Caves & Cliffs Part II: The Features
Let’s break it down!
Earlier this week, the ambitiously awesome second part of the Caves & Cliffs update finally released! With the mountain of changes that were introduced in this update, we’ve prepared a short and simple breakdown of some of the biggest ones, complete with informative illustrations to explain what those changes are and what they mean for Minecraft!
Increased World Height and Depth
With this release, we’re extending the previous overworld height limit, giving new and existing worlds more vertical space for you to explore and build in! You can push your creativity like never before and build all the way up to y320, or if you’re brave enough to explore the deepest depths of the world then you can now dig down to y-64, discovering bigger caves and brilliant new biomes along the way. Just make sure you go prepared!
Many of you will have existing worlds that you’ve spent a long time exploring, surviving, and creating in, and so we want to make sure you have the choice to continue doing that in 1.18 without being forced to start fresh.
World blending will allow for new world generation to work seamlessly with existing chunks in old worlds, resulting in fewer hard edges and more natural-looking environments.
Players who upgrade their old worlds will also find that the y0 bedrock layer below existing chunks is replaced by deepslate, with new caves and biomes generating underneath!
New Terrain and Mountain Generation
In 1.18, the shape of the terrain is no longer always be determined by the biome. Instead, biomes are now simply layered on top of the terrain meaning that players may encounter all kinds of weird and wonderful biome placements as they explore the overworld.
Mountains and peaks are also the tallest and most varied they’ve ever been, but we’ve made sure to leave you plenty of space to build tall structures on top of them.
New Biomes, 3D Biome Generation, and Biome Distribution
There are a bunch of brand-new biomes to discover in 1.18 both above and below the surface, from lush caves and dripstone caves to jagged peaks and meadows. In addition, cave biomes may sometimes generate directly below biomes on the surface!
New Cave Generation
This wouldn’t be the Caves & Cliffs update without big changes to cave generation! As well as the caves and ravines found in previous versions, players will also now have a variety of new cave shapes and sizes to explore, ranging from the spacious ‘cheese’ caves to the long, winding ‘spaghetti’ caves and narrower networks of ‘noodle’ caves.
In addition, we’re also introducing aquifers to create bodies of water at a local level, resulting in caves that may be dry, contain underground lakes or even be completely flooded.
Ore Distribution and Large Ore Veins
We couldn’t change world height, depth, and cave generation without tweaking ore distribution, and so players can expect some differences in what level and frequency some ores can be found compared to previous releases. We’ve spent several months fine-tuning this based on community feedback to get the balance just right - thank you for the help!
And there’s more! Some players will be lucky enough to stumble across large ore veins which stretch deep throughout the new cave systems. These contain larger deposits of ore than the usual clusters found underground, so keep your eyes peeled and pickaxes ready.
There’s a big change to mob spawning to look forward to in Caves & Cliffs Part II – mobs will now only spawn in complete darkness. Spooky! This is partly to help players spawn-proof some of the new larger caves using light sources such as candles and torches.
That covers the headline features for the Caves & Cliffs Update: Part II! There’s more though, so check out the full Java and Bedrock changelogs to see what else is new, as well as the Caves & Cliffs Help Center category for useful articles.
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- Cameron Thomas