14 May 2021 3:04 PM +00:00

Genshin Impact Updates Need An Update

Genshin Impact 1.6 is still a ways off, but it’s never too early to start wishing (no pun intended) for things we’d like to see. 1.6 will finally introduce Genshin’s third region, Inazuma, and it’s time miHoYo started thinking more about what it adds in updates from here on.

There’s no shortage of things to do in Genshin, but there’s a big difference between just having things to do and having quests and stories that enrich the overall experience.

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Character Stories

Characters are Genshin Impact’s heart, but so far, miHoYo gives us just a handful of ways to interact with them. Hangout Events are a step in the right direction, but there’s room for much more.

Overhauling the Character Story Quest system would be a huge ask, true. However, miHoYo could still add smaller stories and quests delving into different facets of their background or having them find their place in Teyvat.

Characters make miHoYo money and having 15 or more characters languishing unused in the menu because we never wanted them anyway just reminds us of that fact. Giving them a reason to exist adds more value to the game, even if we only use the five-star characters anyway. It’s even better for the show-stealer characters too.

As of now, not even three of the five-star characters or the original, free characters have more than one act of their story available. Events such as the Energy Amplifier and Windtrace game are nice but hardly essential.

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Bring Cities to Life

Liyue Harbor and Mondstadt look gorgeous. That’s about all there is to say on them, though. Neither location follows up on questlines or delivers a sense that these are dynamic places with complicated people — an issue partly unavoidable with the daily commission structure, unfortunately, true, but also one that can be easily fixed.

Genshin 1.6 has a chance of improving that if rumors about Inazuma City are true.

The city is reportedly hostile, and the Traveler even has to sneak into Inazuma at the start of its story events. Whatever the reason for that hostility, it’s an opportunity to show the city changing over time. Maybe the reputation system could actually influence what quests or shops are available or even block sections of the region until you’ve proven yourself worthy in the Inazumans’ eyes.

Essentially, Genshin Impact needs to do better with its regions. The world and locations are too rich to leave static like they are now. Exploration can only go so far, and two hefty updates of the same basic Archon Quest pattern — meet Archon, solve a problem, move on — is two too many.

More Quest Types

More quest types, in general, would be welcome. Teyvat is already massive at just two regions, and yet there’s so little to do. A precious few World Quests send us to interesting places, such as Liyue’s ruins, but all we have to do is interact with a few things and move on. Fetch quests like these are part of the MMO experience Genshin tries creating, but there’s so much more it could be doing.

Take the books, for example. Dozens of volumes scattered throughout the land add some much-needed background to the world and its cultures. How much better it would be, though, if some trace of that culture or its stories existed for us to find — remnants of an older civilization with more than just a few Precious Chests to find, for instance, the location of an old folk story with evidence proving it actually happened.

Heck, even more rewards for exploring would be fine with me, just something to keep that sense of immersion that fades all too quickly once you’ve mapped a new land.

Granted, miHoYo probably didn’t expect Genshin Impact to turn into a global phenomenon. Complaining about a lack of features seems unfair since most of its resources are likely invested in developing big, new updates.

Yet it is a global phenomenon. Approaching updates and world structure from the same, more limited viewpoint as it did when Genshin first launched won’t cut it forever, and if miHoYo wants it to stay a global phenomenon, it needs to rethink what makes for an interesting, worthwhile experience.