While the folks at Mojang work on beta 1.8, news about the big update keeps trickling out. Just this past week, Notch revealed the first new mob in some time - the Endermen. According to his account on his blog, they're an addition designed to evoke fear, and do they ever sound creepy.
So what are the Endermen? They're a passive NPC that picks up blocks and moves them, quietly minding their own business. But they do it in the middle of the night, and they're coloured to match. So, okay, that's a bit weird.
Just don't look at them.
Look at one Enderman right in the face and they'll all stop dead in their tracks, staring right at you. Look away and they'll chase you. And by "chase you" I mean they'll haul ass while you're not looking and kill you dead. It reminds me a bit of the Redeads from the Ocarina of Time and Lisa Trevor from the REmake, perhaps because they too are deceptively slow-moving enemies that start from a scary idea.
Meanwhile, the folks on Sigil have been debating the pros and cons of a total reboot when the Adventure Update comes out. A whole new world, to borrow a tired old chestnut. The thing is, the populated areas of Sigil aren't small any more. Sigil is big - bloody huge - and getting bigger all the time. Meanwhile, around the core of the old area stand empty testaments to players long gone. Walking out from the spawn point is a bit like walking through a historical recreation - a wild west town, or a medieval castle. On the other hand, these buildings are all testaments to the creativity and hard work of players past and present, and many of them are doubtlessly worth preserving. After all, in the real world far too many beautiful old buildings are demolished in favour of the flavour of the month. Trust me. I know this all too well. I'm from Toronto.
So what are the citizens of Sigil to do? These days it can take much to long for new players to get out from the spawn point to somewhere where they can do something, and I know how frustrating that can be. Before Sigil I tried several servers that suffered from the very same problem. I simply got lost trying to find a place to set down roots, and never went back.
None of this is to say that new players aren't coming in and finding a place of their own - far from it. Rather, it's a sign of how accommodating the server is. Its players want it to be maximally accessible to new and old alike. What a great idea.