While items made out of normal iron, wood, granite or leather, either crafted or found as loot, lack the special material bonuses applied by using colored versions of the resource, a skilled craftsman still has the ability to enhance the item after the fact.
Plain weapons or armor can be enhanced with special materials using the ‘Enhance’ option on the relevant craft menu. These craft menus are:
Success will add the material’s fixed properties (bonuses) to the item. For a list of properites that can be infused into an item by enhancing it see this page about Material Properties.
This means that once you’ve been lucky enough to find a superior item as loot on a monster, you can seek to improve it by enhancing it with special materials. However, enhancing an already existing item with special materials is difficult.
Failing an Enhancing attempt will cost you some of your materials, but there is also a very good chance of destroying the item. Once enhanced, the item is considered to have been made out of the special material infused into the item, so it can never be Enhanced again.
The inherent difficulty in Enhancing an item works as a balancing factor, the more properties an item has, and the higher the intensity of those properties, the more difficult it will be to enhance, and the higher the chance that the item will be destroyed.
The chance for successfully enhancing an item is increased if you have above GM skill level in Tailoring or Blacksmithy, unfortunately no higher skill is possible for tinkering, bowcrafting, carpentry or stonecrafting. A blacksmith’s +60 Ancient Smith Hammer is most desirable for this purpose. You are also required to have enough skillpoints to craft items with the materials you want to enhance with. For example, to enhance an item with Valorite ore, you would have to be at or above 99.0 Blacksmithy skill.
Forged Metal of Artifacts
This item removes entirely the risk of the enhancing process. It can be bought from the Origin Store where it appears as a ‘forged metal tool’ in either 5 of 10 charge versions. The tool guarantees 100% success on any enhancement attempt.