Basic standard upgrades (up to +5) are available through all blacksmiths and the Weapon Smithbox item; however, Andre of Astora is the only blacksmith who has the ability to ascend standard items from +5 to +6 and from +10 to +11, after being given the Large Ember and the Very Large Ember, respectively. Any blacksmith, along with the Weapon Smithbox, may implement the intermediate upgrades to standard weapons with the required titanite and souls. Titanite Shards are required for levels up to +5, Large Titanite Shards from levels +6 to +10, Titanite Chunks from +11 to +14, and a Titanite Slab for +15.
Standard upgrades improve the weapon's base damage as well as the scaling it receives from Strength and/or Dexterity, unlike Raw Upgrades. For strength and dexterity builds, standard upgrades are the best choice in the long run for this reason. Although the Crystal path technically creates weapons with greater damage output, crystal weapons cannot be repaired and are therefore only effective in the short term; normal weapons can be used indefinitely as long as they are repaired.