The huge Caves and Cliffs update for Minecraft revealed earlier this year has been partially delayed. Developer Mojang says the 1.17 update to the sandbox game will now arrive in two parts, with the first arriving this summer as originally planned, and the second being pushed back to the holiday season.
Mojang says it decided to split the update in two to ensure quality, manage technical complexity, and keep the development team healthy. Broadly speaking, players can expect to see some of the new blocks and mobs in the summer chunk of the update, while the more complicated parts that change the way world generation is done will arrive in the chunk scheduled for the holiday season.
“This update is huge, we are changing the very shape of the world in Minecraft,” vanilla gameplay designer Henrik Kniberg explains. The new mountains and cave systems planned for the update require a change to the world height, and that introduces new problems to solve when it comes to Minecraft’s performance. “There’s just more going on when the world is higher,” Kniberg says.
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Fortunately, not everything in the Caves and Cliffs update requires fundamental changes to how the world is generated. New mobs, like the adorable axolotls and pugnacious goats, will be included in the summer update, along with many of the new biome and building blocks. These include stuff like drip leaf, glow berries, and deepslate.
While most of the world generation will be held back to the holiday update, the summer update will include at least a taste – you can expect to see copper and geodes when the summer half of the update arrives. The new caves and mountains, as well as the increased world height, will arrive with the holiday update.
Mojang says splitting the update into two parts means it won’t have to ask its team to work overtime, which would have been necessary to ship the update as originally planned.
Ahead of the release, you’ll still be able to test out some of the upcoming features in experimental form – in the Bedrock Edition, you can toggle on the ‘Caves & Cliffs’ option in the Experiments, while the Java edition will have downloadable snapshots with some of the experimental features available.