BETA 1.8: Mojang Made This for You! (The Complete Overview)

As most of you already know (if not, where have you been!), Mojang is in the process of creating the next biggest update:

ooohhhhh looks interesting eh’? Lets have a look at what this actually means for you! The player!

(See video at the bottom of the page for in-game footage and Notch commentary)

The Endermen

Firstly, we have the Endermen. We’ve touched on this before in a previous article but they seem to work differently to what I first had in mind. The Endermen are passive mobs and will not attack you unless your marker is directly pointing on them. Once you place the marker on them, they instantly stare at you and will not move until the marker is moved off of their anatomy. So, instead of you needing to completely turn around before they attack you, they will attack you even if they are still on your screen. With this, we have both advantages and disadvantages. (Albeit not that many advantages!)

The advantage we have is we can the Endermen coming into to attack which gives us the capability to weapon-up and defend ourselves. heh… Not much there but it’s better than getting punched in the back!

One disadvantage is you need to have your marker must stay on the Enderman at all times or else he’ll attack. No room for error, people! Going beyond the activation of attack, the Endermen also dish out hell-of-a beating! You’ll be dead in no time if you’re not careful; not to mention they can also teleport making them an even bigger problem if you face them.

Taking their overpowered-ness into account, the Endermen are notoriously deadly but, thankfully, they are deemed to be very rare in the release! Good news for everyone who doesn’t want to soil themselves while playing Minecraft!

New Lighting

As seen in the latest footage of 1.8, Minecraft now has a new way of generating light. The transition of day to night and vice versa will be very smooth and removing the current blocky light level changes we see. Thus giving Minecraft a more realistic feel as the game progress’ through day and night.

As well as this, objects such as light stone, torches, etc. will generate their own type and colour of light. This makes it much easier to distinguish between the different sources of light also, not to forget, it gives players the ability to light areas differently to before! Yay aesthetics!

Finally, Mojang has added a new brightness slider! This allows player to set the overall lighting of their game to how they personally prefer! Also, I’d assume it would make a difference in the Youtube community as videos in dark conditions may become actually viewable. Profit at the very least!

Creative Mode

Mojang has now added Creative Mode to the playable modes in Minecraft. You can now choose either Survival Mode or Creative Mode when you start a map. Creative Mode add the ability for players to fly around (by double-tapping jump), an unlimited supply of blocks and the ability to instantly break any block. Player also spawn in a generated world as such in Survival Mode and mobs will also still spawn in these creative worlds.

This means players can now simply build to their hearts content without the need of mods to supply them with the means to fly or have unlimited blocks!

Biomes, Rivers and Oceans
  • Biomes

Biomes are now bigger in the 1.8 update and are also more clearly identifiable. Instead of blending into one another, biomes will be clear to distinguish between and can be 2 or 3 times larger than current biomes. I find this a step in the right direction for world generation as the smaller blending biomes just didn’t cut it when actually player. Currently, biomes can be indistinguishable unless entering a snowy area or a desert. Even so, these areas tend to be small and not very appealing. I feel the aim of 1.8 creates the possibility of greater land features and these greater distinguishable features add to the feel of the environment and the physical environment as a whole.

  • Rivers and Oceans

In addition to ravines, rivers and oceans will be generated in the Minecraft world along with the other Biomes. The rivers are fairly large and can expand across entire land masses with a connection to an ocean at either end or it can come back on itself and form a sort of “circular” shape as it connects back into itself. Depending on direction, these rivers can suffice as a great form of natural transport paths players can use. Also not to forget you can fish in these areas to obtain food! No need to live by the coast all the time any more!


Experience can now be earned in Minecraft by defeating mobs which cause them to drop glowing orbs. Collecting these orbs, which drop as they are killed, will increase they the amount of EXP you have gained and gaining so much will allow you to “level up”. Once level’d up, you are rewarded a few points. These points will later be able to be used to attain goodies for the player but, for now, they are useless. It is not yet known what Mojang is going to uses these points for but they assure it will be worthwhile!

Not much can be said on experience at the moment as not much is known what it is used for, but it is safe to say that there is a possibility for great elements that can be added for greater enjoyment of game play. The idea of a form of “objective” or reason to fight is certainly encouraging for me and, I assume, many other Minecraft players.

Better Combat
  • The Bow

Bows can now be charged to fire further than before and it seems charging gives a greater chance to land a critical hit on the enemy! As well as adding realism to “drawing” the bow, longer ranged combat which, I believe, will please a lot of people. Then again, this new way of fighting could cripple many adventure maps which use the bow in it’s current, traditional form. For Survival Mode purposes alone, this is a great upgrade for the bow!

  • The Charge

Players can now do a short burst towards an enemy, knocking them backwards. This can be very useful against those creepers who just wont stay away and try to blow up in your face! Just keep knocking them back if they get close and continue to shoot them with your bow until you defeat them! Job done!

Another use may ask? I feel this may be of use in Minecraft sports such as the infamous Spleef! Imagine the tactical use of charging into your enemy to eliminate them from the game and into the pits! Will this be a great addition to Spleef game play or will it ruin it entirely? I believe it can be it can be developed into the rules of Spleef but we can only wait until release to find the answers to our questions, whether it be about the implications in Spleef or any other game play matter.

  • Critical Hits

Player will now be able to enjoy the addition of critical hits in Minecraft. This adds a new dynamic to combat as players can, by chance, inflict greater damage on the enemy while attacking them with a charged bow shot or by coming down onto them from a jump. This could possibly save you from those encounters of low health against a pesky mob that wont go away! Or, maybe, you’re playing SMP and you want to get the upper hand on another player in PvP. You can simply ambush them from above getting a critical on them and, thus, giving you an advantage in a fight. Not to mention sparkle-y particles fly off of their body if you land a critical hit!

  • Killing Animation and Creeper-Sssssplotions

Mobs now die in a poof of smoke as their bodies disappear but, mainly, creeper explosions are a lot more visual. The explosion visual consists of the traditional smoke and flashes of balls that fade to crescents and then to nothing as to perceive the effect of an explosion. If this explanation doesn’t help, take a look at the video at 4:46.

I whole-heartedly welcome these new features into the current Minecraft as I see them making a great improvement to the game play!

Mine shafts and More!
  • Mine Shafts

Mojang have stated mine shafts will be randomly generated in maps in 1.8 and will be introducing the cobweb block in vanilla Minecraft. These shafts are generated on the surface so exploring will be more rewarding than it is currently! More goodies to get your hands on! Along with this there is, apparently, a new type of dungeon so look out for it on release! I assume these features will provoke players to actually explore the world instead of being cooped up in their mines with everything they need.

  • NPC Villages

NPC are set to appear, fairly rarely, in the coming Adventure update. These villages are randomly generated across the map but little is yet known about the actual implications of NPC’s as they are not in the PAX preview of the 1.8 update. We’ll just have to wait and see how it all turns out on the day of release!

  • Hunger/New Eating Animation

In 1.8, Mojang have decided to add in a hunger system to Survival mode. What this does is slightly regenerates the players health when the hunger bar is full or mostly full. If the huger bar is allowed to fall to low, it will cause the health of a player to decrease. The hunger meter will also only decrease in the activity of a player. So standing AFK for hours wont decrease your meter one bit!  This element adds a whole new dynamic to Survival as, instead of just collecting food for health, you collect food for a bonus of health regen and also to stop your health from decreasing. I assume those others who love the Survival aspect of Minecraft are extremely looking forward to this feature as I certainly am!

Along with the hunger system, Mojang also decided to add a new eating animation! Instead of the food just disappearing from your hand, the food is pulled up to where the mouth is considered to be and there is a motion of the screen moving up and down as particles spring off of the food you can see. For the how it looks in-game, see 7:29 in the video provided at the bottom.

  • Sprint

Sprinting allows you run faster in Minecraft and is infinite. The only catch is it uses up your hunger bar as you use the ability. Jeb (of Mojang) has stated it uses up the hunger bar 4x quicker than simply walking. There are examples of sprinting in the video but the change to infinite sprint only happened after the video was taken. I, myself, find sprinting to be a very useful tool in not only fighting, but in also running away as well! Sometimes those diamonds are just to important to lose!


The Adventure Update is also said to be split up into two updates, 1.8 and 1.9, as it introduces a large amount of content into the game. Although we have this information on 1.8, not much is know about 1.9.

So, to conclude, the Adventure Update is looking to be an amazing update. I know not everyone will be happy with some of the changes but I also know many will be happy with them! I’m just as excited as any other Minecrafter and I simply cannot find a great flaw in this update. I only question the Endermen’s activity in Minecraft but I don’t find it as so much of a hindrance that I wouldn’t want it in-game. Also, to those wishing to know, you can see the tweet below that shows 1.8 is expected to be released on the 8th of this month! It’s only a week away guys so look forward to it and try to be patient just a little bit longer!

1.8 Video: Notch Commentary – Adventure Update

Can’t wait for 1.8? Want to know when it’s released? You’re in luck!

Release Date

Expect to see BETA 1.8 released next week!

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