Yesterday, the 13th of July, Mojang updated Minecraft to version 1.17.10, which wasn't too exciting for Switch players (unless you were really looking forward to the candles), but hidden in the "experimental features" section was Mojang's new world generation tools.
You may already know that the huge Caves & Cliffs update was split in two, with new mobs and blocks mostly in the first update, and the much-awaited world generation changes in the second update. 1.17.10 allows players to opt in in order to access that world generation for the first time, although it's worth noting that it is still experimental and can't be guaranteed not to crash.
"This snapshot is experimental, and everything is subject to change. Some features may be significantly changed or even removed if needed to improve performance. Also keep in mind that this experimental snapshot is missing some important performance improvements that we are currently working on, so things may be slow." — Mojang
The new cave generation includes mega-caves, local water levels, and "lush caves" carpeted with moss. In the overworld, there's also a big, brand-new geographical feature: cliffs, which are inhabited by terrible, angry mountain goats, as well as meadows, groves, and different inclines of slope.
Because the world generation is very new, and still in the works, a few people have noticed some rather odd formations: vast, open caves, lava spawning underwater, and even volcano-looking things, all of which would contribute to excellent villain hideouts.
Here's how Mojang describes the changes:
- New world height and depth
- New mountain biomes (lofty peaks, snowcapped peaks, grove, meadow, and snowy slopes)
- New cave generation (cheese, spaghetti, and noodle caves)
- Local water levels and lava levels in the underground
- New cave biomes generate naturally underground and inside mountains (lush caves, dripstone caves)
- Natural variation in terrain shape and elevation, independently from biomes. For example, forests and deserts could form up on a hill without needing a special biome just for that.
- New ore distribution (see this chart)
- Large ore veins
- Integrated mountains, caves, and cave entrances
- Monsters will only spawn in complete darkness
If you want to give the world generation a go on Switch, all you have to do is go to Create A World -> Experimental Features, and turn on "Caves and Cliffs". Make sure your game is updated first!
If you see any weird bugs or slightly unusual formations, you can report them to Mojang on Reddit... or you can keep them a secret, if they look really cool.