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 Too many animals!

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Posts : 515
Join date : 2014-04-08

PostSubject: Too many animals!   Fri Jul 04, 2014 9:19 am


There has been a rumor going around that this will happen, and now it has.

As some of you have noticed, when the server gets a lot of people online, it starts lagging. Mobs stop spawning near as fast, they move 10 times slower, in general the server responds slower. I've been trying to keep this lag minimal and not noticeable, but it is definitely still there. The console skips ticks constantly when we get like 15 people online, and the other day we had 20 people online. Overall, we're tormenting our server pretty badly.  rabbit 

In any case, I've had a talk with the server providers, asked about CPU upgrades, cause it's the CPU that's having the problems, not the memory. We have MORE then enough memory to handle everyone. And the server providers said basically that the only "Upgrade" we could get on our CPU is move to a dedicated server, which costs 120 a month. Now... we're not paying 120 a month for a dedicated server, we don't have the donations for it, and we ain't going out of pocket 120 a month... sorry. xD Ain't happening... xD That's a lot of happy meals I'm not giving up.  clown 

So I started asking them why we are having so many problems, the support guys from the server provider checked out a few things. We talked for a long time about what could be causing the lag. They identified a few things but the main thing they identified that could be a cause of all the lag, would be animals. According to them, a LARGE percentage of our CPU is dedicated to animals and mobs.  cat 

Animals, and mobs, use the CPU to decide where they're going to walk, where they're going to look, what they're going to do. Basically every single time a cow moseys on off a cliff, the CPU had to process the information that got him to mosey on off a cliff. Now normally this is not too much of a problem, but in our case, we have thousands of animals... literally... thousands of animals sitting around at people's houses.  bounce 

Sadly... The server's not meant to handle thousands of animals.  Crying or Very sad  Now... I could go around installing a plugin that prevents breeding in an area after it has a certain amount of animals. But... I don't want to guys... I really don't want to. Installing a plugin would just hurt the gameplay for both you guys, and me. So I'm going to ask very kindly, to please keep your mob count down. Here's a little tutorial on how to do that.

#1, Go ingame and stand where you want to check your mob count.
#2, Press F3
#3, In your top left corner you should see a pile of numbers appear.
#4, The third line down should appear like this
E: 8/124. B: 0. and so on
Now that first number, the "E: 8/124" is the one you want.
#5 Make sure that the number on the right side of the "/", which in this case is 124, is below 250. That number represents how many mobs are in your surrounding vicinity. The first number before the "/" represents how many mobs you are looking at.

Keeping that "E" number down below 250 would help the server ALOT guys!  Very Happy 

Additional ways to also help out the server, and keep our CPU from crashing constantly. xD

#1, Villagers, villagers are the #1 most CPU expensive mob we have. They're constantly using CPU power to search for doors, villages, and each other. One way to cut down on your mob count, as well as help out the server, is keep your iron golem farm with just enough villagers to keep them golems spawning. I notice many people have made these small iron golem farms, then stuck like 50 or so villagers in them. Honestly this is not needed. More villagers does not mean more iron golems in my experience, very rarely does having 100 villagers, instead of just 10 villagers, give anything more then what the 10 villagers would originally give. If you want more iron golems, make another iron golem farm! I have 4 farms myself, but I only keep 10 villagers in each, and they produce very well.

#2, Chickens... With their wing animations, and different path finding code, they are the #2 most CPU expensive mob we have. I've noticed that many people are making several, if not 8 or 9 different chicken auto farms. These auto farms are definitely... very... much... CPU lag intensive. Now I understand completely making one auto farm for chickens, they're a good source of food, and it's always a good idea to have feathers around. But... please, guys, I ask you to please, keep it at one chicken auto farm. Each chicken auto farm is a ton of chickens, it already hurts your mob limit, and honestly other then villagers you couldn't pick a worse mob to farm as far as the CPU's concerned. Please know that this server is not only ours, but yours as well, help us take care of it.

Now, there have been a few people talking about perhaps donating to cover the costs of a dedicated server, and they have asked me the question "IF we donate and cover the cost of a dedicated server, will you continue to ask us to limit the mobs?" If the server is strong enough to handle 3,000 mobs, then I don't care if you have 3,000 mobs. However, right now the server's not near strong enough to handle that many. If you want to donate to help us handle that many, great! I'm all for it! All donations will head straight to server upgrades, not a cent ever goes to the owners.

In any case, thank you all for your time and effort. Smile

I hope to see a positive response on this, and I hope the people of the server will help us keep the server running smoothly just as we've been working hard to keep it running smoothly. Smile Thank you,

Btw, I hope for feedback on this post! So feel free to ask your questions, make your complaints, statements etc. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Too many animals!   Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:39 pm

Thank you Juran for explaining this so well.
The server will load all of the animals that are within approximately 8 chunks of you.  That means when you press F3 you are seeing all of the animals that are within approximately 128 tiles of you.  If you, or no one else, is within this distance from your animals, the server will not load them, and therefore they will not lag the server.
My favorite food is steak.  That of course requires breeding and killing a lot of cows.  I realized early on that all those cows were causing me lag, so I moved them out of the area I normally load to an area where no one visits.  I actually laid down train track to that area so when I want to harvest more meat I hop into a minecart and go out there to breed, and harvest meat.  I also keep all my sheep out in that area as well, so I, and the server gets no lag from them either.  You can also do this to help reduce lag for both yourself, and the server.  Try to move the majority of your animals to an area that is 130 tiles away from where anyone normally visits.  If you have a really lot of animals, you can even separate those into areas that are 130 tiles away from each other, so that no one area has more than 250 mobs loaded.
Mobs that are counted include all creatures, including other players, yourself, passive mobs, hostile mobs, and pets.  It is a well-known fact that to increase the efficiency of your natural spawners, you need to light up the surrounding areas, and as possible all the caves, or anywhere else that a mob can spawn within 130 tiles or so.  Doing that for your favorite places will help a lot in keeping mob count down, reduce server lag, as well as make it safer for you as well.
Thank you for working with us on making Fenix the best server ever!
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PostSubject: Re: Too many animals!   Fri Jul 04, 2014 4:44 pm

One little trick that I have used for a long time now, that works great with all mobs, especially villagers and sheep.  I put them in minecarts that I have taken the rails out from underneath.  When a mob is in a mine cart they create almost no server lag for either the server, or myself. 

With villagers it protects them, they cannot glitch, or get smothered by walls, and they breed the same as if they were not in a minecart.  Also, villagers are very easy to manage in minecarts.  I have a large iron golem farm, and every single villager is in a mine cart.

With sheep, not only does it reduce the lag, it keeps them all lined up nicely so you can run down through them with scissors and harvest all the wool in seconds.  Just build a trench one deep with grass at the bottom, and line the mine carts up off from their tracks.  It is easy, and keeps things neat, and simple.  It also helps the server!
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