Is flux worth using during metallurgy?

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Marcuson
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Is flux worth using during metallurgy?

Post by Marcuson » Fri Jul 22, 2022 2:00 pm

In short: no, flux is not worth using. Continue reading for the experimental data.

I spent a few hours making bronze in three different ways with varying levels of purity.

Test #1: For the first two tests, I used blooms only. I mixed together five copper blooms and one tin bloom. All blooms had been smelted with charcoal. Examining each individual bloom revealed no message of impurities.
Result: A bronze bloom with several serious signs of impurities.

Test #2: I mixed together five copper blooms and one tin bloom. None of these blooms had been smelted with charcoal. Examining each individual bloom revealed no message of impurities.
Result: A bronze bloom with several serious signs of impurities.

Test #3: For these next two tests, I used ingots only. I mixed together five copper ingots and one tin ingot. The ingots had been smelted with charcoal. (Examining ingots never gives information about impurities.)
Result: A bronze bloom with a few small signs of impurities.

Test #4: I mixed together five copper ingots and one tin ingot. None of the ingots had been smelted with charcoal.
Result: A bronze bloom with a few small signs of impurities.

Test #5: For these final two tests, I used a mix of blooms and ingots. For this test, I mixed five copper ingots and one tin bloom. Each ingot and bloom had been smelted with charcoal.
Result: A bronze bloom with several serious signs of impurities.

Test #6: I mixed five copper ingots and one tin bloom. None of them had been smelted with charcoal.
Result: A bronze bloom with several serious signs of impurities.

Conclusion: Ingots probably do not keep track of how pure the metal is. When smelting ore, don't bother using charcoal; simply cast the metal into an ingot.

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Rias
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Re: Is flux worth using during metallurgy?

Post by Rias » Fri Jul 22, 2022 2:05 pm

Impurities being lost when casting into ingots is a bug. It's been reported a good few times, so we're aware of it. There are a lot of oddities with the metal impurity system and smelting/casting.

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Marcuson
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Re: Is flux worth using during metallurgy?

Post by Marcuson » Fri Jul 22, 2022 7:31 pm

Rias wrote:
Fri Jul 22, 2022 2:05 pm
Impurities being lost when casting into ingots is a bug. It's been reported a good few times, so we're aware of it. There are a lot of oddities with the metal impurity system and smelting/casting.
I understand, and I'm not complaining about how things work; I just wanted to examine the system and share my results. I do have a radical suggestion, however!

Let's get rid of metal purity and lumps of charcoal completely.

Metal purity doesn't work as intended, and I'm guessing, as an additional variable, keeping track of it contributes to database bloat (however small). Metal purity often causes a good deal of confusion among newer players who try to forge directly from blooms. Conceptually, it's an interesting system, but it often causes more headaches than it's worth.

As for lumps of charcoal, they by themselves have caused their own fair share of problems, with their being a profitable by-product of setting fires. (Full disclosure: early on, Dylan did sell a lot of charcoal, and I regret that.) Lumps of charcoal can still be sold at the marketplace, and their weights become very strange when sold in bundles. Lumps of charcoal aren't used in any crafting recipes that I can recall, so removing them won't affect much. And finally, removing charcoal will also create zero ambiguity about how steel is made.

I'm not advocating for or against any particular change. Whenever I make suggestions, I always try to come from the perspective of what will be easiest for a coder to implement. If you want to keep the metal purity, that's great, too.

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