Why Sockets should be separated from other Affixes in D4

with blue i mean blizzard

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well, they talked about rare items being able to gt upgraded, but later that got turned into the Essence System, but still there is hope that something could be implemented that upgrades rares and magic items.

as it stands for now it’s just: every item becomes a legendary item

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I mean that’s an option, but it’s not an option I see happening. I mean, legendaries were said to be essentially rare items, albeit with a legendary power instead of a 5th affix (assuming that rare items can still even roll with 5 affixes instead of 4). So if rare items were made stronger naturally, then that would just transfer over to legendary items (since we’d be able to turn rare items into legendary items).

As long as there’s a way to transform rare items into legendary items, I don’t see a way of that happening, outside of sockets. For example changing a 4 socket rare armor into a legendary armor, would result in the armor losing 1-2 sockets.

I simply seeing as giving magic and rare items an additional aspect that’ll help bridge the gap of power between them and legendary and uniques, item tiers that’ll have special properties that rare and magic items will never have.

The game is not even in alpha and they are asking for feedback.

Also, currently sockets are just affixes, so they still can be turned into a separate category, and if/when that happens, they might as well have the same maximum amount on every item class.

yes, but rare and magic items can more and more power powerful affixes so they con compete with legendaries and uniques…
… maybe not in all slots, but in most.

iirc we talked about that before in another thread.

Of course, I just don’t see it happening.

I agree; sockets shouldn’t be part of an item’s affix, and should instead be it’s own category.

Without sockets, I don’t see that happening thanks to the special properties that legendary and unique items will have.

Then again, it could simply be that I’m not thinking outside the box. So if you don’t mind my asking, how would you strengthen magic and rare items to be equaled to legendary and unique items? Personally I would just use sockets (letting magic and rare items have more socket slots), so that legendary and uniques are naturally more stronger, but magic and rare items can be improved with runewords and/or gems to closely match them.

Moaaaaarrrrr poweeeeeeeer! Reeeeeeeeeeee! :kissing_heart:

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Nothing like being corrupted by having absolute power.


To be fair, seperating sockets from the affix pool is something I can get behind. But addig more sockets to items, and on belts too? That’s a bad sign of wanting more power, main stat, crit hit dmg, all res. So nope.

I could settle for rare and magic items gaining a bonus to the effectiveness of gems and runes socketed into them, like Leoric’s Crown in D3.

For Magic Items with a Cube Recipe that increases the power of their Affixes randomly between 30-100% and has a chance to add +1-2 additional Affixes from a pre-determined pool of affixes…

and for Rare Items with an Consumable Item that adds +1 random Affix (with ~2/3 of its ordinary power) to the item that the Rare currently doesn’t has and you can put up to 3 of these Consumables on a Rare Item.


Some Concept Art for Magic Item Cube Recipe to illustrate

Original Magic Item
before it was put in the cube an upgraded with that specific recipe

Possible Outcome #1 - not so good outcome
Only a ~30% increase of all Affixes, +0 additional Affixes.

Possible Outcome #2 - decent outcome
Affixes increased by low and medium amounts, +1 additional Affix.

Possible Outcome #3 - good outcome
Affixes increased by medium and higher amounts, +2 additional Affixes.

Possible Outcome #4 - really great outcome
Perfect Upgrade. All Affixes increased by 100%, +2 additional Affixes.


Some Concept Art to illustrate Rare Item Consumable

Original Rare Item

Rare Item after three Consumables were applied on it


Legendary Items for comparison


Not saying Legendaries should look like that. It is just some Concept Art I made in my free time as a hobby, but it should help to illustrate the concept of how magic and rare items can be made stronger to compete with legendaries and uniques.


I would be fine with if it would be done so that magic and rare items get stronger effects from gems and runes, like Leoric’s Crown from D3, but removing sockets from Legendaries and Uniques removes customization options, which kinda makes it feel bad or less exiting to equip a legendary or unique item imo.

But maybe there are also other way to do it.

It is all about balance.
I think that just one single socket on weapons, off-hand, chest armor, etc would be too little. That would be like that you could only have 2 active skills on your skill bar, just to make an analogy.

6 sockets is too much, I agree, but 4 sockets on armor and 2h weapons should be a very good middle ground imo. Not too much, not too little.

It is less about power but rather about more customizability.

It also depends on the power of the gems and runes that you can socket into it.

That was just an idea. Sockets seem to fit on belts imo. Certainly more than on pants, bracers, shoulder pads, boots or gloves. Think of it as sockets migrating from pants to belts.

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For you maybe, and some others. But most players will just stack more dmg on their characters, thru main stat, and crit hit dmg. It’s just how the majority of the people work.

But! There can be restrictions. So in helm slot there would be 3 slots, 6 in chest, 2 in belt, 4 in pants, and let’s say 3 in 1h wepon and 5 in 2h weapon. Now what I would do is restrict the number of gems socketable into each item. Meaning you can have only 1 of the same type in helm, belt, and weapons. Only 2 of the same in pants, and only 3 of the same in chest armor.

But I still think it’s going to be a significant power creep that’s going to be exploited, by the majority. Specialy boters.

When in the design phase, it is not really more power, in the senses of power creep. Since enemies will be balanced around it.
I mean, it is not power creep to allow players to use items in your game. It is power creep if those items keep getting patched stronger and stronger after release.

Heck, it also isnt automatically power creep to add new game features, to increase depth, post-release.
Adding the Cube in D3, or even adding stuff like the S25 gems, is not powercreep, IF monsters were buffed equally.
And as long as other parts of the class systems were also rebalanced to ensure they stayed relevant; like, if you add a system that gives the players 10000 “power”, and the 2 existing systems only give 100 “power” each (like items, skill points for example), then that new system makes the old systems irrelevant, which is also power creep. If the systems were rebalanced to give the same power, so all 3 systems remained equally meaningful, then everything would be fine.
In D3 neither happened.

And of course, another issue with more power, is if it takes away meaningful choices; if we can get 1000 skill points, and max all skills, the whole thing becomes pointless.
Runewords presumably will have a huge amount of different combinations though. Its own little itemization system basically. So being able to get 4-5 runewords doesnt seem likely to remove meaningful choices in which runewords to use.

I definitely agree that not all item slots need sockets. Also, some of them could just have 1 socket, to reduce how many runewords we can have. If a belt can have sockets, maybe it should just have 1, like rings and amulets, thus not allowing for runewords.
Although, in Cluesos example, only 4-5 item slots allows for runewords. That is not too much imo.

1 socket would be bad for sure. No runewords then. 2 sockets is minimum for that. But yeah, to make the runeword system interesting, we really need to have at least 1 item slot that can have 4 sockets.
I would also not go above 4 sockets though. At least not for runes, then runeword triggers and effects could start to be a complete mess.
Although that could be solved by having sockets only for gems, and sockets for both runes and gems. So a chest could have 4 sockets that can be used for runes or gems, and 2 sockets that only can be used for gems.

Gems likely will be the secondary choice for sockets anyway. Runes seems to be the star of the show. Gems should be balanced of course, but it seems like gems might end up playing the role of Rares, or even Magic items, vs. Runes being the Legendary/unique choice. Where you pick gems because you really need some normal affix to reach a ‘breakpoint’ (attributes, resistances etc.), while Runes are used otherwise. Which imo would be a reasonably fine balance.

I’ll admit I haven’t thought about Runes. But maybe runes are scraped. But by that it’s not realy certain, gems would work in the way they do in D3. And let’s hope they don’t. So untill we don’t know what we can put into sockets, and how socketable items would work, I would like to approach the mater again in a different way.

Yeah that unfortunately seems possible, since we have heard nothing.
If they are gone, it changes the topic completely imo. Then items dont need to have as many sockets - and sockets also dont need to be something we can always get.
The whole reason imo that sockets should not be random affixes, but something we craft to items, is exactly to ensure players always can play around with the runeword system, no matter their gear choices. Due to runewords seeming like a big and interesting game system all on its own
(same with Legendary gems in D3 obviously, which also ended up requiring those items to have sockets)

It would be cool if we could add sockets to items that can have sockets, whit the help of a blacksmith, and jeweler. Blacksmith would add sockets to wepon and armor, and jeweler to rings and ammys. If we are going to have those kind of helpers.

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In regards to Diablo 3 that might be the case, but if you design certain challenges in a way that you need a certain amount of toughness and sustain, then they will put other things in it.

But also by far not all players are Spike Players, aka players that just play to win / to be efficient, see the link below:


That is very similar to what I suggested im my original post:

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

It is not powercreep if the game releases with it from the beginning and also depends on the balance.

Yeah, I agree. Anything beyond 4 would be and feel too much.

Which I why think that to compensate for 1handed weapon + offhand having 6 sockets in total, while 2handed weapons only having 4, two handed weapons should get an innate bonus that increases the effectiveness of gems and runes you socket into them by 50%.

4 * 1.5 = 6

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By most players you mean people stuck in the D3 paradigm where gear is just dripping with massively multiplicative modifiers that are mathematically irreplaceable, are designed to be stacked, and there is no actual mechanical depth to the game since everything is fundamentally a function of %weapon damage?

There are dozens of iterations of socket itemization in the history of this genre many of which have never simply functioned as a slot for more stats. The real issue is whether Blizzard is willing or even capable of designing a game where design like this is possible and so far the outlook isn’t good.

Yupp I allready changes my mind about this. Untill we know more about socketables, I’ll leave the powercreep arguement out of this thread.

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I don’t really see the necessity of separating sockets from affixes. I understand that the situation in Diablo 3 is really bad. Every weapon wants a socket. Every chest wants 3, every pants 2. Since legendary gems… its even worse than it was. It was a terrible job balancing gems with item affixes. Part of it is gems scale too much, part of it is just shallow itemization… only wanting a few stats.

Diablo 2 wasn’t like that at all. I think it struck a really good balance. I don’t see any reason why it should change much from that formula.

I’ve played a lot of a Grim Dawn, and I got to say the augment + gem feature on every item really just becomes tedious after a while. Yeah I felt like I could customize my character a bit but the whole process of every item having to be socketed or enchanted is not something I actually want in my ARPG games.


I see that’s certainly interesting, and I actually liked the idea. But how would that work with the occultist being able to upgrade rare items into legendaries? That’s pretty much my earlier point, so long as the occultist can upgrade rares into legendaries, we have a situation where dropped magic, rare, and legendary items fall short in comparison to rare items turned legendary (due to the item having both the rare items enhancements + legendary power).

Of course, there could be ways to handle it, such as making that any magic and rare item that was enhanced by cube upgrade or gained affix consumables respectively, would no longer be applicable to the occultist, and thus can no longer be transformed into a legendary item. If that were done, then I don’t see much issue with your idea for having all item rarity tiers share the same number of potential sockets… well except for maybe uniques.

One way I suppose could be something akin to:

So for example if I were to use one of your magic items as an example:

Underneath the Bonus Affixes, there could be two additional affixes that read:

  • Fire skills cost 15% less resource for 5 seconds after a rune effect is activated.
  • Non-fire attacks gain 15% additional damage as fire for 15 seconds after 2 different rune effects are activated within 20 seconds.

On the other hand rare items would have 3 of these rune based bonus abilities (just to a lesser amount than the magic tier items).

If any of the items were upgraded into a legendary item by the occultist, then the rune based affixes would be disabled or removed.