Reworldening: Minecraft’s 1.7 Update

By Craig Pearson on October 24th, 2013 at 2:00 pm.

2b2t, the scariest server of them all
“Creepers are stirrin’, child.”
“Ah ain’t seeing nothing, Paw.”
“Hmm. That’s because you need to earn those eyes. You ain’t never turned around and took a face full of green. But you will. Look yonder, the hill with the hole. See?”
“Ah see.”
“That used to be a Creeper. And yer maw. She’ll be mighty upset to lose her fineries, but ahm not going out there to get them. Come, ah expect she’s respawned back at the camp. Let’s go, and if you see a chuck, give it a punch. We can have a fine supper. Try and earn them eyes, okay? Something big’s on the way.”

What’s coming is the Minecraft 1.7 update, aka the Update That Changed The World. Oh, and a restraining order from the Wild West Society to stop me from writing more awesome frontier Minecraft fiction. Meanies.

It’s out this Friday. It’s a fairly literal title, because a great deal of work has gone into turning the randomly generated blocklands into a more interesting place for Minecrafters to explore. They’ve reduced the amount of ocean, so there’s more land for people to mine, and the transition between biomes should be more logical, with fewer deserts butting up against snowy biomes. There will be more biomes as well, and new trees, flowers, and blocks. Fishing has been tweaked, so you now have a chance of reeling in junk. That won’t be help when you’re hungry, but there might be treasure on the line.

I think the most interesting thing is the new ‘Amplified World’ option in the world creation: it creates a world where the height toggle has taken a holiday, so the size of the generated landscapes are unfettered by rules. I will be using that a fair bit. Here’s a wee video of some of the other changes Mojang are dropping.

You can play with this right now. Just use the select “new profile” in your launcher and call it “snapshots”. Checking “Enable experimental development snapshots” will let you see the magic.

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46 Comments »

  1. Premium User Badge Gap Gen says:

    Fishing has usually been a waste of time anyway, so it’s nice to see that it does something. I’m mainly looking forward to strip-mining a mesa biome to use for clay buildings, since digging up riverbeds in bulk is a pain. I’ll probably miss having discrete continents; I like the idea of exploring the coastline and mapping out landmasses, plus the continents are huge so it’s not like you’ll run out of space to build and explore unless your server is overpopulated.

    • Amun says:

      Yeah I’m also kind of sad they took out the huge oceans. I really like being marooned on an island and building it into a little slice of paradise. Although there was no ocean content besides squids, so that was kind of dull.

      Maybe they’ll put them back in as an option…. with submerged ruins and waterlogged zombies that rise up from the deep when you least expect it.

      • Premium User Badge Gap Gen says:

        I like the idea of Rapture-like structures similar to desert temples, etc, with Big Daddy mobs patrolling it.

        • Echo_Hotel says:

          I built an underwater city once, glass dome and all but the villagers didn’t like it something about needing clear line of sight to the sky above doors to call it a house

          • Premium User Badge Gap Gen says:

            You *might* be able to trick the village code, but yeah, having some “outside” blocks is important for villagers. It took me ages to master the dark art of iron farming (iron is now basically a junk resource that blocks up the hoppers in our spawn sewer system; we have more iron bars than zombie meat, I think).

      • 0positivo says:

        Luckily, Minecraft has a mod for Every Little Thing, so it’s not unlikely that someone that misses oceans like us will put that will to have everlasting watery expanses into code format.
        So, I don’t think we’re gonna miss them for long. Which is good, because even those awful starts in the middle of bloody nothing were just as part of the experience as every creeper blast.

        Which, by the way, I hope they don’t take away. But, with how it’s going, you never know

        • DeadlyAccurate says:

          Mariculture is a new mod that improves fishing, adds fish breeding, scuba gear, coral, etc. I haven’t really tested it yet on my world, but I’m exciting to have more reason to explore the oceans (even with Mo’Creatures the ocean doesn’t really offer much to do).

      • Yglorba says:

        I’m sad about the loss of oceans, too. I have fond memories of going off sailing into the distance with a friend, landing on a tiny island with almost no food or resources left and finding a tunnel deep beneath the earth… on a heavily-populated server, sailing off to a new continent felt like an immersive way to get away from everyone else for a bit.

    • cowgod says:

      Sure, as long as you want to build with the colors you find… It’s already hardened clay and you can’t change the color of it, as far as I know.

  2. Nickel says:

    I haven’t even played 1.6 yet – waiting for FTB updates…

    • Premium User Badge RedViv says:

      Won’t happen for a while until the “No he shoved me first I swear on me mum!!!” silliness with GregTech and such is resolved. So maybe come back in ten years.

      • MellowKrogoth says:

        Minecraft modder drama is the worst drama. Some are more agressive and vicious about their precious “intellectual property” than the RIAA or MPAA… the only thing they lack (thank God) to do as much harm is the financial means to sue people into oblivion.

    • phelix says:

      Free To Buy? Foster The Bear? Forwards To Backwards? Franchise Tax Board? Francis Tailor Building? First Tennessee Bank? Forschungsinstitut Technologie und Behinderung? Fight The Builders?

      • Premium User Badge RedViv says:

        Feed The Badgers. It’s the most British eco terrorist mod.

      • Premium User Badge Gap Gen says:

        (Serious Face): Feed the Beast, a mod pack.

        Will be a while before Bukkit updates, too, although they normally only take a week or two.

    • Noburu says:

      You, me and so many others. I have tons of friends that play Minecraft, but none of us have even messed with vanilla in a very very long time. Besides there is basically nothing in vanilla that a modder hasnt already done, and done better.

      • Premium User Badge Gap Gen says:

        I like the idea of Minecraft being a stable, curated experience, with the ability to mod in whatever you want. There’s a balance to be had, of course – despite a lot of Bukkit’s additions being great, the abillity to teleport at will often loses some of the charm of being miles away from home with half a heart left in the middle of a darkened forest and not knowing if you’ll make it back in one piece.

    • Vurp says:

      There is a modpack called resonant rise that is 1.6.4. It has it own launcher. http://www.atlauncher.com/ It have similar mods to FTB available except for thermal expansion. That mod is undergoing a major rewrite at the moment.
      Otherwise it is not too late to make your own modpack. The biggest bugbear with modding have been removed. Forge now comes with an installer and tells you whenever there is a id conflict and what the biggest id gaps are.

      • MellowKrogoth says:

        It’s important to note that AT launcher modpacks are not true modpacks but rather a kind of helper to build your own modpack. That’s how they manage to include mods from modders that aren’t so keen on sharing, because they make you download it each mod from its own page and automate the configuration.

  3. Inzimus says:

    so, another ‘major update’ and still no mention of the ‘shadow glitch/bug’ being fixed? well, at least we can fish for junk now…

    • Barberetti says:

      Yeah I just tried it and it does appear to be fixed. After all this time, Mojang finally sort it out …. in the same update they remove my beloved oceans.

      Wankers!

      The new terrain generation looks good though, at least from what I saw of it. Still a problem with some chunks taking time to update even when you’re almost stood in them, but at least it’s a lot more interesting than the bland terrain we’ve had for the last fuck knows how long. Also, you’re finally able to bind keys to the hotbar slots! So yeah, three of the things I’ve been wanting for ages finally happen, and they remove the large oceans at the same time.

      Will wait for a large ocean mod before I bother with this.

      • SquareWheel says:

        Oceans are still huge, they’re just not endless any more.

      • Inzimus says:

        I’d be hellaglad if they fixed that freaking shadow-thing-bug.
        might be about time to get back into the game…

      • uh20 says:

        i once joined a big-player server and went on a boat trip
        i eventually had to tape the W key to the keyboard
        nearly 3 hours later, i come back to find my character has landed on an unexplored island nearly 11,000 blocks away (28,000 total from spawn)

  4. Premium User Badge Clavus says:

    All I want is that mod API. The modding scene for Minecraft has been way too chaotic, and everything breaking with every update hasn’t helped.

  5. kobadow says:

    Graphics look dated.

    • Phasma Felis says:

      Your Mom looks dated.

      By which I mean, I dated her. Only for a few weeks, though. She just wore me out, you know?

  6. Piecewise says:

    It boggles my mind that Mojang, with it’s supposedly dedicated group of people working on minecraft, can be this goddamn slow. I mean, look at terraria. The time between the 1.1 and 1.2 update is long, about 21 months, but the amount of content in the release is massive: over a 1000 new items and blocks, new biomes, new mechanics, new structures, new npc’s etc. Minecraft in the same amount of time has added maybe a dozen or so new things, many of which were taken wholesale from or actually made by modders. Stained glass, horses, these sorts of things were modded in years ago, along with 6 million other awesome things that the devs completely ignore in order to keep doing…what ever the fuck they do over there.

    I think the most telling thing is the “better then wolves” mod. When Mojang, after weeks of anticipation, released an update that was pretty much nothing but a shitty wolf, a modder, to prove a point, created and released a massive mod in less then a week that contained dozens of awesome things that fit well within vanilla minecraft, like windmills, elevators, concrete, cooking, increased farming, ropes etc.

    Why is it that this dedicated company with millions of dollars are dozens of times less efficient then one amateur modder with a point to prove?

    • Reapy says:

      Because they have no more points to prove and are rich as fuck?

    • DeadlyAccurate says:

      Tell me about it. I’m pretty sure Bibliocraft’s latest minor update was larger than an entire 1.[x] release of vanilla. I’ve been playing on a 1.4.7 FTB world and also setting up a 1.6.2 world, and I swear every mod I’m updating has practically doubled their content. Mariculture does an improved fishing along with a lot of other things. I have two mods that already handle stained glass (Forestry and something else). Their announcement of “doubling the number of biomes” made me raise my eyebrows. Biomes O’ Plenty adds 87 new biomes (and OMG, the Outback biome is gorgeous!). These guys are working for free, or practically so.

    • Napalm Sushi says:

      Most of the work done since Notch passed on the baton has comprised under the hood changes to the network code, file system, graphics engine, sound engine etc and preparations for the still-upcoming modding API. At one point they entirely changed the file format in which maps are saved. I don’t know how well that justifies the apparent scarcity of tangible additions compared with those offered by modders but it’s something to consider.

      • SquareWheel says:

        “At one point they entirely changed the file format in which maps are saved.”

        Twice actually. But yes, they’re focusing on rebuilding the engine as opposed to just adding new content (though that exists too). Mods are great for new content however.

      • Piecewise says:

        That modding API has been “Upcoming” for years. And it’s amazing how all these technical improvements can’t seem to make the game be less of a paradoxical resource hog. I mean, it is astonishing how badly optimized the game is. There are dozens of other “minecraft-likes” that look just as good if not better and run several times better as well.

        I can appreciate the fact that sometimes, some updates need to be more about coding and bug fixing then new content. Thats standard stuff, I accept that. I won’t sit here and demand new shit in every update. But the problem is that the MAJORITY of updates are just bug fixes and engine stuff, with maybe a block thrown in to try and fool people that it’s an actual content update. When you’re doing this much bug fixing and engine fuckery then either your game is a barely held together pile of shitty code or you’re not in 1.0 territory, let alone 1.7.

        And lets not forget the rambling madness of the “Ending poem”.

        • Napalm Sushi says:

          You’re exactly right of course. The game was created as a casual experiment in Java. It was never intended to become what it now is and was ill-prepared for what’s now demanded of it, which is why the current dev team is doing all this stuff now.

    • Yglorba says:

      As a coder who has worked on both large and small projects myself, I can sort-of explain it: It’s far easier to quickly throw out small new toys on a tiny hobby project than it is when you’re part of a company updating one of the biggest and most popular videogames in the entire world.

      Sure, a modder can throw out something cool in a week… and he doesn’t have to worry about working with anyone else, or ensuring that his code is maintainable in the long term, or thorough debugging or any one of the thousand other small things that crop up once your project passes a certain size and goes professional. The tiny feature that a hobbyist modder can knock off in an afternoon can take weeks to work its way through design documents, QA, code reviews, and the other things that are necessary to coordinate a large project between a bunch of people.

      This is especially true for a project, like Minecraft, that started out as a hobby project and whose code is probably a painful mess — they have to be incredibly careful to not break anything, while adhering to their new standards. When Minecraft was new, Notch could churn out new features every Friday without even bothering to announce it; nowadays there’s a whole lot of stuff preventing that.

      Of course, I think it’s also true that there’s a cultural thing here — I suspect that the minecraft devs mostly see the game as nearly feature-complete and are resistant to the idea of adding stuff just for the sake of adding stuff. The modding community can consist of dozens of people throwing ideas at the wall and seeing what sticks; but the core dev team can’t, because if they make the wrong thing part of the core game, they instantly become known as those guys who ruined Minecraft.

      (And even if something is successful and fun as a mod, that doesn’t immediately mean it’s appropriate to import into Minecraft proper. Mods are inherently exclusive — people who use them tend to be technologically-sophisticated, highly experienced with Minecraft, and probably bored with vanilla and looking for something different. Things that work for that specific group might not work for Minecraft’s entire userbase.)

      The devs also have to consider the fact that some ideas are exclusive — implementing one idea on a quick whim might preclude something later, or it might change the tone of the entire game. And they have to consider the fact that everything they implement needs to be maintained and worked into the rest of the game forever; this gives them an incentive to stay feature-light. (Whereas a modder only needs to worry about their one mod, doesn’t have to care about how it affects tone or future features, and can always just shrug and say “screw it, not maintaining this anymore.”)

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      Oh, you’re in the “better than wolves” cult. Enjoy your loss of credibility. After all, your brain must be “incompatible with everything”.

      Do you really need explaining basic stuff, such as: things are exponentially harder to make in a 3D game, some features or content take a long time to implement for little visual results (completely changed save file formats, rewrote the network code, rewrote the lighting code, added resource packs, all mostly invisible changes to prepare for the modding API), and the Minecraft team size is still tiny because they stick to their indie roots. Heck, it’s probably smaller than the Terraria team.

  7. MarcP says:

    Why is it that those super talented modders who are dozens of times more efficient than million dollars companies don’t make their own games and rake in the money?

    Benevolent genius doing this for the love of gaming and nothing else could work back in the day (although in reality many popular mods were portfolio pieces from young people eager to break into the industry), but now everyone asks for donations or promotes their monetized Youtube, Twitter, what have you, so this particular excuse doesn’t hold much water anymore.

    In my experience, generally the answer is most mods are overhyped and apologists overlook plenty of compatibility, consistency or even plain quality issues.

    • DeadlyAccurate says:

      There’s a lot more work to making a game than there is with building on top of one that already exists. And a lot of these mods get passed along from one dev to the next, as the mod maker gets tired of working on it.

      And actually, no we users don’t overlook the issues, but many of those mods really are that amazing. Adding one or two polished mods, and you’re unlikely to encounter any issues whatsoever. It’s really only when you start trying to get dozens of mods working together that you’re going to get an occasional crash or bug, no matter how well polished each mod is individually. And if you use an “official” mod pack like Feed The Beast, well those tend to be tested and tweaked to have the fewest possible bugs.

      If you’ve never tried modded Minecraft, why not give it a shot? It doesn’t cost you anything.

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      Exactly my experience with mods. The vast majority are overhyped and sold on concept rather than content, and even the ones that exhibit shards of greatness never have the level of polish (balance, bug-free, visuals, UI, performance) of professional devs.

      And the mods which seem to deliver massive amount of content are usually about quantity rather than quality, resulting in a vomit-inducing mess without a guiding idea. A good designer can be stuck one week trying to refine an idea, and sometimes you have to spend time taking things away, too.

      In the end great mods take years to develop and very often burn out their authors, so guess what, modders are only human just like developers.

  8. realitysconcierge says:

    Craig, there are some seriously better Finn skins out there just for your information.

    • Niko says:

      Goddamit Craig, first Dark Souls, then something-else-I-forgot-which, and now this!

  9. Vurp says:

    There is a relatively new mod out which completely revamps how the world generates. Instead of having biome distributed randomly and then have elevation dependant of the biomes, ATG does it pretty much the other way around.
    http://www.minecraftforum.net/topic/1932156-16x-atg-alternate-terrain-generation/
    Now instead of having smallish blobs with biomes everywhere we have enormous mountains with snow on the top with gradually more trees all the down from the top.
    Its actually quite great.

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      Thanks for the link, that’s cool. A more basic version of Dwarf Fortress world generation, basically.

      Though I must say that while I like the idea of more realistic worlds, my best experiences so far have been with Minecraft worlds that have every biome packed in a small area in a nonsensical fashion. Loads to explore without going far from home!

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