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Old September 10, 2012, 23:43   #1
bron
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Sil: smithing (bug?) (feature?)

I ran across some unexpected behavior with smithing. I'd like to think of it as a feature, so I could continue to use it without guilt, but it's probably a bug, so I thought I should report it.

I had saved up a lot of Grace potions with the idea of drinking them serially during a smithing effort to get 3 additional points (actually 4, counting Aule). This worked liked I hoped, and I think is actually a pretty cool hack (and something useful to do with a lot of Grace potions). But then I had a much sleazier thought, which I tested and which also works: I did *not* drink a Grace potion, and I started smithing something that exceeded my skill. Since I know Masterpiece, the game let me proceed. I carefully arranged to run out of Voice for Aule with about 25 turns remaining on the piece. I rested to recover Voice, and at *that* point, I drank the potion and finished the piece. Thus I had 4 extra skill points of smithing, but only right at the very end. But still, this was enough that the Masterpiece Cost of smithing the item was reduced by 4 points, since you are only "charged" this cost when the piece is completed, and at that point in time I had the extra smithing skill.

I would like to note that the first trick (serially quaffing potions throughout the smithing process) allows one to build things that would normally be beyond one's capabilities. It is however, very much in the spirit of the game IMHO. You would only go beyond your limits for a singularly impressive piece, which means long smithing times, which means lots of potions, which means you'll probably only do it once. And it is dangerous to do, since if you get interrupted too often, that might use up all your Grace potions, and you'd end up being unable to complete the piece.

The second trick does NOT allow you to smith something that you couldn't normally do. You have to have Masterpiece, plus enough skill that you can start making the piece (and thus, enough skill that you could finish making the piece). And you have to arrange to sing Aule in such a way as to reliably get interrupted. It does however allow you to reduce the Masterpiece Cost to your Smithing skill by 3-4 points, in exchange for one Grace potion. This is a pretty favorable exchange, and might e.g. allow you to smith an extra Masterpiece.


On an unrelated note: I haven't done all the math yet, but when making a Smithing hammer it seems like it would actually be better to put smithing Abilities on it, rather than smithing +Skill. If you are heavily invested in Smithing, buying those abilities would be expensive. So instead of making a +3 or +4 skill hammer and buying the abilities, you can instead put the abilities on the hammer and buy +3 or +4 smithing skill points. The advantage being that you can spend personal smithing skill points on a Masterpiece, something you can't do with points on a hammer.
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Old September 11, 2012, 00:26   #2
Scatha
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Hi, thanks for the report.

The first is very much a feature. It's actually been an unfortunate consequence of increasing the smithing times so much that this has become perhaps a little too hard to pull off at present. Smithing continues to be a delicate part of the game to balance, and while we're pretty happy with it broadly we'll keep looking at the details for tweaks which might improve it. It's possible that some of our later changes reduce the need for the times to be so long, and we could look at reducing them again.

I'd actually also noticed the second interaction very recently (after seeing debo do the reverse where he made an accidental Masterpiece after forgetting to start singing again). I agree that it feels a bit exploitative, but I wasn't certain what the correct behaviour of the game here should be. Perhaps Masterpiece should only be able to be invoked at item-design, and the number of points to drain should then become fixed?
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Old September 11, 2012, 00:34   #3
debo
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Yup, I've done this too. Just not on video
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Old September 11, 2012, 03:10   #4
fizzix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scatha View Post
Perhaps Masterpiece should only be able to be invoked at item-design, and the number of points to drain should then become fixed?
I think this is a reasonable way to go. When you're in the item design you are prompted to choose number of masterpiece points to spend. This allows you to buff up your smithing score, giving you the option to begin the project. When the item is completed that many points are drained, even if you somehow got more points (say through !grace + aule) at the completion of the smithing. If the item is abandoned, no points are drained. If you start a smithing project on another forge, the item is considered abandoned and the forge loses the 1-3 uses.

This seems reasonable, and it doesn't unreasonably punish a character that needed time dependent buffs in addition to the masterpiece bonus but ran out halfway through. Or, for that matter, one that got interrupted and fell through a false floor while fighting the monsters.
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