It has been a long time (close to two years) but I have finally started a new world with an updated version of my mod "TheMasterCaver's World", the fourth major update to and the fourth world I've made with this mod.
Unlike previous worlds, this world will be a bit different because I'll have to breed villagers and get Mending if I want to be able to repair items indefinitely (unlike the 1.9 enchantment Mending simply removes the prior work penalty; renaming no longer works. However, repair costs have been reduced by removing a charge for the number of enchantments, saving up to 15 levels for an item with 5 enchantments. Mending adds 8 levels to the cost, so most of the items that I'll be using cost about the same as before). This will be quite a big task because unlike 1.8 villagers have only a 1.75% chance per final offer traded (or their initial offer) of offering an enchanted book trade - depending on my luck I may have to trade thousands of emeralds; on the other hand, I'll also get many other valuable enchantments in the process, which will significantly shorten the time I spend mining Nether quartz for XP, maybe even so I need to mine more for my base.
This is not the first time I've traded however; while playing on my first world I started trading for diamond equipment after I found a village with a blacksmith selling diamond pickaxes after I gave them some iron I found in their chest (ironically); over the following year I bought around a thousand diamond worth of equipment with more than 4,700 emeralds bought (nearly three times the emerald ore I mined over about twice the time), and I did not spend much effort in getting emeralds (basic manual farms
Another big difference from past worlds is that I decided not to use AMIDST or mod-tweaking to get a good seed, meaning one that spawns you in a plains biome in the middle of a large landmass; by "mod-tweaking" I've made last-minute changes to previous versions to get a plains biome at spawn by changing the order of biomes in the biome lists (last time I believe I spawned in a taiga so I switched it around with plains). In any case, I did not know what biomes or structures were present, or rather, what was underground (I've reused the seed for my first world for several other worlds, including a couple that had vanilla biome and structure generation).
For this world I decided to use the seed "TMCWv4", which happened to spawn me here:
Well, I actually did spawn in a plains biome, if a very small one because it is a technical biome within a Mixed Forest biome (similar to how plains can have small forests), which has all types of small vanilla trees, meaning that I have access to every type of wood from the start (though not every type of tree can be grown; many of the trees I added only grow in their respective biomes). It may be small but if I build my base in a similar manner to my last base in my first world it shouldn't be a problem (that is, build vertical).
Here are some other screenshots of what is around me, including some nice rugged terrain and a Lake biome (another technical biome which can be found in several biomes, including Mixed Forest; there are also Lake biomes as normal biomes with small islands containing other biomes in them):
Generally, terrain is much more variable than in vanilla 1.6.4 or 1.7, with multiple biomes having mountains that can exceed the 1.6.4 terrain limit of y=127, some even up to y=191 (the maximum height I chose, rather than having up to 255 high terrain, which prevents you from actually doing anything on top). Biome generation is just as variable; I did add "climate zones" of a sort but they do not generate with just a few biomes, and otherwise there are close to 40 different "normal" biomes, plus 40 more variants (a total of 88 biome IDs are used for Overworld biomes, four times as many as vanilla 1.6.4; the Nether and End were not altered in any way). Landmasses are similarly variable; the huge expanses of empty ocean in vanilla 1.6.4 were significantly reduced, but not to 1.7 levels (you can still possibly travel tens of thousands of blocks, or have archipelagoes with 100-1000 blocks between landmasses).
That said, so far I have just made a simple shelter underground and the start of a branch-mine and the farms that I'll need for trading, which is how I get resources early on, only exploring any caves I run into far enough to see if they lead anywhere:
Crops do grow without water, just slowly; I added water to the pockets under the walls after I found iron. Also, by planting crops in rows at first they will grow faster (plus I did not have enough seeds); the growth rate is halved for solidly planted fields so later on you'll get the same yield over time (you can alternate rows with different crops though to double the overall yield):
The walls have water under them so I don't have to worry about sugarcane falling in without using lily pads, which I've usually used, as well as drops flying too far away to pick up:
The cows are for leather (bookshelves) and meat (more for trading than food) while the sheep are for wool (trading):
As for mining, iron was rather hard to come by at first - I found almost as much diamond in the first tunnel I made, and found gold and redstone before iron (ore generation is similar to that of vanilla except rarer ores are lower down due to caves going down 7 more layers before reaching lava, with one layer of bedrock at y=0):
The first ore I came across while digging down (I found coal while digging out my shelter)
Well, I can't mine this either:
Finally; now I can stop using stone tools and make a bucket (a water bucket is one of the most important items to have when mining):
Not much further on...
And more? Tow nearly adjacent veins, if with only one block in the one on the left:
However, diamond is not my main goal; I'm mainly looking for this:
Also, unlike previous versions of TMCW, where amethyst was basically just purple diamond gear that was much harder to find and much more expensive to enchant/repair, TMCWv4 nerfed diamond so that armor and tools are basically the same as vanilla iron with more durability; armor provides 60% damage reduction and a sword deals +6 attack damage, while amethyst is 66.7% and +7 (each armor point gives you 3.3% damage reduction instead of 4%, unless a mob is wearing it, then it is 4%, and zombies can have up to 22 armor points for 88% damage reduction. All other tiers been similarly nerfed; my wooden sword only adds 3 damage instead of 4, and tools mine slower, with diamond between vanilla iron and diamond).
While I would not normally consider using Fortune on diamonds because they are not that hard to find, I would use it if I get it early on, in particular, because of the rarity of amethyst (about half as common as diamond on the lowest layer, 1/3 as common in the lowest two layers, and 1/8 - 1/9 as common above that); I've yet to enchant anything at level 30 since I need bookshelves but am saving worn-out diamond pickaxes for enchanting (diamond must be used since amethyst is obsidian with a data value).
This shows my mining style; I make a set of long parallel tunnels spaced every 4 blocks between a couple shorter cross-tunnels at the ends, which I notched out where the tunnels will go:
A rendering of my mine so far; the tunnels look pretty clean because I've been filling in mined-out pockets, except where I found the amethyst ore (near the center), which I haven't mined yet:
There have not been that many caves in the area; I did not encounter any while digging down, and a couple isolated caves while branch-mining, which is actually not unexpected for 1.6.4-style cave generation because while cave systems are much larger and denser this also means that there are much larger areas free of caves, in contrast to the much more uniform cave generation since 1.7; TMCW also has an even larger variation than 1.6.4, though the area within 512 blocks of the origin has near-vanilla cave generation.
Notably, I have not made any armor or a sword above wood yet, although I've only killed a few hostile mobs (a couple skeletons and a zombie, both after sunrise); it is entirely possible to get full diamond gear without ever fighting a single mob, especially in 1.11 due to the 5-fold reduction in hunger drain from most activities.
Naturally, while the start of this world may be different I'll end up playing on it the same as I've always had - exploring caves, which will be much more interesting because of all of the new types of caves and other features that have been added, including on the surface:
A graphic of all of the different types of caves and cave systems; previous versions of TMCW only had larger caves (not circular rooms) and ravines, and "colossal" cave systems, which are similar to a cave system I found in my first world:
A couple maps showing only special caves and all caves and mineshafts; all of the other caves are similar to vanilla but also have variations to several parameters over 16x16 chunk regions; mineshafts also have a larger variation in size, and are placed so that overlap is unlikely, as well as not generating in areas of high cave density (this drove me to mod my otherwise vanilla first world so they wouldn't wreck large cave systems; I've still found complexes of up to a dozen interconnected mineshafts thanks to their random placement):
It is interesting to note that the massive cave near the lower-right has more air volume by itself than the entire giant cave region near the center, or both of the colossal cave systems combined (each has 200 vanilla-size caves); likewise, the largest ravine to the west of the giant cave region is even bigger, going from lava level to sea level. Both of these were the largest examples found in 1 million chunk area centered around the origin, centered about 3,000 blocks away.
Note the stronghold near the lower-right - a virtually infinite number of strongholds generate across the world, one every 8192 chunks, with a minimum distance from the origin of 640 blocks, the pre-1.9 distance; it is not guaranteed that there will be one within 1152 blocks, but certainly within 2048, the maximum search range of Eyes of Ender (I scan every chunk in a spiral outwards from the player up to 128 chunks away for a stronghold, instead of using vanilla's caching of pre-calculated coordinates since the biome affects their exact location and it is expensive to compute, while my method is just a few lines of code). Incidentally, just to the north of the giant ravine is the smallest intact stronghold I've ever seen, not much more than a portal room, a hallway, and a few other rooms (while not the case here unlike vanilla they cannot be disrupted by caves; which actually do not cut through them, they just don't overwrite air; or water and lava).
I haven't posted any updates for the past few days since not much had happened; I spent most of the time mining and making farms for resources for trading and only today have I cured a couple zombie villagers and started breeding them; I still only have two Ender Pearls so finding a stronghold is still a ways off (I'd prefer to have at least 4-5, especially since I have no idea how far away the nearest stronghold might be, which can be much more variable than in vanilla due to the changes I made to their placement). I also had a bit of a hard time getting zombie villagers, in part due to a bug I did not discover until I started playing (I reduced the pathfinding radius of zombies when they are far away from the player so they do not load chunks outside of the players' chunk load radius, which is one source of lag), but I forgot to add a 1 in the calculation so it was limited to only 16 blocks; unlike vanilla 1.6.4 their pathfinding range also varies with how much time you've spent in the world, reaching a maximum after 100 hours, with a range of 30-60 on Normal).
The first villager that I cured; while its offer is nice it is not what I want, and even if I was in a biome with emeralds I wouldn't want to spend them on villagers:
The next villager was a butcher, again with no trade for emeralds, but now they will breed:
I'm just using this to breed villagers, otherwise I make actual houses for them
Not one, but two librarians, which is exactly what I want:
Well, not the trade that the grown-up one has; I already have the bookshelves that I need, but mainly because they want emeralds which I do not have (otherwise, I can get a full refund from this trade by breaking the bookshelves and making written books, which will give me 3 emeralds back for the extra cost of ink sacs and feathers, both easy to get. In terms of leather and paper written books are much cheaper than books or paper):
I spent 30 levels on this; the last two had Efficiency IV and Unbreaking III and Efficiency IV, also not what I want, which is Silk Touch and/or Fortune (the latter for amethyst ore, Silk Touch for Ender chests; unlike other gear there is no advantage to using amethyst for this item). Also, by enchanting worn-out pickaxes I can easily combine them to strip the enchantments away, then try enchanting again:
Whether or not I actually use Fortune will depend on how much amethyst I find; so far I have found only 17 ore, compared to 88 diamond ore, which is relatively less amethyst than I found in my previous world (27 amethyst and 85 diamond), or rather, relatively more diamond when compared to some other ores:
This has to be the cleanest branch-mine I've ever made, in terms of how many caves I've run into, which is good since I'm mining below lava level (as mentioned before I've also been filling in holes; the locations of the 3 veins of amethyst I've found can also be seen). Two of the caves connect to another caves but I only explored them to that point or to the end:
For comparison, this was the mine I made in my previous world, which ran into cave systems at both ends:
Regardless of how much branch-mining I do, the caving I do later will far surpass it; this was only a week after I started caving in my previous world, starting from a cave I found while branch-mining:
Also, here is a map and another view of my base so far, which will later be replaced with a "real" base. The plains that I spawned in is also a bit larger than my first impression, just rather hilly in the area to the north, which is probably the best spot to build my permanent base:
Also, I found out that there is a jungle to the west while pillaring up; you can also see how dense the trees are in Mixed Forest, which can generate closer together than they otherwise could with the vanilla tree placement method (trees only generate on grass or dirt exposed to the sky, while I find the actual ground. Other biomes have a more typical tree density with some of the big tree biomes having no more than 1 big tree per chunk):
The next thing I plan to do is more branch-mining and perhaps mine quartz in the Nether and do more enchanting, mainly to pass time while the villagers breed up since I plan to get most of my enchantments from trading this time.
Also, another thing I thought to mention about my spawn point - it is rather unusual because I spawned around -8, -224, north of the origin, while you usually spawn to the south due to the game checking a 512x512 block area centered around the origin from north-south when looking for a "spawn biome" (plains, forest, jungle, taiga, which has never been changed since 1.7 despite many more biomes being added). However, I changed this so that random points are checked within the area, eliminating the southwards bias (I also thought of adding more biomes to the list, perhaps even any grassy biome, but decided to leave it alone. Also, if no valid biome is found you'll likely spawn right at the origin if it is in a grassy biome, or some (possibly large) distance away if not).
This also has some influence on my mine, since by expanding it to the south I know that I won't be running into any modded caves (i.e. the very large ones) because they only generate outside of a 512 block circular radius around the origin, although there can still be large vanilla-type cave systems. Also, there may be an abandoned mineshaft nearby since they only generate in regions with low cave density and unlike vanilla they are not rarer close to the origin (but are limited in size), although the chances of running into one while branch-mining are very low since I'm mining on layers 1-2 and they do not generate any deeper than in vanilla (aside from the lower lava level, since lava will prevent parts from generating in a similar manner to water).
I found something that will be a big help in finding a stronghold - while I was exploring a cave my mine ran into I found an Enderman dungeon - no more trying to find Endermen at night, which is not easy when most of the area is forest, plus I have not been spending much time outside at night:
Also, mob spawners do show up on the underground maps I post, which appear as bluish blocks; the dungeon is about a third of the way from the left side and a quarter of the way up from the bottom:
I've also found a fourth vein of amethyst, now up to 22, still not enough unless I use Fortune; these are all visible as small rooms along the tunnels (everything else is filled back in; I place a couple torches at the end of a tunnel that contains amethyst so I know which ones to return to when I mine it, as well as the tunnel that leads to the Enderman dungeon cave).
Maybe a bit too much for a dungeon since they are not automatically hostile, and making them so would cause them to swarm the player from nowhere. They are relatively uncommon though, with a 1/11 chance of a dungeon having an Enderman spawner; there is also a 1/11 chance each of creepers or witches, a 2/11 chance each of spiders or skeletons, and a 4/11 chance of zombies (vanilla has a 1/2 chance of zombies and a 1/4 chance each of spiders and skeletons).
Also, even if it weren't an Enderman spawner I wouldn't have destroyed the spawner like I usually do because they can be mined with Silk Touch, dropping an "Empty Monster Spawner" block, which is a decorative block, light source (a flint and steel can be used on them to light them up with spawner particles), or trophy block (show off how many spawners you've found). In any case, these are a different block and cannot be turned back into normal spawners.
I also found something else which is even rarer - the rarest structure in the game in fact* - a jungle temple, while I was looking for some chickens (jungles have a higher chance of spawning chickens than other biomes):
*This includes strongholds; unlike vanilla (either 1.6.4 or 1.9+) there are a virtually infinite number of strongholds per world with one every 8192 chunks outside of a 640 block radius of the origin (the minimum distance before 1.9; none are guaranteed to be within the maximum radius of 1152 blocks though). Jungles are about 3.6% of "normal" climate zones and 6.6% of "hot" climate zones and jungle temples generate once every 484 chunks of jungle, or one every 13444 chunks in normal climate zones and one every 7333 chunks in hot climate zones. There are no jungles in "cold" climate zones. For comparison, in vanilla 1.6.4 jungles are 1/7 of normal "climate zones" (non-ice plains areas) and jungle temples have a frequency of one every 1024 chunks of jungle, or one every 7168 chunks (all of these figures are slightly reduced by rivers).
Like many other things, they are a bit different from vanilla:
I also found some good loot in it (generally better than in vanilla):
I found another biome as well (where I did find chickens); Birch Forest, along with small patches of Poplar Grove:
Notice the taller birch trees; that's not Birch Forest M but simply an area of Birch Forest Hills where they can grow taller; there is a 1/3 chance that a 2x2 chunk region will have taller trees. The taller, narrower trees are poplar trees, which have a 1/4 chance of growing (100% in Poplar Grove) when you grow a birch sapling (unlike many other trees I added they can grow anywhere).
Also, these are all of the villagers that I've collected for trading so far:
I've gotten two enchanted book trades worthy of keeping so far; Looting II for 24 emeralds and Efficiency V for 27 emeralds, the latter a real bargain as it is my second-most used enchantment after Unbreaking and the cost can be as high as 71 emeralds (a bug they fixed in 1.8 by capping the cost to 64). Another villager offered Efficiency I for 14 emeralds; needless to say they did not live (can you believe that the minimum cost of a level V book is 17 emeralds while the maximum cost of a level I book is... 19 emeralds! That's 304 emeralds for 16 books, plus the XP needed to combine them, to get the same thing). While I do not use Looting during normal gameplay I bought a couple books so I could use them on a diamond sword and get a lot more meat and leather.
I made a discovery that has some implications for trading - the enchantment that a villager offers can be replaced with a different enchantment after trading their final offer. The villager that was offering Looting II for 24 emeralds now offers Thorns III for 23 after I had extensively traded their final offer (written book for an emerald, which I think is the best librarian trade due to how cheap they are in terms of leather and paper). I'm not sure when it changed but I had bought at least a couple stacks of emeralds from them by the time I noticed. The implications of this are that you want to trade an enchanted book trade as many times as needed in one go to minimize the chances of it changing. Conversely, this can be an advantage since I could get something else later on which is useful.
I did not know about this until now since the Wiki made no mention of it (pre-1.8 trading), but it is listed as a bug on the bug tracker, since the trades will often get worse (lower emerald cost = generally worse enchantments) over time (I would not say "only worse" because enchantments with only one level, like Mending and Infinity, will cost less; as long as their offer costs more than 5 emeralds they can still choose a new offer for a lower cost):
The discovery that I made yesterday turned out to be very useful because...
That was the first librarian that I traded with, who initially offered Looting II for 27 emeralds, then Thorns III for 24; after discovering that they could change their trades to a less expensive option I kept trading their final offer (written books, which as I mentioned is the cheapest way to get emeralds from librarians, if not any villager), which then became Fire Aspect I for 15 emeralds and finally Mending for 5 emeralds, which will never be changed since there is no lower cost offer possible.
I think this is a more effective way of unlocking low-cost enchantments than breeding many villagers, especially as you can keep on trading a single offer which gives you emeralds instead of having to spend emeralds to unlock trades; the villager who was selling Efficiency V similarly started offering Infinity. There is also some luck involved, since I only unlocked around 10 different book trades; while testing the mod I had to trade far more emeralds before I unlocked Mending, at least a thousand across dozens of villagers (and after I used MCEdit to copy a villager whose only unlocked trade was books, duplicating them around 50 times, so I only had to unlock one more trade, and had to paste in another schematic with 50 villagers after the first 50 did not offer it. This works because their trades are randomly determined when they are created, so they have different offers; in a similar manner villager trades are not based on the world seed and one way to exploit this is to recreate a world with a village nearby until you get good trades).
I still had to trade more than 500 emeralds and thousands of resources though, including a couple thousand passive mobs killed:
Because I got it rather sooner than expected I've decided to mine quartz in the Nether to get the rest of the enchantments that I need, although until I get everything I'm still doing some trading; another book that would be nice to get is Unbreaking III, the enchantment I use the most (and Mending in this case). Another reason to mine quartz is for building with, as I've made most of my bases with it, since I like the look of it; I even built a secondary base in my first world out of quartz (usually I just use cobblestone for them).
Also, when enchanting books, it can be much better to enchant at a lower level, such as 22 in the case of Unbreaking III:
Possible enchants for book at level 22...
Power III: 10.6%
Efficiency III: 10.4%
Sharpness III: 6.7%
Protection III: 6.6%
Smite III: 5.3%
Unbreaking III: 5.2%
Possible enchants for book at level 30...
Protection III: 9.8%
Sharpness III: 9.4%
Efficiency IV: 6.5%
Power IV: 6.4%
Knockback II: 5.4%
Unbreaking III: 5.3%
30 levels requires 825 XP while 22 requires only 437, equivalent to about 236 vs 125 quartz (about 20 and 10 complete veins), which still means that I'll have to mine a lot (about 2400 quartz per book), although I don't need it (and can't use it) on all items, as seen in this table of the various costs for the items I use:
Max cost for amethyst items = 49 levels, other items = 39
Efficiency V, Unbreaking III, Mending 43 levels (amethyst)
Efficiency V, Silk Touch, Unbreaking III, Mending 34 levels (diamond)
Efficiency V, Silk Touch, Unbreaking III, Mending 29 levels (shears)
Sharpness V, Looting III, Unbreaking III, Mending 38 levels (diamond)
Sharpness V, Knockback II, Unbreaking III, Mending 48 levels (amethyst)
Power V, Infinity, Unbreaking III, Mending 33 levels (bow)
Protection IV, Mending 35 levels (amethyst)
Protection IV, Unbreaking III, Mending 42 levels (amethyst)
Protection IV, Feather Falling IV, Mending 44 levels (amethyst)
All are for one unit, except for shears and bow. Cost without Mending is 8 levels less for an item repair and 9 less for a unit repair.
Note that the cost to repair Protection IV, Mending armor rises from 35 levels to 42 when Unbreaking III is added, an increase of 68.5% (1205-2031 XP) for only 43% more durability, which is already effectively more than double that of vanilla diamond (1124 for any piece per unit vs 528 for a diamond chestplate, A full repair would restore up to 4499 durability but that is impossible to do with any amethyst item). Protection IV, Feather Falling IV, Unbreaking III, Mending boots would be impossible to repair at all; normally I only have Feather Falling IV on them but due to the reduced armor effectiveness I'm adding Protection to them as well (I've often said that if I played on Hard I would just improve my armor, which is basically what I'm doing here; without enchantments my armor reduces damage by 56.7%, compared to 68% in vanilla, effectively increasing damage by 35%. With Protection IV added damage is reduced by 76.2%, compared to an average of 77.6% for the armor I wear in vanilla, a negligible difference, especially since I made Protection reduce damage by a constant amount, 60% in full armor, instead of a random 40-80%, so the worst-case protection is higher even with the same number of enchantment points).
The Looting sword is also not worth putting either Unbreaking or Mending on since I won't be using it much more. Similarly, I've decided not to use Mending on my "Ender Pickaxe", with Efficiency V, Silk Touch, Unbreaking III (made from pickaxes enchanted on the table) since I use it so little that it isn't worth it (even in my first world I've used up less than a full pickaxe's worth of durability on Ender chests and emerald ore, the only things I normally use it on, aside from glowstone in the Nether, which I rarely return to after I've enchanted everything, or misplaced glass or transporting grass blocks). I'll be using it a bit more since monster spawners can be mined with Silk Touch (they drop a new block I added, "Empty Monster Spawner", not themselves, so you can collect them and use them for decorative purposes or just to collect them).
I decided that it was time to find a stronghold, which, like many other things, would be a more interesting experience than in vanilla.
The first Eye of Ender that I threw went to the northwest, so I started after it, and almost immediately came upon a Desert - which also had a village, a relatively simple one with a few small huts/houses; for now I have left it alone but later I'll build a wall around it and light it up:
Also, unlike vanilla 1.8 ravines (not just caves) can appear at the surface of deserts, and, along with caves, have sandstone walls and sand-covered floors down to around y=40 (aside from the surface layers this is only a thin lining over bare stone, which is placed after ores are generated so they can be exposed):
Just after the desert was one of my own biomes - Tropical Swamp, a swamp variant with jungle-green foliage, small jungle trees in addition to swamp trees, and numerous small pools of water. Witch huts and fossils also generate in this biome (the latter can be found in all variants of swamps and deserts):
One of the oddities of world generation - floating sugarcane over a lake, which occurs when a lake is generated underneath a feature which was placed earlier; while I place lakes before sugarcane the way the game populates chunks causes features to spill over into neighboring populated regions. Notably, I generate trees before lakes and check for logs over a lake and fill them in downwards so small jungle trees can appear to generate in water (only swamp trees can generate in water):
Further on, I came across another Mixed Forest, then another Jungle and a Big Oak Forest, another one of my own biomes which is a forest consisting entirely of big oak trees, slightly larger than normal big oaks, including an extra large variant with a 2x2 trunk (which is actually present in the vanilla code, it just doesn't use it). Fun fact - I added this biome in response to Mojang removing them in 1.7; my big oaks do not suffer from leaf decay (which still happens in 1.9+ if you break any blocks) since I added extra logs in the center of the leaf clusters; branches also use all-bark logs, as do many other trees (these blocks are unobtainable unless you use commands and I believe they will be placed as normal logs if you try to place them):
The fact that most of the biomes I've found are either "hot" biomes or more common in "hot" climate zones makes me suspect that I did in fact spawn within a hot climate zone, in which case the only way to find any snow is to find a Rocky Mountains biome, which has snow-covered peaks (conversely, "cold" climate zones exclude the more extreme hot biomes like jungle and desert; either way, they have many more biomes than vanilla 1.7 has. All the biomes I've found also occur in "normal" climate zones, so I may also be in one of those, which have nearly any biome).
As it happened, the second jungle was where an Eye of Ender went down, so I dug down, and...:
Right on the mark (Eyes of Ender will lead you to the start of a stronghold, which is a spiral staircase, instead if you previously loaded chunks the stronghold is in; I'm not sure why it does this but it is caused by the saving of structures in 1.6.4 and later versions). I only lost a single Eye of Ender, largely because I only threw it a few times since I knew that the closest stronghold could not be less than 453 blocks away on either axis (sqrt(453^2 + 453^2) = 640.6). 10 more were needed to fill in the portal so I had 7 left over, which can be used for Ender chests (I already made a couple).
Remember that I said things would be more interesting than vanilla? That also applies to strongholds themselves; I had quite the welcoming committee waiting for me in the portal room:
That is largely because I modified mob spawners to spawn more often, once every 5-10 seconds with up to 6 mobs spawned per cycle and a maximum of 12 mobs for silverfish spawners (all of these values vary with mob type).
Also, instead of simply mining the spawner I used my Silk Touch pickaxe on it, so it would drop an "Empty Monster Spawner" block, which looks just like a mob spawner but does not spawn mobs and is not a tile entity and can be mined with a regular pickaxe; it can be used as a decorative block and/or a light source (flint and steel can be used to "light" them, which turns them into a lit version with mob spawner particles and a light level of 15):
(I noticed that it was right on Day 100 after I took this screenshot)
Also, this is the path I took to the stronghold, which was located about 1,040 blocks away from the origin and 1,216 blocks from spawn, easily making it the furthest away stronghold I've ever found; this is because I modified the way they are placed, instead of just 3 strongholds within 640-1152 blocks of the origin, an infinite (limited by world size) number of strongholds generate, with 2 strongholds per 128x128 chunk region (the size of a level 4 map) at relative offsets 0,0-31,31 and 64,64-95,95 (the regions themselves are also offset relative to the origin), except within 640 blocks of the origin. the maximum distance of the nearest stronghold can exceed 1024 blocks along either axis (i.e. off a level 4 map centered around the origin but is almost certainly not going to be more than 2048 blocks (the maximum search radius (square) I use when Eyes of Ender are thrown. I know from testing that Eyes of Ender will not work at all (unthrowable) if none can be found but I have not found any seeds like this and the way they are placed makes it unlikely):
Another thing that is different about strongholds, as well as abandoned mineshafts, is that they have redstone torches instead of regular torches, which is so that a mapping utility that I use to show what I've explored underground does not map them until I've explored them; for a while I had completely removed them until I had the idea to use redstone torches instead (this is also one of the modifications I did to my otherwise vanilla first world, except I just left them out):
Here is a full-size map of the underground (you'll have to click to enlarge it); only my mine and the stronghold show up (redstone torches are rendered, but only if within the mapping radius of a regular torch, which is 6 blocks):
Libraries are also quite fun; they have a bad silverfish infestation, in the form of spawners (usually 2) embedded in the floor, sometimes under the bookshelves; in order to get rid of them I had to pillar up and destroy all the bookshelves:
The first library that I found had a Mending book in it, although at this point I'd prefer Silk Touch since I need it for my shears so I can collect cobwebs (as with Mending the easiest way to get it is from villager trading; as I did with Mending I can also trade multiple times with the same villager until the cost drops below 19 emeralds, after which it is less likely to change):
Libraries aren't the only areas that I spiced up with spawners; they can also be found under the chests in hallways, which included two skeleton spawners, a zombie spawner, and a witch spawner; overall I found 9 spawners in the stronghold:
One other way strongholds are different is that they are not torn apart by caves and ravines, or rather, they always overwrite blocks when walls are generated, since what actually happens in vanilla is that they do not overwrite air blocks to make it appear as if they are cut apart (interior parts, as well as the entire portal room, are not affected). A ravine cuts through at least part of the stronghold I was exploring but I never realized it until I found a dead end which was open. They can also completely generate underwater (not just the portal room), and under lava (though it is only 3 layers deep so only the deepest floors will cut through low-level lava):
This was all the stuff I got, excluding mob drops and a few items I picked up from the biomes I found (cacti, melon, and lilypads); I did not bother taking every iron door (no wooden doors) or every bookshelf (2 large libraries):
At this point I may as well go to the End and kill the Ender Dragon; I still have more enchanting to do but none of the gear I'm enchanting is for the End. If I went now it would actually be sooner than in my previous world, which was at Day 109 when I defeated it, but I had fully enchanted my gear at that point. The one enchantment that I really want is Silk Touch, so my shear so i can harvest cobwebs (until recently I just mined them without it and crafted string into wool, but that is rather wasteful and similar to directly mining emerald ore).
As mentioned in my last post, I was ready to go to the End, although I waited a day before doing so. I went in with iron armor with a Protection II, Aqua Affinity helmet, Protection III chestplate, Protection III leggings, and Protection II, Feather Falling III boots, which is more than the level 1 enchantments that I usually use but the base protection of iron armor was reduced to 50%; the enchantments provide a further 30% damage reduction for an overall reduction of 65%, about the same as full Protection I iron armor in vanilla (63.2-66.4%); I used surplus enchantments I got and combining to upgrade it. I also brought a sword with Sharpness I and Knockback I (8.25 attack damage) and a water bucket, mainly in the case I had to deal with any Endermen, and a Power IV bow and three stacks of arrows (I could have put Infinity on it but I had plenty of arrows, flint, and feathers from trading), 4 Ender pearls in case I spawned off the island, plus an iron pickaxe and some food.
Overall, my experience was pretty much the same as the other times; I think the Endermen were more of a threat than the dragon itself (a couple started attacking me and I lost 4 hearts, but never lost more than 2 at a time from the dragon itself).
One difference was that I spawned inside the island, which has happened only once before (I did not bring a pickaxe with me that time...):
The dragon was also strangely absent for a time; it did not bother me for the first few minutes while I destroyed the Ender crystals (note the lack of a health bar):
There were a total of 20 crystals/pillars as seen in this post-battle rendering of the End (the number and locations of towers are not based on the world seed so every instance of the same seed will be different. One of them, in the lower-right, was also placed low on the side of the island and was short enough that the crystal could be hit without using arrows or climbing it (I shot it); I did not notice it until i saw a healing beam coming from it):
For comparison, this was the End in my previous world (different seed); the island was smaller with 16 towers and the spawn platform was over the void (the platform is always centered at 100, 48, 0, including in current versions. In my experience it is usually either off the island or sticking out of the side, as in my first world):
It did show up later though; my method of attacking it is to wait until it charges at me then shoot it in the face, which causes it to back off:
Repeat 10-15 more times and...
I got the rarest obtainable block in Survival:
Also, while some of the XP fell into the portal I found it right at the exact world spawn point, which is 0, -224, close to where I previously estimated it to be (the game considers the spawn point to be the northwest corner of that block, as seen by the location of the End stone, rather than the center. Also, if the dragon egg falls into the portal it will likewise be teleported):
While that may be the "end" of the traditional game it is only the beginning for me - my next job is to build a base, and only after that will I start doing my favorite thing in the game:
I first marked out the rough location of my base, which I've decided will be 30 blocks deep, with the width depending on how much space I need (the depth is more important since there are forested hills behind it):
I then cleared the area; later I'll trim back and smoothen out the cliffs left behind but right now they are useful for getting up as I build upwards (one end of the base will be right against the wall on the left):
Also, just a note - I'd like more feedback, since there hasn't been much considering that there seemed to be more interest while I was posting updates to the development of my mod in the "what have you done recently" thread (which seems like a better place to post than in a dedicated thread).
I finished building my base, which concludes the "early" game for me; from now on I'll be doing what I like to do the most - caving:
A rendering made with MCMap:
A couple views of the outside:
Workroom; on the right is where I'll be putting the maps I make as I explore; instead of using level 4 maps I've decided to use level 3 maps, which still gives me a 3072x3072 area to explore before I run out of space, and take more than a year to fully explore; this is also more ideal than using level 4 maps because if I put a base near the center of each map they will all be 1024 blocks apart, about the maximum distance between bases in my first world, which has about 3 bases per level 4 map:
(the blue Ender chest in the lower-left is a Diamond Ender Chest, which is made with an Ender chest surrounded by 8 diamonds and has a double chest of capacity separate from normal Ender chests; I won't be using it until I build a secondary base as they are not as portable as regular Ender chests)
Enchanting/brewing room (one Nether wart is more than enough for any potions I might brew; so far I have only used 2 splash potions of Weakness and 2 Fire Resistance potions):
Main storage area; each corridor contains 10 double chests, with coal, iron, and redstone having their own corridors, while other resources are mostly in one corridor, with a final corridor for cobblestone, dirt, gravel, and similar blocks. Unlike vanilla I do not have a corridor dedicated to rails because I can store them as Rail Blocks, 9 rails per block and 31,104 per double chest, and mineshafts are not as common (about 60% as common overall, which is still 50% more common than in 1.7+):
Furnace room; most of the iron and gold I mine are smelted while caving but I often still bring back significant amounts of unsmelted ore, in addition to cooking food in large batches at a time:
The roof contains an animal pen (double-lined with glass blocks since they can get through a single layer), tree farm (a couple 2x2 spruces, which are one of the best way to farm large amounts of wood; there are much larger trees but they have lots of branches and wood type doesn't matter when you use it for torches), and a small village (I no longer need them for trading):
Most of the villagers are free to roam around but I locked the Mending villager inside of one of the houses:
Compared to my previous world, it took 23 more in-game days (186 vs 163), with much of the additional time spent on trading with villagers. In real-time, 2.44 days were spent playing, which means that "regional" difficulty has risen to 58.56% of its maximum (unlike vanilla regional difficulty dependent effects are only based on the total time spent in the world and reaches a constant maximum after 100 hours on Easy or Normal, 75 on Hard. Sleeping in a bed or using /time set commands do not have any effect beyond moon phase, prior to reaching the maximum).
It will still be a while, depending on how I move underground, before I find any "non-vanilla" caves or ravines since they do not generate within a 32 chunk circular radius of the origin, which is most of a level 3 map centered around it (parts of them may extend further in since they are not a single chunk in size; the longest ravines can extend up to 10.5 chunks from their center). This does not exclude the possibility of any large cave systems though (the largest cave system I've ever seen in vanilla 1.6.4 was near the origin). While not being rarer near the origin like in vanilla mineshafts are restricted in size, with a maximum of 7 sections (a section is 1-4 corridor supports, a crossing, or staircase) and a maximum span of 70 blocks from the center (8/80 for vanilla, while the smallest and largest mineshafts range from 5/64 to 11/110, with 8/80 being the most common). One thing that does generate within this region are "double dungeons", which are 5% of dungeons in most areas, and fossils can be found in deserts and swamps.
Also, this shows all of the gear that I use while caving; I did not bother naming many of them since it only has a cosmetic function and you aren't going to be holding armor when using it; in vanilla I even rename my shears twice so they have their original name (considered to be a custom name since it is an NBT tag):
(the actual damage dealt is 14.25; 1 for your unarmed damage plus 7 for the sword itself and 6.25 for Sharpness V; 1.7+ would show the latter two combined)
Note that I did not put Mending on this since I do not use it that often, mostly on Ender chests and emerald ore, both of which together amounted to less than a full repair's worth of durability in my first world, and in this case, mob spawners, although I could, but then I wouldn't be able to fully repair it with a new pickaxe (38 levels after one prior working to upgrade it to Eff V), only one diamond at a time for 34 levels (in vanilla it would cost 33 levels for one diamond, but two can be used for 39 levels. Mending could still be applied after it became too expensive since the enchantment cost is less than the repair cost but I doubt I'll ever need it):
I could put Unbreaking on my chestplate and leggings (both the same), but not my boots, which already cost 44 levels to repair with a single unit (amethyst items have an increased cost limit of 49 levels, as opposed to 39 for other items):
In vanilla I don't put Protection on my boots but armor offers less protection, which is canceled out by adding it:
I thought it was interesting that I've averaged more playtime than usual, about 3.9 hours per day, so far even though I only spent a few minutes exploring a few caves that intersected my mine (in my first world I averaged about 3.5 hours per session) - my longest play sessions tend to be ones where I'm building something:
I've also mined more than 8 times more quartz than coal, normally my most-mined block by far, with iron ore being second and stone a close third in my first world. That much Nether quartz will give you about 36,207 XP, or about two-thirds of the total I got before killing the Ender Dragon:
Also, I've continued to make some minor updates to TMCW while playing, such as tweaking the "cooldown" feature again so attacking a mob too quickly, but not just during its damage immunity interval, increments a counter which will cause the penalty to be applied if it gets too high (hitting a mob while it is damage immune and the last source of damage was player-inflicted causes it to last for 5 seconds; damage is linearly reduced from 100% at 1+ seconds to 0% at 0.5 seconds). You can also now use bonemeal on lilypads to get more, making them renewable (in 1.7+ you can get them from fishing); dead bushes were already renewable by bonemealing sand or gravel but now you need a dead bush (they can be very useful in an all-desert world, as they drop sticks, which can be crafted into oak planks). In both cases a large (at least 15x15) flat area is desired for maximum efficiency, particularly for lilypads (I used the minimum number of attempts to reliably get the chosen amount, which is 2-4 lilypads and 3-6 dead bushes).
Any other changes I may make won't affect world generation for the most part, although while playing my last world I did add a new biome (as a sub-biome with the same height parameters as its parent biome, now also as a full-size biome) and increased the maximum height of terrain (no effect on terrain below y=128, higher terrain was uncommon so there was little risk of chunk walls; in TMCWv4 more biomes have terrain that can exceed this limit).
You'll like my dad, his favorite thing to do is cave too.
I probably take it a bit further though, given that in the late game it is almost all that I do.
In fact, in just one day of caving in this world I mined close to twice as many resources as I got from branch-mining over several days (not all the time though); in addition to some caves (nothing noteworthy, I'd even say that they were like 1.7+ caves) I explored an entire abandoned mineshaft (there was indeed a mineshaft in the area of my branch-mine, as I had suspected due to the relatively few caves in the area) and three ravines, with a second mineshaft and fourth ravine discovered but not yet explored:
I started caving from a surface cave opening which was about 20 blocks from spawn (I covered it up before but remembered where it was), which lead to a small cave system near the surface to around y=30, which in turn lead to a mineshaft:
The mineshaft had a dungeon in it (the only one I found), which had stone brick walls instead of the usual cobblestone, one of several dungeon variants I added:
The first ravine that I found, intersected by the mineshaft:
After exploring the mineshaft and associated ravine and a few caves, including one which lead to my branch-mine (I had stopped exploring that cave when it split into more caves), I went back to the cave that lead to the mineshaft and went down another branch - which almost immediately hit another ravine:
Well, actually, two ravines, one on top of the other (this was actually the second/upper one, after I dug a staircase up to get to it, since I prefer exploring from the top-down, which also helps reduce the risk of mobs jumping down on you):
Both ravines after I lit them up:
After exploring some more caves leading from these ravines I came across another ravine - with another mineshaft:
Also, this is my map at the end of the day - notice the snowy biome to the southwest, which is either an Ice Plains, Winter Forest, or Winter Taiga (more likely one of the latter two). I mainly carry a map around so I can see where I've been in general, as well as see what is at the surface (you don't want to go under a village without knowing it is there):
An updated MCMap rendering of the underground, compared to before (which also includes the stronghold I found). The surface cave I started from is at the top-center (I believe, as it looks right since it went down at that angle, though it isn't very easy to tell where something is on these renderings; I know that the fourth ravine/mineshaft are on the right side as you can see a waterfall):
Also, I'll be keeping track of everything that I find in this world, which includes the following so far (ravines are only counted when they are completely explored since I usually explore side caves before fully exploring them. Mineshafts and strongholds are only counted once their central room/portal room are found):
Big Oak Forest
Taiga (no snow)
(unknown snowy biome)
*These are technical biomes within another biome and can also be found as full-size biomes (the Lake might be one due to its size but I did not see any islands with different biomes in it, only Mixed Forest, which does not generate as an island in the full-size biome). Technical biomes which are simply slight variations of their parent biome, such as Desert Hills, will not be counted.
After another day of caving I've found a new biome - Rocky Mountains, one of the new biomes in TMCWv4, which has stone and andesite covered mountains with snow-capped peaks, some exceeding y=160 in height (some smaller biomes may not have any snow or exceed cloud level; the snow is because of a separate biome, not elevation); the highest peak that I found reached y=156, the highest terrain I've ever found in Survival, still well below the maximum of y=192 for any terrain (I decided not to have max-height (256) terrain because you can't do anything on top of it):
Rocky Mountains has its own variant of spruce tree, which is taller than regular spruces; the ground also gradually transitions from all-grass to a mix of grass and coarse dirt, then from coarse dirt to stone as elevation increases. There are also boulders made out of stone and andesite scattered around the lower parts; the generation of coal, dirt, and gravel is adjusted according to elevation (from 50% at y <= 64 to 100% at y >= 128) so none is exposed at the surface:
A rendering from a test world:
Rocky Mountains also has a new ore - ruby, which, like several other removed/unimplemented features, I added for fun (I don't really buy the color blindness argument; the texture was completely different from any other ore, the same as emerald but red). Their only use is to make blocks that look like red lapis blocks:
(the original texture is the same as emerald; I decided to make it a bit different. The veins are also a bit different from other ores, which are mainly 2x2x2 cubical shapes, while ruby generates as one center block with up to 4 more blocks next to an adjacent face).
Each ore (I found 3) drops 1-2 rubies (up to 8 with Fortune III), so I got 5 out of the vein; the ore is about as common as gold but can be found anywhere below sea level:
Also, I've already traveled more than 400 blocks (straight line distance) underground from where I started caving, and found four ravines, three mineshafts (two explored), and three dungeons:
Yet another mineshaft - the third one I've found in just two days. While this makes it seem like they are very common they are actually less common than in vanilla 1.6.4, although in vanilla they do become less common within 1280 blocks of the origin, linearly decreasing down to none at the origin; in TMCW they are 60% as common so this is equivalent to the frequency 768 blocks away (since 1.7 they are 40% as common, so TMCW still has 1.5 times as many mineshafts). Since they are more uniformly spread out their effective coverage is greater than their frequency suggests (from exploring my first world I'd estimate that well over half of all mineshafts more than 1280 blocks from the origin overlap at least one other mineshaft, which reduces the area they cover):
Their base frequency is actually about the same as vanilla but the density of caves modulates their frequency; they do not generate if there are too many caves in the area (more than 19 caves in any of 4 halves (north, south, east, west) of a 4 chunk radius, more than 12 caves within 2 chunks, or within 4-7 chunks of a special cave system, depending on type).
The generation of mineshafts also means there is more variety in what I explore in a given play session; since they so often intersect one other in vanilla I may explore almost nothing but mineshafts (as many as 3 out of a complex of 10 or more) in a given session, while the last couple days have seen me exploring plenty of caves as well.
Also, this is a fairly typical example of what I get in one session:
I had to return because my inventory/Ender chest was getting full so I dug a staircase to the surface and...
The cobblestone pillar is how I mark the exits/entrances I make for returning to later when caving; I also placed some ladders to easily get up the Rocky Mountains, which are rather steep when a river is next to them:
There was only one door in the village, which had a library and blacksmith and two villagers; I added a door to the blacksmith (note - don't do that unless the village is secure) and an extra door to the library, plus several more in the cliffs left behind after I dug out a perimeter (half the library was buried in a hillside):
That was a pretty close call; I did not even see it on the map and probably spent at least one night exploring around the area. This is also the first time I've actually seen the snowy biome I noticed on the map earlier - Ice Plains, which can generate villages at half the normal frequency; there is also a Roofed Forest next to it.
The Ice Plains also had Ice Mountains reaching above cloud level (I did not climb them but in most mountainous biomes terrain can reach around y=160, with a few biomes having mountains up to y=192. Mesa and Volcanic Wasteland are limited to y=128 so they have flatter peaks, the latter so lava pools can generate on top. Other biomes (hills) can exceed y=128 although are generally less due to less height variation):
This is not actually not the same Ice Plains that I noticed before (or at least not as seen on the map), which is the one to the west, while the one with the village and mountains is to the east (the western Ice Plains is very flat), with a Roofed Forest separating them:
Underground, I explored a third abandoned mineshaft, which was about twice as large as the other two and had four dungeons, more than doubling the number I've found so far, and two more ravines (intersecting):
While I've explored quite a lot already I'm still within the 512 block/32 chunk radius around the origin where only vanilla-like caves and ravines generate with the exception of wider normal-sized caves and ravines, but those are limited to a maximum width (you have to go at least 363 blocks away along either axis to get outside this area; sqrt(363^2 + 363^2) = 513; or 512, 0, etc; and 78.5% of a level 3 map centered around the origin is within this area).
The last five blocks listed here are all blocks that I've added; Rail Block, which is crafted with 9 rails (756 total), Diamond Ender Chest, Cobweb Block, which is crafted with 4 cobwebs (204 total), Ruby Ore, found only in Rocky Mountains, and Amethyst Ore, of which I've actually found less of than Ruby Ore while caving, with 22 mined by branch-mining:
Over the past two days I explored one of those cave systems of the sort that versions prior to 1.7 are known for, as well as a fourth abandoned mineshaft (and found a fifth) - and have already explored off the eastern edge of the map, more than 500 blocks away from my base:
I made an animated GIF of the 5 days I've sent caving so far:
Despite how much I've explored in 5 days my first world still dwarfs it (the little bit at the top):
This also means that I may find more interesting things soon, although I'm not going to explore further east until I've explored the whole map (as mentioned before cave generation is basically vanilla within 512 blocks of the origin; since this is a circle and the map is a square the corners may have new caves, as with the stronghold I found, which was more than 1024 blocks from the origin but still within a level 4 map centered around it).
Speaking of interesting, I found a creeper dungeon (which was nearly blown up, though the spawners themselves are blast-proof):
Also, I found another jungle - and another jungle temple, which are the rarest generated structure in my mod. Jungles have been quite common in my world so far, with this being the third one that I found:
Yes, that's snow on the jungle temple:
I also scaled the giant Ice Mountain that I found before - and it is even higher than the Rocky Mountains, soaring to an amazing y=165 - and giving me a view of yet another new biome:
The same mountain shown before but from the other side:
I'm at (near) the top of the world; you can see the jungle and jungle temple that I just found:
Another look at the Rocky Mountains from the top of the Ice Mountains:
Is that what I think it is?
Here is an update on what I've found in this world so far:
Play sessions spent caving: 5
Structures found (by number):
2 jungle temples
1 large cave system
Biomes found (by order found):
Plains (technical biome)
Lake (technical biome)
Poplar Grove (technical biome)
Big Oak Forest
Is it possible to add underground biomes in the game to make thing more exciting?
What exactly do you mean by that? Varying the types of caves with biome? Unless the biomes were disconnected from normal (surface) biomes that would make things more predictable; for example, TMCW does in fact have some biome-based cave variability, such as deserts having caves lined with sand and sandstone down to around y=40 and stained clay in mesas extending down to a similar level, and more mountainous/plateau biomes having more caves near to above sea level but that is only linked to those particular biomes. There are also more biomes with biome-unique ore generation, such as pockets of sand and sandstone in place of dirt and gravel in deserts above y=40, regular (non-hardened) clay in mesas, making them the best way to get large amounts of clay, and several biomes with variations in normal ores (iron, etc).
I do vary "normal" cave generation over 16x16 chunk regions which are not connected to the surface biome, by varying their average width, curviness, size and chance of circular rooms and larger caves (both the "vanilla" large cave and my own larger variant), and number of caves near lava and sea levels (the latter in addition to the biome-specific variation), with 25% of regions being unmodified (basically vanilla 1.6.4 cave generation, separate from the aforementioned biome-specific variation), while special types of cave systems can be randomly found throughout the world (actually, not entirely random; for example, only one giant cave region generates in a given 128x128 chunk area; once you find several it is possible to predict where others will be, same for some other types of caves and strongholds, but that gives a huge area to explore when you explore as I do).
The size and frequency of cave systems is not directly varied (caves with a larger average width are decreased in size) but as seen here cave density within a 16 chunk radius of a given chunk varies over nearly a 20:1 range, 4 times greater than in current versions (1.7+), with anywhere from half to twice as many caves, and also greater than vanilla 1.6.4; the overall number of caves in TMCW is slightly higher mainly due to the deeper ground (59 vs 52 layers between lava and sea levels) and additional caves generated near to above sea level:
This may also partly be due to replacing vanilla's chunk-seed algorithm with a better one; the one in vanilla is so bad that up to a third of all chunks (depending on seed) can have the same seed as its sign-reversed counterpart (e.g. -1, 5 and 1, -5) and certain seeds completely break it (e.g. the seed 107038380838084, which also shows the first issue).
On average, you can expect to find the following withing a level 4 map (128x128, 16384 chunks) outside of a 32 chunk radius of the origin (40 for colossal cave systems and strongholds, anywhere for normal dungeons. Larger than usual caves and ravines (not the largest type) are also not always noticeably larger than vanilla):
1 giant cave region (1 every 16384 chunks)
2 colossal cave systems (1 every 8192 chunks)
3 network cave regions (1 every 5461 chunks)
4 vertical cave systems (1 every 4096 chunks)
4 maze cave systems (1 every 4096 chunks)
4.8 combination cave systems (one every 3400 chunks)
6.4 of the largest type of single cave (1 every 2560 chunks)
6.5 of the largest type of ravine (1 every 2500 chunks)
6.9 circular room cave systems (1 every 2360 chunks)
6.9 ravine cave systems (1 every 2360 chunks)
34.1 small clusters of special caves (1 every 480 chunks)
34.4 larger than usual ravines (1 every 476 chunks)
126 larger than usual caves (1 every 130 chunks)
240 of all types (1 every 68.3 chunks)
404 dungeons (1 every 40.6 chunks)
100 abandoned mineshafts (1 every 164 chunks)
22 double dungeons (1 every 746 chunks)
2 strongholds (1 every 8192 chunks)
Here are a couple charts of the number of chunks needed to find a cave or ravine of at least a given width; on average a level 4 map will have a cave with a width of up to 50 blocks and a ravine with a width of up to 28 blocks, in both cases their length can be up to 336 blocks, 3 times longer than vanilla (the largest type of cave is closer to 4-6 times longer in total length when branches are included, as they branch twice instead of once). Note that the widest possible cave in vanilla has a width of 27 (26.5 or more, rounded up) but they are so rare that only 3 were found in 1 billion chunks; a cave with at least this width is about 180,000 times more common in TMCW; likewise, a ravine as wide or wider than the widest ravine is vanilla (about one per 12,700 chunks) is about 19 times more common; even then, only 0.1% of all caves and 5% of all ravines were wider than anything in vanilla (since 1.7 caves are 77% as common, or 1.3 times as much area needed to find one of a given width; ravines were unchanged):
Also, in addition to caves and ravines, mineshafts have a much larger size variation than in vanilla; the largest mineshaft near the top ranges from y=11 to 49 and has well over 300, maybe even 400, structure pieces, 3-4 times larger than average (I disabled structure saving for mineshafts so I can't tell but before I did I saw some with over 300 which were not as large), while just below it are two very small mineshafts with no more than a couple dozen (this shows mineshafts if they generated with a 100% probability; in actuality about 40% fail to generate because there are too many caves in the area, a special cave system, or a large cave of more than a certain size. Unlike vanilla they generate aligned to a grid with a random offset added, minimizing intersections with other mineshafts, especially once 40% are removed):
Unlike vanilla though they are not quite so rare; I only saw 5-6 in my first world, out of nearly 200,000 mobs killed, and even at maximum regional difficulty you can expect to find one every 15,551 zombies or skeletons. Which is just silly rare, and is why I greatly increased the chances of higher tiers of armor, as well as armor in general; on Normal difficulty the chance of armor reaches 20% after 100 hours of gameplay (which has already been reached during a full moon in my world; as it increases further will remain capped at the maximum regardless of moon phase) and the chance of diamond armor is 0.3%, 7 times higher than in vanilla, or one in 1,667 mobs after factoring in armor chances. Mobs can also wear amethyst armor, which is 3 times rarer than diamond and gives zombies up to 22 armor points or 88% damage reduction (diamond armor has 18 points, 20 when worn by a zombie for 80% damage reduction. When worn by players each armor point offers 3.3% instead of 4% damage reduction).
The chances of lower tiers are even more common; I think I saw 10 zombies or skeletons with iron armor; the chance of a full set of armor is also increased relative to vanilla (vanilla makes many features like this only increase on Hard, with Easy and Normal being the same); I saw this right afterwards:
On Hard armor is 1.5 times more common (30% chance - double that of vanilla since 1.8; in older versions the chance can actually get as high as 18.75% since the regional difficulty multiplier is not capped at 1 and can reach 1.25; in TMCW it can reach 0.5 on Easy, 1 on Normal and 1.5 on Hard) and can have (along with weapons) up to level 30 enchantments, which, when combined with similar scaling for other things makes things pretty ridiculous compared to vanilla (for example, zombies have a 5-10-15% chance of weapons, chance of baby zombies is up to 5-10-15% (their spawn chance starts at 0 in a new world), spiders have up to a 5-10-15% chance of potion effects, etc. The only Hard-only effect that is not present on other difficulties is zombies breaking wooden doors).
Zombies can also carry diamond and amethyst weapons, of all types (shovels, pickaxes, axes, swords, with a 25% chance each), which I've seen several times so far; the chance of a weapon is 5-10-15% (so again even Easy has the chance of Hard in vanilla, where even Normal is just 1%) and there is a 80% chance of iron, 16% chance of diamond and 4% chance of amethyst.
Mobs also spawn within 96 blocks of the player, instead of 128 blocks, so the density of mobs around the player is around 80% higher (assuming a circle, which more closely fits the available spawning space; a sphere is about 2.4 times higher but their despawn range is only along the x/z axes; if you want to make a darkroom mob farm you must light up caves. Note that spawn rates are not increased within the area since the game still makes one spawn attempt per chunk per tick).
You might think that I'm getting a ton of drops but I reduced the drop chance from 8.5% to 5%, except for amethyst, which has a 10% chance of dropping; diamond items can also have no more than 50% of their durability left, and only 25% for amethyst (average for other items is 25%, capped at 25 minimum). Looting, which I do not use when caving, is more effective though, increasing the drop chance to up to 11 or 22% (instead of adding 1% per level it adds (level * chance / 2.5) so it scales with the drop chance).
I also found a Mending book in a dungeon chest; one reason why I mention this is because it is often said that looting dungeons can be a good way to find enchantments but considering that I had to find 22 dungeons and that the 30-odd chests in them aren't even close to enough to find one of every enchantment, and I needed many more than one it just isn't practical (in my first world I found enough enchantments to recreate all of my gear, some pieces more than once, but it took more than 100 real-time days of playing and more than a thousand dungeons, plus around 375 mineshafts, which also have books):
Also, this shows some of the mob-specific loot that can be found in dungeon chests; skeleton dungeons can have bones, arrows, and bows (all three in this case, with bows being less common), zombies rotten flesh, spiders string and spider eyes, and so on.
Meanwhile, I've explored around half the map centered around the origin so far, at least based on what has been filled in (the actual area I've explored underground is 8 chunks less on all sides):
Also, here is what I'd explored in my previous world over about the same amount of time; in contrast to that world I've found twice as many mineshafts (6 vs 3), which can be attributed to a lower density of caves in the area I've explored so far (more caves means less mineshafts since they do not generate if there are too many caves in the area, which reduces the chance to about 75% of vanilla, as well as special types of cave systems, which further reduces it to 60%, about the same as older versions of TMCW; near the origin the chance from normal caves is reduced so they are not more common there due to the lack of special caves):
(note that this is a level 4 map, as opposed to the level 3 maps I'm using now. Also, I've since changed the map colors so hardened clay (mesas) uses the color for dirt and gravel uses the color of stone)
In that world I'd already found some of the new variants of caves and ravines (which were only larger back then), as well as 5 intersecting ravines, which I've only found three times in all of my worlds (such an occurrence is more likely in TMCW since ravines can get longer and deeper, but two of them were in my first world, with vanilla ravine generation).
I found two more biomes today, bringing the total found so far to 16, nearly all of them within a single level 3 map and within less than the area of one (4096 chunks); Winter Forest and Forest Mountains:
Winter Forest is a snowy forest biome, in much the same way there are snowy and non-snowy variants of Taiga; igloos can be found in both snowy variants (not Ice Plains):
(if you look carefully near the center you can see part of a single block of grass floating at cloud level, the edge of the second Mesa biome I've found can be see as well)
This is one of two variants of Forest Mountains, which can be identified from a distance by the presence of oak, large oak, and spruce trees; one of the variants has greater height variation while the other has an "extreme" variant as a "hills" sub-biome; I do not know which one this is (the "extreme" variant can easily exceed y=128, which is also possible with the higher peaks in the "normal" variants). This is also one of three biomes that has emerald ore (besides Extreme Hills and Volcanic Wasteland), which I have not found any of yet:
Both of these screenshots were taken from the top of a Winter Forest Mountains peak, reaching y=113, but also able to reach around y=160.
The Winter Forest is to the south of my location, with Forest Mountains just to the south, barely visible on the map:
The two patches of ice in the Ice Plains to the south of center may be Frozen Lake sub-biomes, if not just terrain that dipped below sea level.
Also, while I have not really taken any screenshots of them you can see that rivers are clearly visible on the map; they are much wider and average deeper than in vanilla (maximum depth is 7 blocks, about the same as the deepest rivers in vanilla, which are often much shallower) with very few, if any, occurrences of dried-up riverbeds outside of Rocky Mountains, which overwrites river with terrain that is one level lower (Rocky Mountains has 5 separate sub-biomes, each of which increases in height until the peak). Many of them are even wide enough to be actually navigable by boat.
I also saw something interesting today - a cave spider jockey - which is a baby zombie riding a cave spider, which has a 1/33 chance of occurring when a cave spider spawns (3 times more common than skeleton spider jockeys but naturally spawning (in caves below sea level) cave spiders are rarer:
That was while exploring a cave system which included this large cave, the largest single cave I've found so far, which made me think for a moment that I'd found one of the very large caves in my mod but it is just a larger than normal "vanilla" cave, which average 22% wider but near the origin their width is limited to 20 blocks (maximum of 33, compared to 27 in vanilla), which is still very wide (an average of 4,800 chunks have to be explored to find a cave with a width of 20 or more blocks; in TMCW this is only 415 chunks while a cave with a width of 38 or more can be found once every 4,800 chunks, both excluding the area near the origin):
The cave system, as well as a very small mineshaft (I only found 15 rails in the whole thing, compared to an average of about 300 for the average mineshaft in vanilla), and the last bits of a much larger cave system nearby, yielded more than 4,500 ore over a single play session - including 41 diamonds, by far the most I've found so far, about a third of the total I've found by caving (until now I'd been finding less than usual, both overall and relative to redstone. Also, until now I had mined more ruby ore than diamond ore (including branch-mining), despite ruby generating in only one biome at about the same rate as gold. Amethyst is by far the rarest ore I've found so far, with just 16 found while caving, 38 overall, though overall it is more common than emerald or ruby ore, with most of it below y=3):
Here is an updated list of what I've found so far and a cave map:
Play sessions spent caving: 11
Structures found (by number):
2 jungle temples
2 large cave systems
Biomes found (by order found):
Plains (technical biome)
Lake (technical biome)
Poplar Grove (technical biome)
Big Oak Forest
Highest terrain found (y=128 or higher):
156 (Rocky Mountains)
165 (Ice Mountains)
(a single floating block of Winter Forest (Hills/Mountains) at cloud level does not count)