Forbes isn’t exactly the place anyone expects an update to appear about video games, but even major business newspapers have their blogs and now Notch can put another notch in his pixelante axehandle because Minecraft 1.8: Adventure Update has hit the mainstream. The update is already in pre-release and some lucky few are already playing with it.

Looking at the modifications, it seems that the world of Minecraft has been changed forever.

Firstly, Beta 1.8 adds a massive modification to climate and algorithmic world building. The world is rent and riven by deep river valleys and canyons, bearing down a land with larger and wider biomes than before. Now it’s even possible to feel like you’re in the terrain of the type you’re viewing, vast forests, wasteland deserts without puddle or tree to be seen to the edge of the landscape.

Another addition is the interesting element of pre-fab villages appearing in the world. NPCs now have a place to house themselves outside of your own domiciles and safe havens in. Currently they’re not inhabited; but they’ll probably become randomly generated centers for quest hubs as a way to strike out into the world and do missions. According to the patch notes, it will also add different types of dungeons including Strongholds (old ruins with ancient traps and loot) and also derelict mineshafts now abandoned.

The beta patch also adds some new enemies and revamps old ones a little. The scariest new enemy happens to be the Endermen. They’re basically a new type of shadowy undead type who normally ignore your block-man unless you happen to look directly at them: then the evil goes down. Once you lock eyes with an Enderman, it turns to stare at you; but the moment you break eye contact it will rush you and start to beat you senseless.

For those faint of heart, or still waiting for the pitter-patter of the release, there’s a wonderful YouTUBE trailer commemorating the soon-to-tell release.