new to game (christmas present for kids) but getting really into game. i have run into an issue that much research can't seem to answer.
started a new seed (survival, classic size, normal hard) and quickly tunneled into a cavern. exploring, saw a huge, nonstop number of skeletons and heard 'click' sond, searched and found a dungeon with skel spawner. fought in, disabled with torches and looted chests, then blocked exit with one block gap open wall then removed torches (no other changes to room). made a one block drop trap at edge and sat there for a while hitting legs and getting xp and arrows (2+ stacks) and bows (10). came back 10 or so times over next few days and did same. stopped going down to do topside work for a while and when went back, there is still the click and puff of smoke but no skeletons spawn no matter how long I stand there. Very occasionally a creeper will spawn in room.
i researched and found only two theories since 2011;
1- a space in wall had been made by accident and they were spawning in there making the mob count near spawner too high
2- an overall mob cap in numbers in the chunk.
1- i did not change anything in room at all other than blocking the exit and making the drop kill area which is one block. it also worked for many 'MC days' before stopping.
2- i routinely kill most animals i encounter and many monsters burn up in morning, so wouldn't that take care of much of the 'mob cap' allowing at least a few to spawn?
as an aside, i actually restarted this seed after finding the dungeon the first time; that time, i took the chests and there were a few changes to the room (though still not large, spawnable spaces) and it behaved exactly the same way. i thought i had ruined it somehow, so restarted the seed.
any help or suggestion would be appreciated.... thought i had a source of unending arrows and bows and xp and am really bummed right now.
Many mobs do burn topside in the morning, but there are still many places underground for mobs to spawn. The clicking/smoke is something 4j added a while ago to let you know when cap was reached.
To fix it you need to light up caves nearby. Mobs spawn in a 128 block sphere around the player. You won't need to light up all the caves in that area, but you will need to spend a couple hours searching for dark spots and placing torches. After you get about six stacks of torches placed check back at your farm and see if you get a steady stream of skellys, if not then keep lighting caves and checking back every so often to see how the rates are. Eventually you will get it so that they spawn continuously.
Thank you very much for the answer! Really appreciate it.
I did also find a solution that worked, for other people that may have this problem. And it's probably related to what you said, and I guess it could be considered a shortcut. I open the game in peaceful mode, played for a little while and then save that and reopened it back in normal mode. I found somewhere else that said doing that essentially resets the mob count- so the same method that you were saying...in a way.