Whats New in Minecraft 14w30a - Banners and Flags

Whats New in Minecraft 14w30a - Banners and Flags

Posted in minecraft

You can always tell when Jeb's been working on Minecraft because we usually get amazing features. Minecraft 14w30a includes new banners (flags) which players can craft, collect and wear. Larger render distances and collectable mob heads in survival mode are also additional changes.

Let's not forget the efforts of Dinnerbone and his close companions though. The performance improvements in 14w30a are excellent, now supporting some increased render distances with a slight tax on memory of course. The game certainly feels smoother with increased FPS all round. Dinnerbone has also been a hero this week, working on his birthday to bring us new features - good lad!

Dinnerbone birthday Tweet

Sadly, 14w30a may be the final snapshot for Minecraft 1.8, which has already been a very successful version. It's been many months in the making though and I expect this to be the last chunky release before the bug fixes fly in and the official release of 1.8 is scheduled.

Banners (flags)

Banners are basically flags - what you see towering above castles or ships. How to craft Banners.

Minecraft 14w30a - Banner designs

Jeb tweeted that there's 400^6 possible combinations for banners, which is around a quadrillion different variations. In his original Tweet he didn't reveal how banners could be crafted but many players suspected that wool and dye would be the main ingredients.

Minecraft 14w30a - Banners (flags)

It's clear that flags are entities just like any other collectable item in Minecraft. You can see from the screenshot below that the player has a banner in their inventory and they've even attached the banner to the top part of the body:

Minecraft 14w30a - player wearing banner

So far we've seen banners with all sorts of patterns including; skull and cross bones (pirate), national flags and even a Creeper design. Expect this number is increase dramatically over the next few weeks as the community does what they do best and shows off their Minecraft creations. They'll certainly be more pirate ships and castles in the works!

In addition to the decorative use of flags, the fact that flags can be picked up and carried by players, opens the door for a Capture the Flag mode in Minecraft. This has long been a dream of Notch, who originally favoured the idea of a CTF mode.

Just one final thought on flags. It'll be interesting to see how banners behave when entering narrow places, and what kind of clipping occurs. I suspect that interaction with the environment won't hinder the player but may be apparent to other nearby players, possibly even poking through ceilings and above ground.

More Mob Heads in Survival

Remember those decorative mod heads in Creative mode? Well there's more of them in survival now thanks to Dinnerbones efforts.Don't expect to find them so easily though because he's already mentioned that players must complete a difficult objective - not just killing X number of mobs or anything like that.

Dinnerbone tweet about Mob Heads

We'll have full details on how to find mob heads in survival soon.

Larger render distances

Minecraft 14w30a - Larger render distances

Another of Jeb's additions this one. Starting in 14w30a, players can set a render distance of 32 meaning that 65x65 terrain chunks will be generated. You'll probably be dreading the thought of this but thanks to the new 'time and space' changes from Dinnerbone, the render process is actually really fast.

Jeb tweet about render distances

Of course, the setting will demand more memory but for those of you lucky enough to have ample memory you'll surely love seeing those distant islands and landscapes.