History of world generation

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This page functions as a comprehensive documentation of all changes made to world generation (biomes and generated structures) throughout the game's history.

Java Edition[edit]

Classic, Indev and early Infdev[edit]

This section is missing information about pretty difficult to test any potentially extremely minor generation changes due to the lack of world seeds. major changes should be fine to document. Infdev is pretty much fully documented here, so everything that comes before should be researched.
Please expand the section to include this information. Further details may exist on the talk page.
Java Edition Infdev
Minecraft Infdev20100227The terrain generation changed greatly in this version.
World generation has been greatly simplified (with the removal of sand, ore veins) in order to make infinite world generation implementation easier to work with.
Added brick pyramids.
Added obsidian walls.
All generation beyond 33,554,432 blocks is solid stone.
20100313Removed obsidian walls.
Oceans are considerably larger than before.[check the code]
20100320Reimplemented primitive mineral vein generation, in which they spawn as scattered, single blocks.
Reimplemented tree generation.
20100325Mineral vein generation has been changed to the modern generation type. However, a float is used in their generation, causing their generation to break down at excessive distances.
Added caves. They generate through all blocks, not just terrain blocks.

Alpha-era terrain[edit]

Java Edition Infdev
Minecraft Infdev20100327The terrain generation changed greatly in this version.
World generation has been significantly overhauled, which is visually very obvious.
Removed brick pyramids.
Removed caves.
Removed random patches of flowers.
The large stone wall at 33,554,432 no longer generates. Instead, the Far Lands generate at 12,550,824.
20100413All trees are now large trees.
Sand and gravel now generate with the world again.
20100420The terrain generation changed greatly in this version.
World generation seems considerably less mountainous.
20100608All trees are now small trees again - big trees do not generate.
20100611The terrain generation changed greatly in this version.
Terrain now appears to come in large islands.
Terrain can now generate high enough to be higher than the world height limit, causing it to be cut off.
Monoliths now have the potential to generate.[verify]
The amount of trees that generate appears to be different now.
20100616The terrain generation changed significantly in this version.
Terrain generation in ocean areas is now different.[verify]
Reimplemented caves.
Random patches of flowers and mushrooms now generate.
Springs now generate.
Lava now naturally generates, although how it does so exactly is unknown.
20100617-1Bedrock now generates at the bottom of the world again.[verify]
Tree generation has changed such that logs only generate at layers where there are no leaves.
Coastlines are now "more gradual".
20100617-2Caves have been changed to be "more regional", and allegedly can form large clusters. The thickness of tunnels can also vary, affecting the frequency of branching.
Springs are now more common and can generate on the surface.
Added dirt and gravel mineral veins.
Bedrock now generates at the bottom of maps,[verify] even though this was already added in the previous version.
Lava no longer generates at the very bottom of worlds.
Ore blocks were "generated with a random amount of veins regardless to the type of ore" prior to this version.
20100618Log blocks now generate in the leaf layers of trees again.
20100624Mountains are apparently esw tall in this version.
20100625-2Added dungeons.
20100627The density of trees has been reduced.
Java Edition Alpha
v1.0.1Added redstone ore mineral veins.
Coal ore mineral veins can now vary in size.[verify]
Caves can be much bigger than before.[verify]
v1.0.4Added winter mode worlds, with their own block palette of snow and ice. Normal worlds appear unaffected in this version though.
v1.0.6Added cactus to world generation.
Readded large trees to world generation.
v1.0.11Added clay disks and sugar cane random patches to world generation.
v1.1.0Clay generation is apparently more common.

Beta-era terrain[edit]

Java Edition Alpha
v1.2.0previewThe terrain generation changed greatly in this version.
Added biomes.
Added the Nether.
An in-game value corresponding to the Old Customized depth noise scale has been changed from 100 to 200.
v1.2.0_01Areas where soul sand would have generated in the Nether in v1.2.0 ow generate with gravel instead.
v1.2.0_02Soul sand now generates in the Nether again.
v1.2.6Added water and lava lakes.
Java Edition Beta
1.2Added birch trees.
Added spruce trees.
Added lapis lazuli ore mineral veins to world generation.
There is allegedly more coal ore, iron ore and diamond ore found in caves. Whether this refers to vein size or frequency is unknown.
1.2_02Lapis lazuli ore is apparently more common and can be found at bedrock level.
1.3Sandstone now generates beneath natural sand.
Fixed a grassland/sand biome border issue.[more information needed]
1.6Test Build 3Added random patches of grass, ferns and dead bushes to world generation.
?The frequency of mineral veins no longer varies per quadrant of the world.
1.7Clay generation has been fixed and no longer exclusively spawns when x and z are equal.

Early Release-era terrain[edit]

Java Edition Beta
1.8Pre-releaseThe terrain generation changed greatly in this version.
Terrain generation has been outright overhauled, adding and removing several biomes and changing how height is applied. The full list of precise changes may be listed later, although would end up massive.
Added strongholds.
Added villages. (Prior to the reupload, only paths and lamp posts generated.)
Added mineshafts.
Added ravines.
Added disks. Clay no longer generates in beaches.
The sea level has been decreased by one block (64 to 63).
The Far Lands and Farther Lands no longer generate.
Pre-release 2 ;)Mineshaft density has been decreased.
Two more strongholds now spawn per world.
1.8.1Mineshaft support beams have been changed from planks to fences.
Java Edition
1.0.0Beta 1.9 PrereleaseAdded Mushroom island and related biomes.
Added the ice plains biome.
Added the frozen ocean biome.
Added nether fortresses.
Added "end portal stronghold", whatever that is. End portal blocks do not exist yet however.