SO! The Elder Scrolls Online articles continue, this time looking at Blacksmithing! I love making things in games, whether that be characters, companions, weapons or armour; so Blacksmithing is right down my street. On the older Elder Scrolls games, I’d occasionally make my own weapons and armour, but in general I’d either find them or buy them. In Elder Scrolls Online, however, I’ve really got in to crafting. I love making my own weapons and armour from scratch – mining the ore, refining it to make ingots, turning those ingots into an item and then using tempers to improve it. From there, you can dye them, enchant them, sell them or break them down for materials to start all over again. I’m going to start from the beginning and then work my way through the process – adding in one or two tips as I go.
So, the key to any Blacksmithing based endeavour is ingots (or metal bars) and the key to getting ingots is, amongst a couple of other methods, mining. You’re able to mine any ore at any level, so you don’t have to worry about not being able to find the recourses to make the higher level ingots, like Dwarven. You also start off with a pick-axe, and it’s an item that doesn’t take up an inventory slot, and doesn’t need to be equipped to use. You basically just mine the ore, and then store it into your inventory until you can reach a Blacksmith’s station. That’s about it really!
Once you’ve got the ore, you can then work on making ingots. You can make any ingot at any level, provided that you have enough ore (usually 10 pieces), and that you’ve upgraded your Blacksmithing skill appropriately. Once you have the ore, you can then refine it at a Blacksmith’s station to create a number of ingots. Usually, the lower level the ingot, the more you can make from the ore. However, if you want to use those ingots for crafting, you do need to level up your Blacksmithing skill, and then use your skill points to unlock the ability to use certain ingots for crafting. Another way of getting ingots is to deconstruct weapons and armour. By deconstructing items, you will get a number of ingots from that item’s created material – you’ll get more if you level up the specific ability in your Blacksmithing skill.
Crafting is incredibly easy, but you have to unlock the skill to make certain items from certain materials. Anyone can make items from iron, but you’ll need to spend skill points in your Blacksmithing skill to make the better items with the more valuable materials. When it comes to actually making the item, you can set how many ingots you use, as well as the style that the item is in and any special features that the item might have (but more about this in the next two points). The more ingots that you use, the higher defence or attack stats the item will give you. However, this also increases the level required for using it. So, if you want to sell the item, use as many ingots as you can of the best quality materials you can use, if you want to use it, you need to keep an eye on the level stat to make sure that you don’t out-experience yourself.
Every player will start with their race’s motif – so an Orc can make items in an Orcish style, a Breton can make items in the Breton style, and so on. You can make other race’s motifs by reading motif books. These can be randomly found in the world, purchased through the player market or purchased via Crowns in the online store. I prefer to find my motif books by exploring, which I’ll cover in the ‘Tips’ section of this article.
You’re able to improve your items in a number of ways, but one of the first options available is to improve them as you’re crafting them. To do this, you need to initially research the improvements by using the research feature at any Blacksmith’s station. Some items will have a specific trait, and you can research these traits at the station. This will take a few hours to complete, but once you’ve done it, you’ll always be able to use that trait on that specific item (provided that you have the appropriate materials). It’s also worth mentioning that researching items destroys them, which is well worth bearing in mind. These traits can achieve anything from increasing the speed of attack, to prolonging the effects of an enchantment before they need to be recharged.
Once you’ve crafted your item, you’re then able to improve it. You improve items through Tempers, which you will randomly stumble across in the world, and receive by deconstructing certain items (again, more on that in a sec). Improvements will take an item from Basic to Legendary, meaning that they’ll deal more damage or provide more protection. It also significantly improves their value to the merchants. You improve the weapons in stages, and you’ll need a number of Tempers to increase the chances of a successful improvement. If the improvement fails, you’ll lose both the temper and the item – which can be incredibly frustrating. So, improving an item is a bit of a risk, but one that’s well worth taking.
Here are a few bits and bobs that I’ve picked up over my weeks playing Elder Scrolls Online, if you want to become a master Blacksmither.
- Level up your Blacksmithing skill at any opportunity. If you can improve the skill, you’ll be able to craft better items. Not only that, but you’ll also be able to make the most of special perks – like having ore in the world highlighted when you’re within a certain distance. Or having a hireling send you Blacksmithing materials each day.
- Deconstruct items whenever you can! You can get items in any number of ways, and you’ll often find weapons and armour on dead enemies, or even randomly in the world on racks and by camps. However, nothing stops you from stealing items from merchants and from Blacksmithing stations. There’s always a good few pieces of ready made armour and weapons by all of the Blacksmithing stations. So, if you can steal a load of them, you’ve just got yourself a few free ingots and other various materials! Plus, even if you get caught, the fine won’t be much bigger than the cost of one of those items that you just stole, were you to have purchased it from a merchant, so the risk is definitely worth it.
- Deconstruct improved items. You’ll often come across improved items, and when you deconstruct them you’ll receive a number of Tempers for them which can be used for future improvements. Tempers are hard to come by, so it’s definitely worth deconstructing rather than selling these items.
- Search high and low for motif books. Generally, motif books will spawn in cupboards, draws, backpacks, desks, trunks and urns – so make sure you look through these areas whenever you get the chance. If you want to, you can spend a few hours searching the houses in one city, as the items will eventually spawn. However, I’ve found that the motif books are incredibly likely to be present in some of the areas of the big quests. For example, I’ve found at least five motif books during the various Mage’s Guild and Fighter’s Guild quests, and they’re usually present towards the end of the quests.
So there we have it, a crash course to Blacksmithing in The Elder Scrolls Online. Do you have any advice, hints or tips? Let me know in the comments below!