Minecraft 1.8 part 1 is out, but is it everything we expected? I sure don’t like a few of the new features included in the update. One being the new terrain generation, and another the ill-fitting chests. I’ll look into these new features below in more detail and question why Notch has taken Minecraft in this new direction.
Up until Beta 1.7, Notch has brought us very nice updates at least once a month, these updated fit nicely with the theme of Minecraft and were much needed improvements on the original game. 1.8 However brings us a new biome generation technique that simplifies their jobs a little and supposedly looks nicer. That’s great I just hope it’s not at the expense of the games enjoyment. However during flying around the map on the new creative mode I noticed there is way more water on the map than normal, so much in fact that you’d need to use a boat for 5 minutes to reach the next large landmass, but that could have just been the three maps I tested. Biomes are also more distinguished from one another, it’s easier to tell where one ends and the next one begins which is a feature I feel isn’t realistic. I liked the old generation code, for multiple reasons. One being that all my awesome seeds are dependent on the old code being present and I had an amazing world which I wanted to play on in 1.8. Also sites like http://www.minecraftseeds.info/ would have to start again and delete all the old seeds they had stored.
Two, it’s very rare to find a floating mountain after the 1.8 update. Out of around 50 worlds very well explored in every direction (at least 2000 blocks in each direction) I found about five floating mountains and then it flattened out again which was disappointing. I really liked multiple floating mountains and nice overhangs all in one area without having to travel too far for another. Here’s a few pictures of a pre 1.7 map overhang that you just won’t be able to find in 1.8+. http://www.minecraftseeds.info/2011/03/9028489474908844496.html
The new feature I hate the most are the new chests, opening chests is a nice feature to have but at the cost of what? Having a bad looking chest with a pixel space around the outside? You can’t even see anything inside the chests so I don’t quite realize the point of having them open other then letting other people know you’ve opened it. The point of Minecraft, and the reason I play it is to look blocky, simple and having everything perfectly align with the world. The new glass panes also destroy the blocky feel of the game, however chests weren’t the first item to mis-align with the world. Looking back, the long grass was a precursor to items that were coming, as you know they are offset randomly from their block to achieve a “wild” look to the map. It would be nice if there was a setting to be able to turn on and off align with world, so boxes become a square again and wild grass is centered into the block for perfectionists like myself, it would be cool if the boxes also opened as well if your going to be able to see items inside them.
On the other hand I really like the lighting 1.8 has provided, although the orange torch-light hurts your eyes after awhile. Above is a picture of my old world, the one with many, many floating mountains and overhangs, which I greatly miss now it’s gone. The title page is another point i’d love to praise, it looks fantastic panning around an environment of Minecraft which has been blurred and has a nice effect for the title page.
To conclude I sincerely hope Notch knows what he’s doing in future updates, I’d hate to see another game with so much potential lose all it’s fan base due to unconsidered results to the updates. Runescape went down the drain a few years ago when Jagex started creating “dead” content, updates which people will use once then never use again. They also don’t fix the problems that need the attention such as the bots. Notch please don’t follow the same path thousands of people enjoy Minecraft very much, so please be careful!