It's been just over two weeks since the Minecraft 1.6 Update introduced Horses, Stained Hardened Clay, well over one hundred new bug fixes, and dozens of other changes to the hit sandbox title that's now sold more than 22 million copies across a variety of platforms.
Of course, with Nathan "Dinnerbone" Adams & Co. apparently having been busy redesigning the Mojang account system, finally giving players the ability to purchase and register multiple Minecraft licenses to a single account, it seems likely that we're at least a few months removed from the official debut of the Minecraft 1.7 Update. But that doesn't mean we can't speculate about the next official version of Minecraft that's on the way, even as we continue exploring all of the new content and changes introduced in the Minecraft 1.6 update earlier this month.
Last month, lead Minecraft programmer Jens Bergensten confirmed that the games biomes and oceans will be getting some touch-ups during a panel at DreamHack in Jonkoping, Sweden. The Minecraft programmer also confirmed that the team is working on a system that would allow servers to push resource pack updates out automatically, simplifying the process of updating mods for those who prefer to alter the Minecraft experience.
Unfortunately, that's all we know about the Minecraft 1.7 Update at this time, but we've pulled together a few ideas for changes and/or features we'd like to see included in the next version of Minecraft. Naturally, we're aware that some of this functionality already exists in the plethora of Minecraft mods currently available around the web; however, there is obviously a sizeable subsection of Minecraft's 22 million-plus fans that have no interest in playing anything other than official Mojang content.
Without further introduction, here are the top 10 changes we'd like to see in Minecraft 1.7:
1.New Fish - It seems likely, given Bergensten's comments at DreamHack and Notch's own desire to see more aquatic life, that we'll see quite a bit more going on under the water's surface when the Minecraft 1.7 Update makes its debut (presumably) later this year. Still new fish remain in the top spot on the wish list, largely because oceans serve as little more than an travel obstacle for many players at present. If some of these bodies of water are going to take five to ten minutes (or more) to cross, at least give me something to look at.
2. Updated Half Blocks - Several International Digital Times readers have suggested that Mojang should allow for vertically-aligned placement of Slabs in the Minecraft 1.7 update, and we couldn't agree more. It may seems like a relatively minor change, but one which could very well give Minecraft players a variety of new ways to create and decorate buildings and other structures. Don't believe us? Just think of all the ways that dedicated Builders found to use Stairs as decorations once they were given the ability to adjust their orientation when placed.
3. More Uses For Animal Parts - Along with some new animals, we'd like to see more recipes for items that drop off the wildlife populating the millions of Minecraft worlds currently in existence. This could be simple recipes like creating arrows using sticks and teeth from predators like sharks (seriously, more fish please) or more complex creations like backpacks fashioned from animal hides, just so long as it gives more reason for players to herd/hunt the wildlife in Minecraft.
4. New Random Structures - Random structure generation has already come quite far, but many fans are beginning to grow tired with the relatively small assortment of dungeons, desert forts, temples and other game-generated buildings that dot the landscapes of most Minecraft worlds. We've seen suggestions for abandoned cave dwellings pop-up on Reddit in the past, and wouldn't mind seeing similar additions that were exclusive to the taiga, ocean and hill biomes too.
5. New Potions - As many people know already, more than a dozen unused potions remain in the base Minecraft code, along with references to four mixtures which can't be created in-game at this time. It would be great to see the Minecraft team put some of those openings to use in Minecraft 1.7, even if that only means unlocking the level two potions which remain under lock and key at this time.
6. Ability To Melt/Re-use Metal Items -This one seems pretty self-explanatory. Let players melt down the various metal items they find and/or don't need any more, with a diminishing number of ingots returning based on damage to the item(s) being melted. Not only would this provide an additional means of collecting ingots, but also an extra method for keeping your chests from overflowing with unused/unneeded armor sets and other metallic items.
7. Quests - I know that Minecraft was designed primarily as the ultimate sandbox, but as the game continues to evolve, various additions clearly show the game is evolving much farther than its "adult Lego" roots (weapons/armor anyone?), and it'd be nice to see the Minecraft dev team take what seems to be the natural next step. With the rapid rise in popularity of Cube World, a voxel-based role-playing game with slightly more guiding structure than Minecraft, it's hard to believe Minecraft players would turn up their noses at the introduction of randomly generated quests of some kind.
8. Environmental Noise - Though it's not a silent adventure, Minecraft isn't exactly the most sound-filled gaming experience to be had, and some new world sounds would go a long way to correct that. Obviously, the game's wildlife selection is still relatively limited, but the chirp of unseen bugs or chirp of a few birds (if/when they get added to the game) would be nice on occasion.
9. Birds - Chickens have proven to be a great (and self-renewing) form of sustenance in Minecraft, but we've definitely reached the point when Minecraft could use some new wildlife, and birds could help solve a variety of problems. In addition to increasing the animal count, they'd also provide a logical source for the environmental sounds mentioned above, and could offer a new item(s) when killed that could then be used in new recipes. Birds could even offer beginning/low-skill players another means of improving your ability to hit a moving target with a bow and arrow. It's like four wins in one!
10. Scrolls Plug-In - If World of Warcraft players can play Bejeweled while they travel, why can't Minecraft players enjoy a friendly game of Scrolls during their down time? This certainly seems like the least likely addition to be included in Minecraft 1.7, hence its placement at the bottom of the list, but we remain convinced that this Mojang-ception would be awesome. Don't judge us.
Be sure to check back with iDigitalTimes.com and follow Scott on Twitter for all the latest on Minecraft 1.7 as we continue to follow the development of Mojang's hit sandbox game for as long as the studio pumps out new Minecraft content.
What would you like to see Mojang change before releasing the free Minecraft 1.7 Update later this year? Have you stopped paying attention to the change logs that accompany each Minecraft update after you started using mods to alter the game? Not settling for anything less than the debut of the Minecraft API when the Minecraft 1.7 Update goes live?
Let us know in the comments section!