Taking a break from the hard-hitting massive productions out there, we look to the indie Minecraft and it's upcoming full release (Minecraft has been in a beta version since 2009.)
Previously Mojang was charging 20 USD for Minecraft, however on the date of 11-11-11 (So tired of seeing that number on every release date!), the price will be bumped on up to 30 green. Those of you that've already spent your $20, you don't have to pay more for the upgraded version. If you're currently on the fence about buying Minecraft, we suggest doing it now before the price raises! Thankfully, a price change won't be the only thing affecting our blocky little worlds.
Thorough searching for confirmed changes to Minecraft has gotten us this list thus far:
- Bringing back the cobwebs! They'll be found in dungeons and in abandoned mine shafts.
- New types of dungeons! Notch has yet to say what makes these different from the standard dungeon room already implemented, but he has said different types will have different rewards.
- Mine shafts will now be randomly scattered in the world, -USUALLY- leading to dungeons.
- A new mob called the Endermen. They're a tall, lanky, dark figure that moves blocks around to create a sort of suspense when you see that things in your house aren't as they were when you left them. Endermen are peaceful until you look directly at them - meaning your screen can have them within eyesight, but once you put your cursor on them they will stop sifting blocks about and stare right at you. When you look away, they'll charge at you and likely beat the crap out of you.
- A new lighting system! This one's hard to explain so I'll just throw down a picture. What this picture won't show is the new light emitted from things like Redstone torches and Glowstone. Light emitters will emit a glow depending on what color they are. Redstone torches = light red hue, Glowstone = Strong yellow glow.
- An experience bar! Upon killing creatures you earn Experience Orbs, which can be used to buy items. No word has been told of your character actually being able to level up with experience, it just seems to be currency.
- Hunger is being added, although with the addition of food being able to be stacked (Thank God. I can stack chunks of cobblestone that are half as big as me into stacks of 64 but I can't stuff some bread together into a damn bag, what the hell?) your hunger will be easily managable.
- A new farming system. Little has been said about this, only that it'll feel a bit more 'realistic' than the previous setup.
- A major overhaul is being worked into the way Biomes are generated. Not only will there be a few new types, there will be rivers that continue for a few hundred blocks and several-biome wide oceans (also deeper down).
- Server owners will be able to modify the height caps of the maps. By default the world's ceiling will be the same, but the server can be modified so that you can build your sky-high dance club or whatever it is you do all the way up there.
- Bows will have a variable strength. Holding down the attack key longer makes the arrow shoot further/deal more damage.
- Critial hits will be able to be achieved through jumping while swinging with your sword (Mojang wants us to look like a bunch of idiots I guess) or randomly through the bow & arrow.
- A creative mode is being put in. In this mode you can fly freely, change the day/night cycle whenever you want and break blocks with one hit. If you're afraid of Endermen, this is for you.
- And finally, the biggest and most exciting change - NPC villages! These will be placed randomly in the world. If you're a fan of Minecraft mods, you'll have seen some of the NPC mods already out there. I'm unsure whether or not these new villagers will act as they do in the mods insofar as collecting their own resources and expanding their villages periodically. The only thing being said so far is that players can trade with NPCs (We're assuming this is where the experience orbs are being taken to for items). There will be different types of NPCs, i.e. Guardsmen, villagers, archers. It's assumed if you go up and punch one of them they'll probably hunt you down.
- Oh also giant mushrooms.