With the help of a custom datapack, I found that the current regen system works better when you implement these two tweaks;
2 Health points : 1 Hunger point
Instead of costing Food Exhaustion (invisible variable), natural regen seems to make the most sense when it's a direct ratio to hunger points, in the same vein as in V5.
The feedback I got from friends was that you didn't feel in control of your food level dropping in the current versions (V6+). If you want to make Saturation and Food Exhaustion count in natural regeneration, they both need to be shown to players similarly to absorption hearts.
Changing Regen Time Based Off Food Level
This change had a huge positive impact on how we thought of regen. It introduced choice about how fast you want to heal versus how much food you have left, gave more leeway to low hunger players before their sprinting was disabled, and introduced more spice to PVE.
With a bit of playtesting against mobs and each other, we landed on this balance;
- Players regen every 2 sec when at 15 to 20 hunger points
- Players regen every 3 sec when at 10 to 14 hunger points
- Players regen every 5 sec when at 6 to 9 hunger points
With these tweaks, choosing to top off your hunger bar makes you regenerate faster at the cost of wasted food value, costing you more resources, and taking damage always impacts your ability to sprint. It's a great in-between of V5 and 1.9.
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