The first pre-release for version 1.16.5 of Minecraft (Java Edition) was released , and the first release candidate for 1.16.5 came out an hour later. But hang on, there's only one version! What happened?
First up, it's important to mention that this is a development version for 1.16.5, a patch to 1.16 (the Nether Update), not 1.17 (the Caves & Cliffs update), even though development of 1.17 is already underway.
This is because a couple of critical issues were found (mentioned later in the article) which necessitated a full release for servers running 1.16.4.
To get into the update, what was meant to be the first (and only) release candidate for 1.16.5 was initially released by Mojang under the incorrect title "1.16.5 Pre-release 1". Mojang soon replaced the download with a corrected version, titled "1.16.5 Release Candidate 1".
This means that there were actually two versions released , but both of them are exactly the same (apart from the title).
Putting the messed-up release out of the way, the changes in this development version are minimal. This is because only major issues with the game necessitate a full release to be sent out, as other minor bugs are just fixed during development for 1.17.
There two major issues fixed in this version, both of which have an impact that necessitates the issue tracker items of each to be hidden from public view. In their news post, Mojang just state that they fixed
two critical stability issues.
So what are these issues, and why are their details hidden on the bug tracker?
Both bugs pertain to methods of crashing a server using very simple mechanisms. Obviously Mojang does not want people using these methods before servers can update to 1.16.5, so the bug tracker items will be hidden indefinitely.
The full release of 1.16.5 will be out on Friday, unless further critical issues are found, so don't expect any more release candidates for it, as these two issues are the only ones important enough to fix promptly in a full version.
Snapshots for 1.17 are set to continue once 1.16.5 is released, so there may be a new snapshot in a week or two: be prepared for more Caves & Cliffs content this month.