Currently, the ocean biome consists of, well... water. The only thing that spices it up and functions as a means of landmarks are the small islands that sometime spawn throughout the ocean. Currently, they seem to have been a hastily programmed feature of the game, with messy piles of dirt and oak trees. Yeah, oak trees -- on tiny, seemingly tropical islands. All I'm suggesting here is that the ocean islands need to be reworked. This would not require too much effort on Mojang's part, but would help smooth out the unpleasant bumps in the game.
Simply put, (keep in mind, this is just my personal opinion) the islands need to be flatter, never more then 3 blocks above sea level, and have more sand. Islands are chunks of land just above the water, with the waves pounding their edges daily, and it just doesn't seem right to have so little sand to so much grass and dirt. In addition, I perceive that the idea of palm trees and perhaps cocoa-bean-like coconuts would be a reasonable request.
Finally, with all the treasure chests being added to the game in lieu of desert/jungle temples, dungeons, strongholds, villages, and abandoned mineshafts, it would seem that adding some rare gold-containing chests on the ocean islands would fit the theme of the game and where it's headed. Anyways, it would also give reason for players to venture out onto ocean biomes, as they are probably the least popular and least explored biome in terms of surface exploration.
Also, fishing in an ocean biome should have a small, perhaps 20% chance of giving you a larger fish then the current "fish" item.
If you got this far, then thank you for taking your time to read this and feel free to add your thoughts to this topic.
I totally understand you. I too wish to see a change in ocean biomes. They are too big for starters, or look too big because there is nothing in them. Maybe some generated structures can make the ocean more interesting. Like an underwater ruins or simply better islands like it has been pointed out. It is also a nice idea to put something rare in the ocean like a sea weed or coral or maybe mob that lives in the ocean, so players can interact with ocean biomes more.
So I played minecraft today... And I figured out that my house is on a big island. All around me there were oceans. So I started traveling by boat to a new land. I traveled ~1000 blocks. maybe even more ( I have minimap and I have markers ). I really think ocean biomes are big. Yea they are oceans, they should be big. But man... I really don't want to travel 1000 blocks for a cow to kill. Not even thinking about bringing it back home.
I think this idea would totally improve Minecraft. Right now, ocean biomes are not only boring, but sort of dreaded. I almost avoid oceans. With this being an update, I can totally see me and a couple of my friends going out and exploring the oceans for new islands and what not. It will give a new sense of exploration that you don't really get with land biomes, which are small and uneventful. Currently the adventures to be had are mostly under the ground or through a portal. About time for some above ground main-world adventure. It would be nice if they added bigger, perhaps multi-person boats to explore these areas!
The Meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything.
I think this would be really cool.
One thing to add is that on bigger island, Port villages can spawn.
They're like normal villages but have docks and exclusive fishermen, sailor and pirate villagers.
As well there would be fortress areas to keep pirates from attacking.
I meant to suggest this in my original post, so here it is. I was also thinking a simple, crude re-breather would fit the theme too. It would either just be a helmet, or perhaps a tank & helmet, with the tank attachable to leather chest-plates as an add-on of sorts.
This would, of course, allow more time underwater.