Minecrafting 151: A Natural Nether

Minecraft Nether

Happy Swedish National Day! Yet more holidays in the land of herring and Minecraft means that there's no snapshot this week again. But instead we have a pre-release of version 1.7.10 of the game client, which has created some controversy over multiplayer servers.

I've also got a stack of amazing community creations to show you, including another entry in Kaephis' fantastic How to Build series, the best nether portal design I've ever seen, and a beautiful Game of Thrones-inspired castle. Let's go!

I'll start with the simple stuff. Minecraft 1.7.10 is nearly complete - it doesn't make any major changes to the game except for bugfixes, but it does add a bunch of new features for Realms users - a player activity monitor, access to more server settings, and improvements in the Realms UI. Good news all round.

Unless you run a server that charges for player perks, that is. An additional change in 1.7.10 is that server owners have to read and accept the EULA before they can run their server, and there's been quite a bit of controversy over the implications of that EULA. It's been clear for some time that selling items for money on servers is forbidden, but that hasn't stopped lots of people doing it. Now Mojang is cracking down, and the server owners raking in the cash aren't happy - the whole multiplayer part of the game was DDoSed earlier in the week by an angry fan. It's not a pleasant situation, but ultimately Mojang owns its game and the angry minority here is just going to have to put up with it.

Though their rage might be softened slightly by the news that BUNNIES will be coming to Minecraft soon. Along with the two new underwater blocks - Prismarine and Sea Lantern - and a new underwater mob that Jeb_ has been working on, the next patch arrives is looking very exciting indeed.

On the community front, there's been another entry in Kaephis' brilliant How to Build series. This week, the focus is on landscapes - from trees and bushes to paths, lighting and water. Between that and the previous guides to outdoor and indoor building, you've now got absolutely no excuse for building a dirt shack in your survival world.

If you're looking to add some new life to your Minecrafting, you should check out ourĀ twenty best Minecraft mods.

Meanwhile, /u/hackerim has asked an interesting question over on the Minecraft subreddit. Could a Nether portal be naturally generated by lava and water interacting? Spoilers: the answer is no. But the discussion is well worth a read. Or, if that's not your thing, here's a Minecraft version of 2048 to play with instead.

My pick of the week's best builds includes a beautiful Game of Thrones-inspired build of The Ring, seat of House Roxton, as well as an amazing tropical palace built around a tree and an extremely awesome nether portal design. I'm also keeping a close eye on the team over at Minecraft Middle Earth, which is an ambitious project hoping to recreate the entirety of Tolkein's Middle Earth in our favourite blocky game.

I'll end on a fun fact for you. Guess how many users Minecraft.net gets on a daily basis? About 1.5 million, according to Mojang Chief Words Officer Bop. That's a lot of people. 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.

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