On Stonewick we want the best experience for every player. No one enjoys playing Minecraft, when it's lagging all the time. But what is lag and how can we avoid it with limiting too much, what we can build?
Types of lag in Minecraft
There's three types of lag, when you play on the server:
Server lag, also referred to as tps lag. The computer that hosts our server has to do all the math behind. That's usually no big deal when you're playing single player. But on a server the more people are online, the more chunks are loaded and have to be processed. Minecraft runs at 20 ticks per second (tps). So in order to run as we're used to, the computer has to finish all his calculations in less then 50 milliseconds. If he doesn't manage, the tps drop down, which results in slowing down the game.
Client lag, also referred to as fps lag. The computer you're playing on at home has to show you the image. In order to look good and be playable, your computer has to manage at least 25 to 30 frames per second (fps). You can check, how many fps you have when you hit F3 to see the debug screen. The information is in the top left corner in the second line. If your computer is too slow, there's nothing we can do about. You can still play, but you might always be one step behind when fighting hostile mobs or other players (only in the PvP world of course).
Connection lag. The server and your computer have to exchange information. As fast as electricity is, the information needs time to travel. The further you're away from the server, the more. And bandwidth is limited too, so the more players are online, the more likely you're to see it. One typical result of this is: You place a block, step forward on top of it, but because of slowed down communication the block disappears for a moment and you sink down and end up inside the block. If you placed two blocks, you can even die of suffocation. Just be careful.
Causes of server lag
1. Entities All passive and hostile mobs, minecarts, boats and all items on the ground are entities. The server has to calculate their active movement or how they're moved by water streams, lava streams or gravity. So the more entities there are in the game, the more likely we all experience lag.
2. Light updates That's actually one of the biggest causes of lag, as the calculation of lighting is very complex. You can see it, when you place the first torch in a big pitch dark cave. Most redstone lag is actually caused by light updates with two main reasons: redstone torches and pistons. Redstone torches emit light. So whenever they turn on or off, the lighting around them changes. The easiest way to fix it is to place a stronger lightsource next to the redstone torch. Pistons do not emit light, but the extended piston head is a transparent block, whilte the block that you're pushing with it, usually is not.
3. Block updates Block updates are another issue. The biggest cause for block updates is redstone dust. If water melts or freezes, only that block is affected, unless it has a way, where to flow to. But a redstone dust that changes its state or signal strength updates updates all blocks in a radius of two plus the redstone line it's connected to. That can have wanted or unwanted side effects, many minecrafters exploit (Block-update-detector). But when it comes to lag, it's really a thing. Powered rails or observers can be a more lag-friendly way to transmit a redstone signal. See Redstone Policy