Is it me, or are the Minecraft weekly snapshots becoming increasingly interesting?
Last week, just before snapshot 12w03a was released, Jeb teased that Jon (Jon Kagstrom, Minecraft’s new co-programmer) was planning to introduce new, jungle-specific mobs. I’m not sure if Jeb actually said anything about monkeys, but it seems that monkeys were assumed to be the animals in question. What we got in 12w04a, however, were ocelots… though not everyone was thrilled about it in the way you might expect…
The ocelots are shy, and will run away from you if you move too quickly (either walking, or simply by moving the cursor quickly, according to the Ocelot page on the Minecraft Wiki).
But if you stand and wait while holding a fish, they’ll slowly approach you – when in range, you can right-click on them with the fish to tame them, and they’ll turn into a cat! It seems a bit strange that ocelots are essentially the first chameleonic mob in vanilla Minecraft, but eh, whatever. Cats come in three varieties: tabby, black-and-white (as an homage to Jeb’s cat, Newton), and Siamese-style. Personally, I would have liked to have had the opportunity to actually possess a tamed ocelot, but on the upside, you can at least tell, at a glance, if a feline is tamed.
With the current incarnation of cats, there are some downsides:
- You can’t make them sit around and wait, like you can with wolves;
- They don’t attack the mobs you hit;
- As with their ocelot form, they attack chickens – what with that, and the fact that cats follow you everywhere, don’t even think about trying to farm chickens in this particular snapshot!
Still, it’s nice to see that if you’re a “cat person”, you’re no longer being ignored… Oh, and since the tweet from Jeb said “animals” in the plural, it doesn’t rule out the possibility of those monkeys showing up…
Not long after ocelots/cats were found to be the new mob in Minecraft, the memes started appearing. This picture appeared on Achievement Get!:
… while BebopVox hoped that cats and dogs would fight, so that those countless viral videos could be recreated in Minecraft. I, however, had greater priorities:
There have been further upgrades to hostile-mob AI, building on 12w03a’s improvements: The skeletons now have the same pathfinding AI as zombies, where they can walk around obstacles to reach you. And both mobs now actively try to avoid sunlight – if they’re in the dark, they won’t follow you; and if they’re in the light, they’ll attempt to reach a shaded area or water before burning up.
The Bottle o’ Enchanting is now available in Creative Mode: Looks like a regular potion, but works as a splash potion – and when broken, it drops XP orbs! Although you can’t see your XP level in Creative Mode at present, you can still enchant items. Hopefully, they’ll change things so that you can see your XP level, otherwise that’s going to be frustratingly hit-and-miss when you want to enchant things.
If you tried out 12w03a, you might have thought that dispensers spawning mobs was bad enough, but with this week’s snapshot, dispensers just got a load worse (or better, depending on whether you’re the victim or the mad dungeon creator ;)). The newly-added Fire Charge – crafted from 1 Blaze Powder, 1 Coal and 1 Gunpowder – turns into a fireball when fired from a dispenser, or can be used in the same manner as a flint and steel, although as they’re only single-use, it’s not a particularly good idea. You know, I’d wondered what I was going to do with all that coal that Kristal and I have been stockpiling…
Since the Fire Charges aren’t presently affected by gravity, they’ll just keep on truckin’ until they hit something. Whether this means they’ll cause chunk generation remains to be seen, but hopefully, their behaviour will be changed before 1.2 is officially released.
Those hulking great trees which popped up in the jungle biome last week can now be grown by players: Last week, they dropped oak saplings, but now they have their own sapling, so one sapling and some bonemeal, and VOOOOM! 😀
And there appears to be a bit of a mystery going on, if the Version History for 12w04a on Minecraft Wiki is anything to go by… According to the wiki, some players have reported seeing Desert Wells – thankfully, pictures have also been posted, so we know those people haven’t been spending too long around their Brewing Stations 😉 But it’s not yet known what their current or future purpose is… (cue Twilight Zone music)
Last but not least, anything can now be placed in an Enchanting Table… not sure why, mind you… 🙂
Obviously, it’s not certain that every weekly snapshot will contain new content, but it seems that Jeb and Jon are doing a fine job with keeping Minecraft moving forward, introducing new content and improving existing stuff. I know I’m somewhat late to the party when it comes to checking out the snapshots – I was previously content to just wait until the next “proper” version was released – but the snapshots from both this week and last have seriously piqued my interest, and I’ll probably end up downloading each one as it comes out… and posting about it on here if it particularly tickles my fancy 🙂
The funniest video I’ve seen from those Minecrafters trying out the snapshot comes from Coestar – he and dewtroid were having a lot of fun with revolving ocelots, dancing zombie and skeletons… and “skeleton nukes”… If you’ve not seen the video yet, I’m not going to spoil it for you – you really should go check it out for yourself! 😀