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Less Primitive-Looking Iron and Steel Tools


ifoz

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For some reason, even in the steel age, the heads of pickaxes and other tools are still fixed to their handles with rope.
Axes are the exception to this, as they clearly have joints and no rope. Copper and bronze axes do, but iron and steel is when they get joints.

 

I think that iron and steel tools should all have joints instead of rope, making them appear more sturdy and worthy of their late-game availability.
Traders can be seen carrying iron pickaxes with heads that are properly joined to the handles, so why can't we?

This could even be taken a step further where any crafted copper or bronze tool has rope, but any copper or bronze tool bought from traders has joints. It would show that traders are more technologically advanced than the player, at least until the iron age, when having joints can be seen as a milestone. It would also make sense that a pickaxe made in a bush forge would be of less sturdy construction and appearance than one sold by a trader and most likely constructed in an actual smithy.

What does everyone else think about this idea? :) 

Edited by ifoz
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Hmmmmm, I do like it, but at the same time, I'd rather reuse one model for the picks and just swap the textures, provided that it means more time/resources spent on something else(like more weapons). Granted, the space saved in the files by recycling one model might be negligible in the grand scheme of things, but resources are resources. I think if I were to go that route though, I'd want all the picks to use a model with a proper handle rather than rope binding.

4 hours ago, ifoz said:

It would also make sense that a pickaxe made in a bush forge would be of less sturdy construction and appearance than one sold by a trader and most likely constructed in an actual smithy.

I'll go a different route here. What if, instead of sturdier construction, we got new actual fancy picks, similar to what we can do with the steel falx blades? Plate them with gold or silver for that extra snazzy look(and/or socket with gems should the capability be added later). What does it do? Absolutely nothing except make the weapon look fancy. One exception I could think of though would be combining a temporal gear with a pickaxe to get a pick that perhaps mines much more quickly, though perhaps with a chance to burn 2 points of durability on use rather than 1.

Interestingly, while the tools/weapons that the traders sell have presumably been crafted in a village smithy(and not by another seraph), they all seem to be bronze tier. No iron or steel. Likewise, the traders don't buy iron or steel, at least that I've seen, which is odd because you'd think high grade tools would be in high demand. I presume it's a balance thing, as buying/selling those items would either result in players getting too much of a boost early game, or making it too easy to earn rusty gears by mid-late game. It could also be something that hasn't been implemented yet.

In any case, the implication of traders only selling bronze tier is interesting. I would expect human settlements to be at the same general tech level that the seraphs have access to, with the exception of Jonas contraptions. Perhaps they simply keep all the iron/steel tools for themselves, and sell the cheaper stuff. However, I could also see them being a bit less advanced than the player due to an aversion to delving deep underground. With there being four different story locations planned for the coming update, I would expect at least one to potentially be a human settlement, so perhaps this question will be answered then.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, LadyWYT said:

Likewise, the traders don't buy iron or steel, at least that I've seen

I've actually seen a trader buy steel. It was for 3 gears per ingot, which seems a bit of a steal. Not for the player.

But yeah, I think traders are probably generally less advanced, most likely for balancing. It would be kinda game-breaking if they sold iron tools. (Nevermind that buried treasure can contain iron hammers and falxs).



A new human settlement would be awesome, that was something I was talking about with a friend not too long ago!
Imagine NPCs who dislike you because you are a Seraph, or those who praise you for it. It could open up a lot of character building with the possibilities of dialogue choices.


Also fancy gilded picks and other tools would be really cool, I really like that idea!
Gilded steel pickaxe, anyone?

Edited by ifoz
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12 hours ago, ifoz said:

I've actually seen a trader buy steel. It was for 3 gears per ingot, which seems a bit of a steal. Not for the player.

I forgot about that. That pricing though is why there's not a lot I really bother selling to traders! 🤣 That being said, it does make sense to have the dirt cheap sell prices for the player, and high prices on the stuff you buy. It keeps the currency balanced.

12 hours ago, ifoz said:

Imagine NPCs who dislike you because you are a Seraph, or those who praise you for it. It could open up a lot of character building with the possibilities of dialogue choices.

Yes please! The general impression I get is that the demeanor of humans towards seraphs is mostly neutral--they don't really seem to know what to make of them. Given the "Ghosts" short story though, I'd say the disposition tips a little more towards antagonistic, in that they may view the seraphs as a bit addled or inept.

The other idea I have on tools though...I'm not sure how it would work, but if there was a difference between the rope binding and a proper joint. The rope binding could be the result of just slapping the tool head on a stick in the crafting grid--quick, effective, but maybe the tool has a lower overall durability due to shoddy construction. A better tool binding could require its own separate forging, or some other resource cost to make them a bit more expensive to make than the cruder tool versions, but more durable as a result. It seems like it might be too convoluted though, and would probably result in most players just sticking to the tool version that is easier to craft.

In regards to fancy tools though--maybe traders could buy them occasionally for a much better price than other goods typically go for? Currently, selling gems to the artisan traders is a good way to make 10+ gears per item sold, so it seems like a "masterwork" steel tool could easily sell for a little more. It also would give players another option to make a lot of money quickly, provided they have precious metal to spare.

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5 hours ago, LadyWYT said:

The rope binding could be the result of just slapping the tool head on a stick in the crafting grid--quick, effective, but maybe the tool has a lower overall durability due to shoddy construction. A better tool binding could require its own separate forging, or some other resource cost to make them a bit more expensive to make than the cruder tool versions, but more durable as a result.

Perhaps requiring nails and strips of the same metal as the tool head as well as a stick to create a properly joined tool?
This would give the really obscure nails and strips like meteoric iron a use, while hopefully not being so convoluted that players would just outright ignore it.

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2 hours ago, ifoz said:

Perhaps requiring nails and strips of the same metal as the tool head as well as a stick to create a properly joined tool?
This would give the really obscure nails and strips like meteoric iron a use, while hopefully not being so convoluted that players would just outright ignore it.

That would work, though I still wonder if it wouldn't prove too tedious to deal with. Maybe heating the parts and hammering them together on the anvil in order to properly fuse them, similar to what you have to do to get an iron anvil? It still demand more effort than just popping a couple things in the crafting grid, but might be more satisfying for the player(because smacking things in the forge is fun!). Satisfying enough that players won't mind the extra step for a better tool, instead of just crafting the cheaper option simply because it's less hassle.

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I'm not promoting changing anything, but IRL you slide the metal tool head onto the handle and drive a wooden or metal wedge into the head end of the handle to secure it and then soak it in a bucket of water to swell the wood.

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55 minutes ago, WiggleStick said:

and then soak it in a bucket of water to swell the wood.

That's a great way to ruin a good axe. There's a reason the better tools seal the end of the joint with epoxy and varnish at least most of the handle -- to keep out the moisture. When the wood swells, it crushes the fibers, permanently, so if you do that once, you will have to soak it every time you want to use it until you buy a new handle for it.

The rest of that, spot on.

Edited by Thorfinn
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13 hours ago, LadyWYT said:

Maybe heating the parts and hammering them together on the anvil

That works for barrels and wheels and similar large bandings where the metal expansion is significant enough that when it cools down, it draws the wooden parts tight, but the eye of a tool head is too small for that to work well.

But I agree it might be more satisfying to smack it a couple times with a hammer. 😉

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46 minutes ago, Thorfinn said:

That's a great way to ruin a good axe. There's a reason the better tools seal the end of the joint with epoxy and varnish at least most of the handle -- to keep out the moisture. When the wood swells, it crushes the fibers, permanently, so if you do that once, you will have to soak it every time you want to use it until you buy a new handle for it.

The rest of that, spot on.

Are you talking modern or primitive?

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No metallic tools should be lashed together IMO.  

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1e/Bronze_age_1700-1200BC_IMG_1015_bronze_pickaxe.JPG

All the ancient bronze pickaxe heads I've seen have hollow eyes for a wooden handle to fit into. If I had to mod in my own less primitive tools I'd require a hardwood log, resin, bone, the tool head, and a knife for crafting tools. The resin and bone are for making a tapered spike to pound into the handle when its tight in the tool head so the handle fibers are forcefully spread apart to make a permanent fit to the handle, today we use wedges for that. You also could heat the tool head up so the metal expands and then put a handle in it so the metal shrinks to the handle. 

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Truth, @MassiveHobo. Many tools of the day even had holes in the side of the head that you drove a metal nail into the handle to hold it on. Still do, for some of the cheaper tools.

The problem with heat-setting tool handles is that the smaller the hole, the more precisely the handle needs to be fitted to it. Mattocks, picks, adzes, sure. Sledge hammers is about where that becomes iffy. And, remember, heating up the head removes the temper that you worked so hard to get in the first place.

The real question is whether this level of detail adds to the game. Personally, I'm in the camp of @LadyWYT and @ifoz -- if you want to something to bang on with a hammer, and that gets a bonus, fine. Great, even. It's just a level of tedium I'd rather avoid, even if I could get a 10% bonus.

[EDIT]

Of course, things like picks and mattocks don't generally use wedges anyway. The handle flares out at the business end, so swinging it drives the head harder onto the handle. If the handle breaks, you just push out the old handle, slide the head over the new handle, and you are good to go. Which might well be where the model for doing this in the crafting grid comes from. Sans the tedious driving the broken handle out of the tool head, I mean.

[/EDIT]

https://imgs.search.brave.com/_V1cHIpbWrH-XqD5aM_n3nTgNe0w-RlT4srcsD6H54c/rs:fit:500:0:0/g:ce/aHR0cHM6Ly9jZG4x/MS5iaWdjb21tZXJj/ZS5jb20vcy0zMGJl/YmEwb3lpL2ltYWdl/cy9zdGVuY2lsLzEy/ODB4MTI4MC9wcm9k/dWN0cy8xMjY1LzIw/NjQvVmF1Z2hhbl82/ODM2Ml9oYW5kbGVf/XzY0Njk4LjE1OTk2/Nzc1MTQuanBnP2M9/Mg

Edited by Thorfinn
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16 hours ago, Thorfinn said:

if you want to something to bang on with a hammer, and that gets a bonus, fine. Great, even.

To extend, it's metallurgically true. Forged heads are superior to cast, because hammering on them deforms the grain structure, making it tougher, and, optionally, quenching it makes it harder, too. (Allowing it to cool slowly is called annealing, and makes it soft -- you do not want to quench ingots because you want them as malleable as possible for later forging.)

If seeking to make something more "realistic" while keeping it easy without adding a lot of excessive code (maybe -- there was some problem with matching mining speed to animation recently, so speed might not be the best thing to diddle with), give a bonus to forged copper, say +15%* durability, and if you also quench it, only +10% durability but +10% mining speed. Of course, this means you now have 3 types of each tool head, so the realism will come at the expense of some clunkiness.

You would do the same for bronze.

Iron is already only forged in the game, so just add an optional case-hardening step, where after beating it out, you would put it back in the forge with excess charcoal so the carbon would migrate into the outer layer of the iron, essentially becoming a low-grade steel. Maybe +15% durability, +10% mining speed over forged iron.

--

*  Bonuses are not to the base numbers, but rather a fraction of the way between the base metal characteristics and the next metal characteristics. So a cast copper axe has a durability 250, tin bronze has 400, difference is 150, so +15% would be 250+150*0.15=272.5, round to 275 for convenience.

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Alternately, Mounting the tool head to a stick seems to be more likely of an area of improvement.

You could carve the handles from a log, maintaining wood type ( like with boards) for better durability for better wood like Oak as opposed to Pine.

You could also create a recipe for crude, simple and finely carved handles to further give additions to durability.

 

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On 5/23/2024 at 12:57 PM, Thorfinn said:

That's a great way to ruin a good axe. There's a reason the better tools seal the end of the joint with epoxy and varnish at least most of the handle -- to keep out the moisture. When the wood swells, it crushes the fibers, permanently, so if you do that once, you will have to soak it every time you want to use it until you buy a new handle for it.

The rest of that, spot on.

I have axes done with the water soaking method by my great grandfather that are are just fine today, decades later. I never have to soak them repeatedly to reuse them. I broke one of them 10 or so years ago, bought a new handle, drove a new wedge, and soaked it. I used it last weekend and it was fine.

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