Since mountains were the winning biome to get updated, wouldn't it be cool if we can place down ziplines on top of high places to get to a lower place. They would look awesome in bases on elevated places such as on top of mountains or on treetops in jungles and mega taigas. It would also be really handy to get across vast pools of lava in the nether or end islands if you don't have an Elytra yet. They would serve as a form of early game transportation over obstacles you would previously have to bridge over with cobble or dirt. Yes, your days of placing precarious 1 block bridges over voids and lava pits are over.
Some downsides to this are as follows:
Having to get to the higher place to place down the first point of the zipline in order to place the lower one. (Although once the ziplines are down and the string or leads are placed you can always go back up to the higher place if you forcefully press the W key although you will go slower.)
String being a cheaper option has a much shorter range in order to complete a zipline vice versa for leads. (Although for string you can always make a midway section island to place another zipline but string will be lost when the line is broken but leads will return to you.)
Accidentally pressing shift while on a zipline and consequently falling to your doom.
Could possibly be very glitchy when storage units or mobs are put on a zipline especially with flying mobs.
Chunks have to be loaded around you for a zipline to transport mobs or storage units in order to work.
Some upsides to this are as follows:
Cheap crafting recipe makes 2 when crafted.
Safer than 1 block bridges in the Nether in End because Enderman wont take blocks from it and its resistant from Ghast fireballs.
Can get you from point A to point B very quickly when going to a lower place.
You can bring chests and barrels down a line by right clicking the zipline to place a chest or barrel on it and then right clicking it again to make it go down, making a way to transport your items over large gaps. (Sadly no shulker boxes or enderchests can be placed on it)
Can be redstone powered when a hopper is connected to the storage unit on a zipline and when powered again can go up and down on zipline rather than only letting you make the storage unit go down manually.
Mobs can be transported on a zipline.
It will look flipping awesome (sadly I cant find any actual photos of it in Minecraft although there are some mods but they make ziplines function in a different way and are more "Mod Like" than these Vanilla Minecraft suggested ziplines.
The pros outweigh the cons!
When placed place it in a high place first then in a low place.
Right click it with a string or a lead a string will go a shorter distance and you wont get it back when broken but a lead will go much farther and you can get it back when broken.
Shift right click to get on the zipline press shift to get off.
Will have a cool little animation of you hanging on to the zipline when in 3rd person
Right click to put a storage unit on a zipline right click again to release it can only go down but redstone can power it and redstone can bring it back up.
Mobs can be put on a zipline by leading them then right click shift to put them on similar to putting chests on mules, donkeys, and llamas right click shift again to take them off.
Multiple entities can go on a zipline at once including yourself.
Hoppers can put items in storage units hanging on ziplines.
Shulker boxes and enderchests cannot be put on ziplines.
The steeper the angle of the zipline the faster you go down and when going up on a zipline by pressing W forcefully you will go slower the steeper the angle is.
Mobs are the only entities that cannot go up ziplines except players.
Wood types change the appearance of the zipline.
To place the string or lead right click the upper zipline pole with it then go down to the lower zipline pole and right click it to connect it.
I really enjoyed making this suggestion. And if this gets enough positive feedback and comments I will remake this thread on the suggestion/feedback section on the official Minecraft website and hopefully I hope in the next coming updates it does not have to be 1.15 or 1.16 because thats already planned out this suggestion will be put under review. Until now let me know what you think about this idea and share any concerns on it.
I like a lot of the ideas here, but there seems to be some unnecessary complexity in the idea, especially when it comes to sending other entities like containers down the ziplines and the ability to climb back up the lines.
One thing I don't really understand is setting up the lines. From what you say I think you build two of the zipline platforms and then click one of them with a rope or lead, but it doesn't really say how the two connect. I assume you have to then walk to the other one and right click it to complete the line?
You also state that Leads go further than String but don't seem to give any rules on how far either of them go. I think it would be easier to just use a single item rather than having two different ones and then give it a set range of how far it can go. Maybe something like 64 meters, which should be plenty to cover most naturally generated landscapes with ease (unless on an Amplified world).
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I don't think a zipline would be a good fit conceptually for what you are suggesting, but it would be amazing if the rail system got a new avenue through which minecarts can traverse (ie, a lift system).