Sunday, March 11, 2012

Digging Dirt Quickly with Minimal Delay
No mods, no enchantments, and using iron tools

As you progress through your "lifetime" of Minecraft, you'll undoubtedly begin doing bigger and bigger projects. Some of these projects may even involve a major reshaping of the land. It can be a huge pain to terra-form a large chunk of land that may even be around 1,000 blocks in area! Luckily, I have a few tips and tricks to speed this process so you can get back to caving and building, like you should be!

Time delay between destroyed blocks
When you destroy a block and turn your pick/shovel/axe towards the next block, there is a short delay between when you destroy the block and when you actually start breaking the next one. This delay is fixed for every block type and tool type in the game (though it is not fixed for the different efficiency enchantments). This delay can also be minimized if you are willing to strain your hand a little bit more (I'm being serious). By letting go of the left click button on your mouse and pressing it again immediately after a block is destroyed, you remove the delay and immediately start breaking the next block.

This trick is best used sparingly, as it will strain your hand or wrist if you use it for extended periods of time (more so if you aren't using an ergonomic grip mouse). I recommend combining it with my next trick to speed the process between row transitions. You have been warned!

The magic hitbox
I've known for awhile now that if you destroy a block and continue to hold down the left mouse button but are out of range to destroy the next block for a split second (while getting in range by walking forward), you will break the block faster. Until very recently, I had no way of doing this reliably and in a manner that didn't require you to focus your entire attention on it. What I've discovered is that it works on dirt very well, with what I consider to be cheap and expendable tools.

Picture 1

Now, to actually perform this timesaver of a trick, you will need to be digging out a row of dirt like I show in the picture. My character is oriented along the right side of the "wall" of dirt that you can see on the center of the screen. By pointing my reticle at the top right corner of the block and being as far as I can possibly be from the block while still being able to break it, I am able to hold my "W" and "A" key down and walk constantly destroying blocks with very little delay between each block.

This trick really excels when you need to remove a large layer of blocks like I am here (and still am, unfortunately). By having large rows like this, I can constantly move down the line of blocks without having to change positions very much. To switch to a new row once I reach the end, I use my first trick to destroy the first four blocks or so and proceed to move down the line again with this trick.

Using both of these tricks, I manage to break 7 iron shovels in a Minecraft day and still have enough time to craft new ones and store the blocks I've obtained away. 7 iron shovels will translate to roughly 1,750 blocks. Yes, I'm breaking 1,750 blocks in less than ten minutes. Don't you love game physics abuse?

That's all for now!

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