It’s been just over a month since the last Minecraft update, an understandable amount of time given how busy Mojang has been with the announcement of Minecraft coming to Xbox 360 with Kinect support and Minecraft coming to the Xperia Play. Despite the busy times in their studio, Mojang have now released the 1.7 update, which fans have frequently thought of as the ‘Adventure Update,’ though it is now clear that the adventure update will be the 1.8 edition as opposed to the one available for download now.
In comparison to the other Minecraft updates, 1.7 brings in a relatively small amount of changes, with the new piston block offering most of the excitement and some subtle gameplay changes filling in the rest. Without further ado, let’s take a look at what Mojang have built up for us in their newest update:
The long-awaited pistons have finally graced our pixelated lands, allowing users to utilize the force of motion to shove up to 12 blocks depending on their position in relation to the piston block. Pistons can move any block, aside from obsidan, bedrock and tile-entity blocks (like noteblocks, chests or signs, which are destroyed if pushed). You can use a piston as a floodgate, pushing water or lava to create a flow of liquid. They can also be used, when activated, to push either the player or mobs, allowing a new era of traps and triggers. Pistons can also push dropped items, so if you’ve got mob traps this is a handy tool to push all the items down a central collection spot.
Like his aforementioned cousin, the Pull Piston extends a platform to interact with an adjacent block, this time using the sticky (and previously useless) Slime Ball to pull in whatever it sticks out to grab. Once a block has been ‘stuck, the player must either destroy the piston or the block itself to unlock it from the hold, unless another piston is used to push the sticky piston away – you can see where piston systems can get complicated.
Farewell to our days of punching sheep – the old methods of elegant animal-punching will no longer yearn a harvest of fluffy wool. You’ll need two pieces of iron to craft the new item, which will allow you to right-click sheep and earn yourself some wool without harming the animal. The move for this item was made because Mojang are planning to make animals more persistent in the world, meaning wool will have a natural regrowing cycle – as such, there needed to be a way to harvest wool without, say, punching sheep in the face. Shears can also destroy wool blocks at a very fast speed, at no damage to the item itself.
You can now also use shears to collect leaves, meaning that building hedges no longer requires an intimate placement and destruction of trees. Leaves still function as they used to, so they need to be within 4 blocks of wood or they’ll disappear from the world. Regardless, it opens up a much easier route to sprucing some places up, and is a welcome change to the time-consuming alternative.
It should be noted that if you do decide to show the sheep your knuckles, killing it will still yield your character one wool block.
Rest of the Stuff
If you’re wondering what the above image is, you’re probably not alone – just know that it hasn’t been included in the game yet, but is located in the mob folder with the filename of “Silverfish.” A Silverfish is a small, wingless insect notorious for hiding in dark places and eating wood. It’s expected that its in-game counterpart will be a full-fledged edition in the upcoming 1.8 Adventure Update.
Pressing F3 will now show what direction you are looking as well as displaying your co-ordinates. It’s a handy tool to use in conjunction with maps. For reference, zero is west, one is north, two is east and three is south. Here’s the rest of the updates and goodies included in the 1.7 Update:
- Fences are now stackable.
- Redstone Wire will automatically connect to the back of a Repeater.
- Fire or Redstone are the only things that can trigger TNT (no more punching!).
- Cobblestone and Brick Blocks have new textures.
- Single Slabs now use the bottom half of the full block texture.
- The Breaking Texture Animation now has higher opacity.
1.7 brings some subtle changes to Minecraft, offering pistons as the main course in a relatively small buffet. They’ve been a sought-after feature ever since they appeared in a popular mod, and many crafters will be happy to be able to utilize them in the official game. In the meantime, we’ll have to ponder what’s next in the upcoming 1.8 Update, which currently has no expected time of release – Notch stated he wasn’t going to rush anything, as it’s probably a better idea to let such a game-changing mode mature in development.
What do you think about the Minecraft 1.7 Update?