It's been a bit and I'm a bit behind but I'll be sure to include information for Snapshot 4 with comparisons to what has changed since Snapshot 3!
Changes in Experimental Snapshot 4 Compared to Snapshot 3
- Temple tweaks: Desert temples tend to be partially buried, and Jungle temples and Desert temples no longer generate on water.
- Badlands and deserts are larger and less likely to show up as ugly microbiome splotches. Terracotta bands go higher. Wooded badlands grass and trees start higher.
- Made biome placement a bit smoother and less noisy (again). This should result in fewer microbiomes (again). Tweaked biome placement in general to reduce the risk of hash collisions.
- Removed surface freezing for hot biomes, and raised the altitude at which snow layers are placed. This should result in fewer weird things like jungle trees with snow on top.
- Made snowy slopes less dirty. Again. For real this time.
- Made extreme hills terrain less unextreme. And fiddled with the placement of shattered terrain and extreme hills in general, to make it fit in with the terrain better.
- Reduced the likelihood of rivers being cut off and turning into steep dry river gorges in mountainous terrain. Instead, rivers will tend to either carve a fjord through the mountain range or raise the terrain to form a saddle valley between the peaks. This should make the terrain friendlier for both walking and boating. I think it also makes rivers a bit wider in general.
- Reduced the number of diorite/andesite/granite blobs on the surface. This should reduce the spray-paint look of stone shores and such.
- Stone shores sometimes generate layers (strips) of gravel, diorite, andesite, or granite. Stony peaks sometimes generate layers of gravel, calcite, andesite, or granite. No more need to destroy geodes to get calcite
- More iron! You'll still mostly have to go caving or mountain climbing to find it. But you'll find more iron when you do!
- Swampier swamps. Tweaked swamp placement a bit, just to keep them happy. They are less likely to extend far out from the coastline now, and rivers in swamps tend to be shallower.
- Bigger copper blobs in dripstone caves. Go to that biome if you want more copper! Either that or find a large copper vein
How Do I Get the Experimental Snapshot?
Unpack the folder into your "versions" folder of your local Minecraft application data folder (see below if you are confused)
Create a new launch installation in the launcher and select the "pending 1.18_experimental-snapshot-4" version
Start the game and the remaining files will be downloaded
Play in a new world! This version is not compatible with other snapshots!
Finding the Minecraft Application Data Folder
Windows: Press Win+R and type %appdata%\.minecraft and press Ok
Mac OS X: In Finder, in the Go menu, select "Go to Folder" and enter ~/Library/Application Support/Minecraft
Linux: ~/.minecraft or /home/<your username>/.minecraft/
What About the Previous Caves & Cliffs Preview Datapack?
These changes are too big for a datapack, that's why we're doing it in a separate experimental snapshot. So for now, the experimental snapshot serves the same purpose as the datapack did before.
Can I Open Old Worlds In This Experimental Snapshot?
No, experimental snapshots can only open worlds that were created in the same version. Later on in the actual 1.18 release you will be able to open 1.17 worlds.
What About Bedrock?
An earlier version of the experimental Caves & Cliffs world generation is available on Minecraft Bedrock. You can read about it here. We are working hard to get this new version of the world generation to Bedrock betas soon.
How Do I Give Feedback?
We are mostly interested in feedback about the new world generation overall, and what it is like to play in it. We are also looking for feedback on the updated mob spawning. We changed so that mobs only spawn in complete darkness in order to make it easier to spawn-proof the new larger caves.
New feature requests are not so useful at this point, since the scope of the Caves & Cliffs update is already large enough and we want to focus on finishing the features that we've already announced.
Note that we don’t use the bug tracker for experimental snapshots.
When Will These Features Show Up In The Normal Snapshots?
1.18 snapshots will probably start sometime around September.