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Ive been building various monster grinders lately and using water flows to bring the items dropped to a collection point. I've noticed that the items pushed along by the water travel much slower than a player being pushed. Does anyone know why? Is it intentional?

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@Kevin FWIW, there are probably better ways to word your comment so it doesn't seem as snarky to new users. ;) In addition, I would assume the user is looking for a description of whether this is a bug or intended (and why it is intended) rather than how. –  Shaun Mar 31 '11 at 3:19
    
Heh, that did come out a little snarky, sorry @user7992. I have a feeling the behaviour is intended, but I don't have any evidence to back up either side. –  Kevin Y Mar 31 '11 at 3:37
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My best guess would be it's a result of the water physics, and not specifically intended, one way or the other. –  Raven Dreamer Mar 31 '11 at 3:40
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As of 1.4 you now move slower in water but I am unsure if it is the same speed as items. –  Ronan Forman Mar 31 '11 at 17:22
    
@Ronan Forman - Thanks! I didn't realise the game had been updated until I read your comment just now :-) –  Kurley Mar 31 '11 at 17:40
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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Silly answer: The resources are being shoved along the ground and dragging on it (they're not floating, after all), whereas the player is at risk of falling over, so must walk with the current to keep their balance.

Actual relevant information: Note that resources move far faster in a water current on top of ice (faster than the apparent current!), and slower on soul sand. This indicates that the slowness of resources is mostly caused by friction. Maybe the player inherently "has less friction", and therefore moves faster.


[I say "resource" rather than "item" to refer to dropped things because of the convention that "items" are those things-you-can-carry which are not blocks (so resources are both items and blocks), and Notch called them resources at least in the past.]

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Silly comment: water is a lubricant. –  The Annoying Pyro Jun 2 '11 at 3:08
    
Well, it is... –  Raven Dreamer Jun 2 '11 at 5:37
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One theory, and most likely why, is that Notch wanted to make sure the player could move fast enough, faster than the items, so the player could collect them.

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I was going to mark this answer up, but then I realised the question asks why the water pushes the player faster, rather than why the player can move (intentionally) faster through the water. –  Kurley Mar 31 '11 at 8:10
    
@kurley yeah, it makes sense to let the player move intentionally faster, but as you pointed out the difference in speeds when the player isn't pressing a move key is what I'm asking about –  Fambida Mar 31 '11 at 19:02
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