One of the consequences of Minecraft’s folksy roots as a blocky prototype on TIGsource is that huge swathes of its infrastructure weren’t exactly built for, say, massively multiplayer persistent worlds.
One of those underperforming systems has been character names - which since the game’s inception have been tied to bannings. That meant that allowing name changes was tantamount to handing griefers diamond pickaxes and a complimentary bag of TNT.
Thankfully, Mojang have now just about finished a database rework that’ll soon let players switch identities without placing servers at risk.
Mojang have greenlit a Minecraft 1.7.6 beta release which tracks players through unique IDs unrelated to names. No matter what a player is called, they’ll retain their banned or whitelisted status for every server they’ve ever been in contact with.
Players will also keep their inventory, pets, statistics and everything they own on a server after a name change.
There’ll be a couple of restrictions on name changes: you can’t take somebody else’s, for instance.
“We want it to be easy and freely available, but we also don’t want people changing their name every 5 minutes!”, wrote Dinnerbone.
Otherwise, you’ll be able to pick a new moniker just as soon as Mojang flick the switch. The dev team will wait till they feel enough users are playing Minecraft 1.8 or higher, to give servers enough time to adapt.
The only potential hiccup lies, as ever, with mods. Modders will be required to reconfigure their own work to support the new system - and historically it’s taken a while for them to catch up with Mojang.
Have you minded reverting to older versions of Minecraft to play with your favourite mods?