Minecraft Beta 1.3 Is All Sleepy, And Available

By John Walker on February 23rd, 2011 at 1:29 pm.

All I need is a ceiling.

Oh, my cursed job is such a chore! I’m forced to load Minecraft in the middle of my work day to take a look at the latest content added today. Why, Lord? Why me? What did I ever do? I need to lie down.

The first new thing I notice is the level loading screen has changed. Most significantly, there’s now room for more than five worlds! Which is tremendously good news. You can name them as you wish, too, making it easier to remember which is which. Previous worlds need to be updated to the new system, but that’s an automagic thing that happens when you first load them. (This new version is splendidly called Scaevolus’ McRegion.)

Then loading a level I was immediately distracted by the lighting. I’m really not the sort to notice such things, but crikey, it looks more significantly lovely as a result of a change. Softer shading and more realistic shadows give the world a gently lovely sheen. Coo.

There’s also new Graphics options to find in the Options menu, which allows you to choose between Fancy and Fast, if the new lighting is too much for your rig.

Also in the content are three new half-size blocks for you to discover, along with “Delay/Repeater redstone dust blocks”, whatever those are. I’ve never really explored the redstone side of things, beyond pointlessly collecting it in my mining expeditions.

And of course there’s beds! They’re not as “expensive” as some were hoping, requiring only three wooden blocks and three wool blocks to make. What the mean is the ability to skip nights if you’re a daytime explorer player. So long as everyone on a server is tucked up with their book put down and their light off, the game will skip ahead to the next morning. Sleeping doesn’t heal, but it does mean avoiding the most monstrous times. Next month beds will be updated to become respawn points, which will be one of the most significant changes to the game in a long while.

The full list of changes is here:

* Implemented a new lighting engine with the help of MrMessiahs (can be turned off)
* Changed the options around, added a new “Graphics options” button
* Added beds. If all players in a map sleeps in a bed during night, the game immediately skips until morning
* Added three new half-size blocks
* Added Delay/Repeater redstone dust blocks
* Added whitelisting to the server. To use, enter “whitelist ” where cmd is “on”, “off”, “add ”, “remove ”, “list” or “reload”
* New save file format, old maps need to be converted (that might take a while..)
* It’s now possible to have more than five save slots, and to rename saves
* Scrollbars in both the texture pack list, and in the map selection screen
* Replaced the Mojang splash image to reflect the new logo colors
* .. and a bunch of bug fixes and tweaks!

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87 Comments »

  1. Gap Gen says:

    Fancy and Fast was an option before, I think. But still, yes, the new lighting is fancy.

  2. James G says:

    Been a few updates since I played Minecraft, but are the sandstone blocks new as well? Look like sand colour cobblestone, appear to break into nothingness, but that might just be because I was hitting them with fists.

    • shitflap says:

      I thought so too, but wiki says it was in last patch. They need to be mined with tools and are are not subject to gravity, for making sandcastles and desert paradises :)

      So.. Anyone got any good seeds for new worlds?? We need to get an RPS thingy goin on, cos I’m sure the hivemind can come up with some awesomeness…

    • Merelia says:

      Sandstone was implemented last patch but it only occurs naturally with this one. (Beneath piles of normal sand)

      You can make sandstone by making blocks (2×2?) of sand at the workbench which is how you got it in the last patch.

    • stahlwerk says:

      Seconding Sandflap’s splendid seed sharing!

  3. c-Row says:

    I wish I would get back 0.02$ from my donation every time RPS posts something about Minecraft…

    • John Walker says:

      Why? How does it affect you?

    • skinlo says:

      So you don’t want RPS to cover probably the biggest game of 2010?

    • c-Row says:

      It affects me as every remotely gaming-related website is slowly turning into a Minecraft news stand. I also love refunds.

    • John Walker says:

      This month, so far, we have put up 220 posts. Of these, 3 have been about Minecraft. That’s 1.4% of the content you’ve seen. Leaving 98.6% of the site about other matters. Do you think perchance you might be exaggerating?

    • fionny says:

      Lol, Minecraft is big news…

      I’m guessing you’ve never actually played it?

      Most people who haven’t sound like you then you give it a whirl and your like wtf? Where did my day go and why am I having fun!

    • Gap Gen says:

      You can manually donate whatever you like, I guess.

    • c-Row says:

      I have, and it didn’t appeal to me. Having played the then buggy OSX version probably didn’t help, but I still found it pretty boring.

    • Berzee says:

      Don’t begrudge the man his 6 cents.

    • Shark says:

      @sir walker
      1.4%?
      this site is getting horibble, I remember good times having 2 mc posts a day

    • Chakawi says:

      I don’t think fox news cover Minecraft, maybe you could subscribe to their website?

      (Just kidding, but leave the Minecraft news for people who enjoy it hehe)

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      I still don’t understand how people can have limitless patience for those that complain about everything.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Can I have £10 every time RPS posts something… I mean, if people are handing out money I’d like some too!

      It’s because I’m worth it.

    • Rich says:

      I wish I would get back 0.02$ from my donation every time some idiot posts something about the supposedly high volume of Minecraft posts on RPS…

    • Shih Tzu says:

      Even three posts a month with about Minecraft is too much for someone with my condition. You wouldn’t feed “just three peanuts” to someone with a peanut allergy, would you? Oh, you would, wouldn’t you.

      I am also allergic to the words “Bulletstorm”, “manshoot”, and “DRM”. It has been a painful month.

    • Rugged Malone says:

      John! Your facts are so mean.

    • Legionary says:

      I find posts about World of Warcraft or Starcraft similarly boring, but when RPS and every other site on the internet was flooded with posts relating to them I encountered a novel solution to my problem.

      I didn’t click and read more about those items I wasn’t interested in.

      I was enlightened.

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      Huh. This is a weird line of thinking. “I paid a set amount as a donation. This gives me the proper entitlement to demand that every article on this website pander to my specific tastes”.

      People are just…weird sometimes.

    • wererogue says:

      I am also allergic to ‘manshoot’, although it’s probably just a ‘personshoot’ deficiency.

    • c-Row says:

      @Pointless Puppies

      It wasn’t meant that serious. It simply feels that everybody and their dog is posting about Minecraft for months now, always hailing it as the saviour of PC gaming.

    • MarcusCardiff says:

      @c-Row
      “It wasn’t meant that serious. It simply feels that everybody and their dog is posting about Minecraft for months now, always hailing it as the saviour of PC gaming.”

      What annoys me the most is that if you openly say that you don;t like Minecraft and find it boring you are immediately set upon by a howling bunch of fanboys who accuse you of any thing from not having tried it to not having any creativity.

      This has become so bad that you get less criticism if you deny global warming or evolution.

      It is almost like it has become a religion and it’s heretical to speak ill on the holy M

    • d32 says:

      Ha, I’m going to donate right_now, just to put things to little balance!
      Thank’s RPS for every post, no matter if it is Minecraft related.

  4. crazydane says:

    Logged into the server that me and my friends have and not sure whether its just that hMod hasn’t been updated or not, but we now spawn with 64 beds, a diamond: pickaxe, axe and spade. And i’m not sure whether this is unique to our server provider (multiplay) anyone else?

  5. flibbidy says:

    though this is the wrong time to do it (everything is broked after the update right now) i’d love a post covering some of the minecraft mods – wild grass (long, growing grass) was a recent discovery which really adds atmosphere

  6. Tusque D'Ivoire says:

    my platform in the clouds now has a bed.

    But what does “Converting World to Scaevolus’ McRegion (this may take a while ;))” mean, did i miss more than one update?

    • Jonathan says:

      It’s in the changelog for this update (“New save file format, old maps need to be converted”). Apparently the new format makes smaller files which load faster.

    • Gap Gen says:

      McRegion is a new file format for the terrain chunks. It’s new in this update.

  7. TheBlackBandit says:

    Yeah, lovely new update, and completely broken on my mac. It’s not a case that I’m boycotting Minecraft until it’s fixed, more that I simply can’t play the damn thing.

  8. Thermal Ions says:

    A note for those who may be running an SMP server and keen to use the new native whitelist functionality. Test it to make sure it’s working properly for you before relying on it. It’s not blocking those who are not on the whitelist on a couple of servers being run here.

  9. Delusibeta says:

    Little known fact: The new save format is actually from a mod. http://www.minecraftforum.net/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=120160

    Yep, it’s official: Mojang approves of community content.

    • Rob Lang says:

      The soft lighting is also inspired from a mod.

    • uzihead says:

      It is not inspired, it is almost the same. The smooth lightning code was made together with the original mod creator, MrMessiah. He also made the BetterGrass mod and the Minimap mod, which unfortunately are not in the game. I know because they tend to talk about all this on Twitter.

      Same thing with the save format mod, which was called McRegion, and it belongs to Scaevolus.

      The future server will be made together with the creators of CraftBukkit – https://github.com/Bukkit/CraftBukkit

      And, I hope they will also include the Dax’s shaders mod, which is great. You can actually get bump mapping on those low res textures and it looks kind of neat. You can try it on the Faithfull32 HD pack, which is the original texture pack, but with textures 32×32 – http://daxnitro.wikia.com/wiki/Shaders

      Oh, and since I am a little obsessed about this game, you can ask me… well, anything.

    • Thermal Ions says:

      It’s pleasing to see that Mojang aren’t adverse to acknowledging that some of the mods out there actually improve upon core elements of the game and should be integrated.

  10. Rob Lang says:

    Well, it is certainly a welcome delight. As a horrible hacking dev monkey, the thing I’m gasping for is the API.

  11. Kid_A says:

    Notch just fixed (hopefully) the problem with this update on Macs, gone to 1.3.01 now.
    Also, this new lighting engine is really rather spiffy. Small change, but very noticeable

  12. iainl says:

    Shiny! Finally took the step to create a new world, so have terrain covered in snow now, too.

  13. Jetsetlemming says:

    The seed function is really cool.

  14. stahlwerk says:

    Smooth Lighting = Fake ambient occlusion: Very nice! :)

  15. Vinraith says:

    Err, would that bed in the screenshot actually work? It certainly shouldn’t, sleeping in an exposed location should end with you waking up to a face full of exploding creeper.

    • uzihead says:

      Well, it works a little strange. Since the game will not spawn monsters in a range of a few chunks from your position, it is somehow random. The game is not accelerating time. It only changes it. Makes insta-morning. A undead will burn, a spider may stop attacking, but a creeper will most certainly get you anyway.

    • Thermal Ions says:

      @uzihead: You may want to check out this video before putting money on that – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIWuresC0Dw

    • hjd_uk says:

      Monsters wont spawn within a radius of you, but that doesn’t mean they cant wander about…
      The 1st time he treid to sleep in that vid he had left the front door wide open – hence the Zombie house-guests.

  16. Tusque D'Ivoire says:

    y’know, I’ve been looking for it for quite a while, but now due to this post i tried once more, and i have just found diamond for the first time since playing Minecraft. its hard to believe, i know!

    Problem is, my iron pickaxe just went out, and i have the quinns.

  17. Coriform says:

    I wonder if this update fixes the crash-spawnpoint problem? (For anyone who doesn’t know what I’m talkinga bout, if your game BSODs, the world is basically maintained up to the last time the game saved, but your inventory will be cleared and you will be returned to your originalm spawn point).

  18. uzihead says:

    @Thermal Ions That is a an awesome bug. A monster spawns in a room filled with light. Happened to me too at surface, in my own safe home.

    @Coriform I haven’t tested that yet.

  19. Muzman says:

    Is there a comparison of the new lighting anywhere abouts?

  20. oceanclub says:

    Am disappointed that the “bed as spawn point” hasn’t been implemented yet as that really will be a game-changer. Once done, I finally intend to head off into the wilderness.

    Is it just me, or do the beds seem abnormally small when you make and place them? Or is your Minecraft avatar very ickle?

    P.

    • Urael says:

      It is a bit disappointing, yeah. It’s going to revolutionise the way I play the game. But it’s not like we weren’t told when that would be coming. The physical beds were always a ‘first stage’ addition.

    • oceanclub says:

      No, that’s simply not good enough. I’m going on hunger strike ’til Notch cancels all his plans and gives in to my demands.

      P.

    • Urael says:

      As a piece of satire on the kinds of…lets call them ‘humans’ populating the Minecraft forums on a daily basis, that’s genius right there, Oceanclub. :)

  21. JuiceKup says:

    Why does my Minecraft run so terrible on my brand new PC? Please someone help! Do other people with nice rigs have real bad bug problems? I don’t get it. When I play at work in the browser, it’s great. But when I get home to my much better and much newer computer, it starts crappin’ out.

    • Universal Hamster says:

      I bought Minecraft way back when and loved it. Then I started having framerate issues, soon after it became an unplayable 5-ish fps. Time passes, seasons change and it becomes neccesary for me to get a new PC. Not an expense I need right now but hey, at least I can play Minecraft again right? Right? No, my fancy new rig runs it even slower.

      Internet investigations have left me to conclude that it it doesnt work for you then you are just shit outta luck. If anyone has any ideas, im all ears. (Not literally, that would be hideous)

    • 3lbFlax says:

      I had terrible, terrible problems when I was trying to run it on my (perfectly capable) Mac, and researched no end of supposed solutions. The only thing that worked was setting the Mac to boot in 64-bit kernel mode – hardly a obvious or everyday solution, and I only saw it mentioned in one place, but I never had another crash, and at one point I was having one every two or three minutes.

      I expect that’s only useful if you’re on a Mac and is to do with a horrible cocktail of OSX, Minecraft and Apple’s version of Java. I just like to write it down whenever I have a chance in case someone else is suffering, though for all I know it may no longer apply (this was just after 1.2 was released).

      The only other thing that worked for me, for a while, was running the game from the .jar version supplied on the Minecraft site, under the ‘Linux/Other’ header with the command-line parameters given there, and then periodically clearing out my game folder (except my saves). Until the kernel fix, that was getting me the longest sessions – occasionally a whole evening – and that tip might be worth trying on Windows, though as far as I’m aware the command line settings just mirror what the native client does.

      Now I run it on my Win7 laptop, which is specced around the same as my Mac, and I’ve never had a crash at all.

      Although my problems were all Mac-based, if my laptop suddenly stopped running it (and the problem existed in new worlds as well as existing ones) the first thing I’d try would be copying my worlds somewhere, deleting my Minecraft files, deleting the .exe, downloading the .jar and running it from there (trying it with a new world to begin with). If that didn’t work I’d probably try reinstalling Java. If that didn’t work I’d have a tantrum about PC gaming and go back to consoles.

  22. Moonracer says:

    I’ve been messing around with the seed feature and haven’t discovered any maps with features you can’t find in normal maps. Still, I’m into it.

    • shitflap says:

      Tis not the point, Moonracer.
      It’s just so we can all have (vaguely) standardised worlds based on the seed key (apparently different OS will create different worlds so YMMV)

  23. killbilly says:

    Redstone is not pointless, even if you don’t do the circuitry stuff (I hardly do.)

    Think of redstone as Hansel and Gretel would think of bread crumbs.

  24. iainl says:

    So far, every time I sleep, skeletons spawn in my house, and no I’m not leaving the door open…

    • Hoaxfish says:

      maybe they’re hiding in the closets

    • Urael says:

      I’ve got two houses in my prime World, now entitled ‘Nu Urth’, I’ve slept in both of them and have yet to encounter a monster. Do you reckon it’s a difference between offline/singleplayer and server? I’m an offline kind of guy.

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      I haven’t had this problem, but it’s happened before that I go away in long trips and when I come back there are monsters in my house because the lighting is low enough to have the game spawn them there.

      Basically, make sure your house is well lit. While you’re “asleep” the game probably runs another check of where to spawn monsters, and I imagine if your house is dark enough it’ll spawn them there.

  25. mwoody says:

    Ugh, the new lighting system tanks my framerate. “Not too upset over it, though, because I prefer the old look: the discrete light levels in each square fits the feel of the game better.

  26. 3lbFlax says:

    If you’re playing with the new seed function, try ‘gargamel’. It was being praised on the official forums last night, so I gave it a shot. As spawn points can vary (though seemingly not by much, as lots of people were having the same experience) you should keep recreating the world until you spawn in a huge, dark cavern. Then climb out of the gap at the top and behold the view.

    Edit: that was on 64-bit Win7, looks like it may not be the same on a different OS.

    • shitflap says:

      Nice one! Very pretty looking indeed.
      Works the same on vista 32 bit, btw

    • stahlwerk says:

      Had to shimmy a bit to find the exit to the pitch black cavern, but it was well worth it! A very nice valley, although it made my macbook lose itself so I had to dial back fancyness. Just north of the spawn point (on the other side of the cliff is a lava pool! And a little further north begins a vast desert. I will come back to this seed and build a desert doom fortress.

  27. jonfitt says:

    Patch notes: “If you go to bed where there is a possibility of a hostile mob being able to reach you, you will wake up with the hostile mob attacking you, and it will still be night. ”

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!

  28. martinlugton says:

    I’ve written “10 Essential tips for Minecraft adventurers”. Check out my guide and add yours to the list!

    https://reflectionsandcontemplations.wordpress.com/2011/02/27/10-essential-tips-for-minecraft-adventurers/

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