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    LGem usage pie chart.

    LGem usage pie chart.

    Along with Ancient Items and a bunch of new legendary items/affixes, at Blizzcon the devs revealed two new legendary gems, coming soon in Patch 2.12. Both gems are purely legendary, adding big bonuses to damage reduction/resistance and to regen/damage absorption, and are a direct result of the fact that the current defensive Legendary Gems (DiabloWikiInvigorating Gemstone and DiabloWikiMoratorium) are the least used of all LGems.

    Are the two new LGs good enough to earn a spot in your gear? The most used gems now are the ones that buff offensive talents, with even #1 fan fave Boon of the Hoarder in the lowest third of use. The (sadly blurry) photo to the right is one I took at the Blizzcon panel, showing the actual usage rate of the Legendary Gems in the game today, which shows that it’s not just a perception that everyone uses offensive gems… it’s a reality.

    This isn’t just players being greedy for faster killing (though I’m sure it is somewhat about that), it’s a reflection of how it’s best/smartest to play the game. Toughness and defensive abilities are useful, especially in Hardcore, but faster killing speed/higher DPS is more useful, especially in Softcore. This issue only grows more acute in higher Greater Rifts, since a player can go with insufficient toughness, play smart, move around a lot, and survive. And triumph! It’s much harder to do the same with extra toughness and less DPS, since you just won’t kill fast enough to complete the GRift within the time limit.

    A fan who shares this opinion posted an interesting suggestion; that a new LGem be introduced with big defensive bonuses… but ones that tie into a special offensive bonus as well.

    Everyone knows purely defensive gems are unattractive. Though they give more survivability, being able to take more hits doesn’t translate into killing more efficiently or faster, which, as we have seen, in Greater Rifts at least, far more important. To that effect, this is my proposal:

  • Gain 30% non physical damage reduction, increasing as your health drops, up to a maximum of 75% when your health drops to 50% or less.
  • Level 25: Increase non-physical damage by 10%, increasing as your health drops, up to a maximum of 25% when your health drops to 50% or less
  • This gives the gem an attractive Risk Reward mechanism where you get stronger as your health drops and you’ll want to remain steadily at a weakened state to take advantage of your increased resistance and damage.
    Tyvalir: The new Legendary Gems are a work in progress, and the numbers you saw during our BlizzCon panels will likely change over time as players test them on the PTR server, and as we continue collecting feedback from the community.

    It’s great to hear your early insights into one of them, though. I’ll be interested to see what new insights you have once you’ve sampled its powers on the PTR! 🙂

    It’s an interesting idea, I think. I don’t suggest that a single LGem should have great defense AND big offense, since that would take away the whole point of having to make gear decisions. But the fan’s suggestion is an interesting combination, with big bonuses to O and to D but only when your character is low on hit points, which brings an inherent risk to the procedings. And imagine pairing it with Esoteric Alteration? That’s one of the two new Defensive Legendary Gems, as seen below.

    New Legendary Gems

    New Legendary Gems

    Do you guys think these new ones are good enough to move up the usage rate? And the more general question… can any defensive LGems ever be amongst the most popular? Do players even want them to be? I think it’s just inherently more fun to add new offensive effects to your character than new defensive ones, because shiny. Maybe if some defensive properties triggered visuals as well?

    How do you feel about defensive bonuses from Legendary Gems?

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    I don’t think any defensive property less than “full immunity to everything and a sparklepony transmog” would ever be #1 in burn rate, and probably not even then. But the devs clearly want to give us a bit more of a decision about whether to gear for the O or the D, which seems smart. Also note that we’ll probably see changes (buffs) to some of the existing LGems in the next patch. The devs keep referring to the current Legendary Gems as the “first pass” on the system, and with several gems under 5% usage rate, buffs seem inevitable.

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