Revealing the secrets behind the exiva spell

The TibiaMaps.io map viewer now supports a brand-new exiva overlay! This overlay adds rectangles that highlight the different distance thresholds as well as diagonals indicating the various directions. To see it in action, open the map viewer and press E to toggle the exiva overlay on or off. Here’s a screenshot:

In order to build this tool, we performed extensive research on the exact mechanics of the exiva spell, discovering mistakes in existing documentation, and uncovering previously unknown details. Curious? Read on!

The basics

First things first: let’s start with what Tibia players might already know. The exiva spell is also known as “Find Person”. To cast exiva for a given target player, enter:

exiva "Eternal Oblivion"

The following tricks can help you cast exiva more efficiently:

  • There’s no need to include the closing quote — entering exiva "Eternal Oblivion has the same effect as exiva "Eternal Oblivion".
  • If the targeted player’s name does not contain spaces, there’s no need use the opening quote either: e.g.exiva Arieswar.
  • The ~ symbol acts as a wildcard. exiva Ari~ behaves identically to exiva Arieswar if Arieswar is the only player online whose name starts with Ari. In case you bind exiva to a hotkey, we recommend using the full player name, since it’s the only reliable way of casting exiva on the intended target.

If the wildcard trick is used in a way that creates ambiguity, you get an error message. For example, when players Boba and Bobeek are both online, exiva Bob~ results in the following:

“Playername [sic] is ambiguous.”

The exiva spell consumes 20 mana points, and provides three pieces of information about the targeted player in return:

  • Is the target currently online or not?
  • What’s the distance between the target and my current position?
  • What direction is the target in, relative to my current position?

While the first one — online status — is self-explanatory, the distance and direction mechanics are more interesting than they appear at first glance.

Online status

Casting exiva with a target player that is currently offline or with a player name that doesn’t exist on the current game world results in the following:

“A player with this name is not online.”

When used with a target player that is online on the current game world, you get a different message with information about distance and direction.

Distance

Perhaps counter-intuitively, exiva distance is not calculated in a circular radius around your current position. Instead, each range is a square around your current location. Someone who stands 50 diagonal steps away from you is considered to be just as far as someone who stands 50 horizontal or vertical steps away.

Distance Message
0–4 squares [Player] is standing next to you.
0–4 squares + on a different floor [Player] is above/below you.
5–100 squares [Player] is to the [direction].
5–100 squares + on a different floor [Player] is on a higher/lower level to the [direction].
101–250 squares [Player] is far to the [direction].
≥251 squares [Player] is very far to the [direction].

Our map viewer’s exiva overlay outlines the 100-square and 250-square ranges, visualizing the most interesting exiva distances from any given point on the map.

Using exiva on a target player within the smallest outline, you’d get “[Player] is to the [direction]”. Outside that area but still within the large outline, you’d get “[Player] is far to the [direction]”. Outside of the large outline, you’d get “[Player] is very far to the [direction]”.

Prior to our research, it was widely believed that the last breakpoint happened at 274 squares instead of 250, and that the range for “on a higher/lower level to the [direction]” messages was 1–25 squares instead of 5–100. This was based on Sonoroman’s investigation from back in 2005. It’s unclear whether CipSoft changed the way exiva works since then, or whether Sonoroman simply made some mistakes without anyone noticing. Either way, we’ve corrected the relevant TibiaWiki article. If you see any community resources mentioning the old numbers, please correct them!

Direction

The directions used in exiva results are north, north-east, east, south-east, south, south-west, west, and north-west. The way these directions are determined for two given player positions is not immediately obvious. Our research shows that the diagonals determining exiva directions roughly correspond to the 8 half-winds on a 16-wind compass rose, namely: north-northeast, east-northeast, east-southeast, south-southeast, south-southwest, west-southwest, west-northwest, and north-northwest.

Consider this example, with my friend Sofsterella standing to the east (at 33068,32763,7), and me standing in the area covered by royal stars (at 33062,32763,7):

For any visible square with a royal star on it, I get “Sofsterella is to the east” when casting exiva Sofsterella. For any visible square to the north of the royal stars, I get “Sofsterella is to the south-east”. For any visible square to the south of the royal stars, I get “Sofsterella is to the north-east”. For any visible square closer to Sofsterella, I get “Sofsterella is standing next to you”.

This might all sound very logical, until you look more closely at the screenshot. Notice anything surprising? The pattern of royal stars is asymmetrical! The top row of visible squares in the screenshot only contains a single royal star, whereas the bottom row has two. This shows that the exact breakpoint squares between the different exiva directions can be hard to predict, even across small distances.

If you disregard the outermost two tiles of the screenshot, it’s tempting to conclude that the exiva diagonals follow a pattern of moving in a 2∶1 ratio (e.g. 2 squares horizontally and 1 square vertically). However, when you consider the entire screenshot, it becomes apparent that this is not the full story. By testing across larger distances we were able to determine the exact ratio used by the exiva diagonals: 2.42∶1. The reason it looks like 2∶1 over smaller distances is due to rounding — which also explains the asymmetry in the above screenshot.

Advanced exiva usage

This new-found knowledge unlocks some pretty advanced exiva use cases you may not have considered before. Here’s a few examples.

Detecting Cobra Bastion movement from Thais and Yalahar

Did you know that you can use exiva in Thais to figure out if a target player leaves the Cobra Bastion boat? 🤯

The exact spot in Thais is here, in Rain Castle:

The Cobra Bastion boat area is here:

When the target player either enters the Cobra Bastion or returns to the Ankrahmun desert, the exiva result changes from “very far to the east” to “very far to the south-east”.

An additional trick — the magic of triangulation — allows you to double-check whether the target player is on the Cobra Bastion island without actually going there. Simply ask a friend to exiva from this spot on the west side of Yalahar’s depot:

The result should be “very far to the south-east”. If instead you get “very far to the south”, the target player left the Cobra Bastion island and went back to the Ankrahmun desert.

Detecting Falcon Bastion movement from Edron and Carlin

Similarly, you can figure out when someone leaves the Falcon Bastion boat and runs towards Oberon — all the way from Edron. Take this exact spot on the boat in Edron:

When the target player enters the Falcon Bastion basement and starts walking towards Oberon, they inevitably walk past this area:

At that point, the exiva result from the spot in Edron changes from “very far to the north-east” to “very far to the north”.

To expand this trick, ask a friend to exiva the same target from this spot near the Training School in Carlin:

When the target player starts walking towards Oberon, the exiva result from the spot in Carlin changes from “very far to the east” to “very far to the north-east”.

Our map viewer’s exiva overlay makes it easier than ever to find similar examples. Let us know if you discover any additional spots!

Conclusion

We discovered and documented the exact mechanics of the exiva spell, and used this new knowledge to build an exiva overlay tool for the TibiaMaps.io map viewer. Our tool can help the community find interesting spots to exiva from.

Thanks to Sofsterella, Kimse, Almighty Roffa, and Sibon Faur for helping with our research!

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