This post was published long before the Mists of Pandara Expansion.
The tips and techniques explained here may be outdated.

When to break socket bonus

Gems call to me mightily. My inner OCD REALLY wants to match the socket to get the bonus. It’s like winning a little mini-game. BUT my inner mathematician knows that sometimes (most of the time) it’s better to say “Damn the Torpedoes” and just jam a red gem in everything. Sokay. Here’s the proof.

If you start with a pawn scale (NOTE: THIS SCALE IS FOR DISCUSSION ONLY! IT’S POSSIBLY VALID -RIGHT NOW- BUT WILL PROBABLY BE INVALID AS SOON AS 4.0.6 DROPS)(Also note: I’ve used my Affliction scale for this.. but if you swapped this out you could use any scale for any class/spec to figure out your optimal gemming methodology)

This is copied directly from Elitist Jerks for pre-raiding gear.
Warlock_Affliction_PreRaid Int=2.9937 SP=2.4187 Haste=1.2767 Crit=0.9617 Mastery=0.9037 Sta=0.0262

Int is worth the most. So the “best” gem available currently is the Brilliant Inferno Ruby At +40 int, that gem is worth [40 int * 2.9937 scale value = 119.748 Pseudo Points(PP)] and matches a red socket.

If we are looking to match a yellow socket then our best bet is the Reckless Ember Topaz(85.408 PP)

If we are looking to match a blue socket then our best bet is the Timeless Demonseye(60.66 PP)

My gemming methodology:
If you can’t reach hit cap through gear selection, and reforging then gem for hit. Rigid Ocean Sapphire or Lightning Dream Emerald or Veiled Demonseye.
If the socket bonus is +hit then match the socket if you need that additional hit.

Match sockets to activate your meta gem (with the new ones it’s dead easy).

After that…
… if you have a yellow socket.. and you gem a Reckless Ember Topaz instead of a Brilliant Inferno Ruby you are losing out on 34.34 PP. In order for the socket bonus to make this up the socket bonus needs to be at least 12 int (34.34 PP/2.9937 scale value) or 14 spellpower or 27 Haste or 36 Crit or 38 Mastery.
… if you have a blue socket.. and you getm a Timeless Demonseye instead of a Brilliant Inferno Ruby you are losing out on 59.088 PP. In order for the socket bonus to make this up the socket bonus needs to be at least 20 int or 25 spellpower or 47 haste or 62 crit or 66 mastery.

If an item has more then one gem then make sure the value gained in matching the sockets is more than would be gained by just jamming reds.

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4 comments to When to break socket bonus

  • Roose

    You say deadly easy to activate you Meta… What Meta are you using??

    Mine says more Blue than Red gems to activate. I am finding that the Purple (Red/Blue) Gems count as both Red and Blue Gems in the total and is a pain to track how many reds and blues. So it is hard to just pound Reds in sockets.

    Meta- Chaotic Shadow Spirit Diamond is what I am using.

    Roose

  • Nibuca

    Ahh, good point.

    Ok.. the best meta right now is the Chaotic Shadowspirit Diamond. It should be your first choice.. but it has a crappy activation (more blue than red). When gemming I decided that was crap and gemmed Ember Shadowspirit Diamond(requires at least two yellow gems) instead. The 2% mana was crap.. but it in my opinion it was the best option between two bad options.

    With patch 4.0.6 the activation for Chaotic Shadowspirit is changing to “at least three red gems” which is sweet and all.. but then they went and added the Burning Shadowspirit Diamond +54 int and 3% crit damage which will be my new true love(you know, as soon as someone on the server discovers the recipe). The new one will also have an activation of “at least three red gems”.

    And, as others have mentioned.. asking DPS to gem red is like asking a starving man to eat.

  • Roose

    If I had more energy I would look into the numbers and see what is better. To do more blue or switch Meta gems. I am geming hit like mad so for the most part there is no red gems in a lot of sockets. Using mixed color gems.

    • Josh

      Purple gems like the Veiled Demonseye count as blue and red, which is why that meta bonus is such a pain.