Herd Cats, Farm Puppies: Minecraft 1.2

By Adam Smith on March 1st, 2012 at 2:25 pm.

I will make cats and wolves live together in peace.

Minecraft 1.2 is here, bringing with it an assortment of features that made me go ‘awwww’, in that way that people do when they see an adorable baby animal playing with another baby animal of a different species. There’s a good reason for me to mention baby animals because, to my mind, the most important additions in this version are puppies, which tame wolves will occasionally receive from the ciconia lupus. Villagers will also create children occasionally. Ocelots and cats have also been added, along with a jungle biome, iron golems and a doubling of the maximum map height. Downward lie all the details and a trailer by the Hat Films chaps.

Jolly good.

Now, here’s a list of additions and tweaks.

New jungle biome
Added ocelots
Added cats
Added iron golems
New AI for mobs
Tame wolves can have puppies
Villagers will have children if there is room in their village
New map height limit (256 instead of 128)
New items and blocks
Doors have been updated so that double-doors work better with redstone
Added rare drops for mobs
Many other minor tweaks and fixes

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54 Comments »

  1. matnym says:

    How demonstrably fine :)

    Might pick this up again… if it wasn’t for the hunger bar. Ah, well.

  2. LTK says:

    I really wish I could wipe my memory of all things Minecraft and discover it anew with all the awesome things it contains now. Sadly I’m just bored with it by now.

    • Grover says:

      I concur. Haven’t played since before the update that added Dogs. Restarting all the time because of additions, sticking blocks together, and mining got tiring. I still see it as more proof of concept than game.

    • jrod says:

      i too am bored with the vanilla game, but the mods… oh the mods!

  3. Kdansky says:

    It’s more than twice as high, because as far as I can tell, they didn’t change where the ground starts. It’s more like three or four times as high now. :P

    • fish99 says:

      That’s nice for building projects, but I’d rather they moved the ground up so underground was deeper too. Biggest dissapointment in Minecraft for me was finding out how soon you hit bedrock (just 60-70 blocks down). Compare with terraria where the map height is around 2,500 blocks.

    • Lev Astov says:

      I’m with Fish on this. I really want it to go much, much deeper. Hopefully mods will rectify this now that they’ve doubled the possible height. I’m quite excited by the possibilities.

    • MasterDex says:

      I reckon performance is a concern for them in regards to making a deep crust. Perhaps adding in the option to choose between a deep crust and a high sky would be the best way to go about it.

  4. Gundato says:

    Hmm, might have to give this another go. Although, Terraria still beckons (especially now that I know I won’t feel the urge to restart fresh to enjoy the new shinies).

  5. Blackcompany says:

    I was thinking about getting Minecraft. Again.
    .
    But then I thought about the little bit of free time I have wherein I am not actually playing a game, or tweaking the settings of a game. Or altering leveled lists. Or magic spells. Or some other such thing. There isn’t much of such time, as it is now.
    .
    Were I to get Minecraft, I’ve a feeling what time there is would likely vanish in a puff of smoke and exploding building blocks.

    • Kdansky says:

      Skyrim’s CK is really evil, because Skyrim is so incredibly imperfect. Nearly everything in that game could be done better. I really wonder why they didn’t manage to come up with interesting spells, because even if you are a bloody beginner, you can make more interesting things than they did.

    • Blackcompany says:

      Kdansky:
      .
      You are absolutely correct. I am just getting started with the new tools. But I already brought back Slow and Dispel on target. Dual-element spells. Magelight that Turns undead if you have the Necromage perk. Staggering wind on target and close-range. I have toggled Shield spells that reduce magicka in exchange for just being turned on…like the Shield Spell in Amalur. More enchantment than shield.
      .
      Magic, melee, stealth…everything feels like ‘lets take the easiest path we can take to get this done’ sort of design.
      .
      I feel as if Bethesda is constantly trying to play catchup. Their engine was aging after Morrowind, so they had to update and learn a whole new one. Spent more time learning the new engine than developing Oblivion. Now, they’ve had to do it again with Skyrim.
      .
      Perhaps if they would just future-proof their engine…upgrade to something with staying power. Something whose graphical and physics capabilities won’t be outdated 2 years from now. That way, they could spend some time developing games, as opposed to engines.

    • Kdansky says:

      I changed the shield buffs to the same thing (see Steam workshop with the same user-name).

      My prime issue being that if I make any changes to things like perks, there will be huge conflicts everywhere.

      Their design smells like “We have no idea, let’s get this over with as simple as possible” exactly:
      - 20 identical Magic perks that do nothing: Spells are either balanced at their cost, or at half their cost, but either it’s a required perk to even use the spells (which it is), or very pointless.
      - 5 more identical Magic perks for Dual Casting. Which itself is shoddy. 220% damage at 280% cost is a really bad trade, and only results in a game where you spam cheap firebolts all day long. Skyrim plays much better if you put both numbers to 500%, which is the easiest fix ever.
      - In fact, there isn’t a single well-designed perk in Destruction: Stagger just breaks the game, -50% cost is required and boring, +25% damage is boring (and its 5 copies are even worse), “autokill at <20% health" isn't awesome either (three times is twice too many, once more).

      And then cost reduction as the only enchantment? And it stacks? Seriously? Did nobody realize that this will break the game in any and all cases? It boggles the mind that they thought “50 mana / second is a good price point for wards!”

    • Blackcompany says:

      In order to get around the ’50 perks, all the same’ throughout magic schools, I have made major changes in my WIP mod:
      .
      -Magicka no longer regens during combat. When you are out, you are out
      -All Alteration “levels” beginning with Adept increase the duration of your spells (all schools) 5%
      -All Destruction perks, Adept and above, increase magnitude of all spells 5%
      -Dual Cast perk from Destruction doubles magnitude of any spell when it is dual cast
      -Dual cast from Alteration school now doubles duration of dual cast spells
      -Each level of Restoration, from Adept up, increase health regen 1%. With Respite Perk, adds 1% of Stamina regen. With Recovery, adds 1% of magicka regen. These are constant – and free.
      -From Adept upward, all Restoration levels slightly decrease Shout cool down times
      -Each lvl of Illusion, from Adept up, increases magicka (mental mastery) and speech (hynotic presence).
      -Rage perk increases player intimidation
      -Master Destruction increases player intimidation
      -Master of Mind, Kindred Mage both increase Speech skill (so your ‘Illusive’ nature can be used outside of combat)
      -Adept Illusion provides Night Eye when sneaking (automatic)
      -Mage Armor perk provides 100 Free points of mage armor per level. +100 bonus at Master Alteration.
      -Ward spells now cost 1 and 2 magicka per second, so you can, you know, use them. They are also Alteration spells now, being as they are magic armor.
      .
      My idea here is subtle, more powerful magic. You should be able to rend your foes to pieces – until you exhaust your ability to cast. I have made magic more powerful, I admit that. Adding repeating versions of Firebolt and Frostbolt was intended to do just that.
      .
      The caveat is now, mages can become too mentally exhausted to continue casting during combat. They become wholly reliant on potions and enchantments to refill magicka. Fortunately, my main overhaul file also dramatically increase the cost of potions while making them much less useful during combat while also making enchanted gear far more rare.
      .
      Someone could – and likely will – still break the system. But that person always could do so. I like the rebalance, but question why it was not done in the first place.

    • Kdansky says:

      All you write makes perfect sense to me. My own changes are actually doing the exact same things. Upload this thing to Steam! Now!

    • Blackcompany says:

      My goal is Steam by the Weekend. I actually have very little left to do on the Magic mod. Caveat here though: I change ALL the magic perks outside of Conjuration. So, backing up save games will be needed. The game doesn’t seem to like not having altered versions of perks on reloaded saves.
      .
      Also, I can guarantee there will be things I THOUGHT would work, but don’t. Most likely some of my permanent abilities. Few more nights of testing, and all will be public. The changes are dramatic, however, and don’t actually make being a mage easier. Not that it needed to be.
      .
      After this, I am planning a new ‘enchantment’ system for Skyrim, using addon items, with scripts and perks. But that beast is a months-long project, if I get around to it at all. It WILL work – that much I know from testing – and it will be balanced.
      .
      It will also be a beast to make.

    • Kdansky says:

      So, once I use your overhaul, there is no way I can go back to vanilla without breaking the save? That’s kinda nasty.

    • caddyB says:

      I’m waiting for Blackcompany to release his mod to play Skyrim.

    • sgtfuzzle says:

      I’m just wondering why you guys are having a debate about skyrim mods in a thread about the latest minecraft update. also, no magika regen during combat? I run out of magicka after 10 firebolts and it takes me 2 firebolts per imperial soldier for example so if i got your mod I’d basically be stuffed

  6. GrandmaFunk says:

    just updated and created a new map, after two days of exploring my seed has given me 4 jungles but no mountains or deserts.

    the tall trees in the jungles are pretty impressive.

  7. StevoIRL says:

    So no real content then just more aesthetics, yay for Minecraft where the game becomes even more abstract with each update.

    • Schelome says:

      What do you consider to be more content in mineraft though?

      To me this certainly adds new things, stairs and slabs upside down and a new wood block are all features that scream to be tested and used.

  8. Artist says:

    Minecraft? Whats that?

  9. SiHy_ says:

    I like that they’re still adding content and have much admiration for Mojang but the game never seems to move any way towards feeling actually ‘finished’. They seem to have created some sort of magic formula where the more they add the less complete it is.

    • Dominic White says:

      I think that’s just the aura (odor?) that the Minecraft community give off. The more stuff Mojang add for free past v1.0, the less happy people seem to be, even if it’s features that people have specifically called for.

      It must be rather demoralizing for the developers.

    • The Tupper says:

      True, Dominic.

    • SiHy_ says:

      I would say it’s more to do with the frustration from feeling that there are so many things in the game that could be tweaked to give it a more ‘complete’ status, rather than a program perpetually in development.
      For example, there’s a mod which adds animation to the player model. It looks amazing and goes to show that a bit of animation would make the game a helluva lot more professionally polished. There are also many game items with one, and precisely one, use. It just feels like there’s a lot of flab that could be trimmed to make a more condensed, focused experience. Maybe, rather than add completely new content, why not work on tightening up what is already there.
      But, then again, I’m not the developer of one of the biggest indie games ever made so what do I know!
      Don’t get me wrong, I love Minecraft- I’ve got my moneys worth and then some. I can’t believe they’re still making new stuff for it.

    • vivlo says:

      i, for one, am kinda impressed and satisfied by the way Mojang makes updates.

      Community mods add nearly everything you would need in order for this game to be finished. Mojang seems to be well aware of that, and keeps adding unexpected stuff that’s not in any mod already, and which is keeping the vanilla game kind of the same taste, yet with subtle variations.

      that or they don’t know what they do :)

    • The Tupper says:

      I hate the idea of Minecraft ever being finished. The longer Mojang keeps throwing new stuff into the mix, the longer its community (of which I’m merely a dazzled observer) will continue with the extraordinary.

  10. felisc says:

    Villagers ? Ok apparently i’m 4/5 updates late.

    • povu says:

      That’s a good thing, that way you didn’t have to see how embarrassingly pointless they were before.

      They still are but now they’re a little smarter at least.

    • felisc says:

      Oh ok. Well, i’ll take a look tonight to see if i can run into a village and trap them under 50 layers of sand. I wonder if i can feed those new puppies with their very flesh.

  11. Megadyptes says:

    Last time I played, which was sometime last year, all villagers did was wander around their village aimlessly, stare at you really creepily and sometimes get stuck in places. Apart from giving them the chance to have kids, do they do anything else now?

    • lhzr says:

      You don’t expect them to give you quests or to trade with you or to farm or expand their village, don’t you?

      Because that would get Minecraft closer to being what it was supposed to be in the first place (a game) and I can’t see that happening. No, they’re still just “flavour”, like everything else that’s been added to Minecraft since, well, the beginning.

      The way I see it is that Notch had an idea and made a proof of concept for it. Then he saw that people like it and started adding stuff to it, instead of rewriting the whole thing so that it could eventually become something more.

      What happens now is that the whole thing is so bloated and full of spaghetti code that it’s become very difficult to add stuff that’s not creatures, biomes or block types.

      His hired programmers do sometimes rewrite stuff (for improving the AI or for increasing the map height), but that won’t turn it into more of a game anytime soon, it’ll just make the world feel more alive or diverse, at most.

      Speculation! (but really, I think it’s pretty safe to assume that this is what’s going on)

    • El Stevo says:

      “Speculation! (but really, I think it’s pretty safe to assume that this is what’s going on)”

      No, I think it’s just uninformed speculation.

    • StevoIRL says:

      @Ihzr

      That would be my thoughts too, too much lateral production with nothing going further, when you turn to your community and say “Sort my shit out cause I can’t” you just know that are in hopeless situation. Minecraft is a nice tool, it is not a game.

    • Sleepymatt says:

      “…all villagers did was wander around their village aimlessly, stare at you really creepily and sometimes get stuck in places. Apart from giving them the chance to have kids, do they do anything else now?”

      Who knew? Mojang have created a perfect “council estate” simulator!!

    • MasterDex says:

      @lhzr & steveoIRL: Ye have very narrow definitions of what constitutes the game. Minecraft has more game in it than a lot of full-priced games. Just because it doesn’t have clear goals and villagers who do nothing (and I agree that they should do something), doesn’t mean that it isn’t a game.

    • El_Emmental says:

      @lhzr
      You have some really good points here, Notch never got around to rewrite his game design to turn it into a standard game.

      However I don’t agree with you regarding Minecraft not being a game, it is not a pro-active game, but it’s still a game. There is game mechanics and dynamics, and like other sandbox games it doesn’t have clear objectives.

      How I see Minecraft :

      a) In Minecraft, you need a house to protect yourself during the night, you need to hunt for food to not starve.

      b) Then, you find out tools are very useful, and sometime mandatory, for most of the other tasks in Minecraft.

      c) So if you don’t feel like living in caves made out of dirt, hunting with your bare hands and eating uncooked food, you’ll need something more. You might want to have a bed, a real house, new items.

      d) So you start making tools, look for recipes online, set up underground expeditions (so you need food, torches, a pattern to indicate where is the exit, etc) to get minerals (ore).

      e) Then you get bored of mining and mining, or want to find another spot (or other ressources), so you start exploring your world. Once again you need to organize : food, torches, map, your own objectives, where and how you’ll spend the nights.

      f) Now, you realize you need a steady amount of food (or you’ll have to hunt before and during expeditions), so you build a farm (bread, sugar), a cattle farm (meat), your own trees (wood).

      g) Then, you might want to build something big, like a castle. So you start gathering all the ressources necessary for that building, and try to see how that fortress should be.

      h) Now the fortress walls are almost finished… oh, you could add some traps, and a little train to move around the castle.

      i) Speaking of traps and machines, maybe it’s time to try some mods ?

      j) I also heard there is strongholds, enchantments… and I haven’t visited the Nether yet !

      I’m currently playing it in co-op with my brother (my desktop as a server+client, versioning on dropbox in case one of us want to play alone during the week), and it’s actually kinda fun : we organize expeditions, try to follow our objectives, and of course fail terribly to follow our initial plan.

      Sure, no NPC asked you to go West and bring back 10 snakes head to get 100 gold, that you would have used to buy ingredients to craft items.

      Sure, there was no local population/indians/savages to befriend with/kill, depending on your “moral” stance.

      Sure, that fortress is useless : having a dirt cave containing a bed, a craft table, a furnace and several chests is enough.

      Sure, mining, hunting, farming and breeding are pretty useless since you can spawn any items with a single command line.

      Sure, it could use some additional gameplay-driving content.

      It’s still fun to play, at least with other people. This is clearly not a game to play in singleplayer and finish in 3-5 long seats (aka sessions).

    • Phydaux says:

      Minecraft not a game? Well you’re wrong from both angles. Firstly not having an objective doesn’t stop it from being a game. Secondly, Minecraft HAS and objective, and an end. With an achievement, massive wall of text and rolling credits to match.

      But I suppose haters gonna hate. :P

  12. Kollega says:

    Villagers will have children if there is room in their village

    Wait, does that mean Minecraft has killable children now? I know the game is very abstract, what with everything and everyone being made of cubes, but i can still hear the Outrage Machine warming up.

  13. Sangi says:

    I don’t play it for the base game. I tend to play it with all the mods, particularly the industrial based mods (BuildCraft, IndustrialCraft, RedPower and their mods). I don’t think I could play it as it stands vanilla. All the comments above apply to it too much. There is just nothing to do. But let me build some crazy rube goldberg machine that rends the earth and spits out things of my desire and I am there.

  14. Mage says:

    Oh goodie I was waiting for this, I shall be putting up a server at 1800 hours GMT address is 149.5.41.166:7777 cookies and glory for the first person with a diamond pickaxe, thar be a mumble server as well and I almost insist you speak like the people from that video

  15. locke456 says:

    It’s weird to me that almost at the same time that people are bemoaning the “end” of Terraria, they’re also complaining about all the updates to Minecraft, demanding to know when/if it’ll be “done”. I’m not necessarily talking about the comments here, but just the tenor of these two discussions on the internet in general. How many free updates full of wacky new content can a sandbox game get before it’s not allowed to have anymore? Or is it just the condition of this new alpha-buy-in indie game culture that at some point we’re oversaturated with updates and just want the games to be done?

    • Beelzebud says:

      The situation with Terraria is curious. It’s a complete game. It has hundreds of hours of things to do. It has many different enemies, boss battles, random drops, many different suits of armor to craft, and it now even has wiring, that you can build some pretty amazing things with. The people complaining about “the end” of Terraria strike me as being spoiled kids. It was a 10 dollar game, that many got on sale for under 5 dollars.

      Minecraft, on the other hand, is in no way as polished or feature complete as Terraria. When you compare the two games, one looks like a finished retail product, and the other looks like it’s still a beta test. Minecraft also cost a lot more than Terraria, and even raised the price, once they arbitrarily declared it “done”.

      In my assessment, I don’t think Notch followed through with Minecraft, for all the promises that he made, early on in its development. Basically once he got rich off of it, he stopped working on it. That’s all fine and good, but he left before he finished up a lot of core things, which is why they are STILL mucking around with terrain generation.

    • MasterDex says:

      @Beelzebud: Perhaps the community surrounding the game should share some of the blame. Before any announcement of the “finished” date, many were calling for it. Perhaps if the community just let Mojang do their thing and not cry for this and that and so on, things might have gotten to a more “complete” state before it was announced as “finished”.

      Not that a game like Minecraft could ever be complete in many an individual’s eyes. The game oozes potential, so much so that realising it would be a nigh on impossible feat.

  16. terry says:

    With a title like that I was expecting this – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNw2YcAK9Wc

  17. fish99 says:

    On the subject of NPCs and specifically quests – I don’t want to see Minecraft become Lego Skyrim, which is what it’ll end up if you keep adding RPG stuff. It’s supposed to be a sandbox. It’s a game where you make your own story, rather than having one told to you, and yes it requires imagination so it’s never going to appeal to everyone.

  18. jrod says:

    automatic cat herding machine… it beckons!

  19. Bork Titflopsen says:

    Minecraft is a fun, but still horribly broken mess who’s only longlivety comes from community effort by hacking the game, the only thing Mojang ever really does is add features (or derivatives thereof) that have already been made by the community as their own.

    Atleast they acknowledge that now and are working on a mod api, which I wholeheartedly support.

    • El_Emmental says:

      you do know it’s easier to release a mod than deciding to add a feature in a commercial game ?

      If your mod adds a feature :
      - it can be bugged, it’s a mod after all.
      - it can be broken (game design wise), it’s a mod after all.
      - it can be removed/changed without provoking massive protests, it’s a mod after all.
      - it can become a game design problem unbalancing the game if you take into consideration the entire game design, it’s a mod after all, no one is forced to use it.

      Some people wish Minecraft had more weapons. Or more enemies. Or more story. Or more complex crafting/machines/systems.

      Mojang has the difficult task of choosing where Minecraft is going – and it seems they prefer to wait and see where the community is going (with its mods) before deciding. Overprecautiously patient or cowardly lazy ? you decide…