Thaumcraft offers many new things to do in the Minecraft world. To start off, you use magical power called "vis". Once you are able to harness this power, you can create machines that can copy items and kill creatures, you can summon monsters of destructive power, or you can even craft tools that make your life easier. As you explore the world, you may come across several things that you did not see before:
Eldritch Monoliths spawn naturally in the world. Make note of their locations, because they are a valuable resource later on, once you've made a few discoveries.
These large trees have a 2x2 trunk, and tend to grow taller than default Minecraft trees, making them fairly easy to pick out at a distance. They are a helpful resource, because you can get more enchanted wood per crystal (5 enchanted wood instead of 4 with a default log).
These magical trees stand out immediately due to their shining blue leaves, and silver trunks. These trees are also a valuable resource, however be careful when deciding to cut one down or not. These trees are believed to help maintain the local aura rating and thus protect against taint infection. They are used in creating some of the most powerful taint fighting items that can be crafted. The rare plant shimmerleaf also only spawns near silverwood trees (shimmerleafs can only be picked up with shears).
These creatures are found floating around in the air making sounds similar to wind chimes. They are peaceful until attacked. If you dare to challenge one, prepare for a surprise. Some have the ability to shoot lightning, fire, and cause some damaging effects. Successfully killing them may yield you a Vis Crystal, or an artifact.
Recommended using a ranged weapon, they have difficulty with that.
These little guys look just like the regular slimes, only purple in color and very small. They are not unusually dangerous, but you may find that the larger ones can leave more of an impact on your health than the smaller ones. They may also drop vis crystals. They can spawn on the surface.
First things firstEdit
Cut down a few trees, kill some pigs, set up a base, do what you normally do. Our goal at this point is iron. Oh, and Crystals of any type (Vis, Tainted, Aqueous, etc.). AS SOON as you get 9 of any one type of crystal, set up a large room that you can designate as your "crystal farm" room. Then, craft 9 of any one type of crystal to make a crystal ore. Then, place this on the ground in your farm. DO NOT BREAK THIS CRYSTAL. We will get to what you do with it later. This will take a very long time to grow, but this crystal will eventually grow three more crystals on it.
Researching is a major part of Thaumcraft, and doing so will teach you many of the recipes for higher-level items. Research is done automatically on the Quaesitum, although it consumes a great deal of resources. You may want to conquer a battle tower, if you have them, to get Artifacts, which are very good for researching. You may also find a large number of Artifacts in some Mystcraft Ages.
First, you will want to research any crystal (except tainted) to get a fragment of lost knowledge, then research this again until you get the theory of the Crystalline Bell . It takes a diamond, but it is WELL worth it to craft. This will allow you to take just one crystal out of a formation. Now go back to your crystal farm and while holding the Crystalline Bell, right click on any formation that has more than one crystal until there is only one crystal left. THIS is how you farm crystals.
Next, make a Crucible. This will require 7 iron (for a cauldron), 8 cobblestone (for a furnace), and a Vis Crystal (of any variety except tainted crystal). Once you get this, start throwing any junk you have into the top of the crucible to turn it into vis, but be careful because (as mentioned above) it hurts you if you jump in it yourself.
NOTE: As of version 3 and up the crucible is created by simply using your wand on a cauldron after it was placed in the world.
The next thing you want to make is a Thaumic Infuser. First, you will use this for enchanted wood and thaumium ingots. Later, you will make runes, symbols and all sorts of cool thaumcraft items with this enchanter. Also at this point, you may want to make a Vis Storage Tank and some Vis Conduits to store all of your Vis for later use.