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First 'Minecraft' PC 1.7 snapshot released, first look at new biomes

Screenshots from snapshot 13w26a for Minecraft on the PC.
Screenshots from snapshot 13w26a for Minecraft on the PC.
Reddit, Mojang

Mojang released the first 1.7 update snapshot Thursday for Minecraft that gives players their first in-game look at some of the new biomes that are being added.

Snapshot 13w36a is now available to download directly from Mojang but developer Nathan Adams strongly recommends not to use the snapshot on existing worlds yet if you want them to remain "pretty."

"You’ll get silly chunk borders and they don’t look pretty at all. I’d even go as far as to call them ugly," he says.

Clay Mountains, Redwood Forest and Cliffs biomes are included in the snapshot though there may be others. For example, an "Ice Plans Spikes" biome has already been found. Also included is the new world generator which produces smaller oceans and larger land masses along with a more consistent placement of biomes.

Other new features and items on the front-end include improved silverfish, item frames and fishing as well as new plants like sunflowers and pink paeonia. On the back-end, custom item data can now be added via commands, new game options for sounds, a reworked achievements and stats systems and the ability to load multiple resource packs at the same time in a world.

Those interested in trying out the snapshot should follow these directions from Mojang after downloading it.

To get the snapshot, open your launcher and press the “New Profile” button. Call it “snapshots” and check the box saying “Enable experimental development snapshots” and save. To switch to the normal version, you can select it in the dropdown at the bottom left corner of the launcher.

The complete changelog is below via Reddit.

- Improved the terrain generator - Many biomes added or revisited!

  • Reduced frequency of black spots extremely
  • Improved biomes - Added pine trees to extreme hills, among other changes
  • "Disco Mountains" - Also, cliffs
  • Another new biome
  • Cliffs - Snow at level 80 and higher
  • [M] Higher world generation, skylands
  • Smaller oceans, biome variants with varying rarity
  • Biomes have been put into 4 categories: snowy, cold, medium, dry/warm - Now they will usually not neighbour extremely different biomes
  • Biome overviews: Before, then, after, then, now
  • (Via hearsay following:) New biomes: Savannah, snowy and non-snowy Taiga, Mesa (Canyon/Disco biome), Birch Forest, Redwood Forest, Black Forest (Dense trees and leaves), detailed snowy Plains, Extreme Snowy biome

- Depending on biome temperature, it will now snow on higher places
- Added Podzol/Pinestraw

  • Behaves like mycelium - grass can't spread on it
  • Can be harvested using Silk Touch

- Added new dirt block

  • Can't be overgrown
  • Has data/damage value 1
  • Can only be obtained using /give

- Added new plants

  • Sunflowers - Always face east when grown
  • Tall tall grass and blue tall flowers
  • Paeonia in pink, purely decorative
  • Several kinds of tulips
  • Some or all are flowering plants
  • Bonemeal-created flowers now depend on the biome

- Jukeboxes are now twice as loud since their volume is adjustable now

  • Maybe: Note Blocks too

- Weighted Pressure Plates now count entities, not just items
- Improved item frames

  • Looking at an item frame holding a renamed item now shows a nametag like on renamed mobs
  • Punching non-empty item frames now only drops their content

- You can now clone written books

  • Craft a written book with normal books to get all of them stacked together in the form of the original written book

- Falling now produces particles when landing
- Improved silverfish

  • Maybe: They now form conga lines
  • Maybe: Added missing stone brick monster egg blocks

- Improved fishing

  • Is now "pretty fun and not at all frustrating"
  • More fish
  • More rewards: some good, some bad
  • Treasure: 7 items in total, including enchanted fishing rods with looting-like enchant, nametags, lily pads
  • Junk: 11 items in total, including broken fishing rods and damaged leather boots
  • Fish: 4 items in total, including the regular fish and poisonous pufferfish
  • Many more particles and different times until you get a nibble
  • There are enchantments to change your luck between the piles

- Water breathing potions can now be brewed using pufferfish
- Changed the Creative mode item selection screen Decoration tab's icon to that of one of the new flowers
- Custom item data can now be added via commands

  • Works only with /give so far
  • Works with enchantments, names and lore
  • Syntax example: {display:{Name:"Edward";Lore:["Edward made this.";"It's not your fault."]};ench:[{id:16;lvl:2};{id:17;lvl:1}]}

- Improved the NBT format

  • List tags no longer need to be named
  • No longer crashes when given the wrong type (integer/short)
  • Maybe: Ignoring case of tag names ("Name"/"name")

- Maybe: A very community oriented feature

  • Not gameplay related

- Improved the options screens

  • Rewrote some of them
  • Improved the 'Controls' section to include a scrollable list of keybinds, allow rebinding of the screenshot, camera and cinematic camera keys, added 'Sprint' key and moved 'Invert Mouse', 'Sensitivity' & 'Touchscreen Mode' there - Cinematic camera is now on F4 by default
  • Sprint key: Double tapping W still works, doesn't allow sprinting while sneaking, can be held down continuously to always sprint when moving
  • Added separate keybinds for every hotbar slot
  • Rewrote scroll list GUI component for a new Resource Pack screen
  • Added Super Secret Settings... button in main Options menu

- Added more separate volume controls - Master Volume, Music, Weather, Blocks & Environment, Players, Jukeboxes & Note Blocks, Enemy Monsters, Friendly Animals
- Overhauled the resource pack screen

  • Animation, via
  • Now multiple resouce packs can be applied at once
  • The higher ones override the lower ones if files appear more than once

- Servers can now offer resource packs again

  • Max size increased to 50 MB

- Maybe: Being able to add new sounds using resource packs
- Improved the server list

  • Can now be refreshed using F5
  • Maybe: The MP screen can now be reordered in the same fashion as resource packs

- Reworked the achievements & stats system

  • Now ties in with the scoreboard system - added 744 new objective criteria that were previously tracked with statistics and achievements
  • Are now per world

- Improved bidi and arabic language handling
- Fixed some bugs

  • Fixed torches in mineshafts and strongholds not producing light correctly
  • Fixed VSync not applying on startup if not running in fullscreen mode
  • Fixed the "end of stream" spam in the MP console
  • The Protection enchantment no longer reduces hunger damage
  • Durability no longer decreases from unsuccessful attacks

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