The Meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything.
If the player has the same or lesser quality tool in their inventory, it should be automatically equipped to that same item slot when the currently equipped tool breaks.
Example: you are mining stone with an iron pickaxe, and it breaks. because you have more iron pickaxes in your inventory, one of them is automatically equipped, eliminating the need to continually re-equip. Lets also say that you had a diamond pickaxe also in your inventory. The game will NOT automatically equip that one... it will only equip same or lesser quality
A small number in the bottom righthand corner of the action slot can optionally display how many of that tool you currently have left in your inventory without having to open your inventory to count them manually.
Good point. Ya I was thinking about this too. I would very much like this. I use a LOT of stone tools because I don't like using iron when I don't NEED to. So, often times I will have 7-8 pick axes or shovels or both in my inventory.
I like the idea, although I would prefer it if it only switched to same-quality tools, not lower-quality. Perhaps a number in the upper-right or upper-left to signal how many total copies you have of the tool?
Heck, that last part would be useful for plenty of other things, too... I'd certainly like to see, say, that while my current stack of torches is down to just 3, I have 67 total. In fact, swapping out could be useful for just about everything, really...
I was going to make a new post on this, but I found this thread.
Please Notch, put this feature in the game.
When a tool breaks and you have an item of the same quality in your inventory, it should replace the broken one. It should also apply to using up stacks such as torches.
If there are concerns about food being too easy to insta-heal yourself with this mechanic, put a cooldown on it or make it a heal over time, but please don't let that stop this important feature.