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I noticed that when my feet aren't firmly placed on the ground, it takes significantly longer to mine blocks, even with high-end tools. Is there a factor that mining time is increased by for these conditions? What is it?

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"when my feet aren't firmly placed on the ground" → well, you can mine while on a ladder. I'm pretty sure this qualifies as you describe, but it still mines fast enough. Maybe you want to reword your question... :) – Denilson Sá Nov 12 '10 at 11:11
up vote 10 down vote accepted

Mining while underwater or swimming takes 5 times as long.

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But note that it only happens if you are underwater. If you mine a block that is underwater, but you are off the water, then there is no speed penalty. – Denilson Sá Nov 12 '10 at 11:12

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