It’s that time of the year again, when then angels sing a heavenly chorus, children scream with joy and modders tear their hair out trying to get their mods to function again – that’s right, a new Minecraft update has been released, sporting the predictable title of beta 1.7 (or 1.7.2 if you want to be more specific.)
This long awaited update was originally a branch of the impending “Adventure Update” – now set to be 1.8 – but the community, in our infinite impatience, requested this smaller update to keep our collective lust for new and shiny things quelled until the bigger update arrives. Check out the official trailer for 1.7 below, made by the fantastic Hat Films team.
(Make sure you check out their “behind the scenes” video they made to compliment the trailer. It’s pretty impressive what you can do with these new tools!)
The main focus of 1.7 was to implement the new piston block – a device used to move other blocks around. With it, Jens added the sticky piston, which allows the player to both push and pull blocks in different ways, as seen in the video above. Less than a week since 1.7′s release, people are already using the pistons in ingenious ways. Don’t believe me? Well check out these two fitting examples of utalising Minecrafts newest tool.
Minecraft : Infinite Cannon Loop
Nyan Cat – Minecraft Pistons – MCWB
…I can’t think of a single better use for the piston. (Unless you use that first device on the second.)
Another useful addition to the game are shears - a tool used to gather wool from sheep, as they no longer drop wool through punching, as well as harvesting leaves, meaning you can now create bushes and foliage around your humble abode. Using the shears on cobwebs will create string, but spiders still don’t produce cobwebs – another rumored addition to 1.8.
Other helpful additions were included in 1.7 to make general Minecrafting like easier. Two examples of this would be how fences can now be stacked with ease and TNT can only be detonated with redstone or fire. But don’t just take my word for it, Paul Soares Jr has already started making videos showcasing the new features.
A full list of the 1.7.2 update can be found in the spoiler tags below, courtesy of the MinecraftWiki.
- Added pistons.
- Fixed clay generation (?)
- Fire or redstone is now required to trigger TNT.
- Fences can be stacked.
- Added Shears.
- Redstone wire now will connect to a repeater
- Shears can be used to pick up leaf blocks.
- Shears can be used to shear sheep without hurting them.
- Sheep no longer drop wool from being punched, only from being killed when they are unsheared.
- New textures for Cobblestone and Brick blocks.
- Silverfish skin was added (possibly for Beta 1.8).
- When pressing F3 in-game, a value from 0 to 3 will appear to indicate direction.
- The gray textures in the breaking animation have been replaced with opacity.
- Spawn rate of Squids increased.
- Single slabs now use the bottom half of the full block’s texture.
- Cobweb now requires shears or a sword to be broken properly, and drops 1 string when destroyed.
- The bed side texture has been moved in the texture pack file, as well as the cake texture.
- Weather seems to be more common (?)
- Pushing leaves, water, lava, levers, tall grass, flowers, mushrooms, saplings, dead shrubs and sugar canes with a piston causes the game to crash. In SMP the server crashes and restarting it doesn’t necessarily fix the problem.
- Right clicking sheep while holding nothing causes the game to crash.
- When placing a block, it may be placed invisible, with only its border showing up. The same may happen when removing block, only its ghost will stay. Both these bugs result in crash.
- Fixed piston bug. Blocks that used to make the game crash in 1.7 now just get removed by the piston.
- Fixed right clicking on a sheep empty-handed causing game to crash.
- Worlds crashed are now loadable again.
- If a piston is activated and it disrupts a redstone wire, torch, repeater, pressure plate or any other block providing power and doing so will cut power to the piston in the same tick, the game will crash and become unloadable. Using any map editor to remove the offending blocks and entities will make the map loadable again.
- When crushed by pistons (or what they’re moving) or when inside while it contracts, the player will be moved out of the way or into impossible places, on SMP this usually throws a “Player moved wrongly!” warning.
- In rare cases, when redstone travels semi-long distances (almost 15 blocks), the current won’t go through all the redstone, even with a repeater just before the end of the signal. Whether this is due to redstone errors or inter-block interaction errors, it is unknown.
- The door duplication bug is back again, this time happening when a piston pushes on the lower half of a door. If it is a normal piston that does it, then the piston can be destroyed and the bottom half of the door works like a normal door.
- Crashed worlds now work again.
- Disappearing piston fixes.
- Piston machine that duplicates blocks is now fixed.
- Pistons that caused crashing for multiplayer servers fixed.
- When the player opens the inventory while sleeping, the player appears sideways. (When the prior bug was pointing from the camera)
- In SMP, when the player highlights a block the clouds will turn 2-dimensional. When he looks away, they turn back into 3D.
Jens also stated on twitter that he was able to fix the “piston dupe bug”, so there may be a 1.7.3 update this week, depending on whether they can find more bugs to fix to make it worth while. If so, this is likely to be the last update until in infamous 1.8 arrives.
Speaking of 1.8, early last week, Notch updated his blog to explain some of his plans regarding the Adventure Update.
Since 1.8 is still a significant time away, we’re going to have to stop being as secretive about it as we have. We’ll provide information about it as we go, but we’ll keep actual details secret. So, for example, we could say “added two new colors” without saying which ones, or “testing experience and leveling to see if it’s fun” without giving details on exactly how it works.
The update is pretty big, and will change a lot of how Minecraft is played, focusing on making exploration and combat much more rewarding, and bringing in a bigger sense of adventure to the game.
Already implemented are new complex terrain features, at least one new mob, some interesting new combat mechanics, a new lighting engine, and some experimental new gameplay ideas. To come is more interesting farming, bigger incentives to explore, and npc villages.
These images appear to be showing off an NPC village and some ruins, with what appears to be some giant mushrooms to boot, meaning there are at least 6 new blocks created so far.
Happy 4th of July all you Americans out there! Being British, I have a very vague concept of Independence day. I think its something about drinking alcohol and setting off fireworks, but that’s pretty much the extent of my American-based-holiday knowledge. Either way, I was on the look out for appropriate videos for such an occasion and, as you would expect, I wasn’t disappointed.
I think its safe to assume this video summed up most of your 4th of July experiences (minus the alcohol and alien invasions).
This has been a pretty information-heavy edition of Minecraft Monday, so I don’t want to keep you here much longer (especially since this is your day of Independence in which you independently do things on your own… or something) so I’ll leave you with one final video. As regular readers are well aware, I was quite the fan of Paul Soares Jr’s Man vs Minecraft series. It took risks by delivering a Let’s Play with strict rules of survival, adding a refreshing role-playing element. The season finale had Paul crash-land on a new island – this time forced to fight off werewolves and other such nasties in the Mo’ Creatures mod.
The live-action footage was a bold move to take, one which I personally believe worked to the videos advantage – it manages to add to the experience, without over staying its welcome. That said, episode 2 featured no live-action footage and in honesty, it wasn’t sorely missed. Paul has mentioned on twitter that it took a lot of work to implement, so he may not continue doing it, unless it’s something the fans want to see. I hope to see more of it in the future – perhaps simply dropped in every 2 or 3 episodes, to ensure it doesn’t become tedious or stale.
Subtle changes to the rules have been implemented to keep things more interesting this time around. Paul is able to sleep at points, cutting out a lot of footage in which he simply hides in a shelter. Basic building is also allowed, meaning he can fully explore his surroundings, without having to worry about finding a shelter each night. Exploring is actually actively encouraged this season, as he wants to travel deeper underground, gather the necessarily materials to fix his airplane.
Well, that’s all for this week. Merry Independence Day, everybody! I hope you get all the independence presents you wanted under the Independence Tree (or whatever it is you do today).