I'm playing Diablo II Lord of Destruction, single-player, for some nostalgia. I have my character saved from many years ago, a level 40 Amazon. I'm not currently using any mods or "cheat-like" methods. My inventory is overstuffed with gems and runes; moreso gems, esp. many perfects. But I never seem to find a good use for them. So far, the items/weapons/armor that I have are all holding up well enough, most being unique (yellow), and in the rare case I get a new drop that looks like a good upgrade, it's obviously usually unique too, and never socketed.

So that's a long-winded way of asking, is there any point to hoarding gems at all? And what about runes? The latter, I assume, is a bit more tempting, due to rune-words. I can't see any revolutionary benefit coming from my growing stock of perfect gems.

Am I playing this all wrong, or what? Thanks!

Side-note, I am open to using limited mods, such as an inventory expander / database / helper or something. Item dupe-ing is pushing it; raw item editors seem like a total cheat. I've been playing (farming) on Act 4 (Pandemonium Fortress - Chaos Sanctuary) for a long long time now, and it's getting dull.

  • Lets just say if you are lucky there is not much need for gems and runes but they allow you to make powerful items by combining many low-mid tier runes and gems which are easy to get into something decent and most of all, you can choose the effects in the equip
    – Ben Ong
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 6:34
  • But when you look at the high tier runewords you'd wonder how lucky you have to be to get something that good
    – Ben Ong
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 6:38
  • Any reason why you don't continue in the storyline and go beat up act 5? and beyond that go to higher difficulties?
    – Arperum
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 7:54
  • @Arperum No particular reason, just lazy/afraid of the boss. ;o)
    – NateJ
    Commented Jan 6, 2018 at 1:31

3 Answers 3


As for runes, you should focus on runewords useful for your class - see Runewords list. You can upgrade low level runes into higher level ones. Some high level runes are useful even without runewords - for example, Ohm (+50% Damage) and Zod (item become indestructible). So you should be interested in keeping all runes you found to upgrade them eventually.

As for perfect gems, I personally use them to reroll charms - there is recipe any 3 perfect gems/skulls + magic item = random magic item of same type and it requires lots of gems to roll good charms - I personally try to roll +X all resistances small charms and +1 skill grand charms. Having good charms helps a lot on Hell difficulty. You can see list of all possible charms suffixes/prefixes here.

As for inventory management, I can recommend GoMule:

This is a muling application for the computer game "Diablo 2" which allows items to be stored and transferred between Single Player characters outside of the game. The goals of GoMule are to:

  • Easily transfer items between Diablo 2 character files (d2s files) Give infinite storage capabilities of both items and gold through the use of stashes (d2x files)
  • Allow users to easily locate and sort items in their stashes
  • Speed up common muling processes, through multiple pickup and drops
  • Allow Unix systems to easily mule their items

Although GoMule does edit the Diablo 2 game files, it cannot be considered a character or item 'editor'. There are very strict restrictions on what you can edit, GoMule will never support stat, skill or item property editing.

It is software that allows you to create separate file on your disk to store your stuff. It works with save files, but never touches game files. It also automatically creates your save backups every time you attempt to change something, so you won't lose your char if something goes wrong.

If you are concerned about duping - every item has unique id, and GoMule has 'remove duplicates' option to clean them from your characters/stash.

  • That's excellent info and a great suggestion! I don't know if it really answers the core of my question, which is, "Why (or 'is there a good reason to') hoard gems & runes", when it seems like you're more likely to get good items just by luck-of-the-drop. Thanks for your tips!
    – NateJ
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 5:17
  • @NateJ, I've addressed it in edit
    – arghtype
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 8:07
  • It's very good information, I'll see if I can download the GoMule. By the way is there something that allows me to raise the resolution of the Diablo 2?
    – Frostmus
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 19:10
  • 1
    @arghtype Awesome additions, great point about rolling charms - I never thought of that. Accepted! Thanks =)
    – NateJ
    Commented Jan 6, 2018 at 1:28
  • 1
    As an added point on re-rolling grand charms: The item level determines the charm mods, and is not changed by re-rolling the item. Grand charms do not drop with the required item level until Act 3 Nightmare; the three Kurast maps (Lower, Bazaar, and Upper) are the best places to farm them, and any charm dropped after this point in Nightmare, or at any time in Hell, will work.
    – EvilSnack
    Commented May 14, 2020 at 17:57

Starting with gems, as you can probably guess from the lvl requirement, even perfect only requires 18. They are not for end game equips, keep enough to upgrade your runes and you are okay, alternatively you can use them to boost areas of weakness before you get good equips that does more. I wouldn't keep more than 4 perfect even of those I usually use. Those for upgrading runes should take priority.

Occasionally, somewhat decent magic/rare loots may come with small number of sockets(up to 2 for rare and 4 for magic) which basically allows you to customise the remaining part of that item. Percentage effect from gems can be useful even till later into the game. Though runes often perform better in most situations.

As for reasons to keep runes...

This is the effects of the highest level runeword "Breath of the Dying":

50% Chance To Cast Level 20 Poison Nova When You Kill An Enemy


+60% Increased Attack Speed

+350-400% Enhanced Damage (varies)

-25% Target Defense

+50 To Attack Rating

+200% Damage To Undead

+50 To Attack Rating Against Undead

7% Mana Stolen Per Hit

12-15% Life Stolen Per Hit (varies)

Prevent Monster Heal

+30 To All Attributes

+1 To Light Radius

Requirements -20%

It requires 6 socket and therefore not applicable to all weapons but on weapons that can have it... I don't exactly get items from the floor better than this everyday.

More commonly there is "Enigma":

+2 To All Skills

+45% Faster Run/Walk

+1 To Teleport

+750-775 Defense (Varies)

+(0.75*Clvl) To Strength (Based On Character Level)

Increase Maximum Life 5%

Damage Reduced By 8%

+14 Life After Each Kill

15% Damage Taken Goes To Mana

(1*Clvl)% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items (Based On Character Level)

It only requires 3 socket so basically any armour can potentially have this effect. It is versatile and far better than most floor loots so I really suggest reserving some space to get these effects.

A list of runewords can be gotten from the Diablo wiki

  • 1
    I appreciated the suggestions here as well, both the general advice and the specific rec. for "Enigma" -- nicely done! I wish I could 'accept' two answers.
    – NateJ
    Commented Jan 6, 2018 at 1:30

You can also make crafted items. These require a magical item (blue-letter ONLY), a jewel, and a perfect gem, and a rune. Feed them all to the Horadric cube and press transmute.

There are a few dozen different recipes for these, and each one requires a specific rune, a specific gem, and a specific base item.

The results depend on the the level of the character that crafts the item and the level of the original base item. The level of jewel does not matter (the crummy ones dropped in Act 1 Normal work just as well as a Rainbow Facet).


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