I admit it has been about three years since I invested much time into Minecraft. However the last world I created was immense, multiple bases, all bosses defeated, Elytra with Mending, I honestly felt like I had conquered the world. I did briefly start a new world about eighteen months ago finding myself in a seemingly endless sea of islands, but it felt hard to invest much time in it knowing the Caves and Cliffs update was just around the corner, as we approached the beginning of 2021, I was getting ready. Then Mojang announced the update would be split into a first and second part. Most of the new blocks and mobs arriving in the first part, and most of the terrain changes arriving in the second part, so here I waited another six months for the second part.
The Caves and Cliffs update literally changes the very world of Minecraft to a degree and scope that no other update before has come close to achieving. Because of this I felt I would want a brand new world to start in, you can of course play with your existing world, however in areas you’ve explored you won’t have any of the new terrain, thus creating a break in the flow of the world. Knowing this I decided to wait and start with a new world.
The Cliffs part of the name refers to the new terrain generation we see on the surface - although quite rare, the landscape can tower into giant mountains hundreds of blocks high spanning across whole mountain ranges for as far as the eye can see. However aside from the headline feature, the landscape in general is significantly different. Biomes are just bigger, it is now very rare to be able to stand atop of a hill and see maybe three or four different biomes around you, now they can span thousands of blocks, perhaps even more. Giving the Minecraft world a much more natural and epic feel. You’ll also find it much rarer to find large expanses of flat plains biomes, which are now at lot less common than before.
The old world generation was limited to a height of 128 blocks, with a maximum buildable height of 256 blocks. The new natural generation pushes down -64 blocks below the old bedrock and increases to +256 blocks for natural generation. Bringing us to a total of 320 blocks in height for natural terrain generation, literally 2.5x the height of the old world! With a maximum buildable height of 384 blocks.
With the new world height it’s perhaps underground we find even more changes. Caves can open up into giant biomes, featuring brand new plants such as glow berries to light your way. Creating a break from the previous grey dark caves, adding hints of plant life should you find one. Varied and fun to explore and to build in, exploration in Minecraft has honestly taken on totally new feel. You can literally spend days exploring a single cave system, you genuinely feel so disconnected and far away from the surface that you now actually want to come prepared every time.
We’ve already started to make use of the new massive cave systems, including building scenic underground bases and using them for running elevated railway lines within them for transporting villagers.
Other headline features
- Mobs will now only spawn in complete darkness
- Multiple water layers, you can now find lakes high in mountains or deep underground.
- New mobs like the goat and axolotl.
- New blocks like snow, copper, deepslate etc.
- New ore drop mechanics.
Caves and Cliffs is a brilliant update that changes Minecraft in ways nobody has seen before. If you’ve not played Minecraft for a while, We strongly recommend re-visiting it for the Caves and Cliffs update. It’s quite literally a whole new world.