Who's afraid of the cute widdle wolf? (not I…)

As the majority of the Minecraft community knows by now, Notch promised the inclusion of dogs while at the Game Developers’ Conference in San Francisco, earlier this month. With work on the project well under way by Jens “Jeb” Bergensten, a YouTube video was released today, showing the current state of the dogs – I mean wolves… Perhaps dogs weren’t considered primal enough for Minecraft?

Just fourteen seconds into the video, I was totally sold on the concept when one of the wolves leapt out of the water and shook itself dry… D’awww! So cute! I immediately wanted one… though when they were still called dogs, I’d planned to have one called Samantha – maybe now, I’ll have to call it Diefenbaker?

Anyway, these wolves aren’t just cute – they’re deadly: If you attack a mob in melee, they’ll leap into action and finish the job for you, as a few cows found out in the video… But as Jeb tweeted earlier this week, they can also take the hit for you from hostile mobs. So my over-active imagination went to work, and imagined the following scenario, which I tweeted:

But, I’m dreading the moment when, down in the caves, one of my wolf pack leaps to attack a foe… and lands in lava :.(

Minecraft maven SatoriLove’s amusing response (unintentionally) illustrates a problem I have:

@AstragaliUSA Ahh I can’t bear the thought… Poor innocent ingamecompletelynotreal puppy 😦

Long before I started with Minecraft, I realised that I invest far too much emotion in fiction (though I know I’m not alone in this). So I just know it’ll be galling to see a faithful pet, no matter how fictional, throw itself into situations from which it may not come back alive, completely at my behest. Still, the thought of being able to tame four-legged companions is a fun one, and I’m getting all excited about it…

In the current incarnation, you use a random number of bones to tame a wild wolf (it’s purely coincidental that each time a wolf was tamed in the video, two was all it took), and pork to reward a tame one (that’s what it looked like, at least).

As Jeb’s pointed out (links: tweet 1; tweet 2; tweet 3), there’s some way to go before wolves will be put into the wilds of Minecraft. The end of the video shows a pack of five – at present, there’s no limit. If it wasn’t for the potential performance issues, I think it’d be pretty cool to see someone leading a throng of wolves over the landscape, like a cross between Bear Grylls and the Pied Piper…

And if we get the sound of wolves howling at the moon while playing the game, there could be more goosebumps than usual amongst the world’s Minecrafters…

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One Response to Who's afraid of the cute widdle wolf? (not I…)

  1. Thefre says:

    I am slightly concerned over the frequency of the wolf sounds. Having a pack of wolves that are constantly howling could drive people to insanity. However the wolves themselves are looking to be pretty awesome. I’m looking forward to seeing em added.

    Also, I would sooner care about a digital artificially intelligent entity than something like a car, but there are people that really love their cars. How much emotional investment is too much really? I don’t feel like there’s such a thing.

    Like

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