Genshin Impact has me addicted
What year is it again? Oh, we’re still in 2020? Good, then I probably wasn’t gone for too long. Hello all, welcome back to Nepiki Gaming where I was supposed to have a review ready last week… just to end up not even having finished it. What happened? Genshin Impact happened.
So I figured hey, let’s make an article about this new addiction of mine since the last time I was this addicted to a game was… actually, I have no idea. Probably Guild Wars 2? I didn’t really want to make a review about Genshin Impact though, because it’s in my policy to only review finished games. Since the nature behind Genshin is a gacha game, that means it will be an ever-evolving game until it dies. The game we have here is still one that can easily be enjoyed for tens, if not hundreds of hours, but Mihoyo have already confirmed that a lot of improvements are coming. Therefore, I just wanted to share my experience with the game as I don’t feel right about criticizing mechanics that are getting improved in the future.
I’ve known about Genshin for a very long time already. I have never played their other game called Honkai Impact, but it did look very interesting regardless. I just wasn’t really in the mood for yet another gacha since I’m still playing Fate/Grand Order daily, and I was playing Tales of Crestoria until recently–though that one is just bad and unbalanced; maybe a story for another day. While Genshin is indeed a Gacha, it seemed to only be a minor part of the overarching game. And if the Gacha part turns you off (e.g. relying on a low chance to get your favourite character) then have no fear as indeed, the game can be played perfectly fine without even touching the Gacha. A lot of weapons are found in-game, and you’re also given a multitude of characters for free which will also be the case in the future. And boy, am I glad that the gacha is mostly irrelevant because the rates are so. dang. low! There is a pity system fortunately, but I had to go all-out to get my new husbando Verti. Then again, it’s still all chance as proven by my good friend who got 2 SSR and 1 SR character in a single roll when he just started. I’m triggered.
But the main attraction of the game is actually the massive open-world gameplay. So let’s get this out of the way first before I continue further: yes, Genshin Impact does indeed take multiple inspirations from a small game by a small company called The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The gliding, mountain climbing and stamina bar are three of the most obvious example. But honestly, is taking inspiration from a major success a bad thing? Many people started brushing off this game immediately as a BOTW clone, but everyone loved that game, so why is this bad again? Genshin still does a lot to make the concept its own, so I don’t understand where this unnecessary slander comes from. But given the game’s success, it probably doesn’t really have to worry about that either. I would say it’s unfair if this game remains to be known as Anime BOTW forever but oh well, that’s the internet for you.
Do you know what this game reminds me more of actually? Guild Wars 2. Oh hey, nice coincidence; that was my last addiction! I mostly say that because of how the open-world feels to me. Everywhere you go, you’ll find just about anything, be it a group of enemies guarding a chest or a point of interest. All of them have the purpose of levelling up your adventure rank alongside other treasures. The adventure rank is your main method of progressing through the world, which feels just like Guild Wars 2 where all matter of objectives result in getting levels and therefore unlocking more. And like I said: everywhere you go, you’ll find something new. I keep wanting to go to one place, but constantly getting distracted because I see something off the path. There is just a slight problem though, and that’s the map kinda being trash in telling you what you have and haven’t done. It doesn’t show you challenges or statue energy that you’ve already collected, which is a problem with a massive asterisk as there are more than a hundred of the energies in each land. Even if they have appeared on the map once, they’ll disappear immediately whenever you go out of the vicinity. Furthermore, there’s also the problem of them just not appearing on the map when there’s a height difference. I hope this will get updated eventually because I’m only missing a few energies at this point, and I really don’t want to explore the entire map all over again just for those few. The ability to put up to 99 custom nameable pins on the other hand is very appreciated.
Combat also feels really good, as expected of the company behind Honkai Impact. It’s flashy, has multiple different “classes” to mess around with such as archers and mages, and there’s also a very in-depth elemental system. Some enemies are by default weak to one- or more elements, but the more interesting usage is to cause elemental effects. Needed another excuse to talk about my new husbando Venti, but he’s a wind user for example with a speciality in keeping enemies in a single spot. You can control four characters at once so if you switch to a character such as Amber, you can use some fire on the vortex to transform it into a fire vortex, dealing even more damage than it already was doing. Electricity characters especially have a field day as pretty much most enemies are weak to them once it rains. Sometimes I wish I could take more characters with me at once to cover every element since you need to use all elements for all sorts of puzzles, and several enemies- and bosses are immune to my husbando’s wind power, but it’s not really that hard to switch a party setup either.
I’ve unfortunately already reached the end of the story for now so I need to wait for the next update. This is where a common Gacha- and MMO trope introduces itself: it’s time to grind for the best gear! Whenever you’re not exploring- or focussing on quests, you’re probably spending all of your time to make your weapons, artifacts and characters themselves the best they could possibly be. All of them can be levelled up and for the later levels, you’re going to need a lot of high-level resources dropped by several bosses and explorable dungeons. Since I am an active Gacha gamer, nothing really surprises me here. Daily missions for easy experience, a meter that recharges in real-time that limits how often you can slay a boss and reap the rewards etc. But unlike most Gacha games, you can still continue playing Genshin forever since normal gameplay is not affected by any kind of meter. Though this doesn’t help with my addiction, it is very appreciated that you can play Genshin whenever you want, how much you want.
Unlike most Gacha games, you can still continue playing Genshin forever since normal gameplay is not affected by any kind of meter.
Really, I keep wanting to describe this game more like an MMO than a Gacha game, but the game doesn’t have the “massively multiplayer” part of that genre. Though there is a rather… lack-lustre co-op, everything else is completely single-player. I really hope the co-op side gets improved eventually because you can now only do a limited amount of things together, and there’s also the issue of being on different adventure ranks and in turn, higher world levels with far higher-levelled monsters. Really, most of my social excitement from Genshin is just talking with my friends about it who also play. Due to this game, I’m actually close again with a friend who I had an awkward distance with due to personal stuff, but we share a similar interest now so it’s easier for us to connect with each other. Soo… thanks Genshin Impact!
I am actually perfectly fine with the game being single-player only though. There are a lot of people rushing to a high adventure rank and while I won’t deny that I’m doing the same, it also doesn’t really matter since there simply is no content right now beyond getting the best gear and maximizing the potential of your characters. I am addicted so I’m a bad example, but taking your time with Genshin is definitely what I recommend because there simply is no value to getting super overpowered now. A lot of people have been complaining about the Resin System–a limiter on how many bosses and special events you can do a day–and while I wouldn’t mind a free item for doing dailies that allow you to restore this meter, or improvements since the battle pass requires you to do an almost impossible amount, I am also perfectly fine with this limit being here. People will get burned out immediately after they have maxed their characters, and with major updates only happening once every 5 weeks, it would not be healthy for the lifetime of the game if this limit ended up being removed.
I don’t really have a lot else to talk about at the moment, so time to go on another hiatus and back to Genshin! Just kidding of course, as I will probably (read: not) be playing a bit less due to no story continuation. I have no plans to drop this game for a very long while though, so if I ever have a short hiatus again, chances are high Genshin is to blame. I might make more Genshin-related articles in the future as well? I was considering a list of favourite characters, but spot 1 to 5 would all be Venti so that’s a bit too predictable. Oh well, I’ll figure something out eventually~. Maybe a daily Venti Appreciation Article or something, I bet
nobody everybody is interested in that!