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Notch's twitter feed has been talking about something called an Enderman. I can sort of gather that this is a new mob coming in minecraft 1.8, but neither Notch's twitter account or his blog contain anything substantial in the way of explanation.

What (or who) is an Enderman?

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More details about how the mob works and why have been posted on notch's blog: notch.tumblr.com/post/8208212863/… Warning: spoilers! Though if you've read the answers, then you already know everything here. –  thedaian Jul 29 '11 at 13:19
    
@Thedaian - hunh. I guess I should have just waited another 2 hours before posting the question. XD –  Raven Dreamer Jul 29 '11 at 16:00
    
The way the Endermen are described as moving seems effectively the same as the Weeping Angels in Doctor Who. –  Alan B Aug 2 '11 at 8:39

4 Answers 4

up vote 28 down vote accepted

Notch first disclosed the existence of a new mob in development on his Google+ account in a screenshot. He gave no information other than it was "creepy".

The screenshot was immediately enhanced and posted onto Reddit, where a commenter suggested the name "slender man", a popular meme: Notch liked it and decided to use a variation of that name, "Enderman".

After days of speculation and idea generation on Reddit and elsewhere, Notch decided to use some of the more popular ideas to define what the mob did, and described the Endermen's behavior on his Twitter account:

  • The Endermen are peaceful. If you look straight at them, they freeze and look at you. When you look away again, they run fast. And teleport. (Source)
  • They run TOWARDS you, not away. So if you happen to look at one, do not look away. (Source)
  • (they stop being peaceful if you look straight at them) (Source)

Later, Notch went into great detail about what he is trying to accomplish with the Endermen on his tumblog:

I wanted this to be a mob you only saw in the distance and a mob you’d be afraid of, but when I playtested it, it mostly felt like a regular zombie. There’s was a distinct mismatch between looking creepy and not actually playing creepy. When I made it move faster towards the player when attacking, and deal more damage, it got more difficult and I started respecting it, but it never felt creepy or scary.

So I thought some about what “creepy” actually is, and it’s more about trying to avoid something from happening than it is about actually having that thing happen. If you know something bad can happen if you do the wrong thing, you will start thinking about your actions, and that might make things more scary.

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Notch has also added more details on his tumblr blog, after this answer was posted. –  MBraedley Jul 29 '11 at 15:22
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@MBraedley Nice: I incorporated that into the answer as well. This is starting to feel like a page on Know Your Meme. –  user3389 Jul 29 '11 at 17:32
    
NP, your answer was already so good that it didn't feel right posting another. –  MBraedley Jul 29 '11 at 22:44

There's not much info on it yet, but notch posted a picture on Google+ which also can be seen here. It's probably a reference to slender man.

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The enderman are mobs that are 3 blocks tall, black, and glowing eyes. enderman have the ability to pick up blocks and spot you from farther away than any other mob. enderman will not attack unless you attack them first. when enderman attack they will try to teleport behind you and attack you. In a new world called "The end" (which you need a portal for) is a place made completely of whitestone and obsidian. in the end they have many enderman roaming around and a new mob called an enderdragon.

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Endermen are a powerful neutral mob. They are three blocks tall and have the ability to teleport. They can also pick up blocks and move them. They become hostile to the player when attacked or when the crosshairs are centered on either their head or their body. They take damage and teleport away if they touch water, including rain.

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