Tricky Diablo 3 Weapon Damage with Rubies vs. Emeralds

Patch v1.07 brought major improvements to the bonuses granted by socketing Rubies in weapons, and while it took most players a while to give up on DiabloWikiEmeralds and their seductive +Critical Hit Damage, I’m seeing more and more players these days with DiabloWikiRubies in their weapons. Rubies aren’t always a better choice, but they do add considerably more damage for some characters, with some weapons. Figuring which DiabloWikigems are best can be tricky, though. Hence the example below, which I was going to include in the recent Auction House User Errors post, except that it required too much explanation. Read on and learn from my mistake.

I hadn’t used Rubies in weapons until recently, and I was prompted to switch when comparing weapons in the Auction House. My Monk’s fist had a Perfect Star Emerald (L13 = +90% CD), and I did the right click + show similar items thing. And on that listing was a fist with virtually the same base damage as my Fist, but with a Flawless Star Ruby (L12 = +80 min/max damage). And it was about 3000 DPS more than my fist, and mine had better IAS.

To restate, another fist, with nearly the same base damage, and a Ruby that was one tier lower than my Emerald, was doing considerably more DPS. Seemed like a good idea to see how much a Ruby would do in my weapon.

Click through for the rest of the story, and explanation why the 80 damage difference turns into 190 damage once the Ruby is applied.

Before I get into the issues with Rubies, keep in mind that it’s complicated to compare Rubies and Emeralds and very dependent on your other gear. Since Emeralds add CD, the higher your CC the more that bonus will do for you. (Since you get more Crit Damage when you do more Crit Hits.) You could add 500% to your CD without making much of a difference if you only had 1% CC, while adding just 100% CD makes a huge difference if you’ve got 60% CC, or if your CD is very low, so adding 50% makes a huge change.

So, my Monk’s story:

I had the 880 fist already (self found, no less). It was doing pretty good damage once I put a L14 Radiant Star Ruby in it, and making me happy with the DiabloWikilife steal and DiabloWikiIAS and inherent DiabloWikiCrit damage. (Bear in mind that I’m playing DiabloWikiHardcore, where the goal of gear isn’t just max DiabloWikiDPS; it’s good-enough DPS with other stats, since dying = bad. A fact I learned first hand well when my previous P61 Monk detonated himself in .5 seconds beating on a DiabloWikiHorde with DiabloWikiReflects Damage. He had really good DPS and IAS, and perhaps a bit less less LS/LoH, and HPs than would have been ideal.)

But while my 880 fist had awesome stats, it did not have spirit regen, which is very handy. So when I saw that 800 fist with better DiabloWikiCD, LS, spirit regen, and a socket, I thought it would do for an upgrade, at least for a while to speed my low MP farming. (Remember, this is Hardcore, where equipment is about more than the highest possible DPS. Since dying is bad.)

So I bought the 800 DPS fist, unsocketed my Ruby, and stuck it into the new weapon, expecting the DPS to be somewhere around 1100, or about 80 less than my current Fist. Instead, it was what you see in the screenshots above. Here are the figures for easier comparison:

  • Old Fist, unsocketed: 369-809 = 882.1 DPS
  • New Fist, unsocketed: 321-823 = 800.8 DPS
  • Old Fist, socketed L14 Ruby: 563-1003 = 1172.3 DPS
  • New Fist, socketed L14 Ruby: 451-953 = 982.8 DPS
  • Did you join me in a retroactive WTF? How does the old one go up 290 DPS with the Ruby, while the new one only goes up 182? I wondered about buggy DiabloWikiblack weapon damage, but they’re both elemental damage. Or if the IAS on the old Fist was somehow scaling up the damage in a weird way. Or if it was a display error. But they both showed the appropriate damage on my char screen, and I even tested them and the old Fist was clearly much faster.

    So what’s the deal? Note the specific weapon stats:

    Fist beats Fist.
    Base fists compared.

    The old 880 Fist gets + Arcane damage AND +49% damage. The 800 Fist just gets + Lightning damage. Thus when I stuck in the Ruby, the old one increased the base damage, which was then multiplied by 49%, which is why the weapon damage went from (369-809 = 882.1 DPS) to (563-1003 = 1172.3 DPS) with the Ruby. That’s +194-194, instead of 130-130. (.49 x 130 = 63.7. 63.7 + 130 = 194)

    Thus a Radiant Star Ruby in my Monk’s old Fist does considerably more than a Marquise Ruby would do in another weapon that didn’t have the +% damage bonus. Keep that in mind for your own gear, and read the fine print on weapons, if you’re debating between a Ruby and an Emerald.

    Anyone else noticed this sort of thing before, or spotted other hidden bonuses that can be leveraged gloriously?

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    31 thoughts on “Tricky Diablo 3 Weapon Damage with Rubies vs. Emeralds

    1. There is also the issue of attack speed. Let say you have 2 weapons – a hammer with 400-600 damage with 1.0 attack speed = 500 dps and a dagger with 300-366 damage but 1.5 attack speed so 500 dps as well.
      Now both have sockets and you put a ruby with +130 min and max damage – now you have the hammer do 530-730 damage with 1.0 attack speed for 630 dps but the dagger does 430-496 damage with 1.5 attack speed for 694 dps.

      As you can see faster attack speed benefits from ruby more , in your example the 1st weapon had 10% more attack speed which explains why it benefited more than the slower weapon.

    2. This still doesn’t help tell me on what specific conditions and what percent Damage & CC using a Ruby becomes better than using an Emerald.

      • You can’t break it down into hard numbers, because there are too many that can vary. In the end, you have to do the math or just try both to see.

      • Yeah that’s what I thought. You’ve got to have fairly high +damage % on the item when 1H to use a ruby over emerald, but really stinkin’ high damage % if you are dual wielding.

        I switched out the emerald on my dual wield monk item with 29% damage (monk 37% crit chance). The damage shown on the item itself went up by nearly 100 points, but my character’s dps went down by nearly 10K.

      • Thank you. I’ve been looking for something like this, b/c I have a bunch of rubies lying around, but I’m too cheap to cube them w/o knowing if it’s worth it.

    3. its not all about the character sheet damage. ruby can help a sword or dagger do much higher low end damage. ie, making a 300-900 damage weapon do 430-1030. low end damage goes up 43%, high end only 14%, but this can be the difference between taking 1 vs 2 swings to kill trash when you roll the low side of the damage range.

    4. Also try for easy comparisons and simulations of gear changes. It is a very useful tool.

      • Bug? It is called math I know it is hard for a lot of kids and adults but it is not a hard concept.

    5. Welcome to patch 1.07.

      I woulda hoped people would have done the sims a few months ago.
      A few Do’s and Don’ts regarding rubies for some curious people here.

      1. Rubies only really shine at the higher tiers. For example the difference between a Marquise and perfect star emerald is 10% (110% vs 100%). On the other hand the difference between the same level of rubies is 23% (160 vs 130).

      2. There are 2 modifiers which make a ruby shine. Firstly is the +% damage as flux mentioned. The other is the attack speed of the weapon. Thus on you can multiply the “weapon dps” gain by % damage and AS. In the case of the fist in flux’s example, the muliplier is 1.4×1.49= 2.086. Rubies work better in faster weapons. The best example is calamity, which is both VERY VERY fast AND has a good % dmg modifier. A perfect calamity will give a modifier of 2.664 meaning a marquise ruby will add 426 DPS.

      3. Rubies don’t work very well with Dual wield (there are exceptions). The ruby only adds damage to one weapon, while the emerald will give you crit damage, which applies to both weapons. Rule of thumb, if you’re dual wielding, go with emeralds. (This goes double for spin2win barbs).

      4. Seriously guys, use a calculator. I like but there are others. You can sim the damage changes from weapons very easily, and can find out which one is better for your exact build.

    6. I know the math. But, common… If to have fun in a game I need be a math teacher, something is very wrong.

        • Give me a second here. Shouldn’t the same apply to the 6-skill restriction and the such? In D2 you could use 10+ skills on your hotkeys. But who did it anyway? Only a few who wanted to get the most out of certain builds. So, why should I be happy, that dps-wise I have to do maths, if I want to get the most out of it, while skill-wise I am forced to use a noob-based system? Same goes to other things as well. The removal of character stat points, to name one. Isn’t this the same thing essentially?!

    7. That +49% weapon damage doesn’t affect damage from rubies *at all*. The difference is purely from the attack speed differences between the weapons. 100 damage in a faster weapon is *obviously* going to give you more DPS than 100 damage in a slower weapon would….

      • You are absolutely wrong about dmg%. Using a RS Ruby and his claw with 49% weapon dmg, 1.5 aps, and 882 dps.

    8. Yup. It was just last month when im reading in the DH bnet forums i came across about this +% damage modifier that amplifies the ruby, so i quickly changed my old manti with +% damage. You’ll find out that those manti’s with dex, 2 sockets AND +% damage are much expensive than others. Sometimes its up to personal preference in choosing ruby vs emerald. But its more of a beauty when you look at your 1 hander with 1.4k~ dps than with an emerald with 1k dps. It just makes it look more expensive.

    9. Only the most hardcore diablo gamers calculate this. Isn´t any other real way to check if your damage improves or not? Do we have to become Einstein to calculate 200 more damage? This is something that i DO want to become more simple.

    10. Everyone that finds math is hard can just go check D3rawr, it will instantly tell them what gem they should use. Or unless it’s a marquis gem you can just try one, then the other.

      • The problem is *sometimes* a radiant star emerald is better than a ruby but a marquise ruby is better than a marquise emerald.

    11. QUOTE

      The problem is *sometimes* a radiant star emerald is better than a ruby but a marquise ruby is better than a marquise emerald.

      Which is what D3rawr is for. Though if you’re using marquise gems at all, ever you’re already delving into 300m+ per item bis items. Hopefully by this point you understand basic game mechanics and math.

    12. QUOTE

      That +49% weapon damage doesn't affect damage from rubies *at all*.  The difference is purely from the attack speed differences between the weapons.  100 damage in a faster weapon is *obviously* going to give you more DPS than 100 damage in a slower weapon would....
      Ruby damage does get multiplied.
      No gem
      (369 + 809) / 2 * 1.498 = 882.322 as displayed on the weapon
      Ruby 130 damage additive with +49% weapon damage
      ] * 1.498 = 1012.322 (wrong)
      Ruby 130 damage multiplicative with +49% weapon damage
      130 * 1.49
      ] * 1.498 = 
      1.498 = attack speed multiplier
      1.49 = weapon damage multiplier
      So ideally you want a very fast weapon with a very high +% damage for rubies. (the gem enhances the weapons base damage)

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