What is blacksmithing generally in MMOs? Blacksmithing is the artisan skill centered around creating items from processed metal materials. However in Ashes of Creation, the weaponsmithing side of it may be more universal than we think. Creating wooden-based weapons such as bows, staff and other magical related weaponry too. In order to obtain the ingots used for blacksmithing, you must gather various types of ore using the mining gathering skill. And then process the ore into ingots using the smelting processing skill. The ingots made in this way will be used in the three branches of blacksmithing available in Ashes- weaponsmithing, armorsmithing and general blacksmithing. General blacksmithing however is vague and probably non-existent.
There are a plethora of weapons available in Ashes of Creation and there’s no doubt we will be able to craft each and every one of them. The weapons consist of one and two-handed swords, axes and maces, daggers and shields, polearms, spears, halberds and lances. Also niche weapons like hammers, clubs and rapiers. Weaponsmithing in Ashes of Creation may be able to dabble in weapons from other roles such as ranged and magic so the others available are for ranged bows and crossbows. And for magical related roles staffs, orbs, wands, scepters and spell books. Spell books is one that’s more likely going to be part of the scribing artisan skills.
An interesting fact about artisan skills as a part of their mastery progression is that each of the skill trees may allow for certain specializations within them. This is something that existed back in the more RPG focused days of World of Warcraft where blacksmithing would allow you to specialize in certain types of weaponry. You would be able to progress the associated weapon to stay in line with the current gear of that expansion. Keeping the profession relevant throughout which is something AOC is looking to do with their gear progression too. In World of Warcraft you can choose to either specialize in axe mastery, sword mastery or mace mastery. These allowed you to craft very unique weapons within that tree. Each one having a one-handed and two-handed variant. This weapon could then be powered up even further once the appropriate recipe was learned and the costly materials obtained.
In Ashes, this kind of specialization is likely going to exist for all types of artisan skills. And because of the existence of such a large variant of weapons to the player base, the diversity will be really fantastic to play around with. Hopefully they will take a look back at the system WoW had in The Burning Crusade and incorporate it into the artisan mastery system in AOC because it was very well done and very well received by the playerbase.
The same rules apply for armor smithing. The craftable armor consists of helmets, shoulders, cloaks, chest armor, wrist, gloves. Belts, pants and boots. This mimics WoW armor slots one for one which in my opinion is a good choice as WoW is currently the most popular MMO and the one most people can relate to additionally. These armor slots in particular, with the exception of the wrists, are the best ones to have for maximum amount of cosmetic flexibility when designing your own unique look for your character. Whether armor smithing will govern all three types in the game (plate, leather and cloth; or heavy, medium and light in WoW) we unfortunately have no solid information to confirm if this is the case. However because of the absence of tailoring and leatherworking currently let’s assume that it does. Which means armor smithing allows for some more diverse specializations.
Something interesting AOC is doing with their armor is allowing all classes and races to use all the armor, similar to Elder Scrolls online. Now this is amazing for cosmetic mix and matching but obviously comes with some drawbacks. How do each of the three armor types could specialize in melee, range and magic? Allowing for nine specializations that could be available for armor smithing.
Something like light armor having a robe melee variant similar to the kind of sets a Monk would wear. A Rogue ranged variant which could be light sneaky armor specializing in silent movement and bonuses to stealth ranged attacks. And obviously the light magic variant which is your typical wizard robes. The system definitely has some potential for the artisan side of things.
Each of the armor sets in AOC is focused around race aesthetics. An armor piece from a dwarf will look significantly different to the other pieces of other races. A feature used quite rarely in MMOs as this is a lot of extra work on the developers part. Race specific armors have only just recently been added to the last expansion of WoW with their heritage sets which is a reward for reaching max level with a race. Guild Wars 2 has something similar with their cultural armors. These are race specific sets that are quite costly but look fantastic. Each of the armor sets are catered to look well and suit the build of the race they belong to. For example the Charr cultural armor really quite suits the same aesthetics as the Charr’s home city, the Black Citadel.
What Intrepid is doing slightly different to this is the use of their racial flair for all of the armor in the game. Meaning you may see certain racial signatures within each of the armor types like a shell theme for the Nikua and bona theme for the Tulnar. Unfortunately none of these matter really because the cosmetics side of the game is watered down by the existence of the cosmetic store who’s going to walk around with a base armor set with a little shell on it.
01:25 What is Blacksmithing?
02:27 Weapon Smithing
03:12 Weapon Specialisations
04:36 Armor Smithing
05:39 Armor Specialisation
06:56 Armor Aesthetics