New Structure: The Charcoal Kiln

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In my opinion, charcoal is somewhat of the stepchild of Don't Starves resources. It does not give good research points, the way to harvest it is somewhat weird, and after you build your crock pot, there is no need to ever produce it again, except for accidently burning a forrest.

Now that we have the new stack sizes, charcoal can have a great comeback as fire fuel, since its fuel potential seems very similar to wood logs (a little bit less efficient I think), but it can stack up to 40 times instead of just 20, like the logs. To make this comeback even better, I think we should have a new way of obtaining it. Not that burned trees should not drop charcoal any longer, but burning trees for charcoal should be left to accidently creating forrest fires, however, it should not be the most efficient way to get charcoal.

It is a waste of good pine cones to just plant them in bunch to burn them, because small trees give the same amount of coal like huge trees, instead, these cones should be used to replant trees for wood, regrow chopped down forrest areas, and general terra forming.

What I suggest is a new structure, a charcoal kiln, the traditional way to create charcoal for hundreds of years, using only simple materials, in this game, I guess stone should be the main component.

I imagine it working somehow similar to the crock pot. You put stuff in, and after a time, get charcoal out of it.

Depending on what you put in, and how much of it, the time needed to transform it into charcoal should expand.

Usable items should be the "wooden items" that we already have, wood logs, sticks, maybe pine cones (I know, i actually said they are too good to be wasted for charcoal, whatever :p ).

Wood logs should have at least 1:1 ratio, meaning if you put in 20 wood logs, you get out 20 charcoal. Sticks could have a bit less efficiency, 1:2 or 1:1.5 or something like that.

While I am aware that the trade of 20 wood logs for 20 charcoal means you loose on actual fuel efficiency, the fact that you can save the very limited inventory space does make up for that, using sticks may be encouraged in an increase in fuel efficiency, since sticks burn not as long as coal, it depends on the transform ratio though, but these numbers can be calculated by the devs, I will not worry too much about it now.

This kiln would not revolutionize anything, but it also would not imbalance anything, I just think that it would give charcoal a chance to have a bit more meaning in this game, and it would make the process of charcoal "production" more "thought through" compared to as it is implemented right now.

... AND we would get another cool looking structure for our basecamp!

Edited by Bogpad
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I'm all for the idea of allow players to create a charcoal kiln (from stones, I pressume) as I'm tired of staging forest fires 9even small ones). And now that everyone but Willow gets burned, it's not as fun.

However in my opinion it should only work for logs, because I'm against the idea that you need to insert multiple sticks in order to get 1 charcoal. A player without a guide might simply assume his stick was "eaten up" and never insert another. The other option would be to allow each log to generate 2 charcoal and every stick 1 charcoal, but that seems like a lot of charcoal.

Next, how fast would the kiln transform wood into charcoal? Maybe allow the player to place up to a full stack (20 logs) into the kiln and then have it burn them for as long as a single log burns on a camp fire. Then when it extinguishes the charcoal is in its place. I wanted to suggest another system, but I realized it sounded too much like Minecraft.

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The only other idea I could think up was something like a woodchipper, only you put logs into one end and it spits out charcoal on the ground from the other side. Then when you're done feeding the "kiln" wood you could retrieve your new charcoal from the ground.

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that would indeed work too, though I admit that a kiln just is more classy imo, it got a more traditional feeling and I think that would fit better in the game. I wouldn't mind your version aswell though, as long as we get something that will allow us to turn woodlogs into charcoal I am fine :)

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Before the kiln charcoal was made not in a kiln, but in a... pile, I guess. It was a laborious, time-consuming activity.

Basically, you made a giant stack of wood in a fire-making pattern. Then you covered it with earth - simple dirt to keep in all the heat and smoke and whatever. Then you set light to it and covered the little hole you used to do so.

The most difficult part then came in to play - you had to wait a couple days and stay awake the whole time because if the fire went out you had just wasted a lot of effort and time. To stay awake they sat on stools with single legs - if you fell asleep you would lose your balance and fall over.

So considering the basic simplicity of the technology of the game, I would guess that this is about as sophisticated as Wilson would go about making it.

This would require making dirt a commodity (or using manure, possibly?) but there are many other uses dirt could be used for - Especially wattle-and-daub fences/houses (dirt/****/twigs). (Really the first time I made a shovel I thought it would be to get earth or dig holes, and then I had no idea what to use it for when I couldn't do that until I figured out by accident you could transplant things with it.) Obviously making you wait there while it burned to charcoal would be too much of a chore to be fun, but it could still take a while and cause you to wait while it finished.

Perhaps you could have two levels of charcoal-producing structures - one from the science machine and one from the alchemy engine.

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Before the kiln charcoal was made not in a kiln, but in a... pile, I guess.
actually, already the pile you refer to is a kiln, the most primitive and surely the very first version, but it already counts as a kiln :) The problem why I did not suggest this very simple method is, because these kilns were one-time use structures, while the slightly advanced ones that are made of stone can be used several times, and I'd prefer a kiln structure for the game that is not one time use only. Nontheless, I would not mind introducing an earth kind of material, while I don't want to see houses in the game, I am sure there are a lot of things this can be used for. Though I admit that manure might do the trick aswell, houses and other structures were indeed build out of poop and straw for a long long time :D

edit: and are still build out of it in some regions of our beautiful planete!

Edited by Bogpad
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I agree with the idea of having a stone kiln that can be used to produce charcoal particularly if charcoal had a longer burn life then a log or some other use that makes them more effective. Generally charcoal if I remember correctly was once something people wrote with as a general thought of an alternate use that'd make the stone charcoal kiln more practical.

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Actually just call it a kiln, and add a resource to build that... Clay, or use Stone.

Kiln can be used to craft pottery, which should come with some creative uses if you think about it.

A kiln is used to turn clay into bricks and turn wood into charcoal.

And it would be 200% more efficient with making charcoals, so you'll see a 2/12 quantity from logs and boards respectively.

Add the pottery tech for flame braziers and you've got yourself some sort of early version of stationary lightsource.


Can be used as a campfire...

And also maybe make charcoal based fire objects linger longer after the flames are out and emit a glow in the dark?

The thing is to get the high efficiency of charcoals in a braizer, you need a lot of it together in one place and light logs on it. After it is heated it allows you to use it as a long term lightsource compared to a campfire.

It is less contained than a fire pit so in a sense will burn nearby things if lit too high.

What about Clay Stoves?


Edited by dra6o0n
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Better torches maybe?

Something that lasts much longer and brighter than twigs and grass and pumpkin lanterns...

Charcoal is used for writing too, in older stone age kind of way.

Maybe used charcoal as a 'common unit' to order pigs to do something when you interact with it?

3x Charcoal + 6x stone = creates a stone slab with orders written on it.

Allows you to order the pigs following you to do specific things around that slab.

Like stand guard.

Maybe to circumvent the 'hungry pig go home' you can put a chest full of meat in it and they use it as a means to extent their follower trait.

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atm, charcoal is the best fuel source available. it has slightly less fuel capacity than wood logs, but it can be stacked up to 40 times, and this makes it very valuable already. Other uses for charcoal in the future would be awesome too though, I think charcoal is the only material we have atm, that does serves only one crafting funktion, so it would be nice to have something more behind it.

yet, as mentioned, it is the best fire fuel in game, so a better way to make it than we have available atm would be very nice.

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