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Minecraft Monday: The Mystery of the Block

Well ‘ello, ‘ello!  Mondays always seem to sneak up on me XD  Hows about we get right to it then?

Minecraft News

Busy, busy week for Notch!  After a whole bunch of bugfixes, he needed to fix other bugs that the whole process caused in the first place.  Poor guy.  The biggest news currently is one more batch of bugfixes this week, then a long while of a wait for patch 1.7. 

Adventure Mode

Adventure mode is something Notch wanted to do for a while now, and is basically going to be entirely for people who like to… well.. adventure ^_^  The mode is all about going out and slaying baddies, completely opposite of building.  In fact, unless he has changed his mind, you will not be able to place or destroy any type of block in Adventure mode at all.  It’ll just be you going through dungeons and hazards and trying to make it out alive.  Sorta like a Medieval Doom or something :D

This leads to interesting situations. 

  • How do you get weapons and armor? 
  • Are they just given to you at the start? 
  • Do they not break at all, then? 
  • There are chests in the game, will you be granted rewards for completing the dungeon, and if so what? 
  • Will it be completed diamond gear? (As we cannot craft) 
  • Will you be locked into a never-ending challenge area?  (If you can just ‘go around’ the mammoth mountain and skip to the end, you could easily loot the place without doing any of the actual work for it.  Which now makes me wonder…
  • After completing the dungeon, will you have to go alllll the way back out the way you came in?
  • Will there be a key-system in place to prevent looting shenanigans?

But that’s going to be awhile from now.  Easily a month or two.  E3 is coming up and then they got the mobile Minecraft version to be unveiled and all that.  Busy busy!

Mystery of the Block

Since 1.5 came out, the look of my inventory has bothered me.  I run the default textures, but you all might have noticed a slight difference as well.  So, I dug up the files and tinkered a bit to see why things are going on as they are.  I think I may have some results.

The first step was to edit the right file.  And finding that file was deceptively obvious (it is the only one NOT in a certain folder, gah!) so I changed the few that I knew looked off into rather jarring color stripes.

Minecraft Single Player: Texture Editing
This is science is progress, folks. Beautifully hideous science.

The problem wasn’t really with the 3d blocks though, as you can see everything maintains the stripe look, minus distant ones but that is to be expected with a pattern like this.  No, the problems weren’t with the placed blocks, but when you hold the blocks in your inventory.  Specifically dirt, cobble, and wooden planks.  Here is a screen shot I blow’d up to show you what I mean.

On the left is the stripe test look.  In the middle is the post-1.5 patch look, and on the right is the original look.  The cobble is still cobble, but the lighting is different and the pattern looks messy.  In the original, the top is brighter than either side planes, while in the new version almost all sides are evenly lit.  (Admittedly the sides are barely a shade darker than the top, but compared to the original look it is worlds apart.  Furthermore, I have an aging/darkening monitor as well, so the changes should be even less apparent to most others.  End point: He tampered with something to cause this change.)  YesI know dissecting a virtual block is a bit nutty, but we like to continually earn our Encrazed title, ah-thank-you.

The reason my stripe block is up there at all is to see how the image gets scrunched up.  If you look closely, not all stripes are intact.  Quite a few merge together. I cannot compare this to a previous version to see how that may have changed things, but I will say, staring at the image file these are based on, the textures in question did not change between patches.  At all.  This suggests a coding change somewhere, and that I do not wish to tangle with.

New Textures

A spiffy thing I just noticed was this nestled in the same texture file as the dirt and that:


These are the dead (Desert biome) and alive (I guess anywhere else ^_^) versions of the new shrub thang’ he added.  Haven’t spent too much time in new chunks to see these in action, but I will say that the tall grass is working so, in theory, these should be as well.  Oh, and the reason that one on the right is gray is because the game should take in the current surroundings and make it more vibrant green or muddy brown depending on the locale.

That’s it for this week, let’s see if E3 adds anything new to the table!  Last time Notch went to a place like that, we got Wolves!  I doubt we’ll get something that big, but still, couldn’t hurt to hope a lil’, right? ^_^

Minecraft Monday: Rain N’ Thunderstorm Tips N’ Tricks

Was going to start off with a bit of a News Update in terms of Minecraft via Notch’s tumblr, but nadda!  Hasn’t updated it in nearly a week! … Not like I can throw any stones from my glass house for that very reason or anything XD

I do have some random tips for you guys today, though!  Figured this out recently and thought you’d might like to know in case you did not already.


Rain is a trickster, through and through.  It hampers a lot in minor ways and really is darned mischievous!  For example, you are working off in the distance, maybe collecting wood or snow or flowers or wolves, something far away that is keeping you busy.  As you are well aware, nightfall is not the best time to be wondering, so you want to get back before then.  You glance up at the sky, and there is no sun to gauge when to head back.

No sun!  No pixely pad o’ butter in the sky to be found at all!  While this makes a watch more convenient, it makes everything else more inconvenient haha  This also can have some surprising consequences…

Say you are hiding underground because Mr. Watch told you it was the dead of night, so you are toiling away mining or organising, etc.  The clock shows it is just about daybreak so you head topside for a gander.  Tis rainin’!  Oh wells, no big deal!  At least the mobs stopped spawning and pretty soon they will start burning…

…anytime now…

Mobs do not burn during the day when it is raining >.<  Either due to the darker skies or being pelted with drops of water, the end result is that those buggers are there to stay.  And rain can last a long time in Minecraft, sometimes pausing for a day, then going right back on for another long stretch of time.


So rain not only blocks out the sun, making navigation and time-guesstimation difficult, but it also prevents mobs from dying off in the morning.  Thunderstorms up the ante a notch.  Thunderstorms are the same as rain, except lighting starts to go off and the skies get a lot darker.  While this might not seem too bad, as it gets far darker during the night, it seems that Mr. Notch added the ability for mobs to SPAWN within the clouded areas affected by said thunderstorm.

Well isn’t that just peachy?!  And those suckers can form with no warning at ALL.  You could be back in the example above, far stretch away from your base collecting stuffs when *poof*.  Thunderstorm.  Rain, lightning, and now twenty mobs dropping on you, apparently riding the massive droplets falling down from above.  And those zombies do not appear to be Vegan in the slightest.



I keed’, I keed’.  There are a few ways around rain, which I wish registered in my brain sooner than it did.  For starters, as soon as night falls jump in that bed of yours!  (Thunderstorms are dark enough to allow you to sleep no matter what time of day it is, by the way!) Not only will it clock over to day, but it will also wipe out any bit of weather you were having.  That’s one mighty creation of wooden planks an wool ya got thar’!

Minecraft: Shine to the Almighty Bed

Heed the scrallings from the wallings. The Bed speaks with wisdom beyond its years.

If you play more defensively, or build on your land more than you explore, sleeping through it will likely be your best option.  In fact, tighten up those defenses (just in case) and it should hardly affect you at all.  But for you adventurin’ types out there, ya need to plan ahead!  Bring a bed along with you, possibly a watch, and preferably at least one wolf at your side (I like three, myself). 

The bed allows you to sleep through the nasty, the watch will let you know how long you have to get back to base should the sun be blocked out, and the wolves will guard you.  Unless you let them fall off high surfaces.  Then they can’t.  ‘Cuz they’d be dead.  Undead wolves for the Halloween Update this year?  I got my fingers crossed!

Rain supposedly makes things grow a lot faster as well, but I can’t say I’ve noticed as my timing on growing things and rain hasn’t been in sync thus far.  It does put out fires and causes lava blocks to sizzle, but not turn to cobble.  Just sizzle a lot.  To the point Indiana Jones would probably start to freak out.

Some Minecraft here-say is that if lightning strikes a pig it turns into a pig man a la Nether mob, and if it strikes a Creeper its explosion will be much more massive than normal.  Does this mean a bigger TNT may be added in the future (as some mods have done already)?  Time will tell.

Enjoy the weather, me hearties!  Wonder if some leather and sticks could make an umbrella…

Minecraft 1.4 – Live

To avoid any chance of the following: “OMG!  THE WORLD IS CRAAAZY!  WHAT IS GOING ON?! What do you MEAN my world save is CORRUPTED?!”

Be sure to take off any mods you have on, generally done so by replacing the minecraft.jar file where you got it from when you had to install the mod in the first place.  Do this BEFORE you load up any world saves if you are running mods, or you risk losing all the hard work you put into it.  (This is about mods, mind you. Not texture packs, those are fine no matter what, though new textures may be invisible and cause chunk error-like glitches on the spaces they take up.)

Now that that’s out of the way, they added mostly behind-the-scenes stuff to set the way for Achievement like things and stats. Which will be nifty to know how many blocks we destroy and what not while mining. Wonder if it will keep track of how many times a Creeper KO’d us…

The full list of changes is here at Notch’s blog, along with the addition of a tamable wolf pet/pack (depending on how many you tame at once).  Hopefully your time trying to figure out how to tame one will go as… I’ll say “humorously” as when the Misses tried taming a few.  While typing this I have heard “Oh, it’s a PUPPY!” about five times, random cursing to the skies as to why the taming process wasn’t working, then got slapped when I suggested she left click the wolf while carrying a bit of bacon. 

Apparently wolves do not like treats punched into their foreheads. 

If you thought night time glowy spiders looked unsettling… just tick off a wolf.  She’s got it tamed now, but the process was quite entertaining to watch.

“I need a bone?  I don’t have any bo… oh I left some in my base.” 

“Ok, I got the bones and now I’ll try to…  To…  They despawned :(”

 “Left click one?  Wouldn’t that… they are biting me!


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