Minecraft 360 is Evolving Yet Again
Minecraft always seems to be at the top of gamers minds when they hit the PC and even the Xbox sometimes. Personally I prefer Minecraft 360 even though it doesn’t have all those neat things that the PC version has. Well…not yet anyways and if Mojang and 4J Studios has any say in the matter it will catch up and continue expanding with the PC. So it was no surprise when it was announced that more features from the game would be released pretty soon with the next patch update.
Sometime in the near future Minecraft Version TU7 will be released. I’d give the exacts but no one knows what they are yet. Mojang and 4J Studios are remaining very secretive on the patch and it’s release date. Not even all of the features are known except for a small trickle of teasers give via twitter which we’ll dive into in just a moment. The popular opinion is that the patch will be released on Christmas Day (Dec 25th 2012) but I find that very unlikely. Think about it in detail – all those gamers are going to be playing their new games and even if Minecraft releases their new patch amongst all that I doubt it would get a lot of attention until Christmas Day wears off. If I had to guess I would guess that the update will be given in the first two weeks of January. The sole reason for this conclusion being that the PC edition will upgrade to version 1.4.6 on New Years day. As far as TU7 goes…we’re only upgrading to the equivalent of PC version 1.01 which is to say leaving a lot to be desired. A full list of updates and comparisons between Xbox and PC can be found here. Now let’s explore that TU7 is all about or at least what we know for sure at this point what TU7 is all about:
Enchantments is the big on the list for gamers for this update. Anyone following or playing the PC Minecraft can tell you that they can enchant items, weapons, and armor to do various tasks and give various skills. It really one up the game into a new element. You can do so many things that you couldn’t before and it really opens up a lot of new doors. For example you can increase the time it takes for your pick axe to disappear, or you can make it so you can breathe under water for increased time periods, you can even go crazy and give yourself the ability to set people on fire at will. I can’t even tell you how much of an update such a element would be and of course like the PC game it would be aided by another system that Minecraft 360 gamers have been drooling over.
The Experience Point System is being added to Minecraft 360 as well. This system allows you to gain experience for things that you do. This experience allows you to be ranked among other things such as allowing you to do more, unlocking skills and abilities, and is a fundamental piece in enchanting. You will gain new levels handed out at a ratio of one per thirty experience points, making it much easier to rank up than in the PC version of the game. Experience points are earned by mining, smelting and breeding animals.
Another feature we will see is Mushroom Biomes which are course are a new landscape previously unseen in Minecraft 360. Mushroom Island as it’s been dubbed is a one time rare island found in the game. It’s usually in a very remote area of the map and can be fairly difficult to locate sometimes. Mushroom Island is a mushroom entirely composed of Mycelium blocks which turns out to be a fairly useless block except for one feature; these blocks allow for giant mushrooms to grow even in sunny landscapes. Which is pretty cool to say the least. Roaming this island are mushroom cows that look like diseased cows with fungal infections….but have no fear these cows are actually quite friendly, quite safe, and for some reason when milked give off mushroom stew. Which of course is great for your food needs.
Some new Mobs will be hitting the game as well and while we’ve only heard of one so far I suspect more might be in the bag. We’ll see Snow Golems in the game now. Snow Golems are fairly useless but will make good decorations and even possibly a good mob deterrent ..well sort of. Snow Golems will not follow you but do have the ability to throw snowballs. These snowballs will knock back an offending mob or when thrown at a Enderman will cause him to teleport away all together. Those creepy creepers however don’t seem to be effected too much however.
The game gets quite lonely at times so to combat that Villagers will be added. If you’ve ever played with villagers you’ll know that is a joke since the emotionless villagers just walk around and do their thing mostly ignoring you. How cruel. However the villagers will spruce up the game because now you can populate your cities and towns. The villagers can do certain tasks and skills as assigned to them randomly by a profession. They’re color coded and we’ll figure it out when we play it. With the villagers presumably comes Iron Golems which of course are the sole defenders of the villagers from Zombies.
Finally an awesome update that unfortunately was pushed back to TU8 but still awesome none the less. The END will be coming to Xbox 360. The hellish obsidian filled world (much like the nether with the absence of fire and pig men) will feature enderman and of course the Ender-Dragon! This world is only accessible via portal created in the game with Enderpearls so collect them now…while they are worthless. With TU8 we presume they will gain their teleworking and portal making abilities but it’s all just speculation right now.
What I find to be the most disappointing however is the continued lack of support for Co-op that the PC version employs and in fact which makes it so popular, and allows a whole host of friends or even strangers to collaborate on one project. This of course is very limited in Xbox 360 as the host must be logged in to XBL and playing Minecraft for people to join. In addition the host has no control over users on the server so griefing and malicious trolling are dangers in collaborative projects. Hosting collaborative projects is increasingly difficult and almost impossible in the Minecraft 360 setting. In addition with the Xbox you lose our on the hundreds of user defined and created mods that change the game – from appearance all the way to certain styles of playing.