[Mini-guide] How to make a lake on your residence.

Discussion in 'Player Guides, Tips and Tricks' started by ShelLuser, Sep 14, 2016.

  1. Hi gang!

    So the other day SMP2's own WuerdGirl asked me if I knew how to get a calm lake. At first I was a bit confused; I suppose I could bring a jukebox and try singing, but I knew that it would be a sure way to get the complete opposite results :D As it turned out WuerdGirl had made a lake but as is common with these things the water kept flowing everywhere!

    Now, I actually happen to know a few tricks to set something like that up, and without having to fill everything with water. Unfortunately I don't use it very often, so at first I goofed. And that got me thinking... I asked Wuerd if she would mind to star in my latest guide, and after she told me that she was fine with that I started with some preparations (besides helping out of course!).

    Behold: a mysterious wall of water ;)

    Water source blocks

    Before I get to the actual procedure itself I'd like to briefly explain how the 'water mechanics' work in Minecraft. Water is actually a block on its own. We can walk through it, it can actually spread (flow), but it's still an official block (though a special one, just like air). The fun part about water is that it can create new water blocks.

    When an empty space (or flowing water block) sits besides 2 water source blocks then a new water source block is created. This allows you to create an infinite water source:

    Infinite water source, created with only 2 buckets of water.

    In the example on the left you place a water block near the edges, and a new block will be created in the middle. Scoop it out using an empty bucket and a new block will be immediately created. The example on the right does the same, but here you can scoop up the water from any corner you'd like. You start by placing a water block in the opposite corners, after which the rest of the water is created.

    And it is this mechanic which you can also use to get your lake filled up fully automatically!

    Step 1 - Straight edges!

    The best way to start is by making sure that the edges of your lake are straightened out, and that you start with a square-like shape. It can be a rectangle of some sort, that won't be a problem, but if you also want to add curves and such then it might be best to add those after you created the main lake area.

    Step 2 - Stop the flow!

    By default water (and lava) will flow on your residence. In other words: if you place a water block then the water will spread out. But did you know that you can actually control this? Before you start placing water use this command: /res set flow false (you can use 'f' instead of 'false'). This will stop all liquids from flowing: when you place them nothing will happen.

    2 walls of water, placed by both WuerdGirl and myself

    Step 3 - Fill the walls!

    If you have a relative small lake (and also not too deep) then filling 2 sides ('walls') of the lake will be enough. However, if you're trying to make a lake the size of WuerdGirl's project then you'll need to fill all 4 walls. Simply because the area would be too big for all the water blocks to be created.


    Because you stopped water from flowing its also impossible to use any water generators on that residence. Not much of a problem if you have a 2nd residence or a waste (or frontier) outpost in the middle of an ocean (like /waste s on SMP2 at the time of writing), but it could be a problem.

    So you could decide to start by filling 2 walls, then let the lake generate some water blocks which you can then scoop up and place on the other walls to eventually complete the project. I'll be honest: I discovered that by accident. I was convinced that filling 2 sides would be enough, no matter the size, but that was a miscalculation:

    Water blocks are forming (see middle, left of the wood pillar), but the lake is too big for 2 walls...

    Step 4 - Reflow!

    When all the (required) walls are filled you can start the magic. First re-enable liquids to flow by using this command: /res set flow true. You can also use: /res set flow remove, this will 'reset' the flow flag to its default value. Which is... true.

    After you used this command you'll notice something astonishing: Nothing happens! :D

    And there's a good explanation for that too: just because you allowed liquids to flow again doesn't mean that the server will automatically realize that it should do so. But you can force this: simply place another water block somewhere in the wall, doesn't really matter where. This will trigger a so called block update, and that will result in all water blocks to pick up their normal behavior again: flowing!

    I was quite happy to see that my theory did work afterall!

    Triggering the other wall created enough blocks to start a chain reaction which filled the entire lake.

    And the end result?

    Yes, that was a wrong chat comment, I did that a lot that evening ;)

    Step 5 - Enjoy your new lake!

    As you can see you don't have to fill the entire hole with water. Just turn off the flow, fill up the sides and the turn flow back on again. The water will then do the rest for you.

    If you'd like to see this lake for yourself then you can! Just go to: /v wuerdgirl-2 on SMP2. Be sure to bring a fishing rod, you might want to catch a few fish while you're there ;)
    DaysInTheDust and EnderMagic1 like this.
  2. I haven't used this trick before; it's cool, thanks for sharing!
  3. Sweet. I normally just dug my hole but then place a block layer one block below my water level. Filled that top layer in and then dug out that block layer allowing the water to fall and fill the dug out hole.
    ShelLuser likes this.
  4. That is also a very good way to do this, I'll be sure to give that a try as well sometimes, sounds like less work than my method.
    AncientTower likes this.
  5. I had no idea you could stop the flow! Fantastically easy to place everything right with that.

    However, you need far less source blocks if you simply place them on a diagonal from one corner to another of a square opening. To do more than one block deep I imagine you could place a "curtain" of water across the diagonal, but I'd have to test this.
    ShelLuser likes this.
  6. If i made a lake kn my res it would iceify cuz
    My res is rather chilly
  7. Awesome! Switching gravity and physics? :D yay.