After having a completely useless whinge about the new Minecraft Beta I’ve had more of a chance to play around with it, starting a few new worlds to see what happens.
The most obvious change, given I tend to play in Survival/Peaceful mode, is the villages. They’re well constructed and atmospheric. So far all the villages I’ve found have contained at least one building with a crafting table, and a “blacksmith” with forge.
A slightly more subtle change seems to have been made in the way the landscape is generated. Both underwater and above water seem slightly more complex and “interesting”. I have no idea what’s been done here, but it makes for a more varied landscape, and even more fun exploring. The only downside for someone like me is I take even longer to decide where my “home base” is going to be; then immediately find somewhere better …
The new lighting changes have taken me a while to get used to. They’re not bad, quite the opposite in fact, making torchlight much warmer and different to sunlight. However it just clashes with what my brain expects and looked “dimmer” to me until I got used to it.
On the other hand, dawn and dusk met with an immediate “oooh pretty!” I really love the new effect!
Despite my aforementioned whinge, I played with Creative mode for a bit, and while I’m not going to use it for all my building, it is a good environment for me to try out various ideas that may not work out the way I want.
There are a few differences between Survival and Creative modes. The most obvious is that in Creative mode you have all blocks/building objects available to you in an infinite supply. Also, breaking blocks takes only one blow, no matter what type it is.
The other big difference is that you can fly. If you “double jump” (double tap the space bar) you won’t just jump, you’ll lift into the air. From there, “jump” takes you up and “shift” takes you down. Once you’ve hit an object, or the water, you stop flying. While I love the idea of “free form” movement, the way it’s implemented (extending the original character movement) is clunky and rather horrible. My first instinct when wanting to move to a certain spot is to point my character at that location, then move forwards. However forwards just moves you “forwards” in the same horizontal plane, so you have to remember to use “up” or “down” as well. I can see why this decision was made, but when I’m doing creative things it’s just annoying.
That aside, Creative mode is a good place to play, but it does take away the challenge I’m after, so I’ll be sticking mostly to Survival/Peaceful mode. For those purely creative types, however, I’m sure it will be a huge improvement.
I know there’s a much larger “changelog” for this Beta, but this is just a wrap-up of those things I’ve noticed and/or played with. I think it’s a good update – expanding the world and play possibilities, while still keeping those things that make it addictive in the first place.