With many an idea on various aspects of the game I thought it best to place them in a single spot in as much organization as I can, many of them can be found at the steam forum or on other peoples threads here.
Metals and Mining
Metallurgy being for most in my mind.
Combining coal with iron for steel
Aluminum with copper for bronze
Mithril with steel for stainless
Gold with silver for electrum
This could be accomplished through the smelter with an Alloy Mold
Next on my mind being Gems and Crystals
Quartz being the base of most crystal when found near other ores gives the various colors and is also the second most abundant mineral on earth.
"Quartz is a defining constituent of granite and other felsic igneous rocks. It is very common in sedimentary rocks such as sandstone and shale and is also present in variable amounts as an accessory mineral in most carbonate rocks. It is a common constituent of schist, gneiss, quartzite and other metamorphic rocks. Quartz has the lowest potential for weathering in the Goldich dissolution series and consequently it is very common as a residual mineral in stream sediments and residual soils.
While the majority of quartz crystallizes from molten magma, much quartz also chemically precipitates from hot hydrothermal veins as gangue, sometimes with ore minerals like gold, silver and copper. Large crystals of quartz are found in magmatic pegmatites. Well-formed crystals may reach several meters in length and weigh hundreds of kilograms."
Beryl is the base of Aquamarine, Emerald, and many others like quartz it's about the impurities it's found near so mining might get you a Green Beryl you could take to a jewel station to make an Emerald.
Corundum is the basis of Ruby and sapphire a form of Aluminium oxide so found near aluminium deposits. (For the sake of simplicity) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…kipedia.org/wiki/Corundum
Geodes might be found while mining at certain depths and used at the jewelry station as well.
Diamond is carbon based thus found near coal deposits later tools could require them as diamond encrusted tips
I think doing Gems and crystals as part of mining like they did in Skyrim would be a great little surprise. Say a thirty percent chance for crystal ten for gems at the surface and it increases as you go deeper. Or in specific places like near Lava. No making gem blocks but maybe crystal blocks.
As for metals
The smelting process could provide some waste that proves to be of use later or revel gem stones and crystal by removing impurities in metals to get them pure you get other elements to work with this could be seen as the top of the smelter keeps the impurities while the bottom collects pure metals via drip.
I'd like to see the various types of stone come as large veins as well each taken more hits depending on its hardness
The smelter could be used as the forge for mold crafting (Casting) using a variety of trays. Mace mold Sword mold Pick ax mold Etc
Other molds could then be used to craft additional items Wire mold Nail mold Bucket mold
Pouring molten metal was a common practice from The onset of forging techniques for quickly producing the basic shape of the item. The fine details where then handled at the anvil. The base shape could be used as intended but only after the fine details did it become a true tool. This would work well for a tiered tool crafting system.
Cast: Rank 1
Tempered: rank 2
The quench is often considered one of the most important aspects of forging as depending on how quickly it cools determines hardness and strength.
The common quenching methods being.Air : rank 1
Water: rank 2
Snow: rank 3
Oil: rank 5
This could be used to further a tier system.
As for other items nails where commonly poured along with horseshoes and cooking pots and most disposable goods. However broken items where often reforged time and time again only to be stronger as more impurities melted from the metal.
In this way people could also make higher tiered items Reforged 1 Through 10
The most famous examples being the katana which was heated and folded hundreds of times.
Other methods include the clay kilns used by Vikings though originally an Arabic or Indian (India) technique. The kiln consisted of several chambers where each chamber burned hotter and hotter thus melting away more impurities and allowing a better bond for alloys.
Smelter rank 1
Kilned rank 2
Folded rank 3
The fact that each metal has a particular melting point could bring in another factor much like burning meat one could accidentally boil away some metals or make the metals more brittle. Most steel needs higher temperatures but gold has a very low melting point.