Back in ancient versions we had some interesting mods (precisely this one for 1.4.x) who swapped the models of Villagers into Human/Zombie-like ones.
But in recent versions, except MCA and Optifine (i'll explain below), there isn't any alternative to it.
My idea is basically a mod who only replace the models from these models (Villagers, Witches, Illagers - Vindicator, Evoker, Illusioner and perharps Vexes) to human-like ones, and using some predefined player-like skins to differentiate each mobs. For Testificate-like zombies they could just be disabled from worldgen (for coherence) or simply reused for a standard zombie just with a sightly altered skin (Alex zombie version???? Herobrines? Lost miners?).
The only addition beyond aesthetic could be you being able to er... hire (tame isnt a good term) some villagers, they could basically use Wolf AI to follow the player and be able to be equipped with swords and perharps shields to fight along the player, but this isnt so much important in fact.
This would be a great change to get along the player and zombies, both are human-like entities and can get along with the vanilla feel of the game.
Alex (slim)-like variations for females would be welcome! Maybe replacing (at least the villager) sounds for the classic ouch would be a less important addition.
I mentioned MCA and Optifine (and the current Humans mod) as alternatives, but they didnt quite fit some things to be a good alternative: Humans just add new mobs without touching the testificates, MCA add too much complexity (and the "Send child/villager to mine", at least last time i used it, just randomly spawned items in the villager inventory without actually mining, what i think is a bit cheaty/unfair for survival) and for a while even disabled the vanilla trade sytstem (i think this was fixed but...) and Optifine... i need to say anything?
Anyway thanks a lot if anyone are willing to make that!
After reading the wiki page for Data packs i realized it needs to be copied over everytime i want to create a new world. This could be frustrating for tech savage players, modpack onwers (who want to use vanilla functionalities to further customize their modpacks) or from people like me who doesnt forgot the head because its attached in the neck.
So i thought: "Why not implement a 'global' system similar to Resource Packs for that?"
When i say that i mean:
A way to store data packs for all saves (client) on a subfolder called datapacks (analogous to resourcepacks for Resource Packs) on the root of the profile folder;
In dedicated server you can set what global data pack you want to use via a line on server.properties called data-pack=, exacly behaviour of resource-pack= (From wiki: "A default resource pack can also be set on a server by changing adding a link to a .zip file download after the line resource-pack= in the server properties file. Users can still opt out of using the resource pack or choose not to download it though");
In client: a menu identical to Resource Packs would be available, where the player can tick what global data packs he want to activate. Like RP menu the bottom entry is a disabled one representing vanilla, and the top also is locked to represent any possible datapack embed in the world folder (the vanilla way).
For reference this is the vanilla Resource Pack screen, without any RP to be activated (for DP imagine two entries: the "Default" for vanilla data AND a "Embed" for any possible data packs stored on the world folder).
Basically, why not make a mod who let the player to equip a shulker box on the "second chest" bauble slot.
I mean this slot circled in red.
It could be rendered or not on the back of the player, and a hotkey could be available to open it directly (without placing it on the ground).
Reasons? Well, most of backpacks mods here are outdated and/or have so much complex (and not vanilla-like) behaviors for a simple portable storage mod. On the other side Shulker boxes were introduced by Mojang on vanilla, and i totally see them as a makeshift backpacks if a mod enable them to be equipped on that bauble slot.
Think of this mod somewhat like Bauble of Undying, a simple mod who add a small but noticeable feature on a vanilla item to a great API.
Back in bukkit times (1.6) i loved to play minecraft with a plugin called TrainCarts, which enables cartlinking and a simple routing system using redstone and signs. Using this mod, all minecarts linked together act like a single train, which can stop at stations and other amazing things.
According to Minecraft Wiki entry:
It was initially developed to link multiple carts together, creating a moving train. The physics got improved as much as possible, with the final result: A single moving entity.