Notch recently revealed that pistons will be the main attraction for 1.7, and will arrive soon! We will be seeing player-made machines, traps and devices in no time. In the interim, the Adventure Update will be pushed back to 1.8, to ensure the highest possible quality upon release. He notes also that this will be the last major update prior to release in November, which may include community-engaging events, to celebrate the official launch of Minecraft! Full release will include:
"...mod api, improving stability and performance, adding supporting features like friends lists and a proper server browser, integrating singleplayer and multiplayer, and most importantly fleshing out the gameplay."
In addition, Mojang has added another member to the team: Mattis, a new graphical artist! It's always exciting to have a new member on the team, and Mattis' unique style can only enhance an already great game.
That's good to hear. I have been looking forward to pistons a long time. The sooner, the better. And it's also good to know they aren't going to stress too much on adding the adventure update. I hope this also means we will get less new bugs in 1.7 and 1.8 than usual.
Maybe I'm a bit too positive, though
If this takes care of some of the bugs introduced with 1.6, I won't mind as much. If this introduces yet more bugs on things that are supposedly working at the moment, I'm going to be annoyed.
More to the point, as Mojang moves towards the "full release", they need to start making a difference between an "experimental" release that has all of the new features and a "stable" release that is more predictable and can be used by the modding community. More to the point, frequent updates are going to be impacting more and more people as mods become more complex and more dependent upon a particular version. Perhaps they realize that with the work happening towards the API, but it is something to strongly consider.
You can't be calling this software "stable" at the moment, yet that is what you need when you go for a formal release candidate like Mojang hopes to be doing this November. I certainly am going to be taking my sweet time updating to 1.7, and letting others take the brunt of the bug testing in the meantime.
Last major update before release? Really? A lot of us were happy to see that release was so far off (November), considering there are still tons and tons of originally promised ideas and contents that have yet to make it into the game. And now, we find that that was wrong to be so confident, as the adventure update will be the last major update before release.
woah woah woah. This is it until november? that's disappointing. whatever happened to stuff like more underwater content, dragons, finishing biomes (like for example the jungle), expanding the nether, the dream realm, hunger/thirst....?