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 Issue 7

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Posts : 144
Reputation : 3
Join date : 2012-01-25
Age : 30
Location : Belgium

PostSubject: Issue 7   Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:57 am

Pickaxe News:

Hey Everyone, and welcome to The Weekly Pickaxe, Issue 7!

Wow, two months. Time flies by. We have been making the issue every week for about two months, including the hiatus in December. That’s amazing, and if it weren’t for you guys, we wouldn’t still be here. All the amazing feedback you guys give us really helps us, and we read EVERY comment we get, so feel free to send us a message using the comment page.

This week, we’ve hired a new writer named Bishopped. He only has one article in this issue, but you can expect much more from him coming soon. He’s also a good speaker and British, so expect our videos to be a bit less monotone.

We have a lot of news covered this week, including the new mob and AI. We also have some great articles, some amazing videos, and more.

Hope you like this issue, and don’t forget to follow us! @WeeklyPickaxe or Email at We will almost always respond!

Head Writer

Weekly Snapshot 12w04a:

Lots of new content in this snapshot:

- Cats have been added. More on this later.
- Newly generated structure: Desert wells. Not much information is found about this, other than than they can be found in deserts and that they're made of sandstone...
- Dispenser and normal sapling textures have been changed.
- Mobs in general have the new AI and will no longer try to jump over fences.
- skeletons and zombies will flee to darkness or jump in water once morning comes.
- Players going through vines are slowed down.
- New items are added: fire charge (works like flint and tinder, but only one time use, can be shot by the dispencer resulting in a blaze fireball, cna be crafted by combining coal, gunpowder and blaze powder), Jungle sapling, Bottle o'Enchanting (only in creative, will spawn random experience orbs when thrown...) and Spawn Ocelot egg (only in creative, will spawn a wild cat).
and something that's been changed in almost every snapshot: the language files have been updated. Chatting in Korean should be a lot easier now...

But there are also some bugs with this version:
- Because of the AI mobs seem to behave very strangely (spin in circles) when standing on beds or enchantment tables.
- Ocelots may get stuck in fences if they run into them.
- Zombies may stand still and only track you with their eyes
- A thrown Bottle o' Enchanting will not appear in SMP.
- Apparently someone (unauthorised) got into the language files and changed "Single Player" to "You are a NIGGER" in the Afrikaans language...

Other than that the game is fully playable as always. If you want to check it out: Client and server are up for download.

TheOtherRetard, news reporter.


The latest snapshot introduces a new mob to the jungles: Ocelots, or wild cats. They are specific for Jungles, so you won't find them in any other biomes.
They are the second mob that is tameable (with fish this time) but it won't help running after them rightclicking, hoping to tame them.
They are the first mobs that can actually sprint (instead of just walking) and they have a very interesting AI: whenever you look around or move too fast they will run away and hide, making them hard to spot sometimes. (Note: they actually hide: if they flee from you they may actually jump behind a block where you can't see them and stay out of sight)
Taming one requires some patience: You have to stand still holding a fish, the wild cat will slowly get closer and only when they stand completely still near you you can tame them. Doing anything else will either shoo them away or will not result in a tamed cat.

Once you've tamed a cat it won't run away anymore and will change it's skin into one of 3 preset skins: a ginger (most common), a black and white (based on Jeb's cat Newton) or a siamese cat. Tamed cats will follow the player around, but not as strictly as wolves do. They also will get distracted by chickens and will kill them. Their kittens are pretty much the only baby mobs that don't have a giant head, so they're even more special to see.

Another trivia: They don't have any sounds yet. No random utterances, no hurt sounds (Yes, I did do some experimentation. No, I'm not proud of it, they were adorably staring at me while burning to death...)

As far as I've seen they don't attack anything besides chickens, so unless you have a chicken infestation they're pretty much useless. But yet so adorable...

TheOtherRetard, news reporter, cat person.

Minecraft News

So, weekly snapshots are regular as Coca Cola, what's in other news?

Minecraft Lego is closer to reality. The idea has been accepted by the Lego jury and will go to the development stage, the longest of all. No screenshots or photo's have been released yet, but we'll keep you updated once something appears.

Through Twitter someone has brought up the idea of slimes spawning in the jungle, on which Jeb replied the idea has already crossed his mind, so this may be a future addition to the game. Nothing is for sure, but a bit more content to the jungle biome wouldn't hurt.

Notch has released a poll to ask us if we would like to have some info on our way of playing logged. This would be anonymously (of course) and will log general info such as current game mode (single player, multiplayer), operating system (Windows? Mac?), how long you’ve been playing for (how long a game session is), and whether or not you’re playing the downloaded game, or the applet on the webpage. This would be send to the database once every 10 minutes, so there would be almost realtime feedback.
The poll indicates a 84% liking the idea (out of more than 100,000 votes), so this may be implemented some time soon.

To anyone who had problems with Minecraft or any Mojang related issue: The web support guys have set up a Mojang help page. The page consists of a list of FAQ's that you can search either by topic or type in some keywords and it will give you the most relevant article. They keep monitoring the page and once they get questions that can't be answered with the current articles they'll add more so it will be answered.

That's about it for this week. Enjoy your Minecraft and we hope to see you next week.

TheOtherRetard, news reporter.


What are blocks? 2: Sand By MCMasta
Hello and welcome to the second "episode" of What are Blocks. Today we'll be discussing the sand block.

Sand is a bit unique, because it is one of the two blocks that are affected by gravity (gravel being the other one). If you place a block of sand it will check if there's another block directly beneath it. If there isn't, it will check every block under that until it finds another block. When it does it will disappear from the world for an amount of time depending on how far it need to fall. It will show a falling animation in-between the positions to hide the jump. The falling "entity" will catch fire if it falls through lava. If the sand block detects a block and lands on the same block as a half-block like a slab, a torch or a sign, it will become an item that you can pick up. However, if you directly place sand in the space above it will stay there, because it found a block to rest on.

Sand can be found in 2 general places. Either in desert biomes or in areas between land and water (beaches). There was a bug previously that was abusable. If you put up pistons in a certaint way it would duplicate infinite sand blocks. This was fixed in the Minecraft 1.0 update. The best tool to directly dig sand up is shovels.

Sand is one of the blocks that have quite a lot of crafting uses. The most basic one is putting 4 sand in a 2 by 2 square in a crafting table, which will create sandstone. It can be cooked in a furnace to make glass, one of the most useful blocks when making advanced contraptions (glass is treated like a block and not a block at the same time, in a complicated fashion).
Sand is one of the 2 materials needed to craft TNT (the other being gunpowder), which I have made an article about previously.

Using the sandblocks falling properties, people have made falling floor traps. They were made by creating an upside down pyramid of sand, with each layer resting on torches that are attached to the sand blocks in the layer beneath. The bottom block would be resting on a torch in a dried out water channel. Water somewhere above would be activated by the player in some way and the water would flush away the bottom torch. The sand above would be updated and would fall down, usually to the bottom of a very deep pit. Then the torches attached to that sand block would pop off and the sand above those would be updated and fall. The torches on those blocks would pop off and so on and so forth.

Sand is one of the first blocks introduced in Minecraft, they were added on the Classic 0.0.14a update (really early) but didn't get its falling mechanics before Minecraft infdev Seecret Friday 1. It is an interesting block, and can be lethal for some contraptions.

Written by MCMasta

Brewing by Bishopped

Recently I ventured far and wide to collect enough of the illusive ingredients required for Minecraft's new brewing system.
After a few hours spent in the Nether and a few more in my underground alchemy lab I began to make my own potions and started to test them out on friends and foe alike. The system is a little complicated at first, but rather simple once you've got the general idea. Once you’ve got a Blaze Rod (the acquisition of which may induce the tearing out of hair) you can make your Brewing Stand and get started.

Get some Water Bottles filled and head to your lab and begin to brew. Everything stems off one base potion, the Awkward Potion, and this is used to make more potent secondary potions with the various ingredients. From here one of three ingredients is used to prolong, intensify or corrupt the effect of the potion, leading to your tertiary potions. Sure, the recipes for the potions aren’t as obvious or intuitive as those for making things like the iconic pickaxe, but once you make a few the methods become clear. The six effects; Speed, Fire Resistance, Instant Health, Health Regeneration, Potions, Strength and Weakness offer a diverse range of potions to be brewed.

If you’re game enough to go creeper hunting, or ingenious enough to forge a mob farmer, you can add gunpowder to make throwable potion called a Splash Potion which can be thrown to activate their effect on a target. When playing on a SMP map, these become hilarious and highly useful materials for fun. Also, the ability to make players faster and fire-proof opens up a new field of challenge maps.

Although we all love Minecraft, there comes a time when you’ve built all you can think of and apathy prevents the collecting of further materials. With the brewing system, and to an extent the enchantment system, comes a fresh new dimension that Minecraft was crying out for. After being given these extra two gaming dimensions Minecraft has moved from the 3D game with a 2D soul to the fully fledged masterpiece we all know and love. Stay tuned for a more in-depth guide to Brewing, how to brew effectively and the upcoming article on Enchanting.

The End by MCMasta

The End is the third dimension of Minecraft and was introduced in the Minecraft Beta 1.8 patch. You get there by locating the unfinished End Portal in a Stronghold, and insert Ender Eyes in the frame. Then it will activate and if you jump into the portal you will find yourself in The End. The End itself is a giant floating island made of End Stone with obsidian pillars all over it, surrounded by a dark sky.

Over the landmass, there's a giant dragon flying around, the Ender Dragon. It is the final boss of Minecraft. It is constantly healed by devices on top of the obsidian pillars. To defeat the dragon you have to destroy the devices and then shoot the dragon with a bow or hit it when it dives to attack you. When it dies it creates a fountain-shaped structure made of bedrock, with another portal instead of water. On top, where the water would have come out there is a black dragon egg. If you jump into the portal you will be presented with a 10 minute story and then you will spawn at your spawn point in the surface world, free to continue exploring and building.

My first experience, except for looking at in videos, was when we in the crew of The Weekly Pickaxe was making a time-lapse of transforming it into looking like the surface world. We also discovered that The End will reset itself in multi-player if no one is in it, which lead to some troubles for us.

Written by MCMasta

AI by Conkius

Oh Look! It’s a zombie! Better run away.

If you were someone who was from three weeks ago, that statement would be sarcastic. Ever since Minecraft was made two years ago, Zombies and other mobs have been ridiculously stupid, often being tricked by trees and signs, but all that has changed now. If you haven’t noticed, Mojang recently hired an expert at A.I. [Artificial Intelegence, for you non-computer types [Mobs are smarter, for you idiotic types]

Now, instead of being predictable and easy to lost, Mobs can now track you much better, protect themselves from the sun, and much more.

Each snapshot, one or two mobs have been changed mentally to be much, much smarter. So far, this change has affected Zombies, Wolves, and Skeletons. For example, Wolves will stop suiciding into Lava, Skeletons will get up high or in small crevices to snipe you, and Zombies can track you through a maze.

Jeb has said that ALL mobs will eventually get this “Software Upgrade”, including Villagers. If you have not noticed, Villagers are still as dumb as a sack of potatoes, and are very, very pointless. Soon, though, they will be able to possibly talk, trade, and interact with you.

Some people don’t like these A.I changes, because they make the game quite a bit more difficult. I think this is the biggest reason to love the changes. If the game was easy, then it would get very boring, very fast.

Personally, I would like to see spiders be able to literally turn themselves sideways to climb on walls, not just float. This would be a huge improvement for me, but for now I guess i’ll just have to settle for Harvard-Zombies.


Etho's Lab by Conkius

The Minecraft Community has a lot of different people.

There’s the Movie Makers, The Comedians, The Map Makers, The Artists. But every community needs a scientist. And we have found him.

I’m sure most of you have heard of or even watch Etho’s Lab. He does a Let’s Play, but different than most of the ones currently out there. As you know, most Lets Plays are the same old thing, and usually are very boring or ho-hum. But Etho’s LPs are very unique compared to the others.

Instead of guessing things and barely surviving, Etho uses Science to his advantage in his videos. He knows the way everything in Minecraft works, from Mob Behaviors, to Piston Elevators, to lots and lots of Redstone, Etho supplies his viewers with cool new designs and awesome things to build in their own world. He has made some amazingly intricate creations, including multiple mob grinders, experience machines, piston elevators, Blaze farms, Quick waterways, and most recently, an Enderman farm. In the End.

In addition to teaching us something all the time, Etho also adds a lot of humor and effort into his videos. He spends hours a day on them, and has tons of funny and entertaining inside jokes, like not saying the word “Diamonds” in his videos, an island completely stipped of grass [Chocolate Island], and a pile of clay from his first ever episode that he refuses to harvest.

Etho also keeps his viewers entertained with bi-daily videos of Legendary, a Vechs Super Hostile map, and multiplayer videos with his YouTube buddies.

The best part about Etho is that he is a normal guy, just like you and me, who started his videos just showing off some of his creations. He didn’t need a team of builders or a storyline to keep his viewers entertained, they just kept watching because he is such a nice and smart person, and he doesn’t ever forget to thank his subscribers.

Etho has recently hit 100,000 Subscribers, which is really saying something. Go check out his channel and support him, because he would love to support you. I am a huge fan of Etho, and hope he keeps making videos until the end of time.


Creation of the Week: Project 1845
A few months ago, A group of builder created a Minecraft Creation, which was the Forbidden City , in beijing China, a huge creation. Now, they have created something much better, The Entire City of Bejjing. Thats right.

These builders have created by far the largest and most detailed creation of the histort of minecraft. Every single building is exactly matching the real life city, and is detailed down to the brick.

This is a huge project, and you can download it here.
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