With the recent update to version 1.7.9, Minecraft is on the verge of another milestone in its history: the update to version 1.8. Details of this update have already been released, and it is fairly massive. Its release date is yet unconfirmed, but speculation points to some time in May. Due to the sheer volume of changes, only selected important updates will be discussed here.
A few particularly useful additions to in-game commands are being made. These commands are especially great for creative mode players and multiplayer servers:
Entities can be targeted in commands with @e (for example, all sheep in an area could be teleported to another location).
Blocks can be copied to other locations in large quantities – great for quickly making a series of houses.
The /fill command allows rectangular areas to be filled, hollowed out, or outlined with a specific block. Huge underground caves in an instant!
Spectator mode joins the lineup of game modes in 1.8, which is a natural step towards creating a more involved and competitive multiplayer experience. Spectators are invisible and cannot interact with the world in any way. They pass through all blocks and objects, and can watch the game through the view of another player (or mob) if desired.
Some new decorative stone blocks that can be found or crafted are added in 1.8:
Polished versions of each.
Slime blocks, crafted by placing nine slime balls in a crafting grid, are new items that act like a combination between improved soul sand and a trampoline.
The Endermite is the only new mob being added:
This mob hostile, and is spawned by endermen and ender pearls.
The enchanting system is undergoing an overhaul in the next update. Enchantments will require only 1-3 levels and now also require 1-3 pieces of lapis lazuli. The level at which enchantments are unlocked is still the same, however. This system overall rewards players for surviving longer, but makes enchanting more accessible in general.
A wide array of bugs have been fixed – over 100 and counting – ranging from the world going black from drinking certain potions to leads randomly falling off of iron golems.
And finally, a number of changes are to be made to existing blocks, items, and mobs. The most important of these is that every mob now runs away from Creepers when they are about to explode.
Be sure to check out the full list of changes to 1.8 here, and stay tuned to MinecraftDLs for updates! Let us know in the comments what feature or update you are most interested in.