Path of Exile - Gems (Skills)
In Path of Exile Gems are how players learn and use abilities within the game. If you have played Final Fantasy 7 you are familiar with how Materia in that game worked; the gems in Path of Exile work exactly like how Materia works in FF7. If you're not too familiar with FF7 let me give you a quick run down of Gems within this game. Every slot of gear or at least almost every slot of gear has sockets. These sockets are color coded which determine the colors of gems that go there.
Gems level up with players as they gain experience. As the Gem levels up it becomes more powerful, just like the player. Also as the Gem becomes more powerful the level requirement as well as attribute requirement on the Gem become more steep. Below are the three different types of gems within the game.
Blue Gems usually represent Intelligence Gems.
Green Gems usually represent Dexterity Gems.
Red Gems usually represent Strength Gems.
Those are the basics of the Gem System, there is much more to learn about it but if you're just starting any more information piled on would just be confusing. Below is a picture of the Ice Spear Gem I have in PoE. This is what all of the skill gems in PoE look like. Sure, some have different text in different parts but to get started, you should know what a full picture of one appears to look like. Now, let's start taking this gem apart piece by piece and figuring out what each part means.
Alright so above is a picture of the top piece of the gem. At the very top you can see the name of the gem, Discipline. Below that it tells you what the gem does. This one is an Aura, Spell, AoE. So pretty much that means its a Spell gem which grants an AoE aura. Below that it tells you the level of the gem which is 1. As it gains experience this number will increase. Below that it tells you what this gem costs to cast or how much Mana it will 'Reserve' (aura gems only use this) to use.
One spot down it tells you the Cooldown of the Gem. This gem is 0.5 seconds which means you will need to wait 0.5 seconds inbetween each cast of it. Below that it tells you how long it will take to cast this particular spell which is 1.2 seconds. Finally the final thing below the Cast Time for the gem it tells you the level requirement and amount of what attribute it requires to use.
Below that on a gem at the very bottom it will tell you a little bit about it. Sometimes it is just flavor text but most of the time it gives you some valuable insight on the gem such as letting you know how to use it (place it into a socket) or some gems, like Support Gems let you know that it has to be 'linked' with another gem to be beneficial at all. Below is the text you will find on the bottom of a Support Gem.
There are two more things that can be found on the Gems in this game. The first thing is information letting you know what the gem does. This information can be found below this paragraph here. The top portion of it gives you information about the ability, like what it does. This part usually goes over the visual elements of it, where as the part below tells you what the item does damage wise or other-effect wise.
Aside from that the final part of the Gems you need to pay attention to is the experience bar. A picture of this can be found below. The experience bar is, as you could imagine, the most important part of the whole gem. Getting Gems levels makes you much more powerful.