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Bioxx

Encumberance Inventory system

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Who was that response meant for? There is no one by the name of trix in this thread.

That was at you.

I have no idea how it ended up like that. :mellow:

 

 

I think the weight discount could be an interesting mechanic, but only if it's a considered choice between one of several options.  If all I have to do is craft a pouch and have it in my inventory, or in a pouch slot, that's easy and a no-brainer.  As soon as I have a little extra leather I just do it, and it's there for the rest of the game.  Kind of boring.

 

However, if storage options have to be weighed against other wearable options for clothing, then it becomes an interesting gameplay choice that they have to always consider.  So if I have to choose between backpack, quiver, or cloak for warmth (assuming we ever have body temperature as a thing).  Or breastplate, bandolier, or warm jacket.  Greaves, cargo pants, or warm pants.  Now the player is having to consider and plan.  It's not just something they do once and never again.  In that context, I like the idea.

 

Oh yeah absolutely. Thanks for defining the idea. I was going for a cost benefit balance. That you could either carry x or y, which should make the system more customisable and the experiience more unique. Not to mention that having more customisation gives the player more tools to intelligently react to situations.

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After all that has been said here I am not so sure of the benefits of a weighted system anymore. Right now we have a stack and inventory management system. Some items are considered too big to fit inside a chest or other containers.

At first I got very excited with the prospect of a weighted system, then I realized that in the end is just about inventory management, Right now we cannot move if we have 2 anvils in our inventory, the same for 2 barrels. So if the purpose is to give an incentive to the use of different containers and methods of transportation, that could be achieved just by reducing the stack size and what can go where.

Please do not get me wrong, a weighted system have it's advantages, but usually games that use it always have a level up that allows the player to increase it's capacity. In the end the player is capable to carry Tons and Tons, for me this ruins the whole thing.

Another aspect that gets me thinking, is that it gives me the impression, (even though is a new code) that it would be easy to just tweak some changes in the inventory than to come up with a whole new system for weighted items.

Maybe bioxx time ( And is his time and he can do whatever he wants with it) would be better used coding the new ways of transportation:

Hand Cart, pack mule, horse pulled wagon, Bull wagon, maybe a basket for grains and fruits.

Just saying that assigning what can go where and how it stacks may be easy to manage than a full weighted system. Specially because of the way building works in minecraft, where players have hundreds of blocks in the inventory.

There are things that need fixing right now, like the possibility to fill small vessels and then put then in barrels in our backs, increasing the barrels by 4 times the original limit. I see it as a exploit,  one that I use, but think it should be changed. Maybe by just not allowing small vessels inside barrels.

I am not, again, I am not speaking against a weighted system, am just calling attention to some other aspects of this discussion.

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Heh, that's what I was arguing at first.  I wasn't really seeing the benefits of weighted vs size based, and was concerned that if size wasn't still a component, it might be difficult to maintain some of the container hierarchies which play an important part in current inventory management system.  But, I realized a few things:  

 

- The weight system allows a sliding scale of overburdening with speed reduction, rather than a binary move/not move system.  Which is probably a good thing.  Though the size system could probably be adjusted to allow a size that disallows sprinting, and another that reduces movement to foliage speed.  That many size/speed relations may be hard to balance with containers though, unless none of them fit in containers.

- Concerns over building material limitations could ultimately be addressed by simply upping the default weight limit if the devs or community decided it was not 'fun'.  If there's a config option for it, there'd really be no reason to complain I think.

- Having a weight system allows for magic and potions that can increase the  limit.  Which provides more unique opportunities for those systems.  I'm not sure this would be very easy to code with a purely size based system.

- A weight system will probably allow for some gradations of transportation, so a hand cart has a greater weight capacity than a player, a donkey greater than a hand cart, and a mine cart greater than a donkey (or whatever).  In a pure size system I think the only way to reflect that would be with variance in number of slots, which given the player inventory already has as many slots as anything, might not have been a huge incentive.

 

So I do think there's some advantages to having weight as a component, though I still think keeping size in the mix is probably a good idea.

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@Darmo - All points that I would make myself here. I would add to point 4 that having a pure weight system means that we could give a barrel 100 slots and it really shouldn't be unbalanced as long as items themselves aren't unbalanced.

 

- As to the issue of size, I would say that the size parameter is probably already represented to some small extent by the stacksize system that we are forced to keep no matter what. Rather than trying to set some arbitrary size restriction like in TFC1, it seems easier and more intuitive for the player to not have to focus on that. Altering the inventory system in any way will add more complexity for the player to deal with, so our goal with the encumbrance system should be to present it to the player in a way that is as easy as possible for him/her to understand and deal with. TFC1 inventory was a good try at something new, but I was never really happy with it. It seems to me that if all I have to deal with is stack sizes and a weight indicator while I'm in a container, my time will be spent much more efficiently.

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Any ideas on how we could handle very heavy objects? Like Anvils and sealed barrels? On that note the barrels should consider the weight of the items inside it. that would also solve the issue of empty sealed barrels.

I like the way we have set now where those items need to be carried one at a time in the back. 

The way personal inventory works it has to allow multiple items on it, the only limitation is movement. 

Now an anvil has to be so heavy that it can only be carried in the back and only one at a time. My concern is how heavy will we make the anvil or a full barrel be so the player cannot carry multiples, but at the same time we can have enough of them in a cart or wagon.

Maybe an idea is to have a somewhat loosed based in real life for everything but building materials. It will always be out of the believable the amount of stone blocks that a player can have in it's inventory. So if the unit of weight is one stone, and anvil will need to weight several stones to make it impossible for the player to go around with a dozen of them. Not realistic or believable, but a necessary sacrifice for gameplay.

It occurs to me that we could create 2 different weight systems that somehow complement each other.On one side we could have things that right now have inventory stack limitations, like tools, large vessels, ingots, barrels and so on. On the other side it would be building materials, raw stone, smooth and cobble should all weight the same. Logs and planks should weigh somewhat less then stone. 

The thing is that we would need to make one pickaxe to weight the same as several stones, How many? maybe as much as one stack.

Understand that I did not consider all variables, am just raising issues that will need addressing.

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I think transportation material tier should influence the maximum weight of a cart/wagon/stuff, while also adding slot number/max size variety. So, you can make a tier 5 cart that can lift 1600 stone and has 40 slot/2000 cubic meter capacity, or a tier 5 wagon that lift 1200 stone and has 80 slot/4000 cubic meter capacity, or a tier 5 crate that can lift 2000 stone but only 20 slot/1000 cubic meter capacity. But you can't make a tier 3 crate, or tier 2 wagon, etc.

 

Size should be a constant limit, thus countered with new transport designs(cart, wagon, train, ship etc.) or upgraded designs(handcart, cart, minecart, container, bulk container etc.), but weight limit should be increased along with player progression.

 

Heck, why not add a strength attribute to the player which will increase the max weight, and 'inventory management' skill that increases stack size(up to 64)/size limit(arbitrary!)?

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Some of my concerns with just weight are similar to Tony's I guess.  Will anvils and water barrels be super-weighty to simulate the limits now?  Specially coded?  Or will the player just be able to carry multiples?

 

But not just heavy items.  Will a player be able to have a barrel/large vessel full of containers full of very light things in inventory?  When starting, can I have my large vessel, filled with vessels, and thus carry every single seed, nugget, and other bric-a-brac I happen to pick up?  Plus one full of water?  Can I go on an epic gathering trip and have a barrel of vessels for all the berry bushes and saplings, and another for all the flowers? And another for hides and bones and other miscellany?  Right now there's a limit because you can only carry one barrel/LV that has stuff in it.  I have to choose between a barrel of water or a barrel of items.  And there's a practical limit on how many vessels you can have in inventory before it becomes hard to operate

 

I've always thought it weird that arrows and leads didn't fit in vessels.  I won't be at all sorry to see those liberalized.  But I did think the back carrying limits were a good choice-forcing mechanism on those particular large items, and contributed to the believability of the game.  Maybe we don't need the size system for that, but I do hope that something like it is present.  I'd be a bit disappointed if that went away.

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Some of my concerns with just weight are similar to Tony's I guess.  Will anvils and water barrels be super-weighty to simulate the limits now?  Specially coded?  Or will the player just be able to carry multiples?

 

One solution that came to my mind is to assume that blocks in item form are actually smaller and lighter than their block counterpart. Kinda like what some MC fan-fiction does. That way normal stuff have normal weight and you still can carry hundreds of blocks. 

 

But not just heavy items.  Will a player be able to have a barrel/large vessel full of containers full of very light things in inventory?  When starting, can I have my large vessel, filled with vessels, and thus carry every single seed, nugget, and other bric-a-brac I happen to pick up?  Plus one full of water?  Can I go on an epic gathering trip and have a barrel of vessels for all the berry bushes and saplings, and another for all the flowers? And another for hides and bones and other miscellany?  Right now there's a limit because you can only carry one barrel/LV that has stuff in it.  I have to choose between a barrel of water or a barrel of items.  And there's a practical limit on how many vessels you can have in inventory before it becomes hard to operate

Eh, why not? One thing to note, though: Barrels and LVs have weight and is limited in capacity. So you can't put 10 vessels(5 ArbitraryVolumeUnit capacity:5.2 AVU size) into a LV(48 AVU capacity:50 AVU). You can only fit 9 vessel(46.8 AVU) into a LV.

Thus your effective storage would be 46.2 AVU if you use vessels to organize, preserve, and store more kind of stuff and 48 AVU if you are the bulk-transport kind.

 

So, yeah, you should be able to pick up stuff willy-nilly, but keep in mind that your barrel of vessels is not a bag of holding. 

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One other thing that I really would like to see added to the game is specialized containers.

On the start of the game the player should be able to create a simple basket that would allow to carry seeds and food. It is believable and free up the inventory for other items.

Even though a barrel can hold solids it should not go on your back but need a handcart for that. Only barrels with liquids should go in the back with a weight system. It would simulate the fact that no one can lift a barrel full of rocks. So you can still use barrels for storage of solid items, they would just not go on your back.

I also think ores and ingots should be heavier than stone, to justify the use of minecarts, and all sort of transportation. 

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Even though a barrel can hold solids it should not go on your back but need a handcart for that. Only barrels with liquids should go in the back with a weight system. It would simulate the fact that no one can lift a barrel full of rocks. So you can still use barrels for storage of solid items, they would just not go on your back.

I also think ores and ingots should be heavier than stone, to justify the use of minecarts, and all sort of transportation. 

 

I would rather implement a check on the barrel whether the barrel+content's weight meets your strength capability or not. I'd still like to lift a barrel half full of ores when the only way I could afford is barrels.

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That could work too, but by the time you are able to make a barrel you should also be able to make a hand cart, or more precisely a wheelbarrow.  

The way I see, having a barrel in your back should cause immediate slowness, unless it is empty or very light.

Pushing a cart should not slow you, but should not allow you to run.

A horse pulled wagon should give you same speed as a player running and a bull wagon would be the same as a player walking but with a much heavier load.

When pushing a cart the player is unable to pick up items or fight, so you have to stop the cart to harvest something , load in the cart and continue your journey.

Edited by TonyLiberatto
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So, yeah, you should be able to pick up stuff willy-nilly, but keep in mind that your barrel of vessels is not a bag of holding. 

That I know.  But my concern is will i be able to carry MULTIPLE barrels full of vessels?  That becomes, in effect, unlimited.   I don't know how containers will be limited - if by weight, or just simply stack size.   But even if weight is in the picture, tiny items - sticks, seeds, etc, will almost certainly weight a very minimal amount.  In my head I've been assuming .1 stone, even though Bioxx gave an example of a water jug weighting .1 stone, in which case a stick could logically weigh .02 stone or something (I don't know what this "AVU" is, btw).  But a 64 stack in that scenario would be 6.4 stone, which would be 25.6 stone per vessel.  So ok, that's fine right, the player can only carry slightly under 10 vessels full of .1 stone items in stacks of 64.  No problem there, that's less than a barrel.  But in the beginning, the player doesn't usually have full stacks of anything.  The inventory is limited simply by the number of slots available.  They could have many seed stacks of 10 or less, weighing 1 stone or under each.  There's only 19 crops.  Then there's berry bushes, fruit saplings, regular saplings.  will all those weight .1 stone each?  A large vessel full of vessels full of stacks of ten .1 stone items would weigh only 36 stone.  Depending on weights of tools, and such, a player can probably easily carry 6 such sets of vessels (54 vessels), which would basically be enough to pick up everything and anything.  The weight of the large vessel itself may be a limiting factor.  But even being able to carry 3 LV full of vessels, the player would never have to be choosy at the start I think. 

 

For me anyway, the start is a choosy time.  I tend to wander pretty far looking for the perfect site that is both scenic and practical.  And in the past I've had to be picky about the things I take with me.  Now if that went away, it's not the end of the world.  And probably a lot of people settle sooner rather than later, or don't have good inventory management (most youtubers it seems like), and it won't make a difference for them anyway.  But I think it would take away some of the balancing mechanisms the game requires.  I'm actually with Tony, I'd love to see *more* items be either excluded from containers entirely (beds, quorn bases) or at least from vessels and barrels (fishing poles, ladders, jackolanterns) or have their own specialized containers (per my burlap bag suggestion for bushes and saplings).  I think specialized containers forces the player to think more about what their plan is, what they're doing - as opposed to just hoovering up anything and everything they come across.   The log and ingot piles are great examples of specialized containers.  Ingots especially, since there's no logical reason they wouldn't fit in a chest, but forcing them to be world-placed I think adds greatly to the world.

Edited by Darmo
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I really dislike decimals in a weight system. I grew up with the gram and on the daily life you never need anything smaller than that.

I believe the first thing in creating a weight system is to find the lightest object and create a unit based on that.

There are also practical reason as to why people always had multiple units for weight.

like ounces, pounds, ton etc. Not sure if they are really needed, but if we need to have items weighting 1000's of the smaller unit then we may have to use other units.

Another idea is to combine weight and stack system, so for example you cannot stack pickaxes. Not sure about that, as if we keep all the stack limitations then we are really not switching to a weight system. 

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That I know.  But my concern is will i be able to carry MULTIPLE barrels full of vessels?  That becomes, in effect, unlimited.   I don't know how containers will be limited - if by weight, or just simply stack size.   But even if weight is in the picture, tiny items - sticks, seeds, etc, will almost certainly weight a very minimal amount.  In my head I've been assuming .1 stone, even though Bioxx gave an example of a water jug weighting .1 stone, in which case a stick could logically weigh .02 stone or something (I don't know what this "AVU" is, btw).  But a 64 stack in that scenario would be 6.4 stone, which would be 25.6 stone per vessel.  So ok, that's fine right, the player can only carry slightly under 10 vessels full of .1 stone items in stacks of 64.  No problem there, that's less than a barrel.  But in the beginning, the player doesn't usually have full stacks of anything.  The inventory is limited simply by the number of slots available.  They could have many seed stacks of 10 or less, weighing 1 stone or under each.  There's only 19 crops.  Then there's berry bushes, fruit saplings, regular saplings.  will all those weight .1 stone each?  A large vessel full of vessels full of stacks of ten .1 stone items would weigh only 36 stone.  Depending on weights of tools, and such, a player can probably easily carry 6 such sets of vessels (54 vessels), which would basically be enough to pick up everything and anything.  The weight of the large vessel itself may be a limiting factor.  But even being able to carry 3 LV full of vessels, the player would never have to be choosy at the start I think.

 

Arbitrary Volume Unit , because we don't have a measurement for volume. Do you want to use mB?

 

For that case, I would say that barrels and LVs have their own weight. Plus, small, light items still uses up capacity of your containers. If one of the limits is reached (total player weight, container weight limit(based on material used), container capacity, or container slots), you should not be able to add more items, as it is considered to be 'full' or impractical to manage.

 

Here is an excerpt from Stranded III dev blog that I think is how inventory should work.

 

The number of item slots in your inventory is theoretically unlimited (like Stranded II). But all items will have two numeric attributes: size and weight and your character will have a maximum capacity. You will not be able to carry more stuff when the sum of your items + the item you are trying to pick up exceeds your maximum capacity (so capacity is basically equal to the weight system of Stranded II). Weight is not gone though. Items still have a weight. Weight will not limit how much you can carry but a high weight will have negative impacts. Your character will not be able to run anymore when weight exceeds a certain limit. It may also become slower, jump less high or may get hungry and thirsty faster.

This system also allows to express stuff like large and light items like palm leaves or heavy but small items. This makes the game more realistic. I think how much stuff you can carry and how it influences you is pretty important for a survival game.

I'm also thinking about making single items which actually exceed your maximum capacity in size. You won't be able to put those in your inventory. Instead you will only be able to hold this stuff directly in your hands which also makes you quite defenseless as you are forced to unequip your weapon.

This is great for multiplayer and might lead to scenarios like: "hey I want to move this heavy rock. Can you please protect me while I'm doing this?"

Capacity and weight will be displayed visually with two bars. The amount taken by a certain item or stack of items will be highlighted on those bars when hovering the items in the inventory.

I'm planning to make it possible to craft bags (which will be equipped to the player). The better your bags are the higher your capacity is. Special clothing might provide additional capacity. Like trousers with pockets.

Edited by Miner239
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Ah, so there would be a numeric track for weight, and separate numeric track for 'bulk' or whatever, both of which can accumulate to over-encumber the player.  Ya, I kind of like that.    The part about being able to carry a very large item in your hands, but it takes up both hands and you can't equip anything else, is a good one too.  That would have been a super-useful feature in Terrafirmacrack season 3.

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Dropping this here, too.

 

e25CrMF.gif

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Yup I agree about having weight and bulk as two independant axes for measuring an item. :D

 

Personally not a fan of having an excessively abstracted system. I can't really envision carrying more than 3 vessels IRL. However I get that that's a bit hardcore. Perhaps some sort of a variable we can adjust.

 

One issue also highlighted by your quote Miner239 is that we need a good indication system.

Don't get me wrong I know we can just throw some numbers on the screen but for me personally I find that more immersion breaking than having an illogical carrying capacity. Not to mention that anyone vaguely dyscalculaic, or simply doesn't enjoy handling lots of different numbers won't enjoy it.

Although please don't misinterpret that as disinterest in this idea. I'd just like to facilitate it. However this may need another thread on interface systems as it bleeds into how we display environmental factors, and so on.

 

One way might be to have some sort of effect on the camera. A small shaking when things are getting heavy, or a bob that mimics slow ponderous footsteps, at the same time as a slowed speed.

Another might be to have a small symbol integrated to the hotbar as that's what we most identify as representing out inventory.

Third we could Have a simple gauge.

edit: Another Idea. I don't think we should rule out audible cues either. They're so passive that I forget about them but they are very effective that's for sure. Moreover their passivity adds to the benefit by not obscuring the players senses unintuitively.

 

Learning from the Skyrim mod Frostfall it seems that one important factor is simplifying the screen by having the indicators visibility directly tied to its imminence a the time.

i.e. when you're not at all encumbered you can't see anything and have to access the inventory for example to see what your level is.

Also learned from that mod is that you can use more than one indicators for a smoother experience.

Edited by Thorah
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A gauge and the slowness should suffice, I think.

 

How about making encumbrance divided into 4 sections like ADOM? The linear movement penalty would still hold, and being over-encumbered still makes you immobile. But then more penalty would go to those who hover just below the limit.

 

Encumbrance system would change combat greatly, I think.

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Well yes I was just throwing out a few ideas to oil the gears. Although I don't think we should discount the benefit of more subtle alerts. I#d enjoy the game from an immersion level much more.

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I'm not keen for encumbrance. There is already enough inventory management as it is. If you want the way the player carries things to be realistic, they would have to shift each block of stone individually. Remember that the aim of this mod is believability, not realism. This is Minecraft after all. If you want encumbrance to be realistic, where do you draw the line? Next it will be "the terrain shouldn't be made of blocks, that's not realistic." Even besides this argument, I don't think it will make the mod fun.

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'Realistic' is a banned word Uncle Gus and you'll very rarely ever hear me say it or want it associated with what I do. The goal of encumbrance is NOT to make things more real, but to facilitate the need for players to use other mechanics such as transportation in a way other than as a novelty. 

 

When I first bought minecraft back in 2010, I was so disappointed to learn that minecarts were absolutely useless. To this day their only real purpose is to make fancy rollercoasters. Players COULD use the chest carts to transport items now if they wanted but the simple fact remains that they won't unless they actually NEED to do it.

 

If anyone has a realistic proposal other than encumbrance that achieves the same goals, I am more than willing to go back and forth on the pros and cons to figure out what works better.

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Maybe I've been playing too much Fallout but I think a system of encumbrance would be great.

My idea strays from the idea of a "slotted" inventory and goes into the idea of an inventory determined by weight, perhaps in a list format.

My idea goes like this:

 

- All items can stack as much as possible (because stacking wouldn't need to be the system used to limit inventory space)

 

- All players have a stat system (similar to the S.P.E.C.I.A.L in Fallout which starts at 0 and progresses throughout the game) This adds things like weight limits of players for the amount of stuff they can carry, agility for holding large and clumsy items and stuff like that. Perhaps this could be linked with experience and leveling.

 

- The inventory is kind of like the creative mode scroll system where you can just keep scrolling down when you need more slots.

 

- The thing that limits this however is the maximum weight limit, which stops you from putting infinite items into your inventory.

 

- The closer you get to the maximum weight limit, the slower your character gets until you go over the limit and then your character will be unable to move until they go back under the limit.

 

When I look at my idea on paper (or rather "screen") it does look a bit floppy but I would really like to see something similar to this in a Minecraft game.

Thanks for taking the time to read this,

Illumire.


Maybe I've been playing too much Fallout but I think a system of encumbrance would be great.

My idea strays from the idea of a "slotted" inventory and goes into the idea of an inventory determined by weight, perhaps in a list format.

My idea goes like this:

 

- All items can stack as much as possible (because stacking wouldn't need to be the system used to limit inventory space)

 

- All players have a stat system (similar to the S.P.E.C.I.A.L in Fallout which starts at 0 and progresses throughout the game) This adds things like weight limits of players for the amount of stuff they can carry, agility for holding large and clumsy items and stuff like that. Perhaps this could be linked with experience and leveling.

 

- The inventory is kind of like the creative mode scroll system where you can just keep scrolling down when you need more slots.

 

- The thing that limits this however is the maximum weight limit, which stops you from putting infinite items into your inventory.

 

- The closer you get to the maximum weight limit, the slower your character gets until you go over the limit and then your character will be unable to move until they go back under the limit.

 

When I look at my idea on paper (or rather "screen") it does look a bit floppy but I would really like to see something similar to this in a Minecraft game.

Thanks for taking the time to read this,

Illumire.

I haven't read this thread by the way so sorry if I repeat anything already said.

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'Realistic' is a banned word Uncle Gus and you'll very rarely ever hear me say it or want it associated with what I do. The goal of encumbrance is NOT to make things more real, but to facilitate the need for players to use other mechanics such as transportation in a way other than as a novelty. 

 

When I first bought minecraft back in 2010, I was so disappointed to learn that minecarts were absolutely useless. To this day their only real purpose is to make fancy rollercoasters. Players COULD use the chest carts to transport items now if they wanted but the simple fact remains that they won't unless they actually NEED to do it.

 

If anyone has a realistic proposal other than encumbrance that achieves the same goals, I am more than willing to go back and forth on the pros and cons to figure out what works better.

 

What about having certain items that can only be carried by minecart?

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What about having certain items that can only be carried by minecart?

 

Fair idea. I understand not finding encumbrance particularly enjoyable.

My ideas behind encumbrance were to maintain the internal consistency of the world, to ensure you feel as though you're in a world that could be real if you will. To that end some manifestation of the players limitations makes sense and it appears this is the best idea we have for it so far. Further to that I feel just assigning certain objects to the minecart would always produce an obvious contradiction. I would expect there to always be a lack of believability no matter how you determined the items to be assigned your suggested quality.

 

e.g.

If we say that all full block require a minecart. How come I can carry hundreds of ingots of iron in my inventory, but cannot carry a single block.

 

That's why I was harping on so much about the player being able to discern what can and can't be carried logically. I was hoping that might move encumbrance away from a frustration as I assume you'd view it, toward a fact that grounds you in the world. A fact that makes it feel more intense when you're running from a bear debating whether or not to drop something. Or perhaps admiring your castle knowing that it's physical presence is more than just aesthetic as the blocks had to be carted there from the distant granite mine.

I appreciate that idea might not solve it but that's the believability that we're going for is my impression.

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Yeah, the whole inventory system is a bit of a quandary, hence this discussion :P if it was obvious, Bioxx would have come up with something already. I personally wouldn't mind if things like felling a tree and chopping it up and moving small portions of it at a time were a bit more of a process. Same with rocks. Like, maybe the player can carry a reasonable quantity of rocks but not many rock _blocks_. You'd end up leaving a lot of stuff behind, which isn't so bad. I guess the most frustrating thing about it would be the fact that minecarts are fairly late game, and slowing down the player that doesn't have them might be a bit brutal in terms of how long it would take to progress.

 

But maybe that's a good thing? Like you say, creating a castle would be a fairly monumental task if you had to cart each block individually in a minecart. In the meantime, everyone else on the server is living in wattle and daub huts, or perhaps a log cabin if they've got a bit of tech. That wouldn't actually be so bad :)

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