- Genshin Impact has made more than $250 million so far, but many players are starting to reach the late-game
- Problem 1: The story isn’t done yet and cuts off without actually informing the player. Yes, the next story quest is coming in update 1.1, but some clarity would have been nice
- Problem 2: Having to get characters through gacha remains Genshin’s absolute most annoying mechanic
- Problem 3: There’s just not much to do after you hit AR30
- Problem 4: Resin, a resource that you pay to get rewards from late-game content, regenerates slowly and forces you to either wait or pay for a consumable to get more
According to SensorTower, Genshin Impact has crossed the $250 million mark in revenue after its first month. Or, to put that number into perspective: Pokémon Go made $207 million in its first month (remember just how big PoGo was in the first month?).
At the same time, we’re now at the inflection point where many players are starting to get into late and end-game content.
Except there’s a slight problem: there is no end-game content. Uh oh!
Those stories, and more, on this episode of
60 minutes “what’s wrong with Genshin“.
The Main Story
Genshin’s main story is currently stuck in the city of Liyue, where a messenger drops by during dinner to extend an invitation on behalf of wealthy socialite *merp*. Your character accepts, and then…well, nothing. There’s no quest popup. It’s actually confusing as hell because the person you’re dining with tells you to go to your next destination, but that place doesn’t exist yet as the next story quest hasn’t actually been released. Awkward.
Well, this is an easy one. miHoYo announced that the conclusion to the Liyue story will be in the v1.1 update on 11/11. So not a huge deal, though it would be nice to have some clarity in-game about it. Now, how fast will players blast through the rest of the Liyue story?
Getting New Characters
As of this writing, there are 22 playable characters in Genshin Impact. You get three free ones early on, have the option of getting one more at Adventure Rank 20 and another after completing area 3-3 in the Abyss. You can also redeem 34 Starglitter to get one more (Razor). That covers seven characters, including yourself.
All other characters must be acquired by you through the gacha system.
The way the system works here is you have a set chance to get a 4 or 5-star character item. These chances are 5.1% and 0.6%, respectively. If you fail to roll at least a 4-star in 10 rolls, your tenth roll will be a guaranteed 4-star or better. This ends up upping the odds slightly to 13% for a 4-star and 1.6% for a 5-star.
During character events, the odds of getting certain characters are significantly boosted if you roll the correct tier – in other words, during the Klee event (going on now), rolling a 5-star will automatically reroll, giving you a 50% chance to obtain Klee. If you roll a 4-star, then you have a 50% chance to obtain either Sucrose, Noelle, or Xingqiu.
The game also has another good-faith guarantee that automatically gives you the event character if you roll a 5-star twice and fail to get them on the first roll.
What an annoying and frustrating system.
It’s easy to criticize the gacha mechanics because the odds are abysmally low: if you wish 62 times, you’re expected to get the 1 special event character assuming you don’t fail the 50% roll. That’s 62 wishes * 160 Primogems per roll = 9920 gems just to get that one character. Yes, you *could* luck out and get a bunch of 5-stars, but on average it should take 62 rolls to get the featured 5-star.
And if you were trying to get a character that’s NOT part of the featured event, well – just put it this way, you’d need to wish 62 times PLUS account for the additional roll for 5-star tier characters and items. Those are some horrific odds and a good reason why people aren’t happy with the current system.
Characters are extremely important in Genshin – they aren’t just for show. They also tend to play very differently. The 5-star characters generally have much better abilities (and slightly higher stats). You can almost always build a party around a 5-star but not necessarily the 3 or 4-star characters.
The easiest way is to just make all characters available for purchase in the shop for a set number of Primogems. Maybe 5000, but every time you buy a character, the price goes up by 1000. That way each person is at least guaranteed to get one character they wanted by around Adventure Rank 20 or so, and they can get additional characters by doing the same stuff they were doing before.
Of course, with this method, miHoYo would have to reduce the cost for wishes, from 160 Primogems to maybe 50-80. Otherwise, no one would bother rolling for characters vs. buying them outright.
Alternatively, miHoYo could give out one free character at AR20 (right now you get Barbara), player’s choice. That way, at least there’s a guarantee that the player will get at least one character they can build around, instead of fielding a possible team of scrubs.
So what do you do once you’ve crossed the AR30 mark and exhausted the main story missions?
You’ve got a few options:
- Character quests
- Run domains for materials
- Fight elite bosses/special mobs for materials
- Collect all (anemoculus/geoculus/etc) items
- Complete achievements
Character quests have their own level requirements (why? no idea) and they’re also gated behind yet another resource: keys. You get 1 key for completing 8 daily commissions, and you can only hold a max of 3 at a time. They also tend to be pretty short (and serve as an advertisement of sorts for the gacha characters).
Otherwise, you’re really just stuck grinding away at bosses and domains to upgrade your characters or going about the world collecting stuff. Yeah, the (anemoculi?) and geoculi are super handy (stamina increases), but as someone that went through each one with a goddamn map and still have 3 geoculi to go, it’s a pain in the *boop*.
The fix: add more “interesting” late-game content. More quests. Maybe some minigames. Some real dungeons, other than the one-room domain challenges that just pit you against waves of monsters with a time limit.
There’s a lot of room for creativity here. Like how about an event where you have glider races against Amber and other characters?
While miHoYo announced some (I hope it’s some) stuff in the pipeline for 1.1, the bulk of it was the next phase of the story and the new characters. Everything else was pretty pedestrian – a new bad guy? A personal teleporter? Reputation for Mondstadt and Liyue?
There’s a specific resource in Genshin called Original Resin. You start with a stack of 120 resin, and use bunches at a time – usually 20, 40, or 60 – to get the rewards for completing late-game content such as leylines, domains/dungeons, and killing elite bosses. Resin does replenish at a rate of 1 resin every 8 minutes (so 16 hours to completely fill up your supply). You can also use consumables to give you an immediate resin boost, but these consumables are either only available as rewards for leveling up your Adventure Rank or you can buy them (of course).
Since much of the late-game content revolves around grinding materials for Ascensions (levels, weapons, etc), the resin cap keeps players from running the same things over and over again. It slows down the pace at which players can “get ahead”.
From the developer side, it makes sense – the resin system buys time for miHoYo to push out more content. Drip-feeding progression keeps the whales [the ~2% of players that spend large amounts of money on microtransactions] in the game; otherwise, they’d finish everything and move on to the next flavor of the month.
But it sucks for players who just want stuff to do.
Scrap the whole system. Increase the cooldown on bosses, domains and leyline spawns instead. Hire some more people.
With $250 million in the bag earned from player purchases, I think there are some moves here that miHoYo can make in good-faith to ensure that players don’t leave the game in droves, having exhausted all of the current content. The next patch helps, but it only fixes one core problem (the abrupt main storyline end) while leaving the rest to fester. What happens after players finish the Liyue story?