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Iron bloom and better ore processing


Erik
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Instead of iron ingots, the bloomery should give you one piece of iron bloom. The piece is unstackable and has a "ingots contained" value, indicating how much iron is contained in the bloom. When it comes out of the bloomery, it is very hot, but cools down if not taken out of it immediately after the bloomery has finished (Instead of destroying the bloomery, tongs could be used to get it out). The bloom can be reheated with a forge.

The hot bloom now needs to be taken to an anvil, to be turned into iron ingots. Placing it on an anvil is just like placing an iron ingot on the anvil, however no recipe needs to be selected. The recipe outline of a ingot will appear on the anvil and the iron bloom voxels will take a random circular shape. The player then needs to reduce the shape to the ingot outline, with the default smithing mechanics as they are present in the game right now. Taking the bloom form the anvil to reheat it will give the player a worked bloom item, which can be place on the forge. The forge only accepts one worked bloom or iron bloom item at a time, with no place for (worked) ingots. When finished, a stack of hot ingots will drop, the size of the stack is dependent on the ""ingots contained" value of the iron bloom.

The mechanic could also be extended to work with a quality system, resulting in fewer/more ingots dropped and it would work flawlessly with my other smithing rework suggestion.

 

Crafting ore with a hammer seems like a very lame way of processing ore for me, so I offer a alternative solution: Ore chunks can be smelted directly without having to crush it, but it only returns half the metal value. This makes creating the first anvil, required to get all the metal value from ores, much less grindy. Placing a ore chunk on an anvil will result in some ore voxels on the anvil, in a random small circular shape. Hitting any voxel with a hammer will result the removal of the voxel and dropping of nuggets. The total nuggets from one ore chunk should have a total metal value equal to the its metal value. Taking an unfinished ore from the anvil will result in an unstackable worked ore item.

This makes the anvil a much greater achievement, as it effectively enables ore doubling and smooths out the progression as the player doesn't need to craft a hammer from surface ore to make ore chunks usable. A doubling of the metal value of ore chunks would however be recommended, to make poor ore chunks usable.

 

Both the bloom and ore processing are rather work intensive (especially the ore processing) this way, so they are perfect candidates for automation. A mechanical hammer powered by mechanical energy could be implemented with the mechanical energy system that crushes the ores and bloom automatically, giving further incentive for progression. 

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