Minecraft 1.3.1’s major new feature is the ability to trade with NPCs found in the villages dotted sparsely throughout your world. By ‘using’ any of the villagers, players are presented with a trade panel which details that particular NPC’s demands and saleable items. More often than not, villagers wish to trade their goods for emeralds, the product of the latest block to be added to Minecraft. Unfortunately, they are extremely rare which prevents trading from being a truly viable source of food or difficult to obtain items, especially in the early game. Allow me to provide an example.
After many hours of traipsing from biome to biome, just hoping to see a friendly, non-mob face, I finally stumbled upon an NPC village. My audible frustration at being unable to trade for anything of value with my meagre, decidedly emerald-less possessions, set the neighbours cat on edge for the rest of the day.
I set my jaw, built a tall landmark, and struck out in search of emerald with which to appease these tribal rip-off merchants. Minutes away from succumbing to the temptation of supplementary mapping tools, I stumbled upon my first temple. I’d heard rumours that these now deserted monuments to some forgotten, squarish deity often housed a fortune in emeralds and gold. I gingerly made my way down into the structure, only to find a largeish inner room decidedly devoid of loot-laden chests.
A pattern of coloured blocks in the floor captured my attention, and I foolhardily broke one from above. A long fall to the treasure room below nearly took my life.
With my single remaining heart, I greedily cast my gaze about the room, trying to decide which of the four chests to open first. Until, that is, I noticed the barely audible hissing sound coming from below me. For four seconds I attempted to discern how I had upset a creeper from within a sealed chamber, until the TNT trap that I had unwittingly triggered violently ended my ruminations.
Evidently I had managed to trigger one of the nefarious traps present in the desert and jungle temples introduced in Minecraft 1.3.1. As of this version, there are only two trap types, one for each temple type. The temples and their environmental traps are a welcome new threat to the many worlds of Minecraft. With increased variety and frequency, temples could prove a refreshing change of pace and focus.
The long fabled Adventure mode is now available for use, though it is still a mere shadow of its promised potential. It is currently only available through the use of a console command, and is best applied to multiplayer users entering your world. By setting a player to Adventure mode in your world, they are unable to build or mine, set things on fire, or use buckets, and they are only able to interact with mobs and the environment (buttons, switches, doors, chests, dispensers etc). Even in this nascent form, the concept of creating a “level” or “course” for Adventure mode players to play is fairly interesting.
Version 1.3.1 also includes a number of other smaller additions and refinements which bear noting: Fans of Creative mode will certainly be pleased with the new inventory screen, which now includes a search panel that allows for quick block selection by an indexed list that shrinks based on text entered into the search field.
Singleplayer games now internally use a multiplayer server, which means that they can be opened up to allow LAN connections. This is a relatively minor change, but it does mean that wanting to take your world into multiplayer doesn’t require you to copy your save across for the server to use, thus branching the state of your world.
In order to give the leveling system some more hooks, experience orbs now drop from certain ore blocks, when smelting items, or destroying mob spawners. Players can also now craft writable books which can then be authored and titled, while non-premium players can now play in demo mode which restricts them to five game days per world, singleplayer only.
The full changelog is available here.
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