So Minecraft has Local Difficulty/Regional Difficulty which is a concept that has been in Minecraft since 1.6, over the years with: enchantments, ease of getting diamonds/ diamond armor, more efficient item farms etc It has taken the "Survive" out of Survival there is nothing that pushes you to really try and survive the game I think there is a solution
1st I think Regional Difficulty needs to have more of a role to play and takes less time to change, improve their AI such as breaking torches to allow more mobs to spawn,
2nd villagers make getting diamond way to easy, my solution to this is to add quests, quests will help you level you villager so you can trade items with them, and the Regional Difficulty will affect the quest that is given, to top it off villagers can not be in a 200-300-block area of the player's bed
3rd: when sleeping in bed make the bed check a big area for monsters, , also make the time you are able to sleep happen after monster start spawning not before, the forces the player to make an area to sleep or to find a way to ride out the night
Conclusion: there needs to be more of a focus put on surviving in survival, something to push you not to stay inside and just build aromatic farms, I think Nebulacrity hit the nail on the head with a lot of his points in Heather Shadelight's Expert Mode [mobs, difficulty, AI], but I think even in small ways with the things we have now in the game we can make improvements that make Minecraft what it is
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