I have searched, and seen many firearm suggestions, but most of these are grouped along with things like "Airships and Trains", "Space Expansion", and "Tech Trees and Research" Those get a bit unreasonable, I feel, and gear the game towards a world of machines and invention that is some hybridization of medieval and steam-punk themes. I have seen comments saying that Notch has said "No" to guns...but sometimes a no can become a maybe! Even then, I have not been able to locate text of Notch himself saying "no".
So consider this a respectful and plaintive appeal.
And please, at least give it one read through.
I wish to keep this a reasonable argument for the possible consideration of a single firearm, and nothing else.
[This is mostly a suggestion towards infdev, and the directions it is taking]
It is the predecessor to Muskets and came about in an era when vehicles were still only powered by the wind, or hauled strong and tamed beasts. When much of the world was disconnected or had yet to be explored. When man still had a respectful fear of the savage wilds. During the middle ages, which most of the items in Minecraft seem to be themed after (namely the plate mail).
More to the point: all the necessary materials are already in the game.
The very presence of gunpowder/blackpowder in the game makes it entirely reasonable to consider firearms, even more so when you consider that T.N.T. is a craft item. However I also think the firearm should be reasonably low-tech, and should have drawbacks to balance its presence. Hence why I am suggesting the Arquebus.
The Arquebus would be a powerful, but cumbersome weapon.
It would only be able to fire one shot at a time; "loading" the arquebus would require you to place it in your personal craft space along with a single unit of gunpowder and a torch. The resulting item would be a loaded arquebus. Firing it obviously leaves you with an unloaded arquebus in the respective item slot. Thus, every time you wish to fire it, you must load it (and expend one gunpoweder and one torch). Firing it would also create a sizable puff of smoke, enough to momentarily block the view of the person firing the weapon (which could be terrible in a vital moment). It would also create a flash of light. Comparably, every other weapon would be an extremely stealthy and fast weapon.
The placement of the arquebus in this game is not far-fetched either; allow me to use Christopher Columbus and his conquistadors as an example to outline where the Arquebus should stand: [from Wikipedia]
"In their first contacts with native peoples, firearms and especially arquebuses were very formidable weapons due to the great impression on morale because of the noise, flash and smoke. Tactically, their effectiveness was limited due to the lengthy reload procedure. Logistically, the conqusitadores had difficulty maintaining the weapon with no access to , with its availability usually in the single digits for most Spanish parties. The weapons and armor of steel and iron proved to be much more effective militarily"
The army mostly relied on soldiers in full-plate armor with swords and shields, but firearms still had a presence in the field against enemies armed with bows and arrows.
Bows and arrows...
All of which Minecraft has.
All of which Minecraft has including black-powder. I repeat this because it needs to be repeated.
The arquebus can fit in so long as it is balanced for combat.
It would likely be the most damaging weapon in the game, if not comparable to a diamond sword. It would also have accuracy superior to that of the bow and arrow, but this is reasonable considering:
-Gunpowder is not something you can reliably harvest
-The reloading is very inconvenient and makes you very vulnerable (you must be stationary to do it)
-There is no way to hide your presence or position when firing.
-The Arquebus would also have a limited number of uses before breaking (or before it needs repairing, if that comes around). I argue that the number of shots it provide would be the best value to address for balancing it; I imagine somewhere between ten and twenty shots would be reasonable.
Here's a concept for the craft pattern.
[gold] = Torch
[iron] = Steel Billet
[gold] [iron] [iron]
. . . .
I would also argue that the Arquebus would be as technological as things get; no bombards, or anything that destructive. No grenades. Some people have suggested explosive arrows, and this weapon would be far less devastating then something of that nature.
A piece of wood and metal tube packed with some black-powder.
If this seems too unreasonable to consider for the game...well then...
I move my suggestion to removing T.N.T. and black-powder from Minecraft, because neither fit with any of the other elements of the game. You may say that a gun doesn't fit in Minecraft, and I further support your argument in that T.N.T. has no place alongside Diamond plate mail. Yes, it fits with mining...if you're mining tunnels for railroads.
And that is not just a snarky statement; I mean it earnestly.
I figure that flint and steel in the firing spot (on the craft diagram) would be better suited to have a torch there.
MODERATOR NOTE BELOW - PLEASE READ
Okay, so here's the deal. I've merged a couple of pretty good gun threads together not only so some of you get a better idea of how good suggestions are made, but also so you can see that guns were at one point discussed critically and calmly.
I'd like to see some more of that. I'm sure we all would.
In the future, I would prefer that all guns or firearm-related suggestions appear in this thread, and this thread alone where it can be freely discussed, supported, or rejected.
Just remember that objections are well noted, even by Notch. There's no need to beat this into people's heads any more than it has with another pile of "NO" posts. The fact of the matter is that guns are desired by some and they are perfectly well allowed to have a thread for that.
I'll be editing the OP to add this lecture there as well.
Behave yourselves. If you feel that you can't, then just move on to something else.
Carry on, gentlemen.
NOTE: Any additional gun threads are to be referred to this thread and reported for my attention. Two dozen threads for the same sort of device isn't necessary.