Blizzard Confirms No NPC Item Socketing

Some fans on who don’t know enough to read this site for the news were wondering what level they had to get the DiabloWikiJeweler up to in order to enable item socketing. As we covered yesterday, that’s no longer a feature in the game, and you’ve got to rely on finding items with sockets, rather than being able to stick them into everything.

If you wanted the official Bliz PR reason for the change, Zarhym hopped along to provide it.

DiabloWikiArtisans cannot add sockets to items. That information about the jeweler in the game guide of our website is erroneous and we’re in the process of updating it.

Socketing was a feature that was in the game very early on, but ultimately it didn’t end up enhancing the play experience as we had hoped. Instead it just kind of felt like a chore. It’s a really good feeling to see an upgrade drop, equip it, and keep moving on. When adding sockets to items was inserted into that equation, it made it feel mandatory to return to town every time an upgrade dropped to pull the gem from your current item, add a socket to the new one, and carry your gem forward. There’s already a little bit of this in Diablo III with gems, but the fact that you can make a choice in most situations on whether or not to use a socketed item makes a big difference. As another consequence, the ability to add sockets made the random rolling of a socket as an item affix feel kind of crappy. And given the way items and stats are generated in this game anyway–you’ll virtually never get the same item with the same stats twice–we don’t currently feel there’s a major lack of customization depth.

Adding complexity to systems isn’t a problem for us, but it has to enhance the gameplay, not add to it an element of tedium just for the sake of intricacy. Ultimately this is why adding sockets was pulled. Now, if we feel down the road that the item game needs some new flair, we’ll absolutely consider additional customization features (such as DiabloWikienchanting or DiabloWikisocketing). But we have to make sure they’re designed in such a way that the game is enriched through the added complexity, without creating a convoluted item system that detracts from the initial excitement you feel when you get an epic new weapon or piece of gear.

That last paragraph sure a LOT of words to say, “we’re saving it for the expansion.”

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13 thoughts on “Blizzard Confirms No NPC Item Socketing

      • that video was not spam the guy was sharing a video plus he even commented if you like diablo or any game youtube gives everyone the right to share you need to give people a break p.s i like this game now i bet you will report me for spam because im being honest 

  1.   Geez, at the end, everything is a chore. Why not package a pacifier with the Diablo 3 CE? Either Blizzard thinks it’s customers are total idiots, or this game is well on it’s way to be consolized.

    • Disagree. If socketing would be as readily available as unsocketing, everyone would be socketing every item – and that is not at end-game, that’s while leveling. And, yes, a mandatory process of transplanting gems into any upgrade is not fun.

      • Definitely agree with you on this. Unlimited ability to enchant/socket any item would have been a really poor design choice. It’s one of the things I really didn’t like about Torchlight. It’s such an easy way to boost your items, that it becomes mandatory, and once it’s mandatory it’s something they have to balance for. I think D2 handled this really well with the enchant/socket quest rewards. You could only do it a limited number of times per character, so choose wisely. Yeah, you could rush a new character for their quest rewards, but that introduces enough of an obstacle to still keep it an end-game-only, choose-wisely thing. Glad Blizz went this direction, and I hope that if they add it in the expansion it’s well thought out.

    • Yep, this mentality of D3 dev team killed what could have potentially been a very perfect sequel to D2.

  2. Derp.
    Thanks Bliz.
    Not mad, don’t care but damn. Digging the game so far but man they really pulled a lot of the little things that made D2 so… yeah.

  3. Pity… I would have loved to socket my Magefists, and they would certainly have lasted longer if I could have :/ Just ditched em for a much better blue item, sigh 🙁

  4. I’m routinely finding magic or rare items that aren’t quite as good as what I was already wearing, but if they had a socket I could stick a gem in it to make up for it. Instead I end up salvaging them.

    I really feel like a massive trash compactor: going through sanctuary sucking up all the items and scrapping 98/100 of them.

      • Where did I mention the “old days” or D2 at all?

        I was merely saying that a socketing option in D3 would make a lot more of the items I find actually usable. 

        Also, if you want to compare to D2: In D3 I pick up all the blue items to salvage them for material or (at this point) to sell for gold, two things that I am in short supply of. In D2 it was never worth picking up anything that wasn’t rare or better once you got to this stage of your character’s development.

  5. While I did not mention socketing 🙂 

    I meant that it was, and is, fine and intended to discard lots and lots of items. Remember when Blizzard went back to Str/Dex from Attack/Precision because it made too many items suitable for everyone?

    I kind of miss the point of your comparison of item pickup… We still do not pick up white items (I do, but I try to stop “selling arrows” 🙂 ), because it is inefficient. As we did not pick up non-35k items in D2 when we needed gold.

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