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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 1.8: Thoughts on the Hunger Meter n’ Food

I’ve been tinkering with the 1.8 patch for a few days now and gotten quite used to the current setup.  It took some getting used to and I had a few knee-jerk reactions, so I kept playing as the game is quite fun, but also to allow me enough time to build up some info to figure out just what I think about the new-fangled hunger bar.

The Good

I like how it refills your health over time.  It adds subtle strategy to the game, as it does not refresh fast enough to survive a beating, but at the same time it takes a lot of minor “oh crap!” moments off the table.  (And while that may sound minor to the bolder adventurers out there, try lighting an never-ending cavern.  When you get to a fork with three or more entrances at once on different vertical locations, lemme know if you don’t fear a “Ssss…” ’round every turn. Did I mention the Creeper explosion does a lot more damage now?)  It provides a helpful boost without being heavy-handed.  If you mess up, the game will curb it for you naturally.  Misjudge a jump and lose a few hearts?  Break a sword in the middle of a fight with a spider?  Swear you didn’t think the water was that deep? Keep the hunger meter full and those aren’t even minor bumps in the road.

The Not So Good

The problem with the hunger meter is that it is quite demanding, especially on new maps.  The Misses and I started out new save like a week or so ago, knowing full well 1.9 will likely change it all and we’ll have to start fresh again.  Just setting up a base takes time, but now to juggle a hunger bar on top of that is pretty harsh for a fresh new landscape.  Sometimes it can take the entire first day to harvest enough wood and find a space to make camp, let alone the hunger costs associated with it.  In the end we built a sturdy base and ignored the hunger all together.  We would harvest some crops but not eat them as why fill the entire hunger bar when only a full bar would help anyway?  We’d jump into a mineshaft and respawn with a hull health and hunger and hoof it back to base just to avoid the annoyance in the first place.

My main concern is that for ten icons, only five actually matter:  the first two and the last three.  The middle ones are just filler and a waste of space.  If you have more than two hearts not filled, you no longer regain hp.  If you have three or less you cannot sprint.  The ‘middle’ five are pointless and only serve to stretch out the time it takes to lose health from being hungry.  Why not allow half a bar to regen your health (10-6), 5 and 4 do nothing as they currently do not, and the last three stay as is with the ‘no running’ rule in place.  This would be a lot more useful, especially with the change to how animals will stay dead unless you breed them in 1.9 or 1.10. (And to breed them takes, of all things, more food!)

…The Rage

The Hardcore mode/option just compounds this further.  I try to play all games as if it were hardcore.  The ‘rules’ are simple: Do not die.  (Bioshock did a doozy on my mental state because of this unspoken rule, I tell you what ^_^)  If I wanted to play hardcore mode that resets your world save every time you die, how would that even work?  If you kill animals they don’t come back, so going on a rampage will help you at first but hurt you in the end.  Grow wheat?  That takes *days* to get started and ends up with you staring at the same four walls, hoping for a crop to pop to eat before you starve and get dangerously close to death at all times.  Eating mushroom stew is about the only option I can think of, and you’d have to be extremely lucky to find any to make a snack out of to begin with, let alone the first day.

I know Notch is actually adding a ‘mushroom biome’ or ‘dirt biome’ in 1.9, but that does not help out right now.  Not to mention the combat upgrades are not in right now, and the xp we get isn’t doing anything but being dropped and picked up by someone else.  I am sure these new abilities will help out a great deal, but again, we do not have these right now, making starting experiences in a foreign landscape a huge step up in difficulty than in the past.  We were given new challenges without the proper tools to combat them, and while I appreciate the constant updates, I think they should have just lumped 1.8 and 1.9 together.

Zee Future

Notch made a comment on his blog that they plan on pretty much finishing the game in the next twenty days.  From October 18th and on they only wish to bug fix, polish, and optimize to make sure the game is spotless before the release a month later.  After that they go back into adding new stuff, but they want “to make sure the release will be as good as possible.”

Minecraft 1.9 Pre-Release Available! Talk of the Adventure Patch 1.10, and a New Friendly Snow Biome Mob!

Well color me all sorts of surprised.  I thought it would be weeks before another update, and already Team Mojang has released Minecraft Beta 1.9 Pre-Release as well as mentioned there will be another patch before November, 1.10!

We’ll do a 1.9 pre-release today, and a full release after feedback. More Adventure Mode content will come in 1.10, we’re splitting it up! (source)

Shortly after, lead programmer o’ Minecraft Jeb posted the link!

Minecraft Beta 1.9 prerelease can be found here, http://assets.minecraft.net/1_9-pre/minecraft.jar (server jar also available) (source)

According to Notch, they are doing another push to get the content out before November, but hearing about splitting the content into yet another patch is surprising.  NPC Villages will have villagers in 1.9, but they won’t do much. (source) Also, possibly the goofiest of news, Notch revealed a new mob, the Snow Golem!

Currently it has been stated that the mobs will be friendly and craftable by the player! (I’m predicting the recipe to be three blocks of snow, two sticks, and some coal ^_^) Currently they will follow you around, spreading snow where ever they go, but will melt in warmer biomes.  They also can throw snowballs, but since snowballs do not actually do any damage, it just annoys other hostile mobs and becomes a bit of a ranged meat shield.  Perhaps we can heal them with snowballs like how we can heal wolves with food?

On the more daring Adventuring side of things, Jeb has been hard at work adding more stuffs to The Nether!  Two new hostile mobs are on the way for that zone, with one being a re-texture attempt.  Add in the new bridges or ruins or whatever they are that he added just the other day and the Nether is finally getting some life back into it!

Two other random tidbits I found were that Endermen are apparently no longer going to be able to move blocks. (source)  If they still can in the future, it will be extremely limited.   Also, the mushroom cow I posted a link to yesterday is going to be called a “Mooshroom.”  Ha!

So that’s all we know for now, but sheesh!  This is just the Pre-release and it’s like four hours old!  Can’t wait to see what they add before it becomes an official Adventure patch XD

Minecraft Adventure Update: Patch 1.8 Offically Launched!

I was checking out Notch’s tweets and by golly they finally released patch 1.8!  I knew it would be before Friday, but it still kinda caught me off guard XD

My ol’ bug of the blog Ben was kind enough to list the patch changes over at his blog if you’d like to kindly peruse that info as you wait in line to download the patch, feel free.  …As when I just tried to login the servers were down.  Whole lotta people wanting a few months for this would logically conclude with ‘sploded servers.  Good news is their server guy is working the night shift to make sure it gets back up and running.

So rejoice!  The first half of the Adventure Update is good to go!  No more pre-realease shenanigans and copy/pasting this file here or there.  Just load up the game and servers willing, you’ll automatically get patch 1.8 installed without lifting a finger.  Oh, and be sure to turn off any mods before hand!  No need to cause world-breaking bugs from the get-go haha  In the excitement I can already feel others forgot to do so, and while the odds are low of damages occurring, I’d like to avoid anything losing their hard-earned work.

Have a great time everyone!  And now the wait for patch 1.9 begins ^_^

Minecraft Monday: It’s September 12th. Do You Know Where Your Adventure Patch 1.8 Is?

Minecraft News

“When is patch 1.8 coming out?”

Flyin’ spaghetti monsters has that been a popular question the past few days!  Unfortunately the release will not come out today, September 12th.  From what I’ve read directly from the developers at Mojang, they plan on fixing the bugs in the pre-release first.  At that point it will be an official 1.8 patch and they’ll fully release it for all once it gets to that polished point.  Until then you either have to wait, or try the buggy pre-release they ‘leaked’ over the weekend.  (It is quite buggy and lag is ever-present, I’d recommend yall wait for the real and fully optimised patch instead of the pre-release, but feel free to take a stab at it if you’d like.)

Minecraft Beta 1.8 Pre-Release ‘Leaked’

Not so much a leak, but a red herring mixed with a scape goat haha  We think SlienK summed it up well on our previous post as to this whole situation:

I believe thats why jens Pre released it also, 1. to cover his backside because he promised a 8th release, 2.because there was way more bugs and probs with it than what they first anticipated so its their way of getting other people to find the bugs for them

-SlienK

There has been no official word on the leak other than one of Notch’s tweets casually winking its sudden existence, and another stating “it wasn’t intentional”(source). Jeb shared the casual nature of this ‘leak’, stating he felt much more at ease as the hardcore fans that wanted the update could play the pre-release and it took a great deal of stress off of his back.  While that is good to hear and we all know a lot of work went into patch 1.8… we still want to play an official and bug-free version! XD

Where Patch 1.8 Stands Right Now

Currently it is still in limbo.  Jeb came right out with it, stating “the current status of 1.8 is that I’m trying to fix the reported bugs of pre-1.8. It’s hard to say how long time this will take” (source) following that up with “Got a lot of work done today, but not enough for release. (source)”  Just about an hour ago he added what we all were expecting but hoping to avoid, that “There wont be an update today, but tomorrow I will *at least* update the prerelease (source)”

So while he squashed a lot of bugs today, it will not be updated by tonight.  Tomorrow he will update the 1.8 pre-release, if not the whole adventure patch to date, which is wonderful news.

What’s In, and What’s Out

Currently there are strongholds, ravines, rivers, swamps and swamp biomes, as well as npc villages near a brand new world’s spawn point.  Two new mobs, Endermen and silver fish.  Pigs have actual snouts, chests open and close when you use them.  You can now charge up a shot with your bow to deal more damage and shoot it further.  Sprinting, new food options along with a hunger and experience bar are all present.  You’ll be able to farm watermelons and pumpkins as well!

What is not included, and likely to be polished off in 1.9 is all the combat changes including the ability to spend those experience points/spheres, animal breeding (as they will no longer randomly respawn like they have since Alpha), and those villages will have NPCs actually living in them.  Jeb mentioned that at first only one stronghold will exist, but he’s adding the possibility of two more to the up-coming 1.8 patch, and making them infinitely possible to exist in 1.9 and beyond.

Here is a video Notch linked to showing off most of the changes planned for this patch, in case you wanted a glimpse at the near future.  Note, this is beyond packed solid of spoilers, so if there is something you wanted to see and figure out on your own (like Endermen), don’t click it and just wait a few more days.  There’s your spoiler warning, carry on as ye see fit ^_^

That’s all we know for now, so stay patient my friends!  The patch is extremely close!  I’d say it is fairly certain we will see it arrive before Friday now that Notch is currently off of the Rex Kwon Do project and back to helping program Minecraft again.

What parts of 1.8 and 1.9 are you all most excited about?

Minecraft Patch 1.8 Release Date Pushed Back to September 12th

Things are heating up over at Team Mojang!  Notch has been busy working on a new secret game currently known as “the Rex Kwon Do Project” and has left fellow coder Jeb in charge of getting Minecraft patch 1.8 out on time.  Apparently September 8th was the initial target date for 1.8, and Jeb said a few days ago he was too busy for that to happen.

Just today on twitter Jeb said that “the new ‘good guess’ for a Beta 1.8 release date is 12th of September (this monday)” (source)  Seemingly to keep on track with that new date, Jeb also mentioned that “Notch has taken a break from the secret project to help me with 1.8, he’s currently talking sarcastically to the monitor.” (source)

This information was validated when Notch admitted on his twitter feed that he “did spend some time on 1.8 today, specifically with the lighting code.” He did have one other important bit of info to say: “I do not know when @jeb is planning to release it or how.” (source)  Not only does this prove that Notch really did hand off the Minecraft coding to Jeb, but that even he doesn’t know when 1.8 is going live.

Our current official and confirmed most-likely scenario is SEPTEMBER 12th!  This is only four days behind the previous release date, so even if they have to delay it again, it should still be out before the end of next week!

Before yall go, one big warning to all Minecraft fans:  They are planning on making mobs like cows and pigs stay dead once they are killed due to a new animal breeding and farming mechanic.  This mechanic, as far as I know, is going live in patch 1.9, the second part of the adventure update.  If they still keep the ‘animals stay dead’ bit in the adventure patch, be sure to stock up on leather, porkchops, and feathers if you will be needing them in the near future!

One would hope Notch would not let such a hampered addition to animals go in without a way to balance those numbers out, but long-time fans know how crazy things got last time a big change was added to the game back in October.  I STILL don’t play my first world save due to all those nightmares…

-Update- Currently, the afternoon of September 12th, Jeb has announced the patch might be up tomorrow.  We wrote a whole post about it right here with what is currently in an out of 1.8, and what will have to wait for 1.9.

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

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