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The Minecraft Caves and Cliffs Update

Previously published Dec. 17, 2020

Previously published Dec. 17, 2020

Welcome to the Minecraft 1.17 update, better known as the Caves and Cliffs update! We’ll be breaking down the caves, the cliffs, and the other important features coming in the summer of 2021.

Part 1: The Caves
Minecraft has finally updated their caves and underground biomes, which fans have been anticipating for a long time. There are going to be five types of caves and biomes: dripstone caves, lush caves, mesh caves, the deep dark biome, and the amethyst geode.

The dripstone caves are filled with stalagmites and stalactites. Be wary when trekking into these caves, as both the stalagmites and the stalactites can cause damage! Stalagmites drip water and randomly fall down, inflicting damage upon anything near them. Stalactites, on the other hand, inflict damage upon anything that falls on them.

The lush caves are filled with new blocks and plants, including moss blocks, glow berries, and spore blossoms! The entrance to each cave is marked by an azalea tree, and the cave can spawn a new type of friendly water mob called the axolotl.

This is what an axolotl, an endangered Mexican salamander, looks like in real life!

The deep dark biome, which is true to its name as a biome that appears deep underground. It contains the Warden, the new mob, and sculk sensors, both of which utilize a new mechanic introduced to the game—vibrations, which are caused by the player’s movement, breaking a block, and noise. The Warden is the first blind mob in the game that moves based on vibrations it senses, and it will eventually start following the player—ignoring all other vibrations—if attacked for long enough. Equipped with 84 health points, it is extremely strong and able to deal 30 damage points, according to the observations made in the Minecraft Live 2020 video. To put this into perspective, the Warden can bring a player in full netherite armor down to 3.5 hearts in one swing and is estimated to have around the same health as an iron golem. Sculk sensors, which trigger an emission of particles, similarly detect vibrations.

Information about the mesh cave has not been released yet, but it has been teased by Henrik Kniberg, one of the Minecraft game designers on Twitter, so keep an eye out for that!

In addition to the caves, there are going to be cave-like structures known as amethyst geodes. The amethyst crystals grow on all four sides of the unmovable geode blocks. Amethysts can be used to craft a new item—the telescope.

Part 2: The Cliffs
The second major part of this update is the mountain biome, which won the popular vote at the 2019 Minecon event! This is home to the goat, a new neutral mob. It is able to jump extremely high and attack other animals by charging into them, causing knockback.

Part 3: Miscellaneous
The bundle is a quality of life update that addresses players’ inventory issues. It is essentially an item that only takes up one inventory slot and can hold 64 different items.

Copper ore is the new ore being added to the game, which actually will turn green over time, just as copper does in real life. The copper, in addition to being made into blocks, can be used to make the lightning rod. This rod can be placed onto a structure in order to absorb lightning, which can be useful in preventing wooden houses from lightning strikes.

Archaeological excavations will also be introduced, and with it a new form of mining. Players will be able to find archaeological sites containing brushes, which can be used to brush away parts of blocks to find rare artifacts. However, these artifacts are extremely fragile and can break easily during the process, so be careful!

Finally, the winner of the mob vote will be added in the game: the glow squid.

That is all for this brief summary of the 1.17 update. For more detailed information, be sure to check the 1.17 changelog on the official Minecraft wiki. See you all next summer!


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