As promised, Mojang released the Minecraft beta 1.3 update to the masses today. So far, things seem pretty good. There were some save folder issues for about a half hour after the launch, but Notch quickly patched and things have been running fairly smoothly since. The authentication server does seem to be under some load, but enough about that. Let’s talk changes.
First, lighting. I know you probably thought I would talk about beds first, but that addition pales in comparison to the new lighting engine. Yes, it was available as a mod prior to the release, but it’s really nice to have it built in to the game. Basically, light doesn’t render in blocks now, so surfaces look much smoother. The world looks much, much better. It does seem to have reduced the effectiveness of torches by a little bit. I’ve had mobs spawn in places I’ve not had problems before. Maybe we’re getting close to the lantern update?
Next, of course, is beds. Yes, beds are now in the game, allowing players to “sleep” through the night. I didn’t think beds would work in SMP, but they do, so long as every player gets to a bed. I’m glad to see that SMP is a development priority as I think that’s where the real beauty of Minecraft exists. Come March, beds should also set a players spawn point, which should be another nice addition.
We also got three new half blocks – cobblestone, wood, and sandstone. The update also added a redstone delayer/repeater for those of you redstone geeks.
Overall, it’s a very cool update. I can’t wait to see what the March update brings.