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I've been thinking about things that would make the game immersive. One thing that came to mind, which should be easy to remedy but does make very little sense, is the fact that you can handle scorching hot pieces of metal with no trouble. I will be the first to admit that I know nothing about how metallurgy works, except for the fact that you quench to harden steel. However I think that if nothing else, there should a mechanic that prevents you from making an axe from a stick and 1100°C iron axehead. I was thinking about needing a pair of pliers to move a white hot ingot from forge to anvil, though that might be annoying and hard to get at the start. I do not know the best solution for this, but it is something that has been bothering me.
What if different types of ore of the same metal require different extraction/processing? E.g. native copper - just grinding and smelting. Some tetrahedrite - some initial process to separate different metals in it and then use them. Some malachite would require a specific carbon monoxide treating by using some specific firepit/bloomery setup. It may depend from the type of rock this ore was found in. Idk, e.g. sedimentary-hosted ores would require addition of some acidic element while smelting, metamorphic - an alcaline element, etc. This might make ore processing a bit more variative and interesting. When you found a new deposite of ore, it is not just a trivial thing to smelt it like all the ores you had previousely. Maybe some types of ore would require you to have a supply of domesticated animals, some drops from them, but in return you will get drastically more ore. Ofc this would require lot of developers' work and drastic recipe expansion. Also some implementions can simply increase complexity of ore processing without giving much in return. Definitely not worth it unless the idea is improved significantly, with more details and fun.
I would like to present a concept that I found in the TFC forums that would actually go really well with this game. This concept is meant to be a late game or end game thing, though it could probably be balanced for early game as well. It involves alloys and ways of mixing them. Here is how they put it: In a forge or some other way of melting metals you can mix metals to make alloys. An alloy is a mixture of a group of metals any where from 2 - infinity. The idea is to have alloy you to mix any metals to make an alloy of your own. This allows one to make their own recipe for an alloy and to share that with the other players through the forum or other means of communication. What they presented it the idea that each metal you have will add and/or subtract from the over all status of the alloy that being: Strength/Hardness Malleability color Melting temperature among other things that could be added or some of these statuses could be removed. For example, Copper is a copper-colored, malleable and kind of weak metal, Tin is also a weak metal and silvery in color, but when they are combined in liquid forms into bronze, they become stronger, though it is still malleable it is less so, it also has a new color. Some other things I would like to elaborate on is that there could be set combinations for the metals, and that would be for metals like bronze, bismuth bronze, steel, rose gold and other alloy metals that you may want to keep in specific recipes. Hence it being an end game kind of process, keeping the early game easy to do and understand with out this elaborate process. Their example goes as such, " You have metals 'A', 'B', and 'C'. When you combine metals A and B they produce a weak, but easily-shaped metal, When you combine Metals A and C you get a stronger, but less malleable than alloy AB, When You combine all three you get a Malleable metal that is still strong because the effects of metal C null or even overpower the effects of metal B. These could also cause different color effects should someone want to this and end up with a bright red or dark black metal to forge with. This would all depend on the amounts of each metal type you put into the alloy to get different effects." Keep in mind that the metals could be anything, metal A could be tungsten, and metal B could be silver. it doesn't really matter what the metal is, just what it does. This is the concept and the idea I now put forth for the Community and Game Devs. If you wish to read exactly what they talked about here is the link, though keep in mind that the creators of TFC have decided not to go through with it. http://terrafirmacraft.com/f/topic/8877-metal-tiers/