I suppose your "true" veterans would be from 2010/2011 days. I got the game in early 2012 and joined the forum in 2014, though in hindsight I should've waited on joining the forums for a little while. and went inactive on the forums here within the past 2 years or so. Quite frankly I strongly regret not joining the game when I first heard of it in early 2011.
I've been active since I joined in late 2013, about half a year after I started playing.
Not that much has changed since then; I still play on the same version that I was on back then (well, 1.6.2, which is basically the same version as 1.6.4, which I only updated to in early 2014 after I dropped the Forge mods I was using to move to mods entirely of my own making).
Here is the first post I made, which very well could have been made today:
They actually have changed cave generation in the snapshots; I used JAD to decompile 13w39b and found the MapGenCaves class; the first two lines of the recursiveGenerate function (these are the deobfuscated names that Forge uses) are as follows:
int i = this.b.nextInt(this.b.nextInt(this.b.nextInt(15) + 1) + 1);
if (this.b.nextInt(7) != 0) i = 0;
In 1.6.2, these lines read as:
int i1 = this.rand.nextInt(this.rand.nextInt(this.rand.nextInt(40) + 1) + 1);
if (this.rand.nextInt(15) != 0) i1 = 0;
From modding the game myself (basically, making more and more varied caves, as well as ravines), the first line sets the size of individual cave systems and the second is the chance to spawn a cave system per chunk (actually less because the nested random calls produce a output that is biased low to make caves more clustered). The changes are definitely noticable; I noticed almost immediately when playing the new snapshots, using the seed I used in my first (unmodded) main world, which I assume should otherwise be the same underground (I found ravines in the same locations).
Also, why not make it so we can configure how common/dense caves are, like how we can change mineshafts in superflat (those as well, using generatorOptions in level.dat to save the settings)?. So if you entered 100 and 1, you'd get rare but massive cave systems, or 1 and 100 for small caves scattered all over the place, like this (using 0 for either completely disables cave generation, 14 and 14 would be similar to the 13w39b generator and could be the default):
int i1 = this.rand.nextInt(this.rand.nextInt(this.rand.nextInt(caveSize + 1) + 1) + 1);
if (this.rand.nextInt(100) + 1 <= caveFrequency) i1 = 0;
(you'd think that after 6 years they would have added some way to customize the underground in a game named Minecraft - much less made any changes)
The account join date may deceive you, but I first bought Minecraft in 2012 and joined these here forums in 2013 under the guise of "CanaryCasserole." I wish that I had gotten the game earlier, maybe 2010 or 2011, as I have first heard of the game in 2009-2010 and my obsession sort of grew from there.
Back then, I was an innocent young boy making his way in the world. Now I'm applying to college. Oh, how the time passes.