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Bog iron (Goethite) - rework

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Suggestion for Adding Bog Iron Ore (Goethite) to Vintage Story

Extracting iron from swamps was a very common activity during the Middle Ages. Most of the iron was extracted from these places, and not from mining.


Bog iron ores:

  • Goethite ore in poor soil
  • Goethite ore in medium soil
  • Goethite ore in muddy gravel
  • Goethite ore in blue clay
  • Goethite ore in fire clay


Bog Iron, also known as Goethite, is an iron mineral that forms in swampy and humid conditions. It serves as a secondary source of iron, easily collectible in the early stages of survival, but scarce and very disperse, although renewable.

Generation Conditions:

  • Terrain: Swamps, Floodplains, Peat Bogs (near or under small fresh water bodies). 
  • Depth: Generated just below the surface layer, starting from height level 110 or above (where sea level is 110).
  • Frequency: Similar to tin deposits or minor (*but only under biome and climate specific conditions).
  • Climate: Appears only in humid climates, with cool to temperate temperatures (0°C to 20°C), and high annual precipitation (minimum 750 mm).
  • Blocks: Generated inside soil, gravel and clay blocks. Not generated inside stone blocks.
  • Regeneration: Very slow (30 days or longer) in very specific areas of the deposit, where there are ferrobacterial films. Bog Iron Ore can slowly regenerate in the same locations over approximately 30 in-game days. This simulates natural formation processes involving the weathering and decomposition of iron-rich minerals from igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks, followed by chemical or aerobic biological precipitation.


New Tool: Metal Rod (in bronzes (tin, bismuth, and black), irons (conventional and meteoric), and steel).

Searching for iron in the swamps is a tedious process. In the Middle Ages, swamp iron hunters used tools such as metal rods to poke the ground in search of large masses of goethite. They generally found between 3 and 30 pieces in a day after exploring large areas of swamp.

The metal rod would be a tool that would be used to puncture the soil in search of the masses of goethite. The rod would indicate the presence of goethite by means of a metallic sound, or alternatively, an indicative text.


Others indicators:

The presence of ferrobacterial films over submerged surfaces would indicate that the lake or swamp could contain bog iron. In addition, small lakes or puddles of reddish water (rust water) could also be implemented, with a greater abundance of goethite and a higher rate of regeneration of the mineral.

Ferrobacterial films look like thin iridescent layers (like oil stains).


Block Hardness:

  • Hardness: mineable with bronze shovel or better.

Block Appearance:

  • Texture details: Rough and uneven surface with a mix of dark brown, yellow, and reddish hues, mimicking the appearance of real goethite.

Drops When Broken:

  • Goethite ore: Breaking Bog Iron Ore blocks yields 1 goethite ore of different quality (poor (1 nugget) to very rich (20 nuggets)).

Uses in the Game:

  • Goethite nuggets can be collected and smelted to produce slag.


This addition would provide a new dynamic of resource collection and utilization in Vintage Story, akin to the experience of gathering surface copper, enriching exploration and survival gameplay with a more accessible and realistic option for obtaining iron.



Edited by Doctor Antiquarium
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I would honestly just like to see bogs (and in contrast, fens) become a thing in general, to be honest. The way peat deposits form currently is super weird, and it'd certainly add some more visual distinction if there was areas of 'low PH' that form bogs with peat, goethite, and unique bog plants like cranberries, horsetails, and new plants like venus fly traps or pitcher plants.

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Hmmm, intriguing, especially the bit about deposits regenerating(albeit very slowly). The much smaller vein size and yield would probably balance it decently against seeking out one of the underground iron types as well. In theory it could make it easier to jump ahead in tech tiers, but I think that hinges on whether or not there are a lot of iron-rich bogs nearby that are easily accessible. 🤔 Overall, it sounds like a good way to get a couple of early iron tools perhaps, but finding a proper iron vein underground will still be necessary to acquire a full set of iron tools and armor.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/26/2024 at 10:34 PM, Maelstrom said:

Frankly, I wouldn't want bog iron like surface copper.  I actually love the difficulty in the base game and easy to find iron would dramatically decrease the challenge of the mid to late game eras.

It would only be generated in places such as swamps, peat bogs and alluvial meadows. But since I've been told that peat bogs and swamps are not implemented as a biome itself, which changes the generation. In that case, it would only generate in temperate places with high rainfall in basalt and peridotite provinces, near small bodies of fresh water. It would be unusual in granite and andesite provinces.

Edited by Doctor Antiquarium
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