Mojang has been hard at work developing a new launcher for Minecraft, one that promises to improve the overall experience of Minecraft in a number of ways. However, there seems to be some confusion on what the new launcher is, what state it is currently in, and what can be expected from it in the future. Today, we are going to take a look at what the new launcher currently features, what it will feature later on, and more!
What the New Launcher Offers
According to Jeb, The new launcher will support updated OpenGL and Java libraries, and will come with the ability to change versions with a drop-down menu. In addition, detailed game settings, such as game directory location, jvm options, memory, and more, will be customizable. This offers an obvious benefit in allowing players to choose which version they are playing with minimal fuss, and no extra installations, as well as tailoring their game to their personal and system specifications.
New Launcher Rumors: Fact or Fiction?
Unfortunately, there have been rumors circulating about what the new launcher will bring (or break), many of which are simply untrue. Today, I sat down with Mojang's very own Dinnerbone to talk about the new launcher, where it is, and where it is going. Some of the most heard rumors are addressed below, plus some exciting news for the future of the launcher!
"The new launcher has always-on DRM! Why is Mojang joining the AODRM bandwagon?!"
Untrue. The launcher is still in a testing phase, and the "Play Offline" option simply hasn't been added to the menu yet. It is coming in future launcher updates, and will remain a core feature of the launcher. Not to worry, Offline isn't going away!
"The new launcher will kill modding!"
Untrue; however, we have to examine how Minecraft works now, and how it is planned to work with the new launcher in the future, to understand why this is the case.
The Technical Explanation
Right now, Minecraft is installed to the same location for every player (on their respective operating systems), and modding the game requires editing the core files in this location, such as the mincraft.jar, adding mod/config/etc files and folders, and so on. For most players, modding Minecraft, changing versions, or testing Snapshots requires editing these core files directly, which changes the game itself. One of the running problems with this approach has been the lament of modders since the earliest days of the game - every update breaks mods, because an update will completely overwrite old versions of Minecraft (modded or not) with the new version data.
The new version of Minecraft is expected to be compartmentalized. Instead of having "Minecraft" as an entire game to modified, there will be a "core" Minecraft - essentially, the game's engine and crucial data - which all things will be built upon. Jar files which determine how the game runs will have their own locations, called "Versions", which will be selected from the new launcher. This includes everything from actual vanilla versions of Minecraft to the most complex mods imaginable. For example, if you were to install a mod called "Baconcraft" - which involved adding modified files to the minecraft.jar file, custom folders, assets, and textures - you could place it in a Version folder called "Baconcraft", and select it from the launcher when you started the game.
Vanilla Versions already download their data on launch, but only the selected Version's data downloads. For example, if you launch the game with 1.6 selected, only 1.6 data downloads. It is hoped that the launcher will also use this feature to update modded versions of the game, adding functionality for modders to include a download source which would update their modded Version whenever a player launched it.
More details on planned features will be released in the coming days, but this glimpse into the future of the launcher definitely shows an exciting future for modded Minecraft!
The "TL;DR" Explanation
Right now, modifying Minecraft means changing the game itself - adding, removing, or modifying files, which will inevitably get overwritten with updates. The new, proposed system will let you pick any version to play that you wish - up to and including modded versions that you have installed - without accidentally breaking other versions, or worrying that a new update will overwrite and ruin your modded game. Pretty awesome!
"Wait...does that mean the MOD API is coming now?!"
The new launcher - and the 1.6 update itself - do not include the mod API. However, the API will require many of the coming changes, and so this can be thought of as a preliminary step towards the API!
An interesting read! The launcher doesn't mean all that much to me, but I have faith in Dinnerbone and I'm sure it'll be a nice change. Good to know!
(That said, I have to admit that being able to choose what version you want to play is an amazing addition. For maps, it'll be quite a relief, especially for those who don't see the need to update any further, for fear of breaking mechanics and what have you.)
Thanks for answering these much wondered questions. Hopefully we will get the chance to see the mod api in 1.7.
Rollback Post to RevisionRollBack
Enjoy raiding and pvp in highly customizable and well organized groups, but hate the setup of Factions? Then check out my upcoming server containing multiple custom plugins and opearting on Minecraft version 1.8!
It is hoped that the launcher will also use this feature to update modded versions of the game, adding functionality for modders to include a download source which would update their modded Version whenever a player launched it.
This would be very useful. I am looking forward to it.
I'm curious as to how this is going to affect custom launchers, like MultiMC and Magic Launcher. They'll still have their use, since they allow you to drop mods in and out really easily, but it's looking like they may have to completely rewrite how they actually launch the game.
Well, the new minecraft snapshots seem to be far more stable then the older ones, I notice this in that I could actually PLAY the newer snap, while I could not play the older ones. I a not sure but, I bet this means more mod compatibility!