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With Minecraft 1.5 (or maybe later), water behavior changed, and my water ladders stopped working. While I'm sure that they worked at all, was due to a glitch - still, it was a fun glitch. :)

According to the wiki, they are still possible, just harder to make - so how do you make one? Also, is it possible/easy to convert the existing ladders, or do you have to rebuild it completely?

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By 'water ladder' you mean a waterfall that you swim up? – Ullallulloo Jun 11 '11 at 14:52
@Ullallulloo - no, it's something else. I added a link to post. Basically, a water ladder is a weird combination of alternating ladders and water blocks, that allows you to travel upwards (in air, not the water), but at very high speeds. – Cyclops Jun 11 '11 at 14:55
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Apparently they still work, but are slower and more difficult to build.

As of Beta 1.5, you are now required to look at the corner between the water and the ladders to even go up the water ladder, and the bottom of the ladder now requires three consecutive ladders without a gap. Going up a water ladder is slightly slower than before, but it's still significantly faster than regular ladders. Also as of Beta 1.5, Minecraft will sometimes recognize the player as "in" the water causing an annoying delay to climbing ladders.

As of Beta 1.6, water ladders are harder to build, slower and more difficult to use, but still allow faster vertical motion than ladders.

Here is a tutorial for 1.5 (at about 2:00 it talks about pre 1.5 water ladders and how to make them work again)

Here is a tutorial for 1.6.6

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Wups, I updated my question as you were posting, I think, sorry. – Cyclops Jun 11 '11 at 14:59
Yep. I added tutorials for 1.5 and 1.6 – user9983 Jun 11 '11 at 15:03
Thanks. It says you can "make your old water ladders work again" - so it's possible to just modify the old ones? Don't have to start from scratch? – Cyclops Jun 11 '11 at 15:07
Yes it looks like you just replace the blocks on the water portion with ladders (signs probably work too) – user9983 Jun 11 '11 at 15:47
@OrigamiRobot, it's hard to tell from the video, but I'm not sure I made my ladder the same way. After you have a horizontal column of water, how many blocks does the water flow vertically, before hitting a sign (original design)? I made mine with only a single block, which means if I destroy the block and replace it with a sign, I'm blocking off the vertical water drop. In the video, it looks like he might have made a two-block horizontal flow - is that correct? – Cyclops Jun 11 '11 at 18:02

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