'Minecraft' Update 1.13: New Blocks and Features
Wet and Wonderful Features are Arriving for "Minecraft"
Near the end of January, Mojang announced that they would be merging the 1.13 and 1.14 updates, previously known respectively as “Technically Updated” and “Update Aquatic.” Although this pushed the release date of 1.13 back slightly, Mojang promised that players would get to begin testing the much anticipated aquatic features sooner. This promise has proved to be true as, within the month, Minecraft’s oceans began to teem with briny new creatures and salty new features.
Sunken Opportunities for Exploration and Adventure
Bust out the diving gear, urm... Turtle shell helmet! Minecraft’s oceans now generate different biomes and points of interest, as well as some new plant life.
-Oceans generate five different biomes: frozen, cold, normal, lukewarm, warm. All of these biomes, except for "warm," have a deep variant.
-Caves and ravines now generate in the ocean floor. The depths of some ravines are filled with obsidian and magma blocks, where the sea water touched lava.
-Underwater ruins now generate, and Mojang teased that in the future they will contain treasure. Possibly this will be the way to obtain the new weapon, tridents, in survival mode.
-Beautifully animated kelp and seagrass grow on the ocean floor. Kelp can be dried in a furnace, and then eaten, or crafted into a “dried kelp block.” These can be used as fuel, and burn longer than coal or charcoal. Seagrass is used to breed turtles.
-Although Coral blocks have been added to the game, they do not yet spawn in oceans. Coral comes in five colors: blue, pink, purple, red, and yellow. If coral is placed outside of water, it turns into “dead coral” and it’s texture turns grey.
-Prismarine slabs and stairs have been added. Yay!
-Logs can now be stripped of their bark by right-clicking them with an axe.
New aquatic mobs making a splash
Arguably, the most exciting addition to Minecraft’s worlds so far are the new mobs. Most of these are creatures of the deep, but some scoot (and drop scute) and others fly! Check out this article for a full rundown of the new mobs so far.
-Turtles are here, bringing with them a load of new mechanics! They live on beaches and swim through the depths. Turtles lay eggs, and when baby turtles grow into adults they drop a piece of turtle shell known as “scute” (more on this later).
-There are now three types of fish swimming in Minecraft's waters: cod, salmon, and pufferfish.
-The Phantom, the mob selected by the community during “Minecon Earth,” is here. This mob spawns to attack players who refuse to go to bed.
Tridents and Briney Headgear Help Players Rule the Deep
The 1.13 update will introduce the first new weapon into the game in many years, and its water-themed, of course! The update will also add some new equipment to make underwater exploration easier.
-The new scute item can be crafted into a “turtle shell helmet.” This helmet gives the player the Water Breathing buff that lasts for ten seconds underwater. It’s sure to be essential when exploring underwater caves.
-The new weapon is a trident, and is currently the only throwable weapon in the game, not including potions. It can be used to strike like a sword or thrown at more distant targets. Thrown tridents are unaffected by water, unlike arrows which sink quickly. Tridents do not yet have an item texture.
There are four unique enchantments for the trident, two of which are environment specific.
-Impaling: This enchantment seems to be akin to Sharpness, and increase the trident’s damage.
-Loyalty: If the trident has been thrown it will be pulled back into the player's hand after a short delay.
-Riptide: This enchantment causes the player to lunge toward targets during rain or while underwater.
-Channeling: Causes lighting to strike the Trident after it has been thrown during a thunderstorm.
Swimming with the Fishes
The aquatic update is set to bring a substantial overhaul to the way water behaves. New swimming mechanics, water vision, and less derpy slabs are but a few of the upcoming changes.
-Water no longer interacts weirdly with blocks. Slabs and stairs placed underwater no longer have “air pockets.” Underwater bases are sure to look better than ever, now that water no longer appears to be flowing downward when viewed through glass.
-Magma blocks create swirling columns of bubbles when placed underwater. These columns suck players and mobs down. Be careful in those new ravines!
-Items dropped in water will now float... Unless, of course, they are dropped in a bubble column.
-Pressing the sprint key while underwater will activate swimming mode. This mode has a new animation and allows faster movement. While swimming players will move in the direction they are facing, similar to flying with elytra.
-When a player first enters the water the environment appears very dark, however, over time the player’s vision adjusts and underwater visibility increases. This mechanic seems to replace the improved underwater visibility gained when wearing a respiration helmet.
Minecraft’s oceans are already starting to teem with new creature and features, with more undoubtedly on the way soon! Players stay tuned.