Mojang is beefing up Minecraft's combat in today's 1.9 "combat update."
The biggest change is the addition of dual-wielding, which for example lets players carry a torch and a weapon to avoid Doom 3-ing through dark areas, or with the new shield item, engage in sword-and-board style gameplay.
Weapons have new attacks - a sweep for swords, a crushing blow for axes - and attacks now operate on a cooldown timer, making fights more tactical.
New arrow types have been added for ranged players, and armour protection values have been reduced to balance the addition of shields.
The usual collection of new blocks, mobs, craftable items, adjustments, and bug fixes, also applies.
Minecraft 1.9 is now live on PC, with other platforms yet to receive the update.
The full list of changes is below.
Attacking now has a “cool-down” delay, making it more important to time your attacks
You can now hold items in both hands (default quick key to swap items is ‘F’)
Swords have a special sweep attack
Axes have a special crushing blow attack
Added the elytra
New mob: Shulker
Expanded The End
Added Chorus plants
New Purpur blocks
New End Rod block
Added dragon head block
Ender Dragon can be resummoned
Added beetroot and beetroot soup (from MC:PE)
Added grass path block
Armor protection values have been lowered
Added tipped arrows
Added spectral arrows
Added Frost Walker enchantment and frosted ice block
Added a whole bunch of new sound effects
Added sound effect subtitles
Brewing Stand now requires Blaze Powder to activate
Added skeleton riders
We believe we’ve fixed MC-10 and a whole bunch of other issues