Blacksmithing by Greatsmith
I write this guide to clarify several misconceptions included within some of the most common blacksmithing aids available. Many portray blacksmithing as a very worthless skill, which is not true. Others offer appropriate skill levels for making certain items that are preposterously low, forcing would-be masters to lose hundreds of platinum more than they should. Hopefully, I can help with this. Here is a documentation of my experiences in blacksmithing, during which I lost very little money.
Section 1: Your Character
There are two ways to go about blacksmithing. First, you can use your primary character to advance in the skill. If you do this, you will be able to auction your created items while hunting for experience, and waste little time. This is often the most desirable option for a higher level character, especially a wizard, magician, necromancer or enchanter. The higher intelligence and wisdom, the more efficient the skill becomes. As an alternative, you can create a new character to be your tradesman. For melee classes that do not use intelligence as a primary skill, this is your best choice. I wanted to blacksmith as a level 12 warrior with below-par intelligence, wisdom and charisma, so I created a new character. If you wish to create a new character, your best bet is probably a High-Elf Enchanter. The base wisdom, intelligence and charisma are naturally very high for this race/class combination, requiring little stat-enhancing equipment to master the skill.
Section 2: Getting Started
If you created a new character, get him up to level 3 or 4 and make the trek to Freeport. Level 4 would be best, as enchanters get the gate spell at that level, but is not necessary. I would suggest putting every practice point you earn into blacksmithing. If you plan to use the enchanter to go beyond level 4, most likely to take up jewelry, then you can work up your skill to 20 without practice points. Below is a list of the shops in Freeport that sell the items you will need. Also included is a list of forges:
|Groflah’s Forge, North Freeport||All sizes of ore, sharpening stones–your first stop for beginning smithing|
|Jade Tiger’s Den, North Freeport at entrance to the market area with the bank||Flasks of Water|
|Armor by Ikthar, East Freeport||Sheets of metal, molds for banded armor|
|Trader’s Holiday, East Freeport, Merchant Tislan||Molds for non-armor items|
|Trader’s Holiday, East Freeport, Merchant River Alemaker||Bottles|
|Inn near South Gate, East Freeport||Flasks of Water|
Outside Armor by Ikthar (while facing the sign, on the right side) – Commonly used
Outside Gord’s Smithy, in the poor district of East Freeport–the area lower than the rest of the city – rarely in use
In the Freeport Militia House, near the only door to the balcony – almost never in use
Outside Groflah’s Forge – sometimes used
Outside a shop near the bank; facing the bank (from under the outdoor roof) on the left – sometimes used
It is very possible to start in other cities, but many lack some components necessary to get from skill 1 to 200. Qeynos, for example, sells no pieces of ore, and the closest place to buy sheet metal is in Qeynos Hills. I do not know of any city other than Freeport that sells everything needed.
Section 3: Beginning Smithing (Skill 1-26)
Before doing anything else, purchase the two blacksmithing books available at Armor by Ikthar. Although not all recipes are correct, they are very handy as reference guides. The recipes for all items not included on this page are found within the pages of these two volumes. Unless you put several practice points into the skill, the only way to get to skill 27 without losing more than one or two platinum is to sharpen rusty weapons. Up until skill 20 or 21, putting a rusty short sword or rusty dagger and a sharpening stone in a forge and clicking combine will increase your skill, change the item from ‘rusty’ to ‘tarnished’, and lose you little more than a few copper per attempt. Also, failure at this stage does not destroy the weapon; only the sharpening stone disappears, which only cost you 3 copper in the first place. HINT: For those of us who are just slow, control-clicking a stack of items will select just one of them. No more sliders. I could have halved the time it took me to get to skill 60 or so by knowing this little trick. Once you get to skill 21, you must use rusty scimitars, rusty spears, etc. Rusty scimitars are most effective. Costing about 8 silver, sharpen them and sell them back to the vendor for about 7 silver, 5 copper. Also, it only took about twenty of them to skill up to where they became trivial. Hallard’s Resales in East Freeport sells unlimited rusty weapons, so be sure to run by there. Not too painful, and you’re already up to skill 26.
Section 4: Boring Smithing (Skill 27-41)
Now, you create two things. Metal bits are generated by placing two ‘small pieces of ore’, UNSTACKED, and a flask of water in the forge. If stacked, you will lose everything you put into the forge, worth about 1 gold. (At skill 27, these are very trivial, meaning they will not increase your skill, but your success rate should be fairly good.) Metal bits are used to create every item in the entire trade that is not a piece of armor. The other item is created when ‘metal bits’, a ‘scalar mold’ and a ‘flask of water’ are combined in the forge. If successful, the return product is (of course) a scalar. If you fail, you will not be rewarded with any product for your efforts. On a success, you will break just about even. On a failure, you will lose about 1 gold, 5 silver worth of materials. Scalars become trivial at skill 41, I believe, so to continue you must move on.
Section 5: Smithing Made More Boring Than Ever Before (Skill 42-68)
At this point, you will be making lanterns. In order to make a lantern, you will need ‘metal bits’, a ‘bottle’, a ‘lantern casing mold’ and a ‘flask of water’. Combining these will either result in a ‘lantern’ or total failure. Although a few low-level players will buy a lantern from you for a little more than the store will, don’t count on it. Make and sell back until skill 68.
Section 6: Finally, I can make armor! Sort of. (Skill 69-90)
At skill 69, you will be able to make banded gorgets and bracers, but it is not recommended for skilling up. To make these items, put the appropriately sized mold in the forge along with a ‘flask of water’ and a ‘sheet of metal’. This is the point in your blacksmithing career where you will burn the most money. For skilling up, skewers are your best friends. They do not trivialize until skill 115 (wow!), so your success rate is not very high at all. The mold costs about 8 silver, so a fail will lose you a little less than a gold and a half. No matter how high your charisma is, you will never profit at this stage, even at 200 skill. Live with it. You may end up losing up to 50 platinum (although I doubt it) to skewers. You will make some of it back selling banded gorgets and bracers to lower level players or mid-level shamans who need them for their class-specific armor quests. You should charge about 3 or 4 pp (platinum pieces) for gorgets and 4 or 5 pp for the bracers.
Section 7: Even more armor. And even more skewers. (Skill 91-115)
Once you are ‘excellent’ at the skill (skill 90), you will be able to make boots without failure most of the time. Add them to your auction list. Continue with skewers for a little while. As an alternative to skewers, I went to Kelethin and gained experience in Greater Faydark, and when I went to sell, I made banded gorgets and bracers to skill up. I filled up a few backpacks in the bank while auctioning them to PCs very cheaply. I ended up selling gorgets in bulk for 2pp (1pp, 1gp cost) and bracers for 3pp (1pp, 4gp cost), making a nice profit while skilling up and gaining experience (at lower levels). There is a bandit camp between the Lesser Faydark zone and Kelethin that is rarely camped and excellent experience for levels 5 through 8, as well as the ever-popular orc hill. Sit there and wait for armor orders if you wish. At skill 105, bracers and gorgets become trivial. At skill 110, you should add helms, masks, and possibly belts to your auction. Note that these require two sheets of metal. At skill 115, skewers become trivial.
Merchant Linolyen at top of PoD Lift on left of trunk sells metal sheets and all armor molds. Opposite him, on the right of trunk, Merchant Kwein sells water flasks.
Directions to forge:
After ascending the ‘newbie lift’, or ‘first lift’, go to the ramp (go straight and a little right) that leads to a higher platform. Go up the ramp and there will be a forge beside the tree trunk. It’s sometimes used, so if you don’t want to wait, go to Felwithe and look around.
Section 8: You Go Your Own Way (Skill 116-200)
At this point, I imagine the best way to skill up is to make banded boots, which are not yet trivial at skill 123. Also available are sewing kits; the instructions for crafting these are in the blacksmithing book. Molds for these are sold from the merchant named Spoolie Gee in the North Ro inn. I am unsure when these become trivial. I know you can continue with banded until tunics and cloaks become trivial. There are other items to make to increase skill, such as forged weapons, but the molds for these are only found in certain cities. Kelethin sells everything needed for banded, so you can stay in the Butcherblock/Faydark/Crushbone/Mistmoore area and still be just 1 or 2 zones away from a forge and materials. NOTE: Both cities mentioned here sell medium-sized molds only. Small molds can be obtained from merchants right outside Kaladim. Large molds can be acquired in Halas, Grobb or Oggok. I am unsure as to the location of the vendors in the three cities mentioned for large armor, but at least one of them does sell the items you will need.
Section 9: Banded Armor Specifics
|Item||Recommended Skill||Sheets of Metal|
Section 10: Above and Beyond
The blacksmithing skill is one of the most diverse trades in the game, creating armor, weapons, and components for nearly every other trade skill in the game. Neither a tailor nor a tinkerer can survive without a blacksmith handy — a tailor needs studs for advanced types of leather, and a tinkerer needs skewers for their most well known item, the compass. For a character with an uncommonly high intelligence, wisdom or charisma, this skill will take very little money. Intelligence determines how quickly you skill up, wisdom determines the success rate, and charisma determines profit, the gap between cost to make and sell-back price. With any of these skills particularly low, the price of mastery and the amount of time it takes to get there will be greatly increased. There are very few characters who have put the time into becoming a master smith, but its final product is unmatched by any other trade except for jewelcraft and tinkering, each of which takes upwards of a few thousand platinum to perfect. With a little luck, you shouldn’t need much more than 100 or 200pp to take blacksmithing to skill 100, at which point you can make your investment in the trade come back as profit several times over.
-Greatsmith, High-Elf Enchanter on the Xegony Server