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Yet Another Minecraft Server (YAMS)
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25/07/2013 - YAMS and Optifine

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As you all know, in YAMS we do not allow mods, it's really that simple.


This is for many reasons, one being the fact that we don't have the time or resources to continuously keep ourselves up to date on which mods would be ok and which ones would not be ok, as some alter your gameplay to such an extent that they give you an advantage over others. Such as when mining, exploring or killing etc.


In February 2013, I made a post about mods in which I asked you all to private message me if you use mods and tell me what ones and why. Though I didn't specifically state it, my main mod of interest was optifine, I knew people out there were using it but I wanted to see if they would be honest and tell me and then understand more why they were using it.


I had a 3 people say they were using optifine and one person that said that they didn't use it but heard it may be of use to them. There was no repercussions for those who told me, they had been honest and that's what I asked for, so I was happy to leave them using it, though I never actually told them this.


If have ever been asked directly if Optifine is allowed, I may have either ignored the message or said something along the lines of the following (extract from the BattleArena topic):

  • Our policy is no mods simple as that, I will always say no to optifine if I'm directly asked, however I know quite a few people who use optifine to improve their performance and I havent told them off yet because I trust they wont use some of the features it has to gain unfair advantages over others... if that makes sense. I cant stop you but If I find people abusing the system, well you know what happens. That's all Im saying.

The fact is that optifine has always been a grey area, because while it has good benefits it also has some features which can be used to gain some advantage over others in terms of pvp games and mining etc. Also some people have used optifine before with added features in which clearly are against the rules xray/flying etc and then saying I didn't know it had these "extras" in the version I downloaded (hacked clients) when quite clearly we detected them using these so called "extra features" to a proper extent.


Since we have moved over to Minecraft 1.6.2, I and many others have noticed a decrease in FPS (Frames per second) that shows up when you press F3 (The higher the FPS the better) or to better understanding an increase in lag.


I have never really paid much attention to FPS as I have never had any problems, but with 1.6.2 and the new launcher I was getting about 7-11 FPS when walking down spawn tower, whereas before it was a lot higher (I have tested in 1.5.2 old launcher and get no problems).


I decided to do some investigating and found out the main cause of the lag was tile entities/entities (Signs, chests, item frames, paintings etc). The biggest problem out of all of them was signs with text on.


To test my theory, I went out in the wild where I was getting 80-100 FPS and generated four 255 block high walls containing wall signs (totalling 10200 signs) and measured the FPS, it was low but nothing compared to what I was getting in spawn tower.


So I then decided to do the same again, so a cuboid containing 10200 wall signs, but this time with every sign containing 4 lines of random text, as soon as I generated this my FPS decreased drastically, ranging from 2 - 8 FPS.


My theory was sound, the problem was signs with text on and it was because Minecraft renders the text of all signs you can see even if you cant actually read the text, which is kind of pointless.


I tried making some changes to spawn tower, removing any signs I could, however this was not enough, the problem still seemed to occur which is quite annoying as it's not like I can just remove all the signs (signs were being renderd from sandbox and other places) and also because in 1.5.2 I was getting no issues at all, I had also heard others saying they were getting more lag at spawn but yet others said they were getting better FPS than before which doesn't make sense!


I'm hoping Mojang will fix these performance issues, but in the meantime I have a solution for those of you are experiencing issues. I have decided to officially approved Optifine as one mod which can be used in YAMS because Optifine improves performance issues considerably, especially with signs as it only renders the text when you are near and able to read them. Please respect this allowance, do not abuse by trust, no more is it allowed/isn't it allowed, you have a definitive yes now, you can use Optifine now providing you do not use it to gain unfair advantage over others.


If you wish to download Optifine, you can do so via this link here. You will probably want to download the version that says "OptiFine HD B4 Standard for Minecraft 1.6.2". There are also installation instructions on that page, either by manually addint the files into the .jar file via the WinRAR/7-Zip method or by using Magic Launcher which you may find really simple.


I have decided not to make my own tutorial on how to install it as those links should get you started, with that said if you think Optifine will help you and you are having problems installing it, you are more than welcome to post here asking for help and I'm sure someone will try and help you, if they know how to of course.


As a reminder do not abuse my trust and please remember this is the only approved mod, no other mods are approved.


Thank you,


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Just so you are all aware, I am constantly looking into ways to solve the problem of text signs causing lag (sign render distance).
I have made my voice heard on the reopened minecraft bug report about it (https://mojang.atlassian.net/browse/MC-5169):

I can confirm this is a massive issue in 1.6 and wasnt in 1.5. I have gone back to test the same copy of worlds in 1.5 and indeed no issues.
The main culprit as said above is signs with text on, blanks signs are not as bad on lowering FPS.
I went out in the wild where I was getting 80-100 FPS and generated a 255 block high wall containing wall signs (totalling 10200 signs) and measured the FPS, it was low but not as bad as I thought it would be, 25 FPS or so. I was getting worse in areas with less signs.
So I then decided to do the same again, 1 wall containing 10200 wall signs, but this time with every sign containing 4 lines of random text, as soon as I generated this my FPS decreased drastically, ranging from 2 - 8 FPS.
This of course was a bit of an overkill on signs, but it was an interesting test and made me find out that it was indeed signs with text on that caused the problem.
The problem is Minecraft seems to render the text even if you cant actually read it from far away, which in my opinion is pointless.
Ive been using optifine as a solution which only renders sign text when you are actually near enough to be able to read it but as we run a family friendly server with people of all ages, some of the younger ones are unsure how to install this or not allowed to by their parents.
it would be nice if the default client, did what optifine does.

And I also looked into ways of doing what optifine does but doing it server side, I thought spigot (A optimised version of Bukkit) may have this by now, however it seems it's still not been implemented, I left a comment (http://www.spigotmc.org/threads/sign-text-view-distance.464/):

I’d certainly welcome this feature myself, there’s currently an open bug report MC-5169 on the Minecraft bug tracker about signs with text on causing huge FPS drops, it wasn’t an issue for us on 1.5, but as soon we updated to 1.6 the issue became obvious.

For the time being I’ve been directing players to use optifine as this only renders the text when you are near by, however not all players are aware how to install this or are not allowed too.

I am currently using CraftBukkit, but this feature would certainly make me jump to using Spigot instead.

Thank you,

One of the developers has replied again, others still want this:

I already know how it should be implemented ,and it wouldn't be limited to just signs, it's just that I'm super busy and do not get the time to constantly work on stuff like this.

My server is a constant development job, so working on spigot = i'm not working on the features my players want.... :(


As you can see, I haven't had much luck, but I will continue to keep an eye out... who knows maybe it will be fixed in 1.7.


For now the only real way to fix it is Optifine, I should mention that even if the sign lag is fixed I wont take away Optifine as an approved mod.

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