I recommend we add "hunger" to all passive MOBs.Why? This will encourage more realistic and sustainable farming.
They should all eat grass, otherwise they become malnourished, and ultimately die.
They should also have to wander to a water source and "drink", but not as often as they do eat.
Malnourished mobs will...
-have a different appearance, such as skinnier, or pale/ green in the face.
-give less/ no drops when killed
-try to walk to nearby grass (with smart AI)
Severely Malnourished mobs could be...
-more "jittery", randomly sprint, or even attack other passive animals. Maybe even have a chance to catch a disease, which can spread to nearby passive mobs, even ones that are healthy.
Dead mobs will...
-die, and not drop anything
-this will encourage more realistic and sustainable farming. No more cramming 50 animals in a small area.
-farms will have to look at-least slightly more realistic
-less animal cruelty!
-I'm sure mojang can find a reasonable minimum rate of grass and water consumption. One that would encourage a population to meter squared area ratio that is comparable to the real world.
Malnourished mobs don't mean they are starving, it just means they aren't able to find enough food to sustain being healthy. So if you crowd too many mobs in one area, they will all be malnourished. Reduce their numbers, and they will all become healthy. If you put way toooooo many mobs in one area, some of them will die off until the number drops to a sustainable level. To sustain this balance, malnourished mobs would be more "pushy" to get to food, so they would get to it before healthy ones. Malnourished mobs would "eat" faster too. So if they got to food that a healthy mob started to eat, they could still finish it first and eat it instead of the healthy one.
What do you think?
-what should count as food? only grass? tall grass? planted saplings? flowers? should they eat your crops?
-should all food be treated equally?
-any other ideas? complaints?
Edit: Extra notes.
-perhaps this could be turned off when you create a world, or in server properties. For those who don't like it.
No thanks. I would rather not have every animal that isn't in the direct vicinity of grass die.
All passive mobs require grass to spawn on. So that means they would mostly be fine, unless you bring them to your own creations. In which case, my suggestion would simply require you to make sure your farm/ breeding grounds have plenty of free and open space if you have large herds. Like in real life. If you want the privilege of herding and breeding plenty of mobs, you should also be willing to build for them a sustainable environment.
I would rather myself and every little thing in my world not die of starvation and thirst, thank-you-very-much.Furthermore, sheep do not get hungry or thirsty in the first place; they eat grass to regrow wool. That is it, there is nothing more complex than that.
Well, I would rather that all passive mobs do die if they are put in unlivable conditions, or extremely crowded areas. This would prevent many of the problems I see now, such as having way too many animals in a small space. Or in some rocky cave. Animals will be in a fine environment if you don't interfere. If you change the environment, it should be your responsibility to accommodate for their needs.
And yes, I know sheep eat grass to regrow wool. That was my first sentence. I only mentioned that because it was what gave me the idea, and shows that the code behind "eating grass" is already developed, so this idea would be relatively easy to implement.
Right now, I am comfortable with the rate at which sheep eat grass in 1.1. I wouldn't mind seeing pigs, cows, and chickens eating grass at the same rate as sheep in order to stay healthy. Maybe they could also have visible hunger bars that appear over their heads when a player hovers his/her cursor over them? Perhaps wheat seeds could act as a type of feed for animals that don't have access to enough grass.
Wolves might be a bit trickier, since they are predators (and only target sheep). Wolves currently don't eat any dropped meat item when they kill something. A player has to physically collect the item and feed it. Maybe wolves should be adjusted so that they will kill any animal smaller than they are, plus zombies (zombie meat can be fed to wolves without making them sick).
Since no animal mob in the game can automatically eat dropped items, this should be adjusted. It would be much easier to either throw a bunch of animal food on the ground and have them eat it automatically, than to physically right-click on each individual animal with food in order to feed them. This enables the possibility for dispenser feeding. Just rig up a few dispensers, put a couple pressure plates inside the farm, and when triggered by an animal, a dispenser will drop food. That would be 9 stacks of seeds or meat in each dispenser available as food automatically for farms.
Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay, more tedious chores to worry about! No. I don't even support hunger for myself.
It wouldn't be a tedious chore. You'd just have to make sure you create a large enough grass area for your farm animals, such that the grass grows back fast enough to counter the speed at which the animals eat the grass. Once you make the setup, there is nothing more to do.
This basically just makes you have to create actually realistic and sustainable conditions for your animals, if you want to keep them.
On the other hand, it rewards people who give their animals a natural environment to roam around in. If you tend to your heard better, you'll get better rewards from them.
@Divine Insect, thanks for the ideas! I haven't really thought about wolves. It's not like they eat grass right?
Another thought - what if there was no penalty for anything, but making a sustainable environment would increase rewards?
This wouldn't completely kill of the concept of an underground animal farm. It's hard enough to get animals down there, so do we really need to make it nearly impossible to make them able to survive underground? It takes forever and is ugly in the mean time (I did it back in alpha for one of my bases) to spread grass underground, and silk touch is exteremely hard to get because the enchantment system s-u-c-k SUCKS.
This rewards sustainable farming, like you wanted. Making a sustainable farm needed doesn't reward making one, it requires it. There is a difference.