Originally Posted by Sorontar
The chunk loading isn't the only issue. Leaving gapping big holes in the ground is another as is uncontrolled mining. For this reason, by default, turtles have the same rules as quarries. If a player can't restrict where the turtle goes, then they shouldn't be using it.
While we are open to considering changes to rules like this, we are trying to keep things simple. The quarry rules are designed for large scale mining but cover all uses of the relevant machines by default. If you want to use any mining turtle for some other purposes, you are well to outline your plans to a member of the Admin team and they will consider giving you once-off permission to be an exception. Generally though you will be told to just do it in 9x9 stages. I am not aware of any exceptions we have granted. Most requests have just been players wanting to be lazy and clear a room etc in one go rather than stages like everyone else (or by hand).
Ok, but taking my example of a turtle that mines slice by slice where each slice has the depth of the world, is 9 blocks wide and 1 block thick, how do you determine that the turtle stops at each 9 block stage? If it's a quarry this threshold is easily distinguishable in that you will break the quarry once it's done and re-place it in a new spot. In the case of the turtle it's simply a matter of telling it to continue on to the next 9x9 area, something it's perfectly capable of doing all by itself opposed to a quarry which can't move itself.
Or look at it this way; you arrive at my quarry location to check that I'm not breaking the rules. If I were using a quarry it's easy for you to do so, you can simply check how large it is. However, you can't see if my turtle (digging in the above mentioned manner) is working in sections of 9x9 because it immediately starts the new section as soon as it's done with the previous. To you it's just a large ditch in the ground with dimensions 9x[length].
I can even define the turtles digging area as 1x1x[depth]. This would be allowed as per the quarry rules because it's smaller than 9x9x[depth] yes? Then as soon as the turtle is finished with that area, it goes on to the next 1x1x[depth] area, that so happens to be next to the previous one. This is still within the rules as far as I know. Now once it has dug a 200x200x[depth] area, can you say I broke the rules? In my eyes one column was one quarry operation. I can even let the turtle finish each column by placing 2-3 cobble on top, effectively sealing the quarry at the same time.
This is not an attempt to reinterpreting the rules, I'm simply trying to illustrate that the quarry rules as they stand currently do not apply at all to turtles. Trying to do so only results in incompatibilities and special cases. Turtles and quarries are too different from each others to work well under the same ruleset.
In any way, I don't understand how this could emerge from a thread about tree cutting, maybe it should be moved to its own thread?