For players that have been playing for years, Survival Mode isn't a new thing for them. They have possibly encountered every small thing in the game. But everything you want to change just makes it worse. Making the difficulty higher makes Minecraft more irritating, and making the difficulty easier makes it more boring. I want to have fun without cheats, mods, and texture packs, while also playing in solo.
Any suggestions? And yes, you're allowed to include things that make it harder because it would be impossible to make Minecraft more fun without it.
I won't even play on my home server by myself without mods. As far as I'm concerned,t he mod community is why this game is a success. Without textures? I literally never use textures or shaders as I have a design philosophy that if it doesn't look good in vanilla Minecraft then it's not a good build. There's nothing objective about that position, it's just my own personal philosophy. But in that context, I find textures to be a non-issue entirely.
As a player that has spent most of their time with the game modded I'd have to say that my times with the game in Vanilla (obviously not counting texture packs, datapacks, mods, shaders) is building maps, checking snapshots, updating to new versions to check out the new content, doing a bit of redstone to see what I can pull off (not often but rarely, the others I do more).
For map builds I usually now get ideas from datapacks/mods when making mods but if an interesting block in new versions like the honey block for a parkour map or quiz/trivia of blocks/versions/sounds ideas come to mind or just wanting to chill without mods (more so when playing Bedrock than Java to do achievements or so) I'll jump to Vanilla.
Rarely mind you I play in Vanilla, and the closest to Vanilla I get besides it being pure Vanilla is Datapacks and there use of Vanilla concepts over more deeper modded ones and tweaks I prefer but that's what I do to keep with Vanilla at times even as a heavy modded player.
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'Fabric, Rift & Tesla Mod Thread Creator/Niche Community Content Finder/Youtuber!' I also make modpacks/maps.