Cheap PC Gaming: Minecraft

Yes, I know I said I wasn’t going to do Minecraft in this series as it has had enough exposure here on TSA, but with the upcoming 1.5 update and my original plans falling through like the gravel sinkhole in the 404 seed I had to think of something. It was mostly the latter, to be honest. Still, this is a perfect way to have a commentated video – that is, something I know a lot about so I can try to sound less dense than I really am.

[drop]Anyway, chances are you all already know about Minecraft, what with it’s exposure on TSA (mostly from me, admittedly) and it’s spreading through the internet like the T virus, so instead of explaining the basic premise of the game I’ll just link you to the previous articles I’ve written on the subject: Minecraft and Minecraft: Three Months Later. Now you’ve been linked to those articles, I will instead be telling you what is coming to the wonderful world of Minecraft, thanks to the work of Notch and his team at Mojang.


A lot of self-important people have been moaning about the lack of frequent updates to Minecraft since it hit beta. This is not only a bit strange, but it was to be expected for two reasons; first, an alpha is obviously more likely to have more frequent updates than a beta due to it being further from completion; second, Notch said there would be less frequent updates when it hit beta. However, despite the expected lack of updates, this week there will be an update that may well be the biggest update since the Halloween patch of last year (which added the Nether).

This upcoming patch will add numerous things that people have been asking for for months. Chief amongst these are minecart boosters. After months of various clever ways of abusing a glitch that presumably wasn’t supposed to be there to speed and launch people’s minecarts, there are finally going to be some actual boosters that you can craft. This will no doubt lead to considerably more compact minecraft stations and excessive riding around in minecarts. I’m quite happy I didn’t make a minecart transport solution last week like I intended to after hearing about this.

[drop2]Additionally, there is weather. Oh, this is not just any weather, this is weather by Mojang. Not only will it rain and snow (!), but it will thunder and lightning and, as ever, these offer changes to the gameplay. When it rains (only in none-snow biomes and presumably very rarely in deserts), the rain will water crops (ie, they’ll grow quicker), when it snows (snow biomes only), ice and snow will regenerate (where as previously it just never came back when you moved it).

Thunder and lightning, however, is where it gets dangerous. When thunder’s about, the day gets darker, which means that hostile mobs can spawn outside during the day. Just another reason to stay inside, eh? Oh, and when lightning hits a pig, it’s supposed to turn into a zombie pigman. Seriously.

More, you ask? Well, there’s stats and achievements. Now you’ll get achievements for doing various things, from breaking your first wood (not like that) to riding pigs off a cliff (not like that either, you pervert). The game will also track how many things you’ve killed, how many things killed you, how many blocks you’ve mined and placed and what type of blocks there are, amongst other things. Achievements are a nice way of helping new users into the game, whilst stats are a nice way of telling people how much diamond you’ve found through your minecraft career. And how many times you’ve started the game.

So as you can see, the upcoming 1.5 update is a big update indeed, full of requested features and various other things. It’s not here yet though, so you’ll have to wait. Whilst you’re waiting, however, you can ‘enjoy’ the video below with a non-live commentary through my surprisingly substandard mic. I promised a commentary, though, so this will have to do. See you next week!

Home page image source: Blogspot.



  1. As always, XKCD comes up trumps:

  2. I want the creeper picture for my desktop! The new update looks good might start a new game to get some achievements.

  3. I really enjoyed the video, thought it was really helpful and quite creepy. It would be nice to see more! I wouldn’t want to come across any spiders, though.

  4. I’ll end up playing this more….. I want to go back

  5. Unfortunately I didn’t have much time the last few weeks to spend in Minecraft, so I have yet to find a trusty wolf companion but the coming update sounds very promising!

    • I think a single wolf companion is the best way to go – I had a pack, but they’ll blocked me when I was trying to get away from a creeper…shortly after discovering wolves don’t seem to attack creepers -_-

      • They don’t? Even if you shoot the creeper from far away to signal your intention of killing it to the wolf?

      • Nope, not only will a wolf not attack something you with with an arrow (at least not yet) they won’t attack creepers at all.

      • That was supposed to be ‘hit with an arrow’

      • Hey Gamoc, thanks for the reply. Is your server “open” or invitation only?

      • Sorry man, it’s limited to only people I know.

  6. Minecraft is brilliant, and it’s also a bargain. I would prefer more frequent updates, but as long as they have good additions (e.g wolves), I won’t complain. Although I still haven’t found a single wolf yet, it’s starting to get annoying!

    • I found a wolf in a forest last night while I was chasing a cow.

  7. Awesome. I do love Minecraft. And as you can see, I like to make things such as Space invaders :P

  8. I bought Minecraft last night, played it for about 5 hours. Wasn’t prepared through, so I got slaughtered when night came (managed to kill a few zombies, which for some reason dropped what I think were feathers)! Respawned, started from scratch.

    I love how you craft objects by placing the items used to my them, in a specific order.

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