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I quite like the idea of specializations, but the idea is somewhat flawed in that it 'forces' players to deliberately restrict their gameplay to one area (though they may alternate eventually), effectively rendering the remainder of the skill obsolete or unused and automatically creating what I like to call 'half-life' and eventually 'dead' content. I like the idea of being able to create one item 'better than anyone else in the game', but we all know that won't happen. If I'm reading the highscores correctly, there's well over 87,500 (I got tired of flipping pages) active players with 99 smithing. If, say, Aetherium gets a helm, body, legs, scimitar, and shield... that's not a whole pile of diversity for anyone to 'specialize' in; it's more a decision of 'which piece(s) of equipment are worth my time to be able to create, and which can I do without?'... and so the choice will almost always skew towards weaponry.
*Half Life Content:
Anything that is useable by players for only a brief period, and then they outgrow it, never to touch it again.
Forging independent parts of armours isn't a bad idea, but does involve a lot more inventory models and bank space clutter, plus a certain degree of excess in one sort of part or another if they are tradeable, and players have a tendency to grind one type of part at a time, instead of finishing entire armour pieces.
I would thoroughly enjoy having a Diablo 2 style equipment system, with every item having different grades of quality based on the smith's experience when creating it, possibly with some extra random bonuses thrown in for more advanced smiths, but frankly I think that heavy of an overhaul is beyond the scope of what Jagex is willing to implement, and beyond what the players are ready, willing, and able to cope with or understand. Not to mention the chaos the G.E. would become with that many variances of every available equipment piece.
-I agree; a fail chance at smelting is a rather lazy mechanic. But The current system, whereby the game is rapidly flooded with armour that's automatically classified as scrap, to be high-alched for rs gold, is even worse. Either the process takes a significant amount of time and resources and yields dramatically less output, and let the game simulate failures by taking longer at lower levels, and consuming less resources at higher levels, or we let the players actually experience these individual little triumphs and failures, and interact with the game based on them, instead of simply AFKing the skill entirely.
-yes on durability. Standard equipment should be reliable, cheap, always throw on, and be willing to lose it. It's not your grandmother's heirloom; you shouldn't be keeping it in the family forever.
-Low level mines don't need to be dangerous. If you wanna mine coal in the peace and quiet of a nice, dark, dank but safe cave, go for it. But if you want to mine something like Runite, Necrite, or Aetherium, you should have to have some significant luck, and either be particularly skilled at prospecting for the stuff (this would involve some complex mechanics) or have some big bad angry monsters nearby for you to defend against or hire other players to keep off your back. Obviously the best ores need to remain in the deepest parts of the wilderness.
-I know you're f2p, so am I, perhaps we've both played for a similar amount of time, but I'd like to know WHY you insist that rocks should be limited to one ore per rock, when the game is already rife with exceptions to this rule, even outside of Daemonheim.
-I like your idea of needing crafting and perhaps runecrafting to create hybrid armour. I had imagined that being applied to those skills independently, but perhaps smithing and crafting need to share more products instead of being so split from each other? Masterworks could perhaps require crafting AND smithing of a certain level?
-One of the main expectations the community has is for smithing to be profitable again. If 'Masterworks' are not tradeable, then the standard-grade armour has to be somehow worth something. I'm uncertain how best to pull that off, with the current nostalgic but antiquated system we're using. If you have any ideas, I'd be happy to hear them.
-'Fine' pieces would be a waste if my proposed system were more than a few hours of graphical tweaking and code punching, but there's nothing remotely time consuming about giving players this option, as a means of feeling somewhat accomplished, before level 99, and granting the players choice, which is, to me, the most critical component of any craftsman's hobby.
-yeah, I don't much care for content past 99 myself, I just ran out of levels to use in my example and figured that'd work as a good extra limitation, to prevent lvl 99 players from simply churning out set after set after set.
-the 'things to consider' portion was intended as rough, unrefined ideas that I just felt like throwing out there for Jagex to play with. Dragonfire smithing would, obviously, be p2p only, and is mostly there for lore reasons. The idea that a brick or clay furnace in some small shack is capable of sustaining the heat required for melting down some of the most invulnerable ores in all of runescape is mildly ridiculous.
-obviously we don't want to simply muck around with crafting/fletching/etc, but we should be keeping them in mind when we design this rework, so that there's a degree of consistency between skills. Making Smithing awesome again is only great if it doesn't in turn totally devalue crafting, or flecthing, or runecrafting.