Infusion is a research option found under the Artifice tab and becomes unlocked for research after researching Nitor. Infusion itself is also a process by which one takes other items and Essentia and forcefully put them into another item to imbue them with their properties. This is more than can be done with simple Arcane Crafting, and is considered the highest tier of manufacturing in Thaumcraft. Infusion is used to create powerful and useful items such as, but not limited to, the Everfull Urn, the Elemental Tools, and to imbue specific armors or create items which generate a Runic Shield and is done via the Infusion Altar. There are also 2 blocks which can augment the affects of any Infusion Altar, either the speed, at the cost of how much recipes cost, or vice versa. These can be found under the Infusion Boosting page.
There are three different types of Infusion Altars all made out of different materials, but sharing the Runic Matrix as their key component. The Runic Matrix channels the energies and items used in a recipe into the item they are being infused to, and is created at an Arcane Workbench with 4 Arcane Stone Bricks in each corner section, a piece of Nitor in the center, and 4 Vis Shards of any type in the surrounding 4 sections, along with 100 Ordo Vis. The Runic Matrix, when looked at while wearing any variant of the Goggles of Revealing to show how much Essentia is still needed for the given recipe. All Infusion Altars consists of 8 blocks of their given material, a Pedestal of their given material, and an Infusion Matrix, as well as taking 75 Vis of all types to activate, as they are multiblock structures.
The standard Infusion Altar is created out of Arcane Stone and accrues no special benefits to recipes it undergoes. It is the only Altar available when Infusion is first researched. It is created with 8 Arcane Stone blocks, 1 Arcane Pedestal, and an Infusion Matrix, and requires 75 of all Vis types to activate. It can be surrounded by Pedestals of different types to accrue their benefits, though. Arcane Pedestals are crafted at an Arcane Workbench with 5 Aer Vis, 6 Arcane Stone slabs, and 1 Arcane Stone.
Ancient Stone is only available once one has entered the Outer Lands. After scanning Ancient Stone, this Infusion Altar is unlocked on the Infusion page. Ancient Stone Infusion Altars have higher Instability ratings than their mundane and Eldritch counterparts, but decrease the amount of Essentia needed for recipes by approximately 20% but this figure can vary based on the recipe used. It also slightly increases the speed of the recipe. Pedestals made of Ancient Stone accrue the same effect. It is created using 8 Ancient Stone, 1 Ancient Stone Pedestal, and an Infusion Matrix, and requires 75 of all Vis types to activate. Ancient Stone Pedestals crafted at an Arcane Workbench with 150 Ordo and 25 Perditio and Aer Vis, 6 Ancient Stone slabs, and 1 Ancient Stone. If one uses 4 Infusion Cost Stones along with this Altar, they can cut recipe costs down to approximately two thirds of the original costs.
Eldritch Stone can be found around Eldritch Obelisks that can be found dotting the land. After scanning Eldritch Stone, this Infusion Altar is unlocked on the Infusion page. Eldritch Stone Infusion Altars have higher recipe costs than their mundane and Ancient Stone counterparts, but decrease Instability and slightly speed up the recipe. Pedestals made of Eldritch Stone accrue the same effect. It is created using 8 Eldritch Stone, 1 Eldritch Stone Pedestal, and an Infusion Matrix, and requires 75 of all Vis types to activate. Eldritch Stone Pedestals crafted at an Arcane Workbench with 150 Perditio and 25 Aer and Ordo Vis, 6 Eldritch Stone slabs, and 1 Eldritch Stone.
How to Conduct Infusion
To conduct Infusion, one must simply build any of the variants of Altars, find a recipe, gather the needed items and Essentia, place the items on Pedestals around the Alter, give some form of access to the Essentia, such as by placing the Jars close to the Altar, and right click the Infusion Matrix with any Wand variant. After this, the Altar will draw Essentia in towards it, so long as it has sources available, and once it has all the needed Essentia, it will begin to absorb relevant items. Although only the items present in the recipe may be present on Pedestals for a recipe to register and begin, items can be taken off and added with no consequence once the recipe is being performed. This can be used to help balance Infusion Altars, and to act as fodder, almost, for more important items, as later explained Instability can destroy or knock items off of Pedestals, disrupting the recipe. If a recipe is disrupted, the Infusion Matrix may begin to shake violently, and every few seconds a random point of Essentia used in the recipe will be required again, and Instability mounts much more quickly. This makes a disrupted recipe very dangerous and wasteful.
Infusion is inherently dangerous, though, and all recipes are given an instability rating. This rating gives a Thaumaturge a general sense of how much danger to expect during a recipe. Instability has many shapes and forms, but usually manifests itself in small bolts of energy that simply knock items off of Pedestals, a concept explained earlier in this page. Instability ceases to be generated after the Infusion Altar has stopped, meaning that Instability will not build while the Infusion Altar is not in use, once a recipe has been completed, or if the recipe is stopped by removing the item on the center Pedestal. The latter of these options is not suggested, though, as all Essentia used up to that point and all items absorbed are lost, and the recipe cannot be continued from where it was left off from. Other affects of Instability include the generation of puddles of Flux Goo, bolts of energy that damage a random entity within range, bouts of sicknesses associated with Flux and Warp, and even the destruction of items. However, most of these effects are only present in recipes with much higher Instability ratings. Instability can be reduced in several ways, but the easiest of which is to make sure that all Pedestals are symmetrically placed, and by symmetrically placing "occultic paraphernalia", those being such items as mob heads, Candles, and Crystal Clusters. The latter is not necessary, but because Pedestals are necessary, it is highly advised that they are placed symmetrically, otherwise they will cause Instability as opposed to lowering it. The same applies to "occultic paraphernalia" placed around the Altar. Different types of Altars also reduce Instability.