In a recent post on the MineZ forums, developer Highlife explained the delays behind their forthcoming updates, in which the team are hoping to add wolves and give players the opportunity to build their own settlements.
It turns out that MineZ's own popularity has been part of the problem: "MineZ went from idea to reality very quickly," Highlife explained here. "When we looked at the
performance on 1.2.5 we were incredibly happy, but when 1.3 hit we had
to optimize almost all of the code to even get the servers playable. On
top of that, with the roll out of Europe and Australia, a lot of
fundamental database changes had to be made which required work at the
plugin level and at the database level."
At the same time, expanding MineZ's world has also taken a lot of work and now the focus of the development team's effort has to be on optimisation, getting to grips with a new version of craftbukkit and, critically, implementing increasingly relevant anti-cheat measures.
Once all that is settled, we can look forward to more exciting MineZ updates that make use of the new mobs and features coming in Minecraft 1.4, which Highlife says have "the potential to have some exciting AI attached to them." Which means they'll be deadly in new and different ways.