15w31a: A FIRST LOOK AT MINECRAFT 1.9
Screenshots: 14Timespan: 29 July 2015Version: 15w31a
All together now:
FIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE CHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORUS PLAAAAAAAAAAAAAANTS!
Four beetroot seeds, three End bricks, two spectral arrows...
...and a shulker in an End city!
What an appalling cacophony that would be, but it gets the message across: joy men, joy men, a new down is arrived, made of win and håpla! Finally, finally, after 330 long, long, long days since the full release of Minecraft 1.8, the first snapshot for 1.9 has emerged - 15w31a. That's right, those snapshots that were once rumoured to be revealing themselves back in January have taken an extra six months, but I've finally seen the light. Or should that be the dark, as the vast majority of the new action takes place in The End?
Some of the new features that are due to make the final release haven't been included yet. My idea for a crafting recipe for a shield come to nothing, because that isn't included yet. (It arrived in 15w33c and was altered in 15w37a.) Neither can I swap hands and fight left-handed like Link, only put the sword in the other hand and do not very much with it. (Actually, I could, I was just looking at the wrong sub-menu.) The one-handed map that stays upright in one hand is very useful, though. And of the fourteen alleged new arrow types, I tried any combination of potions with arrows and nothing worked, because only the spectral arrows have been added so far and there doesn't seem to be a crafting recipe. (There wasn't; lingering potions were added in 15w33a and formed the basis of tipped arrows in 15w44b.)
But The End is all new, and the investigation I've done means it looks like I won't have to delete and regenerate that dimension in Sinclair's Foundry - I might have to regenerate the Ender Dragon and kill its reanimated form to make the portal appear that takes me to the new End islands. (That turned out to be true when the new craftable End crystals were added in 15w44b - and I'll have to respawn the dragon anyway if I want to obtain a jar or 64 of its foul, but useful breath.) What I know is that they're 1000 blocks or so away from the main island, and that means a lot of long, tedious building over a bottomless abyss with potentially angry Endermen spawning around me.
Since this first snapshot, I've annotated the descriptions where problems or missing aspects that needed to be fixed have been fixed. And the (copy of) the world I decided to make my initial tests of 15w31a in might be strangely familiar...