Anybody else playing on a server having problems with their villagers despawning? It seems to happen to me when I restart the server: I went into town and noticed one of my Librarians missing, restarted the server to see if it would help, and when I logged back in, another Librarian was gone (the villagers are all named, so I knew these two specifically had vanished).
They might have glitched through, or into, a wall and either escaped or died. Or they could have been hit by lightning and turned into a witch, then despawned. Or maybe they got zombified in a zombie siege and then despawned?
I have noticed the occasional missing/new villager in my underground iron farm, but I can't figure out how a villager could have escaped or died in that farm (it is underground after all, and the only way in or out is an iron door, which villagers/mobs can't open). Fortunately none of the 4 villagers I have trapped in the corners have gone AWOL (yet), because those keep all my doors valid, and they have the best trades.
The second time it happened the villager was literally on screen when I logged off and rebooted the server, and then gone without a trace when I logged back in, so he didn't have time to get hit by lightning or eaten by a zombie. So it must be some kind of a glitch where the game forgets to respect whatever it is that keeps various mobs from being despawned, but I wonder whether it's actually related to server restarts or whether that's incidental. Probably the latter and I just got phenomenally lucky (?) to witness it happening first hand.
I remember a problem Etho had with a particular villager where it would be gone every time he shut down the world then came back. It turned out he had a corrupt chunk and it wouldn't save any changes to the chunk.
But I think that's a rare exception. Most instances of a disappearing villager is due to what Courageous_Marinade said.
I had another thought: I've cut the population limit (number of doors) in my village quite heavily since the last influx of villagers; could this be causing some villagers to be despawned whenever the world is reloaded?
I think I've seen iron golems despawn when the population limit dips below the amount required to sustain them, but I can't really be sure they didn't just get killed and not reappear.
This has definitely been happening to me recently, I know because I've been trying out villager breeding and Ive been sectioning villagers off. I had a bunch of villagers, each in a minecraft and enclosed by fences. Out of over a dozen, four disappeared, along with the minecarts they were in.
Last night I finished a new breeder system, and I had two enclosed chambers (I was separating the librarians from the rest). This morning, all gone. And those two chambers were on top of lit platforms so I don't see how they could have been reached by mobs or had mobs spawn on them...
And ditto this is on a survival multiplayer server.
**EDIT** Haha okay so literally while I'm writing this I'm afkd at the breeding chambers I mentioned, and turns out there was this one block around the back of the chambers that was letting zombies get at them, so that explains what was going on there. So turns out that one was my bad...
However, still cant explain how villagers in minecarts vanished out of enclosed fence areas, I still think that is obviously some kind of glitch/bug
I had some problems a few weeks ago with a rendering glitch. In my trading mall, I have several "spare" villagers sitting in carts in holes in the floor as a temporary measure. Suddenly one day I log in while in the mall and several of them are missing! I've seen zombies try and fail to attack them in this position (there's a slab above their head stopping anyone from falling into the same hole), so they probably weren't eaten, and there should have been no way for them to glitch into a wall and suffocate. I logged out, restarted my launcher and client, and logged back into the realms server...and the villagers were back. Just a stupid client-side rendering glitch making them not appear on screen, they were all fine.
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I suspected either a rendering or server glitch when my first villager disappeared, that's why I restarted everything. Unfortunately it just caused another villager to vanish. I haven't restarted my server since this happened and haven't experienced any villagers randomly vanishing either, though that's obviously not really proof positive of anything.