Caldesann's Despair Theorycrafting & Math, Greater Rift 103 Clear

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Caldesann's Despair Theorycrafting & Math

wudijo recently made a thread on our forums sharing a spreadsheet and some numbers on Caldesann's Despair. It gives players a general idea of when to upgrade gems and how to more efficiently use their gold in this activity. Check it out below.


Hey guys,

here's some math on Caldesann's Despair I did a while ago and I decided to share it now. It's about when to upgrade which gems and how to use our gold optimally. I calculated numbers for P1400 / Tier 90 gems with my solo Natalya setup(dual wield, no mainstat on jewelry, full diamonds, nonancient amulet), which will be pretty early in the season but for casuals like me it will still be decently high. Keep in mind we know neither the exact duration of this season nor the exact XP/h values that people will achieve. I assumed ~3.5 months and 200b/h early game, increasing up to 1000b/h near the end of season.



Part 1



Gold, cost and time comparison. If you want to see the numbers, here's my Excel sheet (explanation see below):


  • Top left: Cost for empowering (basically +1 gemup)
  • Top center: Required amount of runs / gold / time (time is a rough approximation for 3-5 weeks into the season) to get a gem to 90 with all empowered rifts
  • Top right: Same but empowered stops at Tier 77
  • Bottom left: Cost scaling more precisely for relevant Tiers
  • Bottom center: Comparison of leveling main gems with <60% vs. leveling Caldesann gems with 60%
  • Bottom right: Comparison of leveling main gems with 8% (and less) chance vs. replacing a low level Caldesann gem

My findings (the colored text in the pic):

  • Empowering 79+ is not recommended
  • Stopping empower at 77 will save you 8.4b gold (70%) but only requires ~2 more runs (~20 more min on top of ~2-2.5 hours)
  • Main gems should be 3 above highest farming Tier once you start hitting a wall (not counting tryharding high Tiers for "gemup runs")
  • To replace a Caldesann gem on an item the new gem should be ~20 ranks higher, else you should max out the 8 / 4 / 2% chances on your main gems first.
  • If you're playing on lower Tiers / Paragons, most of these findings should still hold somewhat true (obviously discounting the scaling, so you could probably replace old Caldesann's at ~ +15 ranks already etc.).

Additional comments:

I assumed Tier 60 will be the absolute lowest you'd want to run to still get decent loot and somewhat acceptable experience / key value. I only calculated the Bane of the Trapped for the main gems, other gems are comparatively slightly weaker in most cases, and support builds don't necessarily use them. I also used a comparatively low Paragon / gem baseline, which will probably be surpassed quite early into the season.

Still, you should get a general idea of the value of more paragons vs. gemups. I suggest to spam rank 60-70 Caldesann's on every item early in the season and then replace them with 90+ later (in case you keep the same items) once. After 90+ Caldesann I'd never replace them and just put the gemups into spare gems (for better drops / other sets) or spam 1% on main gems. Overall you should expect to spend ~3 hours on every Caldesann gem, not counting Torment farming.



Part 2



Here's how Caldesann impacts the relative powerlevels between characters. My excel sheet:


  • Left: Mainstat comparison at same level (2.3 no Caldesann, 2.4 progressively higher Caldesann up to 100, nonancient amulet)
  • Right: Dmg difference vs. +1000 Paragon players (same limitations)


  • Caldesann buffs everyone by roughly 45-25% for relevant paragon levels (P1000-3400), so ~1.5-3 Tiers depending on class and build.
  • Since we'll probably see paragons into the 3000s more commonly than last season, the +1000 calculation will be insufficient and as always you need to do your own calculations for the people you're competing with (this also doesn't include higher main gems and better items etc.).

  • Overall Caldesann will decrease the damage gap by roughly 8-10% for low to mediocre paragons and 5-8% for high paragons, so more or less half a Tier. I assume this is much less than most people previously thought, so don't expect Caldesann to save you the paragon grind or make the leaderboards significantly more accessible to casuals.
  • Looking at last season's damage difference from the weakest character to the strongest in the end-of-season top 10, a ~60% damage difference should be acceptable to get into top 10 for challenging and ~45% difference for easier classes.
  • This should make top 10 rankings possible between P1200-1800 or P1600-2200, respectively (very rough approximation).

    Happy Farming!

Greater Rift 103 Clear

Ever wondered what the highest Greater Rift clears look like? Chainer uploaded some first person footage of his Barbarian on a 4-man #1 rank GR 103 clear. It's interesting seeing not only how coordinated their party is, but how they communicate essential information. Watch it below.




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