Hey all. I've got an idea here that I haven't quite seen yet.
So, some people complain that Minecraft becomes too easy after a time, and that even on hard mode you can pretty easily "win" with a bow, a house, and plenty of torches. Having a grain farm doesn't hurt either.
So, here's the idea. When you go to start a new world, you can choose the option to have it be an "Advanced" world. This would have nothing to do with the difficulty settings in the options menu.
Instead, the Advanced World option makes things change a little bit, meaning that it'll leave players unused to it a bit surprised.
First off, the chance of failure during crafting. Perhaps when you made that wooden door you didn't set it up right, and you're left with six fewer wooden blocks and a broken door, which just tells you your door is broken, you don't get one. Aggravating? Well, yes, that's why you chose Advanced. It means that your materials may be stretched rather thinner.
Virtually any crafting process can result in a failure.
Second, and tying in with this, would be that furnaces could instead ruin things. Maybe that iron ore block just didn't have enough iron ore in it to make a bar. That pork could have ended up being burned to an inedible crisp.
Third, certain things may require more steps. The one I'm thinking most of is bread. Bread would require a bucket of water in addition to the three grains, and after that you would get a "Bread Dough", which you simply have to cook like the pork. Cake would also need baking, in much the same way. You acquire the materials and make "Cake Dough".
Fourth, because it is quite easy to just keep a large farm of grain and harvest a ton of grain, I propose that the wheat plants also gain another step in their growing phase, that of wilting. It would take a while, but if you don't harvest the wheat eventually you will not gain any grain to use for food.
Remember, this is not suggestions to the standard game, this would be "extra options" that you select when you first make the world.