Posted: Sep 11, 2023 in Minecraft
By Kevin Lott
You know, every time a new snapshot comes out for Minecraft, I am filled with excitement. I mean, how couldn’t I be? My favorite block-building game is presumably getting bug fixes, balance changes, or content updates. When it comes to snapshots, they’re a window into what will probably be a great major update in the future. But every now and then, Mojang manages to soil the mood and burn out the candle in my heart by making an odd decision. It started with chat reporting, and now, they’re moving on to skins. Today, we’ll be going over Minecraft Snapshot 23w33a, and the war on offensive character skins.
Ever since Minecraft Bedrock Edition was released, I’ve always wondered why their character creation was so…scuffed. Why couldn’t I just assign any skin I wanted to my character? Why did I have to purchase various skin packs and mix and match multiple parts, when on Java Edition, I could literally color in each pixel to the exact specifications that I desired?
This spiel may seem unimportant, but it’s crucial for context. If you weren’t aware, on Minecraft Java Edition, you can create custom skins for your character to the fullest extent, coloring in each individual pixel to create exactly what you’d like to use.
That’s right. Similar to how a few snapshots ago, the ability to report people’s chat messages was added to the game, you will now be able to report skins and usernames that violate the ‘community guidelines. It wasn’t too long ago that the idea of being banned from Minecraft itself was unheard of. For the overwhelming majority of players, it was seen as an impossibility.
Sure, getting banned from individual servers was more than reasonable. If you broke the rules and guidelines that the server and its owners have set for it, then you were at fault and you were rightfully banned. Part of the attraction of Minecraft is the fact that independent communities can govern themselves, with no higher power enforcing any regulations over the broader community. Minecraft is the largest game in the world, and so it encompasses many groups of different backgrounds that play the games in different ways. Unfortunately, this means that Minecraft is played in many different ways as well. Some players like to mod the game to play with guns and foster a little more of an ‘edgy’ environment. Some of the most popular servers in the world revolve around housing the most toxic, non-inclusive communities ever! The entire anarchy community, for example, is at risk with this one!
The playerbase in general has widely concluded that Mojang itself should be detached from the moderation side of things when it comes to Minecraft, at least regarding Java Edition. Server owners love to have control over their own servers and how they’re run.
According to Mojang, when a skin is banned, players with that skin will have their skin removed, be notified when they launch the game, will automatically be assigned one of the default skins, and can still play multiplayer. They can select a new custom skin after this.
When a player’s name is banned, that player will need to choose a new name and they will be notified when they launch the game. They will not be able to play online until they change their name.
An interesting note is that a skin or name that has been banned cannot be used by any player in the future. This is absolutely insane because this means that certain skins are going to be quite literally impossible to wear! What will determine what skins are inappropriate? The community standards are largely ridiculed by the player base, and even when the player base does agree with Mojang, they do not believe Mojang should have the right to enforce their rules literally gamewide.
Some skins that are seen as offensive could have millions of users using them, and all will be forced to change their skin if it gets banned. This is insane!
In other, less controversial news, a new experimental feature has been added to the Minecraft launcher on PC. On the top right corner of the launcher, you’ll have a visualization of the five most recent worlds you’ve loaded. This feature will most likely be coming in the future. The list can be collapsed to view only your most recent world, and you can also hit a button to customize the icon for all of these instances with a block. You can also add a ‘Title Initial’ which will place the first letter of the word on top of the icon.
Neat! Overall a great feature that is sure to make people’s lives easier, especially if they play lots of different worlds with different mods installed. With this new ‘Quick Play’ feature, as it is dubbed, you can enter your Minecraft world straight from the launcher, completely bypassing the Minecraft title page. It’s pretty cool!
Sponges now have a unique sound! I didn’t know that they didn’t. I feel kinda dumb now, but anyway, this kind of branches off of what 1.20 was doing for a lot of snapshots, updating the sound of different blocks. This isn’t too impressive of a change to most of us, but we can always appreciate quality of life.
The debug screen can now toggle three different charts which show different information. Pressing F3+1 shows a pie chart, F3+2 shows FPS and TPS, and F3+3 shows bandwidth and ping. All of these were visible before, but they had slightly more clumsy key binds.
These changes, aside from a few bug fixes and technical improvements, conclude the Minecraft snapshot. Mojang strikes us again with controversy and quality of life improvements. It’s a shame that those have to go hand in hand with what seems like each update. In any case, I’ll be enjoying new content no matter what form it takes, because Minecraft will always be Minecraft…until Hytale…have a good one!