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Breaking: Minecraft Beta 1.4 is Live

The creator of Minecraft Markus Persson, A.K.A. Notch, has just announced that version Beta 1.4 is live for download. Though not nearly as world-changing as 1.3, it adds some new features and one new mob. According to the Minecraft site this update will include:

* Added tameable wolves

* Added cookies

* Sleeping in a bed now resets your spawn position

* New Minecraft logo

* Holding shift while climbing will hang on to the ladder

* Spiders will no longer trample crops

* Lots and lots of infrastructure for Statistics lists and Achievements

Users on the Minecraft forums have also confirmed the addition of cocoa beans, and more sheep colors. There are also scattered reports of a special in-game April Fool’s Day joke.

Check back for more on these new features as we find them!

Upon downloading the update, the first thing you’re likely to notice is the new logo that graces the launcher screen. Gone is the block-made lettering, replaced by an artsier logo complete with Creeper.

Notch had previously written about his intent to add statistics and achievements to the game. His intent was to use achievements not for rewarding grinding, but as challenges that would push the players to try new things in the game.

Unforutunately, the implementation proved more difficult than anticipated. From the 1.4 Changelog:

While most of the code is written, statistics and achievements won’t show up until the next update. We didn’t quite have time to finish them this week, and didn’t want to delay the update longer.

The most exciting part of the update is almost certainly the wolves. As we reported earlier, wolves are a “tameable” mob, meaning that players can turn wild wolves into pets. In the 1.4 version of the game, wolves exist in the wild will retaliate when attacked by players even when in “peaceful” mode. A wolf is marked as aggressive by its glowing red eyes, in keeping with the other mobs in the game. Wolves can be tamed by right-clicking on them with a bone, though the number of bones required is random.

(via Minecraft Forums)

Once tamed, wolves sport collars and will follow some basic commands. Right clicking on them is a “sit/stay” command, and the wolves will sit and not move. Otherwise, they will follow your character as hirelings do in other games. Wolves cannot travel to the Nether.

In the 1.4 update, wolves will attack mobs that the player melee attacks. However, wolves will not attack Creepers. When attacking, wolves can take damage and lower their tails when hurt. They can be healed by feeding the wolf a pork chop.

(via Minecraft Forums)

A major change to gameplay is that sleeping in beds will now change a player’s spawnpoint. This allows players to wander far from their starting area without having to trek all the way back when they die. Changing your spawn point does not, however, change where your compass points. The compass will always point to your original spawnpoint, no matter what.

Another gameplay change is that the flow of water is much stronger than before. While this is good for players who employ water traps to harvest mobs, it will make player’s movement through the water more difficult as well.

Notch first announced the addition of cookies to the game over Twitter yesterday. According to the Minecraft Wiki, cookies are created from two wheat on either side of another new item: the cocoa bean. This yields a stack of eight cookies, each cookie healing players for half of a heart when consumed.

Cocoa beans were first introduced in the 1.2 update, although they were unobtainable at the time. In the 1.4 update, they can be found in dungeon chests.

Once 1.4 was in the wild, users quickly noted the addition of brown and pink sheep as a natural mob. This comes after the addition of black sheep in the previous update.

(image via Minfecraft Forums)

Notch also seems to have added a special April Fool’s day joke to the game. As an apparent dig on Valve’s Team Fortress, clicking on an in-game item called a “Steve Co Supply Crate” will bring up the following menu.

(via Minecraft Forums)

Clicking on “Go to Store” will send players to an online storefront with numerous items “available” for “sale.” Be sure to hit “checkout” for the full effect, though be advised that harsh, flashing colors occur if your cart has over $10,000 worth of items in it.

(top image via the Minecraft Forums)

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