Minecraft Update Lets Players Visit New Biome

Minecraft got another Snapshot update this week to let players on the Java version of the game test out some new features. One of those new features is another Biome added to the game called the “Dripstone Caves Biome.” It’s part of the larger upcoming Caves & Cliffs update, and if you’ve got the Java version of the game and the inclination to download Snapshots to see what’s new, you can test it out now.

Mojang released the latest details on the new Snapshot 20W49A that’s now available in Minecraft’s Java edition. It changes some things added in the last Snapshot or two, but the big feature of the update is the new Biome.

In addition to that Biome, there’s also the addition of “Sculk Sensors” to look forward to. The patch notes below explained what to expect from the new Biome as well as the Sculk Sensors.

Dripstone Caves Biome

  • This biome doesn’t generate naturally yet since it is designed for the upcoming larger caves. However, if you want to see the biome in the current caves you can create a single-biome world with dripstone caves.
  • Contains plenty of pointed dripstone on the floors, ceilings, and small pools of water.
  • In some places, you’ll find larger stalagmites, stalactites, and columns built from dripstone blocks.

Sculk Sensors

How Sculk Sensors Work

  • Introducing the bizarre, tendril-filled world of sculk – prepare for sculk sensors to creep you out with their unique ability to detect vibrations nearby.
  • A vibration is anything that causes physical motion; if you are careful, there are some motions that are undetectable to sensors by sneaking.
  • These sneak-friendly vibrations currently include walking, falling to the ground, or throwing/shooting projectiles.
  • Sculk sensors will not listen to vibrations that are directly created by other sculk sources.
  • When a vibration is detected, a signal is sent from the source location to the sensor at a speed of 1 game tick per block.
  • Other vibrations cannot be detected by a sensor when a signal is already traveling to it.
  • When the signal has arrived, the sensor will be activated for 40 game ticks (approximately 2 seconds).
  • While activated, the sensor cannot detect other vibrations.
  • Sculk sensors can detect vibrations in an 8 block radius around it.
  • The efficient tool to mine sculk sensors is the hoe.
  • They can be waterlogged.

Redstone Emission

  • Sculk sensors emit a redstone signal when they are activated.
  • The strength of the redstone signal is inversely proportional to the distance the vibration signal traveled.
    • This means that the closer the vibration is, the stronger the Redstone signal is.
    • The output is also scaled based on the sculk sensor’s radius, so it can reach the max redstone signal strength when the vibration is 0 distance away (directly on top of the sensor).

Vibration Frequencies (chart seen here)

  • Sculk sensors have a unique interaction with comparators.
  • Each vibration in the game falls under a certain frequency value, and this value can be measured with a comparator.
  • With the right contraption, this allows you to detect when a certain action has occurred nearby.

Wool Occlusion

  • Wool has a special interaction with sculk sensors.
  • If a wool block is in the way of a vibration source, the sensor will not be able to detect it.

Technical Tidbits

  • Sculk sensors have a cooldown period of 1 tick after being placed or after deactivating.
  • During this short cooldown period, it cannot detect vibrations. This is to prevent it from activating itself when a contraption it is powering is being unpowered. Feedback is welcome on this point!