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Everything We Know About Minecraft: Caves & Cliffs

When one door closes, another one opens. Mojang Studios previously announced that it would discontinue service for its mobile game Minecraft Earth, but a brand new update for Minecraft is on the horizon — just not in the way that fans initially expected.


Mojang Studios revealed on April 14 that its Minecraft update, Caves & Cliffs, will now be split into two parts. The post called Caves & Cliffs the "most ambitious" update the game has ever received, which makes the decision to divide it into two parts even more difficult. Due to the expansiveness of the update and struggles with the coronavirus pandemic, Mojang Studios could not adhere to its original timeline. The first part of the update will release Summer 2021 as originally planned, with a second update planned for the holiday season.

Most importantly, Mojang Studios explained that the delay would help the company to avoid crunch, which would force developers to work overtime in the months leading up to a product's release. In the past, companies like Rockstar have confronted the dangers of crunch with varying results, and overwork remains a problem in the gaming industry.


That said, there's a lot of new features on the way from these two updates. Here's everything fans can look forward to in Caves & Cliffs.

New mobs in Caves & Cliffs

Mojang Studios explained in a FAQ that the first Caves & Cliffs update features "some cute and fun mobs, cool items, and new blocks." One of the new mobs included in the first update is the cute Axolotl. Mobs are mobile creatures that add a bit of fun and fear to Minecraft. The much anticipated Axolotl will appear in the first Caves & Cliffs update, along with the Mountain Goat. Minecraft players posted celebratory gifs and artwork for the Axolotl mob to commemorate its cuteness. 


The first installment of Caves & Cliffs will also have Glow Squids, which players voted on in a 2020 contest. Glow Squids both look cool and serve the practical purpose of creating glow ink, which can be used to illuminate certain objects. YouTuber Wattles demonstrated the power of glow ink by applying it to a sign, making the sign's writing visible in the dark. All in all, it's pretty powerful stuff.

Perhaps the most exciting (and creepy) mob addition to Caves & Cliffs is the Warden, a new hostile mob that detects players via vibrations instead of sight. Minecraft YouTuber Stealth praised the Warden's large stature and unsettling ambiance. Perhaps most ominous of all, one Minecraft developer tweeted that fans haven't even seen the scariest version of the Warden yet


New materials in Caves & Cliffs

The first installment of Caves & Cliffs will also include new blocks like copper, which will age over time and change color. Minecraft YouTuber CaptainSparklez demonstrated how copper will work in the game, saying that he believes copper in Minecraft will actually teach young players about the process of oxidation, and perhaps refresh some adults' knowledge as well. 


Copper blocks will age and acquire a green patina, just as copper does in real life. CaptainSparklez said that even though copper seemed to age instantly when Mojang Studios previewed it, the material actually ages slowly in-game. The amount of time that must go into a fully oxidized block of copper could make it a valuable trading tool in the future. Of course, for those who want to retain coppers' golden hue forever, wax stops the aging process at any point.

Another new material addition, amethyst, will appear in geodes that players can crack open and explore. When hit or walked on, amethyst makes a lovely tinkling sound that sounds like music. Amethyst has a variety of crafting applications that apply to a host of new items added in the first installment of Caves & Cliffs. 


New blocks in Caves & Cliffs

New blocks will bring an entirely different feel to the caves in Caves & Cliffs. Lush Cave blocks allow players to create vibrant green caves with lots of vegetation and life. Unfortunately, Lush Caves won't generate on their own just yet, but players can still get a look at what Lush Caves will be like. YouTuber PixlRiffs demonstrated the new features Lush Caves bring to Minecraft, first showing glow berries, which can light up an area and delight foxes. PixlRiffs then celebrated moss, which now has its very own block and doesn't need to be attached to something like cobblestone.


Additionally, Powdered Snow blocks have reached the end of their development. Even though they've been available for a few months, Powdered Snow blocks have new features in Caves & Cliffs. For example, fire arrows will extinguish after passing through Powdered Snow blocks, and Zombies left in the snow for too long will turn into skeletal Strays. Foxes can now adorably traverse Powdered Snow blocks as well. 

Glow lichen will also be available to modify standard blocks in Caves & Cliffs, shining light on dim surroundings and providing yet another light source in Minecraft. 

New items in Caves & Cliffs

With a bit of copper and an amethyst shard, players can now craft the new spyglass. With the first Caves & Cliffs update, players will be able to use the spyglass to look at mobs or structures from a significant distance, making spying a breeze for anyone up to mischief in multiplayer.


The first Caves & Cliffs update will also include tinted glass. By combining amethyst and glass, players can create tinted glass, which has a variety of interesting properties. YouTuber Logdotzip showed how tinted glass can be mined with a diamond pickaxe, and how it prevents light from shining through. Having a way to dim an area without waiting for nightfall could be handy when designing certain structures. 

To protect those fancy structures, the first update will also add the lightning rod to the Minecraft officially. The lightning rod, when placed on top of a structure, attracts lightning and prevents buildings from accidentally burning. For players that prefer wooden buildings, the lightning rod should prove especially useful. 


The new updates to Minecraft may prove to solidify it as one of the games that changed our lives with its immersive world building, celebration of exploration, and fun.