You haven't really been playing Minecraft for the last two years or so. You've just been imagining it - a wish-dream of an amazing free-form building/aventuring game that might one day exist, if only fate is kind enough. All those months, clicking hollow-eyed at hillsides that weren't there, screaming about green monsters no-one else could see. You've made a fool of yourself. You should be ashamed.
The good news is you can stop pretending this November, when the game known as Minecraft is finally released. On the same day as Sykrim, in fact...
While we knew full well we'd only be playing the alpha and then beta version of Minecraft over these last couple of years, the idea of a 'finished' version getting released remains bizarre in the extreme. Even Markus 'Notch' Persson acknowledges in his announcement post that "the version we deem as the “full version” won’t be very different at all from what the game was like a week ago, and we’ll keep adding features after the release as well, so it’s really more of a milestone when we finally get rid of the Beta label, and some kind of goal for us to work towards."
Hooray. I guess?
The date for this milestone is November 11. The unofficial tagline of "us too" is in reference to Minecraft going head to head with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, a game Notch is also terribly excited about. LET THE GAME WARS COMMENCE.
In the meantime, next week should see the release of Minecraft 1.5, which offers the aforementioned achievements and now also weather. The latter's an exciting idea, as it's one of those tried and tested ways of really building in-game atmosphere (see: Stalker, WoW). Here's what we're in for:
"There’s periodic downfall (snow in snowy areas, rain in others, nothing in deserts) that make the sky darker, hides the sun, moon and stars, and makes everything wet. Ice grows back in cold regions, and snowfall covers the ground when it’s snowing. During rain/snow, there can be occasional thunderstorms with lightning." On Twitter, he also added that "Wolves get wet in the rain. Crops will get watered."
As has forever been the case with Minecraft: prettiness via programming. Those poor, soggy wolves though.