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Prior to 1.6 I had set the video option "limit framerate" when trying to eliminate a persistent hang problem (which finally went away when I dropped my view distance from "far" to "normal"). I also built a large (80x30) mob spawner that could go 8+ hours with nothing spawning inside. In fact, often when the mob spawner would dry up I could wander through caves for hours and never have any monsters spawn at all. With "F3 radar" I could see that nothing was spawning anywhere around me. I suspected a bug.

In 1.6 Notch un-limited anyone who had previously limited the framerate. Since it didn't matter I left it unlimited. Now my mob trap spawns mobs. And my typical framerate is only about 3x what the "limited" framerate was, so it's not linear.

I was wrong. I had one good session in the trap (4 or 5 stacks of gunpowder in a few hours) but I parked there overnight and got absolutely zero items.

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My bet is that it has nothing to do with the frame rate and was some other, unrelated bug. Try re-limiting your frame rate and see if mobs still spawn. –  Nicholas1024 May 28 '11 at 3:08
    
Try resetting the difficulty by cycling through the difficulties until it passes "peaceful" and is on "normal" again. –  Resorath May 28 '11 at 4:35
    
@Resorath I tried that many times before the update with no effect. –  Ben Jackson May 28 '11 at 5:20
    
Try running to the next 512x512 chunk (or just run 512 blocks away), do things there for a while, and then come back. –  Kevin Y May 28 '11 at 18:19
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You might have made your trap wrong. Can you link to a picture of it? –  user9090 May 28 '11 at 23:49

2 Answers 2

I know this is an old question, but it came up in a Google.

It has recently been theorised (and to a certain extent proved) that there is a bug related to mobs spawning on the edge of the loaded chunk area, wandering out and still using up the mob limit.

Further analysis and experimentation is available in this video.

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There is no effect as far as I know. All you need is light.

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