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 Emeralds and their seductive +Critical Hit Damage, I’m seeing more and more players these days with Rubies 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 gems 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 life steal and IAS and inherent Crit damage. (Bear in mind that I’m playing Hardcore, where the goal of gear isn’t just max DPS; 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 Horde with Reflects 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 CD, 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:
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 black 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:
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?