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Just What the Heck is Genshin Impact?


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Albion Hero



Joined: 19 Oct 2019
Posts: 25
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 2:19 pm Reply with quote
Its just such a shame they decided to use the Gacha model. I love open world RPGs, they're my favorite types of games, but I just had to nope out of this because of the gacha stuff. Any rewards in a game should be earned by playing, not forcing you to roll by spending real money. That goes against everything I believe in for video games.

Theres a lot of good stuff under the gacha stuff here, but it was just completely ruined by attaching it to that cancerous model. Would have been far better as a stand alone single player RPG.
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ThatMoonGuy



Joined: 13 Oct 2017
Posts: 249
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 3:11 pm Reply with quote
Saying this game has any replayability, let alone A LOT of it, is being awfully kind. Genshin Impact is a huge pile of good ideas with extremely poor execution.

The open world is nice to explore for a while but after you're done with quests you realize that there isn't really anything to do in the world itself, mostly because fighting mobs is trivial and nearly all relevant boss fights are in extremely limited and non-interactive arenas. It doesn't take long until you notice that you're always either exploring or fighting, there being little interaction between the two since the game is so damn focused on DPS, meaning that smart use of the battlefield is never expected nor stimulated. This can be more cleary seen in the domains, glorified 30x30 boxes with no interactivity where you'll spend most of the game once you're finished with the story quests. Heck, one would expected that in an open world action RPG it would be possible to lure enemies to positions where you have the advantage but enemies will literally despawn if they get too far from their spawning point. Funny thing, you can throw enemies off cliffs and they can be damaged this way but if they survive the fall they'll instantly respawn at full hp! Not only that, but most enemies do not interact with the overworld at all, meaning that, while you have a huge world, there are no relevant ways to use it to your favour in what is, arguably, the most important activity in the game (battling). But even if there was it wouldn't matter because killing overworld mobs gives you so little that, outside of farming some specific mats, you'd usually rather just ignore enemies.

The exploration gameplay itself is just... not very good. You have climbing, swimming and gliding but none of them feel rewarding since all the relevant things in this game are obtained either from domains, bosses who live in arenas or from wishing. They actually tried to improve the exploration in the Dragonspine area by adding a cold mechanic but the result was more annoying than anything and the whole area can be explored in a couple days.

Combat in the game is just terribly designed. Enemy AI is terrible and the attacks are mostly very easy to read so you can easily dodge most attacks and the whole game becomes just a DPS run to see how fast you can kill stuff. What makes this even more clear is the fact that the Abyss is pretty much just a bunch of challenges to kill enemies quickly. And that is the endgame content you're expected to grind for... except that you're already doing that in the domains which are ALSO focused on killing enemies quickly.

And, to make matters worse, the whole elemental and elemental reaction system is just so horribly unbalanced with Pyro completely dominating everything. Because the game is so focused on damage dealing, you basically just want to focus on building a team around the Vaporize (Pyro+Hydro) or Melt (Pyro+Cryo) reactions. And then there are Geo and Electro, two elements that are just terrible. Geo is so bad that they've had to buff and when Zhongli, the Geo Archon, was released, he was basically the worst character in the game. Right now, there are no non-Pyro characters that wouldn't be significantly better were they Pyro, so much so that it's commonly agreed that Keqing, the main Electro DPS, would be the best character in the game if she wasn't electro.

And then there's the events. My god, those [expletive] events. Ask around any GI forum about the food delivery event and you'll see just how terrible Mihoyo is at designing events. Even the ones that are not violations of the Geneva Convention are either repetitive or just boring. And the ones that have stories just barely do so and more often than not don't even have a final boss. This comes a lot from the fact that the game is an open world RPG, which means that a lot of resources are alloted to developing the world and making cutscenes and new bosses takes a huge amount of time so, more often than not, they just repurpose enemies or send a ton of them at you and call it a boss fight (looking at you, Liyue).

The whole concept of an open world RPG with gacha mechanics is just terribly executed in this game and the final result is a boring open world game in which you can't do anything creative. There is no replaybality because the game is so focused on farming which means you spend most of your playtime grinding the same enemies and the same domains in the hopes of getting enough materials and a halfway decent artifact set (artifacts being core to making characters strong that not only drop randomly but also have random stats on generation AND LEVEL UP).

TL;DR: GI is a repetitive, maddening grindfest that fails both at being an action RPG, an open world RPG and a gacha game.
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wolf10



Joined: 23 Jan 2016
Posts: 492
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 3:17 pm Reply with quote
In Genshin's defense, it does have one of the nicest safety nets basically ever. At 70 rolls, the 5* rate increases dramatically (but resets as soon as a 5* is pulled, so you can't game it), and at 90 rolls it is guaranteed. Additionally, and this is the big one, the count carries over between banners. The gacha games nice enough to have a system like this generally have a "use it or lose it" policy, in the hopes of baiting players into shelling out in order to round up their pity to cap, but Genshin carries over the pity counter into the next banner.

There are three banners total, with three separate "pity" counters: limited character, limited weapon, and general. The two limited banners will always guarantee either a 5* weapon or character, while the general banner will give you either. Additionally, if the first 5* you get is not the featured character or weapon, the next one will be. This insurance likewise carries over, though the guaranteed featured item will always be from the current active promotion.

There was enough free currency available in the game at launch to guarantee, at the very least, one 5* character for everyone who plays, regardless of luck, so long as you stick to using Primogems on the limited banner.

None of this is meant as an endorsement, per se, but I did feel it was necessary to point out that, if you're familiar with the mobile game market already, this is actually one of the nicest gachas on the market right now.
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Replica_Rabbit



Joined: 23 Aug 2015
Posts: 229
Location: Portland
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 3:40 pm Reply with quote
ThatMoonGuy wrote:
TL;DR: GI is a repetitive, maddening grindfest that fails both at being an action RPG, an open world RPG and a gacha game.

For whatever reason, I love this game so much. It pushes the right buttons for me. It not the best, but it really fun to play
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crazieanimefan1



Joined: 18 Feb 2015
Posts: 285
Location: Auburn, AL
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 3:47 pm Reply with quote
I've quite enjoyed this game. It gives me something to do in the evening time after some work. I've also just started Breath of the Wild and yes, there are similar things. I noticed that right off the bat. However, as the article states, there are differences. As I read, it was a big love letter to BotW from these people, yet they put a lot of heart and soul into it.

That being said...there was supposed to be a Switch version coming, haven't heard when. They refuse to use the X-Box, but have it for the PS4 and 5 I believe. I play on PC for now, but even then, it lags and gets hot. I don't like the gatcha, but I'm probably one of very few who hasn't spent money to get the stuff.

Which I used to with Farmville...boy was that a mistake.

Anyway, what I can play with the lag and freezing occasionally, I've enjoyed. So it's worth the time...probably worth the money.
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DerekL1963
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Joined: 14 Jan 2015
Posts: 907
Location: Puget Sound
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 4:32 pm Reply with quote
Albion Hero wrote:
Its just such a shame they decided to use the Gacha model. I love open world RPGs, they're my favorite types of games, but I just had to nope out of this because of the gacha stuff. Any rewards in a game should be earned by playing, not forcing you to roll by spending real money.


Well, I have good news for you then - you don't have to spend real money to play the game. Unless you're one of those folks who absolutely must have the biggests, baddest, bestest... You'll do just fine rolling using your ingame earnings.
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NobodysDawn



Joined: 28 Mar 2015
Posts: 39
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 4:55 pm Reply with quote
I think people have a bit of a knee jerk over reaction to gacha games. IMO if a game is non-competitive, still perfectly playable without using the gacha system and otherwise free to play, there’s nothing wrong with incorporating a system like this, especially one that is rigged so you’re guaranteed a high roll after so many tries. Now, if a full priced game tried this, or if there was a competitive element that put players who don’t spend money at a disadvantage in battles against other players, that would be a different story. And at least in this case I highly disagree with classifying the system as “predatory”, as the game is still perfectly playable without spending a cent and gives you plenty of opportunity to earn prismogems through gameplay, gifts in your mailbox, etc. If you dump thousands of dollars into it because you just HAVE to have every character, and a five star weapon for those characters, that’s on you.
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Emerje
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Joined: 10 Aug 2002
Posts: 6938
Location: Maine
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 5:00 pm Reply with quote
Pay money for Genshin Impact, who would do that? I've been playing several times a week since launch, haven't payed a cent to the game, and am currently at level 44. My Traveler is at level 80 with a few of my 15 other characters I've drawn from free Wishes at 70. My only issue is that during major events it's practically impossible to finish the final portion alone, they usually require you to play with other people which I don't care to do. I do enjoy the smaller events like the recent gliding course or the treasure hunt. I am running out of things to do, I only have two character quests left to do and some of the minor world quests, but I do enjoy the level grinding in this game so I have plenty to do until the next big update.

Emerje
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Abecedarian1995



Joined: 29 Aug 2020
Posts: 5
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 7:22 pm Reply with quote
Kind of surprised that neither the review nor the comments above mentioned the resin system, which is one of the most contentious issues in both the official forums and the Genshin Impact subreddit (though for the review it's understandable since resin doesn't matter much until later in the game).

To be brief, resin in Genshin Impact is similar to stamina/energy/AP in other gacha games, which you need to spend to perform certain actions. The problem with Genshin's implementation of the system is that almost everything related to character progression will inevitably be tied to resin, and the game doesn't give you nearly enough of it. EXP books and Ascension materials required for levelling characters and weapons, artifacts that boost your character stats (absolutely essential in late game), and even the currency required to do all these things (mora) all eventually require resin to obtain (the game gives you heaps of these in early game via quests and chests), which you can only use up to 160 at a time before needing to refill it either by waiting, using the rare Fragile Resins, or paying.

Resin (or rather the lack of it) is so pervasive that it even disincentivizes attempting the gacha to obtain characters. Why bother shelling out for 5-star characters when you don't even have the resources to level them up to a usable state? Not to mention how it discourages experimentation with different team compositions and playstyles - one of the most enjoyable aspects of the game imo - just because of the fear of wasting precious resin-tied resources.

Don't get me wrong, Genshin Impact is still a beautiful game that is fun to explore, but the resin system hurts a lot of its playability.
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Juno016



Joined: 09 Jan 2012
Posts: 2052
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 7:29 pm Reply with quote
My only problem with gacha games, as a regular player of them, is that while I can play without spending a cent (I allow myself a maximun of $100 on gacha games a year, only by choice, and only if I've played the game for 3+ years--and if I feel obligated to spend, I do it only if I can guarantee the thing I want without going over that budget)... I don't trust some of my friends to have a healthy outlook on spending. I cannot, in good faith, recommend a gacha game to a friend who just got out of addictive spending on trading cards. If it were just rich kids with carefree spending habits, that would be one thing, but I know these games deliberately target people with certain psychological triggers in order to hook them. And those are the people who keep the games afloat and/or striving.

Again, this is not a judgment of people who play these games (considering I play them myself), but a point of dissonance I have on their marketing tactics. Everyone has a line to draw and mine is drawn at how well-balanced and generous a game's gacha and gacha currency earning rate is. FGO has no realistic spark feature, so I watch the cutscenes online and don't play it myself, for instance. Genshin Impact seems within reason there to some extent, but...

Then there's the whole Chinese government thing. Practically all Chinese companies are forced to follow certain rules from the CCP, so I don't blame them, but Tencent has its own fingers in the CCP, so it's particularly problematic. Previous incidents with the game made it clear how they intend to respond to criticism, so I've already been left with a bad taste in my mouth. Looks fun, though!
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scrwbll19



Joined: 16 Jan 2006
Posts: 84
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 7:41 pm Reply with quote
My only real problem with the game is that it ties the co-op and solo event boss modes to the completion of an exceptionally hard quest, "Trails of Tianqiu," which I have still yet to beat. The quest traps you in a small room with monsters that constantly freeze you on a time limit. (I would really appreciate any tips for beating this.) Some of the quests are almost impossible to beat unless you characters are maxed out.

Other than that, I have been having fun playing the game. I have had to develop a sense for running dailies and weekly quests though. So, players really need to be okay with that aspect of the game, which definitely gives it that gacha/mobile app game feel.

One thing I would like to know: does anyone here really care about the story or the worldbuilding aspect of the game outside of the aesthetics? For whatever reason, I cannot get into the story or worldbuilding for the most part, and the characters kind of feel flatter than an anime character who screams "Flat is justice." I say this because I can usually get on board with the lore of a game, but I am more bored with the lore galore. Am I crazy here?
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IceLeaf



Joined: 08 Sep 2019
Posts: 93
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 7:51 pm Reply with quote
Abecedarian1995 wrote:
To be brief, resin in Genshin Impact is similar to stamina/energy/AP in other gacha games, which you need to spend to perform certain actions. The problem with Genshin's implementation of the system is that almost everything related to character progression will inevitably be tied to resin, and the game doesn't give you nearly enough of it. EXP books and Ascension materials required for levelling characters and weapons, artifacts that boost your character stats (absolutely essential in late game), and even the currency required to do all these things (mora) all eventually require resin to obtain (the game gives you heaps of these in early game via quests and chests), which you can only use up to 160 at a time before needing to refill it either by waiting, using the rare Fragile Resins, or paying.


In one of the statements about the next update they said they were removing the resin requirement for leylines and domains
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kotomikun



Joined: 06 May 2013
Posts: 935
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 10:08 pm Reply with quote
IceLeaf wrote:
In one of the statements about the next update they said they were removing the resin requirement for leylines and domains

I don't know where you heard that, but, no. They said future events (usually) won't require resin. Domains/leylines are where the vast majority of resin gets spent; if they removed it from those, they might as well remove it entirely (and that won't happen, either, because of Chinese laws).

Having played since launch, my main impression is that it's a fun (though imperfect) game--if you have self-control when it comes to money--but has one of the most irritating and unpleaseable fanbases I've ever come across. Maybe this is just what happens when something gets so popular so quickly, but, wow. Nonstop obsession with resin, because the idea of taking a break never occurs to them. (The official discord had to make a channel solely for this topic so people can rage about it 24/7.) Toxic wannabe-pro-gamers who spring out of the woodwork at the very suggestion of anything in the game being challenging. The related Zhongli fiasco, where a hotly-anticipated character wasn't strong enough and the whole fanbase achieved levels of rage previously thought impossible. And there's female child characters, so, well, you know what that means. Any legitimate complaints/discussion feel drowned out by the same generic problems that have plagued the gaming/anime industries for generations.

But anyway, yes, a good game for the most part. The "it's just like Breath of the Wild" angle is kind of exaggerated; yeah, there's some obvious similarities, but that makes about as much sense as saying Pokemon is a Final Fantasy ripoff because they're both JRPGs where you explore and fight monsters. Great world/character designs, good music (though some of it actually does feel derivative... see if you can spot the track that sounds suspiciously like a main theme from Lord of the Rings). Story so far is interesting though it's far from complete, obviously. Just don't play it if you're a completionist, unless you're also filthy rich.
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wolf10



Joined: 23 Jan 2016
Posts: 492
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 11:07 pm Reply with quote
kotomikun wrote:
Great world/character designs, good music (though ome of it actually does feel derivative... see if you can spot the track that sounds suspiciously like a main theme from Lord of the Rings).
I must be thinking of a different LotR theme because I don't think I've heard it anywhere. There is one song that I've taken to calling "Bootleg Greensleeves" though.
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crazieanimefan1



Joined: 18 Feb 2015
Posts: 285
Location: Auburn, AL
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2021 12:58 am Reply with quote
wolf10 wrote:
kotomikun wrote:
Great world/character designs, good music (though ome of it actually does feel derivative... see if you can spot the track that sounds suspiciously like a main theme from Lord of the Rings).
I must be thinking of a different LotR theme because I don't think I've heard it anywhere. There is one song that I've taken to calling "Bootleg Greensleeves" though.


That's over at Dawn Winery. lol At times I even hear a bit of Clannad piano like music when I play too. But I have heard the LotR theme the other spoke of.
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