A trade in hand finds gold in every land – Unbended Crafting 101
Crafting will play a very special role in UNBENDED. This may sound like a simple marketing slogan but it has a completely different background. The bottom line is that we have never been completely happy with the crafting systems in our “past titles.” Crafting always has been something that somehow was part of it, but we’ve never quite managed to make it a central feature. There were numerous reasons for that. It lead to a system where crafting was limited to forging amulets, runes, rings or other knickknacks into items and – just like that – a more or less good item had been created. That meant from the outset that the range of possibilities was extremely limited; the crafting system was superimposed on the game and not homogeneous part of the story and the character development.
This is going to be different in UNBENDED. Crafting is an important part of the basic concept and from the start firmly fixed within the story. There will be no restrictions as outlined above in UNBENDED. We are going to keep the crafting system fully flexible; there will be space for individual experiments but we’re going to make the path to craft really unique items quite a bit more difficult than most gamers will be used to. After all, the gods put the sweat before the sweet. However, in return you will receive real value for your efforts in UNBENDED. The result of your hard work will be items incomparable to what you find in loot or offered by any trader on Aetherra – not even of a similar quality. At the end of the journey, you will be able to craft your own legendary item sets.
How is that going to look in practice? It’s really quite simple to understand and also not difficult to apply in the game. The results of your crafting endeavors always will depend on three essential factors:
– quality and essence of the ingredients
– reliability of the recipe or incantation
– your own crafting level
In UNBENDED, you will only need recipes and incantations if you’re going to create items from scratch. If you want to modify existing items you may experiment – within the scope of your capability, of course. That means, e.g., that an ordinary blacksmith will have little trouble taking an average longsword, some fireweed from the Tharian Heights and a pinch of ruby dust and forge a Tharian Flamesword that will make a splendid weapon against Drift-trolls for close-combat fighters. However, items that you create in this way are not stable. They loose their attributes quickly and you will need to renew them. Why? Quite simple: this way of plain crafting doesn’t require the knowledge needed to create items that can become a permanent part of the world. In this case that is not that bad because the Tharian Flamesword will serve you well in the concrete quest for which you need it and it’ll fulfill its purpose.
But how am I going to craft items that I can use universally and that never lose their attributes? That, too, is not difficult to understand. First: everything in the UNBENDED world possesses its primal name. In order to see more in things than just a common ingredient, you will need to know this name. If you do know the primal name of things, their true power will be unleashed and you will be able to control it. Tharian fireweed is a nice ingredient for a flamesword, no question, but if you learn its true essence, know its real, primal name, you can make it stable and exploit its true power. So talk to those who know these names, then gain their trust or force them, whatever you can think of. In the world of UNBENDED, old knowledge lives in people’s minds. And you won’t be able to see what someone knows just by looking at them. But don’t worry, there will be no shortage of hints.
Furthermore, recipes and/or incantations will be needed to create really powerful items. Not every recipe you may find will be suitable for that. You need to find those that can give you reliable directions; don’t believe everything you are told. In the worst case, you can lose valuable ingredients that are often hard to obtain. Trust in the knowledge of truly legendary blacksmiths or genuine masters of the Dark Arts. Don’t be surprised that not everyone will talk to you. No master will tell a simple apprentice all his secrets, otherwise there soon would be only masters and no apprentices. You will need to attain a rank that puts you on an equal standing to be considered worthy of learning these secrets. Knowledge definitely will be power in UNBENDED – pile up as much of it as you can.
Over the course of your own development you are going to learn to name, to alloy, to engrave, to enchant; on the highest levels you will be able to see things for what they are on your own, without needing the help of others. In addition, you will have the chance – depending on your character of choice – to take your crafted sets and make them into legendary ones. There will be related quests to do so. Legendary sets boost various skills and attributes of your character distinctly. And never forget that for each character there will come a time for their individual final battle and you ought to be prepared for it. Crafting will play a crucial role in preparing you for this challenge and the items you have crafted yourself will provide you with a decisive advantage.
And because the following questions are bound to arise, some additional info on item sets:
Will each character only be able to craft one personal item set?
No. Due to the variety of ingredients and incantations, each player will be able to craft various different sets.
Is it possible to later enhance crafted items?
Yes. On your way to become a master of your trade you will gradually learn more and acquire skills that enable you to enhance your own items. One example for that is the art of rune engraving, which, in case your character has learned blacksmithing, you can only learn at a high level and which allows you to equip your gear with powerful protection runes.
Will every character be able to learn every trade in the game?
No, definitely not! As crafting is irrevocably linked with the individual biographies of our main characters, that would make no sense. An example: a Crystal Mage will not take up a forging hammer as it would neither suit her abilities and skills nor would it conform to her specific disposition within the game.
Can I take my own crafted items and sell or reuse them or are those tied to my character?
Of course you can sell or reuse them. There will be no character-bound items in UNBENDED. It seems pointless to us. You will certainly meet traders who will be prepared to cover you with gold in exchange for legendary items you’ve outgrown levelwise. If that is always a good idea remains to be seen. After all, everything you have put together yourself, you are able to dismantle again – only alloys can’t be removed – and in doing so, you indeed receive useful components for your next master piece.
Finally, a little speculation. Have you ever asked yourself from where those legendary sets you’ve found in other games come? They might have been created by those who came before you and maybe, they have been deposited just so you can discover and use them. Nobody knows anything specific but there are rumors that in UNBENDED there might be certain possibilities to place items in such a way that they can be later discovered. Of course… that is little more but speculation but it might still be a nice, little idea.