Gems and sockets, giving us choices that matter.

  • #1
    One feature that's gone without change leading into Reaper of Souls has been socketing and gemming. While we have seen the addition of a single new gem type things have pretty much been kept the same since the original release of Diablo III. Other than the few choices we have when deciding which gem to use in our helm or weapon (if they have sockets) there isn't much else to decide on. In every other slot we're left with only two choices, All Resistance (Diamond) or a gem type corresponding to our chosen character's primary attribute. There have been many suggestions from the community as to how the feature could be improved but most of these have been mainly asking for Diablo II style jewels and Runes. We know from interviews that the developers have experimented with adding jewels to the game but couldn't find a solution which they found adequate.

    I've been experimenting with a couple of my own suggestions to see how I could take the current bland system and rework it into something which would present us with new interesting choices. The goal was to make the system offer interesting choices while utilizing the current gems and and sockets we already have available in the current game. Before I start going through each of my ideas I would like to emphasize one important suggestion which applies to every single one, PRIMARY STATS NEED TO BE REMOVED FROM GEMS AND REPLACED WITH INTERESTING CHOICES. Choices such as the types we are presented with when gemming our helm or weapon, these should be applied to all item slots. Primary stats could be still used if needed, but instead of reading "+100 Strength" each occurrence could read "+100 Primary Stat" in order to work with all classes. I think this would go a long way in allowing the gem and socketing feature to be reworked. Keep that little suggestion in mind when going through my ideas ;)

    Legendary "Activated" Properties

    The first suggestion I came up with is probably my favorite. The idea would be to rework some legendary items or introduce new legendary items with unique properties that could only be activated by using the required amount or combination of specific gems. Activating these properties would work in a similar way current set bonuses work, except they wouldn't follow any specific order and would only require using the correct gems indicated in the item's tool tip.



    • Unique legendary properties are only activated when the gem requirement or combination is met. Requirements could be anything from 3 of the same type of gem to an odd combination of gems (1 Topaz + 2 Diamonds).
    • The requirements take into account all gems placed in sockets shared across all equipped items.
    • Multiple legendary properties on the same item can all be activated at the same time, as long as each requirement is met.
    • Different items with gem activated properties would share the same pool of equipped gems.

    Interaction Between Gems, Legendary Properties, and Skills

    This concept isn't exactly new, we already see it present in skills such as the Crusader passive below:

    Finery (Passive) - Gain 70 resistance to all elements for every different color gem socketed into your gear.
    If you have 5 different color gems socketed into your gear, you gain another 70 resistance to all elements.

    My suggestion is to bring similar ideas and properties to legendary items. Allowing our gemming choices to have a direct influence on a particular item either by modifying a skill or creating a more potent property would add so many new and much needed choices to socketing and gemming.



    • Adding legendary properties to items which either modify skills or make the properties more potent.
    • They don't necessarily need to promote stacking one single gem type, effects similar to the Crusader's Passive Finery could be used.

    Matching Gems to Sockets

    I'd like to make it clear before I jump into this suggestion that I don't think it's in any way the best solution for Diablo.This idea is direct spin off of the World of Warcraft's socketing feature. If each socket rolled with a random color corresponding to one of the already existing gem types we'd be given the choice to either gem the item to activate the socket bonus, or ignore it if we'd like to focus purely on the stats given by gems.



    • Each socket would randomly roll with a random color corresponding to one of the already existing gem types.
    • Placing a matching gem in each of the item's sockets would activate the legendary property or bonus for that item.
    • Socket colors would be generated randomly but could be enchanted or "rerolled" by the Mystic.


    How would you revamp the socket and gem feature going into Reaper of Souls? I honestly think there is a simple solution that would make this feature interesting by offering some unique choices that won't require a ton of development time. I'd love to hear some other suggestions from the community.


    Last edited by MrMonstrosity: 1/14/2014 3:08:58 PM
  • #2
    Woah! All these three ideas are awesome. Love it. +1!

    There's something about the last idea... it reminds me of another game where you had matching gems/sockets, but I absolutely can't figure out which one it was. It's strange if you get struck by a single element of nostalgia but don't know from which game it is...

    I agree that sockets should have more interesting stats. Of course, just "more" gets you into that risk that everyone just goes for this one stat and there are 9 other useless gems... but if you have to match a socket color, it could work, similar to primary+secondary stats which I think is one of the best itemization changes in RoS.
    Last edited by Bagstone: 1/14/2014 2:56:48 PM
  • #3
    First, and most important, I love all of these ideas. But mostly, I think the first idea is by far the best.

    Beyond that, I think that even with these changes, if the "bonuses" aren't good enough, people will still opt for going straight DPS gemming. Do you want a ton of STR in your chest or a ton of health? If you go for a ton of health you gain the socket bonus of magic find! This is an easy choice, the barb takes strength 8 times out of 10. Killing faster is > than MF. Sure, MF increases the chance of getting better items, but killing faster has the same effect with the added bonus of things dying faster thus hurting you less.

    I think what needs to be done first is a global nerf to how gems affect Weapons, and Armor. Reduce the armor bonuses by half, reduce the weapon bonuses to a third. After this you triple the number of sockets on weapons (1 socket transforms to 3, 2 sockets to 6) and double the sockets in armor.

    What does this accomplish? You can still socket 6 rubies and get the same affect as 3 rubies right? Sure, you can. But you can also socket 3 rubies for the strength and 3 sockets for the health and still get the MF bonus. This is most important for weapons though. 3 sockets means you can stack 2 emeralds for the all impotant crit damage increase and add an amethyst for a little LoH or a diamond for some +dmg to elites.

    What else does this accomplish though? What is the most important part of this change? 3-6 sockets in weapons and 2-6 sockets in armor opens up the future possibility for...... RUNEWORDS! Something current sockets really do not support.



    On top of this, I think all 2 handed weapon across the board should be able to roll 2 sockets in the current system to keep on par with the bonus for dual wielding. This is something that has always bugged me and it needs to be fixed.
    Last edited by phoulmouth: 1/14/2014 3:11:15 PM
  • #4
    Mr.Monstrosity, your ideas are great!

    Quote from Bagstone



    There's something about the last idea... it reminds me of another game where you had matching gems/sockets, but I absolutely can't figure out which one it was. It's strange if you get struck by a single element of nostalgia but don't know from which game it is...
    [...]


    Do you mean World of WarCraft ? :-D


  • #5


    Quote from phoulmouth


    First, and most important, I love all of these ideas. But mostly, I think the first idea is by far the best.


    I also agree my first idea has the most merit, the second one is also pretty similar but gives less options for items to be used with more than one build.
  • #6
    I just don't see the changes as being real choices. The item is telling you what to put in, there is no choice except what grade of gem to put in. Also, requiring a gimp to overall DPS to gain some bonus might not be worth it. In the example of the Phalanx item, if you put your back to a wall, you don't need any more extra Phalanx so you wouldn't see anybody putting topaz into their items with exception of the required topaz.



    The first one has some choices, but involves 3 times the work to implement/test legendary affixes on items if that's the case. I'm more in line with what Noxious had suggested and that is removing gems and making them something you apply to items with something from the blacksmith at a cost of legendary crafting material to make the idea of having sockets more permanent to an item. I'd even be more for chest/legs rolling only 1 socket as well to bring them more in line with other stats.
    Last edited by rankil: 1/14/2014 4:35:05 PM
  • #7


    Quote from rankil


    I just don't see the changes as being real choices. The item is telling you what to put in, there is no choice except what grade of gem to put in. Also, requiring a gimp to overall DPS to gain some bonus might not be worth it. In the example of the Phalanx item, if you put your back to a wall, you don't need any more extra Phalanx so you wouldn't see anybody putting topaz into their items with exception of the required topaz.



    The first one has some choices, but involves 3 times the work to implement/test legendary affixes on items if that's the case. I'm more in line with what Noxious had suggested and that is removing gems and making them something you apply to items with something from the blacksmith at a cost of legendary crafting material to make the idea of having sockets more permanent to an item. I'd even be more for chest/legs rolling only 1 socket as well to bring them more in line with other stats.


    I mentioned this in the opening paragraphs ;)

    "Before I start going through each of my ideas I would like to emphasize one important suggestion which applies to every single one, PRIMARY STATS NEED TO BE REMOVED FROM GEMS AND REPLACED WITH INTERESTING CHOICES. Choices such as the types we are presented with when gemming our helm or weapon, these should be applied to all item slots. Primary stats could be still used if needed, but instead of reading "+100 Strength" each occurrence could read "+100 Primary Stat" in order to work with all classes. I think this would go a long way in allowing the gem and socketing feature to be reworked."
  • #8
    Awesome ideas man. It's something that would require a lot of testing and balancing though.
  • #9
    The reason I see it's good to have primary stats is to give you the choice between one of three. Mainstat (DPS/EHP hybrid), Vitality (EHP) or Resist (EHP). Since there is no more double stat, this is what you get out of a socket and what the affix roll should be. The single gem should never allow you a higher number than what an item affix would roll. Helms/weapons are big offenders of this but multi-socket chest/legs are the other. Iactually see sockets rolling on rings/amulets/shields to be OK and nothing is really wrong with them.

    I talked brief about this on the incgamers podcast, but making gems doing something other than stats is really the jewel system from D2. However, the storage of all your jewels, since they'll all be unique in affix rolls and non-stackable would be an inventory nightmare and we all know the storage issues that come up with RoS, especially with BoA items taking up a lot of room. It still boils down to the primary problem is that sockets are, more or less, a required affix on items that can roll them especially if you can get more than 1 (pants/chest) or the single off-stat affix that you can get out shines everything else (weapons/helm).

    I wouldn't really mind a re-work to be +primary stat. But in some cases though, having a small level of dex to get some dodge is usually accounted for on builds and right now you cannot get enough off-stat rolls because there are no more double stat rolls to get them from. However, the values of dodge dropping considerably is a whole other issue that came with the beta. But if you're adding varied affixes, the socketing system bleeds back into the old enchanting that the Mystic was supposed to do which is something that Blizzard already moved away from.

    I really think that pulling back socket rolls on chests/legs to 1 socket a piece is more reasonable to open up getting other affix roll possibilities. Then changing up the rewards for gems in weapons and helms so that the single affix can no longer be some hog wild level of statistics.




  • #10
    Nice post as always MrMonstrosity.

    I would like to give you a +1 but it says "you cannot thank yourself"... oh well :/

    Edit: ok here we go. fixed!

    Edit 2: Maybe this would lead to an even more "need-to-have-socket-to-not-be-junk" situation... I hope Blizzard will change sockets into "innate" affixes... much like Diablo 2 plus a quest/feature to add sockets.
    Last edited by Edriel: 1/14/2014 4:56:08 PM
  • #11
    Well i like the concepts but i rather have Jewels back, not as powerful as they where in D2:LoD in some cases, but some random stats, perhaps 10% of that the current item stats are. and a random set of 1-2 per gem, and legendary ones that has a nice special effect.

    random stats could be anything from base stats to cooldown reduction to magic find to attack speed.

    and legenday gems could have skill damage or some new effect to the no rune option for skills.

    now these jewels will be permanent and one time use, except for perhaps the legendary ones. witch could cost some rare legenday material to save. ("free" to destroy from item always)

    the jewelcrafter could have a "jewel mixer" plop in 3-5 jewels and get a new random one.

    This is my 2 cents on how to make use of the sockets better. And it is taken "directly" from D2:LoD.
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