Caves and Cliffs and Ravines, oh my!

Mojang has announced a new Minecraft update, labeled 1.17


Sam Jourdan, Staff Writer

During October of 2020, Mojang announced that there would be a new update to their increasingly popular game, Minecraft. The addition, called the “Caves and Cliffs” update, covered new mobs, decorative blocks, and most of all, caves and cliffs. 

As it stands, the mining aspect of the game has become an exact science. Players have figured out what Y-coordinates the best ores spawn at, and where they are most likely to be when exploring the infinite expanse of each world. New tactics have also arisen to make the most of what is readily available. 

As far as what’s been released, all this information is about to be dropped on its head. Not only is the world generation expanding past Y-level 0, building height will be doubled, and caves expanded tenfold. There will also be a higher presence of natural caves, and differentiating cave anatomy, including things like stalagmites and amethyst geodes spawning across the map.

Ore placement will change dramatically, especially concerning emeralds and other new ores such as copper and amethyst geodes. For a visual reference, there is a prototype scale showing the new placement on the official Minecraft Wiki. 

One general change to the game would be the textures. Mojang has decided to change the textures of each ore so they can be more easily deciphered from one another. This is so that any colorblind players will know for certain what they’re mining at any given time. Similarly, there will now be a natural glowing ivy in large caves known as “Cave Vines.” This was added in order to display more of each cave as the player explores, without needing to use torches. Another new plant native to the caves will be the “Dripleaf plant” which emits pollen and other various particles to create cave ambiance. 

The last things they’ve decided to add, besides some various decorative blocks, are new animals. There was a poll on which to add, containing mooblooms, shiny squids, and iceologers. The shiny squid won with many influencers pushing their fans to vote for it and essentially turning the tides of the vote. Many long-time fans are upset by this, but the verdict was made final. So far, the only other animals decided upon have been the long-awaited axolotls, wardens, and goats. According to the wiki, the new goats have a 2% chance of spawning as a screaming goat. 

For all these updates and the many more to be decided upon, the release date has been moved to summer of 2021.