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Mojang splits the Minecraft Caves & Cliffs update into a two-part release
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
Mojang Studios announced last year that the next major content injection it's bringing to Minecraft will be the Caves & Cliffs update. As its name suggests, the update would overhaul the block-based sensation's cave and cliff generation rules, while also adding new mobs, items, and blocks.
Today, the Swedish developer revealed that the original summer 2021 launch window will not be met exactly as planned, as the studio has decided to split the update into a two-parter. The first half is landing in the summer as previously announced, but it will only contain the mobs (Goat, Axolotl, etc), items, (Spyglass, Lightning Rod, etc), and blocks (Copper, Tinted Glass, various Cave Blocks, etc).
The second half of the update, carrying most of the significant world generation overhauls and even changes to Minecraft worlds' build height, is now slated for launch during the holiday season.
Mojang said that the magnitude of the update, its dramatic changes, the thorough polishing process, as well as the issues surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic were the reasons behind this new approach to the Caves & Cliffs update.
"We’ve come to realize that to ship all the features in the summer we would’ve had to work very long hours; and even then, there would’ve been no guarantee that everything would be finished on time," it added regarding the last point. "Working from home as we cope with the pandemic is still challenging – not just in terms of morale but also by hindering teamwork. Because our workflow is so complex and collaborative, not having the option to walk up to someone and ask for help makes everything take longer."
The company has set up a constantly updated FAQ page regarding the current situation with the update, which can be found here. Both Bedrock and Java Edition owners of Minecraft can continue to test the upcoming Caves & Cliffs Update features via the Experimental worlds also.
By Usama Jawad96
The PlayStation Network is down for certain games
by Usama Jawad
Microsoft's Xbox Live service had an outage yesterday, resulting in gamers facing problems in connecting to it. This caused failed purchases, inability to sign in for some users, issues in launching certain games, and unavailability of xCloud gaming. While Microsoft was able to resolve the problem in six hours, it did admit that the fix took longer than anticipated to apply.
Today, it's the PlayStation Network's turn which appears to be down for several games.
According to Sony's dedicated network service status page, the PlayStation Network is facing issues in the "gaming and social" category. This affects the PlayStation Vita, 3, 4, and 5. The company cautions that:
It's unclear exactly how widespread the problem is, but the status appears to be the same across most regions including the US, UK, and Canada. Engadget reports that while some games like Fortnite and Fall Guys work just fine, players are having issues connecting to others such as Call of Duty: Warzone, Minecraft, Destruction AllStars, and Don't Starve Together.
The issue was officially confirmed by Sony on 6:33PM ET, but earlier reports point to it appearing on 1PM ET, which essentially means that it's been almost 12 hours since the partial outage began. It's currently unclear when a fix will be rolled out, but you can keep an eye on the network service status page for updates in the meantime.
Minecraft Dungeons player count passes 10 million across all platforms
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
Mojang Studios' Minecraft spin-off from last year, Minecraft Dungeons, has now surpassed the impressive 10 million player milestone less than a year after its launch. The title has seen a healthy number of updates and DLC since its arrival, and the studio is currently preparing to release the next content drop later this month.
The cooperative dungeon crawler released in May 2020 for the PC, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 4 promising a different take on the studio's massively popular block-based sensation that is Minecraft. Xbox Game Pass subscribers on PC and Xbox consoles are also a part of this massive 10 million player number, but the studio didn't provide a breakdown on how each platform has fared.
However, Mojang did share some numbers on how the 10-million strong community has spent their time in the game. The Arch-Illager has been defeated 5,934,629 times since the launch of the game, while the Redstone Monstrosity has been taken down 7,044,521, though that's out of 19,511,994 attempts. Players have also spent a combined total of 1141 years in the Camp hub area.
Celebrating the milestone, Mojang is releasing a cape and a pet for all Minecraft Dungeons players for free, which will appear in everyone's inventories on February 24. This is the same day that the new six-mission strong Flames of the Nether DLC will land alongside a hefty base game update. Find details on the DLC pack and the update over here.
Minecraft Dungeons' next DLC pack takes players to the Nether on February 24
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
Mojang Studios today announced Flames of the Nether, the latest downloadable content pack heading to Minecraft Dungeons. As the name should have already clued Minecraft fans in, this pack will finally take players to the Nether to experience new themed missions, items, cosmetics, and more. There is also a content-packed free update coming in.
Unlike previous DLC packs that showed up with three missions, this one carries six missions where players will face mobs from the various biomes of the Nether. New artifacts, weapons, gear, as well as two new skins and a Baby Ghast pet are included in the pack as well.
Mojang will be launching a massive free update to the base game alongside the DLC pack as well. This free content will introduce Ancient Hunts as a new feature, which are procedurally-generated end-game missions that offer "top-tier Gilded gear" for defeating difficult Ancient Mobs.
Ancient Hunts will also grant Gold, a new currency that will revolve around the new Piglin merchant incoming to the game. More information about this merchant, as well as changes coming to the Apocalypse Plus difficulty, will be revealed later.
Flames of the Nether and the game update will land on February 24 for the PC, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 4 versions of the title. The DLC pack will be available as a separate purchase as well as a part of the Minecraft Dungeons season pass. The dungeon crawler spin-off from last year based on Mojang's block-based sensation has so far received three DLC packs: Jungle Awakens, Creeping Winter, and Howling Peaks.
Minecraft Earth is shutting down before it's even two years old
by João Carrasqueira
This may come as a shock to some, but Minecraft Earth still exists ever since it launched in October of 2019. However, that's set to change soon, as Microsoft-owned Mojang Studios announced today.
Minecraft Earth is an augmented reality game for smartphones based on the popular block-based open-world title. It was first announced in May 2019, and shown off live at Apple's WWDC that year. A public beta opened later that year, but the title seemingly failed to gain significant traction. The game allowed players to see Minecraft characters and environments in the real world, making use of the typical crafting mechanics to build out their inventory and explore further.
As of today, all paid transactions have been removed from the game, and many mechanics of the game have been made easier or more accessible so players can experience them before the game shuts down. Here's the full list of changes:
The game will shut down on June 30, after which date the game will be unavailable to download. The day after, all player data except Character Creator and Minecoin entitlements will be deleted. Players with rubies left in the game will have them converted to Minecoins, which can be used to purchase paid items in console and PC versions of Minecraft. Additionally, anyone who has spent money on Minecraft Earth will be given a copy of Minecraft proper.
It seems like Microsoft's mobile titles haven't been terribly successful, as just a few months ago, Gears Pop! suffered a similar fate in a similarly short period of time. As a reminder, servers for that game will be online until April 26.