by GDEXXY » Apr 2, 2003 (11:34 pm)
Learning does drop rather quickly after a few ranks and then after 10, 25, 100, etc. This is just a natural reflection on how learning a skill actually works: the more you know, the less there is to know and master. You may want to try your hand at harder gems. Each gem has a different difficulty setting.
The cost of gems does increase, but you won't notice it on most of the cheaper gems. From your descriptions of both price and experience drop, I can tell that you're still trying to cut the same ol' gems. Time to upgrade.
As for your comments about shaping (an advanced feature that we will change a little to add more flexibility and control) without revealing too much about how gemcutting works, let's take the easiest gemstone possible: a greenish-black epidote stone.
The epidote stone has a difficulty check (D.C., a rating to determine how hard something is to do, the higher the number, the harder it is) of 1. To cut it, your skill in Gemcutting, plus a random factor, must be better than 1, which is rather easy to do (because of the size of the random factor).
Each time you cut a gemstone successfully, it becomes exponentially harder to cut the next time. At grade level 9, the epidote stone is +45 D.C., which means that your skill, plus a random factor, must be MORE than 46 to successfully finish just that last step. Successfully cutting a gemstone at grade level 9 perfects the gem and automatically shapes it (in the future, we'll let you determine what kind of shape to make it into).
Currently, the system will choose one of three shapes: a perfect pyramid, a glittering orb, or a dazzling cube.
If, however, you succeed your difficulty check (D.C.) cut by 10 points or more, instead of geometric shapes, you will cut the gemstone into an animal shape. There are currently five shapes: a howling wolf, a delicate spider, a graceful dove, a sleeping cat, and an awesome dragon.
So if we succeeded our final cut D.C. by 10 or more points and the system picked the sleeping cat (randomly, for now), we would end up with: "a greenish-black epidote stone carved into a sleeping cat".
Now accomplishing this alone would be hard: you have to succeed 10 difficulty checks (grades 0 through 9) ranging from 1 to 46 for just the easiest gemstone. But what makes it even harder is that if you fail your D.C. by 10 or more, you actually damage the gemstone and lose 2 grades of perfection, taking you a few steps back in progress. If a gemstone has been damaged too many times, it can no longer be cut.
In fact, if you fail your D.C. by getting a particularly bad random number, you can destroy your gemstone altogether, leaving you empty-handed.
I hope this helps you understand the Gemcutting trade skill a little bit better. Some gems are radically more difficult, like diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and ensyiatite. Anyone with less than 150 skill ranks shouldn't even try some of them as they are incredibly difficult.
Enjoy!