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Why is there a Dropper AND a Dispenser?


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#1

Spaceboot1
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Posted 19 January 2013 - 12:14 AM

I'm starting to get a bit overwhelmed by all this new stuff that's getting put into Minecraft. But I'm okay if there's good reasons for introducing new blocks.

But couldn't a dispenser be turned into a dropper in a couple of different ways? For example, a button inside the dispenser's GUI. Or even better, a dispenser acts normally at full power, ie. over a certain threshold of redstone current, but becomes a dropper at very low power levels.
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#2

inventorsmith

Posted 19 January 2013 - 12:22 AM

It's simpler the way dinnerbone made it.

#3

Spaceboot1
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Posted 19 January 2013 - 12:25 AM

no it's not. It's quite a bit more complex when you factor in the recipes.
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#4

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 12:28 AM

Yeah, it actually would have been nicer to have an option—they are pretty much the same block.

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#5

Alizona
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Posted 19 January 2013 - 12:29 AM

I also immediately thought that having two different blocks was worse than having one block that can be toggled to do two different things.

But I'll wait to see how they work before I stick to my opinion.  Perhaps there's a good reason to separate them.  I'll trust the programmers would have thought of this and made a decision for a good reason.

#6

MumblesMiner

Posted 19 January 2013 - 12:34 AM

View PostMathy, on 19 January 2013 - 12:28 AM, said:

Yeah, it actually would have been nicer to have an option—they are pretty much the same block.
At the moment yes, but dinnerbone said he was going to change the dispenser quiet a lot, so by full release time this wont be the case.

#7

DanSparrow
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Posted 19 January 2013 - 01:58 AM

Because droppers drop and dispensers dispense. Thanks to droppers, now you could for example create a massive arrow shooting machine. Now you can use droppers and hoppers to keep filling your dispensers with arrows so they don't ran out of them after 9 stacks. And that's just a very quick and simple example.

#8

Suho1004
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Posted 19 January 2013 - 02:09 AM

View PostDanSparrow, on 19 January 2013 - 01:58 AM, said:

Because droppers drop and dispensers dispense. Thanks to droppers, now you could for example create a massive arrow shooting machine. Now you can use droppers and hoppers to keep filling your dispensers with arrows so they don't ran out of them after 9 stacks. And that's just a very quick and simple example.

Spaceboot's point is not that the functionality is not desirable, but that we could have incorporated that functionality into an existing block instead of creating an entirely new block for it.

I kind of agree. It definitely would have been simpler to have a toggle in the dispenser GUI, but if the dispenser functionality is in fact going to be changed significantly, like MumblesMiner said above, then perhaps having two blocks is warranted. I think we'll have to wait and see what happens.

#9

Gastroid
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Posted 19 January 2013 - 03:19 AM

As a game designer, which is more appealing?
- Adding more functions to a pre-existing object, controlled by a new GUI unlike anything else in the game
- Splitting functions up into two objects that are distinct enough where both can organically grow with more unique functions

But yeah, as my argument was in the exact same topic before, doors don't have a GUI for if they're Redstone powered only. Neither do Pistons for if they'll be sticky, or Pressure Plates for if they'll accept items. Noteblocks can't play music discs and Chests aren't Trapped Chests.

The idea of splitting up block functionality is over three years old now; I don't know why this specifically is triggering the idea that blocks can't have similar but different features when there are already plenty of objects and blocks in the game that are split up in functionality already.

More features are upcoming for the Dispenser to make it more unique. Certainly the Dropper will be getting more features over time to make it more unique. There is no reason why that should have merged functionality while nobody complains about the two Piston types being exact clones of each other aside from a very minor graphical and feature change.

#10

Alizona
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Posted 19 January 2013 - 04:29 AM

View PostGastroid, on 19 January 2013 - 03:19 AM, said:

The idea of splitting up block functionality is over three years old now; I don't know why this specifically is triggering the idea that blocks can't have similar but different features when there are already plenty of objects and blocks in the game that are split up in functionality already.

Because they look SO MUCH alike.  Nobody will ever confuse an iron door from a wooden door, or even a sticky piston from a regular one if you're looking at the front.  I had to watch a video twice before I realized the "mouth" on the dispenser is fully round while the "mouth" on the dropper is only half-round, and that's how you tell them apart visually.

Plus, in this same update, I've already confused the "trap chest" with the regular chest numerous times by grabbing the wrong one in the creative menu.  So it's sort of an annoyance right now, until we get used to having to inspect a block very closely to tell which is which.

#11

Spaceboot1
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Posted 19 January 2013 - 04:32 AM

View PostGastroid, on 19 January 2013 - 03:19 AM, said:

More features are upcoming for the Dispenser to make it more unique. Certainly the Dropper will be getting more features over time to make it more unique.

This is what bothers me. It's not at all clear what new features should go to the Dispenser and which features should go to the Dropper. It might be argued that a Dispenser should never "just drop" items, now that there's a Dropper that does that. And when it comes to great new features for the Dropper, I'm picturing Dinnerbone taking the exact same path that Notch took with the Dispenser.

Hmm, this dispenser is pretty cool, but when it drops arrows, they just land on the ground all boring-like. What if it fired arrows instead?

Hmm, this dropper is pretty cool, but when it drops arrows, they just land on the ground and do nothing. What if it shot the arrows instead?
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#12

natenstuff

Posted 19 January 2013 - 04:57 AM

I think the should have changed the dispensers to drop everything like the dropper does now, and there should have been a new block that would 'shoot' the items, it kinda makes more sense. Im sure the reason they didn't do that was because it would break some previously made devices :/

#13

dillyman2

Posted 19 January 2013 - 04:58 AM

View PostAlizona, on 19 January 2013 - 04:29 AM, said:

Because they look SO MUCH alike.  Nobody will ever confuse an iron door from a wooden door, or even a sticky piston from a regular one if you're looking at the front.  I had to watch a video twice before I realized the "mouth" on the dispenser is fully round while the "mouth" on the dropper is only half-round, and that's how you tell them apart visually.

Plus, in this same update, I've already confused the "trap chest" with the regular chest numerous times by grabbing the wrong one in the creative menu.  So it's sort of an annoyance right now, until we get used to having to inspect a block very closely to tell which is which.
I noticed the difference between dispensers and droppers/chest and trapped chest immediately.

From a coding standpoint, it is alot easier to just copy-paste the dispenser's code, and then make a few tweaks, then making a GUI option.

View PostSpaceboot1, on 19 January 2013 - 04:32 AM, said:

This is what bothers me. It's not at all clear what new features should go to the Dispenser and which features should go to the Dropper. It might be argued that a Dispenser should never "just drop" items, now that there's a Dropper that does that. And when it comes to great new features for the Dropper, I'm picturing Dinnerbone taking the exact same path that Notch took with the Dispenser.

Hmm, this dispenser is pretty cool, but when it drops arrows, they just land on the ground all boring-like. What if it fired arrows instead?

Hmm, this dropper is pretty cool, but when it drops arrows, they just land on the ground and do nothing. What if it shot the arrows instead?
The dropper was made to drop items. Dinnerbone would not make it shoot arrows. If he did, then their would be no point in a dropper.

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#14

Black_Drath
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Posted 19 January 2013 - 05:19 AM

View PostGastroid, on 19 January 2013 - 03:19 AM, said:

As a game designer, which is more appealing?
- Adding more functions to a pre-existing object, controlled by a new GUI unlike anything else in the game
- Splitting functions up into two objects that are distinct enough where both can organically grow with more unique functions

But yeah, as my argument was in the exact same topic before, doors don't have a GUI for if they're Redstone powered only. Neither do Pistons for if they'll be sticky, or Pressure Plates for if they'll accept items. Noteblocks can't play music discs and Chests aren't Trapped Chests.

The idea of splitting up block functionality is over three years old now; I don't know why this specifically is triggering the idea that blocks can't have similar but different features when there are already plenty of objects and blocks in the game that are split up in functionality already.

More features are upcoming for the Dispenser to make it more unique. Certainly the Dropper will be getting more features over time to make it more unique. There is no reason why that should have merged functionality while nobody complains about the two Piston types being exact clones of each other aside from a very minor graphical and feature change.
Exactly right.


View PostAlizona, on 19 January 2013 - 04:29 AM, said:

Because they look SO MUCH alike.  Nobody will ever confuse an iron door from a wooden door, or even a sticky piston from a regular one if you're looking at the front.  I had to watch a video twice before I realized the "mouth" on the dispenser is fully round while the "mouth" on the dropper is only half-round, and that's how you tell them apart visually.

Plus, in this same update, I've already confused the "trap chest" with the regular chest numerous times by grabbing the wrong one in the creative menu.  So it's sort of an annoyance right now, until we get used to having to inspect a block very closely to tell which is which.
And how would you tell a dispenser apart from a dropper if they were merged? You would have to open it up every time if you wanted to check.
Having them as separate block, not only makes more sense, but makes them easier to distinguish visually than the proposal here.

View PostSpaceboot1, on 19 January 2013 - 04:32 AM, said:

This is what bothers me. It's not at all clear what new features should go to the Dispenser and which features should go to the Dropper. It might be argued that a Dispenser should never "just drop" items, now that there's a Dropper that does that. And when it comes to great new features for the Dropper, I'm picturing Dinnerbone taking the exact same path that Notch took with the Dispenser.

Hmm, this dispenser is pretty cool, but when it drops arrows, they just land on the ground all boring-like. What if it fired arrows instead?

Hmm, this dropper is pretty cool, but when it drops arrows, they just land on the ground and do nothing. What if it shot the arrows instead?
Your argument is absolutely ridiculous. They wouldn't do that because it entirely defeats the purpose of having the dropper. That would be like if they said:
Hmm, this non-sticky piston is pretty cool, but it doesn't pull blocks back when it retracts. What if it retracted blocks as well?
Or perhaps:
Hmm, this iron door is pretty cool, but when right clicked it doesn't open. What if it opened and/or closed instead?
You know why they don't do that? Because it would completely pointless.

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#15

Spaceboot1
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Posted 19 January 2013 - 05:45 AM

View PostBlack_Drath, on 19 January 2013 - 05:19 AM, said:

And how would you tell a dispenser apart from a dropper if they were merged? You would have to open it up every time if you wanted to check.
Having them as separate block, not only makes more sense, but makes them easier to distinguish visually than the proposal here.

We're talking in hypotheticals now, because there are I'm sure, dozens of possible ways to do a merger. Here's another: by default, the dropper-dispenser is dormant, meaning it just drops everything. No shooting. But, if you activate it somehow (whether by GUI or variable redstone input, or some other method), the dropper-dispenser becomes "charged" or "primed", and the block becomes animated, or aglow, and possibly emits particles. Like a furnace, or a redstone ore.
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#16

Spaceboot1
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Posted 19 January 2013 - 05:53 AM

View PostBlack_Drath, on 19 January 2013 - 05:19 AM, said:

That would be like if they said:
Hmm, this non-sticky piston is pretty cool, but it doesn't pull blocks back when it retracts. What if it retracted blocks as well?
Or perhaps:
Hmm, this iron door is pretty cool, but when right clicked it doesn't open. What if it opened and/or closed instead?
You know why they don't do that? Because it would completely pointless.

I don't buy the sticky piston analogy. A better analogy would be like this:

"Okay, we're going to introduce a new kind of piston. It's sticky, but it only sticks to sand. Otherwise it's exactly the same as the normal pistons."
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#17

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 06:00 AM

A toggleable option in a dispenser... That is no simple task to code. It takes up much more time to to add a "toggle able feature" than it is to add some thing new. Plus, its over complicated to have a block that shoots death AND deposits the same ammo into a box. This is also mainly for Adventure Maps and advanced redstone mechanisms, not everyday gameplay.

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#18

Runick
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Posted 19 January 2013 - 06:12 AM

Dinnerbone promised more behaviors for the dispensers.
so stop crying.
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#19

Gastroid
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Posted 19 January 2013 - 07:10 AM

View PostSpaceboot1, on 19 January 2013 - 05:53 AM, said:

I don't buy the sticky piston analogy. A better analogy would be like this:

"Okay, we're going to introduce a new kind of piston. It's sticky, but it only sticks to sand. Otherwise it's exactly the same as the normal pistons."

Let's go with the Noteblock/Jukebox comparison then. Why on earth should there be two blocks when a Jukebox could very easily encompass the functionality of both blocks?

#20

Spaceboot1
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Posted 19 January 2013 - 08:18 AM

View PostGastroid, on 19 January 2013 - 07:10 AM, said:

Let's go with the Noteblock/Jukebox comparison then. Why on earth should there be two blocks when a Jukebox could very easily encompass the functionality of both blocks?

Again, I think the analogy is poor. You probably won't be able to come up with a good analogy, because you're wrong. But don't let that stop you from trying. Anyways, I think a better note block/jukebox analogy would be this:

Imagine there was a noteblock that plays notes (as they do now), and then there's a jukebox that plays records, but the jukebox also behaves like a noteblock when you don't have a record in hand. The features overlap; the system isn't elegant.

I guess my problem is with the overlap of features. Which brings to mind another solution that would satisfy me. (Again, I think there are many possible solutions. I didn't post the OP to advocate any solution in particular, only to point out the existence of a problem.) So the other solution: nerf the dispenser. Remove the dispenser's ability to drop anything as an item, and make it into a purely functional placing block, so it will only dispense: arrows, fire charges, water, lava, snowballs, eggs, minecarts, boats, and basically anything that activates when dispensed. Heck, I'd even say if you put blocks in it, it should "dispense" them in front of itself, thereby blocking itself from dispensing anything else until the block is moved (by a piston or player or whatever).
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