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Aura and You: All About Thaumcraft 3 Aura Mechanics

Discussion in 'General FTB chat' started by Remaker, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. Remaker

    Remaker Active Member

    I got tired of all of the speculation floating around the minecraft forums about Aura decided to figure it out myself. Here is what I know. I'm only going to post conclusions that I have strong evidence for. I want this to be the final word, or as close as you can get without access to the source code.

    Aura Draining

    When you drain Vis out of the Aura, the node that you took the Vis from tries to recover by requesting Vis from nearby nodes. Vis always flows from larger nodes to smaller nodes, where "larger" and "smaller" refers to MAX aura, not CURRENT aura. A 50/800 node will empty itself out to top off a 450/500 node. Similarly, an overcharged 100/90 node will not lift a finger to help out a 1/800 node. This is all easily verifiable by donning Goggles of Revealing and watching how the Vis moves around.

    If you follow the Vis trails, you will find that your node is being supported by a slightly larger node, and you might even find that that node is being supported by yet another even bigger node. If you follow the trail long enough, you will eventually find a big node at the end of the chain. This guy is too big to request Vis from other nodes. If you watch it for a while, you will notice that it slowly recovers aura in 10 point increments, even though you can't see any Vis flying into it from other nodes. What is happening is that that node is eating infused stone, turning it into dull ore and extracting 10 Vis for each conversion. This ore eating mechanic has been stated by Azanor himself and confirmed by other people:


    Eventually, the big "source" node will run out of infused ore and lose its ability to recover. This resource depletion continues along the chain until the entire region has been drained of Aura.

    New Nodes

    Silverwood saplings create a new pure node when they grow. This node will start with 50-100 Aura. This Aura is not free. It comes from the closest node that can support it. Moreover, the new node absorbs 1.5 times the amount that it gains. People argue about where this missing Aura goes, but I believe that it is simply lost. I'll explain why I think this later.

    When two nodes merge, the new node is equal to the max aura of the largest node + 1/3 of the max aura of the smaller node. I have observed over 100 merging events and have never seen this rule violated. It's also been verified by people have have read the code.


    You can get some wonkiness with merging because "largest node" is determined by CURRENT aura instead of MAX aura. If your larger node gets badly drained by the nascent node, it might count as being smaller if it can't recover before merging and the merging will happen "backwards." You can actually lose max aura this way.
    For example, a 100/100 has a new 50/50 node appear right next to it. The new node draws 75 aura from the old one and throws the remaining 25 points away. The nodes are now 25/100 and 50/50. If they merge like that, the 50/50 will strangely be counted as the "large" node, and the resulting new node will have a max aura of 50 + 100/3 = 83, which is less than the starting capacity of 100.

    The solution is to plant Silverwoods far enough away from your node that the old one has time to recover. In the above example, if the nodes merged after the old one recovered, the new node would have 100 +50/3 = 116, which is an improvement. New Silverwoods create nodes with capacities ranging from 50-100 (confirmed by both extensive testing and by code), so you can stop worrying about bad merges when your main node hits 251.

    Ore Recovery

    When an Aura is overcharged by 10 or more, it can discharge 10 Vis to restore a dull ore back into an Infused stone. The easiest way to see this for yourself is to go to a new, untouched node and cheat in some dull ores. Place some crystal clusters nearby and watch. The odds of any one dull ore being restored per tick appears to be very low, but if you place 3 or four stacks of dull ore, you should see the refill happen within a few minutes. The ores won't visibly revert unless you force a block update or log off, but you can easily tell when it happens because the aura level will change.

    I do not believe that the overflow Aura from Silverwood growth and from merges can refill dull ores. I have made a test setup full of dull ore and have planted and merged over 50 consecutive Silverwoods without ever seeing a single recharge event. My conclusion is that the overflow is simply lost.

    According to code divers, an Aura overcharged by 100 or more has a tiny chance of creating new infused ores out of ordinary smooth stone. The rate is incredibly slow and the effect may as well not exist:


    Personal Conclusions:

    One thing that this has taught me is that building supernodes out of Silverwood trees actually gives you less Vis to work with, not more. Both the growth and the merges are lossy processes, and those losses are born by the surrounding nodes and their corresponding ores. Even worse, your supernode will eventually become so big that it can't request Vis from its neighbors anymore. At this point, you are limited to what ores remain in your immediate vicinity. When those run out, you are done. Actually, it is usually even worse than this. If you badly depleted the surrounding nodes, once your supernode becomes bigger than them, it will immediately start emptying itself out to restore them.

    The only way to create new Vis that I have confirmed is through the use of crystal clusters. This works, but is very slow (roughly one point of Aura per five minutes). Crystal clusters can overcharge your node (but never by more than 10%), which theoretically can restore your ores. Like I mentioned earlier, the per-ore odds are very low (my first test had only 9 blocks of dull ore and my overcharged node failed to refill even one of them after 24 hours of continuous running). Also, overcharged auras build up Flux very fast. You might get a few ores back, but it could days or even weeks of real life time to get the Flux back down to acceptable levels if you insist on totally refilling everything.

    If you just want lots of Vis for crafting, find a small Pure node somewhere and set up there. Your total Vis will effectively be equal to the nodes+ores of all of the surrounding region. Supernodes consume huge amounts of Aura to build and cut you off from remote recharges. Only make one because you like making them, not because you think it gives you an advantage.
  2. Remaker

    Remaker Active Member

    Easily tested. I found that pure nodes get 10 Vis per ore, just like normal nodes.
    ICountFrom0 likes this.
  3. Celestialphoenix

    Celestialphoenix Too Much Free Time

    Brilliant, time to pop on someones server and start draining aura/pumping out flux like crazy
  4. Remaker

    Remaker Active Member

    I'm trying to figure out Flux. You can't measure it directly in game, but you can read it off of the auras.dat file with a hex editor. This is very tedious to do. There isn't just one kind of Flux. There is a Flux associated with all (most?) aspects, and the Flux level we see is based off of the sum of all of these numbers. It should be possible to figure out how much Flux corresponds to what level, and how much Flux is relieved per Wisp spawn, but it will be a lot harder than investigating Aura.
  5. Milaha

    Milaha Active Member

    I have been noticing several types of wisps, I have a large (underground) tree farm area that has nodes in it thanks to some silverwood growing, it was spitting out wisps left and right after I grew them, and they were of many colors. Only a few of the colors were intrinsicly hostile though, and the numerous friendly wisps flying around was really cool looking. If it can be determined exactly how to spawn the non-hostile wisp types I can see dumping flux into the air just for the purpose of seeing them hehe.

    P.S. Awesome write up, major kudos for taking the time to investigate how things actually work.
  6. ThemsAllTook

    ThemsAllTook Active Member

    Great info! This stuff is all so arcane (fittingly so, I suppose). Thanks for writing it up.

    So, if I'm reading this correctly, vis is completely nonrenewable except for crystal clusters, which apparently are really slow. It sounds like normal usage is going to deplete your aura over time, so if you spend a long time in a world (or worse, have a lot of players on a multiplayer server doing lots of thaumaturgy in the same area), you're going to run out of vis and not be able to do much about it other than move. Maybe I should be a bit more sparing with my metal transmutations...
  7. Catarooni

    Catarooni Member

    Suddenly, my Mystcraft void world base that has zero natural aura seems like a horribly bad idea. I was going to create nodes with Silverwood trees, not realizing they themselves needed Aura to grow. Well damn.
  8. Abdiel

    Abdiel Well-Known Member

    I don't have any aura nodes in the vicinity of my base, as the area was generated before we added Thaumcraft. The goggles show no UI at all, and my wand doesn't recharge. Provided that I am fine with going elsewhere to charge the wand, what happens to flux I generate? Does it simply vanish? Will it eventually create a flux node?
  9. NightKev

    NightKev Well-Known Member

    Thaumcraft has the ability to regenerate existing chunks to have TC3 worldgen (aura nodes, infused stone, etc), it's one of the config file settings. You could just use that.
  10. Omicron

    Omicron Over-Achiever Trusted User

    Thanks for this, Remaker!
  11. Bhaz

    Bhaz New Member

    So, there's no way to create new Vis in an area without cheating?
  12. slay_mithos

    slay_mithos Well-Known Member

    Do note that regenerating is not perfect, and it also generates the ores.

    You could potentially have ores popping out in your base, if you build underground. Be careful.
  13. Remaker

    Remaker Active Member

    Of course you can. I even mention how to do it in the first post. Crystal Clusters create fresh Vis, they are just very slow. What's more, a node being fed Vis from a Crystal Cluster won't stop eating ores or borrowing from neighbors just because it is also being supported by the crystal. I have some ideas about how to use magic in a sustainable manner, but want to hold off until I know more. I don't think that a zero-impact approach will ever be possible except on paper (eg you could probably restore all of your Aura and remove all of your flux if you let the game run for several real life years, but come on). A minimum-footprint might be feasible.
  14. Bluehorazon

    Bluehorazon Active Member

    You can generate everything seperatly.

    Well I found a very easy way to make my aura stable. The thing you definitly need is a pure node which I made swallow all the other nodes nearby. So all I have now is a 1000 Aura Pure node. Infused Ore normally drops about 2 shards on average if not used with fortune. So for a crystal cluster you need 2,5 infused stone, which are 25 Vis + 100 Vis for the crafting. So they repay themself after about 10,5 hours, which is not that much. But Mining the shards before they have a chance to become dull is a good idea, since they are far more usefull as a ressource than as vis-containers.

    Note that wisps are created directly inside the node, although they can move away from it very fast. The best idea is to build a transposer directly under the node and 2 tesla-coils nearby. A waterflow should wash all the items into the transposer. If you manage to collect your nodes inside one very large node it is quite easy to

    a) Check which Flux is created. Creating new nodes with Silverwood mainly produces Permutatio, Aura and Mutatio Flux (at least it creates a lot of those wisps. I also have a Wisp-Essence with the weather aspect, which is an aspect I have never seen on any item. And since the Meta-Data of my collected wisp-essences go up to 57 I think there is a essence for every aspect. So Wisps always 1 Soul + 1 Mutatio + 4 X (which can also be Mutatio or Soul).

    b) Kill the wisps, since you only have to watch one node

    Although it is easy to determine that wasted aspects go into the Flux and create certain wisps, I wonder what machines like the infernal furnace do. I will try that one later, but I'm pretty sure that all of them create certain types of flux. I noticed that the portable hole seems to not create flux, since I violated it to drain my node down to 100 Vis and I got no new wisps. So I need to try all the stuff, to see if it creates certain flux, since I have a chest attached to collect the essences which makes it easy to monitor the generated flux.
  15. Korenn

    Korenn Well-Known Member

    This is pretty much my aim as well. Although I still need to find the knowledge fragments for the clusters :(

    1 aura every 5 minutes from a cluster simply means that the target amount of clusters for me will be 300 :)
    I may end up quarrying out some areas far away from my base in order to supply me with the shards. I expect it'll be easier than going infused stone hunting around my overcharged node.
  16. Kitryn

    Kitryn New Member

    Remaker's research shows that smaller (max vis) nodes will not help out larger (max vis) nodes. However, from my own testing, my 300/300 node sent Vis to a depleted 100/600 node. Can anyone else help test to see which behaviour is correct?

    I would expect to work this way, as it would "maintain equilibrium". As expected, my 300/300 node did not help replenish the depleted node when it was at 400/600. Therefore, I think only current Vis plays a part in determining who replenishes what
  17. Evil Hamster

    Evil Hamster Active Member

    Thee was a major TC update between the time he posted that and you necro-bumped the thread. Things may have changed.
  18. Poppycocks

    Poppycocks Popular Member

    It keeps sounding more and more like the best way to keep your aura up is to bottle up/drown a semi-distant, but loaded large node and encase it in clusters. This way you've got your aura, don't have to worry about flux that much and can mine all of the infused stone you happen upon.
  19. Herrozerro

    Herrozerro Active Member

    well this is good to know, i had assumed that it was a renewable resource.
  20. Bibble

    Bibble Well-Known Member

    It's probably closer to something along the lines of Coal or Uranium as a power source:

    Technically not renewable, but has as much as is needed for most playthroughs. The only time to be really concerned would be either when you're doing an extended playthrough (with the releases of mods and vanilla updates, changes which require entire new maps are relatively common), or if you are wanting to REALLY whore the resources for some obscure reason (like powering a continent-sized MFFS security station purely from vis).

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