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Minecraft: 5 Things to Look Forward to in 1.18 (Caves and Cliffs, Part 2)

Daniel is an avid Minecraft player, who has been playing since 2011.

Caves and Cliffs, Part 2

Mojang recently announced that Minecraft's newest update (1.18 Caves and Cliffs, Part 2) would be releasing on November 30th, bringing new mountains and underground caves to the game, changing world generation completely. This update was announced at Minecraft Live 2020, with the first half of the update (1.17 Caves and Cliffs, Part 1) releasing in June 2021. While exciting features such as the Warden, the Deep Dark biome, Skulk blocks, bundles, and archaeology will not be in this update; there is still plenty to be excited about coming in the second half of the Caves and Cliffs update. This list will cover the features that will be coming in Caves and Cliffs, Part 2. Listed from most to least obvious, these are the features to look forward to in Minecraft 1.18.

Lush cave with an aquifer.

Lush cave with an aquifer.

5. New Cave Systems

Minecraft 1.18 will completely overhaul the way worlds generate. What should be obvious from the Caves and Cliffs name, is that Minecraft's caves will be getting a full upgrade. The current cave systems have remained mostly unchanged since the earliest days of Minecraft's development. The 1.18 update will make major changes to the length, shape, and depth of cave systems, giving players more unique and intriguing caves to explore. Mojang is also adding two new biomes to these cave systems. These are the dripstone and lush cave biomes.

Dripstone caves are dangerous, dark, and filled with mobs and pointy rocks. Dripstone and pointed dripstone blocks can be found in abundance in the dripstone caves. There is very little light in these caves, allowing mobs to spawn among the dripstone, making the dripstone cave biome a dangerous place to explore.

On the other hand, lush caves are bright, colorful, and mostly peaceful areas covered in moss, glowberry vines, and clay. Players will be able to find axolotls thriving in these caves, as aquifers will often generate in the lush caves. Large amounts of clay generate in these aquifers, giving players an easy way to find large amounts of clay balls for bricks. Mobs will spawn less frequently in the lush caves, because naturally occurring glowberries light these caves up beautifully.

New Mountain Generation

New Mountain Generation

4. New Mountain Generation

The 1.18 update doesn't stop with overhauling the underground, as the surface will also see a significant change in generation with the Caves and Cliffs, Part 2 update. Previously, mountains were only able to generate up to y-level 128. The 1.18 update will be doubling that limit to y: 255. For comparison, the current Minecraft height limit is y:256.

These mountains will also contain six new biomes: meadow, grove, snowy slopes, jagged peaks, frozen peaks, and stony peaks. Each of these new biomes offer variety to the landscape, as well as unique challenges and obstacles to overcome in exploring the mountains.Goats will spawn in the mountains, and will occasionally try to ram players and other mobs, sometimes right off a cliff. In some of these biomes, players will have to contend with powder snow traps that can leave an unprepared explorer frozen. Players will have to learn new strategies for dealing with these challenges, adding another dimension to Minecraft exploration.

3. New Height/Depth Limit

In order to make room for the new caves and cliffs coming to Minecraft, Mojang has increased both the height limit and the depth limit in 1.18 worlds. The height limit will increase from y: 256 to 320, while the depth limit will expand for the first time from y:0 to -64. This will also make way for the Deep Dark biome that will be coming to Minecraft in the future, possibly in the 1.19 Wild Update. This 128 block expansion will give players the ability to build taller and deeper than ever before.

For those wondering if the height/depth limit changes will effect old worlds, the answer is complicated. The bedrock at the bottom of old worlds will be converted to deepslate, and new terrain will be generated to y: -64, while the height limit increase should not have any noticeable impact on old worlds besides allowing for taller builds. Also, loaded chunks in which the player has spent less than 2 minutes exploring will be effected by the new world generation changes. This means that if you have seen a place in your world, but never explored it, it may change according to the new world generation in 1.18, allowing players to have the new mountains and caves in older areas.

Latest released ore distribution chart.

Latest released ore distribution chart.

2. New Mining Strategies

Along with all of the changes to world generation, height, and depth, the way ores spawn will also be changing in 1.18. Previously, the most popular method of mining was to dig down to layer 12 and branch mine using 1x2 hallways to get all manner of ores. Iron, diamonds, gold, redstone, and lapis lazuli could all be found in the same areas at this y-level, so there was no real reason to mine different areas. The only exception to this was emerald ore, which only generates in mountain biomes. However, emeralds were so rare and difficult to find, that it made more sense to get emeralds through other techniques.

Caves and Cliffs, part 2 will change mining techniques going forward. The player will have to plan their mining trips ahead of time, as different ores will spawn at different levels, with the ores being most common at different layers. This means that players will have to have multiple mines dedicated to mining specific ores. Emeralds will also become more common in mountain biomes, making it not only possible but relatively easy to start an emerald mine.

On top of these changes, players will also have the chance to come upon naturally spawning, massive iron and copper ore veins. These veins will consist of either iron or copper ore mixed with andesite or granite and can be made up of hundreds of ore blocks. Players lucky enough to stumble onto these ore veins will have access to a massive amount of iron or copper ore.

A Creeper in a cave

A Creeper in a cave

1. New Mob Spawning Mechanics

Currently, hostile mobs in Minecraft (such as zombies, skeletons, and the dreaded creepers) spawn when the light level is below 7. Minecraft's light levels range from 0-15, so light level 7 seems like an arbitrary number to allow baddies to spawn. However, Caves and Cliffs, Part 2 will be changing this, so that naturally spawning hostile mobs need a light level of 0 in order to spawn. This change will make it easier for players to look at an area and see that it's dark enough for mobs to spawn, rather than trying to guess or having to bring up the debug screen to assess light levels. Now, if there's light on a block, no hostile mobs will be able to spawn. This change should make it easier to light up the larger caves to stop mobs from spawning and overtaking the player. Unfortunately, this will effect many mob farms that rely on low light levels to spawn hostile mobs, however this can be fixed by surrounding these farms with tinted glass, which allow the player to see in, without allowing light to enter.

Mob spawners, however, will actually become more powerful than they were previously. Mobs spawned from a spawner currently adhere to the light level 7 rule, but from 1.18 on will require a light level greater than 11 to stop spawns. This means that players will have to light up a larger area around the spawner to stop hostiles from generating.

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