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First in my series about the 1.8 update shown at PAX.
Background: I’m a giant Minecraft fan, and I was picked as one of 12 to volunteer at the Mojang booth at PAX. All day Saturday I was watching people play, and I got a few chances to talk to the devs and ask questions.
Disclaimer: I can only comment on things I saw and answers I got straight from the developers. I have kept away from most other media on the situation, so I don’t taint my facts and opinions.
The villages are the new NPC villages everyone has been super excited for. Currently, the villages are uninhabited. There is no visible town border, surprising because Notch was making a big deal about borders on twitter before PAX.
The buildings are all mainly built out of a mix of planks and cobble. Building types included farms, houses, Jeb_’s smithy, a well, and a watchtower. There were about 5-8 buildings per village. I think I only saw one village per world in the 3-5 mins I gave people to play, meaning they must be pretty sparse.
The farms only had wheat. Two rows that were two plants thick, with water in the middle. The entire farm was surrounded by logs.
In the houses, they have stairs to use at chairs, and a fence post with a pressure plate on top to make a table. There were torches on some walls, and they only used the new glass pane for windows. All the houses had slanted wooden roofs made from stairs as well. A few of the houses had a fenced in back yard.
The smithy was a (pure?) cobble building that had a forge on the side. The forge had a little cobble pit with lava in it, and the new iron bars around it.
The well was a 2×2 water pit, about 10 blocks deep, surrounded by cobble, and with a cobble top.
The watchtower was taller than everything else, mostly cobble, and had a ladder to the roof. The walls on the top were crenelated like a real castle.
Overall: The villages looked weird at first, but only because they aren’t the style I am used to (my own.) After time, they looked fine.
Bugs: They can spawn totally in water! The floor of the buildings would be one block above the surface, and then it would be solid cobble all the way to the sea bed under each building. It would be great to see the NPC’s try and navigate that.
- Abandoned Mines
Abandoned mines are awesome! They are a series of 3×3 tunnels underground with occasional support arches made with planks and spider webs all over the place. Minecart tracks can be found dotting the tunnels, but never more than a couple in a row before there is a break. There are also chests among the mines. I saw one opened, and it had lots of redstone in it.
Two times I saw a mob spawner in a dead end of a tunnel completely covered in spider webs, and both times, a blue spider came out. (Yes, they do exist. I asked Jens and he confirmed. More about them later)
Overall: A very welcome addition. Not game changing, but will be nice to find once in a while.
Bugs: When they intersect with ravines, the non-rock stuff for the mine is left floating in the air. Looks very weird.
I didn’t see ANY at PAX. Jens said that they spawn somewhere along a circle with a radius of 500 centered at spawn. In other words, freaking hard to find. I really don’t know anything since I didn’t see them.
New biome code means new geographical features!
- Biome: Mountains
The new mountain biome is pretty sweet looking. Reminds me of the mountains of epic seeds like Glacier, and I think that was what he was going for. Lots of sheer cliffs and floating oddities.
- Biome: Ocean
As you should know by now, oceans are freaking giant now. Only one person I saw actually built a boat to travel them. No new content for oceans, so boring down there, but now it will be much “easier” to make submerged things.
Everyone who saw a ravine at PAX loved them. Ravines are giant canyons scarring the ground, sometimes at the surface, sometimes completely underground. They are deep enough to kill you if you fall from the top, and long enough that its very hard to see the other end. Another very interesting feature that doesn’t change gameplay, but just makes things more fun.
- <DOES NOT EXIST YET>Biome: Mushroom Forest
When I asked Jens about the giant mushroom, he said Notch wanted to use them in their very own biome, a mushroom forest. First thing I thought of was Star Wars, and it made me happy. My only hope is that they have a very slight bioluminessicne, so the entire forest glows in the dark, but is still dark enough to spawn hostile mobs. </DOES NOT EXIST YET>
Deserts looked the same, and I couldn’t really tell the difference between the other biomes. Nothing of interest.
Volcanoes have not been added yet. What I heard was that features like volcanoes would be easy to add with the new biome code. I would like this!
Still doesn’t exist, and still not quite on the horizon. Notch said there was no reason to make a new realm if the first new realm (Nether) wasn’t finished and interesting yet.
- Nether Changes
On that note, there weren’t any changes to the Nether yet. Didn’t ask what kind of changes might happen, but I should have. I’m guessing structures like dungeons for bosses, once we have bosses to fight. That is pure speculation, came from nowhere.
Part 2 is now out: Click Here!
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