Ouatcheur seems to be really overreacting. I mean, I am terrible at Minecraft, and having 5 minutes to go get things is not a big deal. I don't really see a point to increasing the despawn time by 2, let alone 4. Anyway, you might say, oh it won't lag, because then the new despawn time will let me get it! There are also natural item-dropping events, such as leaf decay and eggs. If it was 5 minutes, it really isn't a problem. However quadrupling the despawn rate will also quadruple the lag. For people who don't have uber god computers, they will suffer greatly.
You also must realize I do not excel in coding, (unlike BC), so please do not use that as grounds to insult my intelligence.
Why would I? You didn't present yourself as a coder showing a piece of code to prove a point that is opposite of what the piece of code actually says. BC_P has succesfully made his point quite clear anyway, despite the little and big hiccups in the conversation.
And yes while I do seem to give an overreacting impression, I assure you its not the case.
However, saying that quadrupling the despawn rate would also quadruple the lag... I'll suppose you don't mean the entire lag just the the lag *from* items, right?
Well, anyway you look at it, as long as *all* items must be visited by the processor *every* tick in order to increase their age variable by 1 and check what have you (instead of using a bit more intelligent code), then yeah I agree with you that it would increase lag in a definitely non-negligible fashion, and in that sense yeah, increasing despawn rate should definitely not happen, the game is laggy enough as it is.
In fact, since lag is so bad and proponents of "more despawn time would mean just as mucho more lag", then why not cut down despawn rates to only 1 minute, then? No? Suddenly the contrary point of view is adopted and the longer despawn time becomes the better one. Then, what is so superbly special about 5 minutes, exactly? Apart from it being the actual version value, what makes in the fact that it's 5 minutes not 4 or 6 or 3 or 7? what makes it so bad-laggy to go any higher than 5, yet would also be a very baddy thing to do to go any lower that 5? Why exactly 5, hmm?
I'm not overreacting, I just find it funny how some seem to say "noo more time and would lag so much for those with bad pcs!" yet none of those seem to want to reduce the time instead, which should be the logical conclusion of their POV.
Also, when there is lag its not the player's PC which is the main problem, but the overload on the server side. On the client side, its mainly the Render Distance and Graphic Options set up the whazoo which are the main source of slowdown, way more than the number of floating items in the player"s field of view. Of course, now that floating items are 3D shaped, they take more graphical processing, to, and when I look at a 12x12 pig farm with over 12 pigs per block space, yeah my game goes into snail mode.
So I guess that, given the way the current code is done, maybe the simple fact is that 5 minutes was the best compromise between letting players have as much time as possible, vs making the game as not-laggy as possible.
Well, my main mistake weas using the tree farm as my primary example, while in fact those occurs way more when doing building with a friend, where some discussion and thought and planning are required, and trying different things too of course, and whenb the broken blocks don' just fall right at your feet but wayyyyy out theeere. Then its an annoyance because you can't concentratre on anything or do anything for say 15 minutes in a row (the usual average amount of time it takes for one clear step of a project) without having those interruptions.
And a "proof" that it is annoying, is that when I play on a server, other pro players, which find me of course kinda slow (and thus "in the way") when high up on the house roof, always want me to grab their fallen blocks for them, like a real gofer man. I do it nicely then when I'm tired I tell them to just do it themselves, but its still a "proof", if you will, that, for a lot of players, a short despawn time comes as source of constant interruption in their projects. An annoyance.
Depends on the person....Some may struggle/find it annoying where others it's a walk in the park. I'm going to stay out of this and let the community decided on this.
I sought to re-evaluate it, and now I'm struggling to think of how this would negatively impact people.
Currently, I can only really think of contraptions that rely on despawn times being effected. I'm thinking performance might be a non-issue at this point, but a 20 minute limit and a group of griefers could probably reduce a server.
So, another effect idea might be to have a few other dynamics:
Right now, we have it so drops live for 5 minutes. If this were changed to 20, they would live for 20 Minutes. This means that for some activities it would be possible to make a crazy number of drops, particularly when many players are doing something like this. One approach might be to actually have differing despawn times for different items. Very common items like Cobblestone, dirt, etc. would despawn in shorter amounts of time than crafted materials, like planks, item frames stone bricks, glass, etc. This would help alleviate the "I should go down there to grab the drops" issue when building higher up and you can't grab everything. (unless you are using natural materials, but trade-offs). Possibly also allowing "natural" materials that are typically desirable, such as Apples, cocoa beans, wheat, carrots, etc to last longer as well. That is, instead of a static despawn time, the despawn times of items would depend on on the item itself.
That actually gives me another, interesting idea. The one thing I was considering originally was that a longer despawn time would make it easier (not easy, I guess) for griefers to purposely leave drops all over the place. Not a huge problem, since they already have a lot of lag-making tools at their disposal, but why give them another one? But then I realized that when a drop is created, the thing making the drop has complete access to the Player. This might be more fitting in a plugin, but the server could possibly create items that last longer for players that have been around longer?
For example, a new player might have a "uncrafted" and "crafted" item drop time of 2 minutes and 4 minutes, respectively. As they play, that limit get's larger. So a long-time player, as somebody that can be trusted to work in the better interest of the server, might be able to not worry about drops while building, because they last for an hour, or something to that effect. This might still be frustrating early on, since it actually starts lower than it is currently, but at least it won't be something you always need to worry about- as you devote time to the server, build structures, and interact with other players, your 'despawn time' goes up.
This could also have an interesting side-effect- players that play longer could even have items dropped on death last longer, which would be an interesting perk. I'm particularly fond of the idea of rewarding long-time players.
of course, op's/admins could change player despawn times, and all that stuff. Not sure how to address this in Single Player; Not really sure it needs to be addressed, since the 'distractions' the OP refers to seem to revolve around community interaction (chat and whatnot) which aren't present in Single Player.
Personally, my own approach is typically I'm indifferent to item despawns; I'll go down when I finish whatever I'm working on or reach an interruptible point, but if they despawn by then I'm not too hassled by it.