Is there a way to consistently get weapons and armors with gem slots? Blacksmithing is a no go, and it's just been random so far. Can you somehow "make" or "put" empty slots into armor/weapon? For example I really want a dagger with 1 weapon 2 utility but I haven't found it yet.
Yeah. Currently the gems I make from pristine shards are far far better than blacksmithing because I can go a full crit build with same armor which is really powerful. But to be fair, I'm not at the level where I can craft with gems yet, but gems & slots are probably way more powerful middle game. So I'm probably lucky to get armor with 3 slots to drop, but so far I haven't had dagger with 3 slots or chakram with 2 slots drop yet.
Some shops will carry ONE copy of most of the items with the perfect configuration: weapons with one weapon and two utility slots, and armor pieces with one armor and two utility slots.
I found all weapons in shops like that except for the prismere hammer. I haven't found one with three slots yet. And I think I also found hexweave robes with four slots in a shop, but I'm not sure. The rest of my slotted armor pieces (top tier) was found as loot.
On an unrelated note, in the very last section of the map, there's a castle opposite the Court of Winter. A quest there will give you the option of choosing among three weapons: longsword, daggers or staff. If you choose the staff, it comes with a weapon slot, and it's the only staff in the game with this configuration. If you craft one, you can only choose a utility slot.
Edit: You didn't ask, but I put +20% damage during day/night on all my utility slots and it made everything much more awesome.