A couple of big Minecraft snapshots two weeks in a row means that this week is naturally quieter, with just a few optimisations to the code, and a neat feature for those of you that spend a lot of time in spectator mode.
The Minecraft community, however, has not been resting. This week, we've got stacks of "drop challenges", an easy piston elevator design, a mod that adds a load of new weapons and a beautiful 18th-century city called Strandborg. Let's roll.
In snapshot 14w19a, which you can find out how to access on the official Mojang blog, there are just two notable changes. The first is that there are a few tweaks to the world borders - players now get visual feedback if a shrinking world is within 15 seconds of them, allowing them to get out of the way. The second is that the border is now the same size, but portals are clamped within the border.
The second is that spectator mode has been improved significantly. There's now a UI to teleport to other players, and when teams are set up you can choose to only display players from one team.
Finally, there are a handful of model format improvements (like the ability to specify textures), a bunch of bug fixes, and slime blocks will now push around entities when they're pushed by sideways pistons. Here's Dinnerbone demonstrating that one.
In the community, everyone's been going mad over drop challenges. It started with this mad stunt, pulled by /u/zedf46 on the Minecraft subreddit. He then released version two, and version three (which took more than a thousand deaths before he completed it). Naturally, with last week's snapshot changes, the final version four involved slime blocks. But the most glorious was definitely /u/Wheio's attempt at the genre.
It's easier than ever to build elevators, thanks to recent changes. Here's an awesome design that takes about a minute to build, put together by /u/red_nomster. It's not the fastest elevator in the world, but if you build a glass casing for it then you can take in the view and enjoy the ride instead.
Need to travel underwater? /u/xyzen420 has built a fully-functional submarine that is fast, breathable and can be triggered to start and stop. It uses open fence gates to provide an air pocket for the player. Here it is in gif form, plunging through lava.
Many mods these days are built for modpacks, and have a large dependency on others for their existence. That's why it's a refreshing change to see one that only requires vanilla items. More Swords does exactly what it says on the tin, allowing you to use different materials to build swords and sidestep the clunky enchantment process.
Finally, I wanted to share with you a beautiful Baltic-themed port city design - the town of Strandborg. It's the creation of /u/ConanofCimmeria who says he's been building it for the past six months. If you think it looks remarkably like Stockholm, you wouldn't be far off - and you'll be able to explore it for yourself apparently soon.
I'll call it a day there. If you've seen anything in the Minecraft community that you think I should be highlighting, tell me about it by dropping me an email. I'll be back with another roundup this time next week.