A brand-new snapshot update for Minecraft has added a new type of stone and changes to world generation. However, another change to the game's graphics will be a welcome sight to colorblind miners.
The main feature of snapshot update 21W07A is the addition of Grimstone, a new type of stone found in the deepest parts underground. It's slightly harder to dig than normal stone and has it's own types of craftable blocks, but is otherwise the same as normal stone. On the visuals side of things, the game has given new textures to ores without unique designs, which means every ore other than lapis lazuli, emerald, and ores only obtainable in the Nether. These ores, which represent some of the oldest ores in the game, all shared the same texture colored differently, but now only diamond ore uses that texture. How do they look now? Why is this important? A Reddit user named "u/griezla" showed a monochrome before and after comparison that illustrates how helpful this update is:
As the picture plainly shows, with older ores, iron is the only ore that doesn't have exactly the same shaded look-alike (and even then it's pretty close). Colorblind players will likely have trouble differentiating diamonds from gold and redstone from coal. With this update, every one of the ores has a unique texture (except for diamond because it's the "most iconic" ore.) It's true that there are plenty of mod packs that can change graphics, whether for smaller quality-of-life updates or major reskins. However, there are likely to be players, including younger ones, who aren't mod-savvy enough to play around with modding. Even small changes like the ones in the latest snapshot update can be a major benefit to colorblind players and their friends. Note, the vast majority colorblind people aren't completely monochrome as this sort of image depicts, but rather see colors differently, because their eyes don't absorb certain colors the same. Most typically this is on the red-green spectrum, making those two colors, and ones that use shades thereof, difficult to differentiate.
Minecraft snapshot update 21W07A released for Minecraft: Java Edition yesterday and can be installed through the game's official launcher.