Review: Minecraft 1.5 Redstone Update (yay light sensors!)

It’s time for the 1.5 Minecraft patch, dubbed the “Redstone Update”, which is planned for tomorrow with a pre-release already out! I’ve been playing around with this and the preceding snapshots, and I like the new additions, especially the light sensor block, which emits a redstone signal when enough sunlight reaches it. For people who are redstone-savvy, this will be a huge update, allowing for more interesting creations than before, but for those not so proficient with redstone, don’t worry; there’s plenty of stuff here to keep you interested, such as nether quartz, which encourages exploration of the nether and is a great way to farm experience orbs as they are as common as iron is in the Overworld, and which allows for the crafting of quartz blocks in the normal, chiseled and pillar varieties, as well as a slab and stair version. It is also used in the crafting of the redstone comparator and the daylight sensor. The redstone comparator takes two input signals and outputs a signal equal to the larger signal, or it has an alternate state where it takes the larger signal and subtracts the smaller signal from it to give the output signal. It’s actually straightforward and will give power to map-makers and redstone enthusiasts alike to create better mechanisms than before. Some other additions I like are the new hopper and dropper block, the former allowing items to be piped from one form of storage to another (although I still want a more ‘pipe-like’  form of transporting items to be added at some point, similar to the pipes in Tekkit), and the latter basically being a dispenser that always drops the item (e.g. doesn’t fire arrows, it drops the arrow item), which could be useful.

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Another useful addition for blast mining and griefers alike is the TNT cart, an explosive minecart crafted with one TNT block above one minecart. They are placed on rails as normal, but their fuses are activated after passing over the new activator rail, and they will explode immediately when derailed. Their explosion is bigger the faster they are travelling when they blow up.

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The quartz blocks look pretty good when used in conjunction with other decorative materials, and you can make fairly attractive buildings and other structures form them. They are great if you want to make a replica of the Parthenon, for example, or you can use the pillar quartz blocks for the interior of a stone-based building. I like using emerald blocks, as they go well with the white quartz. minecraft_redstoneupdate_3

After playing around for a couple minutes, I’ve made some reeeeeeally simple redstone circuits, such as lights that come on at night, using the daylight sensor, redstone comparator, and a block of redstone, like this: minecraft_redstoneupdate_4

There’s a plethora of new content in this update, enough to keep players occupied for ages, so try it out, and enjoy! Have fun with your new redstone creations, and if you build something you’re proud of, why not leave a comment with a picture of or link to it attached? Thanks for reading!

-Daniel

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