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[Blacksmithing] New Player's Guide to Blacksmithing, version 2.0


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Moderators' note to Blacksmith Forum Veterans: your input requested and much welcomed.

New Player's Guide to Blacksmithing, by Rhus Radicans.
(updated for 2008 by Basara)

This guide will take the form of questions and answers. Standard questions will be in Green, Multi-part questions and walk-throughs will be in Blue. Warnings and Advisements are typically be in Red.

1. Why would I want to be a blacksmith?

At some point you will wish to repair your armor, weapons and shields yourself, instead of having someone else do it for you, or instead of having to purchase Repair Deeds. You might also wish to see what you can make on your own. There are some nice things to be made as a blacksmith, some of them can't be found as monster loot.

2. How do I start a blacksmith character? What skills should I choose? What stats should I start with?

The easiest way is to choose the pre-made Blacksmith template when you make a new character. This gives you a useful set of skills and stats to begin with. Note that for a Smith that wishes to one day craft his own equipment, you will want to have the following skills: Blacksmithy, Arms Lore, and Mining. Arms Lore gives bonuses to exceptionally made items in addition to the normal Exceptional Bonus; Mining is needed for recycling/salvaging items you don't want, as well as mining the raw material you will craft with. For a crafter that probably won't see much combat, Tinkering and Tailoring are good additional skills, plus one skill to enable easy travel. However, there is also the path of being a rough & tumble type of smith, that is at ease as much in the heat of battle as the heat of the forge. Both these basic ideas will be explored later on.

Also note on the matter of races, Humans get more ore (about 10% of the time will get one extra ore per dig) and a higher carrying capacity, while Elves have a higher chance (after 95 skill) of getting the special gems used in some crafting. Personally, I believe the human advantages outweigh those of the Elf for a Smith (especially in terms of the mining aspects).

3. What starting city should I choose?

With the introduction of the new player quests, New Haven is now the preferred starting point for a new smith. One should make use of the skill quests (Jacob for Mining, George Hesphaestus for Blacksmithing - and both train Arms Lore) in their particular regions of the area. George is in town, while Jacob is in the mountains south of town. Each quest will speed skill gain to get your smith to 50 in each skill (remember to use your starting gold to advance the skills through buying training from them, before acepting any skill quests). Also use some gold to buy Arms Lore up as high as you can before training blacksmithy. There are quests for many other skills that you can take, to get them to 50 skill, if you just look, so buy all the skills as high as you can, then accept the quests for every skill you have chosen.

However, once those quests are complete, we recommend Minoc, which can be reached by selecting the destination "Minoc" at the New Haven Moongate, then heading northwest. There is a mountain across the river from the Northeast side of Minoc that has plenty of mining areas, and it even has a forge and anvil available for you to use without having to go to town. There is also a massive mountain with several mining valleys and caves in it (and even a dungeon!) nearby to the south, but without the convenience of a nearby forge (except possibly in the homes of locals, that my have their houses accessible to others).

4. Mining? What does mining have to do with blacksmithing?

Everything. Blacksmiths require metal, which in Ultima Online comes in the form of Ingots. Ingots can be purchased from NPC's, but it is easier (and much cheaper) to mine for your own supply of ingots.

5. How do I mine, exactly? Is it difficult?

Mining is easy to learn. There are two different tools you can use to mine with: pickaxe and shovel. A shovel is a bit lighter in weight, so I'd choose that over a pickaxe. Weight is sometimes a problem for a beginning smith. To Mine, double-click your shovel (single click in ingdom Reborn client) and target a rock face or the floor of a cave. You will hear a digging sound. If successful, iron ore will appear in your backpack. Repeat. You can set up a macro for mining, it is last object/last target. Then all you have to do is dig the first shovelful, then hit your macro button to repeat the process without all that annoying mouse clicking. If you are learning to play with the Kingdom Reborn client, eventually you will learn to make and use a macro (target by resource) that will allow you to mine all the ore from a spot with the press of one button.

6. Mining is hard! I'm not getting much ore! Does it get easier?

Yes. As your mining skill goes up, you will fail digging less often, and (more importantly, lose ore from smelting attempts less often, and thus get more ingots per shovel. Also, at 65 skill level in Mining, you will start to dig colored ore in addition to Iron. Don't worry about those right now, we will discuss them later.

7. My shovel/hammer broke! What do I do now?

You have several choices.
*One option, if you are still in (or wish to travel to) New Haven, are the tool quests. The Mining skill gain quest (from Jacob) gives Jacob's Pickaxe, which is a 20 use pickaxe that does not break, but instead recharges 1 use every 5 minutes. This is more useful for smelting ore than mining, though, because this tool also gives a +10 bonus to mining when held (up to 100 skill) allowing you to more easily smelt the ore, and to get more ingot return from recycling your unneeded metal items (junk metal items from dead creatures is another easy source of ingots when recycled).
*The equivalent quest item for Smithing is the Hammer of Hesphaestus (from George Hesphaestus), which has 20 uses and gives +10 Blacksmithy skill when held. However, it's a lot less likely you'll ever use this hammer than it is that you'll use Jacob's Pickaxe (there are better means of skill gains for smithing, later on).
*There are two other Quest Givers in New Haven that will give you tools for filling their quests, though ironically you'll need to have some uses left on your current tools. Both are at the same location as Jacob (south of the moongate at the foot of the mountains). Mugg will let you trade 5 large ore for a Craftman's satchel with 2 Pickaxes. This is probably the easiest to do, if you haven't smelted the ore already. The equivalent NPC for Blacksmithing is named Gervis, and for 10 bucklers, he will give you a Smith hammer and 10 ingots.
*Your next option is to buy more tools from an NPC Blacksmith or Tinker. The shovels and pickaxes will have 50 uses on most shards (the exception is on the Seige Perilous & Mugen shards).
* Smith crafting tools are more random in uses than the mining tools (and can be downright awful), but in terms of weight consideration (and often gold cost) it is better to buy tongs, than hammers or sledgehammers.
*The last option, if you chose the pre-made Blacksmith template or picked up the skill another way, is to use the Tinkering skill to make tools.
Doubleclick the Tinker's Tool Kit in your backpack, select Tools from the menu, and scroll until you see the item you want (Shovels or Pickaxes, for mining, Tongs for smithing). Try making a shovel (you need 4 ingots in your pack for the mining tools, and can lose ingots on crafting failures. Tongs only take 1 ingot, and you don't lose an ingot on a failure). However, when you gain the ability to exceptionally craft these tools, the exceptional mining tools will have 100 uses (except on those two special shards). Blacksmith tools are much more variable in their use numbers - ranging between 20 & 80 for normal tools (but rarely above 60), 50 to 150 when Exceptional. Always make Tongs; they weigh less than hammers, and take less ingots to make as well.

8. Ah, ok. I have another shovel. Back to mining. Hey, I have a backpack full of ore, what do I do with it?

Now you will need to smelt the ore into ingots. If you are at the New Haven Mine, or in Minoc at the main mine, there is a forge right outside the entrance, and an anvil, as well. Stand beside the forge, doubleclick the ore, and target the forge. You will begin smelting. At low Mining skill, you will fail a lot and be left without ingots, but as your Mining skill goes up, your ability to produce ingots will increase. Also, starting at 65 Smithing, you will be able to smelt colored ore, also. It is typically best for gaining Mining skill to smelt ore 1 large or medium-sized piece at a time, until your skill gets into the 70s, as you can gain Mining skill from both mining and smelting the ore (just remember to take Jacob's Pickaxe out of your hand if you are trying to train skill using iron ore).

9. Ok, what is this "colored ore" stuff you are talking about?

There are 9 different metals available in Ultima Online. They are: Iron, Dull Copper, Shadow Iron, Copper, Bronze, Gold, Agapite, Verite and Valorite. You start being able to mine only Iron ore. Starting at 65 Mining, you will begin pulling up this colored ore. Each one of these metals has different qualities when made into weapons, shields and armor. (it's beyond the scope of this essay to discuss those right now.) Even when mining colored ore, some of the ore will still come out as normal Iron ore.

At 65 Mining you can mine Dull Copper, if the vein can produce it.
at 70 Mining you can mine Shadow Iron.
at 75 Mining you can mine Copper.
at 80 Mining you can mine Bronze.
at 85 Mining you can mine Gold.
at 90 Mining you can mine Agapite.
at 95 Mining you can mine Verite.
at 99 Mining you can mine Valorite.

at 100 Mining, you also can get special gem types used in crafting, from mining any type of ore.
at 100 mining, one can also read certain special books one can buy at the Gargoyle City in Ilshenar, to allow you to mine sand for glassblowers (a special subskill of Alchemy, which alchemists gain from a book bought in the same city), and mine stone for masons (a subskill of Carpentry, acquired in a similar manner).

9.a. Um, not to sound like a smart-aleck or anything, but in real life, Bronze is an alloy, you can't mine it.

Shhh. I know that, too. I guess the developer that came up with the colored ore didn't. Let's not embarrass him, ok? *winks*

10. *laughs* Ok, I'm good with that. What about all these ingots, though? What do I do with them?

Let's find a blacksmith shop and talk to an NPC blacksmith. He should be able to find work for you; specifically, a kind of contract called a Bulk Order Deed.

10.a. "Ok, here is a blacksmith, his name is Barton. What do I do?"

Single-click Barton, and choose "Bulk Order Info" from the menu that appears. A scroll will appear in your backpack, this is called a Bulk Order Deed, or BOD for short. Take a look at it and tell me what it says on it.

10.b. "It says to make 10 daggers. Is that what I'm supposed to do next?"

Yep. Come over here to the forge and anvil, and stand beside them. See that blacksmith's hammer in your backpack? Doubleclick it to bring up the smith's menu. On that menu, look around until you see the word bladed, and click on that. You'll see a menu of bladed weapons, daggers will be among them. Each weapon has a box to the left and right of it. If you click the box to the left, you will make the weapon, if you have enough skill. The box on the right will give you information about the weapon: how much skill is necessary to make it, what you need in the way of ingredients, your chance to make it at your skill, etc. Most of the simple weapons like daggers only take a few ingots to make. Go ahead and make 10 daggers with the ingots in your pack.

10.c. *clang clang clang* "Ok, I have 10 daggers in my backpack, what now?"

Now you have to "combine" the daggers with the deed. Doubleclick the deed and select the option to combine the items with the deed. A Targeting cursor will appear. Target each dagger until all ten disappear. They are now combined with the deed. Now take the deed back to Barton and drag/drop the completed deed onto him.

10.d. *funny flute noise is heard* "Hey, what was that? I got a message that I earned gold, fame and a gift! Where are they?"

The gold goes into your bankbox. The fame accrues slowly and affects your title. You can go all the way to Lord just by filling BODs with your Smith, but it is very difficult to do that way. As for the gift, it should be in your backpack. Probably a sturdy shovel or pickaxe with 150 or 200 uses.

10.e. "Yeah, I got a sturdy pickaxe with 200 uses. I guess I use it to mine with, huh? Can I get other stuff, too?"

Yes. The BOD system has a whole range of rewards, varying from tools like these to nice anvils colored like the various metals, to magical Runic Hammers that make some really great weapons and armor. As the reward system is point-based, on the value of each individual Bulk Order Deed, the more difficult rewards require filling the more difficult BODs, however.
Eventually, you will start getting Large Bulk Order Deeds, which require you to get each of the small BODs, fill them, then combine them with the Large BOD in the same way you combined the items with the small BODs.
Remember, though, to fill a deed that requires ingots of a specific colored metal type (which, like LBODs, you won't get until you hit 70 skill), you will need to set your tool to use that metal - that is done with the selection arrow that, at start, points to "Iron" on your tools (and will display whatever metal you have chosen, even if you switch smithing tools). The choices of metal will come up where the items normally show, until you choose the metal type.

By the way, single-click Barton (or any other Blacksmith, Armorer or Weaponsmith) and get another BOD from him. Whenever you turn in a BOD, get another BOD immediately, before turning in another BOD. You do not have to turn in a BOD to the exact same person who gave it to you; any of the blacksmith types will work (Blacksmith, Armorer, Weaponsmith and Iron Worker), except the Metal Weavers in Heartwood (they are new arrivals, and aren't part of the "BOD Network")

11. There are some items in the crafting menu that say "You have not learned this recipe." What are those?

Those items are special ones introduced in the expansion "Mondain's Legacy". To get the recipes, you will need to go to Heartwood, the Elven city, which is accessed by a magical entrance in the center of the city of Yew. Look for the "Metal Weavers" in the Southeast part of town. Note that the strange equipment there includes the elven version of a forge and an anvil, so you can craft at that location, as long as you brought tools and ingots.

If you double-click on these NPCs, you will be given the option for a quest, much like those from New Haven. The difference is that these quests' Craftsman's Satchels that they reward do not give tools, but give random elven equipment, talismans, jewelry, and recipes. Most of the equipment is not worth keeping, but can be recycled for more ingots if metal. Click on the NPC repeatedly to get a quest within your skill range (preferably one you can gain skill on - they give four, but only 2 worth doing), then accept your desired quest. Craft the items, mark them as quest items, then click the NPC again to initiate the turn-in process. This is much more easily done in the Kingdom Reborn client, as you can set the tool to automatically mark the items as quest items as you make them.

There are three types of recipes; common, semi-rare, and rare. Common and semi-rare recipes typically require only a single special gem from mining, or rarely a single exotic ingredient from the Peerless monsters, with the only real difference being that the semi-rares are much less frequent than the commons. The rares are effectively recipes for craftable artifacts, and are very hard to get (and crafting them requires many exotic ingredients).

It may take a hundred or more quests to get most of the common items, and it may take thousands to get all the rare ones. But, the advantage is that you can use these quests for training as well as getting recipes.

You use recipes by double-clicking them, at which point the character permanently gains the ability to use them. One can only use a recipe on a character that is within 10 skill points of being able to make the item.

11.a. "What Heartwood quests are good ones for a Smith?"

There are two quests you should do there.

The first one is the Bascinet quest, "Nothing Fancy". You will be able to gain on Bascinets up to 58.3 skill, if no powerscroll used. Add 2.5 points for every 5 points of powerscroll over 100, up to 68.3 skill if you've already used a 120 Blacksmith scroll that you bought somewhere or were given.

The second quest to do is the Broadsword quest, "Cuts Both Ways". This is likely to be your main form of training with quests. Can start crafting at 35.4 skill, but you'll waste too many ingots if you don't stick to the bascinet quest until you hit about 55 skill (best to keep making the bascinets until 58.3). Gains will run up to 85.4 skill without a power scroll, up to 95.4 with a 120 power scroll. Even after gains stop, this is the optimum for continued quests for smith recipes.

11.b. Any other quests I should know about?

There is also one other quest that gives a smith recipe, though it can be dangerous. It is gained from Jamal the Fisherman, outside the Blighted Grove, and is for the Bone Machetes that are used to be able to enter the Grove. As this quest requires some combat for certain ingredients, and entering the Grove itself for others, you may want to have a combat-capable character get the items for the smith to turn in. As this recipe is added directly to the character doing the quest (unlike the others), it must be the smith that actually does the quest. If you can get this quest done fairly early, and can get a good source of bones for it (giant Serpents anywhere, or the black wisps at Ilshenar Spirituality region's two champion spawns), one can make a steady income making and selling these machetes to those going to hunt in the Grove.

12. Ok, what next?

Well, that is pretty much all that there is to Blacksmithing. Mine metal, make it into metal ingots, and use the ingots to make armor, weapons and shields. You can also repair armor, weapons and shields made of metal.

(continued in next post - darn 20,000 character VBB limits!)


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13. Umm.... How do I travel around, though? Do I walk everywhere? Those ingots and ores get heavy. Isn't there an easier way?

Yes, there is. There are spells with which to magically travel from place to place, and animals to help you with transportation and even smelting (see Question 14 for the animals).

The easiest way of all is to use runebooks pre-charged with Recall scrolls. You'll need to have a steady supply of Recall scrolls, so having a mage character with the Inscription skill might be handy; otherwise you will be doomed to buying the scrolls from player vendors and the occasional rare NPC mage that sells level 4 scrolls. This might, however, be the best method for a total beginner until he/she can acquire enough skill in Magery or Chivalry to travel reliably by spell.

If you are going to be a Fighting Blacksmith, it's best to go to Aelorn in New Haven, on the second floor of the Warriors guild hall, buy a Book of Chivalry, and buy up the skill (and take the quest if you want). Alternatively, you can do the same from the Keepers of Chivalry near Luna moongate, but they charge more for books, and don't train as well, IIRC. You will also need to "tithe" gold at an Ankh shrine; there is one on the first floor of the Warriors guild hall, as well as on the second floor of Luna's central structure - coincidentally directly above the blacksmith shop. Inside the Book of Chivalry you will find the spell Sacred Journey. That spell, when cast upon a marked rune or a runebook filled with marked runes, will transport you magically to that place. One needs 65 Chivalry to be able to Sacred Journey 100% of the time. As this typically leaves more space in your backpack free for ore and the like (the "reagents" are tithing done at the ankhs, so does not weigh anything or take up items), it is probably the preferred means of getting around - however, it doesn't give you a way to mark your own runes. It does, however, give you a way to heal after being brought back from the dead, before charging back into the danger zone where you died to recover your body.

If you don't intend to be a fighting blacksmith, Magery might be an option. 63 magery will allow you to recall 100% of the time, without having to buy scrolls. It will also give you about a 27% chance to cast Mark (to mark your own runes, that you have to buy from an NPC mage, or make with a tinker); you have a 100% chance to use Mark from scrolls at that skill level. One would need magery in the 80s to reliably cast Gate Travel (which is needed to move unbonded pets around, that you can't ride - see pet section below), though one can successfully gate about half the time at 63 skill, using scrolls of Gate Travel. You'll just need a source for the scrolls.

13.a. "Is Marking really necessary?"

Prior to 2007's mining changes, it was vital to get a set of good, productive, mining locations marked, as the type of ore changes every 8 steps in each direction, but up until that time, the ore produced had stayed constant for 99.9% of the spots on the map for about 6 years. Back then, one could set up some runebooks of known spots for each ore, by either marking with your miner, or recording the coordinates using a sextant, and taking a mage character you possessed out to those spots to mark for you.
However, in 2007, mining was radically changed as a means to combat cheaters that ran illegal scripts to mine spots, and to make the rarer metal types truly rare, for the normal miners - in other words, what were supposed to be rare metals, had become TOO easy to get. Now, the ore type at each individual mining spot changes after every few times it is mined, randomly. This has made most attempts to mark for ore type a futile effort, as it could easily change overnight, especially if someone else mines the same spot. Now, simply having someone Mark runes to general starting locations for mining trips will generally suffice. These would be places such as points along the major mountain ranges and inside mines; you could even mark them yourself, then set Magery skill to go down when you need the points elsewhere.

14. What are these useful animals you mentioned?

There are several animals that can help you as a blacksmith. There are pack horses and pack llamas that can transport ore to the nearest forge, just drag and drop the ore onto them (then clik on them to open their backpack when you get to your destination). There are also blue "Giant Beetles" that you can both ride and use as a pack animal. They are very helpful. The most helpful of all, though, is the orange Fire Beetle. The Fire Beetle can be hard to acquire, but they are the most useful pet a blacksmith/miner can own, because you never need a forge when a Fire Beetle is your pet, you just smelt your ore on the beetle itself (even if it's a ghost)!

It's very important to know that your pets can be killed by monsters (or other players, if you're in Felucca), and if your pet isn't "bonded" to you, you will lose it permanently. To prevent this from happening, feed your pet, put it in a stable for a week real time, and then take it out and feed it again. You should get a message that "your pet has bonded with you!" (if it doesn't, put it back in the stable and try again in a day or two) After a pet bonds, if it is killed, it becomes a ghost and can be resurrected by players with the Veterinary skill.

14.a. Other Important Pet Facts to remember...

It's also important to know the following....
*You cannot put a pack animal into a stable, if it has anything in its backpack.
*Pets with empty backpacks will log out with you, if you are alive (you can even bond pets this way, but it's much riskier than just stabling them to wait it out). If you are dead, they will be put into the stable automatically to await your return to claim them (even if ghosts, themselves - normally you cannot stable a ghost pet)
*Pets that are NOT empty will remain in the game, even if you log out, and will go wild within a few hours, breaking their bond with you. They might even cease to exist, or be killed by city guards (if a beetle type) after going wild. ALWAYS be sure to empty your pets.

14.b. "Will these pets Recall/Sacred Journey with me?"

Once a pet is Bonded, it will recall/sacred journey with you; if a pet has not bonded, it either needs to be a mount (like a beetle) being ridden to do travel with you - otherwise one has to use gate travel or the permanent moongates to have them follow. This is one of the reasons the Minoc area was suggested as a base of operations, after your initial training in Heartwood. Mining in the Minoc Mines will require little travel, and present little danger, as you can smelt your ore at the mine entrance; plus, there is another, huge, mountain range within easy walking distance to the south.

14.c. How do I get one of these pets, especially a Fire Beetle?
*Pack horses and Pack Llamas can be purchased at NPC stables, usually for under 600 gold (sometimes under 500!). Occasionally, you'll even find some running loose and unowned, that were used when someone transferred their character from one shard to another; it's sometimes possible to attempt to retame these for yourself (with only a few points of taming, or the human Jack of All Trades), unless you get the message that the animal has had too many owners.
*The blue Giant Beetles can be purchased from other players that have the Animal Taming skill at a fairly low level; in fact, one might even be able to tame your own, if you want to temporarily put about 30-40 points each into Animal Taming and Animal Lore, since the minimum skill to tame one is 29.1 (but one has to beat it until nearly dead, and it gives a message about being subdued to attempt). The giant beetles can be found in Solen tunnels, and in places where solens can randomly spawn out of the ground (some of these holes go into the tunnels, some do not, and randomly a beetle may come out of the "trap" when you step on it, instead of one of the Solens).
A typical price for a Giant Beetle is about 5000 gold on most shards. It can vary, and if you are very lucky, you might be given one free.
*Fire Beetles can be purchased from other players that have very high Animal Taming skill. They are found in the Yomotsu Mines (along with those creatures, and free-roaming Dull Copper & Shadow Iron Elementals). Fire Beetles can be very expensive, but in general terms can be purchased for 30,000-50,000 gold; though sometimes if you're lucky, someone might get you one for free. If you can manage it (and the tamer agrees), and you can survive the trip, consider going along with the tamer to get any Dull Copper & Shadow Iron that one might get from encounters with elementals there (do note that Shadow Iron Elementals are immune to pets and most spells). The fire beetle also has to be beat into subjugation before taming.

Once you get these pets bonded, especially the beetles, you might want to try to train their combat skills up. You'll have to use close Wounds (chivalry), Greater Heal (magery) or a tamer friend (with the Vet skill) to heal them.

15. Ok, what else do I need to know?

Well, this is a New Smith Guide, and the information I gave you is really all that a New Smith needs. There are a few things I'll caution you about, though:

15.a. Ore Elementals. Occasionally when you turn in a BOD, you may receive a Gargoyle's Pickaxe as a reward (they can also spawn on most gargoyle types as loot). If you mine with a Gargoyle's Pickaxe, it will magically "promote" the colored ore you mine one level up. If you are mining Iron, you will get Dull Copper (as of publish 56; prior to that, you only got iron). If you're mining a Dull Copper spot, you will get Shadow Iron instead; if you're mining a Bronze spot, you'll get Gold instead, and so on.
When you use a Gargoyle's Pickaxe, though, there is a chance that an Ore Elemental will appear and attack you. These look like Earth Elementals, and behave similarly - but each has a special offensive or defensive power. The ones that can be dug up with a Garg Pick range from Shadow Iron all the way to Valorite. Each of them, when killed, drops 25 large ore of its own color, some gold, and some items. Be careful when using a Garg Pick, and be ready if an Ore Elemental appears. See the Mining guide for a list of the dangers presented by the Ore Elementals. Note that there are some dungeons where the Shadow Elementals spawn naturally, as well as Dull Copper Elementals (that only give 2 large of their ore when killed).
Note that earlier I mentioned training your pets up to better survive the wilds, once they have bonded. Often, the easiest means for the the later stages of pet training are best done using a Shadow Iron Elemental dug up with a Gargoyle's Pickaxe, since the elemental is immune to pet damage. In fact, as a miner, you will often be asked by Tamers to dig up such an elemental specifically for them to train their pets (and in the process, train their Vet skill on the pets). Just be sure they save the ore for you when they finally do kill it.

15.b. Player Killers/Miner Killers. There is a mining bonus for mining in Felucca. You get twice as much ore as you do anywhere else. Unfortunately, you can also be killed and looted by other players in Felucca, as well. Some players love to kill miners, so consider carefully before going to Felucca. Note that most of the Miner Killers are typically bottom-feeders in the PvP arena, and it might very well be possible for a combat-oriented miner to kill their attacker (maybe even purposefully try to suck such types in to hunt the hunters...)

15.c. Monsters. There are monsters that wander in the wilderness. Most of these are easy to kill or avoid. Sometimes you will find them in a mine or cave, as well. Some caves are full of monsters and traps, and are called Dungeons. For the most part, dungeons aren't good places to mine, though there are exceptions (the open-air passages between sections of the Dungeon Covetous, for example, typically have high-output veins, regardless of ore type, and have no spawn or at worst, skeletons, depending on the section one is in). There is also a mosnter called the Orc Brute, which is an orc that's bigger than a titan, that spawns in the orc mines, that carries 25 Shadow Iron ore. Combat capable miners will sometimes go there, mine ore for themselves (using a fire beetle), and kill the Brutes as they spawn for additional Shadow Iron ore.

Well, that's basically it. Anything else you need to know, ask on the forum here, the other smiths will be happy to help you out. Fair travels!