Example - You're out of coal, need something, have flint and steel, You need a light source.. You catch a tree on fire, how ever many logs it has, it drops charcoal for... Rather simple, right? Instead of it unrealistically evaporating into thin air.
The whole* reason it's made in a furnace is because you can control the amount of air inside it.
Not true, wood will very quickly create a protective layer of charcoal around the wood, so that any further heath will trap the pyrolysis gases inside. This is why wood can still retain much of their load bearing capabilities even when exposed to fire.
It would make sense that burning wood logs would at least have a chance to drop charcoal. Maybe a 50/50 chance?
This way, you could create charcoal without having a furnace at hand (you still need access to the furnace in order to smelt iron and make the flint and steel), or if you are lucky you could get charcoal early on by finding a tree that have been hit by lightning.
I like the idea, maybe a 50/50 or little less chance of getting some?
BTW, since you all say it's unreal, think abount this. You can build/plant a tree in a cave if you place dirt, give it no water, and use torches so no mobs spawn, and it will grow.
That is no UV rays or water. Unreal, but funny to watch. VIDEO GAMES DON'T HAVE TO BE REALISTIC!
This idea is getting a lot of flac, but I think it could be a good addition with some balancing, why not make it a 1/10 or 1/20 chance of a wood block burning into charcoal? that way you can't abuse it (but really coal is kinda abundant anyway, and I usually end up not needing stacks and stacks later in the game.) It would be a nice little quirk for trees, and if you have a forest fire you wouldn't get such a large amount of charcoal.
The chances of it being added are quite low, but I sort of like it.
Great, yet another reason to set forests ablaze... [/sarcasm]
Well if you can't find any other uses for trees than setting them ablaze in the hope of charcoal then be my guest.
There are a lot of coal in minecraft and the only time you are low on coal is at the very beginning of the game.
Still, I think this is a good idea as every actions should have some kind of reaction. I don't like it when I destroy a block and does not get anything in return.
Thank you for the good & bad posts, they have provided good ideas and constructive criticism. From now on, please take former posts into consideration. The added Ideas are great.. As for some one who said video games don't have to be realistic, if you are trying to create a cartoonish blocky thing some what based off of THE REAL WORLD, then why the hell shouldn't you add more realism to it.