Refining gear in Forsaken World is the primary way to enhance the power of your equipment, as well as your character as a whole. Refining takes place at the town blacksmith, and requires you to have some specific items to begin.
First, you need to have refining crystals known as Star Shards. Star Shards come in various grades, with lower grades used to refine lower level items, while higher grades for higher level items. You can obtain star shards by killing monsters, completing quests, events and dungeons, or by purchasing them out of the Eyrda Boutique.
You can use up to eight Star Shards per refining attempt. The more Star Shards you use, the better your percentage of success will be. If you succeed a refining attempt, your item will gain a level of refine level, which will boost its base stats. Additionally, every 3rd refining level will unlock a gem socket. The maximum refining level is +12.
Failing to refine an item will have no penalty on your item besides the loss of the refining materials. Your item will not break, disappear, or degrade in fortification level upon failing.
Sockets can be used to place stat altering gems into your gear. The higher level gem, the more of a bonus it will grant you. Additionally, these gems will all contribute toward a total "color rating", which maxes out at 300. At 100, 200, and 280 color, you will unlock increasingly extravagant wings that allow your character to show off his power. These wings are cosmetic, and don't give you any statistical bonus.
To embed a gem, visit the Blacksmith in freedom harbor. Select the embed option, and the gem and gear you want to combine. Place both items in the window, and then select "ok". The gem will socket in, and you will gain any benefits from the gem at that point.