With the release of Minecraft Caves and Cliffs Part 2, there are many changes and new features for players to take advantage of. Let’s go through an overview of some of the changes that will impact Survival mode players. The official changelog can be found at this link.
Bedrock, and The Height Limit
In previous versions of Minecraft, you could only go down to Y 0 before reaching bedrock. In Caves and Cliffs you’ll find that bedrock is now located at Y -64, a whole stack of blocks lower than before! This change affects existing worlds as well, generating new caves beneath your world when you load it in the new version.
In addition, the Height Limit was previously set to Y 256, it is now Y 320. This gives you an extra 64 blocks of space to build upwards. The sky may always be the limit, but at least that sky is taller now!
Thanks to these changes, it is possible to build taller and deeper than before. The possibilities range from towers stretching to the heavens all the way to much larger underground fortresses. Let your imagination go wild and build!
Light and Mob Spawning
One of the largest changes to gameplay in Caves and Cliffs Part 2 is related to enemy creatures (mobs) spawning. They now require Light Level 0, also known as total darkness, to spawn in the world. Previously they required Light Level 7.
As you can see from the image above, just a simple torch now covers a much larger area than before! This should make it much easier to light up large houses and bases, and in my experience playing with this update I feel much more comfortable building large houses without having to put glowstone on the floor.
New Terrain Generation
Caves! Cliffs! It’s almost as if that is the name of the update! But, there’s actually more to it than that. It may not be immediately noticeable for the average player, but they totally revamped how Minecraft generates terrain. For example, all “Hill” biomes were removed, and were merged with their base biome (Jungle Hills is now just Jungle, Desert Hills is now just Desert, etc.). Thanks to the new generation system, you will still see terrain slope upwards into hills of varying sizes, and in many more interesting forms!
Something you are sure to notice, if you stumble across it, is the new Mountain biome. These behemoths of snow and stone tower over other biomes. There are 6 variations of the Mountain: Meadow, Grove, Snowy Slopes, Jagged Peaks, Frozen Peaks, and Stony Peaks. All of these are great scenic locations for building high, and scraping the clouds.
As for the caves, they now extend down to Y -63 before hitting Bedrock. Once you reach Y 0 and below you’ll find the stone replaced with deepslate. Caves themselves are much more varied, with multiple different shapes and generation methods. You may also find the new Dripstone Caves and Lush Caves biomes underground. Watch out for falling dripstone!
Ore Distribution Changes
With the improvements made to caves in 1.18 you’ll find that ores themselves now generate in much different ways than before. Mining will now require a bit more strategy, you’ll have to decide where you want to mine if you want to target specific ores.
As you can see, this update gives us many triangles, in addition to some squiggly lines and taller rectangles. Brilliant!
If you want a specific ore, lets say Copper, you’ll want to go to the thickest part of the orange triangle. That would put you at Y 48.
As for the squiggly lines, those are a rare new feature called Ore Veins. They only exist as Iron or Copper, but if you do locate one they can contain many stacks worth of materials.
Where are the new Blocks and Items?
Caves and Cliffs Part 2 did not add any new blocks. The only new item it added was a music disc titled Otherside, which is found in dungeon and stronghold chests. If you want to give the music disc a listen, here you go!
Caves and Cliffs Part 1 (1.17) added all of the new blocks and items you’ll find generating in your new terrain. Typically they do not split updates like this, there were delays and technical issues that led to Caves and Cliffs being split. You can find a full list of these blocks and items here.
Most of the items and blocks from Part 1 will be found in the new caves and mountains that were added in Part 2. They can still be obtained from a Wandering Trader as well.
Where is Sculk? What about the Bundle? The Deep Dark?
The Deep Dark, and everything associated with it (Sculk, The Warden, and Deep Dark Cities) are being delayed once again to 1.19, The Wild Update.
Bundles are currently unknown. They exist in the game as of 1.17, but cannot be crafted. It was also confirmed that the Bundles will not make it to 1.19. They have not been scrapped, hopefully they show up in 1.20!
Goat Horns are also currently unknown. They were also confirmed to not be in 1.19.
Archaeology is a big feature that people have been wondering about for a while, and just like the last two features it is currently unknown. According to Mojang, it will not be in 1.19.
Why were so many features put on the backburner? We can only guess, but we know they had some large technical struggles with the Caves and Cliffs Update. These unexpected issues caused them to appear to overpromise, but here’s to hoping for a smoother 1.19 and beyond!