Why is Minecraft Monday so late this week? Blame whoever decided to start stealing things from the players on Sigil. Grrrrr.
To the uninitiated, griefers are people who join servers, generally lurk around and cause all kinds of mischief. I touched on this last week in regards to the immolation of Creepertown, and now this week the server was shut down due to blatant theft while the server's owner worked to figure out a way to prevent it. To our Minecraft-savvy readers...if you have any suggestions I'd be happy to hear them in the comments section below!
Of course, griefers are a regrettably normal part of a Minecraft server, and this wasn't the first spate of grief we've had to deal with on Sigil. Fully public servers seem to suffer from the most of it, and many have instituted server-level solutions to deal with it...some of which are downright Draconian, essentially limiting the ability of players to enjoy the full range of the game's mechanics. Private servers, like Sigil, often rely on a "whitelist": In order to be allowed to play on the server, a player must first request permission from the server's owner and have his or her name put on a roster of accepted players. No one else may play. Unfotunately, it only works so far. Other fixes include automatic backing-up of server maps so that the game can be reverted to an older version should significant grief occur (however, Sigil is rarely not in use, meaing that reverting to an older map would erase a lot of rules-following players' hard work) and having protected areas in which only certain players can work...also an imperfect solution on a busy server. Of course, none of these can work around the fact that if people are going to be jerks, they're going to be jerks.
So, couple griefer-related server downtime with the first weekend of Canadian summer (I was out enjoying the real world, which has incredible graphics, btw) and there's a significant lack of (positive) Sigil news this week. Meanwhile, the folks at Mojang have been working in overdrive, and Beta 1.6 has finally been released! Follow us after the jump for a rundown of the game's new features.
According to Notch's blog, a whole raft of improvements have been implemented in 1.6. These include working portals and the Nether in multiplayer (finally!) and hatches, as well as long grasses and craftable maps! Hatches are essentially doors that sit on the ground, while maps show you where you are in relation to your immediate surroundings. In addition, fire will now spread more slowly, while mushrooms will actually propagate themselves, and there are changes in the game to cap frame rates at 100 fps so that the extra horsepower can be used for other purposes.
Check out the video below for a demonstration of some of the changes. As always, Minecraft Monday is happy to feature our readers favourite servers, creations, videos and Minecraft-related stuff, so if you have something you'd like to see up here just email me!