(I am not a 100% sure if this post belongs to this topic, but it has a lot to do with the structure of a world.)
I think chunks should have a a value/property that defines their height in what I like to call "16 block units." This value could change according to usage and save a lot of memory! (It would also allow a max world height of 4096 blocks, if the chunk's height value was 8-bits in size.)
How does this value get changed, you might ask!
Of course, this would be dependent of the way Mojang implemented it, but this is my idea of it:
1. A block gets placed at a certain height.
2. If the Y-coordinate of the new block being placed is higher than ChunkHeight * 16, the value will be set to NewBlockY / 16 + 1.
3. Some reallocation happens.
To avoid lag, the value could also be locked and only be changeable using a command.
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