mana abilities vs dark ritual

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can someone help me understand why there are all these rules to allow you to use mana abilities in a fast way (ie you can use them whenever you're asked to pay for mana, including in the middle of casting a spell or if an effect asks for optional payment of mana; people can't respond to the mana abilties to somehow try and screw you over), but not for spells that produce mana like Dark Ritual?
because spells can't be mana abilities
I know of no spell that doesn't use the stack

I'm not that familiar with "interrupts" so I don't know how the ritual worked when first printed, and it seems at some point it was a mana ability (some prints have "mana source" as type)
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The big advantage of mana abilities is that they can take advantage of that extra timing opportunity. However, a lot of the mana-producing spells are sorceries, so they wouldn't get that benefit, anyways.

Also, it's much more common for things to want to interact with spells, such as by countering or copying them. Making them "mana spells" would lose this functionality.
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Also, it's much more common for things to want to interact with spells, such as by countering or copying them. Making them "mana spells" would lose this functionality.
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your point about being able to copy them is a good one. my friend made an Eye of the Storm Commander deck that abuses copying mana-making spells. being able to do this makes me more okay with the downsides of things like Dark Ritual not being "mana-source -speed spells" (such as countering or only being instant speed).

it's interesting that Dark Ritual used to be an interrupt, then in fact a "mana source". did it just become an instant for the purposes of making the rules streamlined, ie what 6th edition rules changes were trying to do? 
Pretty much, yes. They got rid of both interrupts and mana sources; everything that used to be one of them became an instant instead.

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zamm, i was about to share my next thought, which was "but they /could/ have kept Dark Ritual as a mana source if they thought that the benefits were good enough", but then i remembered that poor ol' Power Sink got depowered HORRIBLY, which suggests to me just how much 6th edition rules changes prioritized having clean, streamlined rules with minimal exceptions :-) .
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