Mojang release 10 months’ work in Minecraft 1.8: The Bountiful Update

Minecraft 1.8: the return of floating islands.

What have you done in the last 300 days? Probably lots of different little things. The Minecraft dev team at Mojang have done one, big thing: put together the Bountiful Update.

Minecraft 1.8 was published to the Minecraft launcher today. It’s taken longer than any other update in the game’s history, and incorporates a full-scale rebuild of its infrastructure. That’s the equivalent of umpteen creative mode cathedrals.

Jeb and team have spent much of the last year swapping out some of Minecraft’s most fundamental systems.

“These changes consist of large game structure changes such as replacing the hard-coded ‘block renderer’ with a system that is able to read block shapes from data files, or performance enhancements such as multi-threading the client-side chunk rendering,” wrote the game’s lead developer.

“Many, many changes” won’t be visible to the naked eye, but the Bountiful Update also constitutes the largest injection of surprises into Survival mode in years.

Rabbits are the most compelling of the new mobs – not least because there’s a chance of rolling a killer variant that’ll make you work really hard for its mutton. Endermen now drop burrowing, scarlet grubs when they teleport, and new underwater temples hide pockets of gold and deadly Guardians.

It’s in those temples that players will find some of 1.8’s grand home improvements: sea lanterns and slime blocks. Elsewhere, they’ll find new stone types, iron trapdoors, Minecraft banners, armour stands, barriers and doors that don’t look like they conceal outside toilets or cells.

For multiplayer, Mojang have added a new player mode with smaller arms and more options for customising skins. And how about the return of floating islands to Minecraft? That’s the kicker, isn’t it?