Thursday, May 24, 2012

Minecraft Snapshot Week 21

Well, it's out. This lone snapshot seems to have just completely altered how the endgame is played. There are so many awesome changes, some of them being very long awaited indeed.

The Desert Changes

The new snapshot adds in two main changes to the desert biome. First of all, we have a re-skin of desert villages, which are no longer made out of wood and cobblestone, but purely out of different kinds of sandstone blocks. Yes, this is literally a re-skin, with all of the buildings looking the same. Why is this important? Because it adds sandstone stairs!

Also in the desert change list is a new structure: the desert ruin. Inside the ruin (which is shaped like a pyramid using sandstone and orange wool) you will find a room with a little wool pattern in it. Dig below the room, but be careful when doing so!

A New Ore Block

It appears that when digging below y: 16 (unconfirmed), you have a chance to find a new ore block: emerald ore. Yes, the ore block color is currently red. Jeb forgot to change the color, but this isn't anything game-breaking. It must be mined with an iron pickaxe and will only drop one emerald per ore block. It is used to trade with villagers.

Villager Trading

You can now interact with villagers by right-clicking on them. Villagers will always offer trades involving emeralds, whether they offer something for an emerald, or they give an emerald for something. The list of materials they can trade is quite large and includes diamond pickaxes, iron tools (including flint and steel), 8 iron ingots, 3 glowstone, food, books, rotten flesh, and even more that I don't list (note that the amount of emeralds needed will vary for this).

In it's current implementation, trading is not balanced. 8 iron ingots will go for one emerald, but one iron tool will require 3-5 emeralds, for instance. Also, rotten flesh will have a use now (which is something I can be grateful for, as I'm working on my mob spawner). Look for more changes to this in the future, but I'm glad it's finally there.

Ender Chests

This part of the update is actually based on a mod that was created by chicken_bones on the Minecraft Forum. Ender chests are crafted using 8 obsidian instead of 8 wood, but you also have to add an eye of ender to the center of the crafting window. What this nets you is one ender chest, which can only be placed as a single chest, gives off a faint level of light, and acts like an instantaneous transfer device. Each ender chest created and placed will all store the same items that are placed in another ender chest, meaning you can access things from thousands of blocks away (and maybe even from across different dimensions).

I can see this update being really useful in SMP, where it can create an easy trading tool between anyone on the server (provided that you trust them to actually give you the items).

Also, I think I found the item that will replace that ugly water fountain inside of my storage room.

Dispenser Changes

Not content with just adding boats and minecarts to pop out of dispensers, Jeb has now added water and lava to the list of items that can be dispensed. When you place a bucket of water or lava in a dispenser and power the dispenser (you only have to power it for a bit, then it can be unpowered again), a water or lava source block will appear in front of the dispenser. This means we don't need to use piston floodgates anymore to make wheat farms, for instance. I can see this being used for lots of things in the future, and I'm very excited about this change.

Well, that's all I've got for now. I truly can't wait to see what update 1.3 looks like when it's all finished. It will round out the game very well, and I can't wait to play with friends easily on my single player world.

EDIT: I see that I'm getting a lot of pings from Google searches. Since I'm only explaining the major changes that I think will affect the game the most and not posting the entire change log, I'm going to put up a link to the Minecraft Wiki. Always use the Wiki to find these changes. It is always the one that is most up-to-date.

Click Here to see the entire change log in this snapshot.

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