i rather prefer the research of thaumcraft in form of scanning and a minigame, just as it is now over blood magics time consuming crafting method, or the ridiculous resource requirements of most tech mods. the research simply seems to be the most fitting method for a magic mod. and is actually one of my favourite parts. as it gives the feeling as if we treated magic and alchemy like a science.
while i trust azanor, that he can do something great with it, i dont feel that research itself needs to be touched right now. its really in a good spot overall. literally the only way it could be improved was an automated way to scan through items inside your chest. as that is the only possible part that can get tedious. the scanning game as interaction with the world, and the minigame are both interesting enough. and even then there is that config to go for easy mode, to skip the minigame.
i have no idea, how much work it will take to update with the new mechanics, when a lot of different forms of essentia exist. but if possible, it would be preferable if only a couple of them were removed.
a list of aspects that could be removed could be:
- arbor, messis replaced by herba
- meto, machina, fabricio replaced by instrumentum
- iter, volatus simplified to motus
- sano simplified to victus
but i feel like those are the only ones that essentially represent the same thing. looking through the other spects, the rest of it seems rather specific.
but that would already reduce the amount of aspects by 8, without losing much. spiritus could possibly be removed and represented by cognitio. not shure about that one though, as they represent entirely different things. spiritus the soul, cognito intellect. and both have currently a place in the mod.
but overall, i can just say that im not a fan of the idea of reducing the mechanics back to a handful of fluids or thaumcraft 2 mechanics. because it would remove the depth of the entire alchemy system, that thaumcraft has going right now.
not to mention, that tanks and pipes arent even close to being as unique of a power and storage system as the current essentia and the jars are.
I agree with most of this, especially the automated scanner thing, it would remove the biggest bit of tedium in the TC research system. It wouldn't even have to be free, and keeping with the theme to make flux and taint play a bigger factor, could be justified something like:
"Having learned what aspects make up the world around you, you decide to try and find a way of cataloguing items and what aspects they imbue without carefully inspecting each and every one. To that end, you've combined a crucible with a thaumometer, and found a way to enchant your scribing tools to record the results of dropping items into the crucible, in a nearby research table. Although this does result in the build up of aspects and the loss of the de-constructed items, the contrption seems to draw most of the aspects inserted into the crucible, leaving just one or two per item. Besides, you're sure you'll be able to keep the environmental damage to a minimum."
The 'device' could have an inventory slot, or you could make it require items be dropped into it, both are fairly easy to automate.
That would make auto-scanning somewhat dangerous, and since it loses the item, it'll be used mostly for those items that get tedious to scan, the random junk lying in storage. This makes scanning things useful for machines and other precious items, and leaves it in for usefulness. It also somewhat makes sense, since when dropping stuff in a crucible you convert it into aspects, the goggles can tell what aspects they are, so why not a contraption? So there's a ham-fisted way of "eh, just dissolve it into it's component parts", and the intricate way of studying (scanning) more valuable items.
Or, you know, don't delete the item, either/or.
It also probably wouldn't work repeat times like the deconstruction table, since the 'enchanted' scribing tools writing down stuff only care about what aspects make up the device, they won't write the same item down twice, it has no reason to as it's job is just to catalogue.
I think the deconstruction table is more akin to studying the aspects themselves rather than studying what aspects make up items, which helps the distinction. You know what aspects are in an item immediately after scanning it, the only knowledge left to glean is "why does this snowball seem to have the power of ignis imbued within itself?" which leads to "how does ignis affect the snowball" etc. etc. I'm rambling...
just a wild idea
TBH 4 primals might be rather interesting if you were to fall back to a TC2 style piping mechanic without phials, alchemy golems and jars.
Perhaps good old tanks as well as pipes. And whenever two elemental essentias are in the same tank/pipe/whatever something bad could happen as well. A kind of overwhelming mechanic. For example when a dominant primal (water > fire) is also avaiable in greater number the submissive primal will slowly degrade into taint. (Certain tanks like void tanks could counteract this)
Regarding TC2 and TC3 I also really liked how how the aura was a more "limited" resource.
no phials, alchemy golems or jars... but... but those are awesome!
Honestly I think the essentia systems are some of the best parts of thaumcraft 4, and thaumcraft in general.