Crafting progression

The CRPGer in me finds that lack of equipment progression unsatisfying. Given access to a few books, a player is capable of crafting the best equipment. (Right, no power armor or advanced firearms, but short of that). The idea here is that, like in many CRPGs, equipment is tired and requires certain skill requirements to create / use and/or rare materials that require a level of strength to acquire

I would love to hear if other people think the same.

I would like to see a combination of a few ideas:

  1. Skill interactions. For example, forging a katana should require level 6 melee, level 6 cutting … numbers not specific.
  2. Rare elements - these should either come from the bodies of higher tier zombies, or the bottom level of labs/caves/etc.
  3. Rare recipes that only spawn in hard to get locations.
  • We already have rare recipes, mostly for scifi stuff. It shouldn’t be TOO hard to find a book about weaponsmithing after all.
  • There is little reason as to why you’d need high combat skills for crafting.
  • I’m not against rare drops for special locations, but I don’t see how they should be needed for mundane weapons or armor.
    The above said, I do agree its far too easy to craft weapons and armor in the game. Forging an actual sword in a single afternoon inside your car with steel lumps from a wreckage is too simplistic.
    That’s not to say I think all weapons should be hard to make, but perfect replicas of actual katanas, plate armors or zweihanders with extremely high damage/defensive values could use some extre requirements.

As a guy that started knife making at the beginning of the year, I have to agree. Blacksmithing weapons is a difficult task, it takes days of dedicated work to make a nice knife and a week or two for a large blade for some one that knows what they are doing. Of course much of that can be getting a good fit and finish, hand sanding something to a nice 800 grit is time consuming. For an amateur it can take 3 or 4 times that. One thing that seems to be missing from the recipes is some sort of abrasive. Many bladesmiths now use a large grinder to finish the bevel and sharpen their blades, but it can be done with files easily enough, it just takes extra hours.

I imagine the metal polisher is some sort of angle grinder analog so that could do it well enough for a survivors purposes and then hand wave the refining/sharpening.

My suggestion would be to break down the creation of a weapon into parts so that we dont have a single recipe that takes days.

Step one forge your blank.
Requires a heat source. Surprisingly you can use a scrap wood fire to get steel hot enough to work, as long as you have some forced air flow into it.
An anvil or ASO(anvil shaped object)
Metal tongs

Step two Refine your blank.
A grinder or file is needed to remove scale, refine the shape, even out the bevels, and refine the tang.
A heat source to normalize and then heat treat the blade.
Oil or water to quench. A cheap alternative to refined quenchants is canola oil heated to 140 freedom degrees.

Step three Handle and sharpen.
A bit of wood, leather, plastic, bone, metal etc… for handle, guard, and pommel material
Files, metal polisher, or abrasives for polishing the blade and sharpening.


I like the overall idea a lot. Some weeks of work for large blades seems really restrictive tough (its not like you said it should take so long anyway).

Also consider the compressed time scale of Cdda. 1 day is about 6 days. So a knife should take most of a day to forge. While a sword or other large blade should take 2-3 days.

Also one thing I see missing is stock removal blades. With a decent grinder and a nice piece of steel stock you can make a knife in several hours. With little more than a grinder, a forge, and quenchant.

Tiered equipment is a wretched CRPG hack that is tied to the idea of absolute character level and level appropriate opposition and level appropriate gear.

CDDA doesn’t have absolute character levels or level appropriate opposition and shouldn’t have level appropriate or tiered gear.

That said, I think it’s reasonable to say that if you want to make a combat grade katana, it’s not enough to be a really good blacksmith. You also need to know how to fight with a katana so you can determine the trade-offs between weight, balance, blade flex, sharpness, hardness, etc.

Adding combat skills as secondary skills for most advanced fabrication recipes seems like a good idea to me. There’s precedent for it already with some of the ranged weapons, like the flintlock carbine or .50 caliber rifle.


That’s true for auto learning recipes, but I’d guess books about the craft would elaborate on those as well.

It would be great to use grinders to accurize bladed weapons too.

Yea that would be a nice addition. Using a solder/welder doesn’t make much sense.

Most of the research for what makes a good blade was done for use centuries ago, we get this from the vast amount of readily available research on sword types. which I assume is represented by the skill books dedicated to sword making. You don’t need to know how to use it to make it as is evidenced by the plethora of youtubers making quality blades.

All skill progression is way to fast in the game, that seems a conscious choice to not bother the player with too much realism.
Just reading a book for a few hours without practice should not make you an expert on anything if you want realism. Most tasks take days to years to master. But that would make it a very different game.

Candidly, I am looking for some kind o balance here between “realism” and progression. I agree with mlangsdorf that its a CRPG hack, but the goal here is to give an increasing sense of progress and accomplishment

Tiered item progression is garbage. But to slow the problem of making weapons to quickly would be to break up making items that currently take several hours to make in to components that take 2-3 days to make.

I would rather see the ability to suspend/resume a specific very long crafting job than clutter the crafting lists with intermediate steps.

It’s reasonable for a katana to 24-36 hours of continuous work to craft, and if takes that long, there needs to be a way to pause that job and then resume it. Possibly through some kind of auto-generated item that a survivor can pick up and take with them (and that internally stores the end product, required tools, and time until completion). But forcing people to make katana sword blanks and soft katana blades and dull katana blades and sharpened katana blads would be a terrible design.


I think there are more problems with saving a craft mid craft than there is with adding a bit more clutter to the already cluttered and ever expanding crafting list.

To reduce the clutter you could keep the blanks non specific and have only the final product be specific.

So a long sword and a katana are, Sword blank->Refined Blank-> Specific sword.

The problem with adding “a bit more clutter” is we already had this system in place with arrow crafting. Used to be that each individual component was crafted and then the arrow was made from the various components. If we made it so all the complicated, long recipes did that it would be going against changes already made. So it may not be pertinent to ping pong between the major extremes and set a bad precedent.

Now I almost wish that when crafting something all the materials were consumed immediately to create an “unfinished blank (%done)” that you used to continue the crafting as per the current “-“ option. I’m not sure how feasible this is from a coding standpoint but it sounds more player friendly at the very least.

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I like the idea of more advanced modifications to existing armor and weapon types. But those have already been well implemented. Reinforcing armor, weapon mods, etc. Not sure if I’d go for tiered items though. Tiers kinda takes away from what the game is.

If the skill progression bothers you so much, the options menu is thataway. Change a couple values and it’s as slow and boring as you want.

As the game is, there isn’t enough interesting content to do while you slowly grind skills at realtime speed, so there’s no point in slowing skilling that much.

Having said that, I wouldn’t mind if crafting time could be altered by a multiplier in the options menu much like building time can be. Someone with extra long seasons could increase it to match, and someone looking for a more arcade-like fast progression could do the opposite.
Unfinished crafting creating a “unfinished” object that allows you to continue crafting after interruption (and allowing for things like stopping your bladesmithing so you can cook lunch, then resume your sword) also sounds really good.

I concur about the finishing products. I think the best way to implement this would be with (unfinished) products and a progress scale.

The difference between an arrow and a sword is that it takes a couple real life hours to make an arrow so it doesn’t make sense to have it as separate components. Making a sword in real life takes several days to a couple weeks.

Compress a couple hours to game time and an arrow is made in 10-20 minutes.

Compress several days to a couple weeks into game time and you get 2-3 days.

As for what this is fixing or adding? Spending a day making a sword only to get interrupted long enough to forget what you were making or force you to make something else for survival and ruining your chances at resuming your progress, losing some of the equipment because of the interruption can further exacerbate the problem.

Lets take an example. The Machete. It takes 6 hours to make, multiply that by 6 and 36 hours is a mostly reasonable realistic time line for forging a basic blade like that.

Imagine instead of spending 6 hours, potentially starving, losing light, getting attacked, etc. And instead you spend 2 hours making a sword blank. Take a break, eat some food refill your focus, check your perimeter, etc. Then spend two hours to refine your blank, eat, refill focus, check your six, etc. Then you finish your blade with the final 2 hours. Its safer, easier to fit into a survivors schedule, etc.

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