It has been many months since fans of Minecraft have had any updates on when they might expect the launch of the previously announced 1.17 update “Caves and Cliffs.” The announcement was originally made in October of 2020, and brought exciting news from developers on how they planned to make Minecraft’s cave systems and mountain biomes more unique and interesting for players. However, since last fall, there have been minimal information updates regarding developer progress.
Big updates have always been a double-edged sword for Minecraft. Often what is included in official expansions has already been done on a larger scale, and with better quality, in community-made modpacks. Despite this, fans are always curious to see what might be included in the official expansions Mojang puts out, and often the new canon materials are reworked into existing modpacks. The “Caves and Cliffs” update will add a good deal of content to these otherwise sparse areas, improving locations that have been left out of past updated versions of the game.
According to a Snapshot update on Minecraft’s official website, it has been confirmed that each Minecraft seed will now have a new final depth 60 blocks deeper than previous versions. This change allows caves to generate more complex designs, allowing players to go deeper into the earth to look for rare ore. There will also be different types of caves, like “Cheese” caves that are filled with large caverns, and “Spaghetti” caves that are a series of long tunnels. These “Noise” caves are generated using a new mechanic, creating more unique cave structures for players to explore.
Currently it is unclear when the expected launch date will be for the 1.17 Minecraft update, although it is expected sometime in the first half of 2021. The last update for Minecraft, 1.16, released in June 2020, and 1.15 released the previous December. When Minecraft’s 1.17 update does launch, it will likely alter the way players travel through caves and mine ore from this version forward. Certain rare ores are likely to appear in larger quantities more frequently, giving player better access to things like Redstone and Diamond. It is also likely players who strip mine will be able to amass different ores more quickly, removing much of the previously required grinding.
For those who have preferred the classic look of Minecraft caves, and enjoy the moderate struggle of gaining access to important reimgs, it is always possible to continue playing older versions of the game when the update finally releases. However, for those who have wanted an overhaul of the cave systems which have become boring after extensive exploration over the years, the Minecraft 1.17 update will hopefully be an exciting change of pace when it finally releases sometimes in future months.