I am not sure if this has been suggested before but i have always felt that the shaft and strongholds underground can be bare. especially when you spend a lot of time underground. I thought to myself, "hey, why don't we put the villagers down here?" and that gave me a great concept for villagers.
The way it would work is that in a mineshaft or a stronghold a villager would naturally spawn in a 3 x 3, 5 x 5, or 7x 7 room consisting of iron bars, a metal door, and some really hard substance lining the walls. somewhere within that said dungeon is a chest with maybe a few different types of ores and a key. If that key is used on the metal door it will free the villager, they will jump up and down in exuberance, give you the item in their inventory, and will return to the the closest village in the overworld as long as the path they take has a light of seven and above. If it is dark in the area (light level below seven) they will follow you around aimlessly, hoping that you will lead them back to the overworld.
Whats good about this is that you never know what the villager could have in their inventories until you free them. it could be a gravel block, or a cooked porkchop, or feathers, but you will definitnely be granted something. along with this pro- once you take their item, you can right click them again to reveal an empty inventory slot which you can use to your advantage if you're running out of room. additionally if you cannot locate a village, but you can find a dungeon, you can use the fleeing villager to find the village by following him.
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Then when you free them it implies that you must protect them. The challenge is to lead them out of the darkness and into the light...
I have been playing my latest game by basing myself in a village and starting off my creating conditions such that I can stay up all night and not worry about my villagers dying (wall, sufficient lighting and one iron golem). I've heard strange noises from underground however and I figure that there is a cave and/or zombie dungeon. What if you discovered in that zombie dungeon another room where some villagers are trapped...including...the Mayor! If you rescue the Mayor and he returns to the village then that village gets a aggressive mob spawn protection in a region around the mayor. But if the mayor dies...
i thought you would have to kill the zombies off to actually open the door. i mean, common sense wise i dont think any one would be unintellegent enough to let a horde of zombies feast on a villager without killing them off first, especially considering that you're on the some side of the door as them.
I build underground villages for other players on my server to find. It's no more challenging to defend them than it is to defend one on the surface. Basically players need to light them up, box up some villagers to protected them from the invasions. And the villagers require "skylight shafts" to bring down light from the surface if you want them to breed.
This would be down on the list of things I support tho. I'd prefer to see a lot more structures built underground. It's so easy to create a schematic these days.
to create this type of area i'm guessing they they will have to write code for this to happen but it would be neat to see "working" strongholds & Shaft also and have 2-3 golems in the special more opened Strongholds. Currently it feels like they just abandoned everything and not try to clam it back