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Is there some way to move a massive building from underwater to above water in Minecraft? I suspect the answer is pistons, but how would I push the building more than one block? And would the water blocks covering the building stay on top of if after the building is out of water? How would I stop it after it is at surface level?

This will be on a private server, where I am admin. Bukkit will be used, in case someone knows a plugin to do this.

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    I'd just like to point out that pistons can only push a line of twelve blocks at a time, and unless your building is completely solid, would simply push the floor of any room up to meet the ceiling. Basically, pistons are not a good way to move a building.
    – Kurley
    Commented Aug 18, 2011 at 7:57

5 Answers 5

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If you don't mind "cheating", the easiest way would most likely be using MCEdit or WorldEdit. If this building is massive like you say, it would take a very, very long time to move it above ground using pistons. If you really wanted to do this, though, you would put a piston under a block, activate it with a lever, place a block in the new empty space, and repeat. Unfortunately, since you are supposedly underwater, this would be very difficult.

However, I have done testing, and if you were to push a column of blocks up using a piston and one of them is a water source block, the water simply disappears.

Edit: Now that I see you're an admin on a Minecraft server, I'll give you WorldEdit instructions. To use WorldEdit, first install it on your server. Then use the //wand command to give yourself a Wooden Axe. Use this to left-click on the bottom-leftmost block of your building, and right-click on the top-rightmost block. This encloses your building in a "selection". From there, you can //copy and //paste it wherever you please.

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  • Worldedit it is then. I am planning to make some sort of spectacle for my friends who will be watching me unveil my building, which is why I asked for ingame moving
    – Hadjio
    Commented Aug 18, 2011 at 7:30
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    Sounds cool! If you need more information on WorldEdit usage (it's an extremely powerful plugin), here's the wiki dedicated to it.
    – Kevin Yap
    Commented Aug 18, 2011 at 7:37
  • Uhoh since my building will be underwater, won't the water be moved as well, creating a wall of water, like when moving water in mc edit?
    – Hadjio
    Commented Aug 18, 2011 at 7:49
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    I just ran a test, and doing a //replace water air before your //copy will get rid of all the water, leaving you with a water-less copy of your structure. (The non-water source blocks that the ocean above will create won't affect your copy.)
    – Kevin Yap
    Commented Aug 18, 2011 at 7:53
  • Oh yeah. I forgot about the layer if water above. Wow. I'll have to check, but my building might be >64 blocks tall, so it might not work
    – Hadjio
    Commented Aug 18, 2011 at 8:02
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Pistons can push pistons, as long as the ones that are being pushed are closed.

However, you'd be much better off using WorldEdit.

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you could use the mcedit nudge or copy

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    Can you expand on this? Your answer is a little brief.
    – fredley
    Commented Oct 8, 2013 at 16:44
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In 1.10 and above, you can use a structure block to effectively copy and paste a large region at once.

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You could use a clone command and it will move it like pistons, but faster and without work

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