


There are certain score milestones that earn awards. You can search for seeds that have scored significantly in any category by using the following phrases in the search box:

  • Perfection! This seed has achieved one or more perfect scores.
  • Legendary Seed! This seed has astonishingly surpassed 120 out of 170 in the overall score.
  • Premium! This seed has scored higher than 80 out of 170 in the overall score.
  • Smooth! 8.0 or higher in flatland.
  • Populated! 8.0 or higher in villages.
  • Rolling! 8.0 or higher in mountains and hills.
  • Gashed! 8.0 or higher in ravines.
  • Spelunked! 8.0 or higher in caves.
  • Tubular! 8.0 or higher in abandoned mineshafts.
  • Impenetrable! 8.0 or higher in strongholds.
  • Abyssal! 8.0 or higher in deep water.
  • Well Hung! 8.0 or higher in overhangs.
  • Spanned! 8.0 or higher in land bridges.
  • Anti-gravity! 8.0 or higher in floaters.
  • Dark! 8.0 or higher in shadows.
  • Treemium! 8.0 or higher in wood.
  • Kiln 'em! 8.0 or higher in clay.
  • Fiery! 8.0 or higher in pooled lava.
  • Cascading! 8.0 or higher in waterfalls.
  • Falling Fire! 8.0 or higher in lava falls.


When possible, I generate a full map by walking the entire board. Sometimes if I see a board is obviously awful, I'll quit early and post without a map. I take photos using my screen capture device. I also post videos from time to time. I wrap it all up in a nice neat bow and post them on the blog.

I do my best to find as many if not all of the amazing things to see as I can. I do make serious attempts to get underground, however as you can imagine this is quite time consuming and difficult. There have been seeds in the past labeled worthless that turned out to have amazing things like dungeons and diamonds. There's no such thing as a seed without a dungeon or a diamond, so when I don't report finding one, that just means these things are in not-so-blindingly-obvious spots. It could also mean I was getting a hand cramp and figured, well, there's a bunch of stuff here and they'll find the lapis lazuli when they come for the diamonds.

Understanding Seed Names

Seed names are sensitive, so I always pick seed names that are lowercase and contain no spaces unless otherwise indicated. And I do make a fuss when it happens. All seeds being tested are from the current build of Minecraft for the X-Box. These rules will be reposted (and possibly changed) with each version change. The reason for this is that seeds are specific to each version, so when the version changes all of the seed names I've tested become worthless and we start again. The current build is:

Xbox Minecraft version 1.8.2
(equivalent to PC version 1.2)


I refer to the seed's "rating" as the type of player I think should be playing it:

  • Beginner - perfect for a noob; boring for experienced players
  • Intermediate - a challenge for noobs; some interesting features for experienced players
  • Advanced - a bad experience for noobs; a good experience for the experienced
  • Expert - only for experienced players looking for a solid challenge
  • Suicidal Expert - only for demented sociopaths who want to cry and rend their pajamas


So, having done this for over four months now, I have developed a certain lingo that might be confusing to new players. So here are some common terms I use and their meanings.

  • balanced - equal parts awesome and horror; forests and desert; water and land
  • Can't Miss - this is an incredibly rare event that I want to highlight. It gets it's own section.
  • cliff diving - anyplace where you can descend rapidly and safely from the top of a cliff into water
  • day-walkers - enemies shaded by overhangs or trees that can survive and kill you during the day
  • landmark - a visually unique object or landmass that can be seen at great distances or that can be used for navigational purposes
  • scenic - any level that is visually beautiful

Definitions - Biomes

  • desert - all sand, cacti, no rain
  • forest - any location where tree density is so thick it causes shade
  • grassland - all green, no trees, lots of grass and flowers, not flat
  • plains - all green, no trees, lots of grass and flowers, flat
  • savanna - vast stretches of grass, mud, and/or rock with small shrubs or few trees
  • shadows - any land that is covered in shade as a result of another land mass above it or high tree density. Enemies lurk in shadows
  • swamp - forests full of vines
  • tundra - any location where ice and snow cover the land

Definitions - Quantitative Ratings

  • tiny - about 8x8x8 cubes
  • small - about 16x16x16 cubes
  • medium - about 24x24x24 cubes
  • large - about 32x32x32 cubes
  • massive - about 40x40x40 cubes
  • epic - immeasurable
  • deep water - water that reaches y=60 or lower
  • small/medium/large - pertains to islands, flatland, villages, and buttes.
  • shallow/medium/tall - pertains to ravines, waterfalls, and lava falls.
  • caves: hidi-hole - this is a cave that only goes in a few steps to a few meters. There are no lower levels.
  • caves: medium - any cave that has more than one level but doesn't reach Y=24
  • caves: deep - any cave confirmed to reach y=24
  • cave complex - any pair of caves that intersect to form caverns.

Definitions - Land Formations

  • basin - imagine the shape of a cup. Now imagine four mountains whose sloping sides create a cup shape in the land
  • butte - a steep rock formation that towers into the sky surrounded on five sides by air that cannot be climbed without renovation. If it helps, think of it as a massive, fat spire.
  • cavern - a cave whose ceiling is far above your head
  • cliff - any sheer-rock mountainside that cannot be climbed without renovation
  • craters - deep, sheer-walled depressions in the land; they appear as perfect circles at the top and have flat or rounded bottoms
  • dead drop - any hole in the land so deep it will kill you if you fall into it
  • gorge - a deep, open-air trench cut between two mountains
  • floaters - Minecraft can create floating chunks of land that hover above the terrain without touching anything
  • island - small landmass completely surrounded by water
  • land bridge - a narrow, elevated stretch of land that connects two larger land masses
  • overhang - any shelf-like land that protrudes outward from the top of a cliff
  • pitfall - any hole in the land that you can fall through yet survive
  • quarry - any location where land inexplicably strips away exposing the stone underneath
  • ravine - an open-air trench cut into flat land
  • sandbar - tiny sand formations visible just above the water line of gulfs and oceans
  • spires - sheer rock formations that stretch upward into the sky surrounded on five sides by open-air that cannot be climbed without renovation. Think of it as a really skinny butte.
  • stalactite - unsmooth cave ceilings made of sandstone
  • valley - an area of flatland between two mountains

Definitions - Water Formations

  • archipelago - multiple neighboring islands
  • bay - water surrounded by land on three sides, wide, open mouth
  • cove - water surrounded by land on three sides, narrow, obstructed mouth
  • lagoon - water ringed with islands or sandbars
  • ocean - significant water that touches the entirety of at least one edge of the map
  • river - narrow stretch of water that divides an otherwise homogenous landmass; separately, there are also "river" biomes that I will refer to as "river biomes"
  • waterfalls - any water source that pours through open-air for more than two blocks of height.

Definitions - Resources

  • cacti - plural of cactus
  • deposit - a collection of coal, iron, diamond, or other resource squares
  • dungeon - a specific location in caves where mobs spawn; recognizable by the moss covered floor and centrally located spinning pig
  • dungeon farm - a zombie spawn located at the base of an open-air pit with sheer sides that prevent the spawned bad guys from leaving
  • pit - a tiny crater full of an otherwise out-of-place material; sand, lava, gravel can all have pits

So that's it. Hope you enjoy the blog and feel free to friend me on Xbox Live (ANGELIKMAYHEM -- in all caps). You can also e-mail me at angelikmayhem [at] if you want to chat.

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