PandaCraft Skyblock will be switching away from the old pipe system completely on April 13th.
The old pipe system is the one that involves using glass blocks and pistons, along with redstone clocks, to create a pipe to transfer items. On April 13th, I will remove that system so it will no longer function. If you have pipes on your island, be sure to replace them with the new Cargo Network system before then if you want your item transport systems to continue to function. Watch this video for a tutorial on the new Cargo Networks:
There's also a small example at Spawn, which you can teleport to with the command, "/warp ex", that showcases the Cargo Network in action. There's a hopper that you can throw items or blocks into. Some blocks will be placed by the Placer and then broken by the Miner and everything else gets spit back out by a Dropper, so you'll get your items back. It demonstrates how you can use the Cargo Network to send different items to different places with Whitelists or Channels, and that the new Cargo Nodes can activate my custom Machines, like Placers, Miners, Crafters, etc..
So, why are we replacing the old pipe system? A few reasons:
- The old system needed Redstone Clocks to operate. This creates extra work for the server as redstone clocks can be notoriously laggy. The new system doesn't need any redstone to operate.
- The old system required separate colored pipes to transport items to different places. This means more pipe calculations need to be done and more redstone clocks need to be used. The new system uses built-in channels, whitelists, and blacklists to accomplish the same thing with just one single Network.
- The old system wasn't compatible with my custom machines and I had no way to make it compatible. This means you had to pipe into hoppers connected to my machines to activate them. The new system has code in place I was able to use to make my machines compatible with it, meaning the Cargo Nodes can activate my machines without any hoppers involved. Hoppers are also notorious for causing lag and islands have a limit of 100 hoppers, so using less hoppers on the machines is a win-win.
- The old system was very limited in what you could do with pipes. The new system gives you many options, like round-robin mode to equally distribute items, whitelists, blacklists, channels, and the ability to check items' lore or data values.
- The old system took up a lot of space on the islands. As cool as it looks having multiple colored pipes running everywhere, it can be tedious to work around them and reconfigure them. The new system is "wireless", requiring only the placement of Nodes which can interact with each other through blocks, so you can run a Network right through a wall without needing to break a hole in it. You can even hide the particles that display the connections between the Nodes by right-clicking on the Cargo Manager.
- Performance. As previously mentioned, clocks and hoppers can cause lag. With multiple old pipes on each island, clocks at every input piston, and hoppers on machines, the pipes can quickly eat away at the server's performance. Redstone clocks have to be processed by the server and many plugins also listen to that same data even if they don't need it, so those plugins than cause even more lag. It's easy to accidentally place a pipe next to a glass wall or create an infinite loop of pipes, which causes them to do a lot of extra calculations they don't need. The new system is significantly more stable and performant. Here's some graphs to help visualize the difference:
Performance with Pipes:
Perfromance with Cargo Networks:
Orange = lag. Green = Server TPS.
There is currently one main caveat with the new system, which I will fix as soon as possible. The new system is currently unable to interface properly with Furnaces, meaning you will have to use hoppers on your furnaces and feed into the hoppers using Cargo Nodes. This ensures the items go into the appropriate furnace slots. Otherwise, you may end up putting items into, or pulling out of, the wrong slots. Again, I will fix this as soon as I can.
So, make sure you get those pipes replaced by April 13th!