In a rpg where you can mine, which type of smithing weapons would be more practical and/or prefered: 1.)making the same weapon, except with better quality because of different materials/elements -or- 2.)making completely different weapons from different materials. Example:

First one:
Wooden sword atk power = 5
Bronze sword atk power = 10
Golden sword atk power = 15

All are basic swords, but made from diffrent material.

Second one:
Training Sword atk power = 5(Made of wood)
Star balde atk power = 10(Made of bronze)
Ultima balde atk power = 15(Made of gold)

All are different swords, because they are made from different material.

I personnaly prefer the first one, with the ability to name your own weapons. It adds to the whole customisation of ones characters. That and it would allow players to establish some sort of prestige service such as having a player market for a certain persons weapons.

I dont know if its a particularly good idea, but I know id like to see it and use it.

- GunRunner
In response to GunRunner
Maybe if they have high enough magic power, they can give them special powers or boosts. Like a wizard could make a steel long sword into a flame sword or something.
The second one is highly preferred by me over the first. The second one makes more sense and creates a feeling of uniqueness to weapons.
The first does not emphasize enough on not just the material, but the type/name/history of a weapon which may make it more or less favorable to someone.

However, generally people tend to go for whichever weapon is stronger. =p So, they each have their advantages and disadvantages... I see stronger advantages in Option B.
In response to Dark Weasel
I personaly like the idea of basic weapons(short sword, long sword) and the difference being the material. Its much easier that way, because you just have to memorize the metal, instead of every item.