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Mojang has been hard at work developing a new launcher for Minecraft, one that promises to improve the overall experience of Minecraft in a number of ways. However, there seems to be some confusion on what the new launcher is, what state it is currently in, and what can be expected from it in the future. Today, we are going to take a look at what the new launcher currently features, what it will feature later on, and more!

What the New Launcher Offers

According to Jeb, The new launcher will support updated OpenGL and Java libraries, and will come with the ability to change versions with a drop-down menu. In addition, detailed game settings, such as game directory location, jvm options, memory, and more, will be customizable. This offers an obvious benefit in allowing players to choose which version they are playing with minimal fuss, and no extra installations, as well as tailoring their game to their personal and system specifications.

New Launcher Rumors: Fact or Fiction?

Unfortunately, there have been rumors circulating about what the new launcher will bring (or break), many of which are simply untrue. Today, I sat down with Mojang's very own Dinnerbone to talk about the new launcher, where it is, and where it is going. Some of the most heard rumors are addressed below, plus some exciting news for the future of the launcher!

"The new launcher has always-on DRM! Why is Mojang joining the AODRM bandwagon?!"
  • Untrue. The launcher is still in a testing phase, and the "Play Offline" option simply hasn't been added to the menu yet. It is coming in future launcher updates, and will remain a core feature of the launcher. Not to worry, Offline isn't going away!

"The new launcher will kill modding!"
  • Untrue; however, we have to examine how Minecraft works now, and how it is planned to work with the new launcher in the future, to understand why this is the case.

    The Technical Explanation

    Right now, Minecraft is installed to the same location for every player (on their respective operating systems), and modding the game requires editing the core files in this location, such as the mincraft.jar, adding mod/config/etc files and folders, and so on. For most players, modding Minecraft, changing versions, or testing Snapshots requires editing these core files directly, which changes the game itself. One of the running problems with this approach has been the lament of modders since the earliest days of the game - every update breaks mods, because an update will completely overwrite old versions of Minecraft (modded or not) with the new version data.

    The new version of Minecraft is expected to be compartmentalized. Instead of having "Minecraft" as an entire game to modified, there will be a "core" Minecraft - essentially, the game's engine and crucial data - which all things will be built upon. Jar files which determine how the game runs will have their own locations, called "Versions", which will be selected from the new launcher. This includes everything from actual vanilla versions of Minecraft to the most complex mods imaginable. For example, if you were to install a mod called "Baconcraft" - which involved adding modified files to the minecraft.jar file, custom folders, assets, and textures - you could place it in a Version folder called "Baconcraft", and select it from the launcher when you started the game.

    Vanilla Versions already download their data on launch, but only the selected Version's data downloads. For example, if you launch the game with 1.6 selected, only 1.6 data downloads. It is hoped that the launcher will also use this feature to update modded versions of the game, adding functionality for modders to include a download source which would update their modded Version whenever a player launched it.

    More details on planned features will be released in the coming days, but this glimpse into the future of the launcher definitely shows an exciting future for modded Minecraft!

    The "TL;DR" Explanation

    Right now, modifying Minecraft means changing the game itself - adding, removing, or modifying files, which will inevitably get overwritten with updates. The new, proposed system will let you pick any version to play that you wish - up to and including modded versions that you have installed - without accidentally breaking other versions, or worrying that a new update will overwrite and ruin your modded game. Pretty awesome!

"Wait...does that mean the MOD API is coming now?!"
  • The new launcher - and the 1.6 update itself - do not include the mod API. However, the API will require many of the coming changes, and so this can be thought of as a preliminary step towards the API!

From Around The Web

Comments

#1

Samiboula
    Samiboula

    Enderdragon Slayer

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:12 PM

*
POPULAR

"What does it mean for minecraft?"

It means that I see something different for the three seconds between it loading up and me clicking log in, that's about it really =P

#2

Chilangosta

Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:13 PM

Thank you! It was bugging me how badly some in the community have jumped to conclusions so quickly. I want you to know that I have 100% faith in you, Dinnerbone! Keep making us a great game!

#3

Debugman18

Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:17 PM

Good to see a post on this, hopefully it will lessen the amounts of topics dedicated to confusion about the launcher.

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...but that's just like, my opinion, man.


#4

The_Forgotten

Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:18 PM

An interesting read! The launcher doesn't mean all that much to me, but I have faith in Dinnerbone and I'm sure it'll be a nice change. Good to know!

(That said, I have to admit that being able to choose what version you want to play is an amazing addition. For maps, it'll be quite a relief, especially for those who don't see the need to update any further, for fear of breaking mechanics and what have you.)
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#5

x_clucky
    x_clucky

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:18 PM

Thanks for answering these much wondered questions. Hopefully we will get the chance to see the mod api in 1.7.
Enjoy raiding and pvp in highly customizable and well organized groups, but hate the setup of Factions? Then check out my upcoming server containing multiple custom plugins: http://www.RisingColonies.com/

#6

MrKabab
    MrKabab

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:20 PM

Cool, well, its new...it has to be good...right?
Finally I can change between versions!

P.S: First Page [img]http://static.minecraftforum.net//public/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.png[/img] (I need to get a life...)

#7

Samiboula
    Samiboula

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:21 PM

Although reading through it, that mod thing in different versions should be really cool. Saves me from having to rename the minecraft folders every single time.. then getting errors because I can't rename to something starting with a "."...

#8

Marc
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Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:22 PM

Silly players thinking that Mojang would have evil DRM in Minecraft :)
Have questions? Please visit help.mojang.com
Twitter: @Marc_IRL

#9

Portadiam
    Portadiam

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:22 PM

[quote]It is hoped that the launcher will also use this feature to update modded versions of the game, adding functionality for modders to include a download source which would update their modded Version whenever a player launched it.[/quote]This would be very useful. I am looking forward to it.
[quote name='Marc' timestamp='1367266958' post='22189903']
Silly players thinking that Mojang would have evil DRM in Minecraft [img]http://static.minecraftforum.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]
[/quote]Oh well, at least they know now. :)

#10

Thepokemonmadrosie2player

Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:23 PM

I hope They Update Soon :l

#11

The Dukenator

Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:23 PM

[quote name='x_clucky' timestamp='1367266732' post='22189832']
Thanks for answering these much wondered questions. Hopefully we will get the chance to see the mod api in 1.7.
[/quote]
It's still a long ways off.
I also have a Playstation 3, along with the Xbox 360.  PSN ID is the same as Minecraft ID.
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#12

GrandChaos9000

Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:25 PM

Might be in stable, but I'm not sure about DRM are confusing in the new launcher. [img]http://static.minecraftforum.net//public/style_emoticons/default/dry.png[/img]

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#13

DragonRush

Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:26 PM

[quote name='Samiboula' timestamp='1367266334' post='22189746']
"What does it mean for minecraft?"

It means that I see something different for the three seconds between it loading up and me clicking log in, that's about it really =P
[/quote]

Ikr?
Something will eventually go here.

#14

GoldenArcher823

Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:32 PM

I just hope that that it improves Minecraft, and doesn't change it completely.
file:///C:/Users/NJJRG/Pictures/Minecraft/minecraft%20addiction.png

#15

Megacraft_Official

Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:35 PM

Thank god they will be keeping the offline feature!
That was the only bad thing about the launcher and now there's nothing wrong with it [img]http://static.minecraftforum.net//public/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.png[/img]

#16

eXodu5Xx

Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:37 PM

Cool

#17

Kakophonii

Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:40 PM

I'm looking forward to this. It's definitely adding a much more expandable area to the game. I'd like to see how well this develops on in the future.

And 1.7 is a LONG time off. I'd say end of the year to the beginning, maybe midway through 2014, due to the current Minecraft versions becoming stabler each time they update.

#18

Drak1234
    Drak1234

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:40 PM

So, essentially, the new launcher will be a sized down, and legal, version of the Digiex launcher?

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#19

Musicgirl434

Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:40 PM

A new launcher would be cool
I should be locked up in an insane Asylum.

#20

myNameisDBA

Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:54 PM

I'm curious as to how this is going to affect custom launchers, like MultiMC and Magic Launcher. They'll still have their use, since they allow you to drop mods in and out really easily, but it's looking like they may have to completely rewrite how they actually launch the game.