True but i also think that short rests are just as important, yet they are only spammed for healing which makes me wonder why they even put that feature in the game.
If i had to give a solution to short rests and a stipulation to long rests it would be to make shorts rests in some way more valuable (ie: gives all level 1 spell slots back for short rests or something) and would then make short rest required before long rests. This would incentivize both smart uses of short rest to allow you to have plenty of level 1 spell slots all throughout the fights you encounter while using cantrips to finish off small or annoying mobs, and also limiting long rests until short rests are used up. It would also allow healing with a level 1 spell mid fight on allies who aren’t down not feel like such a waste! Also they could possibly add an “option” to only be able to long rest after you reach a certain distance from enemies (ie: clear out the area you want to rest in) or arrive at a non-hostile area, allowing you to bypass the short rests entirely if you are in a non-hostile area, and would hopefully put more emphasis on saving those rests for when your party really needs those spell slots while also allowing wizards and clerics to feel a bit more magically useful.
IMHO this is a relatively small change that would hopefully make both hardcore dnd players and casual players alike have a more smooth experience. Also the short rests giving level 1 spell slots is already partially in the game (ie: Warlocks), so I don’t believe it would completely change spellcasters, it would mainly improve their flexibility!
Thing is Short Rests are supposed to be important for many classes. Class features often recharge on Short Rest. Warlocks regain all spell slots on short rest. Wizard can recharge a select few spell slots on short rest. Fighter gets their Action Surge and Second Wind back on short rest. So on and so forth, Short Resting already gives players back the resources it is meant to. However, if players can long rest freely it immediately undoes what a short rest can do cause you already get that back and more via long rest so most don't see a need to click the short rest button. I do agree that there needs to be something that limits the ability for players to long rest freely (also I'd honest just tie the amount Players can short rest to hitdie/level maybe?), but allowing every class to recharge all Level 1 spell slots is a very very large change to the balance for many classes that are sup[posed to be somewhat limited in how many they can cast a day. I do think you have something about how players are in a hostile area, perhaps there could be specific areas on the map where we can go to the camp, and they are most plentiful in Act 1 as players get their bearing but as we progress to more dangerous areas they become fewer and farther between maybe with some areas only having short rest abilities, as in more areas being marked like the area with the hag?