Alas, we are closing in on what is the first major Minecraft addition in over a year. Called The Combat Update, 1.9 introduces exciting new aspects such as the ability to dual wield, the concept of shielding, and the city of Ender, bringing us to the beginning of everything noteworthy to come.
- Dual Wielding: Arguably the most anticipated feature of this upcoming patch is the new ability to hold items in not one, but both of your hands for the first time in the world of Minecraft. Which, in turn, initiates the idea of having a main hand, and an offhand inventory slot.
- Shields: Equipping a shield provides exactly what you would think it might, giving you the power to reduce the amount of incoming damage upon use, as well as the durability of the shield. Banner prints will be transferable onto shields, allowing you to flash custom emblems to any friend, or foe.
- End City: A structure spawning in the End, similar to that of a Nether Fortress, with branching areas to explore, and chests to find rare loot in. While maneuvering through the city, you will encounter that of the newest hostile mob, Shulkers. Shulkers are stand-still, projectile enemies that have a retractable shell, providing them armor against attacks once closed. Among the end, you can now find Chorus Plants. Also in flower form, the plant currently serves no purpose other than atmosphere.
- Strength of Attack: Represented by a meter, your strength, and damage done can be boosted by a a varying percentage based on the gauge before attacking. Each level of effect (heavy, light, and parry) presents it’s own unique sound effect.
- Axes: Buffing attack damage to a whopping +7 for the gold, and wooden tools, as well as stone, iron, and diamond to +9, in regards to the current +3, +4, +5, and +6 respectively. While they may be mighty, their attack damage is significantly slower than your average sword.
- Elytra (WINGS!): Found in end cities, and equipped in the place of a chestplate, Elytra allows the wearer to fly after jumping off of a height minimum to four blocks. However, trying to fly too high may result in a nose dive, as the item acts similarly to a glider, stalling after a certain point, and increasing the rate at which you fall.
- Chain, and Repeat Command Blocks: In addition to the original command block, Chain command blocks will activate once another command block pointing in the direction of it executes, while Repeating command blocks will continually repeat the command given to them per game tick.
- Spectral Arrows: Once a unit is hit with a spectral arrow, it causes their silhouette to glow, allowing the archer to view their target through blocks for 10 seconds. This could be useful in situations particularly at night, illuminating an area, and singling out targets that may be harder to see otherwise.
- Lingering Potions: Splash Potions can now be altered, using Dragon’s Breath, and used as an Area of Effect that stays in the form of a smoke cloud once thrown into open space. Along with these new potions, is a Water Splash Potion, which can be used to extinguish ignited blocks. Dragon’s Breath can only be obtained via glass bottle, when in, or near the general vicinity of the Ender Dragon’s breath attack.
- Tipped Arrows: When an arrow is shot through an area lingering of a potion, (as previously mentioned) it then takes on the characteristics of said Area of Effect, embedding it into it’s target upon impact. This opens the door to creating 14 different arrow types.
- Sounds: Many new sounds are coming, for a variety of actions, some are changes to those we already know, such as sound for farming with your trusty hoe. A sound for each attack level, heavy, light, and parry. A sound for when a brewing item finishes. A sound for smelting items. Hell, a sound for placing your wooden yacht, and many more.
- World Spawns: Map generation, as a whole, is getting a bit of a tweak. Dungeons, mineshafts, and temples will have a wider variety of loot possibilities, making it possible to find new things including golden apples, pumpkins, and wood among chests. Strongholds will become much less of a hassle to find, as their spawn rate is being raised from a pitiful 3, to 128 per world. Igloos, made out of snow, ice, and white carpet can now be found in icy biomes. Behaving similarly to a temple, they can potentially spawn with a stone basement, containing loot. Along with the world setting Superflat, people will have the option to spawn in The Void, which is nothing more than a floating stone platform.
- Enchantments: As an addition to the increase of loot, two new enchantments are being added that can only be found, not crafted, through fishing, trading, and chests. Mending can be placed onto tools, or armor, that makes it so any experience granted to the occupant instead repairs said enchanted item, while Frost Walker turns water into ice.
- Items: Aside from the obvious items, and item changes noted so far, there are a few more worth mentioning. Beetroots will be coming to PC Minecraft, (first seen in Pocket Edition) can be eaten, crafted into Beetroot Soup, or used to breed pigs. Axes aren’t the only tool getting a damage buff, wooden and golden Shovels will be raised from +1 to +2.5, as well as stone, iron, and diamond to +3.5, +4.5, and +5.5 respectively. More or less all of the weapons/tools are going to be re-balanced to some degree, but shovels and axes have received the more notable balancing tweaks.
- Status Effects: With the entrance of new items, and abilities, surfaces new effects to go along with them. Glowing is the status given to that of someone, or something, when they are struck by a Spectral Arrow. Levitation is provided when the projectile shot from a Shulker makes contact, lifting you off the ground momentarily. Luck increases, or decreases (depending on if it is good, or bad) the quality of loot found from chests, fishing, and mob drops.
As much as I would love to discuss each, and every one of the 350+ minor flubs people encountered during their journeys, no one has that kind of time. If you are interested in the specific bug fixes that’ll come with the update you’re more than welcome to use the official Minecraft wiki.
The update that took the cake for being the longest in development time will be here soon, and the anticipation is building. As we try to uncover answers to our questions, and comprehend these notes, imagining where they can go from here. Rocket ships? Lasers? A functional chair? Who knows.