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crafter15

[0.79.?] Metal tools - priority and materials

20 posts in this topic

I'd like to share some tips on what tools to make first and out of which metal. In the beginning ore is scarce, and it makes sense to manage it carefully. This applies mostly to copper and bronze age.

First of all, I would recommend avoiding making ingots too early, since you need anvils to work with them (which require an abysmal ton of ingots to make to begin with, and you need both a copper and a bronze anvil to work with bronze). It is best to stick with casting tools in ceramic vessels for a while, since you can easily cast both copper and bronze.

So you are a new player and have found enough copper ore, and maybe some cassiterite or silver and gold. That means that you can make tools out of copper and bronze (or black bronze).

Also note that Igneous Extrusive rocks are significantly more durable than others, so it's worth seeking them out and using them for tools until you can make metal tools.

Any bronze type tool is obviously better (higher damage and durability), but some can be safely made from lesser materials (where lesser means either copper, or the one that you have in a higher abundance, something you can waste). Copper is not useless or cheap, you need a lot of it for making anvils and high-end structures, instead of burning it all on tools that should be made out of bronze. Black bronze casting lets you use half the amount of copper, since you replace some of the copper with silver and gold, so it can be "cheaper" overall.

From top priority to bottom:

  • [*]
Saw - lesser materials. This is probably the first tool you'll want to make instead of a pickaxe, since it unlocks all the cool wood items. One saw can make quite a lot of wood planks, so durability is not an issue. Make it out of yoour most convenient tool metal. [*]Pickaxe - best materials. After a saw, this is the next top-priority item. A pickaxe will need a lot of durability, so at least bronze is a must. Ironically, they appear to last a very long time compared to other tools. [*]Prospector's Pick - lesser/best materials. While necessary, this pick can tolerate a lot of abuse even when made from lesser materials. Still, a bronze pick is a good long-term investment if you can spare some bronze. [*]Scythe - lesser/best materials. A scythe is needed for fast farming of sticks and saplings. Depending on the trees you plant, make it out of cheapest or best materials. Trees like willow seem to be dropping a lot of saplings (because of larger foliage), while white cedars barely drop any. A cheap scythe will do fine for willow, while a bronze scythe will last much longer than a copper one on cedar trees. [*]Hoe - lesser materials. A metal hoe is needed for efficient farming, but it does not lose durability when used correctly. Only tilling soil does that, and you can make a throwaway stone hoe for tilling. [*]Axe - best materials. A metal axe is a fairly low-priority item, but it should be made out of bronze or better. [*]Chisel - best materials. A chisel is a luxury item, that can be saved for last. Chisels burn through durability insanely fast, so bronze or better is a must-have. If you make one, you'll probably need to make a few more later, so stock up on chisel molds. [*]Knife / Hammer / Shovel - lesser materials. These items can be made of stone for a very long time. Metal simply makes them more convenient to use, if you can spare some.

Edited by Kittychanley
Removed worst to best metal list.
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I will oppose you:

Saw vs. pickaxe - While wooden items are nice, pickaxe allows you to get more metal and thus guarantees you can make saw. If you make saw first, you might not have enough metals to make pickaxe. Same goes for propick. If you don't have enough copper and don't have exposed vein, prefer propick against saw. If you managed to survive those few nights without door and chests, you can survive one more without them.

 

Chisel is required for Quern. So if you want to fill your grain nutrition bar and don't have maize, then chisel, even copper one is pretty high priority.

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Those are valid points, although I think that an early saw offers more quality of life than an early pickaxe.

The chests and bed are important early on, while mining is slow and takes a lot of time, unless you are lucky enough to have that exposed vein. Might as well get settled first and then worry about mining.

Also, the biggest feature of the saw is the 3x3 crafting interface.

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I always do Pick, propick first, go mining then I can have enough metal to make all the other items. I don't even have to wait for the night to be over as I can mine all night long and go back on the surface during the day.

 

I would also make sword and mace at the same time as a saw and chisel. Weapon are important tools.

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Saw is ALWAYS first.

Since you can pan for black bronze, there's no need for a pick/propick right away.

6-2-2 (6 Copper, 2 Gold, 2 Silver) nuggets in a clay pot.

Saw is a priority for the crafting upgrade and chests.

Usually my next tool is a scythe for sticks.

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I agree with the OP and ^. My first tool is *nearly* always a saw. Unless I have laid eyes on an exposed copper vein, which is very rare; or if I have a beautiful site of copper bearing ore that I suspect will quickly yield a vein. The main factor is that panning is so reliable that you are not rushed to get that pickaxe. A couple nights of panning will have all three tools anyway, and likely more. By the time I'm ready to cast my first tool, I'm usually so overloaded with inventory that I'd trade my kingdom for a chest. So I make a saw. 

 

If I have abundant grain, I will bump chisel up as my fourth tool under the saw and picks. Otherwise it can wait.

 

I also prioritize a sword well above the remaining tools. No matter how safe I think I'm going to be, I always seem to find myself backed into a corner somewhere, knifing a zombie and praying for day. If I land some string and feathers, I might hold off on the sword in favor of the bow.

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For me pick, pro-pick, then saw.

 

I prefer exploration than sitting at a stream gold panning...

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I prefer exploration too. But finding your first copper vein can take anywhere from 20 minutes (if you're super lucky) to several hours. It takes 5-10 minutes to find and pan another 100 units of copper or black bronze. It's a very small investment in a boring activity, and yields an immense amount of convenience. 

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well, indeed both saw and pickaxe are very important, but I don't really care about the priority honestly. I always get enough ores to both cast them in the same first bronze cast. ;)

And oh, the scythe's so cool. I really like the step in the game when you can finally gathers a lot of saplings and begin to plant trees.

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The main factor is that panning is so reliable that you are not rushed to get that pickaxe. A couple nights of panning will have all three tools anyway, and likely more.

 

It's actually gotten to the point where it's almost too reliable. It may wait until B79, but silver is likely to be removed from panning so that none of the bronzes can be made without at least a little bit of exploration.

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My first attempt at TFC put me on an island biome. Several small islands, barely connected, with no bigger landmass in sight. I didn't know about the gold pan at the time (or at the time of writing this guide btw). After getting sick of swimming, with a couple of sphalerite nuggets and no other metal nugget on the entire land, I almost quit the mod.

Second attempt, still no idea that I could make metal out of thin air, I was stuck in stone age for a long time. I think until autumn at least...

The game day is very short, it makes exploration rather boring and unrewarding. Mobs aside, it's impossible to even see anything worthwhile. I'd say nerf the gold pan to hell, but keep it as an option for cases like my first. Increase the length of day, to compensate.

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The gold pan would still be an option for early tools since it will always provide copper, you just won't be able to use it to skip all the way to bronze.

 

Also, the length of an MC day cannot be edited without causing a whole bunch of weird bugs.

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Fair enough.

 

Meanwhile, I just found out that different bronze actually has different stats. Added a note to the guide. I hope it's correct, since Black Bronze Picaxe shows 97 attack damage, while a Bronze Pickaxe 102 for some reason.

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I've edited your post to remove the list of which metals are best within a tier. This information is part of our "no numbers" policy to keep players from always using the same metal within a tier.

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Oh noes, silver has been removed from gold panning ha ha :D

 

That's ok though, i already established a copper mine (rich), gold mine (poor) and silver mine (normal) in my world he he. If only i could find some flux-stone... argh.

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20 minutes to hours to find a copper vein? You're one extremely unlucky dude.

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I must be severely unlucky or I have a config all buggered, because my gold panning experiences have been all but lacking. I'm lucky if I get a single copper from the full fifty trys per chunk, not to mention my typically terrible luck with finding fresh water sources to begin with.

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Sometimes a chunk will give me a ton of copper nuggets, and other times I can gold pan for 3 chunks in a row and get none. I would like to know if all chunks are created equal or not. To the op, I generally make a saw first these days, although I typically aim to make at least 3 tools by/during the first night. This way I can work on my home during the day, and mine at night.

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Sometimes a chunk will give me a ton of copper nuggets, and other times I can gold pan for 3 chunks in a row and get none. I would like to know if all chunks are created equal or not. To the op, I generally make a saw first these days, although I typically aim to make at least 3 tools by/during the first night. This way I can work on my home during the day, and mine at night.

 

0.78.10 Changelog - "The goldpan now operates on a grid similar to crops. This grid determines the types of metals available. Chunks have a 75% chance to contain copper, 50% silver, 25% Gold and 100% Platinum. This amount is only determines if the chunk can provide these metals, the chances to actually retrieve these metals remain the same."

 

http://terrafirmacraft.com/change_log.html

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