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Old September 10, 2012, 22:43   #1
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Saratoga, California (in the midst of Silicon Valley)
Posts: 515
bron is on a distinguished road
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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