I almost put this in the /indev/ section, but it really belongs here.
One of the things that I don't like about the system right now is how Cobblestone and Wood come out of Logs and Rock just by harvesting them. Two reasons:
1) It makes it so that they're indistinguishable from their natural counterpart. There's no difference? The Wiki states that Cobblestone is ideal for building, but if it has the same properties as Rock, then why not just use Rock? Same with Logs and Wood. If there's no difference between them, then what's the point of having Wood?
2) The other is a more asthetic choice. Sometimes I want to build with Rock. But I can't harvest rock, not like stonemasons do. I'd like to harvest it pure, just like the ore rocks are, and then refine it if I wish to. The same with Logs. Logs make FANTASTIC pillars, but we can't harvest them. I would much prefer to harvest a whole log block and have to craft it down to wood or other objects.
Here's what I would have:
To get 1 Cobblestone, you'd craft 1 Rock and 1 Sand (for the mortar). Cobblestone, since it requires crafting, should be more resiliant to mining, even with a pickaxe, and should be resistant to explosions.
To get 3 Wood, you'd craft one Log block. Wood should burn faster than Logs, and be quicker to harvest, but be more versatile since you get more per Log block.
While I understand the want for some amount of realism in crafting, sand will need to either be much more common or be made semi-renewable. And by that I mean the ability to break down rock to gravel and then grind gravel to sand.
Basically I want ways to stay as underground as possible. For the Mountainhomes!
That would work, but to that would suggest that Cobblestone is weaker than Rock and wouldn't have any special attributes from crafting since you get more than you put into it. For Wood it's a 3:4 ratio, so really there wouldn't be a point. You already get up to 1:3 as it is now, and I think that's a good ratio to keep.
It's physics, or something like it: If a block has a potential energy of X, and you get three items from it when you craft it, you decrease the potential energy of each block by X/3, correct? It'd be weaker.
For Cobblestone, I don't consider Sand to be a strengthener, merely a binder. To preserve the energy of the Rock your grid should really only provide 2 Cobblestone, letting them share the binder Sand block.
My point just that if you're getting something better (operationally) than the resource, your benefit needs to (at most) equal the effort put into making it. Since Minecraft is a fairly simple game, that effort needs to be in the number of resources required.
That rule should translate to ALL crafting. It's the only way it's going to be fair once Survival multiplayer happens. Otherwise people will be building impenetrable fortresses, armed to the teeth with hundreds of arrows and diamond swords, within 10 minutes of a game start.
I agree on the Sand; it does need crafting. Or, at the very least, it needs to be more prolific around the map.
Hmmm....perhaps instead of only occuring on the shores, it'd occur on ocean beds as well, like it does in OMEN maps, and if there were two or three layers of it? That should be enough for most island games. Inland and Floating maps.....
Just one more reason why only having one generic craft table isn't enough.:| Now we need a stone mill.