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Which was the first Elder Scrolls game you played?

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Then there was Crafting

40 Fricken days left and it hits me that I've neglected to write about crafting. Seems these days that all I can dig up is 80% old crap, that about 50% of everyone knows about, which by all means is totally fine and I do believe that there'll be some details in this articles that most of you ain't aware of, but let's begin shall we? Remember The Little Mermaid? She turned to stone for all of her "waiting-around" - The original story, not Disney's. I digress.

Crafting has been somewhat neglected throughout the previous installments in this astonishing series and most people probably remember Oblivion's crafting: Alchemy was a mix-ingredients-on-the-go-and-get-mostly-useless-crap skill and though it was entertaining and you easily could get that "must keep going until skill is maxed out" vibe, it seemed sort of incomplete. The smithing part was merely repairing your gear, or to be more accurate it was breaking a brutal amount of hammers in a feeble attempt to repair our less-than-durable crap. Other than that, we could smack together some spells - Hurray! (Sense sarcasm.)

Now, the reason that Oblivion's systems are neat to mention is three-fold: First of all it is great for comparison of what's to come, second of all there might be some who didn't play Oblivion (why not, though?) and finally it is a great filler, just as merely writing that it's a filler is a filler and writing that is a filler too. Might just be a broken man's attempt at a humoristic input to mention that, though - Not likely, but you'll never know. I digress again.

CRAFTING! Crafting in Skyrim!
Let us break it down: There are three crafting systems in Skyrim!

  1. Smithing
  2. Alchemy
  3. Enchanting
As you might've guessed, smithing is a warrior skill, alchemy a stealth-related skill and enchanting is a magicians skill, which means that each playstyle (melee, magic, stealth) has it's own corresponding crafting skill - hardcore math!

Let us begin with covering smithing.
Unlike Oblivion, smithing has nothing to do with repairing weapons, as items no longer degrate, which is totally awesome! The rest is fairly simple: You go out and gather ore / raw materials and then you go to a smithy to use your smithing skills! There are several types of resources that you can prospect throughout Skyrim. Your smithy options are to create or upgrade weapons and armors. The better you get at smithing, the more different kinds of items you can make - Now, I may or may not have mentioned this before, but I actually have a list right here:
  • Steel
  • Dwarven
  • Elven
  • Arcane
  • Daedric
  • Orchish
  • Advanced
  • Glass
  • Ebony
  • Dragon
And just a few comments on this list are commencing. As far as I've gathered, Arcane smithing is solely for improving already magic items, not creating them, whilst each of the other ones, makes you capable of not only creating armors, but also improving the efficiency by the double amount of their original worth. Finally, the dragon armors: Awesome! You can grab some dragon bones after you tear one of those suckers down, but mind that they are very heavy. 'Tis some serious shit, G!

It might also be wise to mention that in spite of everyones' hopes and wishes, there will be no armor customization - Enchanting your stuff will make it glow, but that's it.

Moving on, we have alchemy, which as you might remember was stealth-orientated. Unlike Oblivion, you can't mix potions on the go, but have to find an alchemy table in order to brew your liquids of what-ever-you-want. In terms of ingredients, they range from flowers & thistles all the way to small bugs and bone dust. In order to get what you need to make an awesome potion, you'll have to travel to different locations in Skyrim, as there are 7 different major climates, that all harbor different plant-life and beyond that you will in some cases also have to find what you need during night-time only, as things such as fireflies (or something alike) only comes out when it is dark. Furthermore, you will have to eat an ingredient to determine it's properties, of which each ingredient has four and as far as I know, you are no longer limited to less properties just because you have a low skill level, but I am not totally sure on that note. 
Then we've got enchanting, which Morrowind had, but Oblivion skipped for some reason (if you exclude The Sigil Stones, which you do.) It is pretty damn simple: When you find an enchanted item, you can break it down and then permanently learn its effect, which you can then apply to everything else. Huzzah! Mind that when you "break down" something, it's permanently gone - Not unlike enchanting in World of Warcraft. Anyway, you do need an enchanting shrine for this process, so you may have to carry that luggage around if you want to disassemble it properly; And it is here that it comes in handy that we can have hundreds of objects in the pockets that we do not have - Gotta love RPG's!

So overall it looks like all crafting skills forces us to go to cities and find worktables in order to make use of them. Sneaky bitches. Trough looking at the various crafting skills, you can actually see how distinct each path is as opposed to prior games. You can stand on your own feet, no matter what you choose to specialize in - The Melee path have smithing, allowing great armor ratings, keeping our warrior from dying. The Stealth path favors not being seen, and use alchemy to make healing potions, keeping them alive - Finally, the enchanting adds to a wizards already extreme power, be that destruction or healing.

It seems clear to me that they've designed each crafting skill with the wish to support each individual path in mind. It also seems as if they haven't left any of the good stuff out, but merely upgraded and added to achieve awesome - nothing is missing; Or at least not anything I can think of.
... Oh, and spellcrafting is out. See ya!


  1. Erm... I'll call it, you could enchant in oblivion. You just needed to find an enchanting altar (Either in the arcane university or the frostcrag spire DLC) and have a charged soul gem.

  2. I don't recall that, but you may be right.

  3. He is. You could enchant with an altar :)
    I'm playing it once in a while, and I usally go with all my hard earned artifacts to the wizzards tower, which have this altar.
    So, sorry. x)

    - Mike

  4. in the demo video at E3 or something it said you could put on wolf's skin on the handle of your weapon, which shows you might be able to customize your equipment, who knows.