The Meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything.
Good morning everyone!
I've attempted to scour the forum suggestions for something like this and either my search skills are horrible or this may be a new-ish idea.
While mining underground the other day, it dawned on me: out of all of the caves we've explored, dungeons we've crawled, and holes we've dug... there has never been any danger of unstable ground/stone beneath us nor any danger of cave-ins.
Think about it: The abandoned mineshafts were abandoned for a reason, right? I mean, they're so old they have spiderwebs on them. Why wouldn't they be rickety and risky to tread on? Caves and tunnels would become unstable as we dig into them, so why not a chance they could collapse behind or in front of us?
It would add an element of realism and also a bit of danger. As it stands, I can dig in a straight line underground for what seems like miles and miles, with honestly not a care in the world (short of the mobs you run into or drop into a lava pit). What if there is a small chance something could happen (cave-in, ground starts rumbling and falls out underneath you)? It might make the drudgery of digging a bit more interesting.
While digging underground, in order to lessen or even nullify the chance a cave-in could happen, there could be something akin to fence posts (or heck even use those) to "brace" the tunnel so it won't collapse, especially at the exit and entry of your tunnel. For unstable ground, you could use a wooden plate (like we use to walk on to open doors) variation to lay down on the ground to make it more "stable".
I could be over-thinking this, but I believe it would be fun.
To some extent sand and gravel already fill this role…notably when near surface mining in beach/desert biomes.
The ability to mine out arbitrarily large rooms (and create infinite cantilevers) are certainly highliy unrealistic aspects of MC; that said, my impression is this is a case of fun game play being prioritized over realistic simulation.
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WARNING: I have an extemely "grindy" playstyle; YMMV — if this doesn't seem fun to you, mine what you can from it & bin the rest.