Get ready for a big one! Snapshot 13w36a is out and brings with it all the biome changes previously rumored and more! Get ready for disco mountains, cliffs, savannas and others. Read on for an overview of everything added…
Let's start with terrain generation. The upcoming 1.7 update focuses on terrain, and this first snapshot shows a lot of the changes made. There are tons of new biomes and old ones have been improved as well. Like discussed previously, biome placement has been fixed so snow/desert won't meet as often and biome borders will look better. Here are some of the main new biomes:
Savannah, Snowy Taiga, Taiga, Mesa (Canyon/Disco biome), Birch Forest, Redwood Forest, Black Forest (Dense trees and leaves), Snowy Plains, Extreme Snowy Biome.
The list goes on and on, and we will have an article featuring all the biome changes soon. For now, please take these quick overview pictures as tribute:
Moving on from biomes, but still on terrain generation, Mojang added a new world type in this snapshot called “AMPLIFIED”. This new mode generates a world that makes use of the vertical space available with giant mountains and overhangs. Biomes stay the same, but the verticality of the world makes them barely recognizable. It's a very cool world type, but requires a stronger PC to run due to the bigger terrain structures.
Still on world generation (it is the focus of this update, after all), Mojang added a bunch of new flowers and plants. On the plant side, grass and shrubs were improved by adding a taller variant, while sugar canes now change color according to biome, which is a nice touch. On the flower side… well, this handy picture by redditor LupusX might help:
Moving onto new blocks - with the introduction of some new biomes there are also some new blocks. Packed Ice is non-transparent ice that does not melt and spawns in the Extreme Snowy Biome (the one with the giant ice spikes). Podzol, on the other hand, is a new kind of dirt block that can't grow grass on it and doesn't seem to have a use yet.
Fishing has been improved. Mojang added more fish and loot to fish up, making it more interesting. There have also been improvements to command blocks, item frames, silverfish, menus and options and more. Lots of bug fixes were done too, so you know it's a real snapshot then.
That's basically it. It's a hefty snapshot, and there's probably lots of stuff in it people haven't even found yet. You can get it via the new Minecraft launcher (just enable “Experimental Builds in the options and select the latest snapshot in versions), but keep in mind it is not a finished update and could be buggy.
Stay tuned for more on this update, including a closer look at all of the biomes and more. As always, feel free to leave any feedback in the comment section below.
Special thanks to everyone in this reddit thread, where I learned most of the information about this update from. Cheers!