Mojang has kept us guessing these last few weeks with rumors and little sneak peeks at what they have been working on! Their many hours of toil have come together and we have a new snapshot to explore!
A very exciting addition to our treasure trove of 1.8 goodies are the new underwater temples! These generate randomly in new ocean terrain and are sturdily constructed with four new blocks also added in this snapshot: Prismarine, Prismarine Bricks and Dark Prismarine, and an interesting new underwater Sea Lantern (pictured below). Mojang have also gifted us with a new boot enchant "Depth Strider" to assist us with the exploration of these temples. It comes in three levels and allows for a faster walking speed through water.
Not only are these ancient structures constructed of fascinating new blocks for us to play with, they are inhabited by a strange new creature to the Minecraft world. The "Guardian" is a mossy green spiky tadpole looking creature, with one large eye to spot its prey, and a laser beam to hunt it with. They live on a diet consisting mostly of the native ocean squid but will not hesitate to devour a passing adventurer if he or she is not well prepared. The smaller variety may be killed for their prismarine crystals and shards that are used in the construction of the new blocks, as well as raw fish. The treasure contained within these temples is guarded by a larger tougher version of these Guardians that also drop the new sponge block.
These new and improved sponge blocks have been reworked since their original addition to Minecraft and when placed in water will remove source blocks in an estimated 5 block radius around it. This changes it from a Sponge to a Wet Sponge that has a delightful particle effect and may be cooked in a furnace to remove the water from it, converting it back to its dry sponge state.
There has been two more notable changes for survival Minecrafters. Early versions of 1.8 snapshots introduced crafting recipes for the rarer stone types found throughout our worlds. 25b allows survival players to cook stone brick blocks in a furnace to create Cracked Stone Bricks. The 1.7 biome update gave us a glimpse of a dirt block in the mega taiga biomes that would not allow the spreading of grass. Now we have a recipe (dirt and gravel), and a new texture for a "Coarse Dirt" block with the same properties.
For further snapshot details please feel free to visit the official Mojang news post above. It has listed all the changes and bug fixes to this version of the game and a few details for the latest 1.7.10 pre-release.
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