Important: Server Lag issue

Dear all,
Since Friday last week (9th March) we have a massive lag issue. Normally we have a TPS (ticks per second) around 19 (max is 20) and right now, the TPS is degrading down to 11 during the course of the day. The only thing that I could identify is that the issue is located in the Kingdom world.
I did some initial testing but could not find what is causing it in detail. I would like to encourage all of you to check for the following items:

  • Large surface tiled with slabs: Those cause spawn-attempts that are then cancelled
  • Large surfaces of Ice in winter biomes that have torches on them: The ice melts and re-freezes permanently
  • Automated farms: If you have a mob farm where mobs automatically are killed, there needs to be a switch that can disable mob spawning/killing. The killing method here does not matter (falling, fire, overcrowding). It has to be able to be disabled and when you are not there, it should not operate. If other people than the lot owner goes to the lot, they have to switch it on to operate it.
  • Same goes about observer-based cane farms. If you cannot switch off the farming, it’s not allowed.
  • Large water flow areas / cascades should not exist.
  • Please also look for more info on the “Lag” page.

Please consider the following: I have considerably invested in the server hardware and every 2 years spend double the monthly rate to migrate to a stronger system that should support 50+ users at the same time. On the other side, it’s extremely hard and dozens of hours of work for me to identify causes of lag. If at the same time users operate systems that essentially turn the survival principles of the server into a creative environment because they harvest goods at a rate that overcompensates their consumption by dimensions, it’s simply not lining up anymore.

So please, keep your farms & anti-mob measures at scale for personal use (!) and check whatever you did since Friday so we can stop the lag. I don’t want to start test-resetting kingdom lots to find the issue.

8 thoughts on “Important: Server Lag issue

  1. I have some thoughts and considerations.

    The big one is concerning forcing a mob grinder to turn off. The spawner only spawns mobs if you are within 16 blocks of it. Also, since 1.10 (I believe) only 30 entities (in this case mobs) can occupy a 1×1 space before the rest die from some sort of entity suffocation. That shouldn’t be a burden and it seems preventing a player from forgetting 30 mobs in a grinder is unavoidable. Also, auto-killing entities if you are in a 16-block radius is basically an on/off in its own regard: on when you’re within 16 blocks, off when you aren’t; the entities die by themselves, removing them from the lag equation and rendering it irrelevant.

    Same thing to consider with automatic sugar cane farms. The sugar cane doesn’t grow if the chunk it is in isn’t loaded. There are also several different types of sugar cane farms to consider. Some use only a handful of pistons, others use a piston for every single plant.

    Handful of pistons:
    Attach one piston to 12 blocks: 6 of them being slime blocks, and the other 6 as any other block. This is your sugar cane pusher and the only thing to consider for lag, which is very minimal.

    Ton of pistons:
    It seems the most popular and efficient model nowadays is putting an observer over two pistons. This is costly and (depending on how big the farm is) will cause pistons to go off almost continuously. Very bad for server lag. I haven’t seen a user with one yet.

    Really, any large automatic farm isn’t good for the server. It seems many users think that if they are away from their farm then it isn’t creating lag. Is it possible for chunks to somehow stay “loaded” and thus create this paradox that drags the server down?

    The lag didn’t occur until later in the day. I’m guessing somebody went to the affected Kingdom lot in the late afternoon (~4-5pm GMT+8, Beijing) and somehow their lot stayed “loaded” and created problems. There could also be other unforeseen loading problems with a Kingdom lot, like two biomes somehow loading into the other. Luke can fill you in on that one.

    It seems more likely that the lag issue would be based on half-slab issues or a bugged “loaded” lot, since nearly every user has had automatic farms without any incident, and most automatic farms are in the Empire – not Kingdom. I try to police these types of farms as soon as I get wind of them. If I have to help everybody change their redstone to be server-friendly, then I will, but I really don’t think those are the issue.

    Instead of banning the use of xyz, can there be clear restrictions? Instead of turning off new members with a “oh no, that’s banned,” can we police farms to limit production? So, say your auto farm isn’t allowed to produce more than a doublechest in 10 hours of play, so that’s roughly 6 items per minute. This can be accomplished with only ~80 plants using a single plant as the trigger, so the farm acts only one time every 15-20 minutes.

    There are also other observer-based farms. Nearly every crop can be automated with an observer. It seems best to limit how many crops ( like farm-able entities ) we have per lot.

    • > The spawner only spawns mobs if you are within 16 blocks of it.
      Is that true for Guardians on Sea Monuments?

      > Nearly every crop can be automated with an observer
      Including replanting?

      I had the rule since a long time ago that a harvest of a field should not yield more than a chestful of goods. This has been clearly ignored. People are building farms that are for nothing else than allowing to build bigger farms. It ruins the server economy and stops contributing to building at one point. This is not even so much about lag anymore, it’s about breaking the game. Lag is only a side-effect of that.

      > can we police farms to limit production?
      Who is policing? Since there are Elders involved in this most of the time, is it going to be me? My rules are obviously ignored. People don’t even come to me and ask if something is OK or not, they just do it. It’s clearly stated since years in the rules that redstone automation has to be able to be switched off. That is OF COURSE also valid for redstone-powered farms. If people cannot stick to the rules, cannot ask me to reconsider them and simply do exactly what I was trying to avoid, namely turning the server into a creative mode server, I am not sure what to do anymore.

      The problem is that I tried to give some general guidelines and since that has not worked, I am not sure if a more detailed guideline with how many pistons you can do something is the right thing.

      • >> The spawner only spawns mobs if you are within 16 blocks of it.
        >Is that true for Guardians on Sea Monuments?

        Guardians do not come out of a spawner, they just spawn naturally like any hostile mobs, therefore they do it pretty far from the player.. until 100 blocks maybe (I’m lazy to check on the wiki now), but then most guardian farms are in very remote parts of the DL, where random visits are very rare.

        Mob spawners that are found in dungeons with chests around them only work if a player is 16 blocks around it.

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