1. Instead of imposing further restrictions on farms and penalizing non-compliance, offer incentives to players/towns to willingly scale back their farms. For example, a town that halves the villager count in its iron farm gets rewarded half its former production by admins bi-weekly or something. A town or player that removes its darkroom mob spawners gets given a few spawners blocks this will help massively, since darkroom spawners use the normal mob spawning/pathfinding range and spawners blocks only activate within 16 blocks.
This is interesting. Is there a difference between darkroom spawners and spawner blocks? Are they not the same thing?
This is how they differ. When you create a darkroom spawner, it relies on the standard mob spawning range of (i think) 120-ish blocks. This means that, when you are within 120 blocks of the farm, it will activate, and entities will path and there you go.
Here is how spawner blocks differ. While the mobs, once spawned, will have their normal pathing, what's changing is the activation radius. A mere 16 blocks (or whatever the activation range is on the spawners currently, but I know its a small radius). Which means farms based on spawners will not activate unless players are 16 blocks from the spawner, while a darkroom farm will activate within 120 blocks.
For players who farm a lot of mobs and have large darkroom spawners, switching to spawner blocks would eliminate a lot of pathing that's going on when they're just "in the area".