The snake oil behind Fast Crystals (0 ping crystals)

So, you've probably heard this all over the crystal pvp community, they are also labeled as Crystal Optimizers and stuff like that. 0 Ping crystals make us so mad that we are here to make a blogpost about them.

So, where do we start? 

When we first heard of this "0 ping crystal" thing, we already knew that claim was false.

For the non-techy people here; Let me put this into perspective, would you think it would be possible to make a physical plank shorter but make it go the same distance? No.

This is sort of what ping is, there are cables in our oceans bringing us our sweet sweet gameplay, though unfortunately when met with the laws of travel, these cables take a bit to transfer our data (our movements, etc. in game), which is the concept of Ping!

You see how this is looking impossible now, right? They are claiming to have solved a problem that is present in the laws of travel themselves!

But, just to be certain, we took benchmarks of their claims to see if they actually managed to break the laws of travel.

The Test

These tests were done with a custom mod timing the time when the packet is sent from the client, and when it is recieved, there were 6 attempts each on each point.

  • Server 1
    • with "Crystal Optimizer" on (ping was 40ms): 46ms (46 - 40 = 6ms)
    • with "Crystal Optimizer" off (ping was 42ms): 47ms (47 - 42 = 5ms)
  • Server 2
    • with "Crystal Optimizer" on (ping was 104ms): 110ms (110 - 104 = 6ms)
    • with "Crystal Optimizer" off (ping was 112ms): 118ms (118 - 112 = 6ms)
  • Server 3 (Vanilla paper with default configuration, 1.19.4) (ping was 33ms): 37ms (39 - 33 = 6ms)

So, even after we account for ping, there are still 6-7ms of delay, whys that?
This leads me to my second point, which is after the ping delay, theres delay for minecraft and the computers various other parts to process the data and recieve it.

So, this means, even if they managed to eliminate all ping, there would still be a bit of delay.

The Analysis

If we analyse the numbers we got out of the test, we see that Server 3, a completely normal server has almost the same amount of delay as the server with a "Crystal Optimizer", this means that there is almost no difference between having these on or off.

Then whats making people's crystals faster?

Well, this is where we get a bit sinister, the crystal optimizers actually do something to boost the players crystal speed, rather then actually optimizing ping.

From what we have observed and been told from insiders, the servers arbitrarily boost the players crystal speed by allowing them to place crystals when a crystal is not yet broken, or spawn extra crystals and break them automatically.

The Verdict

PvPHub will not be switching to these techniques of optimizing crystal speed arbitrarily, as we consider this cheating.

We would like other servers to move out of this serverside crystal optimizer meta, which misleads players. The tierlist should also consider banning these crystal optimizers in test as they give a false sense of skill.

Bonus: Client-Side Crystal Optimizers

There are a bunch of legit client side crystal optimizers, but there are also lots of cheaty ones, such as "Walksy's crystal optimizer", which basically act as crystal cheats (CWHack, etc.). These are also not tolerated on our platform.

Bonus: EU and NA without any ping

This is also impossible, sure, you could use something like MultiPaper to have 2 nodes, one in EU and one in NA, and sync them using multipaper, but this does not fix the ping problem, you are just now offloading even more ping by syncing all events through the servers using MultiPaper, now instead of it being like this:

Server -> Player

its now like this;

Server 1 -> Player 1
Server 2 -> Player 2

Thanks for reading all the way through this, we are working on some awesome things but this made us go mad. So we decided we should debunk it.