The Crucible is the earliest way to make use of the aspects inherent in objects, by means of alchemy. To craft a Crucible, you can simply place a cauldron in the world, and right-click any wand on it. (No vis is necessary or used.) To use it, you must first provide a heat source beneath the cauldron: fire (perhaps from burning netherrack), lava, or (safest) the magical flame Nitor. Then use a bucket to fill the cauldron with water, and make sure you have researched the recipe you wish to use. The crucible can be mined with a pickaxe, but this will dump all its contents, as below. Use of a crucible will eventually produce flux, so it's best to place the crucible in a pit (to contain the flux goo), and outdoors (or with a hole open to the sky), to let flux gas escape. Flux can be destroyed easily by replacing it with a dirt block, and needs to be cleaned up promptly lest it taint the vicinity.
Advanced players can expand their crucible into a Thaumatorium. This wondrous device allows automating any crucible recipe much more easily and safely, but except for the catalyst, it requires purified essentia rather than the items containing it.
All the available recipes are listed at Crucible recipes.
Thaumonomicon Entry Edit
To craft the Crucible, you must simply use your wand on a cauldron placed in the world. The crucible is an important tool for any thaumaturge. It allows him to render physical objects into their component Essentia and recombine it again as he wishes. The crucible needs to be placed over a source of constant heat and filled with water. Once the water starts boiling you simply throw any item you with into the crucible and they will be broken down into their component Essentia. If you know the proper formula and the mix of essentia within the crucible is correct, you can then drop a special item into the crucible known as a Catalyst. The catalyst draws the essentia into itself and transforms the object into a whole new item that the crucible then ejects. Any leftover Essentia remains within the crucible for further use, but it is not a good idea to leave essentia within a crucible for long. Crafting also uses some of the water within the crucible and you will eventually need to refill it. Essentia within the crucible is constantly degrading. Compound essentia degrades into one of its component aspects, and Primal essentia simply evaporates. Beyond the waste of resources, evaporating and degrading essentia can cause many strange side-effects. You can empty a crucible by shift right-clicking on it with a wand. All the essentia is dumped into the atmosphere... not something you would want to do too often.
For use, a crucible needs to be placed over some heat source, and filled with water. This can include a fire block (such as from burning netherrack), a lava block, or the magical flame Nitor. Once the water begins boiling, the crucible is ready for use. The water will be partially consumed with each recipe, and also by overflows. Having researched a recipe, you can use it by throwing in items to be broken down into the essentia needed by the recipe (phials work well), and immediately following this with the recipe's "catalyst" item. The result will appear immediately over the crucible. (If you are close enough, you will pick up the items as usual, but it will not fall back into the crucible. For speed and precision, you can use the "control-drop" command (the default is control-Q on most platforms) to throw a pre-counted stack of items all at once.
There are many hazards to crucible work:
- Walking atop a heated crucible will deal you fire damage.
- You must have researched the recipe, or your catalyst will simply be dissolved with everything else, leaving you with a cauldron full of mixed essentia.
- You may need to avoid "accidental" triggering of other recipes. This is especially an issue with iron nuggets, which can't easily be used for any recipe except their own duplication. Similarly, the Bottled Taint recipe can interfere with making Liquid Death.
- Recipes can (and sometimes must) be done in multiple, but be careful not to overload the cauldron, lest it overflow (see below).
- If essentia is left in the cauldron more than a few seconds, it will begin to break down, point by point. Compound aspects will break down into their components, while primal aspects will vanish and produce flux (see below). Naturally, this will spoil many recipes.
- Both normal use and overflows will use up water. When the cauldron runs out of water, it will no longer absorb items. However, any aspects already in the cauldron will remain, and will not decay until the cauldron is refilled.
- If a crucible is loaded with more than 100 points of essentia, essentia is left to break down, or the crucible is emptied with a wand, it will overflow with liquid and/or gaseous flux:
- Gaseous flux will float up to the ceiling, possibly tainting the blocks there. If there is no ceiling, it will float up into the sky and dissipate harmlessly.
- Liquid flux will flow over the area. If there is enough of it, it can form aggressive Thaumic Slimes. These can be killed for the flux goo they drop, but see below for the hazards of this. Happily, Thaumic Slimes no longer grow by drinking flux, but they can still merge with each other to form bigger slimes.
- If liquid flux is left sitting for long enough, it has a faint chance of tainting the area.
- Both gaseous and liquid flux are difficult to handle; they cannot be picked up in buckets, and can be destroyed only by replacing their block with another block (dirt or a water source will do fine). Note that flowing water will hide the flux it flows over, but not destroy it. A Flux Scrubber can be also crafted to automatically clean up nearby flux.
Flux Farming Edit
Advanced players can use a crucible to farm Thaumic Slimes, for both experience and their "tainted goo" drops. The drops are difficult to handle (if kept in a player's inventory, they will slowly dissolve over time, tainting the player with each dissolution), but they are the primary source of the otherwise-rare aspect Vitium. For Flux farming, the crucible should be placed in a large pit, at least 4 blocks deep and 9 or more across. The pit should be placed well away from lairs or any other territory that might be at risk. It should also be equipped with several safety features: An escape tunnel with a door (and a pressure-plate to close it behind you), hoppers or chests to collect flux goo, and several Brains In a Jar to collect the multitude of experience orbs, and thus prevent them from producing lag. Optional features include a flood system to wash drops into hoppers, and even a system to remotely drop TNT into the pit. (If you use TNT, the floor needs to be obsidian and/or flooded to protect the BIJs and other equipment. The cauldron is probably a write-off for this case....) Also, suitably arranged alcoves can let you fight the smaller slimes up close, while screening out the larger ones. For arms and armor, A wand with several offensive foci will be useful for fighting the big slimes, and a Thaumostatic Harness is also useful for escape or firing from a distance. Thorns-enchanted armor and a Sword of the Zephyr will both help against the smaller slimes.
Once the flux farm is set up, fill the cauldron with water, and dump in a bunch of trash -- anything will do, as long as there's enough to overload the cauldron. And let the battle begin! Once you have finished off the slimes, use blocks to remove any remaining flux. Then check the blocks for possible taint, and mine any tainted blocks to prevent it from spreading (unless, of course, you're trying to create a tainted area).