The Combat Update has been long awaited by Minecraft fans and was originally pinned for release at the end of October 2015 however, in November it was posted on Twitter by the development team that the update will not be released in 2015. The reason being that the developers wanted to fix more bugs before release and keep the game stable over the December holiday month period; this does however it means that 2015 is the first year where a major update for Minecraft has not been released.
The 1.9 Combat Update includes a new “attack strength” combat mechanic which deal damage depending on the fullness of the meter and the bar will fill at different rates depending on the new attack speed attribute. This also brings in added sounds for attacks such as critical hits, knock back, parry and sweep attacks while also adding strong and weak attacks to the game. It’s an exciting prospect that Minecraft is getting the combat overhaul it’s desperately needed and this combat mechanic sounds like a great starting point for the update.
Dual Wielding allows players to hold items in both hands which isn’t just limited to combat, players can hold a pickaxe in one hand and a torch in the other for example. The inventory slot that allows for this is called the “offhand” slot; the main hand is used for physical attacks and bows choose their arrow type from the one in the player’s offhand as they take priority over the ones in the inventory. Continuing from this there are plenty of new arrow types coming to the game also such as spectral arrows. The 1.9 Update provides boosts to all areas of combat including bows which
On top of the more physical combat aspects there is also a new “treasure” enchantment system which includes new enchants such as “Frost Walker” which turns water into meltable ice and “Mending” which repairs items.
There are plenty of other additions coming with this update including “End Cities”, “End Gateways”, “End Ships” and “Chorus Trees” which adds a host of new content to The End; there’s even a new item to be found on End Ships called a “Elytra” which allows players to glide. The update also adds “Igloos” which naturally spawn in Ice Plains and Cold Taiga biomes, some of which will contain a villager priest and a zombie villager in iron bars.
As expected there are plenty of new blocks and items incoming also such as “Grass Path” blocks and “Dragon’s Breath” which the Ender Dragon will use to attack the player in The End; Beetroot is also being added which can be used to make Beetroot Soup, this food has been available in the Pocket Edition for some time and is finally coming to the PC version of Minecraft. A smaller but valuable addition are subtitles which display sounds such as “Creeper Hissing” and direction indicators to the point the sound is coming from which is perfect for hard of hearing players.
The 1.9 update is an exciting one with plenty of needed content to improve Minecraft combat and The End dimension while adding extra blocks, items and features which will overall improve the game. Hopefully this update will be released during Spring 2016 as Mojang has suggested the update is almost complete and ready for launch, it just needs a little fine-tuning to remove the bugs first.