Most of the old players are still using 1.8, 1.7, or 1.12 because they really enjoy command shortcuts. 1.13 changed the entire format of commands, as /gamemode 0 is a Minecraft tradition nowadays. If a game rule allowing numerical ids for block, difficulties, commands, and game modes were re-added, older players would use newer versions of Minecraft. This will also lead to less stress among developers and computers using alphabetical code, and while it is easier to memorize, respecting all parties is the best way to be successful.
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