Minecraft's Pretty Scary Update to add anvils, witches, new boss

Frankly, not all of this is hot and fresh news for anyone who's been keeping up with Minecraft's regular snapshot updates. But if you've been out of the blocky loop for a while, Minecraft's Pretty Scary Update (tentatively scheduled for October 24) is set to add a huge host of features. Swamp-dwelling witches, an anvil that allows you to repair items, and the second boss mob are just a few.

Here are the highlights:

  • A new Command Block has been added, allowing creators of adventure maps to run scripts and create more RPG-like experiences.
  • Anvils are being added, which allow you to combine two damaged items to create a single repaired version with the enchantments and combined durability points of both. You can also use it to rename items.
  • Wither Skeletons are a new mob type that can spawn in the Nether. Killing them and collecting their skulls allows you to construct the Wither, Minecraft's second boss mob (after the Ender Dragon.)
  • Killing a Wither gives you a Nether Star, which can be used to construct the new Beacon item. Beacons emit a beam of light into the sky, aiding in navigation, and can also be activated by a sacrifice of valuable material to provide a buff. Bigger, more impressive beacons give better buffs.
  • Mobs and minecarts can now move through Nether Portals. So...you might want to leave those turned off when you're not using them from now on. Just saying.
  • Night Vision and Invisibility potions will let you be Batman. Or will they? Yes. Yes, they will let you be Batman.
  • Witches are being added. They live in creepy shacks in the swamp, throw harmful potions at you, have warts, and weigh the same as a duck.
  • Zombies can now infect and turn Villagers. Prepare for the apocalypse.

You can read the full patch notes over at the excellent Minecraft wiki. Seriously, other gaming wikis. You know who you are. These guys are doing it right.