This is your weekly reminder that if you haven’t played Minecraft since Christmas, you’re missing out. But don’t worry: there are things you can do. Download the latest snapshot, for instance, and you’ll find enough’s changed for you to rename your shortcut ‘Minecraft 2’.
Though we didn’t know it at the time, last Friday’s update introduced a wholly new amplified terrain generator designed to accentuate your landscape’s extremities. In the week since, players have stumbled across dirty great natural pillars: huge plumes of rock, topped by plateaus.
13w37a brings a host of fixes for Minecraft’s new features-in-testing, which don’t end at mile-high mountains. There’s a proliferation of new fish and flower types, for starters, and a summon block for creative mode – from which you can spawn creatures at specific coordinates. Summon six slimes at the same time, perhaps, in a stack. Think Scribblenauts, with a touch of body horror.
And then there’s the “bunch” of new biomes produced by Jeb. Small biomes are now contained within larger, themed areas – snow-covered, cold, medium, and dry/warm – which have done away with those odd, occasional dichotomies between snow and sand.
You’ll find all the necessary server files here for Windows and here for everything else. To make use of them, open the new 1.6 launcher and create a new profile named ‘snapshots’, before checking the box labelled “Enable experimental developmental snapshots”. You can always switch back to safe, common-or-garden Minecraft by selecting it in the dropdown box in the bottom left-hand corner of the launcher.
One word of warning: enough has changed that Mojang “strongly recommend” against running old worlds in the new snapshot.
“There is a known issue with world structures such as Nether Fortresses not transitioning to 1.7 from 1.6,” writes Nathan ‘Dinnerbone’ Adams, “but we will be bringing out a 1.6.3 shortly to fix this.”
Aaaand that’s about all you need. Let us know how you get on, won’t you?