'Minecraft' 1.8 Brings Creative Mode, Some Features Pushed Into 1.9

"Minecraft" 1.8 is just out there over the blocky horizon, bringing with it new and exciting features. This isn't just another simple update that fixes bugs, or even gives us a new contraption; no, 1.8 brings with it the much anticipated "adventure" elements. Markus "Notch" Persson first started talking about the update before the 1.7 release, but later decided to turn the ever-growing download into its very own release. Now, it looks like the adventure features are being split into yet another release.

Speaking to IGN, Notch provided a quick video walkthrough of what we can expect in the upcoming 1.8 patch. There's essentially two parts: "creative mode," and "adventure mode."

Creative mode is for those of us who have the determination to build giant, ridiculous sculptures in "Minecraft," but perhaps don't have the technical know-how. The update makes this rather simple, allowing you to fly around the world creating whatever you can dream up. You can't get injured, and you'll have a never-ending supply of resources at your disposal. No need to keep that diamond pickaxe handy either, since destroying objects in creator mode is super easy.

Once you've built a life-sized replica of the Titanic, dropped a diamond off it into the ocean, and painted a nude portrait of a Creeper – what? – it's off to the brand-new adventure mode. Based on what's shown in the walkthrough, Mojang is hoping to push players into more combat situations.

Beyond some new animations – better explosions, more nom-like eating of tasty pork – the biggest change is the very role-playing-centric skill bar. As you kill animals or enemies, they'll pop in a burst of experience orbs. Collecting those orbs awards you skill points which you can – well, you actually can't do anything with them yet. Notch says the team is working on how to implement the experience into the gameplay. Getting to those enemies is a bit speedier now, too, thanks to an added sprint function.

Of course, there's also the new enemy, the Endermen. They're incredibly creepy, but harmless – as long as you don't directly look at them. If you do look at them, well, prepare to get freaked out before they murder you.

So, here's the good news: 1.8 should roll out in the next couple weeks. The bad news? Some portion of the Adventure update is being split up into a 1.9 update. Yes, that means more waiting. While creative mode looks really great, adventure mode definitely needs more work. It looks like we may have to wait until 1.9 before those skill points – really, the crux of the adventure update – amount to anything more than mindless collection.