This image was tweeted out earlier today by Dinnerbone, albeit in a clever, coded way. True to form, Minecraft fans didn't take long to unravel the cipher, and this image was discovered inside! No further information was given or suggested along with the image, but there is quite a lot going on in here. Some things immediately visible:
- Arrows with different heads, or possibly coatings of material from the game, possibly including lava, glowstone, slime, either gunpowder or coal, and other possibilities
- A quiver (while the sprite for a quiver was long in the original sprite sheet for Minecraft, it has never seen any use, and has not ever been legitimately acquirable in-game before)
- An extra empty slot next to the quiver/arrow boxes, possibly indicating a hand-held shield slot
Arrows have always had an interesting place in Minecraft, as they have never had a dedicated quiver or "arrow" slot, always occupying the same inventory space as other items the character is carrying. By contrast, games like Skyrim (and other TES titles), World of Warcraft, and many others have dedicated arrows to their own space. Aside from freeing up some room, this has had other advantages as well - specifically, the ability to choose what type of ammo (arrow, in this case) the player wants to fire, selecting from different types with myriad effects ranging from poisoned to explosive, and many others. If this is an indication of something to come in 1.9, it would be the first serious addition to archery in the game for years.
Long has archery fallen to the wayside of swords in Minecraft; the latter can be made from many different primary materials, each with different strengths and weaknesses, while bows and arrows have always been wooden. Granted, you wouldn't make a bow out of gold or diamond, but exotic arrows are both not out of the question, and highly useful. The possibilities here are seemingly endless!
What do you think this could mean for 1.9? Are enchanted (or possibly a different kind of crafted) arrows coming in 1.9? What about shields? Tell us about it!