I've been playing a single player game with the latest snapshot a bit, and I thought I'd post some observations. If you haven't tried it, this might be of interest. If you have, I'd love to hear your thoughts.
I'm going to talk about things that are more general to this chain of snapshots, rather than specific to this one, as I'm mostly interested in getting a glimpse into the upcoming 1.3 release.
Let's start with trading. Eh, it's OK. No complaints, and sometimes it's useful. I'm sure some people will like it.
The new world type: Large Biomes. I created my world with this option. I like it. You have to travel farther to see world variation, but it feels more... right to me. I've always hated how small the biomes tend to be, and this fixes that perceived problem.
Mob difficulty, mob "AI": On hard, it's still not very hard. That's not necessarily a flaw. I am using tactics like charging and jumping to get some knockback, but, on the whole, I haven't been too bothered by mobs. It does take a few shots to knock them down, though. Their behavior is a lot more interesting now, to be sure. Creepers seem to latch on from farther away, and there's the infamous zombie door tango.
XP: Woo. Um... One stone pick and a few cows. Level 31. I don't know what else to say about that(That does include the XP for smelting the iron I found). Then I went and found some diamonds, mined some obsidian, grew some cane, killed some more cows, built a full rack of bookcases, and build an enchanting area. Since you're now guaranteed a max level enchantment every time, I grabbed my level 30 sword. Smite IV. Yes, IV. That's not a typo. I'll have to test some more, but it looks like we're topping out a bit lower.
Resources: Wow. Coal and iron everywhere. That one stone pick I expended leveling up? At least two stacks of coal and more than half a stack of iron. I didn't range that far, and I was caving, not branch or strip mining. Sand seems more abundant near the ocean than previously. I seem to be getting seeds from grass more frequently. Diamonds are about the same.
So, has anyone else been trying this out? Any thoughts or observations?