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Minecraft Canal System | Minecart Alternatives

Updated on November 23, 2010
This ain't no slide.... (well it is, but it is also something else. Something AMAZING.)
This ain't no slide.... (well it is, but it is also something else. Something AMAZING.) | Source

It occurred to me as I was watching this video of an incredible water 'slide' built in SMP by Chilldy06 and Cipher004 that I realized I'd been wasting my time messing around with tracks and minecarts and boosters. Let's face it. Minecarts suck. They suck badly. Unless you use glitches in the game to make them work, they're slow and ungainly and they're stumped by hills almost entirely. Even with a powered minecart, it's far too easy to put the coal in the wrong way and then end up chasing your cart all over the map until it runs out of coal.

But water, and boats, well, water and boats work brilliantly well. Boats are fast, highly maneuverable, and as long as you don't slam them into a wall or other solid object, they're fairly durable. Even better, they're actually capable of traveling in a vertical direction quite easily, without slowing down much at all. Sure you get a little drowny in there, but it's actually amazing how far you can travel underwater at boat speed before you actually do drown.

And even better than that, it's quite possible to hurl yourself significant distances off the top of a water system, essentially turning your minecraft boat into a flying fish ripe for the purposes of transportation.

So then, this is my new project. I'm abandoning minecarts for the moment, until they are fixed and provided with a means of consistently working, and I'm creating a good old solid canal system, one that won't break if an animal gets into it and one that will allow me to move at my own pace. If I want to zip around from one end of the map to the other, I can. If I want to simply travel from the harbor bridge to the great green library (located right next door for your great green convenience) I can do that too.

The only downside to creating a minecraft canal system is that it promises to be much more laborious than simply laying track. A minecraft canal should be at least 3 – 4 blocks wide to allow you room to move (because if you're traveling at top speed, even the merest collision with a little teeny bit of wall will end with you suddenly standing in the ruins of your own boat.) Filling the canal could also be an extremely painstaking ordeal as well. At this point, I openly admit that I'll be using Invedit to just edit water straight into the game. This might annoy purists, but there are many different ways of playing minecraft, and when it comes to large scale constructions, I take a 'lego blocks are okay' approach.

Nobody ever got mad when you didn't manufacture your own lego blocks from crude oil did they? No.

I'll be updating this article when my own minecraft canal is done. Why not make a canal too? We can share them on YouTube and be canal buddies! :3

A simple minecraft canal concocted by Crytec2.


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