What are some of your ideas on Blacksmithing

Autherial

Novice
Staff member
Staff Writer
What are your thoughts on blacksmithing as a profession? If you could design the system what features would you implement.
Personally I would like a system based off of a little bit of skill mixed in with some lore elements. I think just putting the items for the recipe in a container and hitting combine is a little dull. Let's say you want to make a dwarven chestpiece, you need iron ore which you must smelt, during the smelting process maybe you can adjust the heat so that the quality of the smelt results in an exceptional Iron ingot. Now you maybe need some leather which you buy from a player who turns skins into leather. Now to make the armor dwarven maybe you need to learn a rune for that race.

Perhaps you do this by starting an apprentice quest with a dwarven smith and learn about their magic and techniques. Now when you are at the anvil you place the exceptional Iron ingot and the leather and begin hammering away. Now during this process maybe you can adjust the strength of the swing combined with the angle to produce better or worse results, then you imbue it with the rune and the design changes to that of a dwarven one. Now to keep this from being repetitive, once you successfully create the armor with all the techniques you can just place the items and hit the button for that technique you developed. Now you can also try again and refine your technique to try to make a better quality piece and then you can save that technique as well. What are your thoughts?.
 

Nephele

Administrator
Staff member
So I definitely agree that I don't want click-based combines. The act of crafting something needs to be engaging and fun, and have some risk to it, but that risk should be mitigated (in part) by player skill. A minigame of sorts. FFXIV and Vanguard both had some systems and concepts that I liked, in this regard.

For blacksmithing especially.... The way I see it, every crafting profession has three different activities they perform to create items. Refining, Shaping, and Finishing.

For blacksmith what that equates to is this:
  • Refining involves smelting ore and materials and casting the metal into ingots or rods.
  • Shaping involves taking those ingots or rods and forming them into the desired shape - for example, a sword blade.
  • Finishing involves adding additional components, such as the hilt and crossguard, and then sharpening and tempering the blade.
You can apply the same sort of logical process to any item that you craft in any profession. Just change the words to describe what the crafter is doing at that point.

As far as "how it could work", what I'd like to see is that each step in the process involves a separate crafting station and tool set. So for example, to smelt ore, I need a smelter and a cast set. To shape ingots into things, I need tongs, hammer, and anvil. And for finishing I might need a workbench and a grindstone. Some of these things are items I can carry with me and that are personal. Others are things that are shared and can be used by many crafters.

I could say a lot more but I don't want to get in the way of other people's great ideas by writing a book and being super specific. So I'll just add some "goals" that I think the system should meet :)

  1. Player skill should matter. Crafting should never be as easy as clicking a button, and success should not be determined solely by stats (though stats should factor into success chances)
  2. The quality of tools and equipment you use while crafting should influence success. As a crafter, you should care as much about your crafting (and gathering) gear as an adventurer cares about their weapons and armor.
  3. At each of the three stages in the crafting process there should be opportunities to use special materials to customize what you're making in some way. For example, while smelting ore, you could use an optional item to produce a superior alloy. During finishing, you might set a gemstone into the weapon to imbue it with power. These special items should be hard to obtain, but allow crafted items to reach new heights if used - however, they might bring greater risk of failure as well.
  4. For all but the simplest recipes, interdependency with other crafting professions should be a given. You can make a basic dagger without anything other than raw materials, but to make a quality halberd, you'll need wood shaped by a carpenter, treated leather for the grips, and possibly even some alchemical solutions to help harden the tip and prevent shattering.
 

Autherial

Novice
Staff member
Staff Writer
I really like this, one thing I would really like to see if it is possible to implement is some way of distinguishing your work from others like a signature of sorts, perhaps a design or effect that is unique to you as a craftsman.
 

Trasak

Apprentice
Staff member
Staff Writer
I get the general feeling that we are all on the same page in general so I’ll leave it as I like all your ideas and preferences. In addition I’ll throw out my semi out of the box idea that can easily be meshed into yours.



First your blacksmithing class rank gives you access to certain techniques that can be used in the different refining, shaping and finishing stages. These techniques can be used like powers in the mini-game of each of the steps. The same ingredients can be turning into different objects just by changing the order and number of techniques used.

An example would be folding metal while forging/shaping. Folding metal is actually very difficult to do well and so would be considered a high level technique that is actually made up of several simple techniques (heat, flux, bend, hammer, hammer, hammer, (hammer until the bar is fully self welded). Each time you successfully fold a bar stock the benefits of folding increases but so does the difficulty of each additional process. You could make a sword blade with a simple combination of heating and fullering but it would not have the benefits of a bar with 64 layers.

Second I would unlink materials, recipe success rate and Blacksmithing Class level from each other. Each material is its own “weapon skill” that needs to be used to level. The smiths skill level in a certain metal dictates which techniques they can use when working with that metal.

The techniques used in crafting dictates what the final amount of Blacksmithing experience is earned with a multiplier based on your current metal skill the higher the chance of failure the greater the experience. Conceivably you could level to max on steel alone but you will eventually cap out your skill with steel long before hitting max crafting level so you will lose the multiplier for trying new materials.

Thirdish, each recipe will have its own record history. Each time you use the recipe you get closer to mastering it. While you can make an item fairly easily to get the really good version of it you will have needed to practice it a lot, perhaps a thousand times in total. Each metal option in the recipe will have its own tracker with a lower bar for mastery say (number of combines to mastery) / (number of metals in the game). When you have mastered both the metal and the recipe you get a chance for a master craft and the further past the mastery target you are the higher your chance for a master craft. Certain players would become known as having mastered a specific recipe.

This will make adding a new materials and recipes in expansions be interesting without needing to raise the crafting class max level. For a finishing combine to be a Master Craft combine then all of the sub combine ingredients would also need to be Master Craft.



This structure could be adopted for all the crafting classes but smithing is the one I know the most about in real life so its easier for me to break it down.
 
I like the idea Vanguard had where you learned the "local styles" by actually going to the different continents and training with the locals to learn their ways. It was a great way to get out and see the world as well as learn new stuff. While I was not able to look at a piece and say where it came from, each locale did have a distinct look and it was awesome. My armor smith could make gear in any style and I was sought after to make said articles. It was just great.

Additionally, I would like the crafting process itself to be engaging. I think my fave game for crafting was Vanguard. Experience taught you what you wanted to have on your table to deal with complications.

I know, that's a lot of words to say I agree with what y'all have said thus far, but like you guys I really dig the whole crafting thing and would totally love to see it at the forefront of the game :)
 
i have always had a Smith in just about any game ive played and it seems as if everyone has a pretty firm grip on what they are looking for. the only thing i have not seen mentioned is that a Blacksmith is a Very General term and is only a Base Skill. So my 2cents says that a player should take Blacksmith to say lvl 15-20 or TBD then once attaining that lvl should be given the choice of Armor Smith or Weapon Smith...but thats just me..... by the way loving the idea of throwing smelting into the mix. would love to see how they show mixing metals to get different grades.
 
Now during this process maybe you can adjust the strength of the swing combined with the angle to produce better or worse results.
It's entirely different approach on how a minigame could work. I like the idea. It makes it very graphical. I can see similar style crafting for woodworkers, outfitters, stonemasons. But how would you do that for scribes and provisioners? Are they stirring harder or heating up the fires, or pooring from a higher altitude? (could be too much off topic, so nm if you don't want to reply)
But I like this suggestion. It's very graphical and could be very entertaining.
 
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