After countless teases and feature blowouts, the first 1.9 snapshot is out! You can now check out (some of) the new features in Minecraft 1.9 - The Combat Update for yourself in snapshot 15w31c (the first two were super buggy). There's even some stuff not shown off at Minecon! Read on for the details…
First off, it should be noted that not all of the features from the Minecon demo are in this snapshot, notably, these things are NOT in the 15w31c 1.9 snapshot that we know are coming with the actual 1.9 update:
- Melee combat changes, including shields
- Balancing of new items and mechanics for fair multiplayer
- New potions and enchantments
Even the things that are in here are heavily buggy (offhand items) or incomplete (the End). So while the snapshot has a lot of stuff in it already, there's plenty more to look forward to.
What is in the snapshot is the new End. This includes world generation, the new boss battle, and the new mobs (Shulkers). The new dungeon will generate and the gateways for travel between the islands are in there, though bugged. You can go in and fight the dragon in the new boss fight, though it will most likely glitch out. Killing the dragon will now give you an ender dragon head item. The Chorus plant is in too and has a very fun feature - eating it teleports you to a random nearby location. Chorus grows naturally in the End but can be grown in the other dimensions if planted on Endstone, and like any other crop has stages of growth. The running theme here is that features are in, but bugged, which is yet another symptom of this update's big size.
While the melee combat changes aren't in, some of the new combat features are in, most notably the new inventory slot for a quiver, and the offhand slot for dual-wielding. The new arrows are in and they even fixed the bow now showing in the inventory icon and on other entities in the world! Some AI changes are in, but we're assuming that more will be done soon. Finally, the teased pathway blocks (aka dirt roads) are in too.
Outside of the End changes and the other already shown off features , there's a few new additions in the snapshot that we haven't seen yet - a new block and a new type of crop. The block is Purpur - a pinkish version of stone bricks with four types - regular, slab, stair, and pillar. The crop is a new plant called Beetroot that spawns in villages and can be crafted into soup and grown just like any other crop.
There's a bunch of other more technical changes that you can check out here, but when it comes to concrete new features since our last update, that's about it. Stay tuned for more information, as well as our usual mod reviews.
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.