If you have played Diablo 2 at all, you will be very comfortable with most of the mechanics that Blizzard is using in their new installation, Diablo 3. Blizzard decided to go a very simple route making a very predictable set of buffs that the gems provided and a straightforward progression pattern (just like they did in Diablo 2.) Although the gems are very simple, if utilized properly they can be very useful
Gems can be found randomly throughout Diablo 3. Quite a few of the lower quality levels of gems will be available but many of the highest qualities won’t be available unless you do the work to move up to those levels.
Changes from Diablo 2
There were a few changes made to the gem system since Diablo 2. Instead of the only five levels of quality there are now fourteen different levels that you have to increase your gems to. That means that gem progression will take much longer, but you can unsocket your gems from old items to upgrade them and add them to something new. The process costs money to do, and the amount fluctuates by the quality of the gem. This means that you can continue to level your gems as you go.
The number of different gem types has also been dropped from seven down to four.
Each of the different gem types offers two different bonuses, one for a helmet socket and the other for every other kind of socket. Learn the different bonuses to ensure that you always use the proper gems to meet your character’s needs.
There are four different types of gems in Diablo 3. Amethyst, Emerald, Topaz, and Ruby and each of those types have different benefits that go along with them.
When amethyst gems are placed in a helmet socket they boost the life of your character. They are ideal for PvP characters, or melee characters that are going to be getting hit a lot. Amethyst serves the same purpose in sockets in other pieces of equipment but it boosts vitality instead of purely health. Other sockets should only be filled with amethyst if you are having trouble staying alive. Otherwise they can be filled with more important gems.
Emeralds boost your chances of finding magical items when they are placed within a helmet socket, the higher quality the emerald the better chance you will have of finding a higher quality item. . They should be included in any item farming build for the best results. When placed within any other piece of equipment your precision will be boosted improving your chance of hitting your enemies. Fill equipment in with emerald’s if you are having a difficult time hitting your enemies.
When placed within a helmet rubies boost your experience gained from killing monsters. This is the obvious choice for any leveling build. When rubies are put in any other sockets they boost your attack power and should be used whenever possible.
Helmet socketed topaz gems increase the amount of gold that monsters drop when they are killed. This is a good option when you are strictly gold farming, but in most cases you will want to go with emeralds instead. When placed in any other equipment socket your armor will be boosted. Melee characters will find additional armor the most useful, but it will come in handy in PvP no matter what your class is.
For farming you should be using all rubies and emeralds. Socket your helmet with your best emeralds and the rest of your equipment with rubies. The boosted damage will help you kill large numbers of monsters quickly, and the emeralds in your helmet will improve your chances of finding better items.
While leveling you should always have your best rubies placed in your helmet. Rubies boost your experience gained and they will help you level faster. Other than that you should have as many rubies in your other slots as possible, but you should add in the other three gems when necessary. If you can’t hit your enemies throw in an emerald or two. If you are dying too fast add in some topaz or amethyst. Rubies are preferable for leveling because the enhanced attack damage will help you kill enemies faster.
For PvP you should always have amethyst gems socketed in your helmet. Amethyst is the only gem type that offers a bonus that is beneficial in PvP. Other than that you should have as many rubies as you can in your gear with amethyst and topaz wherever you need them to make up for lack of health or armor.
The progression path for gems in Diablo 3 is very simple. There aren’t any fancy recipes to follow. You simply combine a set number of the same quality and type of gems together (usually three) to move up to the next level of quality, just like in Diablo 2. To upgrade your gems bring three of the same quality to the jeweler and have them make the upgrade. There are fourteen different quality levels and progressing from chipped gems at the bottom to radiant star quality at the top is a very time consuming process that you will be working towards constantly while you are playing the game.