Just a few days after Notch’s announcement that Minecraft will only be receiving pre-release updates until MineCon, version 1.9 pre-release 4 makes its way to hard drives. Jeb walked viewers through some of the more significant changes in a livestream the other day, but in case you missed that, we have collected a treasure trove of images from across the web detailing some of the new attractions pre-release 4 has to offer.

The biggest change is the addition of a brand new dimension known as The End. Notch had informed us quite a while ago that there would be a sky dimension making its way to Minecraft as a sort of counter-balance to the Nether. It would appear plans have changed since then, as The End looks even more dangerous than the Nether, and much, much darker. The floating island design has remained intact though. It will be populated by Endermen and Enderdragons, along with Obsidian Towers to blot out the already dreary sky. Certainly not an ideal travel destination.

The only way to access The End, home of the Endercreatures, is through Ender Portals in Strongholds. As you might remember from earlier pre-releases, these Strongholds are very rare, so to make things a little easier on players, throwing Eyes of Ender (combination of Ender Pearl + Blaze Powder) up in the air will point players in the direction of the nearest Stronghold. Inside is a pre-made portal, ripe for the portaling. Unfortunately, all the empty blocks need to be filled with Eyes of Ender before the portal will open. Be cautious though, even if you are able to make it into The End, it is nearly impossible to make it back out… without falling into the Void.

Along with The End, the infamously square sun and moon have finally rounded out in preparation for cycles. That’s right, no more blocky sunsets. Also, weapon enchantments are now fully functional up to a certain level, meaning that Sword of Knockback is actually going to knock back that horrid Creeper. The last addition found in the patch is a single new item: the glistening melon (Melon Slice + Gold Nugget). Mmm.

Once again, less than a week after the previous update, Mojang has inundated with new toys and floating islands. This should tide everyone over for exactly one week. Then, seriously, we expect the dragons Notch.

Download the new Minecraft 1.9 PR4 from @jeb_’s twitter right here.

Minecraft exits beta on November 18, 2011, at MineCon.

Source: Jeb, Minecraft Forums, Minecraft Wiki