Spooks: Minecraft Getting Monstrous Update

By John Walker on October 4th, 2010 at 7:57 pm.

OoooooooooooooOOOOOooooooo.

Minecraft is to receive a big update on the 31st October, to celebrate it being four days after my birthday. And Halloween. It contains some features many have been waiting for, of fearing, including fishing, scarier monsters, and portal-based fast travel. And torches don’t last forever? The full details are below.

Interpreting Notch’s list to remove entertaingly forced Halloween references, the new features would appear to be:

Fast travel: Portal into another realm, move ten metres, and portal out to be hundreds of metres away.
New enemy monsters: “Actually difficult this time around.”
Mine deeper: The further you go down, the brighter it will need to be to not be attacked.
Torches don’t last forever: Lanterns will now be needed for permanent light. Torches will go out, and can be reignited with flint.
Fishing! Finally the fishing rod servers a purpose.
Pumpkins: Completely pointless, but can be worn as hats.
Watches: A craftable watch that tells you when the sun’s come up.
Multiplayer: Fewer bugs, and more features, but who knows what.
More: “Biomes”. More music and better sound, we’re promised.

Please speculate.

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260 Comments »

  1. TimA says:

    Sounds awesome, can’t wait. Apart from the torches, I think that’s just mean.

    • skinlo says:

      I agree, I actually think torches going out will ruin the fun for me. Lanterns will inevitably cost iron and more coal, and I can’t afford those really. I don’t really want to go around having to relight my lights ever few days either. I hope he makes that an option.

    • Jerricho says:

      Personally I shall appreciate the transience of torches. I like the need to build upon stages of exploration.

    • TimA says:

      I still look forward to seeing how it works out. Certainly will make SP mining much more difficult.

      The watch sounds cool, and hopefully some good multiplayer fixes… looks very good indeed.

    • Diziet says:

      Sounds fun to me. If it’s just that the torches go out and I need to relight them with a flint. Rather than having to re-craft the torches.

    • PodX140 says:

      I like the idea, it will make the difference between staking a claim on land (latern on a house), and simply exploring (using torches in caves).

    • Vague-rant says:

      I always thought light was a little cheap in minecraft. The gift of fire is a magical and wonderous thing. (also it was a little too easy to make an area “safe”)

      Also I won’t mind it using more coal, I have something like 200 coal lying around, but alas only 30 iron to spare.

    • TimA says:

      Yeah, I’m warming to the idea, open mind and all… I suppose it partly depends on what the recipes are.

      Making the game harder is definitely not a bad thing.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Sounds like you lads should begin strip mining the earth in your single player games as soon as possible!

    • LintMan says:

      Torches going out and needing to relight them with a flint? Ugh. Really really ugh. Wow, that’s gonna mess up my fun. Lighting up caves and tunnels as I went along, and setting up beacons outside was part of the enjoyable exploration of “conquering the landscape”.

      Having to go around relighting torches has no appeal and seems to make the practice of using them as trail markers a bit problematic if there’s any chane they’ll go out before I get around to returning there. And it will make it a lot more difficult to immediately see which areas you’ve cleared from a distance: I can see climbing up to some dark nook amd discovering the spent torches of a previous exploration.

      Wow, I’m not looking forward to that at all.

    • bob_d says:

      Actually I’m disappointed by introduction of the watch. It gets rid of an interesting dynamic: you go down into a cave, and when you come out, it’s night time. What do you do? Try to make a run for it back to a safe house, or do what you can to fortify the cave you’re in? Those little moments of tension make the game interesting to me, even in the early stages of a new map…

    • TimA says:

      @bob_d

      Actually, I didn’t think of that, but I do enjoy when I am deep mining, running to the surface and being surprised at what time of day it is. Sometimes startled by the sunlight, it’s a good experience.

      I suppose there’s the option of just not making watches.

    • Arthur Barnhouse says:

      It depends on the price of the lanterns, but Notch is usually pretty good about that stuff. Note tracks for example, which use six iron and churn out sixteen tracks. Maybe one coal, plus one iron will make four lanterns, similar to sticks and coal. Yeah exploration will be a little harder, but I’m pretty OK with that. Making areas that you explored and are doing nothing with permanently safe takes a lot of surprise out of the thing.

    • Tei says:

      “Torches going out and needing to relight them with a flint?”

      What aboud wood houses with torches. It will be fun the first (and last) time you have to relight one of these.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I think the changes to the lights will make the game too hardcore for me. At the moment it’s a game I play when I have a spare half hour and I go on a little adventure expanding my home. With torches going out it will take me too long.

      Still, must have faith in Notch. The man does know what he’s doing.

    • Jordan says:

      I’ve always hated that torches are permanent. Just seems too easy to me. Why are people so afraid of a challenge? Games have always been much more rewarding for me, the harder they are.

    • BAReFOOt says:

      There are pros and cons. (Although that just makes me think of professionals and con men. But you know what I mean. ;)
      Done right, it can raise the tension even more, and make the game even more fun, when you manage to survive anyway. Done wrong, it goes horribly bad, and you can’t even get into the game anymore, because you never get to the point where you have lanterns, because zombies spawn in your home(s).

      Also, what about mechanics that need something for ignition in the long term? Like that 16-bit adder etc? Only redstone torches from now on? And hoping they don’t go out? Because then, such designs would not be possible anymore.

    • BAReFOOt says:

      @Jordan: PROTIP: People are different! I, for example, like the exploration, and hate the monsters. Making it harder, would result in less fun for me!

      But hey, how many game designers still think it’s impossible to adapt the difficulty of a game to the individual player? How many still do static balancing, on hard, medium and easy, and that’s it. Sorry, we’re in the 21st century. Create a parametrized balancing, would ya?

    • Ice-Fyre says:

      I play on peaceful, as I just enjoy the building. If the new lanterns are too hard to make, I’ll just use INVedit to give me infinite ones! That’s what makes pc gaming great, you can mod to play how you want \o/

    • Lightbulb says:

      All current torches (in game already) will be replaced by lanterns. So get crafting hundreds of torches in preparation. :)

    • Adrian says:

      i think if the torches would have gone out from the begining nobody would complain now.
      i rather think if it had been a feature of minecraft right from the start people would have counted it as an element that creates great tension – the tension being one of the things people most like about minecraft – and seid its a good thing.

      also i think minecraft lives from these things that make you walk long distances or keep you coming back to the surface for more wood etc. what else would there be to do in minecraft? i think the people complaining are mostly people that just build stuff on servers so infinite torches should probably be an option for multiplayer

    • Miko says:

      Minecraft just isn’t about the challenge to me. It’s like playing with Lego. With monsters turned on, it’s like playing with Lego while a younger sibling keeps trying to kick what you’ve built over.

      On the other hand, Minecraft Classic/Freebuild feels like playing Lego with God Mode turned on, which is no fun either. I hope some kind of multiplayer compromise between Classic and full-on Survival remains.

    • Josh W says:

      God mode for Lego? You must pinch yourself between bricks a lot!

    • wilson says:

      notch said all torches on the maps befor the update will turn to lanterns so be sure to light as much as possible before halloween update comes out :)

  2. Danboe says:

    Sounds completely lovely!

  3. Demon Beaver says:

    Torches don’t last forever anymore = Minecraft just got a LOT harder… unless you can carry around the lanterns Amnesia-style, which I doubt… and then he adds more difficult enemies. I think I have a deadline for that Diamond armory I planned…

    • Mad Hamish says:

      Man, I hope it is carrying a lantern around like in Amnesia. It would be terriying exploring caves miles under the surface.

    • BAReFOOt says:

      Of course you will be able to carry around lanterns. How else are you going to put them somewhere?
      But if you want to use another tool, you have to put the lantern somewhere. Just like in real life.
      Which may be good… or bad… for the experience.

    • pierec says:

      I *think* that Notch once said that it is impossible with current lightning system to carry a light source off-hand.

    • ascagnel says:

      Impossible — no. OH MY GOD WHY DO I NEED 8 VIDEOCARDS TO PLAY MINECRAFT — yes.

      Notch has commented that his current flood-fill style of lighting, coded in Java, is too much of a performance hit to calculate each frame. Calculating rarely (when the sun goes up/down) is light enough that its just a momentary hitch.

  4. SquareWheel says:

    Ungfhhh

    There goes another pair of pants.

  5. Shadram says:

    Apparently, any existing torches will become lanterns when the patch is applied, so you won’t suddenly be plunged into darkness.

    The update sounds great. Biomes are what I’m most looking forward to (that is, you’ll have areas of the world with different climates/themes, like deserts, swamps, forests, snowy areas, etc. Should make the world a lot more interesting to explore!)

  6. Celkiasian says:

    Do they celebrate Halloween outside of of the US and Canada? I remember this Fry and Laurie sketch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZITno-8HP9o but it doesn’t really answer my question.

    • Nick says:

      Considering it is of celtic origin.. um.. yes?

    • The Colonel says:

      What is there to celebrate? We get American-style cheap decorations to put up. Trick or Treat can fuck off though.

    • BAReFOOt says:

      Well here in mainland Europe, it’s seen even more as a commercial fake holiday, than Valentine’s day.
      We had St. Martin’s day, and walking from house to house with lanterns with actual candles, singing and getting candy for it, when I was a child (20 years ago… oh god, I’m old…)j
      Nowadays the candles are electric, the lanterns look more Halloweeny (in that lame non-spooky pumpkin-orange/spiderwebs/drawn-bones/bats way), I bet there’s much less singing, and therefore more (candy) buying.
      But that’s just small children, some dumb parents, and some businesses.
      Most of the population couldn’t care less. The only thing I saw this year, was the supermarket selling pumpkins. That’s it. They already sell Christmas sweets, so Halloween candy never came to shops. Christmas sweets (like lebkuchen, marzipan, etc) taste much better anyway. :)

    • Rich says:

      American Halloween comes mostly from Scotland. They call it something else though.

    • Rich says:

      Also, cchole, what exactly was that in aid of? Not a fan of Fry and Laurie?

    • Lars Westergren says:

      @Celkiasian

      In Sweden we have traditionally celebrated “Alla Helgons Dag” (All Hallows’ Day/Day of All Saints), a day of silent rememberance of the dead. 10 years ago or so the commercialized Halloween spectacle with American style trick-or-treating really got going. At first I was upset, but then I remembered the Christian church coopted a pagan holiday in the first place, so turnabout is fair play I think. Especially in our western culture which has become so alienated from death, a holiday which celebrates a cartharsis like confrontation with our fears appeals to me.

      Though I do feel a bit sorry for older folks who try to have a somber rememberance of loved ones who have passed, and then get harassed by kids on a sugar rush demanding candy.

  7. Curry the Great says:

    Damage in multiplayer!

  8. The Colonel says:

    I’m hoping that Notch lengthens the day-night cycle also. It’d be nice to have a few “daytime” friendly creatures with more complex behaviours. Imagine being able to be a proper shepherd (complete with craftable crookstaff!) I’d love to see him eventually put in procedural “ruins” that can be explored (on hills and whatnot rather than underground dungeons). Bigger boats! Volcanoes!

    • TimA says:

      Oh, I agree!

      Someone mentioned on the server yesterday how good it would be if we could join boats together. Some sort of ship with one person steering it… oh yes!

    • Raum says:

      Volcanoes!

      Hadn’t really thought of them before you mentioned them.

      That would really be quite excellent. Going towards a huge volcano spewing lava, digging into the dangerous soil in between the molten stone to get to the inevitable diamond reserves within.

    • Web Cole says:

      I think randomized day/night cycles would be cool. So every generated world will have slightly different periods of light and dark.

    • The Colonel says:

      Another thing just occurred to me after a lengthy stint. Is there going to be a point where enemies can begin to break into your home? It’d be nice to have that incentive to really secure a building. Also if you got caught out at night and dug a hole you’d be shitting yourself waiting to hear the scrape of gravel above you as they caught your scent.

    • BAReFOOt says:

      I think randomized day/night cycles would ruin the believability. At least for me. I love that you can rely on soon to be safe again! By making it random, you’d ruin the rising tension before the sun comes up.

      But I second the wish, that certain monsters could also break certain kinds of blocks (at certain speeds). Make them take maybe a couple times longer than you would take. Depending on the type of monster. E.g. a spider could dig sand and earth well, but would have no chance with stone. While a creeper could even get trough stone… eventually… (And a dragon could melt steel and glass!)
      Of course, if a monster dies or moves away, before being trough a block, the block would be 100% whole again. Analog to a player-attacked block.
      Also it would be cool, if spiders would notice you trough (ground) vibration only. (So you would have to tiptoe.) But if they did, they would run pretty fast!
      And creepers would have to see you, because they were deaf.
      While zombies would have some higher power of noticing you even trough thick steel and everything. And accumulate on the other side, getting more and more. That would be big fun. Especially with TNT. ^^

  9. Senethro says:

    Jesus Christ!

    If he can deliver… if the lawyers and accountants and people tryign to sell him offices don’t get in the way…

  10. laikapants says:

    Torches damn well best be hangable. Either way, I’m gonna have to die several times replacing all my torches. Of course I do like that the difficulty is getting ramped up, so I’ll take limited torches as a part of that. They were too easy for permanent light fixtures anyway.

    Fishies (especially since I just made a lake spanning underwater walkway with a glass top) and hell portals greatly excite me. Yet another reason to just skip most of October.

    • Tacroy says:

      Apparently placed torches will be replaced with lanterns once the update comes out. Which means that if you want to make absolutely sure things are well lit, start placing your torches now.

    • laikapants says:

      @Tacroy: Was that expounded upon under the image (which is all I can see on the RSS feed, the only way I can read the blog at work)? It would be nice if all my existing torches (there are LOTS) just morphed into lanterns, but somehow I’m doubtful. Especially since my favourite world is housed in a zone of non-compliance (I started it back when it was just Infdev so to get any new things you have to go out into new zones).

    • bob_d says:

      Ah yeah, I’ve been building whole underwater complexes of domes and tunnel-tubes… hopefully not sharks, though – working underwater is hard enough already.

  11. Clovis says:

    (At work, can’t visit the website)

    What about monster villages???

    Also, no Friday updates until Oct 31st??? Cue insane internet RAGE!!!!

  12. The Colonel says:

    Oh and a craftable “map” of the local area?

  13. Mad Doc MacRae says:

    That style of announcing an update plan reminds me of TF2 updates for some reason. Which mostly just makes me wish for a total TF2-Minecraft crossover thingy (beyond the TF2 map which is funny).

  14. Clovis says:

    Also, why did John use a racial epithet in the title and then do a really bad drawing of a KKK member hanging out in Minecraft? I don’t see the connection …

    • westyfield says:

      Racial epithet whuh?

    • CoyoteTheClever says:

      It might be an American only racial epithet, but I see what he is talking about. Definitely unfortunate implications there.

    • FunkyBadger says:

      Spooks = ghosts, or maybe the intelligence services?

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Spooks – ghosts – drawing of a ghost – Halloween? No?

      Oh, it may be a racial epithet, but it’s one completely unbeknownst to me. Could be John wasn’t aware of it as well.

      Actually, even if he was, it doesn’t do to change your language when you don’t use words that way. If happy equals gay to you, feel free to use gay in that way.. changing your language because others thought to claim that word and gave it a different meaning.. seems like the wrong thing to do.

      Besides, context plays a big factor within that as well.

    • laikapants says:

      @those confused by the thing which Clovis points out: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=spook

      While I picked up on it, I like the crappy ghost far too much to see it change.

    • Arthur Barnhouse says:

      “Spook” was sometimes used in the US as a racist term for black people. Because they’re black you see, so it’s hard to see them at night. It’s a pretty antiquated expression, though. The equivalent of calling a Korean a zipper head. Man, there are a lot of racist expressions out there! I’m certain John didn’t know about it, and anyways, everyone knows that spooks is predominantly a reference to ghosts.

    • aragul says:

      Welcome to October, the month of spooky things and ghosts.

      I’d never known of spooks as a racial slur until today (thanks urbandictionary!). I thought it was used just for government agency types and halloween stuff.

    • Clovis says:

      “Spooks” can be interpreted as a slur against blacks in the US. The main character in [i]The Human Stain[/i] by Phillip Roth loses his job (partially) due to using the word in its normal ghostly sense.

      I guess that would be a good thing to know if you visit Harlem during Halloween. Careful how you refer to those kids dressed as ghosts!

    • Rakysh says:

      Someone phone the BBC! Their political correctness hasn’t got mad enough!

    • Dave says:

      I have heard “spooks” to refer to CIA people, but not to black people. Weird.

    • DrGonzo says:

      He could be talking about spies!

    • amishmonster says:

      Yeah, I’m American and have only ever heard of “spooks” referring to CIA agents/spies. And the ghost is pretty clearly a ghost.

    • Jordan says:

      This is like saying humbug is still a curse word. Also: Context is everything

    • Nick says:

      But what about The Spooks of Bottle Bay? =(

    • Spook says:

      Nice way of showing your beliefs clovis been calling people spooks a lot recently?

    • Carolina says:

      If that’s a KKK member, it’s the cutest I’ve ever seen. He does look anything but dangerous.

      Incidentally, what if you’re black and work as a spy?

    • Spacewalk says:

      You can see something in everything.

    • Nallen says:

      While I generally object to stupid internet terminology I think the relevant parlance in this instance would be LRN2CONTEXT

    • Joshua says:

      But ‘Spook’ is just ‘ghost’ in Dutch. And Spooks is just an illegal way of pluralizing it?

    • RCGT says:

      I am angry at the political correctness and implication of racism in your post. Also, I have a congenital condition which makes me unable to recognize humor.

      (hint: the original post is a joke)

  15. man-eater chimp says:

    My wish for more Minecraft came true! Huzzah!

    My world doesn’t actually have much of an underground mine at the moment due to a lack of open entrances and me being lazy, and torches going out isn’t much of a problem outside at the moment due to me setting fire to all the trees near my house!

    Anyway, my lighthouse won’t build itself…

  16. sink257 says:

    I love the banner

  17. Out Reach says:

    If lanterns require iron to make, I’m going to switch to lava based lighting.

  18. Count Elmdor says:

    I hope iron gets a lot more common if lamps are going to require it.

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      Definitely needs more iron.

      I’d also like to see more uses for other materials, I get fed up of throwing so much dirt and gravel away.

    • Arthur Barnhouse says:

      More testicles means more iron.

      (How do we feel about straight up Simpsons references around here?)

    • Taillefer says:

      I use gravel (or sand) for traps. It was mostly because i was concentrating on building more than crafting weapons and such but still wanted to be hunting. So I lead monsters into pits, or have water flowing into them to capture them, then drop gravel on the poor monsters. Squish.

    • Kdansky says:

      More different materials would certainly be appreciated. I’d like to see some copper (tin), different gems and different stones.

    • Jordan says:

      I have no problems getting iron. Dig to seabed levels and branch mine. A half hour go and I can rake in a stack and some.

      With depth’s getting harder though, my strategy may have to become more fortified, but it should still work.

    • Miko says:

      Personally, I’m a little irked by clay being rarer than diamonds or obsidian.

  19. Anthony says:

    My, the angry internet men are strong on Notch’s blog.

    Yet another reason why I’d never be a game developer. I’d have a hard time resisting the urge not to descend into the comments and start slapping bitches around.

  20. Rinox says:

    “actually difficult monsters”?!

    I still have nightmares of that cave full of creepers…

  21. stahlwerk says:

    As an avid overworld explorer, I’m really looking forward to biomes. Harder monsters… not so much.

  22. Tei says:

    The ability to move faster can be a problem in SMP, making backups and maps larger. What if some people use that feature to move 50.000 blocks to the north.. he.. .

    Well.. lets see. Any change is wellcome, and seems the game able some modability, so the most unsavory things (torchs dying) will be modded.

    • Jordan says:

      A new form of griefing could rise from the fast travel. Servers tend to lag hard when world generation begins. Also like you said, the file itself can get enormous. A new type of server option is needed; Perhaps max fast travel distance. Also max chunks loaded would help system admins manage memory better. What if 12 people in a server all go to different areas with fast travel? If you put a limit on this, when the maximum chunks are loaded, it could put up an invisible wall for the player.

    • dobber says:

      i assume it’s referring to teleporting between two manufactured points (or similar) rather than travelling into uncharted territory – the nature of minecraft means you invariably find something great over the next mountain, so long distance isn’t so desirable at this stage (perhaps with “biomes” and more variety in landscape built in this will change, but i can’t see why you’d want to skip large sections of pretty map while travelling at the moment)

  23. Jimmy Z says:

    Great news, especially with the torches going out. As it stands, it’s way to easy to “pacify” a cave right now: just spam virtually free torches everywhere and voilá, safe forever.

    Also, seeing how the game mode is called “survival”, I’d like to see some more survival elements to it, like hunger. Right now surviving is way too easy, you dig a 2 x 1 hole and stand in there the sun burns out and you’ll be perfectly safe. Would be nice if the game forced you out and gave you more incentive to explore.

    Obviously it would be best if people could switch of the hunger and other harder elements, should they wish to concentrate on just building stuff. Or maybe it could be a whole separate game mode called something like “Survival For Real Men (No Whiny Sissies Allowed)- mode”.

    • Wulf says:

      I don’t think hunger would force people out, though.

      I mean, I made an absolutely brilliant trap that delivered me animals and monsters to two separate penned areas, and it never failed. Clever stuff done with water and reeds, you’d be surprised what can be accomplished by screwing around with Minecraft’s odd water. Water makes for amazing traps.

      So yeah, I have a constant supply of monsters and animals. And here’s another clever thing: redstone connected to TNT. You trap monsters in a chamber, put a couple of TNTs in there (keep the chamber small so it packs the monsters up into one spot), wait until it’s pretty full, then hit the switch that lets off the TNT. Bolt in, gather up all the monster bits, rebuild the area, lay down the TNT/redstone again, then head out.

      In my current rather Machiavellian fortress, I want for nothing. And I’d still pretty much want for nothing even if hunger was implemented.

    • Jimmy Z says:

      Well either it would force people out, or force them to make such novel arrangements to supply food for themselves. Also, it would add an extra element of danger and challenge to spelunking: you’d have to consider your dwindling food reserves, as well as your light management when diving to the depths of the earth.

      But like said, it’d be best if that stuff was optional.

  24. paulsoaresjr says:

    Looking forward to it. Particularly the stuff that enhances the “horror-survival” aspects.

  25. JB says:

    My prediction for lanterns: they will involve coal, iron and glass.

    Of course, I could be wrong. I remember that happening once before.

  26. Orvidos says:

    I’m fairly surprised at;

    1. The amount of bitching about lack of updates for the month. It sounds like we’ll be getting a couple months worth of updates all at once.

    2. The moaning about torches now going out. “I want survival to be more survivaly!” Alright, says Notch. Torches now expire. “F-x1000″ Well, that’s the internet for you.

    • laikapants says:

      @Orvidos: The complaining you refer to, are you talking about on Notch’s Blog post? If so, best to keep calm and move along. It is forever like that. If there were free cake being given out, it would be like that.

      Re the Torches: I actually like and loathe it. Like it because it does make it more survival-y, loathe it because a lot of the torches I placed on my more developed worlds are somewhat difficult to reach. And there’s a lot.

    • Orvidos says:

      @laikapants

      Both on Notch’s blog and in general. Though I know Notch’s blog is a scum of hive and villainy, so I generally avoid the place. I’m less mad at the phenomenon and more saddened/apathetic. I’ve just been alive/on the internet to long to go “ASDFA:AWLR:OWDRNOANWOJDPAW Something didn’t occur properly! ASPJDF:OAJSPDOANMOSPD”

      As to torches, the scuttlebutt is current torches will become lanterns. Now, I haven’t been able to find anything to confirm this (I tried diving into Notch’s blog comments to do so, but couldn’t go very far) but I could certainly see it happening. I like the idea of torches going out. Adds a bit of realism, and the fact that they can be re-lit with flint and tinder will lead to some gameplay that isn’t in MineCraft currently. (Scrambling to relight a torch before bad things start spawning in the dark around you, for instance.)

  27. Tei says:

    You can make so 1 lantern recipe produces 10 lanterns, so that 2 iron really gives you a decent mileage.

    On the other part, is cheaper to make lots of buckets, and use lava to light areas. 1 spot of lava + 1 glass = instant lantern that cost you no iron.

  28. Wulf says:

    Oh no, my torches! Oh well, I’ll adapt.

    A resounding yay to the rest of it, though. That man does good work.

  29. Starky says:

    Calling it now, 1 Iron, 1 Glass (cube) and 3 coal.

    • Sobric says:

      Further to Tei’s point above (that the mats make a couple of lanterns rather than just 1), I hope that it’s just coal & glass.

    • Sobric says:

      or: 1 glass block and 1 torch?

    • Tacroy says:

      No, it should require a workbench – you shouldn’t be able to just pop out permanent light sources without a bit of setup. What I wish for is either a torch surrounded by glass, or a stick and a piece of coal in the middle surrounded by glass – I really, really hope that the lantern recipe doesn’t require iron, because fucking everything interesting requires iron and that shit is hard to find.

  30. Sobric says:

    I like the lantern/torch change: it should make single player much, much, much more interesting. I mean, imagine coming back from a long mining expedition, returning through your upper mines to your house, to find that all the lights are out and there’s something moving in the dark…. awesome.

    Added to that, it will probably cause people to be more creative with their light sources – using lava and burning logs for more that just show.

    Multiplayer? It could get a little annoying.

  31. Triple Omega says:

    I joy, I worry. While there is a lot of cool stuff, the torches in combination with more light needed deeper down and harder monsters… This might ruin a lot of things.

    - Large structures might become impossible to sustain due to the iron cost of lanterns.
    - Large mines and mine-systems(especially in the diamond layer) will become impossible. Any mined-out areas will need to be blocked off and only a lantern filled main hallway can exist.
    - Marking a permanent path with light might become very expensive.
    - People walking around with flint&steel in SMP???
    - Unless little iron is needed, how are we supposed to make anything from iron if it all goes to making lanterns?

    As mentioned above, bypassing this all by using lava might become the norm.

  32. Clovis says:

    It’d be nice if the spent torches still let off a wee bit of light. Just enough to easily see them, but not stop monster spawns. You know, like just a red coal. It even makes sense, since they are made with coal. They’d still be usable to some degree for navigation then.

  33. Po0py says:

    I want flares. Throwable flares and shootable flares would be nice. I’ve stumbled upon huge chasms in some of my cave exploring and would have love to be able to chuck a flare down there just to have a quick glimpse of what I’m about to get into.

    • Raum says:

      Great idea. Maybe just the ability to light your wooden sticks in your inventory (and then throwing them away).

      The best thing about this will be that it follows the furnace logic. Wood burns very fast, coal burns a lot slower.

    • Rich says:

      I think moving light sources might be impossible at the moment. You could get round it by lighting up as soon as it hits a wall.

  34. Azazel says:

    So… will this update also make it not crash on my PC? Pretty please! :(

  35. wcanyon says:

    Lotta complaining about torches. Didja miss the part where he said “lanterns will be permanent?”

    • Tetragrammaton says:

      I think its mostly people with established worlds: I think its a great idea but Ive got quite a few torches in awkward places and it wold be something of a bitch to replace them all. Also im a little peeved about the portal as ive just finished constructing my very own oriental express to reach my hollow mountain hideout which took up obscene amounts of iron. Oh well, at least its Jurassic-park style pylon gates look pretty shit-hot.

    • Tetragrammaton says:

      Orient express even, not a noodle bar.

  36. Dominic White says:

    Notch has always said that he wants Survival mode to be just that – a survival mode. You are going to have to fight tooth and nail against the environment, and in the end, your conquest will become all the more meaningful.

    At the moment, so long as you have enough torches in your backpack, you ‘win’ a tunnel network just by placing one every ten steps, and blatting any monster that gets in your way. Continue until you have the whole place mapped out. Now, with the torch/lantern dynamic, you’re going to have to carve out safe-zones for yourself. Little well-lit enclaves where you can take stock and prepare yourself for the next expedition.

    Caves at the moment are big and impressive, but not very scary anymore. It sounds like he’s putting the fear back into Minecraft, and I fully approve of this. I expect that Peaceful mode will have ever-burning torches, for you folks that don’t want to fear the reaper. Me? I want to be goddamn terrified whenever I set foot in a cavern.

    Especially now that cavern can literally lead to a PORTAL TO HELL ITSELF.

  37. dragon_hunter21 says:

    “Of fearing” should be “Or fearing”, and “servers” should be “serves”.

    /grammarnazi

    I’m kinda excited about the fast travel, and the watch could be fun, but the monsters…

    That I’m worried about.

  38. PleasingFungus says:

    I enjoy how everyone assumes that lanterns will cost iron before Notch has said anything either way.

    Tempests! Teapots!

    …both of those would be good Minecraft features, actually. Imagine, putting a nice pot of tea on to boil while you craft… and in the game!

    • Tacroy says:

      Well that’s the thing; in order to make almost anything interesting (minecart stuff, usable armor, nicer equipment, a compass…), you have to have iron. I guess people are just assuming Notch is going to keep the same theme going – “Not enough iron to go around”.

    • Rich says:

      A bit more iron on the surface would be nice. It’s geologically accurate too.

    • RedFred says:

      Well sort of. I think iron should be in veins as that is more realistic. Vein sizes similar to coal.

  39. Tweakd says:

    This sounds too good to be true!

  40. NarcoSleepy says:

    I really don’t like the idea of torches going out. This is equivalent to being the only person in the world that changes the lightbulbs. If there were hundreds of other people in my world helping with refreshing the torches, then MAYBE this wouldn’t be such a funkiller – and frankly having to constantly refresh torches sounds anything but fun to me. I hope it is an option that can be toggled off.

  41. Dominic White says:

    By the way – he’s not making forced halloween references about this ‘fast travel’ thing.

    You literally find PORTALS TO HELL underground, which take you to a parallel dimension where nothing lives, lava flows instead of rivers, and monsters rule eternally.

    Portals out of hell correspond to much longer distances in the ‘real’ world.

    And now, something to look forward to: Conquering Hell. Building a fortress there, and having doorways that lead you to other holdings back in reality.

    • Dominic White says:

      He confirmed about a month ago that he was working on Hell, and that this would be its function.

    • Tacroy says:

      I believe his exact words were:

      “The hell biome will be used for an alternate fast travel dimension. Have you read Wheel of Time? That.”

      Which is pretty much purely awesome in my humble opinion.

    • Rich says:

      Another reason not to dig straight down Quinns. Even if you’re desperate for iron.

  42. empath says:

    People walking around with flint&steel in SMP???

    It’s pretty easy to disable fire and lava. Now, at least, you have a legit reason to have flint and steel.

  43. jboy_2009 says:

    I like the sound of the portals. You get blasted hundreds of miles away and then have to fight your way back home like odysseus and then having to fight all the zombies out of your now dark basement.

  44. MadTinkerer says:

    NO. This is BULLSHIT. Spooks may be some sort of obscure term that may be offensive in a completely different context, but it is NOT A GENERALLY OFFENSIVE TERM.

    I refuse to see a perfectly innocent Halloween related word have the same thing happen to it that “black trash bag” did. (The following happened when I lived in London. I live in New Jersey now.)

    Step 1: People in Britain become generally annoyed by all the damn socialist “Political Correctness” hoops they have to jump through just to talk to each other, so it becomes a comedy meme.

    Step 2: Some comedian points out makes a joke involving the implication that we probably won’t be able to point out the color of trash bags next.

    Step 3: ????

    Step 4: My friend’s father who is a… well I forget his proper title, but in the U.S. we would call him a Janitor, mentions that there is an actual new rule where if he gets caught saying “black trash bag” in reference TO THE ACTUAL TRASH BAGS WHICH HAPPEN TO BE OF THE BLACK COLOR (OH SHIT I SAID “COLOR” I MUST BE RACIST), he will be fired.

    I will stab anyone who punishes anyone else for using innocently using the word “spook”.

  45. Urthman says:

    Let’s see. If I work all night, every night, between now and October 31st, mining coal, harvesting trees, making and posting as many torches as possible, covering entire continents with a torch on every block, I should be all set when they suddenly transform into lanterns.

    And? If they are made of iron, I’ll smash 2/3rds of them, grab the iron, and build that huge mine cart track I’ve been dreaming of.

  46. Taillefer says:

    Arrows + TNT, please.

  47. Inverselaw says:

    Personally I like the current dynamic where you tame the world with your skill and constructions. Lanterns will either be too expensive to drop as much as torches and thus will make safe mega structures impossible ( and some structures make no sense if they arent safe) or they will be easy to afford and there will basically be no change to the game dynamic.

    I have the sinking feeling that what is going to happen with me Is that ill just keep playing the game like I used to except that every *time period torches last* I switch the game to peaceful, run around the game world relighting all the torches then switch it back to whatever difficulty im playing on. Basically an added layer of upkeep and maintenance that adds nothing.

    Im also worried about how this will affect the early game, before you have access to iron or lava.

    P.S. Also will wooden logs stop burning after a while cause otherwise people will just use those instead, they burn forever as long as they don’t touch anything else that is flamable

  48. RadioactiveMan says:

    To all you folks with torch-filled caves: Do you not encounter slimes? My initial mine shaft under my house intersected a gigantic cave system that goes down to lava/redstone depths. I see slimes- and big ones, almost every time I go down to the lowest part of the cave.

    At first they scared the crap out of me, because they were so unexpected. Now, they are just kinda cute. I shoot them with my bow from upon high :)

  49. Therio says:

    Lanterns will probably require iron, a resource which, to be honest, is pretty scarce.

    • stahlwerk says:

      Two solutions to this may be possible:
      1. Increase amount of iron in an area
      2. allow wooden lanterns with a reduced light radius

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