Long post incoming, read if you want. There's a TL;DR at the end.
I have played Minecraft on a total of four systems. The first: an old desktop (I'm talking an AMD Athlon 3200+) with 1GB RAM. Second: Toshiba laptop with an i3-2330M [model number might be slightly off there] and 4GB RAM. Both of these had integrated graphics. Next, my Xbox 360. Finally, the rig I managed to purchase after lots of work: i5-4690K, XFX 7970, 8GB RAM. In 1.4 (last version I played on the old desktop), on the "Short" render distance (I don't know exactly where this would be with the current slider), I got a consistent 20 fps. The laptop, on 1.8, gets about 35 fps with dips to about 20 when generating new terrain. On the 360, I don't know the exact figures, but it's definitely around 30 fps. My new rig, which totaled about $650 (Micro Center combo deals ftw), gets a steady 200 fps at the render slider at 24 and everything high, STOCK CLOCKS on both CPU and GPU.
Why do I drone on about my past machines? Because an old eMachine prebuilt from 2002 somehow still performed decently enough. A machine that wasn't worth the money in 2002 still played the game. They don't need to optimize for older machines. The game is playable on a machine that is literally older than half the people playing this game. Sure, a move to a different language would be great for many, but I doubt it would help so much on hardware so dated. If I could it running on a machine from '02 - twelve years old, mind you - then I think everything's doing alright.
And if you really have hardware older than twelve years, and I'm not saying that's impossible, then scrape together the money and build something with a Pentium G3258, 750TI, and a decent 4GB stick of RAM (in case you want more later). Seriously, building a machine capable of running Minecraft well is pretty easily done for around $450. Honestly, since the game depends so little on GPU power without shaders installed, you could cut that out for a while.
TL;DR - A machine that has to be as old as OP is talking about runs good enough, seriously, there's not much that can or should be done. You can build something that'll run it great for like $450.
Basically to sum it up, the game will not lose it's modding capabilities. It will lose all the modders who know don't know C++.
Well, yes. If people want to deal with having to decompile the code will still be possible. A major annoyance and potentially an impassable wall to most, however, so you would see a sharp cut off in the modding department.
Rollback Post to RevisionRollBack
Cast aside your festive doylaks: dragon stuff is about to happen.
Multiplayer is lonely once you understand how it actually works.