Minecraft constructs Caves and Cliffs

Changes and updates are practically written into Minecraft’s code, as we have all witnessed.

For some time, Minecraft featured oddly sterile oceans and a dully monochrome Nether biome. Then came the Update Aquatic (1.13) and the Nether Update (1.16). Suddenly, the underwater emptiness that was the subject of much debate disappeared. As for the underworld, one biome became several, and players no longer had to stare at blank walls of red netherrack.

Although these were very substantial updates with their own collections of new biomes, mobs and blocks, the gamer world watched on as caves were seemingly excluded. The Minecraft Live session for the Caves & Cliffs Update (1.17) released on Saturday, October 3 abruptly changed that perspective. Some of the new features described on the Minecraft website in its recap are outlined below.

There will be two different types of caves. The first type, Dripstone Caves, feature two terrain features: stalagmites, which rise from the floor of the caves, damage those that fall on them while hanging stalactites can drip water and fall on mobs or players. The second type, Lush Caves, are filled with moss blocks, spore blossom flowers and subterranean ponds. The player can find these caves by looking around azalea trees for entrances. There are also Amethyst Geodes, which are special structures in caves that grow amethyst crystals. These purple, shiny materials are used to craft telescopes. No longer will players have to strain to see that creeper in the distance.

Two new mobs make their appearance in caves. The Warden is a strong, hulking mob that operates off of player movements. For context, it can kill a player in full, unenchanted Netherite armor with two hits. Meanwhile, the Axolotl is an underwater mob that can be found in Lush Caves. These unique creatures can serve as companions when fighting the infamous Guardians.

Of course, players cannot forget about the improved mountains. A major overhaul has been revealed for cliffs and mountain biomes, displaying more dramatic and sweeping landscapes in the game. Goats were also introduced, which have extreme jumping and knockback abilities.

With promises of this update being released in the summer of 2021, Minecraft revitalizes a previously neglected yet important aspect of the game. After all, the game’s title suggests the significance of caves in each player’s experience: a place where a person learns to obtain the resources for their upgraded tools and armor. 

More so, as the game reaches over 126 million active players, we are seeing the progression of a development team willing to cater to its audience. For instance, the Cave & Cliffs Update includes aspects of the Mountain Update that was voted in MINECON Live 2019. In a time in which there are many examples of corporate greed and authority, it is refreshing to see such a popular game that listens to the requests of its fan community.

More than ever, there’s a reason to mine and craft together in Minecraft.

By Landon Park, Online editor-in-chief
Photo courtesy of PCGAMER

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