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Another Minecraft snapshot is out, so let’s cover the last two here. From tripwires to creative mode end portal blocks, Minecraft is getting more interesting every day.

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Up first is the simple addition of the ability to place half-blocks on walls more easily. Where previously you could only place them on the bottom half of a block, you can now set them on either half of a wall block, allowing for stair steps like these.

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You can now access end portal blocks in creative mode, allowing you to recreate end portals anywhere you want.

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Unfortunately they’re completely decorative. Placing Eyes of Ender in them accomplishes nothing shy of looking cool. Which isn’t a bad goal in and of itself.

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For my money, the most interesting feature (actually from the previous snapshot) is the addition of tripwires. You place them on two blocks and lay string between them, redstone dust style, and they connect. Originally they responded to mobs alone but now they’re sensitive to all entities.

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Arrows, anyone?

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Yup, that worked.

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Shooting arrows through tripwires to set them off, trap-style is fun. Wooden pressure plates also respond to arrows now. Speaking of bows and arrows, the enchanting system has gotten an upgrade.

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Since the last snapshot, enchanting has been capped at 30, versus the original 50, and the highest enchantment available to you is always in the bottom slot. This means that you’re likely to get more powerful and plentiful enchantments for your XP points.

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For example, Power IV and Flame I. Also supposedly included in the latest patch is an improvement to boat speed and control but I couldn’t notice a difference, personally. There is a feeling going around that we’re closing in on a full release of 1.3 (the announced modding API got pushed to 1.4, so that’s no longer holding it back) but that stands as a wholly unsubstantiated rumor at this time.

That’s what is in the latest snapshot. Download it and try it for yourself, but remember: this is an unfinished build. Back up your .jar file if you have it modded before trying this one.

Alphasim out.