1) Take 64 cobblestone and 64 coal, divide it by 8.
2) Craft 8 furnaces and place 8 coal into each one.
3) divide smelting materials by 8 and put them into the furnaces
4) Things now smelt faster
5) Problem Minecraft?
Does that include the idea that other members' ideas are invalid when expressed using fewer than an arbitrary number of sentences?
I find that the forums are a more constructive place when we argue for or against things based on their merit and potential impact on the game experience.
I think Kira's suggestion of having multiple furnaces is the way most players choose to deal with this. If we're referring to the special case of smelting a single item then the time needed is 9.25 seconds (per the wiki) which we can round up to 10s including latency/retrieval. As you smelt larger quantities of items simultaneously the time per smelted item decreases dramatically:
Bad napkin math follows:
1. It takes a player 5 seconds to load a furnace with 8 coal and 64 items to be smelted and move on to the next furnace.
2. The player fills a furnace then moves to a next furnace in a room of infinite furnaces and does so until they know the first furnace is empty.
3. It takes the player another 5 seconds per furnace to empty the results.
First, determine how many furnaces they can fill before they need to retrieve the results of the first...
5 seconds per furnace x N furnaces = 640 seconds before the first furnace finishes
N = 128 furnaces
Then, calculate the time it took them per finished result...
64 finishes items x 128 furnaces = 8192 smelted items
8192 items / (640s to load each furnace + 640s to retrieve from each furnace) = 6.4 items per second
6.4 items per second = 0.16 seconds per smelted item
You can change how long the player takes to load/unload furnaces but even if you assume 10 seconds per load/retrieval you're still looking at under 1/3 of a second to smelt an item when dealing with large quantities. In reality you don't even need to smelt nearly this quantity of items to achieve similar speeds, nor do most players take 10 seconds to load a furnace.
Does the OP feel that multiple items per second is still too slow to smelt material? I feel like if smelting were faster it might cheapen the overall experience/sense of accomplishment for the player.
I actually saw a suggestion for this that seemed well balanced. You make a blast furnace, which is fueled with gunpowder. It smelts things instantly, but at the cost of 1 gunpowder/2 items. Usually too expensive to bother with, but a nice perk for the gunpowder-rich player.
Can't find the thread right now, but just search for "Blast Furnace".
I think people are going a little hard on the idea... we have tools that mine faster and last longer... its like saying a stone pick mines fast enough we dont need diamond... i would say something more along the lines of
would make an updated furnace... Or "BLAST FURNACE" as i read earlier... or maybe use a new fuel that smelts quicker but smelts less... maybe something from the nether...