Mojang has released a new snapshot - 14w25b - with a lot of cool new stuff you'll want to read about. A new mob? Underwater dungeons? New blocks? SPONGES?! Sign me up…
Let's start with the new mob. In an attempt to make oceans less bland and boring, the devs have added a new underwater mod called the Guardian to 14w25b. It has a square shape and a back tail like a fish, along with a big eye on the front. It has a ranged beam attack that can do a lot of damage if you're not careful. It looks a lot like The Aether mod's mob design, in my opinion. There is also an “elder” version available as a sort of mini-boss. It hurts you when you hit it, inflicts mining fatigue and even has some creepy vision effects.
An interesting part of the 14w25b snapshot is also where these new Guardians live - Minecraft now has underwater dungeons! Well, more like temples, really. Guardians will only spawn around these new structures that generate at the bottom of the ocean, even in old worlds. It's an interesting new challenge to the game, and it helps to spruce up underwater exploration. These underwater temples are made of new blocks like sea lanters and the prismarine blocks (there seem to be 3 kinds). These are cool new building blocks for your builds, and they can already be crafted.
You can be darn sure sponges get their own paragraph. They've been in the game code as long as I can remember, yet Mojang has not used them in the game… until now. The new sponge block has two states - dry and wet. Dry sponges will suck up any water in the immediate vicinity and then become wet sponges which can be smelted back into dry sponges. They can be obtained as loot in underwater temples and, as you can imagine, will be quite useful when making underwater structures.
Moving on from water stuff, we've got a new dirt kind. “Coarse Dirt” is a new block that can be crafted from dirt and gravel, but still drops itself when broken. It does not grow grass and has some gravel pieces in the texture, but is otherwise like regular dirt.
There is yet another change, but this one is more behind the scenes. They've changed the way rendering works for blocks and items. This has resulted in a more bug-free experience, as well as some minor visual changes. For example, some blocks like tall grass and fully grown wheat look darker. This might be a bug, so it could be fixed in the future.
That's it for this 14w25b snapshot, but stay tuned for more news on snapshots and mods and maps and everything cool in Minecraft.
You can download the snapshot via the Minecraft launcher (just go to Edit Profile and enable developmental versions).
Like always, feel free to discuss the snapshot and voice any feedback you might have in the comment section below.