Minecraft hits 1.3, single player and multiplayer code bases unified

Minecraft updates came fast and furious late last year, but the update schedule has slowed over recent months. This has been due to the latest release being the biggest in a long while, offering brand new features, changes in development philosophy, and the usual assortment of bug fixes.

The 1.3.1 update for PC and Mac introduces a number of completely new features including a working NPC trading system, whole new block types, a new universal chest type, and much more. The update also merges the single and multiplayer code bases, allowing future updates to be more easily deployed across modes.

This is a significant update to Minecraft, and presents a good opportunity for anyone who has been wanting to check out what the game is all about.

Mojang also held a commercial contest for the release of 1.3. Here’s a quick look at a few of the entries.

Here’s the full change log:

+ Single-player now runs a server internally
+ Publish the single-player instance to LAN
+ Automatically detect LAN worlds in multi-player screen
+ Added “cheats” option in single-player (enables commands)
+ Added “bonus chest” option to give players a quicker start in a new world
+ Added adventure mode (work in progress)
+ Added trading with villagers
+ Added emeralds, emerald blocks and emerald ore
+ Added cocoa beans to jungles
+ Added the Ender Chest
+ Added tripwires
+ Added new creative mode inventory with search functionality
+ Made it possible to gain enchantment orbs from mining ore and smelting
+ Added writeable books
+ Added “large biomes” world type
+ Added temples to jungles and deserts
+ Added chat settings
+ Added option to turn off and view snooper data
+ Added more information on the debug screen (F3)
+ New launcher with “Play Demo” button if not premium user
+ Added /seed command to see map seed
+ Added /defaultgamemode to set default game mode in a world (affects new players)
+ Added /debug command for profiling
+ Added SRV record lookup support
* Decreased max enchantment level from 50 to 30
* The /tp command can now send players to a specific coordinate
* Mobs can spawn on flat surfaces (such as up-side-down stairs)
* Updated language files
* Mobs are much less likely to glitch through blocks
* Server list can be reordered
* Nearby items in the world will auto-stack
* Stars are smaller and brighter
* Sky color in The End has been changed
* The “pick block” functionality has been improved
* Certain items that previously wasn’t stackable can now be stacked
* Hill biomes are slightly taller
* Wooden log blocks can now be placed side-ways
* Wooden half-blocks now act as wood
* Water slowly drips through leaves during rain
* Minecarts and boats will be placed by dispensers, if possible
* Gravel texture has been modified
* Levers can be placed in the roof
* Creepers’ explosions damage is now modified by difficulty
* Performance improvements
* Other bug fixes…

Source: Mojang