I was going to say something witty about how gay people are always fashionably late, and so this column often is too...but frankly it has more to do with my time management skills than my genetic predisposition for facial hair and strong shoulders. But there I go again.
As you may know (and as you can see above), Minecraft Beta 1.8, the Adventure Update, is fast approaching. Much more than the previous incremental updates, 1.8 looks to revolutionize the game. In fact, 1.8 used to be 1.7, but the last update had to be broken up because of the enormous scope of it. The Adventure Update is meant to make Minecraft, well, game-ier than before. A full list of features can be found here, but here's a taste: New clouds, new lighting, new objects (including stone bricks, brick stairs, glass panes, and more), new mobs (including evil blue spiders, silverfish and endermen), canyons, villages, rivers, oceans, swamps, chargeable arrows, animations for eating, new items dropping from zombies. Honestly, the list just goes on and on, and it all promises to add layer upon layer to an already deceptively complex game.
Sigil is dead, long live Sigil
Long-time readers will remember that yours truly plays on one of the few LGBTQ-run and oriented servers out there, Sigil, that was started by members of GayGamer.net's own forums. In the past I've discussed how Sigil's membership has discussed wiping our current map for various different reasons - the imposing nature of the older parts of the server to those newer members being one fo the chief issues among them - but nothing firm had been decided. Now, with the onset of Beta 1.8, the server's fearless leader's hand has been forced, as it were, since pre-1.8 maps will not be compatible with the new update. What does that mean? It means none of the advancements mentioned above. No new terrain, no new mobs, no new items. Rather than become a relic, Sigil as we know it will come to an end.
Of course, completely wiping everything that's been done thus far would be enormously demotivating to people who have been playing for a long time. Having been on Sigil since the winter, I can say I would definitely feel cheated if the (completely virtual, totally inconsequential to my real life) work that I've done so far just disappeared, so there's a suggestion out there to preserve parts of old Sigil, to copy chunks of the old map and superimpose them onto a new map - a solution which is entirely workable. After all, Skytown, Creepertown, and Princess Point (the subject of an upcoming column, and the closest thing to a functioning village that Sigil has yet seen - complete with schools, a planetarium, housing developments, a grow-op, a giant golden phallus, and a fast-food joint) are part of the fun of Sigil - and part of its history. But if you're not a resident of Sigil and you want to see what your fellow gaymers have been up to, I suggest you hop on the forums fast and get yourself whitelisted, because the amount of change that's going to happen between now and Minecraft 1.0 is going to be huge.
Update: There's a clarification about Sigil's future from the server's owner, reech, in the comments section.