MineCraft Preview on coming Version 1.3

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Finally Mojang is coming with a new update. This was the longest waiting time for a new update ever since. The new update, version 1.3, will include many bugfixes and a list of new features as well as a new game mode

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It will however not include the long awaited mod api. This has been scheduled for the next (1.4) release as a lot of pre-work had to be done, to accomplish that first.

As a first big one, they have removed single player. This does not however mean that you can’t play single player, no it’s a way more technical aspect. Before there was a single player game and a game that could connect to the multiplayer servers. This meant for the developers that they had to bring out two versions of the client. From 1.3 there is only one client, the client that can run with a multiplayer server.
When you start a single player game world, you will simply run a local server on your machine.
The advantage of this is that it is now also possible to co-op on this single player world with friends on your LAN at home.
The possible disadvantage is that a server is run on your local machine, next to the game client, which means that a little CPU capacity will be taken for running both. A performance issue perhaps, but they have further improved the game client so that it can be much faster and more efficient on CPU, GPU, RAM and Java.

Finally there is something more to do with villagers in these random villages that are spawned throughout your world. You will now be able to trade with villagers using Emeralds. Emeralds will drop from Emerald ore blocks that can be mined and found throughout the world (Extreme Hill biomes). Emeralds can also be found in certain temples and will be given by NPCs when you sell something to them. NPC’s in villages will have professions that sell or buy certain things. There will be enchanting, selling and buying. Otherwise unobtainable bottles of enchanting and chainmail armor can be obtained by trading emeralds aswell.

Creative mode will be updated with better categorization of the available items using tabs and a search box. Also it will have added some blocks and items that were previously not included such as monster eggs for silverfish, potions, the layered snowblock and the Ender Portal Frame.

Mining/digging ore that drops something extra (gravel, sand, coal etc) will now also give you xp.
Enchantments has also had an improvement. The maximum level is now 30 and the amount of bookshelves has been increased. The third slot is the most expensive possible enchantment and will appear more often.

Another big addition is the possibility to write into books. Books has had the recipe changed and a new item named “Book and Quill” has been added to make writing books possible. Up to 50 pages can be written per book. Books can be edited by right clicking and temporarily saved with the Done button. Books will be finalized with the Sign button, meaning that text cannot be changed anymore afterwards.

Also a lot of changes have been made to the Multiplayer Server of MineCraft. Many of the changes are bug fixes and improvements for the user, but some are rather interesting, such as:
– Texture pack changes can automatically be downloaded to your client (standard sized sofar).
This means you can have an area that is suited with a specific texture pack and let the client automatically download and change texture pack upon entrance (probably per world).
– Blocks other players are mining are now showing cracks.
Rather handy functionality when you are on a project together. No more “which blocks are you mining?” stories.
– Added hardcore difficulty.
Upon death you are banned from the server
This is a most weird thing, but it is definitely a nice one for if you want to build a world where you, like in Diablo 3 or Torchlight 2, want players to survive in a survive or adventure game and if they die, they are dead. I hope personally that the bukkit version of the server will do more with this.. the problem with this type of functionality is: you have only one character in minecraft, it’s not like you make a character specific for this game. So in that case I hope that the modding community comes up with something like character creation upon entrance and perhaps in combination with RPG progress, such as that when you died, you got to create anew and start over with the progress. Otherwise this had much to do with the hardcore mode for the single player mode ofcourse since we now have only a game client with a server next to it.

Then there are hundreds of updates and fixes to many abilities, sounds, animations and functionality. But there are some new blocks and items that are especially of interest to you:
– Emerald
Like I said before, can be found in Extreme Hill biomes
– Ender Chest
A chest that works like a bank in many games, or the stash in Diablo. You can access this chest through all dimensions and it will contain only your items. So for another player on your server it will display his items only. The items in it will never get destroyed if the chest is gone (or all chests would be gone) and so it can be made accessible by crafting an ender chest again. An ender chest is not affected by explosions.
– Tripwire hook
This is to make traps with a wire. Monsters, boats, arrows or players that run into this wire, will trigger with a redstone signal. The rope (string) will need to be replaced manually after cutting. With shears it will cut without triggering the signal. The string can be upto 40 blocks in length.
– More possibilities for stairs
Stairs can now be made out of sandstone. Also are all woodtypes now available as staircase.
– Cauldrons outside
Cauldrons placed outside will slowly fill up with water when it rains.
– Update to dispensers
Dispensers can now place boats, minecarts, water or lava in front of them. Boats only when there’s water in front of them, minecarts only when there’s rails in front of them. This will be nice for your trainstation or harbour!
– and many many more updates…
I nearly forgot to write about this one: Adventure mode is being added to the game. This mode will for the moment only be accessible via commands (I suppose serverside?). It is a type of game for your world where players cannot build or destroy blocks, but only walk around and open doors / use levers. Very interesting update if you are planning to make adventure maps with quests or general platforming!

On a side note, I know it has been requested by many:
Mojang is working on a better account system. It might be that we are soon enforced to convert our account to an Mojang account with an emailaddress as username and your password (I have already done this myself). At some point after all accounts have been converted, it will be possible to change your username. The username will become your character name and is no longer unique. This means automatically that servers will have to use a different system for white/blacklisting. But unfortunately it is unknown as to when this update would come. This is however not a direct game update, but an update on Mojang’s (server)side.

MineCraft Update 1.3 is scheduled for release on the 1st of August 2012

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