As we all know, emeralds are top tier gems because of 100% critical damage. The prices for gem designs show this perfectly. All other gems are useless for weapon sockets because of their lackluster stats.
This is how it should be:
Emerald : as is.
Topaz : attack speed. Radiant star topaz increases AS by 15%. Each gem tier increases AS by 1%
Ruby : critical chance. Radiant star ruby increases critical chance by 10%. No more OP leveling rubies. More viable late game rubies.
Amethyst : life on hit. It is nice option but it should be buffed. Radiant star amethyst should give 900 life on hit.
The design philosophy of these changes is that every gem type provides max roll of specific affix. If an item lacks something, a gem can make it better. It promotes item diversity and build variety. If you already have great crit damage, you will want to increase crit chance by a gem. If you have crit dmg and chance, you may want increased AS from a gem.mfinally, if you need survivability, you want to take amethyst for great life on hit benefits.
I believe that With these changes, the itemization and gem viability would be upgraded to a new level.
Just for easy reference, here are what the gems provide at their highest crafted level:
Radiant Star Emerald
helm - 31% extra gold from monsters
weapon - critical hit damage increased by 100%
other - +58 dexterity
Radiant Star Topaz
helm - 31% better chance of finding magical items
weapon - melee attackers take 1800 damage per hit
other - +58 intelligence
Radiant Star Ruby
helm - increase bonus experience by 31%
weapon - +20 to minimum and maximum damage
other - +58 strength
Radiant Star Amethyst
helm - +18% life
weapon - each hit adds +600 life
other - +58 vitality
With that out of the way, I am intrigued by the changes you suggest. The more I think about, the more I like the idea of switching Ruby to Critical Chance bonus from Experience bonus (when socketed into Helm-slot armor). It certainly feels as though it would add more choice to game-play.
I am not so certain about making Topaz into an attack speed bonus that reaches so high - though I do understand how you arrived at 15%. Then again, considering the other gems' current bonuses in the Weapon slot... maybe not so over-powered after all.
Once you get the feedback you are looking for from this forum, please consider posting this over at the official D3 forums. I will definitely vote it up there, too.
Thank you for support, Medea. I believe that weapon sockets should be used for offense and life on hit only and helm sockets for utility. I'm thinking about changing helm bonuses as well because all gems except for th amethyst will be obsolete the more paragon levels you have. Right now ruby in helm is no brainer and it definitely shouldn't be that way.
I use the amethyst in my helm, although it's slower leveling it reduces the amount of deaths in act 3 to zero. Without it I may die 5-10 times depending on luck with champ packs and those fallen lunatics or whatever they are called. I definitely agree with the weapon affects though, it would be nice to see something other than emeralds viable.
I like the idea of making every gem unique not just the emerald, and your solution seems to be spot on. I can't help but think this will ultimately make a socket in your weapon a necessity though. Maybe its time we have a way of adding sockets to items instead of leaving it up to luck.
"How can we make this item better?"
>Add a gem!
"There's no sockets"
>Oh, well you can't then
Thorns (the current Topaz bonus to weapons) is a sort of defensive/offensive affix, so something that fits that theme would be nice. Attackspeed helps with LoH and kiting, so I think it's a pretty decent choice.
Although I believe maybe changing it completely into a defensive affix could be more interesting (like adding resists, anywhere from 20-70). Rubies on weapons are a joke. A non-crit build with absurd intel simply cannot compete with crit chance/dmg dps-wise, which is why Rubies on weapons will probably never be used (plain dmg vs crit dmg + versatility on builds).
Not that the gem system in D3 is broken (not nearly as much as D2's at least), but your ideas are interesting. They might require actual testing before implementation, though.
I like this idea actually, and I usually don't like ideas.
I would even love to see it taken a step further and have shields(and possible OHs) with their own gem affixes. Thorns would fit perfectly into it for Topaz and things like chilling on hit, increased armor, increased block chance, or increased AllRes on a gem would be greatly welcomed as a buffer if you can't find or afford a piece of armor with perfect stat rolls.
once i came up with the idea of GEM Mixology, so you could pull up those stats by mixing gems in the jeweler (wich is a pretty expensive tool) and they should get better gems drop just like in D2 were we had better drops and more diversity
Red should be changed to % Damage from static damage. That should fix the issues it has with high end weapons. Because just boosting the numbers to be good on 60 would make devastatingly great gems for leveling...
Also, i dont believe changing the helm effects to be good. Right now its a nice balance: XP, MF, GF, all three not affecting your numbers. If suddenly Red went from XP to Crit chance, it would have even worse balance than right now.
The OP makes a well-argued case. I think it would be hard to argue against these claims:
The weapon-socket stats on the different gem colours are not balanced.
Emerald and Amethyst are highly desirable stats, but Emerald is simply bigger numbers, compared to what you can get on gear.
Rubies are a mess, far more powerful than the alternatives at low levels, far less powerful at top levels.
Topaz is just wrong, Thorns is not appropriate for a weapon, and it's not something that anyone finds particularly desirable, period.
Attack Speed seems like a sensible alternative for Topaz, the only concern would be that Blizzard already nerfed it once due to being overpowered when stacked, they might not want to add another source of it.
Crit Chance seems 100% good for Rubies - it would scale appropriately with gear, and also, given how important it is to balance crit chance and crit damage, it makes sense to have gem options for both of them.