I have a feeling that it wont downgrade the quality of the levels, just give more options to make a certain level fit in. It will screw stuff up server and mapping wise though. But what are we to expect things not to change at the alpha stages of a game?
New format doubles the memory requirements (java already uses 500mb for MC) with the two arrays, but it does allow for certain attributes to be given to each block. They could each have a mass/velocity/direction if the byte sized data was accessed as four sets of two bits (direction needs two values in spherical coordinates).
Overall it will probably slow things down a bit and increase the memory requirements, but it allows for some possible cooler features in the future.
jan 21 17:07:34 Oh great Minecraftian overlord Notch, may I request information on what you're doing right now?
jan 21 17:07:43 check the todo =)
jan 21 17:07:56 eh
jan 21 17:07:58 link?
jan 21 17:08:16 check minecraft.net
jan 21 17:08:25 oh, yeah
jan 21 17:09:00 What will be so new about the file format?
jan 21 17:09:04 c418 has quit (Quit: Colloquy for iWHAT)
jan 21 17:09:06 more future-proof?
jan 21 17:09:40 easier to edit in external tools
jan 21 17:10:24 a lot of things are new in it.
jan 21 17:10:35 documented, for one, future proof, for another