My guess is that the value of the weapon gets calculated mostly from its stats. Since that cutting polearm is very long and does very high cutting damage, it gets an absurd price. And XP / Unlocks are probably predicated on that. So if you go for the longest and hardest hitting thing you can craft, you can probably max smithing and break the economy rather fast. I plan to retry that, as an experiment with a new char.
Stats is a result of modifier of each parts, if you checked the xml files you will realised that all weapon are defined by parts, and this is where the price comes from, the only problem is that these parts does not carry correlated prices, for example, the glaive is extreme cheap, its like 4% of a billhook that is entirely worst than it, the only reason I can think of is the bill part carries too much prices, this could be a result of "balancing"
- Refining is really whack-a-mole. Make one ingot degrade one level and one go up, not fall to the bottom of the pile. Or better, make it just move one up. There's just not enough Hardwood around for more than one smith in the world with that system. Smithing is already a grind without that treadmill. Plus the refining perks are a player trap.
To be honest, real refining does not work this way, crucible steel are made of pig iron and wrought iron, yes you hear me, pig iron and wrought is made into low and high carbon steel with traditional treatment, which you can think as steel and fine steel in game, that is the reality.
Why I am bringing up this is because TW seems to be striving for some sort of realism, but honestly real steel or iron production method doesn't look like this at all, and that's why I am suggesting the introduction of coke and the crucible steel method as a top level perk for more realistic metalworking.
-Second char, I decide to take the unlock perks and use companions for refining. We become an intinerant circus circling the whole world for wood. Because you get out of wood, fast. All of the world's wood
I mostly smelt everything gotten in battle, make my companions refine, forge and re-smelt weapons. Progression is ok.
Before 1.0.11 the metal prices are much higher, and is profitable to sell (usually 100 denar per unit of steel, but to be fair the profit rate is only around 25% due to the immense amount of charcoal needed, most of the goods have a profit of 15 to 150%, sometimes even 300%), and that's why I am looking for the right xml to restore the old metal prices.