What's the point of jewelcrafting?
It allows us to better use gear, giving more flexibility by not capping caps on gear, but with gems. So upgrades are upgrades rather than "well it's better but I'd lose the hit cap". That's nice. But we have way way more sockets than we'd need for that. Why not instead have more things like belt buckles and maybe have an item or two which always has sockets? Because that would accomplish this first goal with few negative effects.
As you can see, gemming based on blacksmights adding sockets and a handful already on gear would make a decent bit for blacksmithing and a decent bit for jewelcrafting. But jewelcrafting was supposed to be the great new profession, so it must be profitable. A handful of sockets is not enough!
The driving force behind gem and socket design was not to help players use a wider array of gear. It was to move gold. The goal was to move gold from you to jewelcrafters. This resulted in lots and lots of sockets. Those sockets would have to be filled. And not just filled, but filled quickly, since when an item has two or three sockets on it, particularly meta gem sockets, the upgrade isn't an upgrade until that socket is filled. This puts players in a rushed state, accelerating the natural desire for quick results, to the point where players will willingly pay for hugely profitable gems, and lots of them.
It's time to nerf jewelcrafting. Just give a little service to tailors, leatherworkers, and blacksmiths: ripping gems out of gear, destroying it in the process. Yes, that's another idea I ripped from Torchlight. One of the NPCs in the game can destroy a gem to free up a socket (a service that we don't need since new gems can do that) while another can tear apart an item to liberate the gems inside. That second one would be more than a little bit valuable, and would significantly reduce the need for new gems every time an item is upgraded. This would actually destroy the market entirely, meaning that players would only need a few dozen gems ever, which is perhaps excessive. So instead the gem recovery process could scratch them, meaning turning them into uncut gems which would need to be recut. This at least cuts out the perpetual prospecting gold mine. It also hurts mining. But there's an easy fix for that: buff engineering.
In fact, that might be the fix for everything.
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