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Gem crafting

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Gem crafting is a mechanic in Xenoblade Chronicles. By taking the ether crystals collected from enemies and placing them into an ether furnace, they can be transformed into gems. Gems can be crafted by talking to Gem Man in the Commercial District of Colony 9 or, after completing the quest The Gem Man's Invention, from the menu at any point. It is a complex and random process, but several strategies make it an effective way of gaining strong gems.

Gem crafting is not available in Future Connected; ether crystal deposits yield refined gems that are ready to use.

Overview[edit]

Gem crafting can be broken into three phases: setup, crafting, and collection.

  • Setup - First, the player must choose what crystals to craft with, and which party members will be doing the crafting. The crystals chosen must all be of the same rank, though they need not share any qualities. Between two and eight crystals (inclusive) may be used. As crystals are added, their matching qualities are added together, and if the sum of any quality reaches 100% or more than no more can be added. Cylinders may also be used; there is no difference between crystals and cylinders, other than cylinders typically having only one quality. Two party members are also selected, one to be shooter and the other to be engineer.
  • Crafting - The actual crafting occurs in "turns", with the number of turns based on the affinity between the selected party members. Each turn, the engineer selects one of three flames for the ether furnace, which the shooter applies to the contents. A strong flame raises a single quality by a lot, a medium flame raises all qualities a small amount, and a gentle flame adds to the cylinder gauge instead of affecting the qualities. There is a small chance each turn of triggering a "fever", which adds several extra turns of the current flame.
  • Collection - Once crafting is completed, every quality of 100% or better is turned into a gem. Qualities that did not reach 100% can be recouped as cylinders, up to the number of times the cylinder gauge was filled.

Details[edit]

Crafting turns[edit]

The number of turns spent crafting is based on the affinity between the shooter and engineer, and ranges from 3-5 at lowest affinity to 10-15 at highest. The exact math is:

  • minimum: (affinity + 250) / 750 + 3 (minimum goes up by 1 every 750 affinity)
  • maximum: (affinity / 500) + 5 (maximum goes up by 1 every 500 affinity)

Once the minimum number of turns is reached, there is a 20% chance of getting another turn, until the maximum is reached. As a result, the minimum and maximum are more common than any number in between.

Because of how the turn range is calculated, it can be used to determine the affinity between two party members more accurately than the level icon alone.

Affinity Level Min. turns Max. turns
0 Affinity neutral.png 3 5
500 Affinity neutral.png 4 6
1000 Affinity green.png 4 7
1250 Affinity green.png 5 7
1500 Affinity green.png 5 8
2000 Affinity blue.png 6 9
2500 Affinity blue.png 6 10
2750 Affinity blue.png 7 10
3000 Affinity cloud.png 7 11
3500 Affinity cloud.png 8 12
4000 Affinity cloud.png 8 13
4250 Affinity cloud.png 9 13
4500 Affinity cloud.png 9 14
5000 Affinity heart.png 10 15

Fever[edit]

At the end of each turn, there is a 1% chance of entering a "fever" state. Fever is an additional 3-10 turns using the same flame, with a 30% chance of getting each turn after the first 3. With Shulk's Fever Pitch skill linked to both characters and Shulk's Fever Plus shooter ability, it is possible to raise the chance of fever to 4%. Fever cannot trigger on the last turn, or if Riki is the shooter.

Furnace flames[edit]

On each turn, a random fl ame is selected by the engineer.

  • Strong - A single quality (at random) is raised by 3% - 11% (at random).
  • Medium - All qualities are raised by 1% - 6% (at random for each).
  • Gentle - The cylinder gauge is raised by 40% - 70% (at random). Excess adds 1 to the gauge count and rolls over to the next filling.

Each engineer has a different rate of choosing each flame. These values are described in-game by vague and inconsistent terms.

Character Values In-game descriptions
Strong Medium Gentle Strong Medium Gentle
Shulk 25% 25% 50% Average Average Good
Reyn 80% 10% 10% Great Poor Poor
Dunban 60% 15% 25% Good Poor Average
Sharla 15% 60% 25% Poor Good Average
Riki 10% 10% 80% Terrible Terrible Great
Melia 10% 80% 10% Poor Great Poor
Seven 5% 90% 5% Terrible Great Terrible

Shooter abilities[edit]

The shooter chosen has a unique ability, many of which alter the flow of crafting significantly.

Character Ability Description Notes
Shulk Fever Plus Gets into a Fever easily when crafting. Adds 1% to the chance of entering fever.
Reyn Strong Bonus Qualities grow stronger with a strong flame. Adds an additional 1% - 6% (at random) when a strong flame is used.
Dunban Combo Master Qualities grow stronger when flame is constant. When a medium or strong flame is first used, it only adds 1%. If the same flame is used again in a row, it adds 2%, and so on until the streak is broken.
Sharla Gentle Bonus Cylinder Gauge fills up more with gentle flame. Adds an additional 25% to the cylinder gauge when a gentle flame is used.
Riki Impatient Shooter Gem crafting process happens twice in a row. Takes two turns at once, using the same flame both times. Cannot enter fever at all.
Melia Medium Bonus Qualities grow stronger with a medium flame. Adds an additional 1% - 6% (at random) when a medium flame is used.
Seven Cylinder Plus Crafting begins with 3 full cylinder gauges. Cylinder gauge count starts at 3 instead of 1.

Party support[edit]

After each turn except for the first, there is a chance for a non-participating party member to provide support. This chance is equal to the affinity between the bystander and the engineer divided by 10,000, meaning it ranges from 0% at lowest affinity to 50% at highest. When this occurs, 1-3 qualities are selected at random and boosted by 10% - 21% at random. A single quality may be selected multiple times, so it is possible (though unlikely) for party support to boost a quality by 63%. Aside from the affinity check, the identity of the bystander does not matter. Each bystander can only support once per craft, and only one can support per turn.

There is a limit to how late in the process party support can occur. First, a value is created from the affinity of the two participants, equal to affinity / 25 + 100 (meaning it is between 100 and 300). On each turn, this value is reduced by a random value between 20 and 30, and once it reaches zero, the opportunity for party support ends after this turn. If the shooter is Riki, the reduction is doubled.

Results[edit]

After all turns are taken, the final value of each quality is checked.

  • Qualities that did not reach 100% can be reclaimed as cylinders, which costs 1 cylinder gauge for each. Any qualities that remain after running out of cylinder gauge are lost.
  • Qualities that reach 100% are converted into gems of the same rank and quality. The strength of the gem is based on how high the value is; a gem created from a 195% result will be close ot the maximum for that rank, while a 105% result will be near the minimum.
  • Qualities that reach 200% ("heat") become a rank higher than the crystals used. Again, a higher value will result in a stronger gem.
  • Qualities that reach 300% ("mega heat") both become a rank higher and produce two gems rather than just one. Both gems will have the maximum value for their rank.

Strategy[edit]

Crafting strong gems is a three-step process.

  1. Separate crystals out into cylinders of individual qualities. This is a matter of simply filling the cylinder gauge, in order to break apart crystals into individual-quality cylinders and keep them all.
  2. Strengthen cylinders as close to 100% as possible without going over. This step is optional and risky, and requires a pair suited to increasing qualities slowly and carefully.
  3. Combine strong cylinders to get a quality far above 100% before starting, to make it easier to reach 200% and 300%. Having only a single quality in the furnace makes a strong flame very powerful.

Definitive Edition changes[edit]

One of the few gameplay changes made in the Definitive Edition applies to gem crafting, strongly altering how best to approach it.

  • Dunban's streak starts at 2%, rather than 1%. This is a minor buff that does not much fix Dunban's problem of being more dependent on luck than the other characters, and so has minimal effect.
  • When Riki takes his two turns, they now count as a single turn rather than two turns. This is a huge change that suggests the original behaviour was unintentional, as now Riki effectively gets double the turns than other characters, making him much more useful at a certain affinity point.
  • Gems produced are now entirely random in strength within their rank. This is a puzzling change that removes a huge amount of consistency from results; just barely squeaking out 205% has the same random chance of getting a good gem as does reaching 295%, meaning there is no longer any benefit to raising strength if the heat thresholds are not met.

Example[edit]

XC1 tension icon Shulk normal.png ...so yeah, that's how gem crafting works. Ready to go?
XC1 tension icon Reyn normal.png Uhh... that's pretty complicated stuff really. Mind runnin' that by me again?
XC1 tension icon Shulk normal.png *sigh* Come on, it's easier to learn by doing. First, let's pick out the crystals we want to use.
XC1 tension icon Reyn normal.png Alright. How about these?
Crystal 1.png Small Bunnit Crystal Crystal 1.png Small Brog Crystal
XC1 tension icon Shulk normal.png That's good. They both have Strength Up, so when we put these into the furnace, they'll melt together.
  • XC1 icon gem slot red.png Strength Up 48%
  • XC1 icon gem slot green.png Agility Up 27%
  • XC1 icon gem slot orange.png Muscle Up 19%
Ether cylinder.png 0%
XC1 tension icon Reyn normal.png Doesn't seem strong enough to make a gem, right?
XC1 tension icon Shulk normal.png No, it's only halfway there. But that's what the furnace is for, to make it stronger until it forms a gem.
XC1 tension icon Reyn normal.png Right. If we had better loot, we wouldn't have so far to go.
XC1 tension icon Shulk normal.png You can be the shooter to start us off. I'll be the engineer. I'll control the furnace's flames, and when I'm ready, you give the ether mixture a careful prod.
XC1 tension icon Reyn normal.png Here goes.
Medium Flame
  • XC1 icon gem slot red.png Strength Up 50% +2
  • XC1 icon gem slot green.png Agility Up 30% +3
  • XC1 icon gem slot orange.png Muscle Up 24% +5
Ether cylinder.png 0%
XC1 tension icon Shulk normal.png That's one turn. We'll keep taking turns.
Gentle Flame
  • XC1 icon gem slot red.png Strength Up 50%
  • XC1 icon gem slot green.png Agility Up 30%
  • XC1 icon gem slot orange.png Muscle Up 24%
Ether cylinder.png 47% +47
XC1 tension icon Reyn normal.png That flame was so weak none of the properties got better.
XC1 tension icon Shulk normal.png That's okay. The cylinder gauge filled up a little. It'll help us later.
Medium Flame
  • XC1 icon gem slot red.png Strength Up 56% +6
  • XC1 icon gem slot green.png Agility Up 31% +1
  • XC1 icon gem slot orange.png Muscle Up 28% +4
Ether cylinder.png 47%
XC1 tension icon Reyn normal.png How are you deciding which flame to use?
XC1 tension icon Shulk normal.png I couldn't tell you why. It's an instinct thing, we can't predict it.
XC1 tension icon Reyn normal.png Don't question the engineer, got it.
Gentle Flame
  • XC1 icon gem slot red.png Strength Up 56%
  • XC1 icon gem slot green.png Agility Up 31%
  • XC1 icon gem slot orange.png Muscle Up 28%
Ether cylinder.pngEther cylinder.png 12% +65
XC1 tension icon Reyn normal.png The cylinder gauge just started over.
XC1 tension icon Shulk normal.png Not quite, it kept all the overflow progress. And because it filled, we'll be able to save more of the incomplete byproducts.
Gentle Flame
  • XC1 icon gem slot red.png Strength Up 56%
  • XC1 icon gem slot green.png Agility Up 31%
  • XC1 icon gem slot orange.png Muscle Up 28%
Ether cylinder.pngEther cylinder.png 64% +52
XC1 tension icon Shulk normal.png Looks like we have to stop now.
XC1 tension icon Reyn normal.png Shame. If we knew each other better, we'd be able to work faster and get more turns in.
XC1 tension icon Shulk normal.png We started with one cylinder gauge, and we filled it to the top once, so we get to keep two of the qualities.
XC1 tension icon Reyn normal.png Keep the Strength Up, it got the highest. Take the Agility Up as well, I could use some more speed.
XC1 tension icon Shulk normal.png The rest we have to throw away.
Ether cylinder.png Small Fire Cylinder
  • XC1 icon gem slot red.png Strength Up 56%
Ether cylinder.png Small Wind Cylinder
  • XC1 icon gem slot green.png Agility Up 31%
XC1 tension icon Reyn normal.png So we didn't get any gems, but we got some ether cylinders. I imagine they're easier to work with than raw crystals.
XC1 tension icon Shulk normal.png Totally. Let's take the Strength Up cylinder and combine it with another one we got from the Mechon.
Ether cylinder.png Small Fire Cylinder
  • XC1 icon gem slot red.png Strength Up 56%
Ether cylinder.png Small Fire Cylinder
  • XC1 icon gem slot red.png Strength Up 24%
  • XC1 icon gem slot red.png Strength Up 80%
Ether cylinder.png 0%
XC1 tension icon Reyn normal.png Alright now it's my turn to be engineer.
XC1 tension icon Shulk normal.png Let's go.
Strong Flame
  • XC1 icon gem slot red.png Strength Up 89% +9
Ether cylinder.png 0%
Strong Flame
  • XC1 icon gem slot red.png Strength Up 96% +7
Ether cylinder.png 0%
Strong Flame
  • XC1 icon gem slot red.png Strength Up 100% +4
Ether cylinder.png 0%
XC1 tension icon Shulk normal.png You really like it hot, don't you?
XC1 tension icon Reyn normal.png What can I say, I love a good barbeque.
Medium Flame
  • XC1 icon gem slot red.png Strength Up 105% +5
Ether cylinder.png 0%

  • XC1 icon gem slot red.png Strength Up 108% +3
Ether cylinder.png 0%
  • XC1 icon gem slot red.png Strength Up 112% +4
Ether cylinder.png 0%
  • XC1 icon gem slot red.png Strength Up 114% +2
Ether cylinder.png 0%
  • XC1 icon gem slot red.png Strength Up 116% +2
Ether cylinder.png 0%
  • XC1 icon gem slot red.png Strength Up 121% +5
Ether cylinder.png 0%
XC1 tension icon Reyn normal.png Whoa you really went in there! Catch the crafting fever?
XC1 tension icon Shulk normal.png Sometimes you spot something and instinct takes over.
Gentle Flame
  • XC1 icon gem slot red.png Strength Up 121%
Ether cylinder.png 45% +45
Medium Flame
  • XC1 icon gem slot red.png Strength Up 124% +3
Ether cylinder.png 45%
XC1 tension icon Reyn normal.png Looks like we're finished. Pretty good for a first go.
XC1 icon gem slot red.png Strength Up I
Increases strength by 6.
XC1 tension icon Shulk normal.png If we can get a quality really hot, the gems that come out are stronger.
XC1 tension icon Reyn normal.png But if the crystals themselves are better, won't that help too?
XC1 tension icon Shulk normal.png Definitely. I bet if we got really good at this, we could make gems all the way up to rank VI!
XC1 tension icon Reyn normal.png Might need more than two pairs of hands for that. If we had say five more people helping us out, we'd be able to turn two crystals into crazy gems in one shot.

Gallery[edit]

Turorial[edit]

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