Clay doesn't even need to be changed per se, but if people want more of it I'm not against increasing its abundance (if this hasn't been done already).
It's that in certain Biomes clay is rather rare, and in other biomes it's relatively abundant. But the biome itself is chosen when you first generate the map, and the entire map fits that biome.
However, knowing that Notch plans on having multiple biomes per map - I know this is a non-issue now. If I spawn in a biome without clay, I will soon be able to venture to one that does, instead of generating a new map.
Having wandered in here from the Dwarf Fortress forums, I'm a bit bemused by all this controversy. How can something be superfluous in a game? Of course Dwarf Fortress has dozens of mineral types with no particular use. : ) I'd say add clay in abundance and locations similar to real life, give it as many uses as possible, and include rare patches of high quality, different colored clay for those with the collector's instinct. More features for everybody!
(as a serious aside, clay is different from generic dirt in that it has a smaller particle size and lacks a lot of organic material. Clay itself is fairly common, and you can make bricks from most of it, but if you want to make pottery suitable clay is harder to find)
Clay isn't too uncommon on my map, I've managed to create about a hundred and ten blocks of it. Clay because even more frequent for me ever since I started to call dirt clay because it's red, and so resembles the clay found in both DF and Settlers of Catan!
All the people posting chests with four stacks of 64 and then saying clay is abundant enough make me chuckle.
Do you realize that four full stacks of clay balls only comes out to 64 brick blocks? A 7x7x3 interior house with only an ugly flat roof takes 177 blocks to make. Even if you made the roof out of another material it would still require 128 brick blocks. They are essentially saying, "Clay isn't too rare; I already have enough to make half of a one-story house!"
The problem, I think, is people don't seem to understand that a clay ball is only one fourth of a brick block, and that a brick block is a basic building material. When you work with basic materials in this game, you need a LOT of it, sometimes in units of thousands or more.
You have my total support. I see three solutions:
1. This thread PLUS you have to prepare the dirt a bit before you bake it. Maybe make it wet somehow?
2. Exactly this thread.
3. Make clay HELLA more plentiful.
I made a map. I ran cartograph because I love cartograph and seeing my alpha worlds in isometric projection gives me a happy warm fuzzy feeling inside--but cartograph ALSO prepares a report for me. A report regarding block totals.
Air is in PLENTIFUL supply, at 31,935,390 blocks.
Dirt is Everywhere, at a nice healthy total of 3,226,598 blocks.
Stone is also pretty common, at a total of 29,315,290 blocks.
I am pleased that the surface is populated with 6612 blocks of tree trunk, my favorite renewable resource...
Furthermore, I adore making glass, so my nice hefty 274,568 blocks of sand will likely be very useful,
and if I play my cards right, those 891,372 blocks of gravel will likely keep me in fresh arrowheads for ages to come.
Also it's none too shabby that I've got 306,665 blocks of coal,
134,588 blocks of Iron,
47,689 blocks of Redstone,
14,639 blocks of Gold,
and hell, I've even got 5,927 blocks of Diamond to look forward to, if i'm lucky enough to find them...
BUT THERE ARE, IN GRAND TOTAL, EXACTLY 293 BLOCKS OF CLAY.
CLAY. THE ONLY WAY TO MAKE BRICK. MULTIPLE BLOCKS OF CLAY TO MAKE ONE BLOCK OF BRICK.
RIDDLE ME THIS, batman--
--WHY IS IT that BRICK, humble BRICK , staple of pan-cultural architecture for THOUSANDS OF YEARS, home to the rich AND the poor, grandfather to structural mechanics EONS past--
--IS HARDER TO MAKE THAN BLOCKS OF WHOLE, SOLID GODDAMN GOLD!?
Furthermore, it's made of clay--BLUE CLAY. BUT THE BRICKS ARE RED!
WHAT THE CRAP.
I'm blowing a whistle here. CLAY is POINTLESS. it is BLOAT.
Brick is made out of wet dirt that is baked. Clay is just a subset of DIRT. WHY are clay and dirt two separate things!? This makes absolutely no sense to me. I've got DIRT coming out of my proverbial EARS, people.
Tell me. WHY can't we just bake blocks of dirt in our furnaces and turn one block into one BRICK apiece, and then turn nine bricks into one block'o'bricks apiece?
HOW did it ever get as complicated as it already is!?!
1. SEARCH TIRELESSLY ON EVERY
FOR EXTREMELY ELUSIVE BLOCKS OF CLAY
2. BREAK CLAY INTO LUMPS
3. BAKE LUMPS INTO BRICKS
4. ASSEMBLE BRICKS INTO BLOCKS
NOW, LOOK AT THIS! It's Beautiful:
1. YOU HAVE LOADS OF DIRT ALREADY. BAKE IT.
2. ASSEMBLE BRICKS INTO BLOCKS.
That's Perfect, and it's a HELL of a lot more like what brick acquisition is really like, not a grueling treasure quest whisking you off on a fantastic journey across the ENTIRE PROPORTIONAL SURFACE AREA OF THE EARTH which you may never ever find your way back to your home from ANYWAYS...
For the love of NOTCH ALMIGHTY, JUST USE DIRT!
FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU--okay rant over.
Remove clay and make individual bricks by baking dirt blocks instead. Far more feasible, reasonable, and less likely to induce an aneurysm.
As an experiment I went clay hunting, not that I needed it, just to see. After a full day, night and another day: no clay. I'm not all that bothered to try and find the 226 clay that apparently lives on my map (I don't know the spawn conditions for clay but it would well be firmly buried on the ocean floor) so it doesn't really matter to me, but that is still unnecessarily rare.
Admittely my world was generated before the last update, but the new areas should still have some clay (they did interestingly enough have a couple of cobblestone walls, but not the green mossy kind with treasure in.
Just so you know (because I didn't for ages either) clay pretty much forms in/around sand. Typically if you can manage to find it, it will be on the beach itself or just below the surface of the water.
It is certainly rarer than it should be though, but that's how you find it... look on beaches near, or just in the water. Go too deep in the water and you are wasting time.
I generated a new map yesterday, punched down a tree, made myself a workbench and three boats, and spent exactly 30 minutes sailing the coastline of my continent gathering clay. At the end of my 30 minutes, I had fifteen full stacks + 16 clay balls (enough for 244 brick blocks), a screenshot of a pretty cool waterfall, and Lonely Island's "I'm on a boat" stuck in my head.
It would appear, then, that the update to the rates at which clay generates was a step in the right direction compared to its previous rarity. It still seems a bit odd to me that the average continent in Minecraft can only contain around one or two brick buildings without stealing clay from other continents.
I think the best solution would be to generate clay pockets in the same way gravel and dirt are randomly pocketed in the stone layers, so that it's semi-renewable in the same sense that those two resources are. Simply replacing the dirt pockets with clay pockets might be a good idea as well, since reasonably speaking pockets of organic soil shouldn't really exist that deep into the earth. Besides, It's not like anyone ever feels like they're running low on dirt.
Din't you read the first post... the guy had 293 block of clay.
I don't care if YOU have a lot of them in your map... why do you need to be so egocentric...
How can't you realize that this topic is not about YOU (its about the other half or more who don't have clay)?
Everyone know that you can create wood block... maybe you need to create clay block... somehow... but I don't know much about clay. I say that because...
I have Clay: 291 and My map was created before clay was even introduced so I don't know what is wrong with your map.
So somehow... clay must have been generated... well that my guess.
I don't think dirt should be directly bakeable, but instead, dirt near water (within 2 or 3 blocks or so) should turn into clay over time, like dirt exposed to light turns to grass (except that requires existing grass, but dirt turning to clay shouldn't require existing clay).
That way, with a suitable farm, you could easily turn your several large chestfuls of dirt into bricks, without it being as easy as just baking plain dirt.
That would fit in with another suggestion I had to turn cobblestone in contact with water into gravel, and gravel into sand.
Well, after four ocean voyages, I finally have enough clay to finish the facade of the mansion, and even then, there are parts of the roof that might get another layer in the future, if I really feel the need for another ocean trip. With all that travel, my save file is 59.43 MB. So, personally, I LOVE the idea of dirt turning to clay if left near sand and water.