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'Minecraft' PC gets first 1.8 snapshot, adds slime blocks and more

The new Enchant menu.
The new Enchant menu.
Mojang, Reddit

Mojang released the first snapshot release of 2014 on Thursday for the PC version of Minecraft. Coincidentally, snapshot 14w02b is the first for the upcoming 1.8 release which means PC gamers can get an early peek at all of the new items and features coming to the open-world sandbox game.

"This update will be split into two primary focuses: Survival gameplay & improvements, and new fancy abilities for adventure maps," Mojang explained on its blog. "We’ve done a whole bunch of optimizing for both the client and server (with more to come!) and lots more work towards the Plugin API in the background. As this is the very first snapshot of 1.8, do remember to backup your worlds before trying it!"

Enchanting items is being changed as well and will now require a resource cost in addition to a level cost. For now, Mojang is using gold ingots as the resource that must be spent.

Lead developer Jens Bergensten laid out these rules for enchanting in a Reddit post in December.

  • The level requirement is calculated the same way as before. Max level is still 30
  • The cost is based on which enchantment power you choose (1 to 3)
  • One (randomly chosen) enchantment will be displayed in the tooltip
  • The random seed for enchantments is not reset until you enchant an item

Gaining enchantment levels have been made more expensive again, but you will not pay more than 3 levels when enchanting an item. Obviously repair costs in the anvil have been rebalanced to fit (notably renaming items only costs 1 level).

New blocks include a Slime block as well as two new Stone block variants - Granite and Smooth/Polished Granite. The latter two are for decoration purposes only and will likely be craftable only items made from cobblestone and quartz. Stone Mossy blocks are another new addition.

Trading with villagers is getting an update too so that offers will seem less random and hopefully more useful. Only new villagers will be affected though as existing villagers already have their trading options set.

The crafting recipe for doors has been updated to generate three doors now instead of just one. That means that doors will now stack in your inventory as well up to 64.

Meanwhile, the performance enhancement to the game puts the Main world, Nether and the End on their own processing thread.

Here's the rundown of the changes from Mojang and the unofficial Reddit thread for the snapshot.

Big survival changes:

  • 3 new stone types!
  • Major Enchanting & Repairing changes!
  • Mossy stone bricks recipe!
  • Updated Villager trading!
  • Doors stack!
  • Slime blocks!
  • Lots of other tweaks, changes, bug fixes and secret features!

Big Adventure Map changes:

  • Adventure Mode no longer lets you place/destroy blocks.
  • But that can change!
  • Added Entity Selectors! Use @e in certain commands to target entities. You can limit it with [type=Chicken] or [type=!Skeleton]
  • Added a /blockdata command!
  • Added ‘Lock’ (String) NBT tag on most containers.
  • Added an optional entity parameter to /kill (try: /kill @e[type=!Player]
  • Added optional arguments to /clear for max item count (use 0 to not actually delete anything) & NBT data
  • Lots of other tweaks, changes, bug fixes and secret features!

Fixed some bugs

  • Fixed some transparency issues with blocks
  • Fixed villagers ignoring NBT tags on trades
  • Fixed zombies sometimes killing villagers completely on hard difficulty
  • Fixed chicken jockeys causing lag and clogging up the mob cap (Possible fixes: they no longer lay eggs, chickens despawn with rider, picking up eggs doesn't make mobs persistent)
  • Fixed mobs tending to move north-west

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