Gems may be placed by anyone into a socketed item via a drag-and-drop interface, invoked by shift-right-clicking the weapon or piece of armor you want socketed. Sockets are separated into 4 types:
- Blue Sockets -
- Red Sockets -
- Yellow Sockets -
- Prismatic Sockets - these appear when you add certain items, such as an Eternal Belt Buckle
- Meta Sockets -
Any colored gem may fit into a socket of any color, but matching the colors activates a bonus on the item. Primary-color gems — red, yellow, and blue — will only match into the specific sockets for their color. Secondary-color gems — green, orange, and purple — will match into either of the two slots that correspond to their color. (For example, an orange gem will match a red or yellow slot for the bonus.) Meta sockets can hold much more powerful gems, and are rarer. Currently, only head items may have a single meta socket. Meta gems also have a requirement that a certain number of each color gem must be present for the gem's bonus to activate, so the player may have to abandon an item's bonus to gain the meta gem's bonus. Multi-color gems count for both the colors, so "two red and one yellow" can be satisfied by a red and an orange gem. Meta gems only fit in meta slots, unlike the colored gems.
There is no way to remove a gem once it has been placed into a socket. You can place another gem in the same socket, but doing so will destroy the existing gem (much like overwriting enchants).
Sockets were introduced in the Burning Crusade expansion and modeled after a similar concept in Diablo II. Unlike Diablo II, however, gems inserted into sockets in World of Warcraft can be replaced. (UPDATE: it is possible to empty sockets in Diablo II since version 1.10 by following a formula for the Horadric Cube.) The rune word system, which added additional bonuses if a particular set of runes was inserted in a particular order, have also not been replicated in WoW — special combinations of gems do not confer any bonuses except the item's pre-defined socket bonus.
A blacksmith can make a Eternal Belt Buckle, which can be used by anyone, to add a "prismatic" socket to their belts.
See also Edit
- ↑ Horadric Cube Formula for Removing Gems, Runes and Jewels from Sockets
- ↑ BlizzCast Episode 4: INTERVIEW 2 with Jon LeCraft
- ↑ Gear Socketing tab of Blacksmithing