You can get big oak trees by placing a oak sapling then placing a slab half a block above the sapling. and I have noticed that I've only seen 1 or 2 big oak trees since 1.7 came out.
Is this really true? sapling, then in the block space above the spaling place a top slab? I didn't think any tree would grow in that situation!
I have forced the growth of a large oak by having a pillar of wood blocks 2 away from the sapling, with torches on the face, facing the sapling. Though it does often make the oak grow a little one sided, which can give you a bit more 'control' of their development.
What would be really awesome would be an oak variant in the swamps similar to the live oaks of the US Gulf Coast area - the live oaks from Mississippi to the Big Bend area of Florida are simply amazing.
It's a shame the forests look more sterile and cookie cutterish now - the removal of the big oaks is a disappointment.
A partially submerged forest biome would be awesome - everglades maybe - the bottom would be mostly dirt (grassless) blocks with large patches of sand, gravel, and clay, sometimes extending above the water line like sand bars or dirt (podzol and grassless) berms in a few places - requiring players to occasionally portage their canoes - and it would have very dense oak growth, including a lot of large ones - except for where rivers "flow through" it (indistinguishable, except for the lack of tree growth). Most of the trees would have the bottom 2 to 4 logs under water, giving them low overhead branches making it very dark under the canopy so mobs might spawn on a random bar/berm during the day, and also making it impassible by boat in some spots, requiring players to cut a path through the denser areas while still riding in their canoes. Maybe have tallgrass, ferns, and their double-height variations grow on the grassless dirt, and mushrooms (but not large ones) on the podzol, and lots of sugar cane (growth would be limited by branch height of the surrounding trees) on the sand which form the bars/berms. Throw in a bunch of vines and lily pads, some natural slime spawning, and it would make an awesome swamp-variant to break up the monotony of the normal clustering of swamplands in world generation. Maybe even add a new "stick block" - craftable with nine sticks - but also naturally occurring, to simulate the skinny, gnarled roots of a mangrove tree. It could even be made to be partially-transparent like leaves on the 'fancy' graphics setting.
I found a very simple solution to the leaf decay problem; basically, branches don't generate into leaf bunches, only connecting to the bottom, so the leaves at the top can decay. My solution simply adds in logs to extend the ends upwards and into the leaf bunches.
That is (my added code after the "Place 1-3 extra logs" comment, in WorldGenBigTree):
int var1 = 0;
for (int var2 = this.leafNodes.length; var1 < var2; ++var1)
int var3 = this.leafNodes[var1];
int var4 = this.leafNodes[var1];
int var5 = this.leafNodes[var1];
this.generateLeafNode(var3, var4, var5);
// Places 1-3 extra logs to avoid leaf decay
// Checks for leaves above log to prevent logs from sticking out of the top
for (int y = var4 + 1; y <= var4 + 3; ++y)
if (this.worldObj.getBlockId(var3, y + 1, var5) == Block.leaves.blockID) this.setBlockAndMetadata(this.worldObj, var3, y, var5, Block.wood.blockID, 0);
Here's what my fix looks like with leaves removed; you can see the extra logs extending upwards from the ends of branches:
How effective is this? Here are a couple analyses of a Superflat world using a biome I made that exclusively contains big oak trees (averaging larger than usual, so more likely to have misplaced leaves):
After initial world generation:
After several minutes (chunk updates at 0):
(even after waiting several minutes there are still lots of "decaying" leaves due to being outside the chunk update radius; I simply analyzed the entire 400x400 block world)
If you add together the normal and "decaying" leaves both analyses come up with 529,673 leaves, with zero leaves actually decaying out of over 170,000 that changed over. Note that initially most of the leaves are marked as decaying, and in order to transition to non-decaying the game has to check every one of those half-million leaves to see if it is in a valid location, before updating the block to non-decaying (no further checks until a block update occurs) or destroy the block. Thus, to fix lag they should make it so the game simply doesn't bother to check for leaf decay on naturally generated leaves until a block update occurs.
(having said that, despite being in a forest entirely made up of big oak trees, I had no lag problems, this in 1.6.4, but 1.7+ no doubt would have gone into epileptic fits - due to poorly optimized code elsewhere, not the trees themselves, if 1.6.4 has no problems and tree generation was unchanged)
Can you post this up for download, it seems like a really good idea.
Mojang should just consider some player made options instead of just removing something.
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The olddays mod is dead, sorry to tell you.
The far lands generation was epic, why not re-add it?
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In 1.7.2, I've had multiple large oaks grow from saplings I plant, without bonemeal. It doesn't seem any different from earlier versions. This is in a savanna - maybe that makes a difference. I don't recall any large oaks during world generation apart from jungle and ice plains.
I agree that Minecraft trees are rather dinky and generally detract from the ambiance. I often go around chopping the ordinary oaks and leaving the large oaks as they are the only ones that look like real trees. The "lollipop" normal oaks look like the sad little saplings they plant in parking lots to make them a little less oppressive.
I actually find the swamp trees decent by Minecraft standards - maybe because I really like weeping habit trees. IMO they are OK, along with the dark oaks. Acacias are good from a distance with a texture pack that tamps down the orange, but they're a little weird up close. Jungle giants and the large oaks are the best trees in Minecraft. I notice a lot of the world generation mods add in some larger trees, and they seem like distinct improvements over the vanilla ones to me.
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