Hmmmm... I'm a bit torn from reading this. I've painstakingly built my single player world and mod selection around thaumcraft as it stands and forgoing other mods because thaumcraft filled my magic mod spot. This is not to say that changes you are thinking of adding are bad, quite the opposite, a more stable and less punishing node system, more intuitive and interesting research system and removing some of the more superfluous aspects sound rather awesome, but at the same time it makes me wary of having to restart my single player world all over again for the new world gen being added or removed. I'm unfortunately a late joiner to the thaumcraft party, being only playing since the start of thaumcraft 3.
Why would you want to change things?
My over all answer would have to be yes, after the initial shock of change and having to start all over again potentially, I'll agree these changes are good.
What do you want to change with Aspects?
It'll depend on how essentia as the new "vis" is handled, I could see a compromise system where there's a "casting" essentia pool made of the more basic fire, water, earth, wind and such that are used for casting the different spells and the more specific "crafting" essentia pool like time, trap, and life used for creating objects. It won't be less than ten, but it will be less than twenty this way and leaves room for expansion via mod makers.
What do you want to change with Auras?
I'll agree that changes to the aura system are a good idea, more reasons to explore is always good. Adding structures based around these that spawn rarely will only add to this.
Notes for consideration
-What will you do with the various elemental shards and clusters? I'm rather attached to them and how they function, I can see them being a way for the new nodes to replenish their essentia type.
-Node moving and creation? I'd love to see a way for players to be able to create their own nodes of theses new types as I love the idea of building structures centered around the different aspects. Obviously creation will be limited in size, so that natural world generated nodes will have more capacity.
-Silverwood trees. The changes to the node and aspect system what will happen to silverwood's node generation?
Apologies for the lack of explanation on some of these questions and ideas, I'm rather tired at the moment.
The Meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything.
Instead of removing Vis, you could use that as the power to do spells, where as ascpects are the crafting only part of Thaumcraft. Each player could have a Vis level based on how much they use Thaumcraft, that allows them to use/create better items, once researched of course. As far as aura nodes go, none of my server has had a huge problem with them. The only issue we currently have is an over population of wisp preveting anthing from spawning mob wise. The could be fixed by a Node purifer, while active prevents vis useage of the node it is linked with, and purifies dark nodes. Just an idea, since i loved scouting out for a nice node to live by. Lastly make Arcane levitators deactivateable in layers, i have a horrible looking platform for getting to my base because of the wiring i used for for a 2x2x4 levitor platform.
I haven't read through all the posts, so I don't know if you've addressed this, but I feel like cutting down the 40-50 aspects we already have to... ten or less, seems a tad extreme. I'd be fine with cutting it down by half by grouping together like-kinded aspects. About 20 total would be fine, I feel.
The tool aspect and the fabrication aspect, for instance, could go together. So could soil and stone, and air and flight.
What do you want to change with Aspects?
I'm thinking of reducing them to only a handful of fairly broad categories. I'm currently considering Fire, Air, Earth, Water, Life, Death, Magic, Nature. I might also go with a non-elemental category breakdown. Either way I want there to be less than 10 aspects.
I actually like the number of aspects but I don’t think they are organized well and need more uses beside just the caldron/alter. For example, I always wished that enchants were defined by aspects. Imagine being able to place the right aspects around an enchanting table to improve your chances of getting a specific enchant.
What do you want to change with Research?
As some of the TC add-on devs and IRC regulars might know I have discussed the possibility of splitting up the research tree into distinct sections each with its own page and tree structure. The current TC tree is getting a bit crowded and messy - especially with add-on mods adding their own stuff.
At the very least, it would be nice to see the tiers on separate pages.
My biggest problem with research is that I cant choose a path or a subject. I can't just try to research golems or sharpen my knowledge of wands. Whatever comes up I have to work on or get duplicates.
The actual burning stuff in the table part of research is strangely engaging, though I couldn’t say why.
Something else you didn't mention but might want to consider is progression.
Ore doubling shows up mid to late mid game in the research when its no longer that useful.
I think straw golems are a little too good to fast. One straw golem harvests everything I need plus lots of stuff I don’t, all at once.
Golem Accessories seem more like early game golem upgrades rather then late game hidden research.
Golem are hard to use and program for sorting. Stepping up to advanced golems means I have to dismantle my sorting system and rebuild it from scratch. I think there’s a way to make them easier to use and more versatile, Ill probably post that on the T3 forum topic.
It would be nice to see a step between stone furnace and infernal.
Overall, I'm really enjoying Thaumcraft 3 and would rather see it expanded then reworked. It adds alot of nuance to the game that a straight industrial mod just cant.
I loved it! I really like the idea of just one wand for everything, of course, you would have to level up it and such! I look foward to that!
Also, an idea, what about Golems spawning naturally? Agressive of course, TC is needing a stronger mob in my opinion!
When I first found Thaumcraft 2, I played it simultaneously with a mod called Manacraft, and the spellcasting and rune system worked magically together with TC2, pun very intended. Spellcasting would be tits.
The aspects certainly do need compressed, but I think you could get away with about 20, give or take a few. They do make research more challenging and puzzling, but there are so many I haven't found a use for, either in research or crafting.
Also it's way too easy to corrupt nearby nodes, in my experience, so seeing the aura system rebooted sounds nice, too.
Change in aspects:
The drop to lower numbers is something I personally approve of, 47 is just an immense amount, I haven't got all the way through the tree, but I'm pretty sure there are some unused aspects or aspects only used once or twice throughout the entire game. However, I do understand some people's sentiments that the drop in aspect numbers may cause complacency as you'll be able to get all the aspects fairly easily. I remember something I suggested back on the old TC3 thread was sub-aspects which, once you reached a certain point, would be revealed as an extra layer to a smaller number of aspects.
Changes in Auras:
I can understand that the Auras may cause issues to minecraft. Entities are probably one of the things Minecraft has the most issues with (I'm looking at you ground dwelling cows) and changing them to worldgen features will be a good way around this. Perhaps you could make this similar to back in TC2, being able to sap Vis from the aura, now your able to (eventually) craft an item that saps essentia from the nodes. Linking back to the sub-aspects idea, perhaps, all items in the world give only a certain sub-aspect/set of sub-aspects, while, if you sap the essentia direct from the nodes, they give all sub-aspects of the aspect in question.
Changes in Research:
I feel that these planned changes will be good as they will make research more fun and less of a lottery. Research back in TC2 was a later game "Shove stuff in, hope you get good stuff out" style thing, also quite chance based, the idea behind the change was to make the research more interactive, and while it succeeded in that, it could get quite frustrating finding that the research table either, took the item you put in for little gain or didn't take any of the item, when you made plenty incase the Research table took them.
The different magic tree's will also be a good thing as it will perhaps allow people to focus their research on a specific element, however, I'd like to see a method of having some say in what you research as, it can be annoying to get 3 golemancy theories (say) when you wanted to get the goggles of revealing. Also, based on the lost research from TC3, perhaps you can attempt to research a high tech item, but there's a chance of the research failing, however when research fails, you could get a lower tech theory, perhaps from a different branch, introducing the idea of research bringing forth new ideas, even when it doesn't work.
Another idea others have brought up is the return of the Eldrich, this could be a special tech tree focused on reverse engineering, the eldrich items could offer some special, otherwise unobtainable aspects, however, once you have a certain eldrich technology, you're able to convert some regular items into eldrich ones. This was another idea I brought up on the old TC3 thread. On the subject of reverse engineering, perhaps some of the eldrich items could be useful immediately, but if you invested them in research, you could find a way of making it, or for that matter, your own version of it.
Finally on the topic of research, I'd like to see tech trees similar to the Tech and Social policy trees of Civ 5 or some of the late T1/T2 technology from TC3, where many techs require multiple other techs competed before you can research them, for example, before you research the fire breath spell (Fire/Air, Wand of Fire spell from TC3) you need to research both Fire burst (Fire) and Air burst (Air).
How to power things:
The essentia idea seems interesting, I feel however that there needs to be more ways of getting essentia from point A to point B other than just a wand. You never know when you need a lot of essentia for something, people wouldn't want to trek back and forth just to move essentia. As far as the leveling system goes, it should probably be based on research, making it harder and harder to level up the further up you go by either boosting the number of technologies needed, or simply by making the technologies more complex. Also, once you complete a tree, you should get a BIG boost to something relating to that tech tree, either boosting it's efficiency or lowering its cost.
Spellcasting is an interesting concept, it would certainly fit in as a tech path. I'm being Ponder Stibbons in this mod, Ponder had to deal with actual spells, so why shouldn't actual spells be a thing in here. On the topic of Ponder Stibbons, perhaps a late(ish) game machine that you would put a resource into and it would give you access to a secret technology without having to worry about any major guess work. (This is me blatantly ripping off Hex)
Thaumcraft should have a way of being able to choose your enchantments in my opinion, how often have we had to suffer the wrath of the RNG, pour 30 levels into an enchantment only to get something like unbreaking 3. However, this advanced enchanting should come at a price, as expected. You should have to pay in both levels AND essentia & the types of essentia would matter (for example, a fire aspect enchant would require fire essentia). Either that or have it so that you can put essentia into the advanced enchanting table and increase your chances of getting a certain enchant. Also, perhaps each tech path can have its own magical construct that is necesarry for crafting the items on that tech path. Like having the arcane workbench and infusion altar, only more expansive.
Anyway, this was me going WAY overboard with ideas, hope that you find some of them useful Azanor and hope that the rest of you find good ways of improving on these ideas.
Rollback Post to RevisionRollBack
You could call me insane. I just say I'm a guy who does what he does.
Let's put this in a spoiler since I'll be commenting directly to the original post and then summarize it at the end:
Why would you want to change things?
TC3 is working fine as-is, but after release several things had become obvious to me.
Firstly, there are way too many aspects. During the early days of TC3 I went back and forth between having only a few or loads of different aspects. I ended up going the more is better route, but I've not been very happy with the results. One thing I really love about TC3 is finding new ways to get the aspects I need. Some are easy enough, Permutatio is on seeds so I made a wheat farm. Others are harder, Tenebris for example may be rarely used but it also is rare itself. I still go mining obby incase I ever need it. Bycutting it down to just basic aspects this "search" would be missing - say you're using ~8 different aspects you just have to find 8 easy-to-get-an-exess items and you're set for lifetime. Also, it wouldn't be compatible with many of the current researches: What would copper transmutation have that's different from tin transmutation? You could just say, copper has fire and tin water, but there's no sense behind that, is there?
Secondly the whole concept of aura nodes worked well on paper, but is problematic for several reasons:
They get corrupted easily due to crashes and the way MC saves chunk data
True that, happened to me. Not too hard to fix though, at least not hard enough to bother.
They are succeptable to griefing (either malicious or self inflicted )
Everything can be used to grief. Don't use that as an argument, because I don't want water to be removed from the game just because it can be used to grief people's houses. The fact that you can grief yourself is a learning process: you, as a thaumaturge, have to find ways to clean the mess you created when you didn't know what you were doing! I like it
They cause lag (fps, server and bandwith)
Well, I guess I can't argue with that...
Thirdly, research could be funner. Most people enjoy research as it currently stands, but I feel it could be even more fun. Research should be less of a resource sink and more of a "game". Use the current system and improve on it. Make aspect-groups that affect each other, for example crops and trees are kinda similar so if you research wood and the current research has crops, maybe make the obscurus light up to signalize that this aspect is similar to one you're currently researching (but don't show what it is). This makes searching aspects less tedious and more fun, while still not changing it too much. However you should try to also improve on crucible research: there's really no reason to use it atm, but it is more fun to go with the mentality of "Let's drop this crap into the crucible and maybe it'll do stuff!" than it is to just go..."Mhm, what have I not tried yet?"
What do you want to change with Aspects?
I'm thinking of reducing them to only a handfull of fairly broad categories. I'm currently considering Fire, Air, Earth, Water, Life, Death, Magic, Nature. I might also go with a non-elemental category breakdown. Either way I want there to be less than 10 aspects. See above
Also, aspects will replace Vis. What the what!? .... see below Don't like it, see below for more
What do you want to change with Auras?
Well, I want to do away with them completely. Auras are used as a source for vis, and I'm thinking of getting rid of vis (in its current form) completely. Currently most crafting requires two different resources - vis and essentia. That is a bit silly imho and I think it would probably be better to just use essentia. Somehow I really liked the idea behind managing these two ressources. i did not like the way it is handled (more later), but I really like the idea of drawing energy from the aura and then shaping it with the aspects to create something new.
I DO like the idea that aura nodes acted as focal points for magical power. I will try and keep that idea alive with different worldgen features, but for the most part they will be tied to special blocks or structures like the old TC1 altars and obelisks. For me it would totally work out if instead of aura nodes there were aura structures. But I love the way aura nodes look and interact with each other... And I wouldn't want my world to be clustered with obsidian temples, silverwood trees and lava fountains or whatnot. The terragen atm is okay because it's rare and something special, but if silverwoods were encountered as often as aura nodes now, becuase they ARE aura nodes, that would be silly, wouldn't it. And even if it were just obsidian pillars...
These are big changes and I suspect they will be unpopular ones. If I'm proven right it will probably prevent me from implementing some of the other ideas I have.
What do you want to change with Research?
Not sure yet honestly. It might remain as-is, or become even more of a mini-game. All I know at the moment is that I would like it be more fun and less about guessing and more about puzzle-solving. Fun is always good, but after all it's research, it shouldn't be a silly minigame. I will come back to research too later when i summarize and bring my own ideas into this.
As some of the TC add-on devs and IRC regulars might know I have discussed the possibility of splitting up the research tree into distinct sections each with its own page and tree structure. The current TC tree is getting a bit crowded and messy - especially with add-on mods adding their own stuff. This is a very good idea and I love it. However, in that case you HAVE to make sure the pages are not just one research. For example if you had a page with Aura manipulation, atm it would look pretty empty... It would have crystal clusters, node moving and crystal capacitor....And that's not enough for a page
Ok, if you are getting rid of vis, what will power our stuff?
Good question. YOU will power your stuff. There will be mechanics added to allow you to absorb the various types of essentia. For example, when you start out you can store a total of 50 essentia of each type and using a wand drains from those essentia pools. Since I'm not a fan of Vis removal I'm not really gonna comment oin this too much, but let me say one thing: Mana belongs to a different mod. Make Arcanecraft 1(If that already exists, different name, same idea)and make a nice spell system similar to Hack/Mine's. It could even also use Aura nodes as a way to replenish mana. But please, don't implement mana in thaumcraft, it just doesn't fit a mod that's kinda supposed to be about shaping the world around you by using what the world has to offer and manipulating it.
I'm considering adding a bit of an RPG element to things by allowing you to "level up" to increase how much essentia you can store, or grant you other abilities. This leveling will happen through research and/or actual xp or other means. I'm sorry to say this, but it's getting worse... Again, make Arcanecraft 1 and I'm all in for it, but not in thaumcraft
You will absorb essentia by various means. One way would be mob drops - they will drop raw essentia orbs in the same way they drop xp orbs. You could also destroy blocks and items to gain their essentia. You could also have tools to suck the essentia from various things like the world-gen features I'm planning on adding to replace nodes.
Wait, your adding what is essentially different kinds of mana? Does this mean...
Yes. I'm adding spellcasting. One of the research trees I'd like to add will be all about casting spells. I'm going to remove all the various elemental wands and you will just have the basic casting wand that currently exists, which you will use for all your various spells and such. For example, instead of having a Wand of Fire, you will research how to cast the same effect through your normal wand. See above. For me Spells don't fit into thaumcraft. Even the 3 attack wands don't really do that, and the wand of excavation too, the wand of equal trade on the other hand matches Thaumcraft perfectly. You could obviously argue that they are thaumcrafty because of the way you make them and I have to agree with that, but spells for me is not thaumcraft, it's something completely different.
I have resisted adding spellcasting for ages, but since the whole idea of TC3 was to move away from the tech mod concept spellcasting does feel like an obvious way to do it. I'd love if you went back to tech, actually. More later.
The magi-punk idea of TC will remain however - that is a big part of the mod and I will never get rid of it. Also I have now coined the phrase magi-punk. Your welcome. Thanks, I love the word.
Now, onto my own ideas. I've commenetd on everything in the op in the spoiler above so read that too please.
Okay. The main thing I didn't cover above was the vis removal, because I'm thinking basically the exact opposite. What I hoped would be added, since I saw similar things in TC2 (which I bever played sadly). You know, piping vis around and refining it and stuff - I was really hoping to see that stuff coming in future updates (could be tier 3 items branching off Aura Manipulation). I could see it that a special golem type can take Pure Aspects out of Warded Jars and put it into special tanks, where you can refine them and with the right mixture get "basic" elements (These would be the <10 elements you wanted to add). These could then be used in special machines, with the rigth proportins to get new items. This could be a tier 3 table, crafted from new, harder to get Arcane Blocks that needs tons of aspects. This table, instead of using nearby curcible, needs to be filled directly using pipes or golems, and is used to craft new Tier 3 items. A endgame item would then be used to convert Flux in the form of aspects into vis. This would be a very costy (both time, materials and space) process that involves several steps of refining, splitting and mixing aspects to finally get pure vis. This, same as the purified base aspects, can be stored in any liquid tank, and if you fill Warded Jars with it it will charge the aura in the same way Crystal Clusters do, but way faster, without Flux-Buildup, but also not for free, the Vis slowly gets drained out of the jar. Vis could also be added as a "real" liquid, that can obviously only be gotten from processing flux like mentioned above. This would mostly be here to look cool but could also have positive effects when touching it (Stone next to it turns into infused stone, Farmland with it nearby lets its stuff grow WAY faster, and if you swim in it you get buffed up etc.
Now obviously this all is more a suggestion of what should be added to TC3 then what to do with TC4, because tbh, I don't think a new mod is even needed
Something I've always invisioned about research is the idea of re-researching to improve things. Say you've made... Nitor for example. Then you re-research it later on with things you couldn't get before and you discover you can use Nitor to make more items or can improve Nitor's ammount of light it gives off or discover what makes it tick and teach yourself a spell. (Just as examples) And also the idea of dark/reverse research which could allow you to research something like Alumentium say using direct opposites of the essentia needed for Nitor or maybe even Dark essentia and special kinds of puzzle/mingame type things to complete the research. (?(Probably not. Just an idea))
I like the idea of re-researching your research to upgrade them and make them more efficient and/or productive. Perhaps the research table could have slot for our Thauminomicon and we could research based off what we already have?
Thanks guys, keep your thoughts and opinions coming. It seems the overwhelming opinion is to rather keep things as they are. I am a bit suprised at the hate for a spellcasting system - it is one of the most requested features. Maybe "spellcasting" is the wrong word. Would calling it a "wand customization system" sound better?
The aspect list does need to be culled a bit, though I hear what you said about not going overboard. What I will probably do is combine some aspects like plants+wood+crops and air+flight+weather (possibly movement as well). This should get rid of the bloat, but still leave a healthy amount of aspects.
Aura nodes need work. Too much work. I've been tinkering with them since I first released TC3 and they are STILL buggy as hell. I just can't seem to find a surefire way of saving them to disk with a 100% safety record. Even saving them within the existing MC data structure only reduced the issue since there are still fringe cases where the Forge hooks aren't activated when they should be and the nodes within a chunk go missing. It has been a frustrating exercise for me and sucks up a lot of time I would rather be spending finishing up new content and re-adding old TC2 stuff like the flying carpet or aspect-based enchantment. Yes, aspect based enchantment has been planned from the start and was in fact the inspiration for the whole aspect system.
Thus my desire to simply scrap nodes completely as they exist currently.
it dosent sound wery good for my part but i know that its you azanor that will make it so i am 110% shure it will be AWSOME
by the way thaumcraft 2 and 3 have been my favorite mods sice i first saw them keep up the realy realy realy good work!
How about having the Nodes as large floating Shards? Kinda like what we have now but make 'em the size of the player?
Then when you're draining them it causes cracks and flaws in it but it heals it self as it refill/regenerates?
Perhaps have a return of those Void Seed Generators from TC2? But re purpose them as Aspect Taps? We'd connect it to the Crystal Nodes and it would slowly extract Aspect from it and you could set it to either a full drain and destroy the Node or a partial drain.
first thing i want to thanks you for you great work. Your mods is always amazing and it get better every time i take a look. I have some suggestion about it but i don't know much about modding so i may say stupid thing. This said lets carry on with my idea.
You say that you want to remove the aura system and i wonder if its would not be good to keep it but instead of having the aura being naturally generated it would have been created by human intervention. As it is there is a lot of aura that we never gonna use but that still cause lag. More important there is some aura that are great but just miss placed into place that we may not want to build it.
You know when i play Tc3 i alway think about building a tower of some sort and having a big node at the top of it that feed all my magical need. So my idea would be to use multi-bloc structure in the same kind of a way they do it into Industrial craft 2 for nuclear reactor. Multiple design possible give different type of node and different effect.
This way with a bit of work i can work on my aura node and make it better and better improve my concept and have the feeling that i am bending the power of those node.
This is also true with research. I keep believe that infusing some element into material could be the good way of crafting item. kind of a mix between Tc2 and tc3 system. Liquid essentia that flow into infusion altar and if the mix of liquid is good then you can craft the item. To be honest i would love to see a whole new system with laboratory for conducting experience. Controling the heat, the different essentia involved and other reaction of many type.
This way you still have to work your way trough discovery of different sort but also you could automate some basic creation. For example you could infuse some diamond with essentia and use those to generate the aura node that will then be use into more advanced system. This way you have to build yourself into the techtree and build the node of your dream. or why not multiple node?
But this way you keep the node system but you don't make it naturaly spawn.
Rollback Post to RevisionRollBack
If world seem wrong. If you don't understand then remember... The answer is 42!
The only thing that worries me is the spellcasting.
The thing I love about Thaumcraft is that it isnt your traditional magic, Its magic-tech. You create magical machines and items as opposed to other games where you are the source of the magic.
Minecraft is a game where the difference between a guy who can defeat the ender dragon and a guy that just started the game isnt his level, health or skills/spells like in other games, but simply the items he has created.
All the best mods out there have stayed true to that, including thaumcraft which is hands down the best "magic" mod out there.
I feel adding internal mana storage goes against that.
Take Ars Magicka mod for example, it basically makes you into the traditional RPG/MMO/D&D wizard where you level up and gain more and more mana to cast stronger and stronger spells. Not only that its also a good example of how hard/clumsy it is to manage multiple spells from the same item.
I think I would be fine with having access to several different spells out of one wand as long as the wand is the source of the mana.
I really dont want to see the player exchanging exp for more mana like in Ars Magicka mod.
No matter what you do, I have faith that it will be awesome.
Rollback Post to RevisionRollBack
"I would agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong."
<Natalie> nodes should be physical entities
<flamedance58> "my desire to simply scrap nodes completely as they exist currently."
<flamedance58> Oops missed the "Thus" infront lol
<Natalie> i want to see nodes as actual crystals in the world
<flamedance58> So perhaps have them as a giant crystal?
<Natalie> A fairly reasonably sized crystal, with a "core" that must be connected to a certain number of crystal blocks to function as an actual node?
<Natalie> And to destroy the crystal and move it around is difficult and lossy without the right research?
<flamedance58> I'd like to see the moving mechanic of the nodes a bit more practical and rewarding.
<flamedance58> I like the idea of nodes being a aspect farm if you will.
<Natalie> Oh god yes, encourage the player to go out into the world and then return home to where he knows he can find his crystals
<Natalie> Each crystal of course would have to be tied to a single aspect and so would the core
<Kreicus> i like current nodes actually but i understand the bugginess of them
<flamedance58> I think that's the general idea he wants.
<Natalie> one could, in theory, just destroy the crystal as a source of aspect, but this is bad as there's kind of no way to make more crystal without spending an absolute **** of aspect
<flamedance58> Cause currently ppl just found a big node and set up shop there forever.
<flamedance58> I ebleive he wants it so you have to go out and look for these new nodes because you need that specific node's resource.
To summarize this idea:
Aura nodes represent in the game world as semi-large crystals (e.g. six to ten blocks high) with a single "Crystal Core" somewhere within the crystal.
This "Crystal Core" is the center of the node, and must be connected to a certain number of Crystal blocks.
Each Aura Crystal would be tied to a single Aspect and could not be mutated to channel a different Aspect.
Moving the Aura Crystal in effect moves the node.
Moving the Aura Crystal Core itself is impossible without the right tools.
Attempting to do so will shatter the core, causing... Fun Stuff.
Crafting a new Aura Crystal Core, if possible at all, should require an absolute arseton of Aspect.
If the Aura Crystal's component blocks are smashed without the right tools, it could drop a small number of shards.
If the Aura Crystal's component blocks are smashed WITH the right tools, it will drop either itself or a full nine shards.
Nine shards can be crafted back into an Aura Crystal component block, using a relatively prohibitive amount of Aspect.
EDIT: Even with the right tools, it shouldn't be a 100% recovery rate. I'm thinking more 95%. This would still require the player to work to actively restore what he took from the world.
EDIT: If the player has an odd number of Crystal shards, he should still be allowed to generate a new Aura Crystal component block, but at an increased Aspect cost.
These Aura Crystals can occur on the surface or in cave systems or perhaps special underground dungeons. Surface Aura Crystals could be more likely to be of surface aspects e.g. Air and Light and Water and Life, while cave Aura Crystals could be more likely to be of cave aspects e.g. Earth and Darkness and Fire and Death.
The Aura Crystal can be drained of its contained Aspect through continued charging use.
Aspects stored in Aura Crystals can be replenished over time (very slowly) or by player intervention (requiring a decent quantity of harvested Aspect).
The Aura Crystals could also be capable of functioning under the current Node system, allowing a generic "magic" Aspect to flow between the crystals under certain circumstances.
After reading this entire thread, the main points I'm seeing from your fans is more in the way of expanding TC3 instead of starting TC4: You risk losing fans when you quit support for something people have put so much time into coming to love.
-Give nodes an aspect characteristic and tie them to physical blocks
-Nodes should be influenced by environment(cutting down jungle around nature node kills it off etc.)
-Don't reduce aspects, instead expand the number of researches and uses for current aspects
-Spellcasting is over-used, doesn't fit the magi-punk theme, and is done better by other mods
-An increased compatibility with other mods items and blocks
-Vis could stay or go
-Negative repurcussions of magic pollution should be more dangerous
-Keep research as a resource-sink, but make it more of a puzzle we can figure out than a random lottery.
My ideas to accomplish these goals:
-First, don't ditch TC3 for TC4, just expand on TC3 as you have a good framework already
-It should be observation based. You should gain "Observation records" based on witnessing events while carrying scribing tools and paper.
-Add 2 slots to research table to guide research, make it more puzzle solving less lottery.
-First slot: A place for observation record relating to tech tree and tier you want to research
-Second slot: A place for a previously researched theory relating to the used observation and tech tree/tier(previous tier theory for example)
-Adding this gives a reason to explore with scribing tools/paper, it intuits and guides the player in research, makes it less luck, and more about thinking of how events, ideas and materials are related (JUST LIKE REAL LIFE RESEARCH!)
If you must add spellcasting, make it an end game achievement:
-make it environment/block/context dependent (NO HOTKEYS).
-an example, want to cause an explosion, hold right click with wand on a tree log or cactus, and detonate with left click(could animate the selected block with a purple thaumcraft insignia/rune for visual affirmation)
-Want to slow or stop your opponents, draw them into water than freeze the block and them in it (carry water buckets to do this anyplace)
-Want to ignite an opponent, place a torch(single block effect) or netherack(larger aoe) and ignite the area (or just entities) in fire (consuming torch/netherack) from any distance using the wands right click.
-Turn any stone/dirt/gravel block into lava for a few seconds with fire aspect from your wand
-Raise up a wall of earth(actual blocks from the ground) with earth aspect, to create a shield or to expose ores.
-Want to grow your crops, place a snow block above them, right click it, and saturate the plants in a cone beneath it
-The idea is to make casting magic, a structure dependent process, keeping your mod unique, fun, and true to magi-punk
-Give wands a capacity, and allow you to fill up the wand with any number and combination of aspects by drawing them from warded jars that you have stored the aspects in, by holding right click on them with wand in hand, and watch the wand charge with that aspect, move on to next jar, add some charge from a different aspect, etc.
Another way to minimize hotkeys would be to add a single hotkey, and have different spells cast by different directional movements of the mouse while the hotkey is pressed, giving a mini game to casting as well
Azanor, if your moving more towards magic then can we please see seals make a comeback i know alot of people request this but they were by far the best peace of tech in tc2 also perhaps you could have taint make an appearance not as a replacement for Flux but a real punishment for ignoring the environment. think about it. taint could be extremely hard to get rid of but only comes when your a fool. Flux is always around generated by standard usage they could even interact with each other for even more horrible consequences. but alas like iv'e stated before i liked thaumcraft 2 just because of all the much better "machines".
As for "Spellcasting" can we see some interactions with these ruins? because that would be awesome unlocking hidden passages solving puzzles....
Haven't read the suggestions and Azanor replies, but from the OP it seems you would end up with something very similar to Ars Magica, Azanor. I know both mods are inspired upon the same game, but having two mods with level, mana, absorbing essence/aspects from the world, etc would be pretty bad.
I would like to see you keep the large aspect list for research, but have the research be a bit more complicated:
Step one-Develop a idea. These can be selected by paring notes/aspects (see notes later)
Step two-Take notes on events. This requires having selected an idea, and then taking scribing tools and paper with you and (for example) watching a tnt explosion.
Step three-Play around with the notes information. Back at your research table, you would pair your notes with an item (such as cobblestone for the tnt) to make progress on any fractus involved in your currently selected idea. You can also apply the notes generated when you have one idea to another idea (if you switch or complete the one you had when you made them), but they will be less effective.
This should prevent duplicate researches, permit more selectivity when choosing what to research, and make it less of a pure item-sink.'
The gui would be like such:
When you right click with the scribing tools, it would open up a gui showing your 'experiences' within the last few minutes. You can then mark one of them to take note of, using up paper. This would result in the notes.