I really only make a few pieces of charcoal on my first day of a new survival map if I can't find any coal near my spawn. After I get settled down and start in on a cave system I generally stay with coal since while you're mining for diamonds...BAM! A vein of 40 coal!
I use coal for things like torches and smelting ore, but if I'm buidling something huge and need lots of smooth stone, glass, brick, etc. I will cut down and replant some trees and use coal to make charcoal as it increases coal productivity 8x.
Rollback Post to RevisionRollBack
When no one was looking, the Endermen took forty blocks.
They took 40 blocks. That’s as many as four tens. And that’s horrible.
People doing calculations seem to forget that you need to burn the logs in order to get charcoal.
So basically, you need 9 charcoal to smelt 1 stack.
1 charcoal to smelt 8 logs and get 8 c.coal. Those 8 to smelt the stack of whatever you want to smelt.
Coal is more effective.
We could also calculate the durability of tools needed.
8 pickaxe uses is 8 coal.
To get 8 charcoal you need 1 plank to smelt 1 log and get 1 charcoal. That's 2 logs. And you need 8 logs to be smelted by that 1 charcoal to get 8. So you use 10 times you axe.
Trees are renewable coal is not? Maybe true, but I doubt I will ever get to the point where I mined all the coal AND used it all up. The "limited number of x" argument works only if the limited number is small and limits you. If the number is thousands of times bigger than the number you will ever need, that argument gets invalid.
Finding coal before the first night? Unless you're on a small island without any caves and other land around you, you will find several coal deposits on the surface, visible by just walking around. So that's not a problem. Move more than 20 blocks from your spawn and there you have it. Finding coal is guarantied. Hell, you can also find enough Iron in your first day without even searching for it. Finding 10 iron in the first day is just to easy.
So yeah, coal>charcoal.
Easy to find, is an extra just for searching other ores, is an extra just for exploring, usually hides some iron behind it (not a fact, but iron is almost always close near coal, at least form my playing experience).
Thought of another reason I prefer coal to charcoal in addition to not having to use a furnace. Searching for coal usually drives me towards mountains, if there are any in the area. These are a great place for a starter home, since they have steep faces that can easily be carved into and provide a good vantage over possible creeper territory. Even if I don't find a mountain, I'm likely to find coal near a cavern, which will provide good 24/7 zombie-slaying fun once I get settled.
If I search for charcoal, I'm likely going to be in a forest, which has severely limited visibility and no guarantee of caverns.
Instead of debating which is better, we should leave it at this:
Got no coal? Make charcoal.
Agreed. When there are no alternatives, I'm glad charcoal was implemented so I'd have something to fall back on.
I don't mind the debate, though. I think that's part of the purpose of a forum: polling communities for opinions. As a relatively new Minecraft player, I have insecurities about how I play and whether I am playing at my most efficient/effective. Stumbling across opinion threads like this are a learning experience for me and help me expand my play style to reach my goals more quickly. Just as long as it doesn't go from debating to insulting bickering, I have no problem with it. No one's stupid just because they have a different opinion or play style from me.