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Minecraft Monday: Endermen Portals, Flying Dragons, and Stronghold Locators, oh my!

Herro and welcome to another week o’ Minecraft Monday!  There was a lot of info out the past few days about zee impending 1.9 patch, but ironically nothing new today just yet.

Minecraft News

I gotta call it as I see it, and by golly one of our longtime readers nailed me on an upcoming feature I was completely unaware about.  Turns out last time I posted a Minecraft Monday I added a video about some weird and dimensional goop that was just added to the game by Notch.  Allaweh mentioned people were making comments on youtube about it being some sort of portal dealing with Endermen.

I thought that was weird as Enders were just added and no other mob has their own zone, and Notch even said what the goop was something you’d almost never see.  Logic be darned, that’s exactly what Notch n’ Jeb did.  So a full on Tip o’ the Hat to you, Allaweh!  Be sure to check out her blog, too.  She’s working on a Minecraft world that is a fully fleshed out version of the lands of Hyrule from Zelda and plans on releasing it for all to play on their own, so get your iron swords and leather booties down there and take a gander!  After all, it’s dangerous to go alone -_^

Speaking of that new portal, Jeb posted a livestream of himself playing the current version of the beta 1.9 pre-release patch (which is up to four at this point), showing how to use new items to actually hunt down and find those nifty strongholds.  The process is pretty easy, add a Ender Pearl and a Blaze Powder together and throw it into the air.  Notice what direction it flys and that is your kinda compass to the nearest Stronghold.  Sorta has a Dragon Ball locator feel to it, but I think it’s awesome.

Within these Strongholds lies the creepy Ender or Air portal (conflicting reports), but Jeb was unable to open it in time as he played for about three hours at that point and needed to get to bed XD  Here’s what it looks like with two of the eyes in place, the rest waiting anxiously vacant.

In other News, Notch has added Dragons to the game.  Behold!

Here’s a work in progress of him attempting to texture this beast.  I get a kick out of it.

Personally, I think it looks like the remains of a melted box of crayons poured over a pile of Legos, but it is still totally awesome.  Doubt he’ll stick with this look, but I like it all the same ^_^

When Will Patch 1.9 Finally Release?

As all the stuff was supposed to be ready and good to go in just about eight days, I originally would have said the date they already mentioned, October 18th.  But just yesterday I noticed this rather jarring information on twitter:

At today’s meeting @notch suggested that should keep doing prereleases all the way to Minecon, so my previous tweet about 1.9 is obsolete :)

-@Jeb_

And another one just forty minutes ago from Jeb_, again:

PLEASE REPLY Jeb, is the 1.9 release will be out for october or november?

@Moliuj Notch wanted to wait with the update until Minecon

This goes completely against what they already stated for a few weeks, that the major stuff would be in place and ready to play eight days from today.  Suddenly there will be no official patch of 1.9 until a MONTH later.  This annoys me.

The Twins are not amused, either.

The Pre-Releases are basically the rough draft of the patch the Mojang crew adds things to and updates internally.  When they are polished, they are released officially to the public as patch 1.9 or whatever they are up to.  They are now only focusing on updating these Pre-Releases and seemingly forgetting a great deal of people are waiting for the actual update.  Heck, the only reason we have access to these at all was due to them getting sloppy with 1.8, forcing them to leak the patch out to subdue the growing amount of nerdrage when the past two stated release dates in a row and took the weekend off anyway.  Suddenly changing the whole patching process like this is a major wrong move in my opinion.  Pre-releases are buggy at best, and certainly not optimized with their code.  Most people will not run those Pre-Releases and Mojang is up to its fourth iteration of patch 1.9 already.

I am grateful of all the gobs of new content.  I would be even more grateful if they would actually release it as a usable, public-friendly, patch.  And not a month later than previously stated, when all the stuff that I was looking forward to in 1.8 got pushed back to 1.9 in the first place >.<

Still crossing my fingers they get a decent, public, and relatively bug-free patch 1.9 on October 18th, but it is looking unlikely unless they change their sudden tune.  Hope your week treats you well!  Looking forward for anything specific in the upcoming patch(es)?  I think I’ll go ahead and predict that the first swarm of Silverfish the Misses sees will cause her to hysterically freak out.  Well, it’ll be hysterical for me to watch, anyway XD

Minecraft Monday: A Week of Notch’s Tweets After PAX Prime

Seems like this week took awhile to get through, but maybe it was just us ^_^  Notch has fired off quite a few updates on twitter that I thought were interesting so I’ve bunched em together in a nice bundle and thought I’d present them to yall like a Christmas ham.

Minecraft News

In no particular order, here are the series of 1.8 and 1.9 patch-related tweets Notch has put out just the past few days:

“Today I cleaned up sprinting (it’s infinite now, but drains lots of food. Jumping is boosted) and added the player list in multiplayer. (source)”  A small caveat of this change, however: “Strangely, running into a cactus refreshes the food bar. I assume @jeb_ added some debug code. (source)”

“I spent most of today tweaking stuff for 1.8. You can bind any action to a mouse button now, or to a keyboard key. Really helps trackpads. (source)”

This one didn’t have anything innately linked to Minecraft, but made me laugh a lot because I think we have all been there at one point: “Whenever I drop something expensive, my first reaction seems to be to hulk smash it mid-air so it hits the ground even harder. (source)

Anyone who watched the PAX footage we linked to will notice how one village was almost completely submerged by a river in Part 1 of the livestream.  While that would look cool as a simplistic depiction of Venice, when NPCs need to walk around and trade and all that in it, odds are something will go wrong.  Plus it looked really bad >.<  So Notch fixed it! “Fixed the biome code so villages only spawn on flat areas. Nice. (source)”

The other day Notch posted a few pictures, we linked the ones showing pigs with actual dimensional snouts now, as well as that chests physically open their lid when in use, but the one that seemed to get the most attention was his picture of a Swamp Biome.  Mostly because it didn’t look like a swamp biome XD  Earlier in the week he posted a really cool picture of vines coming off a floating chunk of dirt that reminded me of Nagrand back in Burning Crusade.  He took that code and applied it to trees, but didn’t change anything else.  That’s not a swamp, that’s a frizzy tree that needs to lather up with some conditioner.

After getting swamped with suggestions, Notch said something very interesting: “I love all your biome ideas! :D There’s no time to finish them for 1.8, but I’ll do as much as I can for 1.9. (source)”  Oooo!  So, that implies 1.8 will be out soon then, right?  I mean, if there is not time to add them all to 1.8, 1.8 should be just around the corner, eh?  I hope everything we have seen so far is going in the first patch with completely new stuff going in 1.9.  If not, it will be a nasty tease to all those drooling over the changes.

More good news in terms of a patch looming on the horizon was the admission of new lighting code being added: “Committing new light update code. It’s quite a bit more stable, so far. (source)”  “Committing” is a pretty strong word, so there’s some good news.

In quite a mysterious post, Notch said he was starting a new secret project titled “Rex Kwon Do” (source).  No idea what that is about, hope we get to find out soon though.  Dinosaur karate game, maybe?

Finally, he linked to a youtube video showing the Minecraft Paint Mod in action.

Personally I think you should be able to paint in squares instead of diamond-shapes from the get-go to make it a great deal easier to use, but I didn’t code it so whatever :P

There’s your Twitter Update!  Quite a busy guy this week, wasn’t he?  Here’s hoping the patch will be out soon!

Have a great day, everyone!  I had an idea of a way to pass some fun time before 1.8 actually drops which I might post tomorrow.  Still deciding the details XD

Minecraft Monday – PAX Prime Is Over… I Can Has Patch 1.8 Nao?

It came and went.  But man was that a buncha news in a short amount of time!  I kinda feel spoiled, actually.  I mean, I summed up the two livestream videos they posted and mainly the first one gave me pretty much all the information they handed out the rest of the time there.  And that video was recorded before it even officially opened doors.  I’m glad for the information, I just was hoping for a bit more juicy bits to come down the line.  Luckily Ben found an IGN video with just enough new stuff in it to tide over my anxiousness for 1.8 to finally be patched in.

There is some great info in that video.  Notch mentioned the night will be much brighter than it currently is and even to help older monitors like the one I have, there will be a ‘dimmer switch’ of sorts that allows you to raise or lower the gamma and brighten up the place to your liking.

More footage of the click-to-charge bow and that it can even crit which is nice.  As he killed things they dropped plenty of xp spheres which leveled him up and granted him three skill points per Ding.  There is nothing to spend them on, but there will be.  (Likely the combat upgrades I mentioned a bit ago.)

Some new combat mechanics I was not aware of is that if you attack while nearing the ground after a jump, that attack will always crit.  He used it on some cows, but the point was made.  (Poor cows!) He also showed off how far you can punt people with the dash attack, which was a pretty sizeable distance.

He also mentioned that the patch is likely going to be split in twain and released in two segments as it is getting too big for a single update.  The things we saw will likely be in 1.8 which Notch said will likely arrive in “a few weeks.”  Note he said a few and not one or more, so we are looking at the very least, two weeks before it goes live.

One thing for the Creation-minded folk out there is that he quickly scrolled through the items available to place when you are playing around in Creative Mode.  Most of the stuff looked familiar, but I took a few screen shots and pasted them into a glob for you to take a gander’.

Minecraft 1.8 - PAX Prime Creative Mode Inventory Items!

In the first section you can see new half blocks.  Likely sand stone (though it looks very much like sand) brick, and even a half block of that new gray stone brick that ruins or strongholds seem to be made of.  (Picture to compare if ya like.)  These look nice, and I’ve been wanting new half stone blocks for a while now.

The second section shows new stairs as well!  Brick, cobblestone, and possible that new gray stone brick stuff.  Kinda hard to make out even though it was a high quality recording.

The final section is the most exciting because it deals with food!  (My Chicago roots are showin’ don-cha-know!) Apparently the new ‘melon’ we can grow will actually be watermelon!  (I wasn’t sure if it would be honeydew or even cantaloupe when he first mentioned it, but now we know.)  Also you can see the new beef and chicken, as well as rotten flesh which zombies now drop instead of feathers.  (It looks like beef jerky next to the records.)  What I’m curious about though is the white and black fleckles beside the watermelon and meat.  New seeds?  Chocolate chips?  Perhaps the new items that you can add to your tools and make them stronger Jeb mentioned?  I dunno, but it intrigues me  ^_^

Quite the news well for most games out there, and Minecraft was not a disappointment in the slightest.  Seeing still images is one thing, but watching it ‘come alive’ in video and seeing the landscape from different view points really shows how the game is changing for the better.  I can’t wait to get in and charge around and spend skill points and all that with 1.8 or even 1.9 drops.  I’d like to explore the new biomes but even check out the NPC villages.  (The town well and blacksmith, in particular.) I’m still waiting to fight through a stronghold mingled with a ravine, but I’mma have to wait a bit longer.

How about you guys?  Anything you can’t wait to try out?  The improved and integrated Creative Mode got your interest?  Or maybe the vast new content for adventuring is more your style?

When Worlds Collide…

Last Minecraft Monday I posted about how awesome it was to see Notch not only mention, but darn right support Quake 3 and it’s greatness.  Imagine my surprise when checking his twitter feed today to see the one and only David Jaffe having a short convo with the Notch-man! (I’ll link to it, but there’s a big ol’ TMI warning in effect.  Let’s just say the next person to respond said “Can’t unsee!”

Since I got the post all situated, here’s some random findings about the games I’ve found out tonight:

Twisted Metal

  • Twisted Metal will apparently have a demo before launch.
  • Rated games might be region locked, unranked are not.
  • Twister will not be in this TM.  Maybe DLC, sayth The Jaffe.
  • When you level up online, you unlock new ‘items’.  Everything has a pro and a con, and they are sure not to make anything imbalanced so high levels will not innately dominate low levels, etc.

Minecraft

  • After 1.8 comes 1.9 and 1.10, not 2.0.  (Random factoid I suppose)
  • Notch will give his hat away, but promises to buy a new one, hah.
  • The demo of patch 1.8 will apparently be quite flat by comparison to how Notch had planned it.  It is a temporary work around to allow NPC villages to look good and saves time.  (Make that the first proposed thing they need to change before 1.8 goes live for the rest of us!)
  • Notch is stressed out about making the deadline and is keeping quite to avoid upsetting fans.   He wishes not to make promises that might not materialize in time, and since the press is going to be doing all the hands-on, I can see why he wouldn’t want to bother ‘those’ guys XD

As I originally planned on just making the post about the funny collision of my gaming worlds, I didn’t copy/paste all these tweets before hand so I’d have to do quite a lot of digging and checking to make sure I got the links in the right order, so let’s just trust my findings without factual linkage this once, mmm’kay?  All of them were posted before August 24th, in case you *really* want to fact check for an essay or something.  Yay random google hits!  In that case, good luck on that essay, Mr. Essay Writer From the Future!

Minecraft Cake – For Realies!

Hey guys n’ gals!  You might have noticed that yesterday the lovely kaozz of the ECTmmo blog got the free gift we sent her via the knit it forward post a few months back.  You might have also noticed that her cats went nuts over it, because we stuffed these bad boys with catnip, baby!  Everybody loves them some cake, kittehs are no exception!

Just wanted to let ya know that we threw one of these up on our Etsy store, so if you have a cutey kitty that totally deserves to be spoiled, you know where to find one of these for your very own furry companion :D

While you are there, be sure to give Kaozz’s Etsy shop a look-see as well!  She’s got a lot of nifty graphical options for all your imaging needs.  To summarize: the lass is a Photoshop wizard.  If she was in Salem a few hundred years ago and they saw what she can do with a pixel, she’d be running away from a zippo is all I’m sayin’.

Minecraft News

Might as well round it off with something new I just found from the ol’ Notchster’s tweets!  The combat one sounds awesome, but both are interesting.

I’ve spent a day and a half trying to make town borders look good, and I’m getting very sick of it. Back to combat tweaking for a while! (source)

Town borders, he says? Like fences?  Curious…

Hitting a mob while rushing now sends them flying. It’s satisfying, and I’m giggling a bit. (source)

Now that sounds epic.  I keep flashing back to the Stronghold with a ravine going through it and thinking how cool it would be to duke it out with a mob army in there.  Being able to punt an enemy off a ledge and down to his demise is nearing the top of my list of things I cannot wait to do once 1.8 goes live.

Have a great day, all!

Minecraft: Adventure Update… Update!

This is kinda weird!  I checked out Notch’s blog just a few days ago and somehow got the info from an old post and his newest, but missed out in the middle!  Notch posted a big teaser about the Minecraft Adventure Update, or Patch 1.8.  He’re a link to the post directly, but here’s the Cliff’s Notes version.

The Adventure pack will have:

  • “NPC villages
  • Randomly generated dungeons
  • New biome code
  • Fully working Creative Mode (and individual admins can enter Creative Mode on a Survival Mode server if they choose)
  • Critical hits
  • Sprinting
  • More farming options”
  • More Content – More things to do, explore, and better combat
  • Patch 1.8 will be the last big update before Minecraft’s release in November, barring a few minor patches to fix any last-minute bugs
  • Modding API is in the works for modders to mod

As they plan on this being the last huge update before release, I’m guessing this will be out at the end of October, but they cannot say and specific date at this time.  All-in-all, excellent list so far, and that isn’t even the big stuff that they are hiding.  I’m really hoping for more in-depth farming stuff, as wheat is okay… but I’d like more options.

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