Minecraft Update Beta 1.4. Complete with April Fools Prank!

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Minecraft 1.4 is out! This is a recording for posterity, and for those who are afraid to venture into their new Minecraft worlds unprepared for what lies ahead. Read with me, as I discover the practical differences of this new update, 1.4.

First up, the official change log. As we all know, the game will still surprise us, but it is best to be as prepared as possible:

  • Added tameable wolves
  • Added cookies
  • Sleeping in a bed now resets your spawn position
  • New Minecraft logo
  • Holding shift while climbing will hang on to the ladder
  • Spiders will no longer trample crops
  • Lots and lots of infrastructure for Statistics lists and Achievements

WARNING: This contains SPOILERS. Yes. SPOILERS. If you read through it before you play 1.4 yourself, which is sort of the point of the article, but never mind, surprises will be SPOILED. You have been warned.

The Real Play

The first significant change I thought I noticed in the logon screen was a change in the 'Minecraft' text. Then I realized that I was running the John Smith HD 32x texture pack and felt a little silly. Then I changed back to the default textures and OMG it was real, the Minecraft logo *is* blockier. A cosmetic change, but one that bodes for the future. What it bodes I cannot yet say.

For the purposes of exploring this update, I created a new world, a world with the seed 'onepointfour'. The first thing I noticed as the world loaded was that it was lagging like it was being sent to my pc piecemeal by tired Russian pigeons.

That's a whopping five (5) fps there folks. Once the world loaded up I got back up around 26 fps, which is at least playable, so although you may experience some lag at first, it should come right. Updates are notorious for making life difficult for players with lower end computers. (when I say lower end, I mean less than 4 G of RAM. This game chews RAM like cookie monster chews cookies.)

So I set out looking for a wolf pet and I discover very quickly that I'm in the biggest forest biome there ever was. I mean, I'm walking all day and I'm not getting out of this thing.

Now I know that large biomes are awesome and that forests are pretty, but I'm playing with monsters enabled and I don't want a creeper sneaking up on me when I tame my wolf pet and I certainly don't want to have my field of vision restricted by endless leaves. So I torch the place.

This destroys my view distance and returns the problematic lag, so I sit on my now entirely clear grassy knoll and wait for it to burn itself out.

In the aftermath most of the forest survives on account of its sheer size, but I have a clear plane to operate from. That's a clear plane of vision, not an invisible plane, although that would be awesome.

Night begins to fall and I start to battle through it, mowing down creepers and skeleton archers in search of wolves. None seem to be around, but as I approach an oasis...

A Wild Chest Appears!

This is not a chest of my making or placing. After killing everything guarding it, I open it to discover...

Clicking the 'Go To Store' link takes me to 'The Minecraft Store'.

The Minecraft Store

A TF2 style store! Nice one Notch, and a Merry April Fool's to all.

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