The first snapshot was released today and let me tell you all, the new blocks are spectacular. The enchanting will be easy and there will be SO many new options, many if not all of them craftable with materials available right here in version 1.7.4. And I’ve loaded up this world’s seed in the snapshot and I can assure you the terrain gen is identical (though extreme hills areas now have patches of the new stone).
We’ve talked it over and we want to reassure everyone making large-scale projects that the only changes we’ll do for 1.8 will be to expand the borders by another 2k blocks or so — you’ll be able to go find the new villagers, and put them in tags and bring ’em home.
And be assured if we ever do that Diaspora idea, it’ll be a good long ways away, and there’s plenty of time to build big, amazing things. As we move towards the next version, we’ll be posting some guidelines on what things to be saving up if you want to plan something splendid with these new blocks!