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I've started experimenting with an SMP mob spawner/killer system and the results are a little bit strange. About my system: 2 floors of 17x17x2 and 17x17x3 blocks, completely dark, with some water tunnels to get mobs to the killing floor. The exit of the system is farther than 24 blocks but nearer than 144 blocks. The tunnels were mistakingly built with the width of 1, so if a spider spawns inside the system, it cannot go anywhere.

So this basically works, but the spawning of mobs is in no way systematic! I am almost always watching them with the F3 button and can see that sometimes a lot of them spawn, and that especially happens when I move around a lot, running, doing my own things and so on.

But if I stand on the same place, for like an hour or something, it is like they spawn in the tower for first 5 minutes, and I get the loot at the exit, but for the remaining 55 minutes, nothing happens!

So what other considerations should I have besides being farther than 24 but nearer than 144 blocks from a spawning floor? Does it matter if I move, where I look, what I do? Does it matter if the game window is minimized or not?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Only a limited number of mobs can be spawned at once, so after the first couple of minutes the limit has been reached, unfortunately these mobs have been spawned elsewhere.

You need to stop mobs spawning outside of the spawners the easiest way of doing this is by lighting up all the tunnels in the area.

It would be most efficient to light up the tunnels between you and the spawning pads as the mobs spawning there do not de-spawn like the ones further than 144

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Does this work practically? I mean is it still true that mobs spawn in the area of 144x144, and I will have to clear out all tunnels in that area? –  Cray Apr 6 '11 at 20:44
    
That is correct. –  Kevin Y Apr 6 '11 at 20:48
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