Forge is one of the six professions in The Elder Scrolls Online, and just like in other games, it lets you craft metal-based armor and weapons. The forge is not only designed to waste your time and resources: you can actually make some of the best armor and weapons in the game, which makes this skill very popular.
Below we are going to take a look at some of the basics of forging. If you missed it, don’t forget to read my guide to the basics of crafts first which gives an overview of the 6 professions.
- The basics
- Skills tree
- Of construction
- Racial styles
- Set bonuses
As mentioned, the forge allows players to craft various metal heavy weapons and armor (excluding shields, bows, sticks, leather and light armor). Anyone can start making basic armor without any skill points invested, but the blacksmith skill line gives you lots of reasons to spend skill points. To be able to make better quality items, you will need to spend a few skill points, as well as collect or buy different types of ore. To improve your blacksmithing skill, you will need to get “Inspiration,” which is essentially an experience for the craft.
The first forging resource you come across is iron ore. As with materials for other professions, you don’t need any blacksmithing skills to harvest the ore. Ore is usually fairly easy to find if you regularly mine the knots during grading. You can also deconstruct existing weapons and armor to obtain raw materials.
In addition to the starting iron ore, you will later recover steel ore, orichalcum, dwarf, ebony, calcinium, galatite, moonstone and vacuum stone. To be able to use these ores, you will need to invest skill points in the blacksmith skill tree. Before you can use the ore to create items, you will need to refine it by finding an anvil anywhere in the world, and on average 10 iron ores will yield 8 iron ingots.
You can invest a total of 24 skill points in this skill line, and if you really want to become a skilled blacksmith, you may even want to consider fully learning all of these passive skills.
- Metalwork (9) – Allows the use of ingots of higher level.
- Keen eye: Ore (3) – The ore in the world is easier to see when you are nearby.
- Minor Hireling (3) – A hired miner will sell you ore and sometimes other items every day.
- Metal extraction (3) – Improves the chances of extracting ingredients from forging items.
- Metallurgy (3) – Reduces search times and makes it possible to search for two or three items at the same time.
- Temperate expertise (3) – Increases the chances of improving items with a temper.
The minimum you will need to invest in is Metalworkotherwise, you will not be able to use ingots to make items, with the exception of the most basic. It is also the only essential liability.
Keen eye is very useful but unlike herbs for alchemy, the ore is usually fairly easy to spot around the world, so you can ignore that. When you have Keen Eye, all the ore within 20 to 40 meters “shines”, which makes it easier to notice, especially at night. Recruiting minors is also a useful liability, but if you don’t need additional equipment and you don’t mind collecting it yourself, you can save yourself 3 more skill points here.
Metal extraction and Temperate expertise are definitely passive, you will want to maximize, as it is Metallurgy. Try to invest in the latter as soon as you can: to search for all possible traits, even with maximum metallurgy, it will take months in real time, so it is best to pick it up as soon as possible. Perhaps fun fact, you decide: it would take 2.5 years to research all the traits without metallurgy.
Although it is up to you to decide how many points you are willing to spend on blacksmithing, my advice is at least to choose metal mining and metallurgy at an early stage: the first because you are going to deconstruct a ton of items all advancing in this profession, so getting additional materials will save you gold in the end. Remember, you can still respect skill points later!
When working with the forge, you can choose to add features to your final products: an example line would add bonus armor or give you an increased experience thanks to exploration. To add a stroke, you will first need to find it, for which you will need an existing element with the same stroke. Weapons and armor each have 8 different traits you will need to look for, but learning a trait for one type of weapon or armor will not allow you to use it on a different type.
To clarify further, if you are looking for a robust trait (less decay on an object when you are killed) on a chest, you can only add this trait to another chest. If you wanted to add Sturdy to the head or to gloves, you would need to search from this particular article location! The same goes for weapons: if you search for a trait from an ax, you cannot add it to daggers, weights or any other weapon.
This process takes a gigantic time. The first stroke search for an object location takes 6 hours in real time, and is doubled for each additional stroke you choose to search. If you want to be able to add the 8 lines for example to a plastron, you will have to spend 6 hours, then 12 hours, then 24 etc., for a total of almost 64 days!
To get the most out of your forging efforts, it is wise to start by spending 3 skill points in metallurgy to reduce the research time required, and in addition to specializing in particular traits. As an example, you can focus on learning the most useful traits, leaving those like a decrease in decay or an experience of increased exploration for the end.
Searching for strokes destroys the original item during the process, so be sure not to search for strokes on an item you are currently using!
- Training – increased experience with heavy armor skill line
- Reinforced – increased armor value
- Well adjusted – reduced sprint cost
- Exploration – increased experience gained through exploration
- The divine – increased effect of Mundus stones
- Infused – improved effect of enchantments
- Impenetrable – increased resistance to critical hits
- Solid – chance to avoid decomposition when you die
- Accused – reduced the cooldown of weapon enchantments
- Specific – increases critical values of weapons and spells
- Weighted – increased attack speed
- Sharpened – increased armor and spell penetration
- Training – increase in the experience acquired with the skill line
- Defend – increased armor and spell resistance
- Powered – Reduced weapon enchantment cooldown
- Infused – increased weapon enchantment effect
To learn more about how to learn traits, get trait gems and more I invite you to read our feature guide here. He will answer all your questions.
Extracting objects from various weapons and armor not only gives inspiration but also materials which can then be used to make or improve objects. Deconstruction is also used to improve the level of the forge, as it can give significant amounts of inspiration – more than creating objects!
If you don’t need a particular item for research, it’s almost always better to extract it than sell it to a supplier. Vendors will give you small amounts of gold for items, but it’s much more effective to use them as a way to level your profession. You will find more information on deconstruction and intellectual property gains in a section below. So keep reading patiently and we’ll come back to it.
The Improvement tab of the craft interface is used to improve the rarity (quality) of your objects, from white to green, from green to blue, from blue to purple and finally from purple to yellow. Improving items will actually keep and increase their bonuses or defensive traits. Improvements are made via Moods, which are obtained by deconstruction, refinement or hiring of miners.
There are four different blacksmith temperaments:
- Whetstone – improves white objects in green
- Dwarf oil – improve green objects in blue
- Solvent for cereals – improve the quality from blue to purple
- Quenching alloy – improve the quality from purple to gold
You will need a total of 5 temperaments to improve an item to a higher quality level with a 100% success rate: you can try to improve yourself even with 1 temperament, but your chance of improvement will only be 20% (for normal in green)) and if you fail, your article will be permanently destroyed! You can spend skill points in the Blacksmith skill line to reduce the number of temperaments needed for improvement.
At first, you can only create items in your own racial style: if you play an imperial, only the imperial racial style is available to you. If you want to craft items in the Altmer or Breton styles, you will first need to find a world skill book or buy it from other players.
To make items in other racial patterns, you will also need precious stones: special ingredients chosen when making the items. You can get them from drops of monsters, deconstructed objects, and very frequently from cupboards, night tables, chests and other lootable objects. Alternatively, you can buy them from sellers for 21g each.
It should be noted that racial styles only affect the appearance of the element and not its properties.
There are a few tricks to upgrade the Forge that new players are often unaware of. The biggest misconception is that creating objects gives the most Inspiration Points (IP) – it is a fact that destroying objects by deconstructing them is much more effective in terms of upgrade. You will get the most intellectual property gains by deconstructing quest rewards and monsters, so any items you no longer use should be deconstructed for materials and intellectual property or used to research traits. The research and refining of the ore does not yield any intellectual property. It should also be noted that deconstructing higher quality weapons gives more inspiration, so extracting a blue object will give you more IP than extracting a green object.
The second best method to get inspiration is to extract items made by other players. Checking out the items you’ve created gives about a third of what you would get from checking out the same items created by other players, so keep that in mind! Join a friend or join a guild, create items, and trade them with other players to get the most IP.
There is clearly a limit to the number of items you can get for deconstruction, so you will inevitably have to make a lot of further progress in IP gains. When making items, the amount of IP you earn is determined by the level of the item, not the amount of materials used, so be sure to make items that actually give you more PI by ingot (clue: daggers).
The most effective way to level the forge (apart from extracting rare and better quality items) is certainly to associate with another blacksmith and to exchange items with him. To give you an example, deconstructing your own level 6 iron dagger gives you 40 IP per ingot spent to make it, while deconstructing the same level 6 iron dagger created by another player would produce 99 IP per spent ingot.
As you can see, you gain more than double the amount of inspiration by deconstructing items made by another player (or your alt). If you are determined to work alone, focus on creating daggers – as mentioned, the IP gain is related to the level of the object and not the amount of ore used, and these usually use the least amount of materials .
To conclude, the most effective IP gain over ingot is by making a level 6 iron dagger (40.5 IP / ingot), followed by the level 16 steel dagger (110 IP / ingot) once available. If possible, try to extract items made by other players rather than those you created yourself.
Hidden workstations can be found in Tamriel where crafting items also gives them a special set bonus, regardless of traits or enchantments. These set bonuses can only be obtained if you create in these particular manufacturing locations, and nowhere else. In level 5-15 areas (Stonefalls, Auridon, Glenumbra), you can find three different craft stations from around the world each with its own set bonus:
- Wind of Death: When hit by a melee attack, this bonus triggers a AoE reversal, once every three minutes.
- Nocturnal silence: Your health regeneration is increased by 40% when it is hidden.
- Ashen Grip: Chance to breathe additional fire damage with each melee hit.
As mentioned, you can set bonuses as well as traits and enchantments on items, so if you intend to craft items that you will be using for a while, it’s not a bad idea to visit some of these special craft stations.
Blacksmithing is a fun and rewarding profession, but you will have to spend time, gold and effort to be able to make the best of items. Since finding traits takes a long time, it is best to start investing skill points early in forging.