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There are three colored socket types: red, yellow, and blue. Any gem can be placed into any socket, and you will receive the bonus for that gem.
If all the gems' colors match all the sockets' colors on an item, you will receive an additional socket bonus.
Uncolored sockets are generally sockets that have been added to an item by blacksmithing skills (or blacksmithed items). Any gem (except meta gems) may be placed in them.
Uncolored sockets, and any gems they may have, do not count towards any socket bonus an item may have. The will count towards any requirements of a meta gem.
In addition, if the meta gem's requirements are not met, that meta gem will not be activated, and you will receive neither the meta gem's bonuses nor any socket bonus from the item containing the meta gem. You can socket the meta gem without meeting the requirements, but the meta gem will remain inactive until you do meet its requirements (which can be done either by socketing new gems, or equipping new items containing the required gems).
A meta gem requires you to have currently equipped items socketed with a certain number and color of other gems. These colors can be as either primary or secondary colors (see below.)
(Note: Meta sockets are only found on high-end head gear.)
A stat is associated with a primary color (red, yellow, blue). For example, strength is a red stat. That means having strength in a yellow or blue gem is possible but the gem color bonus requirement will not be met.
However, gems come in both primary and secondary colors. As seen on the Color Wheel below, if you mix red and yellow, you get orange. An orange gem will provide one red stat and one yellow stat, each in approximately one-half the amount that a primary-colored gem would.
It is most important to note that, for the purposes of both socket bonuses and meta-gem requirements, a secondary-colored gem is considered to be a gem of BOTH of its primary colors. Thus, an orange gem will be considered to be both a red gem AND a yellow gem at the same time.
This means that if you really want strength, and your item only contains a yellow socket, then the only way to get both strength and the socket bonus is with an orange gem, which will dilute the strength stat with a yellow stat like critical strike rating or resilience.
This table shows all existing stat-color associations. It reflects the changes to gem properties that came with the release of Patch 4.0.1, including the removable of five attributes - Attack Power, Armor Penetration Rating, Spell Power, Defense Rating, and Mana every 5 seconds. The following table shows all the new stat-color associations.
|6||Critical Strike Rating||X||Smooth|
This table shows all existing stat mixes and their name prefixes.
It's completely updated for 4.0.1.