I'll start by saying that I think the current missions should be left alone and intermediate ones added, as opposed to just changing the current missions.
The water escape idea is pretty much exactly what I was going to suggest, going on the logic of "an acid water flood is threatening a cache" so unsurprisingly it gets my vote.
The changes to Journey missions...well I don't know about anyone else but I despise escort missions, and you already have a form of them in rescue survivor missions. That said having something else doing the dying is about the only obvious way of doing a light version of the Journey.
Now as a more overall point.
Strongly agree with Bob and Penumbra. A lite version should have the same challenge as the hardcore version......
I think this thread is getting complex, because personally, I don't think you do agree with them, Penumbra at the very least seems to be concerned with the "hardcore" versions getting simplified, not the light versions.
To comment on BobTheJanitor's point here, no the risk or lack thereof doesn't change the difficulty of the challenge at hand, but it does change the difficulty of the game over time though (assuming briefly that people didn't just switch to cannon fodder) the difference between the two would be one would have a long term impact, your character dying in a lava escape loses you that character and whatever investment you have built up there, simply losing the rewards for a water escape does not.
At this point the tediousness and dubiousness of glyph swapping is travelling old ground, so it doesn't really need going over again. suffice to say it does break the system.
A lite version should have the same challenge as the hardcore version, but work in such a way that you can try it again and again if you have to. Anyway glad to see that is not just my issue.
Now this could just be misinterpretation on my part, but the question that this raises in my mind is, Where is the failure? If you can just try again and again at the Same mission till you succeed then you are guaranteed to succeed eventually, or get bored and give up obviously. I have no issues with lite versions of the missions reducing the risk, but removing failure is a tad much, rather at the very least it is unbalanced.
I mean don't get me wrong I understand where you are coming from, very few if any games gives you only a single chance at completing a platforming challenge but that is because they as linear games have to to let you continue through the content, in AVWW's case however failure IS an option, if I fail at any given mission (even if I die) my game continues and I simply have to try another mission.
....What if the maps for the "water escape" (or whatever is decided on eventually) mission were made from hand-crafted interchangeable portions? That way you have the ability to learn the portions of the map through failure or success across multiple missions, rather than within one mission.
A lite version should have the same challenge as the hardcore version......
Now after all that, it comes down to this point. What even IS the challenge? what is the core thing you are trying to keep?