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Raising the height limit - A discussion


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Poll: Raising the height limit - A discussion (280 member(s) have cast votes)

How high should the height limit be?

  1. 128 blocks (no change) (18 votes [6.43%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 6.43%

  2. 256 blocks (doubled) (110 votes [39.29%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 39.29%

  3. 512-1,000 blocks (58 votes [20.71%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 20.71%

  4. 1,000 - 10,000 blocks (18 votes [6.43%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 6.43%

  5. 10,000+, but still finite (15 votes [5.36%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 5.36%

  6. Infinite (61 votes [21.79%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 21.79%

Which way should the height limit be extended?

  1. Neither, it should stay as it is (14 votes [5.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 5.00%

  2. Upwards Only (94 votes [33.57%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 33.57%

  3. Downwards only (6 votes [2.14%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 2.14%

  4. Both directions (166 votes [59.29%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 59.29%

What do you think about the 16x16x16 chunk idea? (See my explanation below)

  1. It's a bad idea (36 votes [12.86%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 12.86%

  2. It's alright, but needs tweaking (162 votes [57.86%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 57.86%

  3. It a good idea (82 votes [29.29%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 29.29%

Vote

#21

Xaggoth Cruxrithix
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Posted 11 July 2011 - 05:08 PM

I would love to see the entire Y range of the map span from 0 to at least 2048 with ground level being at layer 1024. 128 layers is simply not enough vertical space for certain structures.
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#22

Nocte
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Posted 11 July 2011 - 09:23 PM

View PostMineCrak, on 11 July 2011 - 07:34 AM, said:

It seems like "3D chunks", like the ones OP mentions, might be the future. There is a fantastic thread here from a while ago going into great detail about exactly how that could be implemented:

randalpik - Increased Map Height (3D Chunks) = READ THIS!
If you're interested in implementation details, you should check out this thread and this thread as well. Especially the bits about why and how infinite vertical space will result in smaller map files and better frame rates should be interesting.

#23

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 10:01 PM

View PostNocte, on 11 July 2011 - 09:23 PM, said:

Quote

Posted ImageMineCrak, on 11 July 2011 - 12:34 AM, said:

It seems like "3D chunks", like the ones OP mentions, might be the future. There is a fantastic thread here from a while ago going into great detail about exactly how that could be implemented:

randalpik - Increased Map Height (3D Chunks) = READ THIS!
If you're interested in implementation details, you should check out this thread and this thread as well. Especially the bits about why and how infinite vertical space will result in smaller map files and better frame rates should be interesting.

It's good to see you in this thread Nocte! Thanks for the links, I had a hard enough of a time digging up the one I posted which I had a faint recall of, and it turns out it was really the threads you just linked that I was mostly looking for as I remembered you posting in them. If the "My Content" feature were still working I would have just gone to your account name and looked up your posts. [EDIT] Ah crud.. Your old posts are still showing under your profile, I guess it's just the newer stuff that isn't working... I could have found them long ago. < facepalm > Oh well, you came along and saved the day anyway! ;)

* Folks, this is the Nocte that you will see posting in these linked threads with great detail and knowledge of the subject. He has written a Framework for Voxel Games and is someone I would consider to be a knowledgeable source on how 3D Chunks can be implemented in voxel "Infiniminer-type" games. :) I would highly recommend reading/skimming the contents of the two links he posted if you are at all interested in the subject.

Nocte; again, thanks for the links! I remember reading them a while ago. I have added them to my Map Height tutorial. :)

#24

danthonywalker

Posted 11 July 2011 - 10:06 PM

Did you know 'Air' is a block and counts to your map file? Well imagine having a height like over 1,000. Translate that will a bunch of other blocks constantly updating.

Point is. More height = more map sizes = more lag.

Posted Image


#25

Mclinsky

Posted 11 July 2011 - 10:33 PM

View PostDantevortex, on 11 July 2011 - 03:18 PM, said:

Simple reason why not;

the maps are generated with blocks, each block gets it's place in the mapfile.

Right now if your map is let's say 50 MB, it will double when the height is doubled. every block of air also counts in on the data.

If you go higher let's say 1000 blocks.

then.... wow... big mapfile.

So unless Notch comes up with some compression ideas for let's say clusters of the same blocktype, then we can go a lot higher. Right now my own server map is aroun 250 MB. 128 blocks high, so making that 1000 block will mean a times 8 increase in filesize. so my map would become 2 GB, which is undesired, and in case of SMP, not very lag welcoming.

Instead of the going for the extremes, a 256, would be good too?

#26

Grifstar
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Posted 11 July 2011 - 11:31 PM

If you're allowed to go even deeper underground there better be more ores/gems to mine out to make up for it.

Having more height above sea level though might be nice, although I don't mind the way it is now. So long as things like lag and other technical complications don't come with it.
Posted Image

#27

IronWill1991

Posted 11 July 2011 - 11:55 PM

View Postdanthonywalker, on 11 July 2011 - 10:06 PM, said:

Did you know 'Air' is a block and counts to your map file? Well imagine having a height like over 1,000. Translate that will a bunch of other blocks constantly updating.

Point is. More height = more map sizes = more lag.

Map sizes doesn't cause lag because you're only rendering what's around you, not the whole world.
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#28

MineCrak
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Posted 12 July 2011 - 12:20 AM

View PostIronWill1991, on 11 July 2011 - 11:55 PM, said:

Map sizes doesn't cause lag because you're only rendering what's around you, not the whole world.

Exactly, even more so with 3D Chunks. Occlusion Culling. Nocte talks all about this in the threads he linked to. Thanks IronWill.

In fact, in Nocte's program his map can go up 4 Billion blocks high! Doesn't hurt performance when managed properly. And of course he also manages map files more like a proper database.

#29

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 02:43 AM

View PostMineCrak, on 11 July 2011 - 01:18 PM, said:

Please reread my post. I never said that you said it was impossible, in fact I was pointing out that it would be far easier than you think for them to start off with a non 3D chunk increase to 256 height right now as it has already been done with a mod. They could then look into the 3D chunk method at their leisure if they truly believe it to be too difficult to implement before 1.8 .

And why is it always either or? Move one of the other coders for a week like they did with Jeb but in reverse, whatever. And I do think it is worthwhile, a mere difference of opinion. And like I said in my reponse; 1.8 would be the perfect update for them to slip the already existing non 3D chunk height increase to at least 256 into the game. Very worthwhile indeed. Have you seen the ymod map I posted one picture of above?

+ How to have a Higher map ( 256 / 512 / 1024 ) instead of 128 +

You're not understanding me. I know all these discussions and proposals and ideas on how to make it work. But if it was so simple, why hasn't a working mod been created for it? Why is yMod's last working version for 1.2? Why is there pages of discussion but no actual working mod?

Minecraft when it was first initially coded by Notch, the code base isn't planned for extending the height limit vertically. MineTest on the other hand, is coded with that in mind. For Minecraft to extend the height limit now would take significant effort. There are also multiple considerations including the disk space usage and in particular, the network bandwidth usage for SMP servers. It can possibly increase the costs for hosting SMP servers.

I'm not saying its not a good idea. I'm saying its far far easier to implement adventure stuff right now because it adds more to the game than the height limit will. Furthermore, Jeb mentioned during E3 he wants to increase the height limit in the future.

#30

Corbiere6743
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Posted 12 July 2011 - 10:41 AM

I'd like comment on the "downwards extension" bit.

Firstly, it would make little sense to suddenly have negative y coordinates as explorable locations for reasons I am not quite sure of but there are some.

If the height limit was doubled, then the best solution if the extension is both up and down would probably be to double the layers of everything. For example, diamond would be found below layer 40, as would redstone, and sea level would be ~120. In this way, the ground is thicker up to 120 leaving more room for mining, and the ratio of sky:land which is approximately 1:1 at the moment stays the same, both becoming 128.

Of course, then you have the issue of pre-implementation worlds. If my suggestion was what happened, any world pre-update would be difficult to fix. Any explored land would have a bedrock level half way through the ground, and to explore new land would mean encountering 60-high vertical cliffs at the edge of the previous area. Of course, just as very old worlds are converted to Mcregion upon loading, it would seem logical to move the entire world up 64 blocks, add 64 to the sky and add 64 below bedrock. The bedrock would still remain though, but the world would be "fixed".

#31

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 03:11 PM

View PostCorbiere6743, on 12 July 2011 - 10:41 AM, said:

I'd like comment on the "downwards extension" bit.

Firstly, it would make little sense to suddenly have negative y coordinates as explorable locations for reasons I am not quite sure of but there are some.

If the height limit was doubled, then the best solution if the extension is both up and down would probably be to double the layers of everything. For example, diamond would be found below layer 40, as would redstone, and sea level would be ~120. In this way, the ground is thicker up to 120 leaving more room for mining, and the ratio of sky:land which is approximately 1:1 at the moment stays the same, both becoming 128.

Of course, then you have the issue of pre-implementation worlds. If my suggestion was what happened, any world pre-update would be difficult to fix. Any explored land would have a bedrock level half way through the ground, and to explore new land would mean encountering 60-high vertical cliffs at the edge of the previous area. Of course, just as very old worlds are converted to Mcregion upon loading, it would seem logical to move the entire world up 64 blocks, add 64 to the sky and add 64 below bedrock. The bedrock would still remain though, but the world would be "fixed".

Yeah, under those conditions it seems like it would be pretty easy for a conversion program to do this.

Or, just create a new world with the same seed but using 1.8 or whatever, then MCEdit everything from your old world (starting one block above the bedrocks @ #5) over to the same adjusted/equivalent coords in the new world so that they are at the same level. That way your old chunks won't end 64 blocks down AND you will have any new ores beneath 64 in them. After MCEdit would have been updated of course. ;)

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#32

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 09:24 AM

View PostMineCrak, on 11 July 2011 - 10:01 PM, said:

Nocte; again, thanks for the links!
You're welcome! :)

View PostXinhuan, on 12 July 2011 - 02:43 AM, said:

But if it was so simple, why hasn't a working mod been created for it? Why is yMod's last working version for 1.2? Why is there pages of discussion but no actual working mod?
Well, there's Robinton's mod. Another one is Minecraft revamped, but that one has been put on hold, mainly because the author got frustrated with every update breaking his code. Reverse engineering the bytecode quickly gets old, too. That's also why yMod hasn't been updated. (Hopefully the modders will pick up the work again once the source code is available.)

But you are right, it is a lot of work. The mods are still missing some essential features, such as occlusion culling and multiplayer support. Mojang wouldn't release an official client without it, and they're both tricky to implement.

#33

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 10:28 AM

View PostNocte, on 17 July 2011 - 09:24 AM, said:

Well, there's Robinton's mod. The mods are still missing some essential features, such as occlusion culling and multiplayer support. Mojang wouldn't release an official client without it, and they're both tricky to implement.

Nocte, you have come through again! I don't know how I missed the 'Cubic Chunks' mod! It implements 3D Chunks as 16x16x16 and does it in Minecraft 1.7.3 allowing a height of 4096 blocks without using an old version of the game! I hope he keeps working on the rest of the details.

I'm now trying to get Robinton together with nadine (Little Big Planet) to see if an existing ymod map can be converted or imported into Robinton's Cubic Chunks formatted map. This would provide an "upgrade" path for people making 1:1 Scale reconstructions and such with ymod. Though I would also be more comfortable if a map could be converted back again, at least everything under ymod's 1024 height limit, just in case.

[EDIT] I have updated my "Higher Map" thread/tutorial with this info. Thanks Nocte! :)

+ How to have a Higher map ( 256 / 512 / 1024 / 4096 ) instead of 128 +

#34

SkinnyLegs_OLD
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Posted 17 July 2011 - 10:37 AM

If the height was raised, it would be awesome if the mountains and caves rose aswell.
It would make more awesome landscapes definately.

#35

Robinton
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Posted 17 July 2011 - 03:41 PM

View Postdanthonywalker, on 11 July 2011 - 10:06 PM, said:

Did you know 'Air' is a block and counts to your map file? Well imagine having a height like over 1,000. Translate that will a bunch of other blocks constantly updating.

Point is. More height = more map sizes = more lag.
Not entirely. In my Cubic Chunks mod, nothing-but-air ChunkCubes (ChunkCubes are 16x16x16 groups of blocks) (nothing-but-air ChunkCubes are all unmodified ChunkCubes above y=128) are handled specially - they are niether saved nor included in lighting updates. Optimization!
The below y=0 ChunkCubes will still increase map size, though they don't seem to increase lag much.

EDIT: I have found that any entity (including the player) approaching unloaded ChunkCubes freezes until the ChunkCubes load. This is also true in Vanilla Minecraft, except Vanilla MC uses Chunks instead of ChunkCubes. The resulting visual effect is kind of wierd, but it mostly works quite nicely. Also, except at startup (when almost nothing is loaded), it is harder to fall that fast than most people think.
Posted ImagePosted Image

#36

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 04:08 PM

View PostRobinton, on 17 July 2011 - 03:41 PM, said:

Not entirely. In my Cubic Chunks mod, nothing-but-air ChunkCubes (ChunkCubes are 16x16x16 groups of blocks) (nothing-but-air ChunkCubes are all unmodified ChunkCubes above y=128) are handled specially - they are niether saved nor included in lighting updates. Optimization!
The below y=0 ChunkCubes will still increase map size, though they don't seem to increase lag much.

Fantastic! Robinton, I hope that you add this info to your Cubic Chunks thread, perhaps that last post where you detailed some of the other info regarding how your mod/map structure works. :)

#37

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 04:42 PM

3-D chunks are perfectly possible and something that can be implemented. It just adds an extra dimension; it's no different than the switch to 3-D games, in concept. The new chunk-loading code will just have to know more about another coordinate.

A lot of the arguments "against" it seem to be corner cases, like the snow/rain idea. Which is silly. It's practically trivial to fix that; just have new chunks update the lower chunks so it will know what blocks to have precipitation in. Aside from additional complications in the code implementation, there is no reason not to have it designed that way. It might be something of a retrofit at this point but it's an design and algorithmic issue. Also ,I think Jeb was talking about raising the height limit at Dreamhack, but I might be misremembering.

#38

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 04:49 PM

View PostBC_Programming, on 17 July 2011 - 04:42 PM, said:

3-D chunks are perfectly possible and something that can be implemented. It just adds an extra dimension; it's no different than the switch to 3-D games, in concept. The new chunk-loading code will just have to know more about another coordinate.

A lot of the arguments "against" it seem to be corner cases, like the snow/rain idea. Which is silly. It's practically trivial to fix that; just have new chunks update the lower chunks so it will know what blocks to have precipitation in. Aside from additional complications in the code implementation, there is no reason not to have it designed that way. It might be something of a retrofit at this point but it's an design and algorithmic issue. Also ,I think Jeb was talking about raising the height limit at Dreamhack, but I might be misremembering.
I haven't seen any issues with rain/snow yet, and I remember several times that it has been raining in my world. I haven't tested all possible configurations, though.
Posted ImagePosted Image

#39

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 05:03 PM

View PostRasumuZ, on 11 July 2011 - 12:24 PM, said:

Notch said that this would not be a good idea, I forget the whole discussion that made about it but the jist was that if you were to fall from a certain height, the world can only render so fast so it probably wouldn't be able to render quick enough and you would find yourself falling into nothing.

An idea about this: falling more than 100 (or 128) blocks makes you instantly die, regardless of your armor, regardless of where you would land.

#40

Chris0132

Posted 17 July 2011 - 05:24 PM

Having more vertical distance as well as more draw distance would be one of the best features the game could have, one of the problems with minecraft as is is that it feels a bit claustrophobic, if we could have things like huge mountains in the distance it'd be amazing, and far more useful than the near-infinte horizontal distance which nobody uses.