If the rumors are true, the Minecraft 1.20 Trails and Tales update is VERY close to landing. Mojang is keeping us all guessing with no official release date but with some super (well, average) sleuthing into previous summer launch dates, June would continue the trend.
With the newest Minecraft 1.20 update preview Minecraft Beta 220.127.116.11 now out, the “blocky gift that keeps on giving” (thanks RadioTimes for that gem) is predicted to “add more personalization and promote self-expression through storytelling and presentation”.
It’s big news for fans, for us and for our customers, many of whom rent out the Minecraft servers that allow players to play.
While fans wait in suspense for new Minecraft updates to land, we work hard behind the scenes with customers to make sure they have the infrastructure to support the massive surge in demand. And while we can spin up dedicated servers in under an hour for our customers, we try our best to work with them in advance of launches to limit the likelihood of last minute issues occurring when Mojang hits the GO button.
For context, last year’s Minecraft 1.18 Caves and Cliffs: Part 2 was huge. The fact that Mojang had to split one update into two parts goes to show just how big it was. Our customers saw a massive influx of new players and we provisioned hundreds of dedicated servers in one week just for that update.
Expectations are that Minecraft 1.20 update won’t be quite as big but that doesn’t mean forward planning isn’t recommended. To give you an idea of what goes into planning for a new Minecraft update, we spoke to some of our customers who serve Minecraft’s huge fanbase.
“Preparing for a Minecraft update for us means a lot of testing and validation. Our team regularly tests the early snapshots being released for performance, stability, as well as new features or changes that need to be made in our systems to better support the game.
“We also need to ensure that any internal and external documentation is updated with anything that may have changed about the game.
“As soon as the new snapshots start dropping, we're thinking about and preparing for the new update. From our creative team with artwork, to our tech teams with panel updates, to our support team validating our knowledgebase - everyone is thinking about it.”
“Minecraft is our most popular game, representing a large portion of our customer base. When a new Minecraft update releases, we typically see a major surge in popularity, so we need to make sure we adequately prepare for this surge in demand by provisioning excess server stock in anticipation. If we don’t prepare, we’re letting our customers down.
“We're always on the lookout for the latest snapshot (beta) versions of the game as they are released, to judge how resource usage requirements are likely to change for the new version. As newer versions of Minecraft have been released, we have seen an increase in the RAM requirements, and have updated the advice we provide our customers accordingly.”
“No matter what game it is, I need to be prepared for the update. During normal times, I can predict the amount of resource usage I need. But when an update is released, I need to be on it and ready with extra servers to handle the spike. Some updates also require us to carry out changes to our backend and control panel.
“We build our own customer control panel for each game and Minecraft’s configuration options are the most complex. For the upcoming Minecraft update, we hope to add new features to our Minecraft control panel to make it even better.”
One thing all our gaming customers have in common, which is reflected in these comments, is that it’s not easy or even that possible to predict the number of new players they need to support when a new update comes out. Which is why we work so closely with our customers to provision additional servers in advance and to also be on hand to provision even more if demand is higher than expected. Because, ultimately, we all share one goal – to keep our customers happy, and enabling their players to play, goes a long way to achieve that. Particularly when an update to their favorite game has just landed.
“We're excited to see what modders do with all of the new features including archaeology, tons of new decorative possibilities, a wide array of technical updates and changes to command blocks, data packs, and more. We cannot wait to see what the community builds!”
“So far, Mojang has confirmed 38 new blocks and features to be included in this new Minecraft update, which makes it very exciting.
“When it comes to mobs, one of the most interesting ones is "The Sniffer", an ancient mob that has the ability to trace ancient seeds for players to grow rare plants. Camels will also now be found roaming around desert villages.
“One of our favorite features is the arrival of archaeology, a feature originally promised for the past Caves and Cliffs update. Using a brush - a new tool - players will be able to search blocks of "suspicious sand" for treasure. This adds amazing playability to the game, encouraging gamers to uncover all the hidden items.
“Even though mobs and playable features are lots of fun, Minecraft excels in creating the most stunning sceneries. In this update, players will have the chance to relax and go for a cozy walk surrounded by cherry blossom trees on the game's new biome: the Cherry Grove.
“Last but not least, if you've ever played Minecraft, we are sure you've encountered the ever-lasting problem of placing signs; finding the right place for them can be tedious (if you care about looks, that is). Luckily, thanks to the addition of hanging signs, players never need to face that issue again. These new signs can be hung from any block, and even be placed on the side or bottom of other blocks! We think this is a very nice addition to the game and will save gamers' time when placing a sign.”
If you haven’t already, now is the time to be thinking about checking in with your hosting provider to get your infrastructure primed and ready for the update.
With a huge amount of experience working with customers, including the ones we chatted to for this blog, our gaming team is a great resource to discuss infrastructure planning for any game launch or update. Take a look at our industry page for more information and to speak to the team.
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Jarrod Palmer is our gaming industry specialist. He knows the issues our customers face and how best
to help them. He's also a great Warzone player and is the UK office FIFA champion.