Forging is a process that will be familiar to players of prior games in the series, but Rune Factory 3 is unique in many ways. First of all, you will learn Recipes by means of the Weapons Bread that you can purchase and consume. Second of all, although the creation of a new Weapon requires set Ingredients delineated in the Recipe, the Upgrade of Weapons and Equipment can be done with any number of Items.
In Rune Factory 3, although the creation of a new Item is accomplished by using set Ingredients, upgrading can be done with the Item of your choice. War Trophies, for example, have different attributes now in terms of Stats. If you wish to upgrade your Weapon by adding Defence Points to it, you need to use an Item that will add to DEF. If you wish to add Magic Attack power, you need to use Items with MGC ATK power.
It is very creative and a lot of fun!
The Menu at your Forge will be divided into two Options:
If you choose the Option to Make an Item, you will be able to make it by using the required Ingredients, and the Recipes that you have learned will be displayed.
If you choose to Upgrade an Item, you will see two slots to the right:
The percentage that represents your chance of success then will be given.
For example, one can add a Plant Stem to an Aquasword.
The Aquasword has the following Stats:
Aquasword: 4700G (Lv. 1)
A sword imbued with the power of water magic. Its blade is constantly wet.
Stats: ATK +41, MGC ATK +24
If you wish to raise the Magic Attack as well as Magic Defence of the Aquasword, you can add a Plant Stem.
In RF3, a Plant Stem has the following Stats:
Plant Stem: 300G
The hardy, thick stem of a plant. Has a variety of uses.
Stats: MGC ATK +4, MGC DEF +1
There will be a difficulty rating for each upgrade Item as well. For the Plant Stem, the Difficulty rating is 19.
With a successful upgrade that adds the potency of the Plant Stem to an ordinary Aquasword, you will have the following:
Aquasword: 4888G (Lv. 2)
ATK +41, M. ATK +28, M. DEF +1
As you can see, the Magic Attack and Magic Defence possessed by the Plant Stem were incorporated into the upgraded Aquasword.
With the addition of a Hard Horn, Freyr further augmented the power of his Weapon:
Hard Horn: 380G
A jagged, saw-like horn. Upgrades increase chances of knockouts.
ATK +2, DEF +4
With this Item added, the Aquasword became:
Aquasword: 4982G (Lv. 3)
ATK +43, DEF +4, MGC ATK +28, MGC DEF +1
Each Upgrade raises the Level of the Weapon. Do not forget that forging like cooking requires Energy. You must pay attention to your Energy Gauges if you do not wish to find yourself at the Apothecary!
Note that there is a limit to the number of upgrades that can be made. Level 10 is the highest Level for any Item in RF3 and you will be unable to add any more Materials once the Item reaches Level 10. You therefore need to choose Materials carefully. As there is an Upgrade Difficulty value for every Material, you will find in the early days that your Character will have a zero percent chance of success if he attempts to use some Materials to upgrade his Items.
A good strategy is to use Materials with low values to upgrade Items with low values even if you ship them rather than use them ultimately as this will increase your Skill Level, allowing you to use better Materials on the Items that really matter to you. In other words, make and upgrade an Item such as a Broadsword to Level 10 and then ship it simply in order to raise your Skill Level at the Forge.
What I like about RF3's system of upgrading is the ability to add Attack values to defensive equipment and Defensive values to Weapons. Although Swords and Shields are lumped together in the Menu at the Smithy, Shields actually are made and upgraded at the Workbench and not the Forge.
Although players can expect to find similarities between all Rune Factory games, each one has its own marvelous character and one can be surprised by new options such as the ability in Rune Factory 3 to custom-upgrade your Weapons. You will find more details about this at my Rune Factory 3 Site as well as my Rune Factory 3 Walkthrough/General Guide. Recipes for the Forge, Workbench and Pharmacy as well as Kitchen Recipes are included in my RF3 Cookbook Recipes Guide.