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I've looked at the armories of several highly geared Prot pallies lately and about half of them have been meeting all/most socket bonuses, while the other half more or less gem straight haste and ignore Str/avoidance socket bonuses entirely.
Is there a method to determining which is better or is it mostly personal preference on the part of the individuals? I realize it won't revolutionize my gameplay either way but at the same time I could squeeze in a fair amount of extra haste by gemming almost full Quick, and was just curious.
You need a downright insane amount of Expertise on your gear for an orange Expertise/Haste gem to not roughly equate into a yellow Haste gem (via reforging). It doesn't make much sense to skip red sockets unless you're pretty much overflowing in Expertise.
Blue sockets are depending on your hit levels (assuming you're using Lightning Haste/Hit gems, which would have the same effect of roughly equating into Haste itself via reforging) but Stamina is a damn good stat too, so Forceful (Haste/Stam) gems in blue sockets are absolutely not a waste. Stamina is always useful for a Prot Paladin, regardless of progression level or gear quality or whatever.
My conclusion is: you should hit those socket bonuses unless you are just overflowing in so much Expertise that you couldn't possibly turn that extra 160 from an orange/purple gem into more Haste on your gear. And even then, if the socket bonus is worth the extra Mastery you'd be reforging instead of Haste... go for it.
Wait a minute... you're Nixxe... you're in my guild... you're Kerias's friend and you're online right now...
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