Genshin Impact is one of my favorite games, though only for its gameplay when it isn’t a mobile game. It’s a mix of an incredible exploration game and a shitty mobile game with boring, tedious gameplay that makes it difficult to scale it properly with a number. It greatly fluctuates between a 9/10 and a 4/10 that it’s hard to quantify it with just an average, since I think it’s one of the most enjoyable games I’ve played sometimes, but when it’s just another mobile game, there are better alternatives. After ‘beating’ the original content that was put out on release(I’m currently at AR55), the time I enjoyed the game the most was the Dragonspine update, when they released a small new portion of the map. It brought back the incredible times I had with this game and reminded me why I loved it so much initially. Not to be a downer about all this though, since the 1.6 update, surprisingly, has done this too!
In this post I’d like to go over some things that 1.6 does that I think is really fantastic, and I’d love to see more from Mihoyo in the future.
Be aware that this will spoil some things about the event gameplay, and I think the first 30 minutes or so really shouldn’t be spoiled as there’s a huge shocking moment that made me go from, “eh?” to “Holy Shit!” Maybe I’ve already said too much. Anyways, go play the event, and come back. Let’s move on!
- The reveal of the map
Couldn’t find a better picture, and I didn’t know this change would happen so I couldn’t take it myself as it’s a permanent change
Since I mentioned it in the intro, I’ll just get into this point first. I don’t know how common my experience was with the reveal of the change in the map as I have no friends that play this game, but I’d like to think that it’s what the developers intended. I watched the 1.6 trailer, and the impression I got of the event was that we’d go to some small area, play some minigames that sometimes involved using boats and killing some hilchurls. The initial impression I got of the event pretty much supported this, as the new area was really small, foggy, and had a general lack of ‘things’ to do. I thought it’d take about a couple of hours to finish the whole event, which was what I expected.
And then this happens:
The map gets exponentially bigger and grows vertically. What I expected to be a short, charming event with mini-games turned out to have a shockingly large map with tons of exploration and content in it, and this event had the exact appeal that I talked about in the initial part of this post. Exploration, the best part of this game, is a primary component of this new update, and it’s fucking amazing.
An ad I saw for the event in a subway station. Was really neat getting to see it!
I mean, looking at this banner, the impression I get is more ‘fun and games in Summer!’ than an actual new area.
Watching the 1.6 trailer now (https://youtu.be/LPaLrhzzbdo), I really think that Mihoyo downplayed the size of this update. Maybe they showed it a little more in the live streams they did, but I don’t watch those so I couldn’t comment on that. The reveal left me awestruck and seriously impressed with the developers for a shockingly well made and intricate update to Genshin Impact.
- Better chest placements
In Genshin, most chests are placed in obvious places right there in plain sight. This isn’t necessarily a problem per se, but you don’t feel any achievement when you click X or triangle and collect its contents. In this event, some of this is improved by having challenges directly tied to unlocking it, either involving puzzles, minigames, and sometimes beating a group of enemies. While these can be fun, there’s also some more cleverly placed chests that are less conspicuous which gives you a little “ahhh” moment when you find it, making it feel a little more rewarding when you happen to see it, though it’s not so hidden enough that you feel frustrated. Chests are also optional and even the better ones like Luxurious chests don’t have really valuable contents especially when you are past AR45 or so, and thus it’s not like you’re missing out on much if you miss a couple of chests.
I will say that these chest placements are probably a little more subjective to me though, I’ve seen streamers like Joseph Anderson who finds hidden strawberries in Celeste like it’s second nature to him, in places that I would have never even thought to look at. So it may be my inexperience with game elements like this that make it a little more appealing to me than others. Nevertheless, I found myself enjoying finding chests more in this event than ever before while playing.
The fact that you can’t use treasure compasses here incentivizes you to occasionally look for chests, too.
It was obvious that costumes were going to come out eventually in Genshin, since the menu prompt you go to select wind gliders is labelled “dressing room.” Still, it was great to finally see some come out, and despite it being a summer event, I think that the developers made some pretty tasteful decisions by not just giving characters a skimpy bikini and calling it a day, but instead making them look genuinely nice and unique. I’m a fan of both of the new skins, and I really look forward to ones that will come out in the future!
- Improvements on Chest Item Spillage
This is more of a quality of life improvement than anything, but it’s a huge pain in the ass to deal with in Genshin that I’m so glad it’s been addressed, and I hope it’ll never be a problem with new areas in the future.
Genshin has chests placed all over its map, and some are on cliffs/tall areas. When you open a chest, the contents of it spill out, and sometimes it’ll go tumbling down all the way to the bottom of the cliff, and you’ll have to go down yourself to collect the contents. It’s extremely frustrating and has been a problem since day 1, but it’s finally been fixed! Chests in positions like this don’t have its contents spill out, but instead go directly into your inventory, as shown in the screenshot above.
I’m so glad that this has finally been addressed, and hope I’ll never have to experience it again in future updates.
- Great usage of environment colors
Genshin is a beautiful game. It’s one of the appeals of it, and you can find tons of beautiful screenshots by people who are actually talented at doing that kind of thing. But even while playing yourself, sometimes you’ll find yourself in awe of the in game scenery that’s in front of you. In my experience, this mostly happened when I went to a really high place and looked down at the vastness of what I was about to explore.
In this event though, I often found myself at awe while just exploring some of the water-heavy areas. The combination of the orange sky at sunset with the blue sea looks really fantastic. Orange and blue is a really common color combination that you’ll see often in movie posters and such, but seeing it in Genshin was a nice surprise, and I’d like to see more cases in the future where multiple elements of the environment come together to make the game look more aesthetically pleasing, even for just a few moments.
- More creatively designed landscapes
As I just said, Genshin is a beautiful game. But the terrain it has is not too varied, and it gets boring after a while. There’s definitely some differences and traces of developers trying to differentiate between the areas, but when you explore the huge map that is Liyue, I think most people are unable to distinguish between the area they were in an hour ago and the place they’re in now, with a few exceptions of really unique places where the color scheme itself is different.
Places looking similar is still an issue in the new map of 1.6, but I found that some of the terrains looked really fantastic. An example is the photo I put above. Just look at that! It’s much more visually interesting than a generic cliff, and I thought this was a big improvement from the previous maps we’ve seen in Liyue, and I’d love to see more creative environments and terrain designs in the future.
Some other issues that I couldn’t be bothered to write about:
- An increased number of wind currents to help exploration, especially since the map is vertically large
- Don’t need to collect all seashells for Barbara’s skin(will cover more about this in future post)
- Collecting all seashells is not actually too difficult, much more so than previous collectibles
- Great additions to already amazing soundtrack
- Stamina automatically recovers when starting speed challenge on the boat
That’s about it! If you have any thoughts or opinions on Genshin’s new update or this post, please leave a comment! I’ll see you in another post.