I've got a couple pieces of exciting Minecraft news for you today. One is a piece of business news, and the other is strictly about gameplay; so strap on your internet crash helmet and get prepared.
Piece of news The First: Notch, the creator of Minecraft, has signed the final papers for the creation of his software company that will help run and promote Minecraft in the future. So Minecraft is no longer a one-man operation. According to Notch's blog: "All the details are worked out, everyone is on board, and things are looking good! Woo! Employment contracts have been drafted and prepared for everyone."
Notch also says he's signed up for a DDoS protection service, which will hopefully keep his shiny new servers running.
Piece of news The Second: More details have been revealed about changes to Minecraft's game world, including some tantalizing info about the soon-to-be-implemented "hell" feature, and a first-look at the game's new monsters! That's them above. They're called "Ghasts," and live in Hell (or whatever the plane will end up being called.) The ghasts float around at shoot fire at you, obliterating chunks of the world itself and no doubt making you die.
"Where do these terrible beasts live?" you may be asking. They live in "Hell," the soon-to-be-introduced fast-travel plane coming to Minecraft. Hell works like this: You get some obsidian and make a doorway out of it. Then, you light the doorway on fire and step inside -- wham -- you're transported to Hell. Once inside the netherworld of ghasts, your travel is amplified 16 times, providing both a monster-filled horror-scape for the hardcore, and a means to travel quickly for the rest of us. Check out the photo above; that's Hell, with a doorway/portal to the right.
Other changes that have been promised: Pumpkins (for halloween!), differing climate areas and six new block types.
Source: PC Gamer