Monday, January 7, 2008

The Art of Gemming

I remember when the expansion first came out within the first while, some of my guild mates and I were getting items that had gem slots.  During the low 60’s, most of the items didn’t make sense to use because we’d have to drop gold into these gems for gem slots, or we could simply use equal items with no gems.  Stats were about the same.  Of course, at level 70 and the “good gear”, being cheap with gems is a thing of the past (at least for me).

So, what do you put in those gem sockets?  Well, I’m certainly not about to tell you how to gem your equipment.  There are about 261 gems, and the possible configurations with multiple gem slots can grow drastically.  Some tanks want stamina, some want avoidance, while some simply need damage mitigation.  Some spell casters need spell + to hit, some need pure damage, while some may need stamina as well.  Things are further complicated in that even though an item calls for a blue gem, you can put any color gem in there (except meta gems), you just won’t get the gem bonus if they don’t all match.  

What do gems mean to me?  To me, it means that you can actually change your gear without having to go gamble for new drops.  Here’s an example: We have a holy priest that decided that he wants to go shadow for awhile.  With the changes in gear and that you get + spell damage along with your + healing gear, he was doing damage in mostly his healing gear (at least at first).  I’m not sure if he did this or not, but he could have replaced + healing gems with some that are strict + spell damage without having to get a single drop from any boss.  Yes, it would have cost him a small fortune, but there’s at least still that option.

Enchanting is sort of along this line, but there’s only so much you can do with one enchanting slot per gear.  When you’ve got armor that has 3 gem slots, it leaves a lot of things open to do pretty much whatever you want.

So, while armor upgrades when you start playing WoW are an easy science (“This old one has 15 armor, the new one has 30.  Woot!  Upgrade!”), it slowly becomes an art form for each and every class.  For a mage, you might throw on +9 spell damage gems in every gem slot you have, but then you may not be able to hit the bosses as much.  Throw in all spell hit gems, and then you might suffer on your damage.  How does Haste fit in?

My suggestion would be to go out on the Internet… find a good tanking/dps/healing calculator, and figure out what works best for you.  Even then, it’s all subjective in how you actually play your class.

And you thought this was a simple game.  rofl


DadGuy said...

At least for tanking it's all a big math problem. you're lacking xx gear? Gem this way! lacking yy here, gem that way!

If you're paying attention there are a lot less options than you may think. Most gems are viable, but for the cost and slot, some gems are no contest over others.

The big trick is you have to understand why stat x is better than stat y and (as is usually the case) under what circumstances. This requires you to do your homework or copy people who have.

meltfacer said...

Doesn't have all classes / spec's but very good info