I, like many other people here, like idea of adding a hammer tool. I would also like to see it bring a new functionality to the game.
The hammer would be a tool used to beautify and transform the world. With the left click it would “break” stone. Unlike the pickaxe which mines the stone into an item to be picked up, the hammer would transform the stone block into a gravel block which would then be affected by gravity.
It would also affect granite, diorite and andesite creating gravel types of each of these blocks. It would change sandstone to sand. Concrete could possibly be changed back to concrete powder. Endstone and netherack could get gravel versions too.
The right click would compact each type of gravel into different colored paths, i.e., stone paths, sand path, granite path, diorite path, andesite path, etc. Thus adding variety to the types of paths used in villages or by players to update villages or decorate their own creations.
In addition this functionality could be used for multiplayer mini-games, battles, puzzle solving, adventure maps. For example, in an adventure map when you do not want players to be able to just break blocks you could still have walls that they could go through by hitting the stone with a hammer, having it turn to gravel and drop into an opening below. The hammer is not mining blocks, merely changing one block to another.
An additional functionality for the hammer could also be to deploy it from a dispenser with a red stone signal, similar to the way shears can be used from a dispenser. This would allow for trap creation, transforming seemingly harmless stone ceilings, burying victims.
This hammer functionality is compatible with other suggestions already made on this site: Hammers and Anvils Overhaul for example.
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