I like the direction we're going with the amethyst caves, I think we should explore that a little bit further. It's kind of obvious that when we think of crystals and caves, we tend to think about huge pillars of partially see-through crystal in various colors. This idea is grounded partially in reality,as there are real giant crystal caves in Mexico! Also, remember how ore glowed in the demo video as a placeholder? Why not let these crystals just glow? I know what Mojang must be thinking, what kind of crystals are these? They already have nether quartz. I have a couple options. Selenite Crystals Selenite tends to grow in huge pillars that would lend itself well to the geometry of Minecraft. Not only would it be an easy shape to represent, but it would be unique too. Just think about a translucent pillar of glowing crystal! Overworld/ normal quartz The nether already set a precedent of having an overworld ore presented as a lower quality version of itself. We could do the same thing and treat nether quarts as a lesser quality overworld quartz and build upon that. Nether quartz does not come in huge, partially see-through pillars, but normal quartz could. Giant crystal also tends to come in various colors, and in real life crystals can be dyed as they are in gift shops. I'm thinking giant crystals can occur naturally in a few various shades, but can also be artificially dyed. Just think of giant glowing crystal pillars lighting up the huge dark caves!
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