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Tools and forging enhancements


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Since I also have some ideas to forging and tools, I figured out I would start my own topic. Everything is based on redrams forging system, my ideas are mainly enhancements.

Each forging product has three forging stats: sharpness, hardness and mass (names for stats are subject to change). Each one of these forging stats has a value between 1 and 100. These forging stats interact (using simple formulas) to create the different tool stats. Durability would result of hardness and mass, cutting and piercing damage from sharpness and mass, blunt damage from mass, swinging speed from mass, mining speed from sharpness and hardness, defense from hardness. Different tools would require different tool stats, which require different forging stats. The formulas for tools stats are also tool specific, the mining speed of an axe is more influenced by sharpness than by hardness, a pickaxe's mining speed would be influenced more by hardness than by sharpness.

So how do you get the forging stats? Mass accounts for the amount of metal in the product and starts at 100 and gets less when the player executes a split, so it's determined during forging. Therefore the player can lower the mass by splitting until every additional "pixel" is used. Hardness is can be archived by a hardening process applied to the ingot, so hardness can only be archived before the actual forging. I'm not yet sure, how that hardening process will look, but I think that only steel should be able to be hardened. Sharpness can be archived by sharpening on a sharpening stone or with a sharpening kit, it is only possible after forging. The itself sharpness is determent by the time of sharpening, the sharpening device used and maybe other factors, it shouldn't be possible to reach 100 sharpness by using just a sharpening rock. The sharpening uses a bit of mass and hardness to increase the sharpness. When using the tool, the durability AND sharpness gets lower. You can regain sharpness by sharpening all the time, but it would cost mass and harness, therefore also raising the durability loss rate and lowering other tool stats. 

Too complex? Well, the exact forging stats are hidden, so they don't confuse players. What the player can see on the tool:

Weight (mass):  Light|Average|Heavy   (1-30|31-69|70-100)

Hardness:         Soft|Average|Hard       (1-30|31-69|70-100)

Sharpness:       Dull|Average|Sharp      (1-30|31-69|70-100)

A bit of guesswork is required, skilled players will have some advantages. The tool stats are depicted with exact values, but only after the forging process. And now some possible formulas, note that different materials have different material base stats:

Durability: MaterialDurability * [0.75 + (0.45 * (mass%) + 0.05 * (hardness%))]; Durability is initially set after the forging, when it reaches zero the tool is broken and can only be repaired by being turned back into pure metal (Metal returned: Metal used for creation * mass%). It also translates into the loss of sharpness when using the tool.

Durability loss rate: MaterialLossrate * [1.25 - 0.5 * hardness%]; The durability loss rate describes the durability loss per use of the tool. It has a value between 1 and 10.

Swinging speed: ToolBaseSwingingingSpeed * MaterialSwingSpeed * [0.75 + 0.5 * mass%]; The lower the swinging speed, the better. It has a value between 0.5 seconds and 5 seconds. ToolBaseSwingingSpeed describes the base swinging speed of a certain tool type (sword, axe, etc.) and is has a value between 0.1 and 1.

Mining speed: MaterialMiningSpeed * [0.75 + (ToolMiningSpeedDestribution * sharpness% + (1 - ToolMiningSpeedDestribution) * hardness%)]; Mining speed describes how long it takes to break a block. ToolMiningSpeedDestribution has a value between 0 and 0.5 and is tool specific.

Blunt damage: ... something mainly involving mass

Cutting Damage: ... something mainly involving sharpness and a bit of mass

Piercing damage: ... something involving sharpness and swinging speed (maybe?)

I think you get the idea. Every tool stat except durability is recalculated, when forging stats changes (using the tool and sharpening). Keep in mind that using my calculations tool quality only fluctuate between 0.75 (worst) and 1.25 (best) times the base tool stats, so you can't really screw up and create unusable tools.

Next thing: Heat. The ingot should be slowly cooling, when in hand and when on the anvil and should also loose spikes of heat when being worked, different maneuvers using different amounts of heat. The ingot has to be reheated when it's below a certain heat value. This makes it possible to have fast forging techniques for maybe worse tools but quicker creation (mass production for selling).

Other thing: Shafts. Tools are obviously not only metal, but also often require some kind of handle. There should be a choice of handles available, maybe even some "connectors" to connect the shaft and the handle. Think of Tinkers Construct, only without modifiers and quickly interchangeable parts. Maybe you should even split durability of the handle and durability of the tool head, the tool head is obviously less common to break, so you just need to replace the handle. I'm not sure, what impact the handle should have to the stats, but it should be many times less significant than the tool head's influence.

Big other thing: Forges. Using your campfire to heat up things isn't the ideal way for everything in my opinion, a small campfire reaching metal melting temperatures also seems "unlikely" to me. Therefore I came up with a concept inspired by real forges, introducing the primitive forge:


Forges should be divided into several tiers to give the player a sense of progression. The campfire shouldn't be used as a forge, but for cooking and small scale pottery (meaning only small vessels). That means you can harden clay in a campfire.

The first tier should be the "primitive" tier or copper age. It is used to smelt native elemental minerals (copper, gold, silver and platinum). These native elemental minerals are almost pure metal and don't need any refinement, therefore they just need to be smelt. I recommend elemental minerals and metals having a tooltip indicating, that they are elemental. For gameplay reasons these native elemental minerals would only be found as rocks lying around the surface. You can just put them into clay pots and put the pots into the T1 primitive forge. The metal can then be casted as usual. The T1 primitive forge is just a clay "casing" with holes for air at the bottom. The T1 primitive forge is essentially just an upgrade to the campfire, used to make it burn hotter and retain its heat and ember longer. It can be constructed by right-clicking the burning campfire with clay, slowly building a clay casing around it, that is slowly hardened by the fire. Unlike a campfire it can't be used for cooking, but only for pottery (meaning small as well as large vessels) and smelting of metals. It also has three input slots, so it can harden or smelt multiple things simultaneously, but no output slot, because the things it smelts and hardens should be un-stackable.


The next tier should be the bronze age. Now non elemental minerals can be used and alloys be created. All the player needs to enter this age is a primitive blower. It can be created by pottery and is a large vessel, therefore has to be heated in the T1 primitive forge. This blower can be placed onto the T1 primitive forge and "upgrades" it into a T2. The blower needs to be powered to heat up the forge, which increases heat and fuel consumption. It can be powered by right clicking it, by right clicking it with a fire bow or by mechanical shaft power. Using the fire bow causes less food to be consumed. Refinement of tin, zinc and copper is now possible. To refine a piece of non elemental ore, the piece must be placed in the middle input slot, while the forge is off. Note, that in my vision the player would be able to combine metal chunks of the same metal into bigger metal chunks holding a higher value of ore. The player additionally has to place coal on the two outer input slots. When the forge is lighted (and obviously has fuel in the button slot) the refinement process will begin and the three item input slots in the GUI will vanish, being replaced by a progress bar. The progress bar will progress when at a certain temperature. To reach that temperature the player must use the blower consistently. When the progress bar is finished, the player can take out a metal chunk with the elemental or refined tooltip, the coal turned into slag. I'm still unsure how the player will get the metal out, either by destroying the forge (the casing, not the blower) or if it can be taken out of the GUI. It can be used in ceramic vessels to smelt and even create alloys like bronze.

Last thing: I really like redram's "multi-piece" idea, would logically make sense, when creating armor.

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"There should be a choice of handles available..."

Stronger woods provide better handles.  Trees that provide wood better suited for tool handles should be available, and more rare.  Would be true for tools as well as bows, potentially.

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Maybe instead of giving the player detailed information about a tool all they get is that it is sharp and durable, etc... Then including an assaying skill with which players can determine the quality a tool. Then maybe giving NPCs with a high enough skill to assay items for players for a fee. More of a reason to see the friendly neighborhood blacksmith!

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