18w16a: A (VERY BELATED) FIRST LOOK AT MINECRAFT 1.13
Screenshots: 70Timespan: 5 - 7 May 2018Versions: 1.12.2 - 18w16a
Well, this was certainly an ordeal to get working.
I'm sure everyone knows the story by now; 1.13 was supposed to be a technical "under-the-bonnet" update to make Minecraft run smoother, with a few token changes such as more bits and pieces made out of various types of wood, then 1.14 would add in all manner of weird and wonderful underwater flora, fauna and structures to make the oceans a bit more interesting. 17w43a was released on 25 October 2017 and I ignored it, figuring that there was nothing to look at. Minecon happened within a month, and revealed all sorts of works-in-progress for 1.14, but we wouldn't be dealing with that just yet, would we? Except we would. The next thing we knew, 1.13 and 1.14 had been merged into one update and snapshots would be coming with the all-new aquatic bits and pieces. 14 February 2018 brought snapshot 18w07a, the 18th of the snapshot cycle, which gave us a chance to sample the first of these aquatic additions...
...except I couldn't. As I've said elsewhere, my nine-year-old Mac was struggling to handle Minecraft ever more as more features were added, it refused outright to run the new version 2.0 launcher, and crashed every time I tried to load a 1.13 snapshot. By this time, it was also switching itself off at random intervals, a problem which has (very recently) been traced to the graphics card, which is on its last legs and will cost a fortune to replace.
So I did it. I spent a fortune... and returned to the PC Master Race, via a five-year-old ex-office workhorse that's being upgraded into the equivalent of Deep Thought. I'm now running Minecraft on Windows 7, with easily-updateable Java; it has an Intel i5 processor - admittedly I wanted an i7, but beggars can't be choosers, and it's 10% faster than the Core Duo (now equivalent to an i3) in the Mac which is still an improvement; most of all, though, the OS is running off a SSD and is much faster for it, and there are some temptingly empty RAM slots which means the 4 GB it has now - equivalent to the Mac - will be beefed up to maximum capacity as soon as I can afford it.
The new computer runs Minecraft Launcher 2.0. It runs snapshot 18w16a - which is the 32nd in the cycle.
Now let's see if it can answer my questions... better late than never.
QUESTION 1: WILL THE NEW WATER PHYSICS CAUSE A CATASTROPHE?
|It's an important question, this. Ever since there was an announcement that the water physics would be completely changing for 1.14 - which then became 1.13 - I'd been concerned that Sinclair's Foundry would be wrecked from the ground up, as so many of the mechanisms used to manipulate the relevant entities rely on being able to stop water streams (and lava as well) in their tracks with a conveniently-placed sign. All these are potentially affected:
The Foundry itself, where golems and pigmen are moved around precisely;
Open Forum, moving villagers out of the breeder and into the trading cells;
the Witch farm, where stopping the water ensures the witches fall and die;
the original cow farm and the pig and sheep equivalents;
and the timber yard, though these shouldn't take much fixing;
the fish farm, which could potentially need a second complete rebuild;
Rita's melons might not break but it'd be wise to keep an eye on them, as it would at Time Trax Rune Cube;
the fungus farms, or more specifically the Nether wart section;
the Bunny Boiler, if I ever need it again;
the squid tank in the base (Ned's Oasis won't be affected);
the vegetable trenches under the Foundry;
and last, not least... it's more like most, the guardian farm - which stands to be the worst casualty, the most broken and by far the hardest and most dangerous to fix, should it all go wrong.
So, you see, a lot rides on this.
QUESTION 2: HAS THE WORLD GENERATION CHANGED AGAIN?
|This is another important question. Rejectland was started in 1.2, after the Jungle biomes had been introduced, and was still an active world when 1.7 arrived, and caused some jarring clashes where biomes and the terrain generated in them changed abruptly at a chunk boundary. Will that be the case when 1.13 arrives, with its newly-divided-by-temperature oceans? There's only one way to find out.
|And what I planned to do at this point was start at Lunger Valley - 8.7 km east and 3 km south of spawn, as you can see above - and head even further away, into new territory generated in 18w16a.
But something was wrong. I'd been tipped off that, despite being slated for release in "Q2 2018" (i.e. April to June), these snapshots are still so riddled with bugs that the deadline will fly past with a resounding "whoosh" that Douglas Adams would have been proud of. What happened here is... I tried to fly south, and the game crashed. I reloaded it... and found myself at the spawn point, not the base, with a bare inventory and bereft of armour. Worse still, the Ender chest was empty. It's a good job I use a copy of Rejectland to test all these new snapshots in, though, because I can throw it away and start again.
Second time round, the game crashed again, in the same place. But because it didn't send me back to the spawn point, it kept on crashing again and again. This copy of the world was also discarded, and I started again from the world download point.
The crashes had occurred while I was heading south, so third time round I made sure to go to Lunger Valley still in 1.12.2 and then head south by at least the maximum render distance (i.e. 32 × 16 chunks, or 512 blocks). For safety I flew 1 km south into an Ice Plains / Cold Taiga area, passing an ocean that wasn't full of the new aquatic plants; at this point I'd be certain of being surrounded by territory generated entirely in 1.12.2. Then loaded the world in 18w16a... and within 20 blocks it crashed again.
There's only one way to solve this, that I could think of, and that's to start a new world... with the seed J254OBA, which - if the world generation hasn't changed - will regenerate the Sinclair's Foundry world exactly as I remember it on Day Zero.
SET SAIL TO PLUNDER!
|That wasn't the way I'd had in mind for how to see that the world generation is consistent with how it's been since 1.7, but if it's the only way, so be it. And, freed from the constraints of needing to be a certain place and go a certain way, it was back to Rejectland for some adventures. Of course, this not being a legitimate survival series any more, I can do what I like with the world - and if that means a bit of cheating with a command such as /tp 99999 90 99999 to take me directly to new territory that will all be generated in 18w16a that might just not crash, then that is what I will do!
MORE DISCOVERIES BACK AT BASE
THE END - REVISITED
|It isn't just the oceans that have been divided into separate temperatures - The End's outer islands have also been given a wash and brush up. Clearly, I had to investigate, to see if anything is different.|
I know things will change between now and the final release of 1.13, but I've got a good idea now of the potential fixes I'll have to make in Sinclair's Foundry. I haven't show everything here - exploration is always more interesting than technical bits and pieces, but this is what I know:
|||Any pumpkins I have in my stash will revert to being carved pumpkins in 1.13 - only those growing in Rentakill Rita's Lovely Melons will probably won't break, but the pumpkin filters in the base and Wurzel Dizzy's Fast Food Silo will, as they'll be filtering carved pumpkins. I also have to make sure I've traded away all the old pumpkins while I'm still in 1.12, or they'll be useless for anything other than making lanterns!|
|||Cap'n Hookjaw's Fish Farm, and any clones of it, will break due to the flooding of the slab between me and the water. But, if things stay as they are, I will just have to replace it with a trap door and everything will be fixed.|
|||The old zombie-based experience farm in the bottom of the base will break in its current state, as the zombies will drown instead of climbing the water elevator. This could be changed for a complete water column with soul sand at the bottom to lift the zombies and have them drown in the process, giving me a rudimentary trident and nautilus shell farm, but see below for the caveat...|
As expected, the Minecraft YouTube celebrities have been hard at work with the new game mechanics, and xisumavoid has been particularly successful, at least in the snapshots he was working with at the time. He has made:
|||A kelp farm, complete with automatic harvesting, even though it grows very slowly; it should be worth building, as there's bound to be a use for kelp beyond drying it, crafting it into blocks and burning it again.|
|||A sea pickle farm that uses the way sea pickles can be grown on coral using bone meal; these are definitely worth farming as they're effectively underwater torches, and as four can be placed on one block, the light level is controllable. That said, I do have a vast stash of sea lanterns.|
|||A trident farm, which takes a regular zombie spawner, drowns the zombies and then harvests their drops. This was made in 18w11a and looks like it's working; I haven't been anywhere near as successful when I tried to make a rudimentary version of this farm using the Dog Food Factory at McGregor - I can drown the zombies the way xisumavoid is doing, but the zombies tend to drop their armour into the chests when they drown, and after letting an hour's worth of drowned zombies build up, all I've obtained is one trident, 11 nautilus shells and 23 gold ingots on top of all the rotten flesh - and that was with a Looting III sword! I could even see a fair few of them holding tridents in the drowning cell, so I would assume there are still bugs to be ironed out.|