No More NPC Item Socketing in Diablo 3?

The abilities of the various NPC DiabloWikiArtisans evolved quite a bit during Diablo III’s development. When the Artisans were first introduced, their abilities were quite different than what we see in the game today. To bulletpoint the info from the original DiabloWikiArtisan FAQ, released in August 2010:

  • The DiabloWikiblacksmith crafts weapons and armor, and can add DiabloWikisockets to some items.
  • The DiabloWikimystic creates scrolls, potions, magical weapons, spell runes, and charms, and can also enchant items.
  • The DiabloWikijeweler crafts DiabloWikigems, amulets, and rings. The jeweler can also remove gems from socketed items and can combine gems to improve their quality.
  • It would take a whole news post just to explain all the changes there. Briefly; the Mystic is gone, skill rune items are gone, enchants are gone, there are no more ring or amulet crafting recipes, and as players are just realizing… there’s doesn’t seem to be any more item socketing either.

    As you can see in that quote, the Blacksmith originally added sockets, while the Jeweler removed gems from sockets. Eventually the ability to socket was transferred to the Jeweler after he lost his jewelry crafting recipes, but shortly before release Risingred unearthed the final game version of the Jeweler’s interface, and noticed that his tab for socketing items was gone.

    Players wondered if that was some temporary thing, or maybe it was an ability earned by leveling up the Jeweler. Turns out that’s not the case, as players have leveled that NPC all the way to max level 10, and his interface remains just the same. See the thumb of it below at level 10 for proof.

    This seems to be an undocumented feature and a recent change, as the official site still lists Socketing Items as one of the Jeweler’s 3 abilities. Assuming this isn’t just a bug, which seems very unlikely, it looks like the developers wanted to make socketed items more rare and special by removing the ability for players to create them? Likely this is another of the advanced item features, such as the Talisman, Charms, crafting jewelery, the Mystic’s Enchants, and others that were all removed during development in order to simplify the item mechanics in DiabloWikiD3C, while saving more complexity of features for DiabloWikiD3X and DiabloWikiD3Y.

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    23 thoughts on “No More NPC Item Socketing in Diablo 3?

    1. Considering that Socket is an affix, adding 1 affix to every item would be OP imho.

    2. Spend forever to get level 14 gem and you can’t even use it ; sounds like they nailed the late game as expected

    3. I think you now get sockets as random affixes when crafting. That’s how I got my first socket, anyway.

    4. I was kinda wondering about that too, where is the ability to add sockets to you items. Since socketing was supposed to be the way to customize your char by means of gems, but here we are, no socketing on items, we have to HOPE we get socket-able piece of equipment. This is kinda one of the first bigger letdowns.

      • Lots of rares/legendaries have sockets, whats the problem with it? You just need to find them

          • can you force sockets to added during crafting or is it just random?
            if its just random, then saying “just craft them”  isn’t really much of an answer

            • It is random, and how is that not much of an answer?

              Crafting is meant to be the main itemization engine, why shouldn’t sockets be part of that? 

            • Why is it not an answer?  Because you can’t get instant gratification?
              It’s not much different than crafting in D2x was.  
              Just as with drops, you need luck or a LOT of mats to get exactly what you want.

              Fortunately the AH makes the whole process less painful.

      • I can’t recall socketing specifically being treated as a major way to customize your characters. I just thought it was a part of the equipment system, which overall is a way to customize your characters.

        Also: “hope” and RNG have always been defining features of the Diablo series. What’s the problem with pushing toward more of it? I think it’s a good change.

    5. One of the only things i’m glad they removed. Reason being that else every item that rolls with sockets would be subpar (except maybe armor with 3 sockets).

    6. Socketing items was the defining feature of Diablo 2, figures they’d remove something so important the heritage of Diablo. Everything is ruined. Game won’t last long without socketing.

      • Yeah, that one quest that was only added in the LoD expansion was the single “defining feature” of Diablo 2.


        Troll or just comprehension fail?

    7. you guys just aren’t reading right.
      There ARE socketable items.  You have a chance to get them when crafting and they drop in the wild.  Pretty much makes it like D2 was. 
      The idea of making any item socketable bothers me a little.  I’m reminded of a line from The Incredibles. “When everyone is special, no one will be”  (or something like that)  If every item was socketable, then it would dilute the specialness of it.  Having socketable items be a little harder to come by is a good thing for itemization.   Just my opinion.

    8. I’m happy for this change… If every items can be socketed than it pretty much become ‘compulsory’ or you are sub-optimal, then if it’s a necessity it will just be another boring chores that you have to do for every slot on every characters.

      I like it currently that sockets are random. It gives you more trade-off and decisions to consider when choosing gears. 

    9. Charons and cozmiccc nailed it.
      They must have realized that sockets are just another form of bonus on an item. The key is they are a Wildcard bonus (you get to chose the bonus) And you can swap this bonus later without scrapping the item. It’s like having a wildcard in your hand in a card game which can be anything you want.
      Allowing full socketing of every item would be like playing a hand of cards and everyone had 16-20 wildcards in their hand – that would be some messed up card game and likely no fun at all. Socketing would be a chore, rather than something special.
      People seem to forget that they make these decisions based on what actually works in extensive play-testing, not at random.

    10. Goddamnit, this pisses me off. OK, here is the solution blizz, are you ready? Brace yourself. Allow ONE socket to be added with jeweler. TWO sockets can only roll randomly. DUH. Have sockets be on-off, not an affix: they can be added at chance, but won’t make a weapon worse to roll with them. DUH DUH DUH. I was soooo mad when I found this out… I want to socket my crap. 🙁

    11. I think the trade off with not being able to socket a item, is the fact that you can remove a gem from an item. In D2, I remember multiple people dicking up their items when they did a runeword wrong. LOL

    12. I’ve found about 3 or 4 “Socketed Ring”
      It has no properties other than 1 socket. If you don’t put a gem in it t doesn’t do anything :mrgreen:

      • “Socketed” is an affix like any other. At higher levels you’ll find rings (and amulets) with a socket and another property, but at low levels it’s quite common to find “socketed”-only jewellery. 

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