A particular frustration of mine, and it seems to be shared with a good number of Minecrafters, is the singular uselessness of gold within the game to date. A quick look on the Minecraft Wiki shows that gold can be crafted into a sword, armour, tool, gold block, watch or a golden apple. Of these, only one has any reasonable use: the watch – though I was mightily relieved when Notch put that into the game. Beta 1.2 saw gold tools receive an increase in speed, though not their durability; more mooching around the Minecraft Wiki shows that for tools, gold ones are worse than wood, while for armour, it falls between leather and iron. (I’m ignoring chainmail, because it’s not legitimately available in-game at present.)
Even for someone with Notch’s jolly, avuncular demeanour, it may well be galling to hear, over and over again from the Minecraft community, “We need more crafting recipes for gold!”. But we do.
Rather than nosing aimlessly around the Intertubes, I headed for a resource I’ve used time and again in the past for research/entertainment purposes: Minecraft Forum’s Minecraft FACTS: Big list of things Notch has ACTUALLY said. Searching for “gold” revealed the following snippets:
More uses for gold:
elyetis: “sry since it was probably already asked, but do you intend to give more use to gold ?”
Notch: “probably! Possibly. Plausibly?” (Oct 17, 2010)
Gold tools may be used for enchanting: “I wanted a new minable ore. I think. Yeah. And then I had some vague plans like the gold tools being easier to enchant or something.” (undated in the forum post)
Bear in mind, though, as it says in the Big List’s disclaimer: Notch, being a human, sometimes changes his mind about certain decisions, and he is often ambiguous and contradictory in his replies. And, as I pointed out here, we’ve definitely had recent evidence about him changing his mind.
One thing I’d like to see, and have suggested in one or two places in the past, are gold coins – though, of course, these also won’t be of any use until Notch implements NPC villages, so you can buy stuff from them. Assuming he does go ahead and put them in, after all.
Another possibility – and a quick bit of Googling shows that I’m not the first to come up with this – is gold dust, to make gold wire. Like redstone wire, but with better properties – say, no delay, or 15-block limit. But then, Beta 1.3 is scheduled to have the repeater/delayer block anyway, so that renders that latter property just as useless as a golden apple.
The other item I’d previously thought of was a pair of night-vision goggles, crafted from gold and redstone (there’s more than one way to arrange those items on your crafting table). A newish mod, PlasticCraft, (http://www.minecraftforum.net/viewtopic.php?t=127036) adds those in – along with a mass of other stuff, including duct tape, microwave ovens, plastic, C4 explosive, and plexiglass. But as far as I can tell, none of those recipes (at the time of writing) involve the use of gold at all. Seems like a shocking waste, to me.
Of course, I’m writing all of this before the release of Beta 1.3; for all I know, beds or the repeater blocks may well need gold. Why you’d need gold to craft a bed, I don’t know, but then logic, like physics, doesn’t always play a huge part in Minecraft.
In one of her recent videos, MinecraftChick became hugely excited when she found a gold block – and I was happy for her. I still get excited, and other Minecrafters around the world may also experience this excitement, when discovering gold ore. But, for me at least, that excitement is presently tempered with the knowledge that the only thing I’d want to use it for right now is to replace my watch, should I lose it. Actually, I think I’m on watch number two or three, so at least I know I have backup.
If you’ve got any ideas for what we should be able to craft with gold, let us all know in the comments.
* I have now started a world with mobs. Cautiously. And I even paid attention to others’ videos, and built a home around the spawn point. I deserve a flippin’ medal. A gold one.