The official name for the update, the Exploration Update, was revealed on September 24, 2016, during the Opening Ceremony at MineCon 2016. During the "Casual Chat with Jens" panel at Minecon, he suggested that the name "Expedition Update" was more suitable to the theme of the update compared to the "Exploration Update".
The main features of the update were announced on the second day of MineCon 2016, during "The Minecraft 1.11 Change Log" on September 25, 2016. However, snapshots for the update initially began around two months prior to the reveal of the main features, with the features being added in a snapshot just a few days after MineCon.
Mojang released the first (and only) pre-release for the Exploration Update on November 8, 2016.
- 3 new splashes.
- 2 new villager professions:
- 2 new particles:
- 3 new NBT tags:
- 2 new gamerules:
- 1 new command:
- Curse enchantments.
- 4 new mobs:
- 2 new blocks: Observer and Shulker Box.
- 8 new spawn eggs.
- 4 new items:
- Woodland Mansions.
- Entity IDs, block IDs, block entity IDs, and item IDs are no longer case sensitive. Plus, some names have had underscores added or have been completely rewritten.
- Lots of changes to NBT tags.
- Chat messages are now 256 characters long.
- Various items, such as signs and wooden doors, can now be used as fuel for a furnace.
- Shields now block 100% of damage dealt in melee combat.
- 1.11.1 added iron nuggets and the Sweeping Edge enchantment, among numerous changes and bug fixes.
- 1.11.2 was released soon thereafter to fix a crash involving chicken jockeys.
A trailer documenting some of the Exploration Update's features was released on Mojang's official YouTube channel on Nov 14, 2016. The trailer was made by Mojang themselves instead of Hat Films, who have made update trailers and videos for Mojang in the past.