I decided to write this little PSA, after seeing that so many people on Reddit are stressing about farming perfect artifacts and get frustrated, after they pull their 100th %DMG goblet with the wrong element. Most people should know by now that artifacts are basically the strongest single factor in making or breaking a character, but farming artifacts is hard, random and gated by our two most feared enemies – RNG and the resin cap. Especially glad pieces are hard to come by as they can’t be efficiently farmed and are needed by a lot of characters, but getting the right cup in a farmable set (e.g. Anemo DMG% on a VV cup) is sometimes even harder. Also, very often for a main DPS you’d want a weapon with a CR or CD substat. With how that and the ascension stats play together, oftentimes with a normal substat distribution you often have only the option of either a CR or a CD circlet if you don’t want to end up with 40%/200% or 90%/100%. That is crazy hard. Getting the right artifact set in a run is a 50% chance with a 20% chance of getting a goblet with a 25% of getting a DMG% main stat and then a 1/7 chance of getting the right element. That is one in 280 runs. 280 runs to get a VV Anemo DMG% cup. If you just want that cup, that would be a whole month of regular resin refreshes (more if you factor in the weekly bosses…). A CR circlet of the right set isn’t much better with a chance of 1/160. Of course, you’ll have efficiency synergies by farming multiple sets at once (Noblesse and Bloodstained for example) and you can farm circlets and cups at the same time, but it’s still crazy hard. I also don’t know what to really do with 140 maiden pieces after farming artifacts for Xiao… But anyways.
Why am I writing about this hell? Because you don’t have to go through that. It’s not as bad a prison as you might think. Using the example of Xiao, I’ll show you how shaving off certain meta choices isn’t as bad as you might think. Oftentimes off-pieces with good substats outweigh set effects.
Okay, so here are the assumptions I based my calcs on:
Xiao lvl 80/80 (308 atk, 19.4% CR), ult talent lvl 7 (81.55% DMG+), Blackcliff pole lvl 90 (510 atk, 55.1% CD)
For stacks, I assumed 3 stacks for his passive (avg over the duration of the ult) and one relatively conservative Blackcliff stack.
For artifacts, I used a pretty standard CR circlet, Atk% sands and 4 good substat rolls (CR, CD, atk%) out of 8 or 9 on each piece which is pretty realistic imo. Feather and flower pieces probably have better rolls which balances out circlet and cup. I am talking about off pieces here, so 4 substat rolls are way easier to get than farming a 4-piece for example. ER should be handled by the rest of the rolls. I calculated with 6 rolls into CR and CD each and 8 into atk%. All +20 which is doable for a main hyper carry like Xiao.
As you can see these assumptions are pretty realistic if not on the conservative side. Only lvl 80/80, ult only on 7 to concentrate on the AA talent, a F2P weapon on R1 and a pretty realistic artifact set using off-pieces. This is realistically doable in a humane amount of time.
Now the kicker: the most difficult parts to farm are the specific sets in combination with the DMG% goblet. For Xiao that would be a 2 Glad 2 VV comb with an Anemo DMG% goblet. So, I will take these three factors out. We are using random set pieces (maiden, lavawalker, etc.) and an atk% cup (Rejoice! They will find some use!).
This comes out to these stats using Xiaos ult:
2317 atk, 70% CR, 145% CD, 197% Dmg %
This fits the aspired 1:1:1 ratio (shout out to r/KeqingMains!) apart from the over investment in atk due to the atk% cup, but is pretty realistic. This means that his avg dmg is calculated by 9186 * multiplier. If you are doing a 300% multiplier plunge, you can expect about 27557 dmg.
Let’s see how big the differences are compared with VV, glad sets and the Anemo cup.
2 piece Glad vs current set up: 5.98% DPS drop
2 piece VV vs current set up: 7.09% DPS drop
Anemo cup vs current set up: 3.25% DPS drop
One disclaimer I want to point out are of course that the DPS drop for the Atk% cup is bigger if you include the skill DMG, but most of his damage will come from his plunges anyway.
What? Only 3-7% DPS drop?? Yeah, that’s not that much. Of course, it’s noticeable and a nightmare for min-maxers, but it’s really not that bad. Really, if you’re unlucky, it’s not worth the stress. Come back to it later. Let’s say you drop two of these boni and only have a 2-piece glad with an atk% cup. That’s a 9.93% DPS drop compared with a perfect set up using 2 glad 2 VV with an Anemo cup. While it is a noticeable drop (really not that bad, really) farming the set above is reaaaally doable. 2 glad pieces, 3 off-pieces, no elemental dmg cup and only 4 good substat rolls per piece? Piece of cake compared to farming the perfect combination. And the best part about that? Use all those pieces that have great substat rolls, but have no fitting sets for your characters. Let’s say dropping the need of farming a VV set and getting that anemo cup frees you up to get 1 more good substat roll per piece. You actually end up with 1.2% DPS increase compared to the VV, glad, Anemo cup combination.
You have to take into account that those calcs are really volatile based on the assumptions. Some differences here and there would change the calculations. DPS differences of 5% or less is really negligible in these kinda things. If you want to calc this Xiao at lvl 90 or if you think my assumptions are too optimistic, changing those won’t really make or break these numbers. Trust me, I tried it out.
I already hear you saying “bUt jiNtoNicC, tHaT’s oNlY xIAoO”. Yeah, sure. Because I want that little emo right now, God dang it! So here the last disclaimer: Yes, a lot of these calcs only apply to Xiao as he has an over investment into DMG%. With other characters, dropping DMG% will hit you harder. But also, other characters have other conditions. Like cryo characters (resonance, Ganyu passive, Kaeya constellation) having higher crit, Mona and Klee having DMG% bonuses on there ult or charged attacks or how using Bennett or Thrilling Tales oftentimes trivializes the glad 2-piece bonus. There are also characters that really need 4-piece sets like Diluc and Childe, but they on the other hand have the upside that they have a set that is basically tailormade for them, boosting their DPS like crazy. The gist is not that you should drop all artifact guide lines, but that you should try to look at your character, its strengths and limitations and adapt accordingly. And above all, that you should not stress that much. Giving yourself some slack while farming won’t hurt your DPS that hard. Don’t kill yourself or the joy you have playing the game trying to squeeze out 5% more DPS. Be satisfied! (If you’re having fun min-maxing, all power to you! That’s great. This is only if you get frustrated)
So go out with your lavawalker CR circlet, bloodstained atk% cup and that sweet sweet maidens feather with 14% CR and 20% CD gathering dust in your inventory and enjoy the new 1.3 content. Have fun y’all and good luck to everyone wishing for Xiao.