With much anticipation leading up to the Minecraft 1.5 Update, gamers are sure to be rejoicing in the block world if they're not in the realm of Portal 2. Notch and co. (Mojang) have included many updates and changes in the update, which sees the long-awaited addition of statistics, achievements, weather and some new items and game-changes that are sure to spark your interest - and save you some time for you Minecraft macro-miners.
Without further ado, let's take a look at what's been brought in for the Minecraft 1.5 Update:
The Minecart Detector Rail
It's not too hard to figure out what this guy does. Similar in creation to a regular track (and as iron-intensive as ever), the detector rail uses redstone and a stone pressure plate to detect when a Minecart of any type goes over it. The signal will be sent to any square adjacent to the railroad cart, and is useful for things like switching tracks ahead, exploding traps and triggering events as you approach a certain spot. As usual, 6 types of this rail will be crafted at once.
The Powered Mine Cart Rail
Swapping your usual iron supplement for that of gold - which up until now hasn't had too much major use - you can produce 6 powered rails, which you can use to give your Minecart a boost whenever it travels over them. It was developed as a solution to the inclusion of Minecart Physics Boosts techniques, which will soon be obsolete as Notch fixes Minecraft physics errors. Obviously, you need a redstone connection to trigger whether the rail is powered or not. If left unpowered, it will act as a break.
For optimal boosting, we recommend using one every 32 spaces so the cart doesn't slow down too much over mostly flat surfaces - obviously, if you're going uphill, more boosts may be required. Having two power rails boosting next to eachother does not double the speed, as both will set the minecart at the same momentum. Lastly, it should be noted that you can only place these as straight pieces - no speeding up on corners, which usually tends to be a bad idea in any kind of travel.
The long awaited inclusion of statistics is finally here! With it, you not only track (as pictured) your distances, play time, mob kills, server stats and item quantities, but also how many of each item type you've mined, used and crafted. The same can be said for tools. The update is a useful feature and will no doubt be used for bragging rights as to who is more active in the game, and to track milestones - hey, who doesn't want to know when their millionth piece of cobblestone has been found? It's not addiction, it's enthusiasm!
A lovely touch to the game is the inclusion of weather. When it rains, you'll see clouds block the sky and pixel blue streaks begin to fill the air. While it doesn't affect stretches of ground, a single lower block may be filled to simulate puddles. You'll see that your crops get wet, wolves shake their fur and fires are put out by mother nature herself. While rain does extinguish regular fires, it does not affect lava, torches or Nether Stone powered flames, whilst everything else will be extinguished. it's been reported that you have a higher chance of catching fish in the rain as well. You'll now also have to watch out for thunder, which will occur rarely and randomly, possibly setting wooden structures on fire, or turning innocent little pigs into the same Zombie Pigmen that come from the Nether. Yes, that's right - you now have another thing to be scared of in Minecraft.
There's also snowfall, which will cover the ground in a light snow layer and regrow ice on a lake which may have been destroyed. Similarly to rainfall, there is a chance of thunder during this event.
Prepare yourself for some easy, initial achievements - more are expected to be added as each update comes along. There are currently 16 achievements to get, and most of them are startup-style accomplishments. Here are some of the highlights:
- Getting Wood (Punch a tree until a block of wood comes out)
- Hot Topic (construct a furnace out of eight stone blocks)
- Benchmarking (craft a workbench with four blocks of wooden planks)
- Monster Hunter (attack and destroy a monster)
- When Pigs Fly (use a saddle to ride a pig, then fall off a cliff while riding it.)
As you can see, most of the initial achievements are aimed at new users to the game, giving them some love so that hopefully they'll continue to play. It's a common tactic among many games to do so, and Minecraft is no different here. Still, veteran gamers will find the majority of achievements achievable in under 5 minutes.
Minecraft Sapling Changes
Though there have been two new tree types since the 1.2 Update, birch and spruce trees haven't had much love in the world of saplings, in which only the regular type would ever drop from leaves. Now, birch and spruce trees will drop their own unique saplings, so you can grow a culturally diverse kind of forest, and not get weird glances from the neighbors when you only have one tree type. Additionally, Notch has changed saplings so that they can be used to smelt for heat, and have the same cooking attributes as sticks.
Rest of the Stuff
There are quite a bit of things left in the update, only some of which Notch mentioned before. The main change is that when holding shift and clicking on an item when looking at a chest, it now teleports into your inventory - no more clicking-and-dragging for you! This simple update is bound to make many an impatient miner happy. Here's a list of all the changes that the Minecraft 1.5 update brings upon itself:
- Axes now do more damage than normal tools
- Crafting a ladder now produces 2 ladders
- You can now change your GUI Size with three settings
- The option for Advanced OpenGL for fancy graphics cards
- Redstone dust can now be placed on snow
- Wolves are more common
- Dropped items flow in moving water at a faster speed
- Pigs that die by burning (not by lightning) will now drop cooked porkchops instead of regular
And last but certainly not least, here are the bug fixes:
- Ladders with 1-block-gaps will not work anymore for climbing upwards
- Water Ladders have been corrected
- Water current reduced to how it was before 1.5 update
- The sides of grass blocks are now biome-specific on the fancy graphics setting
- Wolves know how to go through doors now, though your doggy-doors are still cute as ever.
- Wolves on Survival Multiplayer now have better client/server relationships, reducing false whimpering on unhurt wolves
- The speed of traveling through flowing water has been reverted back to an older, faster setting
That about sums it up for what has been a very solid Minecraft update. The inclusion of booster and detector tracks are sure to start a revolution among trackmakers, and rest of the updates really add to the immersion of the game. What do you think about the changes in the 1.5 Update? Are you pleased? Is there still something you would like to see changed or included?
- Minecraft 1.4 Update Guide: Cookies & Pet Wolves
- Minecraft 1.3 Update Guide: Lighting, Beds & Redstone Repeaters
- Minecraft 1.2 Update Guide: Music, Colored Wool & Cake
Follow me on twitter (@Makelevi) and feel free to tell me what you think of the 1.5 Update!