1.9.5 PR is now out for testing! You can get the client files right here - additionally, Jeb has asked testers to check and report bugs here, to make sure as many bugs as possible are squashed before release day!
Server hosters can get the new server jar right here.
Addtionally, an updating list of features, fixes and bugs can be found here!
The 1.9 Pre-Release v4 is out right now! You can get your copy to install and test right here, and server hosters can get the new server .jar right here! Be sure to check out the massive list of updates - we will be posting news on them as they occur! Jeb did specifically mention that dragons are not available yet; keep an eye out for these, coming soon!
Notch has come a long way with dragons since their first mention - what was once a blank, grey creature has become something incredible. Sporting some incredible detail (including a serious upgrade to the wing design from the first model), flight and the apparent ability to destroy blocks that it flies through, the dragon will certainly make waves when it finally hits the game!
Recent news also suggests that dragons will be SMP-compatible! A realm for the Endermen, dragons, enchantments and potions - what will come next? Check in often to find out!
Notch has revealed a new addition to the recently added breeding mechanic - baby animals! The most recent Pre-Release version allows for animal breeding, by giving two animals some wheat, which puts them into what most have called "Love Mode" - which then produces a fully-grown, new animal. With baby animals, we may begin to see a form of life cycle with the native inhabitants of Minecraft!
Jeb has been discussing potions quite a bit lately - it seemed in the early stages of planning that potions would be brewed using a cauldron. However, recentcomments strongly suggest that the cauldron is being replaced with a brewing stand (seen above).
In addition - Notch strongly hinted at an upcoming enchantment system, complete with an enchanting table or similar object (seen below). While he did confirm that it would cost Experience Points, have a 3-tier system and be "totally random", any other information on the topic has been somewhat cryptic.
With all the recent monster, item and biome additions to the game, one thing is for certain - 1.9 will be a feature-packed release!
Jeb has provided us with the last Pre-Release version of 1.9 - get it here! Remember, this cannot be obtained via the launcher, and must be installed manually. Don't forget to report any bugs you find here, so they can be properly documented and fixed!
Note: "There's a hardcore tooltip remaining in the world options menu. Please ignore it, hardcore is a game mode, not world option."
Notch also noted that there will be at least two more major additions to the game, followed by a code freeze (restricted code changes) prior to the official launch of Minecraft in November. Very exciting changes - keep an eye out for updates right here!
In addition to the wiki, you can check out (and talk about) the newly-discovered changes right here!
Notch recently noted a possible end to the currently-frozen scoring system: experience orbs may begin counting towards a score total in the near future! The recent screenshot also reveals another likely addition, in the form of Hardcore Mode - death means world deletion. At the moment, Minecraft only offers item loss as a potential deterrent from death; the inclusion of an optional Hardcore Mode would certainly provide a new sense of danger and accomplishment to an already excellent game!
Notch recently commented on the perception of Endermen as they currently exist, saying "they're annoying, and because I nerfed them and made them too easy. I shall fix this." Any number of changes could be made to the Endermen to make them more difficult - more health, higher damage, more aggressive behavior - time will ultimately reveal any changes made to them.
Endermen have been a popular topic since their introduction in the 1.8 update, starring in numerous videos that run the spectrum from hilarious to terrifying. They have certainly set themselves up to be as well known (if not more well known) than Minecraft's ever-popular Creeper. What changes await this elusive monster? We will find out soon!
Jeb tweeted a new image recently, indicating some significant changes to the inventory - stats, possible bottles for potions and more! An earlier tweet seemed to support the potion theory, with a mention of a possible blindness potion. He seemed to indicate that the inventory/stat changes would not take effect in 1.9, however.
Already, we have seen a large shift in the way Survival Mode plays, with the inclusion of NPC villages, more expansive dungeons (including strongholds, and nether forts), a large number of new creatures and more. What will be added next? Keep an eye out for more updates!
Jeb just tweeted a bit of welcome news to many subterranean enthusiasts - fire (or more specifically, burning effects from fire) will be significantly reduced in the coming updates, making a brief touch with lava much less of a guaranteed death sentence. As burning on a player is the same regardless of source, this also makes fireplaces, netherrack torches and other players with flint-and-steel quite a bit less likely to accidentally kill players.
Keep an eye out as we bring you up-to-the-minute info on the latest 1.9 features!