Minecraft lead developer Jens Bergensten dropped some insight Wednesday into the changes coming to the PC version of the sandbox title with the 1.7 update and why Mojang is making them. Specifically, he addresses the current issues with biomes and how these will be changed with the upcoming patch.
Mojang has already revealed the Clay Mountains, Redwood Forest and Cliffs biomes so far but there will be nearly twice the number of biomes today once the update is released. The studio is wary to add new biomes on a regular basis because, "every little change off-sets the world seed and causes noticeable borders between new and old terrain" according to Bergensten.
However, there are three particular problems with how biomes are generated in Minecraft that the team wanted to address including oceans that are too large, uneven/random placement of biomes and a lack of variation. As a result, the following solutions will part of the Minecraft 1.7 update.
- Tweaks to add more islands and checks to avoid huge oceans
- Biomes have been put into four main categories: snow-covered, cold, medium, and dry/warm. Biomes will avoid getting placed next to a biome that is too different to itself (sometimes this still happens, but it’s very rare now and not all over the place)
- We’ve added a whole bunch of new biomes…
- … and most biomes have uncommon/rare variations that you may run into
- We’ve also added a bunch of new terrain features, such as new flowers and trees
A pair of images were also shown by Bergensten which compares the Minecraft 1.6 versus Minecraft 1.7 and the change in the ocean size is the most dramatic. While the oceans do look potentially too small now, Bergensten says "that some of the oceans are still more than 3000 blocks wide." However, there's also much more consistency in biome groupings on the map.
No release window for the Minecraft 1.7 update has been announced yet. Snapshots have even yet to be released as many of the new biomes are not even close to being ready yet.
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