The difficulty system we currently have is pretty dumb and too simple. It just increases damage from mobs. If you ask me, that is pretty lazy. Playing on Hard isn't really a challenge because increased mob damage doesn't necessarily mean more challenge. Playing on hard is almost the same as playing on easy, at least for me. Increased mob damage doesn't really change the gameplay. And we have only 4 difficulty settings, while one of them (peaceful) is very boring, as there are no mobs or hunger, and the other 3 are very similar to each other, the only thing separating them is mob damage values.
My suggestion is about adding more difficulty setting and improving the entire system in different ways.
This mode disables hostile mob spawning, hunger and damage (except for the void and /kill). This mode is designed to be used by the beginners who want to explore the basics of Minecraft while being free of any danger.
This mode disables natural hostile mob spawning and hunger. Hostile mobs can be spawned through eggs and spawners. This means the survival will not be completely dangerless, as mobs can still appear in dungeon spawners and lava and fall can still damage you, along with drowning and suffocating. Hostile mobs have poor AI. If you run behind the wall, they will stop following you. This means they only attack if they can see you. Skeletons have 40% accuracy. Spiders and cave spiders don't have potion effects. Undead mobs have no equipment (except for Skeletons' bows). This mode is intended to be used by beginners who are still learning Minecraft, but want some danger in gameplay.
This mode introduces players to the hunger and natural hostile mob spawning. When player is out of hunger points, he doesn't lose health, but is unable to sprint. Hostile mobs don't spawn commonly, but they are present. Each one of them does 1 heart less damage than they do in easy mode.
They have low-level AI, meaning they will continue chasing you if they can't see you, but have a good chance of choosing the wrong direction. Skeletons have 50% accuracy, spiders and cave spiders don't have status effects and undead mobs have a 0.1% chance of spawning with armor and weapons that are worse than iron, but it cannot be enchanted. They cannot dual wield. They can't pickup things they find on the ground
This mode is pretty much like easy mode right now, with a few changes. The hunger is handled the same way it is handled in easy mode right now. Mobs spawn more frequently than in Very easy mode. They do the same amount of damage as they do in easy now. They have slightly better AI-
Skeletons have 60% accuracy. Spiders and cave spiders don't have status effects. Undead mobs have 2% chance to spawn with equipment worse than iron, and each piece has 30% chance of being lightly enchanted. No heavy enchants and dual wielding. Creepers have higher explosion radius and stronger explosion, so they do more damage to entities and environment. This mode is designed for beginners who want normal gameplay, or even advanced players who just want some casual playing.
Much like normal mode now. Same hunger and attack damages as in normal mode now. Mobs now require light level 8 or lower to spawn. They have good AI, much like what they have now, but with a few mob-specific tweaks.
Skeletons have 60% accuracy. When player gets too close, they start retreating until they reach their comfortable distance and then continue attacking. They have 10% chance to spawn with equipment worse than iron with possible light-medium enchantments.
Spiders now climb walls in order to reach the player. They can't have potion effects.
Zombies now have 15% chance to spawn with equipment worse than iron with possible light-medium enchantments. They will now avoid fire and lava when chasing the player. They have a 10% chance to spawn dual wielding two swords.
Zombie Pigmen have 10% chance to spawn with unenchanted golden armor. They have 5% chance to dual wield.
Blazes will now rush towards the player if not capable of firing fireballs.
Wither Skeletons have a 2% chance to spawn with heavily enchanted iron armor.
Similar to normal, but you can die of hunger. Mobs have the same AI as before, but they are able to see through glass. Skeletons have a 10% chance to spawn dual wielding. This means they have a melee weapon in their offhand slot. When you get too close, they will no longer try to keep distance, but will switch to their melee weapon if they have it. If they don't dual wield, they will keep the same strategy as before- running and keeping distance. Spiders and cave spiders have a 10% chance to spawn with a random status effect: speed, jump boost, resistance, invisibility. If they hit you, they have a 60% chance of poisoning you. Attack damages are the same as in hard mode we know.
Zombies and skeletons have a 50% chance to spawn with heavily enchanted gear. Rarely, they can spawn with heavily enchanted diamond gear, making it really hard to deal with them. If they have diamond gear, it has only 0.1% chance of dropping. Zombies have 40% chance to dual wield. Skeletons have 30%. Spiders and cave spiders now have 100% chance to poison you when they hit you. Blazes now fire 5 fireballs instead of 3. And one more thing: Zombies and Skeletons all have 4% chance of spawning riding a Zombie/Skeleton horse. This makes them much more agile and dangerous. These horses can spawn with horse armor. Horses themselves won't try to hurt you, and will try to run away if their rider is killed. Creepers have bigger blast radius and a 5% chance to spawn charged. Attack damages are 2 hearts bigger than in hard mode. All the mobs use advanced AI:
Skeletons will try to take cover while charging their bows. If the player is blocking with a shield, it will immediately switch to its melee weapon if present.
Zombies have become a little faster. They have a chance of spawning with a shield in their offhand slots and will tend to block any non-melee attack.
Creepers are more silent.
Zombie Pigmen will try to chase the player into lava (if provoked, of course).
Ghasts are more silent when shooting.
Blazes will try to get to the player if he is covered by blocks.
Wither Skeletons will try to chase the player into lava or of the fortress.
Endermen will teleport more frequently, making them harder to kill.
Silverfish- no changes
WIther has a chance to shoot red skulls which deal more damage, have a bigger blast and light stuff on fire, but can't break obsidian.
Slimes and Magma Cubes: If there are 4 cubes present on the same place, they will unite into a larger one.
Guardians will try to follow the player if the player is covered by blocks, similarly to blazes.
Shulkers will fire more frequently
This mode is for people who, for example, want mobs to have Nightmare AI but to spawn only from Spawners. This mode is editable and can combine difficulty settings from different modes.
There are several settings and for each one the player chooses the difficulty.
If, for example, you choose hard difficulty for hunger and dangerless difficulty for mob spawning, this means the player will have to manage their hunger normally,as in hard difficulty, but hostile mobs don't spawn, because you have chosen "dangerless" setting for this option.
I hope this system is clear. If it is not, please tell me so I can explain it better.
*-These lead to a separate menu that allows you to customize each mob individually.
The menu where you can customize your custom difficulty setting is accessed by a button that appears below difficulty settings when a "customized" difficulty is chosen, similarly to how customized world option works.
Hardcore worlds have nightmare difficulty locked.
Thanks for reading. If you have any questions please let me know because there is a big chance that I have missed something, as there are many aspects of the game and I may have skipped a few.
I do like that you didn't just go "the game's too easy let's make all the mobs invincible yaaaaaaay!" But you considered all levels of play. You even made an easier peaceful mode. Btw, there's already a customized mode, just to let you know. Not sure if I like this or not yet, I'll keep an eye on the thread
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Even though my Join date is in 2014, I tried the demo on 8/30/2012, and bought the game two days later on 9/1/2012. So hipster
I don't really want the game to have tons of difficulty levels, so no support on that. Also, I don't think dangerless is a good idea (invisibility). Also peaceful should not have enemy mobs spawn. I don't support this idea.
Generally support, although one change you don't mention that would make mobs substantially harder would be to have them spawn in mixed groups more often. I'm also not sure that requiring Hardcore to be nightmare difficulty is a good idea. I like Hardcore at Hard difficulty because while I die very rarely these days I like long-term Hardcore worlds and even rare deaths become an issue when playing for months. It would be nice to have Hardcore have a locked difficulty set at the start instead.
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The Meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything.
...Why not just make it a "more difficulty options" panel, and have things scale/toggle able, if you want this kind of variety? It would let the playerhave more control over factors, while still having the default difficulties.