After reading a variety of threads in which experiments are being conducted, I realized there is no simple way to track the amount of time that has passed in game. For the rancher; how many days did it take for for a new pair of cows to spawn? For the miner; how long was I lost in that dark cavern gathering gold and diamonds? For the adventurer; how many days did I trek across the barren desert to discover the lost ruins?
A simple chronometer could measure days, or a more precise tool could measure the number of "ticks." Either could be displayed under the F3 function with the seed and coordinates. Such a tool would greatly assist researchers of Minecraft. Additionaly, new features could be added to the game that happen periodically based on the chronometer, such as weather events, or rare spawns.
As an added feature, a chronometer could be an in game item made similarly to a compass or clock, and provide the number of days since the world was created. Such an item could greatly benefit roleplay by providing a common reference, and the basis for a calendar; as well as a trigger for events in roleplay/adventure mods.
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More Ocean Life: Kelp, Coral, Crabs and Jellyfish; Coconut Palm trees for beaches and islands. Terrain Generation Changes: Which biomes and world-building features are most in need of change?