We've got no snapshot this week, but we do have a 1.7.4 pre-release to get excited about. Following a couple of weeks of radio silence due to GDC, the Minecraft team has birthed a patch that enables one of the most requested features since the game's inception: name changing.
Name-changing won't be enabled instantly. It'll arrive down the line when enough servers have updated to support the functionality. It changes everyone's name to an ID code instead - so that if you ban a player with one name, they can't return with another. The same applies for whitelisted players and opped players too. Names are still unique however - someone has to change their name for you to pick it.
In an FAQ, Dinnerbone wrote: "We do not have any details on how name changes will be performed or any restrictions that will be required to actually perform a name change. We want it to be easy and freely available, but we also don’t want people changing their name every 5 minutes!"
Other changes included in the pre-release are general optimisations, some improvements to Minecraft Realms, the ability to set your field-of-view as low as 30, support for the new skin system, and a few fixed bugs. Hurrah!
On the community side of things, it's been a bit of a quiet week but that doesn't mean there isn't a load of amazing things to tell you about. This mansion-chateau by Jfurson is astonishingly detailed, and I love the elegant lines of this modernist Swedish house by Loveever_ too.
If you're looking for an adventure map to play, how about The Mystery of the Time Keeper? It's an astonishly deep experience for one or two players. "Uncover what has happened to time itself, help the villagers of the clock tower, complete multiple side-quests while following the main storyline, go on a huge adventure and see amazing sights, solve puzzles, and ultimately become a saviour - or a destroyer - of the people," explains its creator Azzer007.
Finally, I think I've just about got enough space left to point you towards Atropos - an enormous steampunk tortoise built by Carloooo. It comes with its own lore, concept drawings and insane video, which you can watch right here:
Right. I'll leave it there for today. 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.