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Minecraft Beta 1.3 Is All Sleepy, And Available

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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