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  1. A more complex iron age.

    Have you read, understood, and followed all of the rules listed in large text at the top of the suggestions forum?(Yes/No): Yes. On rule number #2, I will do my absolute best to only use language that is more generic, only using terms that would feel familiar to TF1 if they help me shape my ideas in a way that I feel they would be more easily understood. Now, to start off, I wish to bring up that the bloomery age in TFC 1 opened up in a clever way, by having the bloomery gate be a material that would actually *melt* before you could ever melt iron, or one of irons ores, you pointed out that the goal of the bloomery was never to melt the iron. As you know, the bloomery was a chemical process that created a slag-filled sponge of barely workable iron. However, the work that it requires to get into the bloomery, and the flawless products it made felt very disengenious to the actual struggles of the iron age. Subsaharan societies without casting ages were able to learn to make bloomeries, and work iron. However, it took all ironworking societies centuries to learn to make good iron. I would love to see this represented in TFC 2, that iron processing isn't exceptionally hard to get into as a society, but that finishing an iron tool so that it that would end up equal, or better then a bronze tool would take more work after the innitial forging was completed. Iron was a common metal, but it was fickle, and it took a centuries for bronzeworking societies to make it so iron tools could even compare in quality to the ones they already had. Annealing Bronze to relieve an ingot of work hardening was much easier then doing the same with iron, and in the cases of iron which had accidentally been converted into a mild steel, annealing would actually worsen any brittleness which work hardening had caused. As you can imagine, this was a huge problem in the early iron age. Fortunately, iron could be annealed, it just took hours of leaving an iron tool exposed to dry air to do so. One way to represent this would be to give iron tools a very serious durability problem if they hadn't been properly annealed. Even after the discovery of the annealing methods of iron, along with other methods of fixing the inherent brittleness problems that early iron had to overcome, iron couldn't be hammered into being sharp like bronze could, you needed to grind it. Prior to this discovery, cutting iron tools weren't really plausable. The same should be true of a TFC 2 society as well, there would be no iron knives, axes, or swords until they learn that iron cannot be forged sharp, as it needed to be ground to gain an edge, where a casting age society could make the same tools the moment they cast they fired their first moulds. Forging should be less stressful with iron then with bronze, there is less risk fo melting a tool you spent a long time working on, and more importantly, ironworking gives you so many excuses to take breaks and catch up on other things. Postprocessing would add time and energy to the process of making most iron tools, but I feel the struggle of learning to make good tools would be infinitely more enaging then the unrealistic grind that was making a complicated bronze bloomery door. Another benefit of such a design would be that fewer start locations would reach a complete "Dead end" due various factors, be it, lack of clay for hundreds of miles around, or simple bad luck with ore generation. Of course, the extra time it takes to complete each tool in an early ironworking society could also serve as a balancing factor, when compared to another society which is going through a casting era.