About - Known Issues

In short, the Winter Forge addon extends the original game by giving the players greater control over their party equipement. Using it, they can change their equipement appareance through re-colored materials or (every !) models variations, access to fluff like name-giving, or even tailor the magical bonuses of the equipment via a new completely new craft skill.

Presentation of The Winter Forge

Providing a list of features would be plain, so I'll try to walk you through the Winter Forge addon within those lines.
Initially, back when I didn't even had the idea of making the file public, the main purpose of this addon was to provide me with batches of equipments so I could refashion my traveling circus into something looking a bit more like a warband. Then, I started thinking being able to change the materials (and therefore the colours) would be a nice addition and I added that option. Everything was pretty much command-line based back then, and that didn't changed until I thought maybe I wasn't the only person bothered by a party equipped with bits 'n bobs, and started working on the initial release of what would become TWF a week later.

Things certainly evolved a great deal since. The development of TWF started a year ago. The Winter Forge certainly faced a fair amount of issues and had its share of teething problems and design errors. But, looking back I like to think TWF reached maturity with that last - final - release.

So. What can you expect from TWF ? Here is an introduction chart that should hopefully help you getting the grasp of what TWF is about.
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The Winter Forge basically includes several components :

  • The "forge" abilities, used to create items and alter their non-magical features,
  • The "enchantment" craftskill, used to alter items' magical properties.

In depth

By installating the Winter Forge, you will obtain the tools required to use freely any heraldric devices available on your Dragon Age installation, including devices added by community DLCs. Are those devices new ? No, they are not. But let me ask you : how many of the devices from this chart have you actually seen in-game on a shield available to your characters ? And more importanly, did that shield had useful stats or did you have to choose between stats and looks ?
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What about the materials ? Let me guess. Unless you're using those really nice armors created by the community, your followers are equipped with unmatching pieces of equipment, aren't they ? Once the Winter Forge installed, you will be able to modify the material of your equipment using a range of tints. Moreover, you get to choose in the configuration menu whether you wish those changes to be free of charge, or if you'd rather use a balanced alternative.
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Screen capture Oh, and didn't I mention that doesn't involve dealing with the toolset, at all ? Everything can be done by simply using the toolbar abilities available through the Forgesmith's tool item.

And no, that's not all about it. No even close. All that only cover for the looks. What about the stats ? After all, on their own those new clothes may be fancy, but they don't protect much against colds, or Darkspawns blades.
That's where the itemsets and the Enchantment skill come in. The sets allow you to customize your equipment to your heart content, without losing the eventual set bonuses when you change an item model. Not to mention the brand new item sets, with less common bonuses and combinaisons than the sets from the original campain. Some are even designed for your Mabari hound.
Screen capture And last but not least, the Enchantment. That new craft skill allows you to fully customize your party equipment in a balanced non-cheating way. Gather essences by stripping away unused or obsolete wares from their magical properties. Combine your essences into crystals. Finally consume those crystals to imbue the item of your choice with the property determined by the formula you were following.
Just have a quick glance at the enchantment codex if you wish to have a taste of what bonuses you could imbue your equipement with...
Screen capture Not to mention the Enchantment craftskill is now available directly via the game very own Craft interface. Even if you disliked the earlier releases of TWF because of the Enchantment design, believe me : now that the crafting GUI is cracked open, enhancing items via enchantment is as easy as creating lyrium potions...

Finally, it's worth mentioning that the Enchantment craftskill isn't your only option if you wish to alter items magical properties. The choice is once again yours : you can simply enable the Override Mode in the configuration menu and obtain a set of tools designed to alter items' properties without further ado.