This year’s MINECON has brought us quite a few things – the Xbox One controller support for Gear `VR was not the only announcement this weekend. Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition Beta is stepping into the world of modding.
The original Minecraft for PC was built by Notch himself and used the Java Runtime. Java has a few pros and cons of its own, but one of the pros (maybe) is that it is easy to decompile the code and read what’s happening. This allowed the existence of a massive modding scene that flourished with its community.
Minecraft mods are some of the best things about the game – they add a lot of content and gameplay possibilities. However, everything changed with the Pocket Edition.
One of the downsides to Java is its slow performance, and so Mojang decided to ditch Java for better options – this also meant abandoning the de-facto mod support that existed.
When the dust was settled, and Mojang was purchased by Microsoft; Mojang ended up launching a Windows 10 Edition of Minecraft based on the Pocket Edition. This gives Windows two separate editions of Minecraft – one running on Java with all of the mods one could imagine, and one made in C++ with no mod support – until now.
The upcoming Boss Update for October is bringing Add-Ons to the Windows 10 Edition Beta. Add-Ons aren’t exactly full-fledged mods just yet, but they have the potential to be that at some point.
For now, Add-Ons are simply a bunch of text files you can edit to change certain attributes.
For example, you can turn zombies to the size of chickens, and chickens to the size of zombies; answering the age-old question: would you rather fight a zombie-sized chicken or ten chicken-sized zombies.
You will notice this does not require any knowledge of programming either since all you can to do is change a few values in a file. This limits the extent of how far Add-Ons can go; Mojang says they plan on extending the possibilities by adding the ability to “alter items, blocks and even more.” Still, unless Mojang allows a proper modding API and lets mods handle the steering; there is only so much editing a few attributes can do for you.
The Add-Ons are going to release with two examples at launch. First is the Alien Invasion add-on that was first shown at E3 this year, and the second is ‘Castle Siege’ built by a trio of the best tweakers known in the Minecraft community: SethBling, MindCrack, and Blockworks. You can find more details about Add-Ons on the FAQ page, though not much has been released as of yet.
The update also adds Boss Battles to the Windows 10 Edition beta, Pocket Edition, and Gear VR edition. The various versions of Minecraft are not usually in sync when it comes to boss battles.
With the boss update, Mojang is adding ocean monuments and Elder Guardians who protect said monuments – by destroying you. The Elder Guardians also come with an army of Guardians who would also be destroying you.
If you happen not to be destroyed, you will be rewarded by treasures hidden within the ocean monument.
The Wither Boss is also coming to the Windows 10 Edition and Pocket Edition – albeit with a few tweaks. However, these tweaks have not been detailed just yet.
The updates do not simply end here. The Windows 10 Edition is also getting slash commands in this update.
While you have been able to use slash commands on the Java edition since the beginning of time, it hasn’t been so popular on the other editions. The slash commands help you make changes to the game without browsing through menus.
It is essentially a command line utility built into the text chat. You can change the time of day, spawn or delete items from player inventories, summon mobs, swap between survival and creative modes and a lot more.
For now, the update comes with 20 slash commands, and Mojang plans to add a few more later on. Whether we will see Command Blocks in these editions for the future is still uncertain, but not a possibility too farfetched.
The update isn’t obviously out yet – otherwise, we would be telling you to play it. This massive update comes out on all platforms on October 18th; the update also includes the Xbox One controller support for Gear VR that was announced two days back.
Overall, it is an excellent update and is pushing these editions in the right direction. Though the Java edition for PC and Mac is still the most feature-rich edition, that is to be expected since it is the original one.