Confessions of a relapsed Genshin Impact victim

Genshin Impact is a name that strikes a feeling of fear and anxiety into my heart after I was brutally beaten down by the games RNG upon its initial release. Since that time, I uninstalled the game, deleted all traces from my PC, and locked it away at a safe distance in hopes of never having to encounter it again — Damn it, Jean! If you had just come home I wouldn’t have to have suffered like this.

I was doing well, even with the constant taunts from a friend of mine who would update me with his absurdly high luck stat as he pulled 5-star waifu after 5-star waifu. I was unfazed and remained strong, but that all fell apart recently with the arrival of a big update to the game and its content but mainly because of one thing — Raiden Shogun.

Genshin Impact
She’s the one on the left. So what if I have a type?!

Why I stopped playing

When Genshin Impact was first released back in September of 2020, the game seemed fun — but after just a couple of hours of playing you could foresee exactly how much of a grind this game was going to be. The map was much smaller than it is today, and as such there was much less content after the main storyline had reached its conclusion. 

This isn’t the main reason though. I grew up on World of Warcraft and played that for a long time until I migrated over to Final Fantasy 14 — a game I still play today — so the idea of a game being a grind and requiring a decent number of hours in order to make progress wasn’t foreign to me and I was prepared for exactly what was to come. 

I also play plenty of gacha games — probably too many — so I am totally aware of the grind that those games force on players, should they wish to remain as untainted free-to-play players. I was a fool to believe that my experience with the gacha game genre prepared me for the hell that Genshin Impact would introduce me to. There is only one gacha game that could warn players of what was to come — Fate/Grand Order. FGO is a game with such diabolically evil draw rates on character banners that it’s quite honestly criminal — but these players were the ones most prepared for Genshin Impact’s bullshit.

To put how bad Genshin Impact’s draw rates are into perspective, let’s do some comparing. Bleach Brave Souls is another popular gacha game featuring characters from Tite Kubo’s series of the same name, and the draw rate for a 5-star unit, at the standard level, is 3% at the cost of 250 orbs. That still doesn’t sound that great right? Bleach Brave Souls will commonly feature double-rate banners, raising that chance to 6%, plus what are known as “step-up” banners in which every draw on that banner increases your chances of a 5-star pull and these banners start at a lower orb cost as well. 

Let’s say you manage to pull a 5-star, but it isn’t the one you were hunting for — Brave Souls will still give back orbs to you just for pulling that 5-star unit. When you level up said 5-star unit to max level, you will be rewarded with 50 orbs. You can then “awaken” that character and level it up again to earn another 75 orbs — meaning you get 50% of what you spent on that 5-star unit back. 

Now Genshin Impact, a game you could easily pour a ton more hours into than a simple mobile game like Brave Souls doesn’t do any of what I just listed above. The draw rate for a 5-star character is 0.6% — which becomes 0.3% when you consider that 5-star units include weapons and not just the waifus — and the game will only give you a “pity pull” after 90 pulls on the gacha.

For a gacha game that seemingly sought to do things a bit differently with regards to its story and inclusion of cinematics, its draw rates are without a shadow of a doubt the worst part about the game.

Even FGO, the one game that could have prepared players for Genshin Impact’s bullshit, has a 1/100 chance of getting a 5-star unit, compared to Genshin’s 1/333. Genshin also doesn’t have anything in place for pulling duplicate characters. Arknights has a system in which duplicates give the player a currency that can then be used to purchase a specific unit — not in Genshin! Don’t even get me started on the fact that you need to pull these 0.3% drop rate characters 5 times in order to max out their skill trees!

Genshin Impact

So why the hell did I come back to this hellscape?!

I like the damn game! I absolutely despise everything about its draw system and the fact it even got the thumbs up in the developmental stage of the game is quite frankly evil, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy my time just bumbling around in the world of Genshin beating up Hilichurls, collecting chests, solving little puzzles, and exploring the world.

As someone who was waiting on their next “big game” at the time of writing — Tales of Arise — Genshin was this mind-numbing experience that I needed in the evenings before I called it a night. I like fighting games, but they require me to actively think and react, and sometimes I just want to chill out, throw on a video on my other monitor and have a nice, calm, single-player experience.

Finally, of course, the biggest reason that my degenerate ass came back to this game was the newly added waifu Raiden Shogun aka Baal. We as humans all have weaknesses and mine just so happens to be anime women voiced by certain Japanese voice actors — one of which happens to be Miyuki Sawashiro, whom you may know as Saeko Busujima of Highschool of the dead fame. 

Considering the ludicrous amount of money that Genshin Impact has made since its initial release late last year, I think it would be a real treat to the players if they just improved their gacha system. I’m sure they never will, but a boy can dream about a day where a genuinely good game isn’t tainted by one of the worst gacha systems on the planet.

Thank you for Mihoyo for creating Raiden Shogun, I truly hate you.

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Conor Evans
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