Daily Archives: March 2, 2016

Upgrading to Minecraft 1.9

I was kind of excited when the announcement came through that Minecraft 1.9 had been released.  After playing Minecraft for the last 8 months or so, this is the first real feature update I have been a part of.  So I was in a rush to see this new combat update.


While I have not been especially happy with MC Pro Hosting since we moved to them… performance suggests we share space with a very active server so things bog down a lot during the evening and I have had a series of server issues with them… they do make upgrading to the latest server version pretty easy.

First I brought the server down and took a backup of our world.  Then I flipped the selector to give us version 1.9 of the Minecraft.  Then it was time to start the world back up and see if anything exploded.

Aside from some errors about a few chickens sharing ID numbers with other chickens, things seem to come up okay.

Then it was time to log in and give it a try.  For some reason I had set my client specifically to use version 1.8.9… I don’t recall why… so I wasn’t able to get on the server until I logged back out and fixed that in my settings.  Then I was able to log in.

The first thing I ran off to do was make a shield.  Shields are one of the new features with 1.9.  So I had to have one.  But first I had to look up how to even make one.  Fortunately, the internet was way ahead of me on that and there was already a pretty full entry about shields on the wiki, including the recipe.

Making a shield

Making a shield

That information secured, I made a shield.  You can also apply a banner to a shield to give it a pattern, but I wasn’t there yet.  I just wanted something to try out.

Then there was the whole “how do I use this?” aspect.  You can move things off of your hot bar into the new off-hand spot by selecting the item and using the F key.  I fiddled with that for a bit and eventually got myself setup.

Sword and shield ready

Sword and shield ready

Then it was time to give it all a try.  I waited for night and found a zombie to hack up.

Combat is definitely different.  You can no longer mindlessly hyper-click to kill things fast fast fast.  Weapons now have a cool down… or so the release notes said… so fast clicking yields nothing.  Clicking at the right time… and so far I have just been guessing at when that is… yields a nice sword stroke across your foe and you can see hearts, representing its hit points, spilling away as you strike.

Pretty neat, though it will take some getting used to.

I slew my first zombie with ease.  Thinking that I had mastered things I ran off into the dark and was promptly slain by a witch and zombie combo.  It was here I learned the futility of trying to fast click as I tried to take them out as poison drained my hit points.

I managed to recover my items and kill the witch once daylight had taken care of the zombie.  But I clearly need a bit of practice.  The shield, when deployed with a left-click, is suppose to block damage from things, so I will need to work on attack/block/attack with the new cool down.

likewise, killing creepers, which used to just require three quick chops of the sword now requires a bit more finesse, requiring a strike, then a retreat to keep it from exploding.  I have a few more large holes in the local landscape that testify to this.

Meanwhile, as I was swanning about with my sword and shield, Aaron was attending to more important business… like what did the update do to the automated farms in our world, most of which I mentioned in a previous post.  His report, from which I lifted most of the text below, indicated the following.

Still Functional:

  • Guardian farm
  • Spider (string) #1
  • Spider (string) farm #2
  • Skeleton farm
  • Zombie farm
  • Iron golem farm
  • Witch farm
  • Enderman farm

Not Functional:

  • Blaze farm (presumably change to AI leading to different movement patterns)
  • Zombie pigman gold farm (nothing seems to spawn above the ceiling bedrock any more)


  • Charged creeper farm (takes a long time, plenty of charged creepers in back stock)


  • General mob farms (i.e. zombies, creepers, skeletons and spiders – anything that spawns in the dark) seem to be operational, but at a drastically lower output than previously.  Presumably this is due to changes in spawn behavior that came with the update.
  • Interestingly the Enderman farm seems to be operating at at least 2x the output it used to.  I don’t know why this should be and I can’t go up to the spawning floor to observe as my presence alters their movement behavior.  All I know is that when you’re at the bottom of the thing looking up it’s freaking raining Endermen.

So that is where we stand at the moment.  Aaron has some work before him as he sets about working on a new was to collect zombie pigmen.  I saw a method the other days where a player built dozens of nether portals in the overworld that would drop zombie pigmen to their death.  But that was a two year old project, so I am not sure it would still work with 1.9… and it required a LOT of obsidian blocks for all those portals.

And while he is looking into that I am going to see what else I can find from the list of changes.  Time to start hunting for igloos.

We remain committed to the vanilla Minecraft life for now.