Some people say trading others say quests to give game more of rpg or guided feel for those who want it.
I would like both.
I would prefer to see them offer items and repairs to armor and tools via some manner of currency. If you have to give them additional diamond to repair a diamond pick, for example, then there's really no point. But if you get money for mining or completing the skill tree, or killing things then you could have a viable currency. Quests would be fine too, but I'd prefer to see the game focus more on the materials than anything else. It's what it does best in my little opinion.
Some form of trade option(s).
Ability to repair your equipment for an exchange in currency.
Ability to ally yourself with them - build a home near them and they'll, they'll come to help defend you at night.
Alternatively you can bring one of them out as a companion while you adventure?
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Turning "Limit Framerate: OFF" to "ON"will often solve many problems on SMP servers that would otherwise be considered lag. Remember this.
Definitely trade and quests. Being rewarded for completing them would be nice. I want NPCs to offer... you guys pretty much took all the good ones. I think an Inn would be nice though, if those could be added in 1.9 I think it would be cool for an NPC to offer you to stay at an Inn for the night.
I think they could have a store to repair your pickaxes, swords, and all the other tools and trade ores with a currency. Like: I give 1 diamond, and they give 3 irons. I give they 5 irons and they give me 1 diamond, for example.
And sorry for my english, I am brazillian and I don't speak english very well.