Why Sockets should be separated from other Affixes in D4


If sockets are separated from other affixes, it would not take away affixes from from the item, which means more affixes that can spawn on an item.

Imo all items should also be able to get the maximum amount of sockets possible on their item type. Whether be that via crafting, an artisan or that they by default drop with their maximum amount of sockets, regardless of item class (white, magic, rare, legendary, unique all could have the same maximum amount of sockets).

This adds even more customizability.


Just throwing some ideas around here for how many sockets could be appropriate for each item slot:

  • Helmets: 3 Sockets max
  • Chest Armor: 4 Sockets max
  • Belt: 2 Sockets max
  • 1h Weapon: 3 Sockets max
  • 2h Weapon: 4 Sockets max + 50% increased Power of Gems in that item
  • Shield & Off-Hand: 3 Sockets max
  • Rings & Amulets: 1 Socket max

… for all item classes (white, magic, rare, legendary, unique).

Yes, to optimize your char there will only be one “right” way to sockets them correctly, but not everyone plays to win. Some people may prefer to play with higher attack speed, even if it is not the best thing to do, or some people may just like to play a char with high Crushing Blow, etc.

If necessary, only one gem or rune of the same type c(or maybe two) an be sockets into an item, both for balance reason and to encourage customizing the item.

Customization is fun, and that is why I plead for sockets being separated from other affixes and having more sockets on items. D2 mods like Median XL already have this feature.


For those who wonder how fun the theorycrafting and the customizing of such white, magic, rare, legendary and unique items in D4 could be, I recommend to have a look at this video where a YouTuber is customizing the D2 Unique Axe Rune Master.

Video starts at the theory-crafting and customizing part.


too much but that’s just a personal opinion
i think that it’s more interesting to decide whether you want to have an item with a lot of affixes or not. too many affixes would probably also overwhelm casuals but that’s not really my personal issue. just potentially blizzards xD

I think it is similar with skill slots on the hotbar. There can be too much and there can be too little.

1-2 sockets on weapons and chest armor is too little, and 6 (on all item classes) would be too much, but 3-4 is (at least for me) the sweetspot.

For me that is like the decision between either more inventory space or more power via charms. That is not a good decision to make because you let two unrelated systems compete with each other.

With sockets vs affixes it is similar. Yes, they both offer power and are somewhat related, but they are still two different systems of customization that compete with each other, therefore taking away customization.

You still had to make choices within these two systems, aka there would be competition within them (which affixes to take, which gems or runes to take), so you still had to make choices.

yea its not because its power vs. convenience but sockets are basically affixes=power
they are simply another kind of affixes, just like normal and legendary affixes of which i also think you should have to make the decision for every single item slot which you want to have in there and not turn every single item into a legendary item with also a bunch of normal affixes in the end of the day

power vs. convenience =/= different ways of power vs. eachother

One or two sockets is more than sufficient if the gems/runes that go in there are powerful enough to make it worthwhile, but then, sockets should be even more “rare” to naturally roll… they should be available to add.

That is what I am saying, they are power VS power, however they are two very different kinds of power. One allows you to customize your playstyle, while the other allows less customization or even non (in the case of unique items, which have predetermined affixes).

And since customization is fun and it still would be within a certain degree of limitation (aka only 3-4 sockets in weapon & chest armor, less for other items), you still had to make meaningful decisions.

It depends on the power of the gems and runes.

To make an analogy, instead of e.g 13 item slots, there could only be 2 or 3 item slots, like weapon, off-hand and (chest) armor. You could condense all of power of the 13 item slots into 2-3, however, would that be more exciting than having 10-13 equipment slots? I would definitely say ‘No’ and it is similar with sockets.

I’d rather be able to put 3-4 gems/runes of medium power into a weapon than 1-2 very powerful gems/runes. Why? Because it allows for more customization. but I agree that anything beyond 4 sockets is too much.

Are you saying that sockets should be an affix that rarely rolls, or are you saying that they should be able to be added e.g. via a cube recipe or an artisan (in addition to the other affixes)?


I said what I said. I don’t have to make sure you understand it.

well yea they are obviously different systems just like legendary and normal affixes and i personally just think that it would be too much to choose a legendary, a unique, 6 normal affixes and 4 socket affixes for every single item piece
i think it’s more fun to decide where you wanna put which kind of affixes
there is plenty of space for all of it and it would make characters/builds more unique and different to eachother

Completely agreed. Best way to handle sockets.
As much as I like tradeoffs and hard decisions, not all systems need to be tradeoffs of each other. Like I should not have less skill points because I chose to wear a helmet. Skills and items are separate systems.
Items (and their affixes) and runewords (and thus sockets) should likewise be separate systems.

Make it have an increasing cost for each socket added. Adding a 4th socket to a chest might be a very expensive endgame goal, while adding 2 sockets would be reasonably cheap, allowing for smaller runewords early on, but opening up more options later.

Sounds very reasonable.

Although I’d have the number of sockets scale somewhat with rarity. With Uniques having the fewest, and rares/magic the most. Like, rare chest 4 sockets, legendary chest 3 sockets, unique chest 2 sockets. That loss of power on legendaries and uniques should of course then be added as more power in the legendary/unique effects, so they remain balanced.

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I want to wear more than 2 rings.
And my follower she likes rings too. And I want her to wear toe rings as well.

Yeah, that sounds fine. That is something I am totally okay with and it is also the system I would prefer.

But why?

It just takes away customization.

Uniques, rares and magic items still can be on similar power levels even if they have the same amount of sockets.

For me personally, it would feel exactly like the kind of trade-off you mentioned that don’t feel good (like the example you gave of "wearing a helm = less skill points).

Every single equipment slot would ofc not have 4 sockets, so I agree with what you are saying. I think that only 2handed weapons and chest armors should have 4 sockets.

Rings & Amulets = 1, 1h weapons & shields and off-hands could have 3, helm maybe 3 and belt also only 2. All other equipment slots should imo have 0 sockets.

The numbers can be tweaked ofc, but not all equipment slots should have sockets.

Tbf, as powerful as legendaries and unique items are set to be in comparison to rare and magic items; having them with fewer socket options helps keep the power between the two sets of rarities more evenly matched. On the other hand, if they have the same number of sockets, legendaries and uniques would most likely be the go-to option for most builds due to their legendary/unique powers. Of course, that’s not much of an issue if legendary and unique items are supposed to be the endgame goal. However, if the intent is to make most of the item rarities viable for endgame builds, then expanding the socket amount for magic and rares, while lessening the amount for legendary and unique is one such option.

It isnt a big issue for me, so if they were balanced properly without different socket numbers, it would be fine. I just very much doubt Blizzard will handle that balancing well, so adding some extra power to rares would help a bit.

Rares/legendaries/uniques already have that trade-off build in by default. They are all one system, competing for the same item slots. Wearing a unique helmet prevents you from wearing a rare helmet, and both of these come with different strengths and weaknesses.
As long as uniques still have sockets that allows for runewords, no matter what gear you use, runewords will be available to play with, which is the important part imo; that we dont have to choose between using runewords or not using them. All builds should use runewords. Just like all builds use items, or skills. We are not choosing to use one system instead of another.
But, how strong our runewords can become? Seems totally fine that is adjusted by our gear choices. Just like our skill power is also adjusted by gear choices.

Wouldnt necessarily have to be the amount of sockets that was adjustable. Could also be that runes/gems in a blue or rare items had their effects strengthened. Though one issue with that is; not all rune effects might be (or should be) scalable by %

Yeah, that is the main reason for me.

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I suppose another possibility could be that rare and magic items have a chance to roll with special affixes (something similar to the old angelic/ancestral/demonic affix system) that are only activated for a duration whenever a runeword effect is activated. Although, I’m not too keen on that one.

thats a thought i had earlier thinking about this post
as for right now if they decided to only let people add sockets to magic and rare items, itemization could at least be balanced HAHAHAH XD

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

But why not instead make rare and magic items more powerful so they can match uniques and legendaries, instead of taking away customization from legendaries and uniques?

I would argue that in this context “less customization” = “less fun”.

Maybe there could be a way to make magic and rare items more powerful, like a (eventually expensive) crafting recipe that adds additional power to them.

But if there would be a way to increase the power of rare and magic items to more closely match the power of legendaries and uniques, a way that could not be done on legendaries and uniques, then this would also keep them in balance.

It is one option, yes, but I would say that it is not necessarily one I would prefer, since it take away too much customizability.

I agree that adding more power to magic and rare items is the way to go, but the question is how to do this. Removing sockets from legendaries and uniques, or adding more sockets to rare and magic items is not a way I would prefer, because it would feel like taking away too much customizability from legendaries and uniques.

Yeah, that already sounds much better.

They also already have that affix in D4 that states “x% increased Effectiveness of Gems and Runes socketed in this item”, or something like that. It was shown in one of the earlier quarterly updates on an example item.

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Some people here are really obsessed with sockets affix too much. :roll_eyes: :roll_eyes:

you could but blue seems unable or unwilling to do so
right now we are only hoping for a blind shot

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what do you mean by ‘blue’ in this context?

blue = magic item?
or blue = developers?

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