For a while now we have had a pretty bad lag problem. After going through the timings I have found that 50-60% of total processing power is from hoppers alone. Entities (animals, monsters) only account for about 10-15% and the remaining processing power is spread out over all the other minecraft functions.
I found that during bad periods of lag there are around 6000-7000 hoppers active. Many players have under 100 hoppers on their island. A lot of the older and larger islands have 200-300 hoppers, while there are islands out there with as many as 1800 hoppers. This means that if the right (or wrong) 6-7 people are logged in the server can be brought to a crawl just by hoppers.
I am not putting the blame on the players (the fault lies with Minecraft and how absurdly inefficient hoppers are), but it's obvious that something needs to be done. I have tried optimizing as much as I can, but there is nothing more I can do and am going to have to limit the total number of hoppers that can be placed on an island. So in the near future there are a few things that will happen with hoppers:
- The total number of hoppers that can be placed on an island will be limited. I don't have exact values for this yet, but likely no more than 100-150.
- Hoppers will have a negative level value when placed on your island. This means that they will subtract from your island level. Again I don't have an exact value for this yet, but if you currently have 200+ on your island its going to be very noticeable.
- There will be a new challenge that requires hoppers. This will give players a chance to trade in their excess hoppers.
I know this is going to be a hassle for some players, but this is really the only option we have left. Until these changes are made, you can help out by re-designing your current farms (if they use a lot of hoppers) and using as few hoppers as possible in your future builds.