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Erik

Smithing rework/extention

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Smithing overhaul

Attention: Prototype mod of suggestion attached :)

Vanilla smithing, while visually great, is very shallow and quickly gets dull.
This overhaul aims to fix that while also allowing for it to be more skill based and the crafted items having quality levels based on the skill of the player.

  • No annoying tool modes anymore
  • One button to rule them all
  • Based on player skill
  • Simplistic and minimalistic
  • Actually also very realistic
  • Master each metal separately
  • No huge changes required
  • No frustration by randomness

The changes in this overhaul don't really effect the anvil or the recipe, it only really affects the "tool modes" or smithing techniques.

First, we need to reduce the techniques to make this work, the only techniques required are:

Upset

  • Using upset on a pixel will make a pixel appear above that pixel. 
  • Only one type of upset now, the other directions are removed.
  • The player has to move around the anvil now to perform upsets in different directions.
  • If using upset on a pixel with an pixel above but none below, the pixel will be removed.

gygZk7y.png

IRvRIzg.png

iqcWKae.png

Cross

  • Using cross on a pixel will make 4 pixels appear adjacent to the pixel.

TbNOrXl.png

Flat

  • Using flat on a pixel will make 8 pixels appear around the pixel

6tfpLRD.png

Now about how I plan to implement them without tool modes:

  • Holding right click down on the hammer will charge up the power of the strike.
  • Very low to low power strikes will do nothing at all to the hot metal.
  • Low to medium power strikes will perform an upset.
  • Medium to high power strikes will perform a cross.
  • High or higher power strikes will perform a flat.

In other words, the hammer progresses through the techniques, the longer the player holds the button. The player also can't tap the button to definitely perform a upset.
With this simple mechanic change, the smithing can be easily made a lot more engaging.

The player should not be able to see which technique he is currently on, the player should have to develop a feeling for the timing of each technique by himself.

To spice up this, the power required and therefore the timing for every technique should be different for each metal. So players have to learn and master smithing each metal individually.
(The progression of the techniques should however remain the same for each type of metal)

Item quality can now be calculated from the number of strikes the player required to finish the smithing and the number of times the player had to reheat the metal.

 

The heating system should also be tweaked a little:

Cooling down should happen a lot faster, currently it's so slow that the player has to never reheat the working metal.

Strikes should also cool down the metal, depending how powerful they are.
This encourages players to make strikes only as powerful as they need to be, only holding down the button as short as possibly required for the needed technique.

Instead of becoming suddenly unworkable at a certain point, the power requirements of techniques could begin to increase at a certain (metal dependent) temperature point
This lets experienced smiths still work colder metal and allows for some much harder to work metals with much more heat dependent smiting required.

 

Further extensions of the system:

Tongs. Hot metal should no longer be movable by hand, but require tongs. The tongs also let the players grab the worked metal on the anvil and place it somewhere different
on the anvil or with a different rotation (No tool modes for rotating, the player has to move around the anvil with the tongs having picked up the metal). There should also be
a preview of where the tongs would place the metal on the anvil.

Instead of the working metal being finished automatically, the player would have to grab it with tongs and quench it in water or other liquids to finish it. The type of liquid could have
an effect on the tool (quality or durability).

To make the moving around of the metal actually useful, only metal on the anvil body should be workable, like RedRam suggested in his original proposal for the system.
Changing up the anvils surface to be more interesting would also be a good addition for higher tier anvils. The player could use this to save himself doing some strikes.

 

Finishing notes:

A removal of the "metal pixels left" system would be appreciated, as it only makes things more complicated, while not really adding anything interesting.



Prototype info:

The prototype works, but it does only have the minimum features of the suggestion:

  • Replacement of hammer tool modes with timing strikes
  • The three described smithing techniques: Upset, cross and flat
  • Stronger punches cool the metal a lot more, too weak punches also have a heat penalty

What it lacks:

  • Metal based timings
  • Heat based timings
  • A quality system
  • Tongs
  • Still has the pixel system in place
  • Nice animations (They look stupid, but they work)

 

smithing_v1.1.0.zip

Edited by Erik
  • Like 1

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The upset only moving in one direction thing was part of my original suggestion.  The one effect of that that perhaps is not ideal is that the anvil will need to be spaced away from everything around it, instead of the player being able to place it against a wall, or even in niche.  May or may not be a significant annoyance, idk.  Probably moreso in the beginning when you're maybe in a small rebuilt ruin or something and don't have tons of room.  I do in general support the notion of getting rid of the long string of techniques, even if it were just to reduce the number to a point where you could have a single icon down low by the meters, like how TFC did chisel modes, where that single icon changes every time you press F.  Just a bit less intrusive.

The hold mouse button for force idea is interesting, and I would not be opposed to trying it out.  It does make the system harder, so might turn some people off, idk.  And at the same time, it doesn't create a 'secret code' like tfc had, which felt like an accomplishment if you could decipher it.  Different pauses for different metals I feel like that would be too much.  The metals are too many, and the acceptable range of pause to small I think.  However I could see the effect possibly varying with metal heat.  But again, that'd make it harder (probably more so than the force mechanic in general) and so idk if it'd be a net benefit or not...

Quality based on strikes, idk.  I think it only really gains meaning with the timing thing, because it's possible to mis-time and make the wrong move.  For people who do not have very good personal skill at the timing, I'm sure it would be frustrating.  It'd be interesting to try but also depends on mow much harder (if at all) the devs want the system to be.

I do agree the heating system could stand to be tightened up a bit.  Currently I can pretty easily do 4 pick heads using only 1 lignite chunk.

Tongs I like, quenching to finish, there would need to be better communication of when you have pixels left to remove.   Some recipes - the pick I think is one - have corner pixels that need to be cut off, but it's sometimes hard to notice because they're on the corner so the wireframe lack is not as obvious. 

As for the voxel count, I can kind of agree on removing that, in the current scope.  It servers as a sort of loose punishment for being sloppy currently, in certain recipes that take a lot of pixels (spear and arrowheads I think?).  But some recipes have tons extra so it doesn't matter so much.  And only one recipe - the sheet - takes two ingots currently iirc?  At that rate I'd probably just rather have it take two ingots to begin with.  If the most ingots the anvil will ever take is 2, then it's probably just as well to get rid of it because I've seen it confuse newbs when they ran out of pixels and couldn't do anymore work.   They'll try to re-heat it, still won't work, etc.  Seems to me like it's not particularly great in it's current incarnation.

 

 

Edited by redram

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On 6/17/2019 at 5:30 PM, redram said:

The hold mouse button for force idea is interesting, and I would not be opposed to trying it out.  It does make the system harder, so might turn some people off, idk.  And at the same time, it doesn't create a 'secret code' like tfc had, which felt like an accomplishment if you could decipher it.  Different pauses for different metals I feel like that would be too much.  The metals are too many, and the acceptable range of pause to small I think.  However I could see the effect possibly varying with metal heat.  But again, that'd make it harder (probably more so than the force mechanic in general) and so idk if it'd be a net benefit or not...

Quality based on strikes, idk.  I think it only really gains meaning with the timing thing, because it's possible to mis-time and make the wrong move.  For people who do not have very good personal skill at the timing, I'm sure it would be frustrating.  It'd be interesting to try but also depends on mow much harder (if at all) the devs want the system to be.

I don't think it would be too hard, it doesn't require perfect timing to get things done, maybe just to do them the best way. And even then, the timings are something anybody can learn with enough practice. Having different values for different metals would keep the system from being too simple. It doesn't really make different metals harder, just different and makes each a new learning challenge. Varying heat however would make things harder, maybe too hard, but that remains to be seen.

To get the timing right would be the main challenge of the system so rewards should be based on that. How exactly the times needed to reheat and the hits needed influence the system is however very variable, it could even be different per metal, which would make each metal a unique and different challenge to master.

To get some of the randomness from TFC, having to relearn smithing on every new world, the timings and quality variables could be randomized for each metal per savegame. That would make it a lot more replayable and a journey of discovery each time, but would also allow for less direct and purposeful design and make the game harder for beginners, as they can't rely on the wiki.

As the system is not hard to implement, I have made a mod implementing the basics, so people can test out the idea. The mod is only a very basic implementation, it doesn't have a lot of features I suggest, but it has:

  • Replacement of hammer tool modes with timing strikes
  • The three described smithing techniques: Upset, cross and flat
  • Stronger punches cool the metal a lot more, too weak punches also have a heat penalty

What it lacks:

  • Metal based timings
  • Heat based timings
  • A quality system
  • Tongs
  • Still has the pixel system in place
  • Nice animations (They look stupid, but they work)

My current implementation however has a big problem: The timing value is determined server-side. There is a rather significant, and most problematically varying, delay. It's not a problem of the system in general, just a problem of my implementation. I'm sure there is a way to fix it (making synchronization based on the client), however I'm not the most experienced modder. (Attention: Prototype updated and now on main post)

 

Edited by Erik

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I would be in favor of seeing something like is in the game. Though I do agree walking around the Anvil in all directions can be a little bit of a problem if you don't have the space for it. It can be done though if you like me, don't really like changing so many settings just to forge an item. The current Forging system is cumbersome to use.

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On 6/21/2019 at 12:23 AM, Cjleeh said:

I would be in favor of seeing something like is in the game. Though I do agree walking around the Anvil in all directions can be a little bit of a problem if you don't have the space for it. It can be done though if you like me, don't really like changing so many settings just to forge an item. The current Forging system is cumbersome to use.

I don't think that the space requirement is such a huge issue. Especially with tongs, when rotating the working metal is possible, it would only require two accessible sides to rotate it in all directions. So slapping your anvil in the corner would be possible, but having it worked into the wall (only one accessible side, why would anyone even want that?) not.

On another topic, I updated the prototype, no new features, but the timing is much more consistent, making it feel much better.

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In my opinion, to make the blacksmithing feel "cooler", even just increasing the rate at which pieces cool off would go a long way. I'd like to see that implemented ASAP. As others have said, I've never, ever had to put anything back into the fire before. Don't get me wrong, it's great that we have to bang tool heads out at all - makes having the tool feel like a much nicer reward, but I think we could push the "work" required to make one just a little bit further. I mean, the metal tools last a long time anyways, so I think adding another 30 seconds of "work" to the process of making one isn't a huge ask.

Not sure about the huge overhaul in general, but I'd definitely like to see the "more strikes = lower quality" and changes to cooling implemented at least as a start. Then we could play around with that and see how it feels, and see if we need to go further. I wouldn't make the time it takes to bang out a piece affect the quality though - take as much time as you want to figure out how to smash the shape out in as few strikes as possible, makes it more cerebral and like a puzzle.

Edited by ThreeHeadedDingo

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