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Thoughts on Genshin Impact and what to anticipate for and to expect in the future
PreambleI'm going to talk about some of the community's sentiment towards Genshin Impact and what to anticipate for and to expect in the future from miHoYo and future games they release.
If you think this post is too long, at least skip to sections you might be interested in. Or to the last section and things that interest you in that section (11. My personal thoughts on what to anticipate for and to expect) I've removed a lot of hyperlinks to save on characters.
Very little people know about miHoYo's upcoming game, Project X:
Project X: Project X is a new ray-traced action shooter from popular anime game developer Mihoyo, coming in mid-2021. The game features next-gen anime-style rendering and advanced interactive physics on a spherical open-world planet.https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/geforce/news/gtc-china-2019-ray-tracing-games/
Relevant game experience
- I've been playing Honkai Impact 3rd (HI3) since it's global release back in March 2018 and am still playing/plan on playing until its story finishes, completely F2P
- I've dabbled in Guns GirlZ (miHoYo's game before HI3) a long time ago
- I go on the Google Play store and preregister any game that has anime aesthetics. I've tried playing any semi-popular gacha game you could think of
- I've tried and played a lot of MMOs
- I'm primarily a PC gamer (e.g. League of Legends since season 1)
PrefaceI'll be mainly drawing comparisons between GI and HI3 in the "My personal thoughts on what to anticipate for and to expect" section. As of writing this, GI is essentially how HI3 is in terms of the systems in place (and YouTube and social media). I'll also be basing what I anticipate for and expect of the game with what I've experienced in HI3.
I went into this game blind. I never played the Closed Beta Test (CBT), watched any gameplay of the CBT or read anything about the game besides what was on the official website.
I'd like to remind everyone that a subreddit is only a very small minority of the actual population of the user base a subreddit is about. Subreddits are almost always echo chambers for topics and tend to silence opposing opinions.
Companies are for profit. miHoYo is no exception. They know what they're doing to maximize profits. They had/have such a successful game with HI3 to convince investors to invest in the development of game. If you want things to change, you vote with your wallet.
Table of Contents
- Should I keep playing? (16 sec)
- Game release expectations (59 sec)
- What is Genshin Impact? (48 sec)
- "End game" (16 sec)
- Spiral Abyss & the "meta" (1 min 10 sec)
- Power creep (23 sec)
- Primo Gems, Gacha and Resin (2 mins 16 sec)
- Addressing community statements (4 mins 50 sec)
- Notoriety of miHoYo (26 sec)
- The future of Genshin Impact (35 sec)
- My personal thoughts on what to anticipate for and to expect (13 mins 42 sec, every unbolded point below totalled)
- Successful release (1 min 5 sec)
- System, QOL and in-game content changes and updates to anticipate for and expect (1 min 17 sec)
- Power creep (23 sec)
- Animations, music and story to anticipate for and expect (2 mins 3 sec)
- Nitpicks (38 sec)
- Addressing the player base that mainly play gacha games (4 mins 34 sec)
- Addressing the player base that mainly play PC games/MMOs (1 min 22 sec)
- Project X (16 sec)
- Final Thoughts (44 sec)
- Bias (19 sec)
- TL;DR (15 sec)
With all that out of the way, lets get started.
Should I keep playing?Do you still enjoy playing the game? If so, go ahead and continue to enjoy playing the game. If not, you might want to consider taking a break until new content comes out, or if there is a significant systematic change to the game.
There's nothing keeping you from not playing the game, you can always quit.
Game release expectationsFrom the general sentiment of Reddit and the first auto suggested result from Google, people expected GI to be an MMORPG-like game where you can play with your friends (like a typical MMORPG) but were confused about what Genshin Impact was/is once they started playing (specifically when they reached Adventure Rank (AR) 7).
If you're a person that falls into what I said above, you won't like hearing the following.
It's not miHoYo's fault, it's yours.
You were misled by the game's marketing when you could have done due diligence and researched details about the game beforehand (e.g by going on YouTube and finding out details about the game from their 3 closed betas).
An analogy to this is AMD vs Intel & AMD vs NVIDIA, where the three companies try to sell you their products with cherry picked performance numbers. The community always echos to "wait for the product to be released instead of pre-ordering" and "wait for 3rd party reviews".
When people have expectations and those expectations are broken, most of the time depending on context, all they're left with are negative feelings (e.g. disappointment) whether or not it's warranted.
But even though it's not miHoYo's fault, it's the company's job to keep their player base invested in their game, and by extension their company.
What is Genshin Impact?Genshin Impact is a mostly single player RPG with co-op elements. The game implements the gacha mechanic to get characters and weapons exclusive to gacha. The game also implements the typical stamina/energy mechanic in gacha games in the form of resin.
This is where a disconnect comes from. Typical PC gamers aren't able to endlessly grind the game to progress (I've played Black Desert Online starting in beta, I understand grinding; grinding for hours in the same location for a couple thousandths of a percentage of character experience points per mob kill) while gacha gamers don't like the gacha system in place due the system being worse than other gacha games in terms of the resin recharge rate and gacha rates.
But people still play GI as there are various reasons why people like playing this game e.g.:
- Open world
- Characters they like
"End game"A lot of people on this subreddit are probably at the point in the game where there's no more story content to do, and all they're doing are:
- Daily commissions
- Farming materials (mats) in the world
- Using naturally regenerated resin to get domain-only mats & world boss mats
- Doing the "real end game" of GI, Spiral Abyss.
Spiral Abyss & the "meta"Spiral Abyss is currently the end game of GI due to its difficulty and rewards. Once you're able to fully clear the Spiral Abyss, you're free to do whatever you want in the game (though you've always been free to do whatever you want) for now (until they release something else that replaces Spiral Abyss as the end game).
This brings me to the "meta" and tier lists. You can have a tier list with ratings for multiple categories (e.g. exploration, aesthetics, etc.). But generally when you see a tier list for GI, it's going to be about how strong characters are in combat, and specifically the Spiral Abyss. There are world bosses too, but they currently seem to scale off of AR and what the game thinks how strong your characters should be at that AR. Comparing this to the Spiral Abyss where it requires you to max out your characters, weapons and artifacts. All this results in the "meta", which is what characters are optimal in clearing the Spiral Abyss.
But the game as it is right now has nothing that pits players against each other (typically in the form of a leader board), so the "meta" doesn't matter.
The Spiral Abyss as we know of now will have their mobs change over time. This will require you at a base level to have one main damage character of each element maxed out.
Note the existence of a timer in Spiral Abyss. You need to be able to do enough damage within the time constraints to clear floors. Doing damage sells.
Power creepAs the story progresses, characters developt and characters are bound to get stronger. The characters available now are inevitably going to be power crept by newer (and existing) characters.
If there is (or isn't) a mechanic in the game (e.g. shields, attack speed, etc.), miHoYo will make characters, weapons, artifacts and mobs that revolve around that mechanic.
Yu-Gi-Oh! is the go to example of power creep for every game.
The more text and conditions there are in a description, the more power crept the thing is
Primo Gems, Gacha and ResinHere's every post I read about the topic, and a couple comment threads in each (sorted by upvotes):
https://www.reddit.com/Genshin\_Impact/comments/jo9d9d/the\_5\_rate\_is\_not\_uniform\_06\_there\_is\_a\_soft\_pity/You have gacha games where there's a higher gacha rate, but then you see/know of people that have spent multiple times the expected pull rate currency amount without getting what they wanted.
You also have to take into account what you're getting out of a character in GI (explained later on in Addressing the player base that mainly play gacha games).
The stamina mechanic in GI is in the form of the resin system. Resin is the cost for a lot of in-game content that rewards progression mats (e.g. talent books, mora, etc.). The cost of a resin refill increases over time, futher discouraging players from progressing faster than at the rate miHoYo set the recharge rate to.
This is really interesting because in combination with the relative low gacha rates of 0.5% for a 5⭐ and 5.1% for a 4⭐ with characteweapon progression being stunted by resin, it discourages a vast majority of the player base to spend money and wish because they wouldn't even be able to use their newly wished character unless they already had the mats.
This is what the system in place is trying to do. It's getting players to play the game once or twice a day, for 20-30 minutes for daily commissions and using resin.
This is what you see for the stamina mechanic typically implemented in gacha games, but to the extreme to discouraging players from playing more and progressing more than the amount the system intends.
How you enjoy the game is your preference and might not be the same for others, whether you enjoy grinding for hours and hours, or enjoy playing for a couple minutes to a couple hours every day. This typically correlates to the amount of time a person can allocate throughout a day.
One thing I'd like to point out are people saying that there's nothing to do outside of resin. What they typically mean is that there's no activity that "directly contributes to instantly progress my characters/weapons/artifacts". You can spend hours and hours traversing the world, fighting mobs and collecting mats from them, collecting mats in the world, challenging the Spiral Abyss, etc.. Look at Enviosity on Twitch for example (nice fire tornado).
Having options is nice.
Which brings me to...
Addressing community statementsI'll reiterate that I thoroughly read every post and a couple of the top comment threads of each post. There are a lot of valid complaints about the game and great suggestions for the game.
The three things that ticked me off the most are the statements/imperatives that:
- Because miHoYo targeted/appealed GI to the global main stream audience on Android and iOS, alongside releases on PC and PS4 (and eventually the Nintendo Switch), it puts GI in some upper echelon AAA tier, so the gacha mechanic causes the game to have an identity crisis
- Tell other people "how to play the game" on the basis of their own preferences, leading to obvious hypocrisy
- Generalistic statements about different subsets of the player base with no explanation and making sweeping assumptions based on statements
First things first is that a lot of these statements are black-and-white, but the topic they're making these statements about aren't. This means these statements are wrong and misleading. These statements typically have the person:
- Stating things are mutually exclusive, when they aren't
- Claims that are relative, without providing a (absolute) basis to be relative to
I assume what people typically think when they think of an AAA game is a game that takes the limits of what computer hardware at the time can provide (depending on platform) and implements that in the game. They can do so because there's money to do so. This can also correlate to the amount of money used in marketing or the existing franchise itself (if a franchise is popular, it has innate marketing in it's fan base).
From what I've stated above, do I consider GI an AAA game for the global main stream audience? Yes.
So assuming GI is an AAA game for the main stream audience, then comes the statement/sentiment that because it implements the gacha mechanic, the game has an identity crisis.
Being an AAA game and having the gacha mechanic aren't mutually exclusive. I've already proven it above by stating GI is an AAA game from the definition provided.
The gacha mechanic is specifically about spending a currency to randomly receive an object (capsule-toy vending machine). The gacha mechanic is essentially the loot box mechanic found in many AAA western games.
The resin system GI has in place is not the gacha mechanic. It's the stamina/energy mechanic you typically see in mobile gacha games to stunt progression until it regenerates over time, typically allowing players to pay a currency to recharge/refresh stamina/energy.
And the same as before, being an AAA game and having a stamina mechanic aren't mutually exclusive.
It's an AAA game with the gacha mechanic and stamina mechanic, there's no identity crisis. miHoYo knows what they're doing.
Does the stamina mechanic detract from the game? You have a subset of the players that typically have played games that can be played for hours and hours upon end that don't like this system because they can't progress at the rate they want. You have a subset of the players that typically play gacha games that don't like how slow the resin recharge rate and high resin recharge is, relative to what they've experienced.
Does the gacha mechanic detract from the game? You have a subset of the players that typically have played games that can be played for hours and hours upon end to get things they want. You have a subset of the players that typically play gacha games that don't like how the gacha mechanic is implemented, typically complaining about the gacha rates.
The answers to the two questions above are completely subjective (the person's preferences), and you'll see that a subset of the extremes for the two types of players I mentioned (the "far PC gamer" and the "far gacha gamer") are the ones that express the most issue with the game, and in the form of black-and-white statements.
Which all comes back to "the main stream audience", "casual audience", whatever term you want to use. I mentioned before "that a subreddit is only a very small minority of the actual population of the user base a subreddit is about. Subreddits are almost always echo chambers for topics and tend to silence opposing opinions."
When you take a look at who's writing these posts/threads/articles/etc., they aren't a part of the "main stream audience". They might think they are, but they're assuming the main stream audience has the same gaming tendencies they do.
But then here comes the grey. You have players that are okay with the system in place, which I'll address in point 3.
The far ends of the player base have specific preferences on how they want the game to work. A subset of them don't like this, so they express so. But in a lot of instances, they think/make negative comments on the people that have opposing preferences (or don't mind the system in place).
A subset of the far ends put down how these players enjoy the game, and at the same time are defensive at how they typically enjoy games and simultaneously push their preferences/views on other people.
This is hypocrisy.
Finally, for some of the people that make these statements on social media or to people that think this way.
Do they actually read what the people that oppose their thoughts and opinions say or do they see a post on Reddit/a headline somewhere, glance at the title, notice it's not attacking the system, and not read the post at all or to try and understand where the opposing side is coming from?
A person making a factual statement (or a subjective statement) does not mean they are defending or attacking the statement's various opinions around the statement's topic.
For example, I could say that "I like X bubble tea made by Y store". The statement does not:
- Defend, support or attack Y store/X bubble tea
- Defend, support or attack people that don't like bubble tea/X bubble tea/Y store
- Say that X bubble tea/Y store can/can't be better
Notoriety of miHoYoFrom what the Chinese community have said about miHoYo, the gist is that miHoYo has a monopoly on high quality gacha games. HI3 was released in 2016 in China, and the only game that matches or beats its quality today is GI, Punishing: Gray Raven (released December 2019; in essence HI3 with Nier aesthetics) and X2: Eclipse (currently in CBT). As such, miHoYo sets up a system to really encourage (using predatory tactics to entice) users to spend money to progress (e.g. progression of collecting characters, maxing out characters, etc.) in anything but the story.
The future of Genshin ImpactI see GI, and by this extension this subreddit, like Fire Emblem Heroes. Initially the community was full of life e.g. strategy guides, fan art, cosplay, etc.. But due to decisions to maximize profit, the game died off and only a smaller dedicated fan base is left.
GI was released during a pretty optimal time. Other major games weren't releasing or were delayed when GI was released (Cyberpunk 2077 being released in 2077?), so the game's still on the top of everyone's attention. Once other games of the same or higher quality come out (mainly Blue Protocol, but unknow global release date, and isn't the same genre of game as GI), the player base of Genshin Impact might lower or won't spend as much money, forcing miHoYo to take action.
My personal thoughts on what to anticipate for and to expectIf you reached this part (or skipped to this part), it probably means you're going to continue playing GI for now and want to know what to anticipate for and to expect.
But first, I don't think the points I mentioned in The future of Genchin Impact will happen to GI due to its high quality.
The release of GI was great (US$245 million in the first month, sure if it takes into account every platform), but I personally expected more in terms of quality of the game and content since HI3 was already the highest quality gacha game until now (my criteria under Addressing the player base that mainly play gacha games). Though they're killing it in the music department.
You have to realize how successful the release of this actually game was, and by extension HI3.
This game has no previous franchise that automatically gives it a huge dedicated fan base. When I say huge, I am talking about the likes of, Fate/Grand Order (F/GO) with the Fate franchise, any mobile game based off a huge/popular anime/manga franchise, any typical PC/console game that's based off a huge/popular franchise, etc..
For how high quality the game is, HI3 must have done pretty good to convince investors to invest in GI with GI's US$100 million development cost.
Note that GI is aimed towards the main stream audience (your typical PC gamer and mobile gamer). HI3 specifically to mobile gamers (until they added a PC port). Also, the genre is a huge part in the popularity of HI3. Fantasy is more popular than sci-fi.
It's up to miHoYo to retain their player base for GI and for their future products.
System, QOL and in-game content changes and updates to anticipate for and expect
Almost all the quality of life changes that're applicable to GI and HI3 are already in HI3 e.g.:
- Upcoming Archive System
- Locking weapons and artifacts
- Characters having load outs for weapons and artifacts (no longer will you need to search for artifacts when testing/swapping artifacts)
- Higher FPS options over 60fps
- Changing key bindings
- Weapons change how they look after being fully upgraded
- Item descriptions
- CEO of miHoYo in the game, throwing HOMUs at you (HI3's iconic mascot)
- I wouldn't be surprised if Diona's eyes glow in the dark like a cat
- Character Collected Miscellanies, Character Tales
- OST releases
- 2D/3D animations
- Major story/version updates
- Multi language content
- Art contests
Expect to see the things that GI hasn't done yet but have done for HI3 (not in any specific order):
- New game modes/content
- New weapons
- New outfit showcases (HI3 has a magazine styled demo for new outfits on YouTube, but I don't think they'd do the same for GI), depending on the tier of outfit they can change how character abilities look and sound, and the character's animations and voice lines
- Customizable housing
- Official wallpapers on their website
- Short animated series' on YouTube
- Event websites that may/may not contain contests
- More contests (e.g. cosplay)
- Seasons changing
I touched on this before. In HI3, miHoYo started releasing character specific weapons and artifacts. Because of this, it stripped out any real strategy out of weapons and artifacts. Genshin Impact seems to be different since there're no artifacts locked behind gacha. All the unique strengths of characters are dumped into their constellations.
If characters are power crept, expect miHoYo to do something to make the characters that were power crept more relevant, typically correlating the the progression of the story and its characters.
Animations, music and story to anticipate for and expect
It's the resounding sentiment of the HI3 fan base of "when is an anime for HI3 coming out?". The story of HI3 started in 2016 and is said to progress for 3 more years until a new arc/story takes place. There is so much content in the main story and side storys that can span multiple seasons for an anime.
I'm reiterating that the story of GI is the main point of the game. I'm worried they won't do anything unique or special (unlike HI3) outside of your typical fantasy/RPG story plot lines since this game is aimed towards the main stream audience.
miHoYo has their own music label HOYO-MiX. and their own animation studio miHoYoAnime (they've previously outsourced help). They've produced/are producing banger OSTs and animations. In HI3, when there's a major character development arc, they come out with a banger animated short with a banger song (with lyrics) for that animated short for that character. They sometimes do this for events e.g. (spoiler alert for everything except the last video):
- https://youtu.be/\_J7Ppq2ZShs, the ED of Cooking with Valkyries S2 sung by the 花玲 / Huā Líng, the Chinese voice actress for Klee and Theresa Apocalypse in HI3
The difference in GI and HI3 is that HI3's main story isn't canon with the existence of the player (captain). It's like a story book. The manga (and short visual novels) are the same. HI3 has an alternative universe that involves the player that comes in the form of in game event stories (with all the event stories following the same story). GI seems to be reversed. We're playing GI with the player (traveler) that's canon to the main story of GI. The manga is not canon with the traveler. You'll need to read the manga if you want to know everything about the GI world.
The problem is that I don't know how there's going to be an epic anime-style animation/song for now since the story revolves around the player travelling to different regions. We don't have enough story and character development with the different characters in the game, so there won't be any animation/song that can evoke any strong emotions.
There're songs/OSTs in HI3 that are sorely missing on their official YouTube and/or Spotify/Apple Music:
You can find GI's songs/OSTs here:
- I wish some in game resources that load into the game were higher resolution so that they wouldn't be pixelated when I look at them
- The character models in GI are the same quality as HI3, except GI has better lighting probably due to a newer game engine (HI3 was released in 2016).
- There's a disparity between content that's advertised for the Chinese community and the global community, even though it's available for everyone. You'll only know about it if you randomly read something online that mentions it (e.g. MMD 3D models)
Addressing the player base that mainly play gacha games
The gacha rates for 5⭐ and 4⭐ characters and weapons are low compared to other gacha games.
Now actually consider what you get from the characters (weapons give you higher stats):
- A high quality 3D model & animations
- A playable character
- A vast array of character voice lines from amazing voice actors/actresses in English/Japanese/Chinese/Korean
GI on the other hand beats every other gacha game out of the water, with in my opinion the 4⭐ characters being the actual stars of the show (but not Bennett, sorry Bennett).
miHoYo invests in their characters that make you like them.
There are other reasons to play a game as I stated previously besides what you typically do for gacha games (e.g. collecting characters/weapons, auto-battling etc.).
There are a lot of gacha games out there in a saturated market and the vast majority of them all follow the same gacha system. It might be a good idea to think about the game you're going to download and play because of the game publisher's marketing, and whether to invest time and resources into it because they're so many other games in the same genre.
To do so, you have to think about a game in a more critical manner outside of the content of the game.
Of course, if a game as a monopoly of the genre (GI being the only open world gacha game), there's no other choice.
What I look for in a gacha game before even trying to play it is:
- Game optimization
- Game UI/design
- Audio quality
- Gameplay/gameplay quality
- The game producer's past history and tendencies
If I a game runs poorly and is unoptimized even though other more demanding games run better, I have no reason to invest in the game.
One example that falls into this category is the gacha game that's been recently released called Illusion Connect. The game doesn't run on Android 11 at the time of writing is, with their support saying it's because Android 11 is too new:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.superprism.illusion&hl=en\_CA&gl=US&reviewId=gp%3AAOqpTOFC-IBCuWinIURXdr3ZpChpbtlWdmQuM9kseAkpR0\_1LHfpyOZN3qb\_edaM76jOQqVcV2cOgdea5LL70QLook at every other game that runs on Android 11. Look at GI that runs great on mobile.
If the game UI/design is bad, I don't invest in the game. You can search online on what makes good game design/UI, but a couple points for me are:
- Consistent style/design
- Clean/uncluttered UI
- Proper UI scaling on devices
- Animations/transition animations
- Difficulty in getting to different parts of the UI/game due to how things are organized
In terms of gacha games, you'll typically have characters that are drawn by different artists, causing a discrepancy in what you consider a character's art to be in terms of quality. This can be jarring for players.
For example, F/GO has bad UI:
- The majority of UI elements are needlessly large, though you may like this yourself
- It takes many traverses through different UI levels/layers to get to specific things, in part due to large UI elements taking up screen space
- a lot of UI animations aren't smooth, and vary in smoothness causing inconsistency
I'm specifically talking about the quality of audio:
- Good stereo audio and depth
- Audio bitrate
- Quality of sound effects
You then have extras like songs and original sound tracks (OSTs).
The vast majority of gacha games follow the same setup:
- Advertise the game primarily with art/animation, and not the actual game/gameplay, which means they're clearly enticing players to play their game to collecting characters -> gacha
- Turn-based strategy in the form of two teams of characters fighting, having auto-battle as an option
- Use of low quality 2D sprites/3D models
The game producer's past history and tendencies
If a game passes every previous check, then I'll look at the game producer's past history and tendencies to assume what to expect of the game.
I'm looking at F/GO once again. The game's the top grossing gacha game in the world, yet the game producer doesn't update the game and it's UI to be better or higher quality.
I put gacha games on par with high profile PC games. I'm not going to be wasting time and resources on a low quality game that I'm looking to invest in for an extended period of time.
The following, most notable gacha games to me that fit the criteria above are:
- GI [miHoYo Limited]
- HI3 [miHoYo Limited]
- Exos Heroes [LINE Games], bad optimization. pay a lot to progress in story
- Arknights [Yostar Limited.], not into the gameplay, don't like the 2D sprites/animations used in the gameplay
- Azur Lane [Yostar Limited.], same as Arknights
Addressing the player base that mainly play PC games/MMOs
I suggest reading the section above.
Welcome to the gacha mechanic and stamina mechanic.
As long as miHoYo generates their intended profit, you'll be stuck with these two mechanics in their current state if you continue playing.
I suspect they're so restrictive on resin so the player doesn't get bored with the game (less time played = less bored of seeing/doing the same things) since there is a lack of end game content that will hopefully get resolved in the future as they add more to the game.
Feel free to disagree with me.
There are other aspects of the game to enjoy.
The gacha mechanic isn't a bad model for a game depending on how it's set up, and whether you're talking about the perspective of the player or game producer. In terms of the game producer, the gacha mechanic is great for profit.
This is probably your first time playing a gacha game and knowing about the company miHoYo. Companies don't owe you anything, and you're not a long time fan of miHoYo to warrant being owed to.
This isn't like living in a country where if you don't like something about the country, (most of the time) you are stuck in the country. It's a game and you're welcome to not play it.
This is the only time I mention in post that this AAA level game is free to play.
Everything I've stated previously says that GI discourages you from wishing and spending primo gems on resin refreshes. It makes people that really want a charactecharacters and/or really want to progress in the game spend money, so it's even more on them if they do spend money.
This game will last a while, and there is a lot of content coming up.
I'm leaning towards the game being a story based game with the gacha mechanic for characters and weapons. I learn towards this because of the proven successful game model miHoYo's used. On the other hand it could be a PvP shooter with a cosmetics shop. It's really up in the air for me until we get more news.
miHoYo is one of my favourite game companies to date from the experience I had with HI3 and now GI. miHoYo has done what I've always wanted in a game (until Matrix levels of technology come out), which is a high quality 3D anime-style open world story-driven RPG with tons of great out-of-game content. For me, the story & character development takes priority over to everything else (then the music and animations).
One of the big things miHoYo did that propelled my opinion of them is their creating of a PC port of HI3 with higher quality graphics settings. They didn't need to, but they did because they could and a subset of the player base wanted it.
You can read a brief history of miHoYo, their CEO, and their games from:
You might think that because I like miHoYo, that I'm bias towards them, that everything/a lot of things I've said is invalidated. That's where you're wrong kiddo. Just because I'm bias towards miHoYo doesn't mean everything/a lot of things I've said is invalidated (liking the games miHoYo have produced and the things they've done in the games and out of the games). They aren't mutually exclusive.
- Expectations can completely make or break a person's initial and ongoing experience with something whether the expectations were warranted or not
- If you don't like something or want something, voice your opinion but don't attack people with opposing opinions because you don't agree with them
Every race updated AGAIN (some 1000 hours insights +5 hour writing, warning: long post)
Change to all factions:
- Great Power penality no longer exists in the game (this will be important for multiple race updates).
- This mechanic has been replaced by growing negative diplomatic relationship points added to Aversion instead. So for example, if your dawi empire grows in size, that will decrease your diplomatic standing with greenskins and people who thematically hate the dwarfs already (already ingame -Aversion) but has no effect on people who like or are neutral towards the dawi.
- Defenders have increased unit placement area during siege battles, so units can now be placed in front of the walls (this is going to be important for the dawi, but with changes to ethereal units and spiders it's also important for everyone, regarding siege tactics variety).
Overall I think the Vampire Counts are in a pretty good place right now. So good in fact that there is a glaring leftover from their old days which I would like to do something about. Pushing the player towards using the Bloodline feature a bit more (and allowing him to use it a bit more freely) in my opinion would benefit the unique feel of the Counts greatly and also making each playthrough that much more characteristic and thematic, depending on which Bloodline the player focuses on. Currently everyone takes bits from each Bloodline that benefit the faction as a whole - a bit research rate from the Nenarchs, a bit public order from the von Carsteins. I can't imagine anyone playing like: "you know what, I'm going to save all my blood kisses and go balls deep into the Strigoi bloodline" when they could reap massive rewards from even level 1 bonuses. So increasing the starting blood kisses and granting more special lords (don't forget they have unique skill trees) early on can define a player's playstyle better. In the meantime, since the "zombies and skeletons are free now" update allowed spamming armies brainlessly, I would borrow the weak Asur lords aspect where the already hopelessly obselate old generic lords get negative traits. The lowly trash leads the spam trash armies, the high lords lead the elite ones - matching how the Midnight Aristoctracy works. While we are at how the Midnight Aristocracy works - domination confederation and loyality. The big picture leaves the vampires not stronger or weaker, just a more distinct and fun experience.
- Loyality system added to generic lords. Bloodline lords have no loyality, they are always loyal.
- Negative traits (see: cheap High Elf generic lords) added to all generic lords. Only Bloodline lords have positive traits now.
- Increased number of Blood Kiss on campaign start to 5.
- Autoresolve always grants a Blood Kiss if the enemy Legendary Lord is killed (manual battle no longer a requirement). This is just a QoL change.
- Ethereal units can move through walls in sieges (siege battle can now be started without building towers / ram).
- Now have access to domination confederation
- Cart units magical auras slightly buffed in power and range so at least one player uses them. Mortis Engine damage aura nerf (only active when it's in combat) reverted (so surrounding it with zombies is actually a valid tactic again) and does it's damage passively like before.
I believe the dawi are in a good place right now, much like the Vampire Counts, however could use a bit more pushing towards using their already existing features or slightly transforming them. With the recent addition of the Forge the one main thing left that defines the dwarfs in Warhammer still being unexploited properly is the Karaz Ankor, the fact that all the dawi holds, their great empire they inherited from their ancestors don't really show up as a unified system, connected by the tunnels below. While we do have the underway as a feature in the game I think it is very badly represented and works perfectly fine in the desert, the jungle, the heart of the empire or even norsca, which just doesn't make sense. Also the dawi capital's poor position on the map restricts them a lot in trading which weirdly makes them suffer from poor income on campaign start which just doesn't make sense with how rich they are thematically.
- Artillery can now be placed on walls.
- All capitals have 2 layers of walls now like Yvresse capital. (context: if you just scrolled here, read on: many updates include changes that allow bypassing or destroying walls easier so this change doesn't make dawi cities OP as hell as it sounds out of context. Read the new Underway, the Vampire Counts / Coast, Greenskin, Lizardmen, Chaos changes and you'll see this makes them more fun, and keeps their defenses good, not stronger, instead of getting weaker).
- Trade is no longer restricted by path connection between capitals, they can trade with any faction they share a border with
- Karaz Ankor: a map similar to empire provinces where the dwarfs can oversee how much of their eternal realm they have under control. To avoid making it feel like a copypaste feature (cough forge cough), they do not appoint kings to each hold but instead each Karak has a unique attritube to it as if it is a new Province Commandment but always active. These passives extend to the neighbouring province, so the player has a strategic choice in which order and where should he expand to recieve overlapping bonuses, helping public order, economy, province commandments etc. The mostly linear, spine shape of the mountains ensure the province bonuses shared to neighbouring Karaz Ankor provinces cannot brutally overlap (the same system for the Empire for example wouldn't work because the plains have many provinces that are surrounded by other provinces, making the overlapping bonuses ridicolously OP, while the Karaz Ankor has 2 and rarely 3 at most).
- Dawi armies no longer suffer movement point reduction in mountain as hard terrain, granting them an advantage in mountain regions against invaders.
- Underway stance removed
- Underway button added to bottom left of the UI, it's a map overlay switch ON/OFF (like Skaven corruption) but shows the Underway network between cities. This would look something like the geomatic web of the lizardmen but with obviously drastically different VFX because nobody wants another "feels like reused content" update for the dawi, even if would be fun.
- Underway building added (can be built at any Karaz Ankor city): allows armies to teleport from one city to another. Underway network can be built in any Mountain climate city. This means you can create multiple networks, one that spans across the Old World down to Nehekara, one in Lustria, and one near Araby. However this also means that an enemy army, garrisoned in their own city which is connected to your city via the Underway, can teleport to your city and instantly attack it, bypassing the walls and triggering an underway map battle. Keep in mind this is only for Mountain Climate cities, which have a Karaz Ankor building in them
I'm admittedly no expert on the lizardmen, I finished my fair share of 2 campaigns with them and did not like them much, and as you may have noticed I did not add any change to any race that is specific to a legendary lord or their faction's situation, so if Nakai's brother-faction still sucks, this rework isn't going to fix that. My scope is broader and aims to add the overall quality of life / thematics to the race as a whole. I mean we are talking about castle sized dinosaurs held back by the castle's walls, what the hell? That raw bestial power they are radiating from themselves is held back by game rules. Time to change that.
- Bastiladons (a.k.a. mace tails) can now attack walls
- Dread Surian can not attack walls and destroy them super fast
- No longer suffer movement point penality by dense forest areas, granting them an advantage of movement speed in Lustria.
- All projectiles can now move past trees (projectiles don't get stuck), a million years spent in the jungles you'd think they learned how to aim properly.
- They suffer attrition in desert areas but also have the water mechanics from Repanse making Tiq'taq'toe and Kroq-gar campaigns more interesting.
Assuming there is a larger scale rework coming I would not dare go into an A4 page long rework idea here, but just add some small ideas. This is really just a small in-between thing to spice things up a bit and move them closer to the rest of the factions in gameplay smoothness and options. What they think Chaos Warriors lack at the moment is having a safety net to rely on. This is a general issue for all Horde factions but looking at Nakai and his AI companion faction, there are ways to work around this and make it fun. So what I want to see added to Chaos Warriors is the ability to have very few places on the map where they can take root and stop for a moment to breathe. So the more factions you destroy and build Chaos Gates (see below) at their capitals, slowly but surely it also gives you more financial safety instead of always running against the clock with a negative income early on, then reach a point in your progression curve where your armies are suddenly almost free but you didn't start to build enough of them and need to cover more space really fast. Income from Chaos Gates aims to smooth out this transition and allow a few units or an army more as you approach midgame of your campaign.
- Kholek model increased in size drastically to be closer or even match the lore. Added unique sync-animation vs Dread Saurian, dragons, and TK constructs. Can now attack and destroy walls super fast.
- Dragon Ogres can now destroy walls.
- Chaos Undivided as a faction removed
- Domination confederation added
- Entering raiding camp stance costs no movement points.
- Now all Chaos LLs lead their own faction with a unique starting position. When (and only when) the player plays Chaos, all 3 lords are present on the map at the same time on turn 1 millitary alliance. Whichever LL you play, the other two is in millitary alliance with YOU, but not each other. This ensures you can attack one for domination confederation and the other won't be dragged into a war with you automatically.
- Can now build Chaos Gate in place of destroyed capitals. Chaos Gate is a single building chain but Three Kingdoms style it can be upgraded in multiple ways / paths, for specialization. The effects apply to the entire province, not just the capital's region within it. Specializations include: replenishment +20%, corruption +6 in province and neighbouring provinces, periodically spawning supporting army (spawns a weak 5-10 units AI chaos army that you can choose to kill for benefits and BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD or command it as a vassal), and a few more variation. Whichever building branch you choose, of course you cannot choose the rest anymore unless destroyed and rebuilt. They have 5 levels and their power ramps up, for example, +2 corruption in province and neighbouring provinces is +3 on lv2, +4 on lv3, +5 on lv4, and +6 on level 6. Every building upgrade naturally comes with increased Garrison size just like other factions, but they are scaled to be a bit stronger (a bit more and a bit higher tier units each level) to make a strong Chaos Gate an actual challenge to destroy. All of them have walls and hell cannon ammo using towers. All Chaos Gates provide a small income (like +200 on lv1 and +100 each level).
Let's be honest here there is not much left to do, their recent rework was the most comprehensive possible out of all the reworks so far. Still there are a few things that could be done.
- All spider units can now climb walls
- Immunity to movement point penality in the Badlands, granting them a speed advantage in their homeland.
- Can build and use the new underway system (see: dawi changes), which is a big enough addition. Obviously they have no access to the Karaz Ankor regional bonuses or anything that represents the dawi empire, this is strictly the ability to use the new underway.
I think the darkelf society is a bit mispresented in the game right now. Their lands are not defined like the various imperial provinces of the Empire of Men, they all answer to Malekith or Morathi, and those don't really answer to each other as both act like the absolute supreme leader. While Malekith technically IS that leader, Morathi nearly always goes behind his back somehow to bypass his rules and forbids. The rest of the factions are inferior to them definitely, but struggle to increase their own power by rivalry, backstabbings and taking that belongs to the others. Malekith and Morathi, they bow to nobody and despite being mother and son they have a somewhat love - really hate relationship, so playing around with the confederation mechanics as bad as it is actually benefits it portraying them correctly. However characters who are elevated to near equal in game rules by just BEING legendary lords need be separated and shown that they are the lesser characters. The changes below aim to translate this to the game's rule language.
- Domination confederation added with some specific rules. Malekith and Morathi cannot be dominated, they need to be confederated the traditional way.
- Hellebron, Lokhrir Fellheart and Malus Darkblade now start as a vassal of Malekith.
- Hellebron, Lokhir Fellheart and Malus Darkblade can be domination confederated by each other and by the "big two" aswell.
- Malekith and Morathi currently dislikes your faction if you attack other dark elf factions. When you destroy these factions completely however, the negative diplomatic penality disappears. Explanation: when there is infighting there is instability. The rulers of the druchii cannot tolerate that - but as long as there is order, it doesn't matter who took who's place, as long as they keep in line as serve you with the same power. So by killing dark elf minor factions you just reorganize power really, but still serve your lord.
- Increased background income by +1000 gold / turn (Quintex and Ghrond goldmines slightly nerfed to compensate, like -150 gold).
- Being a vassal means paying +1000 gold / turn to your master.
- You can decide to rebel against Malekith at any point in the game but he will not forgive and beeline go through everything to destroy you. He has a temper you see.
Not much to be done here regarding new features, but I think the current issue they have is shared with the Skaven and the Empire - they have so many unit types overlapping it is super confusing early on and makes certain units outright pointless. For example, when you play as Eltharion you have a low tier spearmen unit that absolutely outclasses the default spearmen unit of all elves. This unit is thematic to Yvresse however and it makes no sense others can recruit it right from the start, while it makes no sense for you as an Yvresse player to recruit standard spearmen at any point in the game - so if you have this DLC, the standard spearmen are absolutely pointless because everyone has access to it. The main idea behind updating both the Highelves and the Skaven is to clear up some of the DLC unit overlaps / powercreep and create fun campaign goals for the players that dynamically adept to them. I also want to better repesent the unplayable but lorewise no less important kingdoms.
- Nagarythe renamed to Aesanar, meaning "the people of Anar". This is how they actually named themselves after the survivors of the Nagarythe wars got wiped out mostly by the cultists and the survivors of those got mostly wiped out by the Sundering. The loyalist nagarythe people blame the rest of the asur just as much as the druchii for the destruction of their kingdom, and swore their loyality to House Anar only, naming themselves Aesanar. (Source: The Sundering, Gav Thorpe). They have no home now therefore calling them Nagarythe makes no sense, even if it is their ancestral home. In the big sweep of faction renaming, they were left out, this is fixed now.
- Only Eatene faction have access to Lothern Sea Guard
- Only Yvresse faction have access to Silverin Guard (Athel Tamatha / Mystwalker units are still exclusive to playing as Yvresse)
- Only Aesanar faction have access to Shadow Walkers and Shadow Warriors
- Only Avelorn has access to Sisters of Avelorn unit (woodspirits are exclusive to playing as Avelorn)
- Only Teclis's faction has access to Arcane Phoenix
- Diplomatic penality for confederation between asur factions removed.
- All asur factions (with the exception of Aesanar) now have +10 diplomatic relation toward each other (Tyrion already has this, so he has +20 now).
- With the removal of Great Power penality from the entire game (see top of the post), the diplomatic manipulation system the elves already have in place, them generally trading with each other from early on, and the added extra positive diplomatic relations from the start, the good relationships are already granted and in place, allowing you to confederate as fast as you can given the game's already in place rules, but with no confederation or great power penality. Alternatively, if a faction is destroyed, you can unlock it's units by simply owning their capital.
- New / updated buildings:
- Charce capital new unique building: has global buffing building for White Lions of Charce, White Lion beasts.
- Saphiery capital changed unique building: has global buffing for Winds of Magic recharge / reserve
- Ellyrion capital changed unique building: has global buffing for all horsemen units.
- Cothique capital new building: has global buffing for all chariot units.
- Tiranoc capital new building: generates influence (as the old capital of Ulthuan it holds so much history, legacy, that owning it should give a political swaying power).
- Nagarythe capital new building: increases Chaos Corruption across every Ulthuan province. This is only for fun, and represents that if tempered with, the remains of Morathi's corruption can still mess up the continent. Honestly this is just a whacky addition to make things harder for you, it's your choice to build it anyway.
- Caledor gets no new unique building as it already provides a global bonus to dragons. The issue with the rest is, they provide recruitment bonuses mostly, and always recruiting horsemen in Ellyrion is just never going to happen.
- Cothique capital new building: increases diplomatic standing with woodelves +20 (this is where Aenerion's first son went into retirement because he was mentally unfit thus couldn't rule. However he is still royal blood and the only kin to the woodelves afar are still the asur and the druchii, and it's cool to play with the idea that he tried to contact the lost brethren somehow. This is also the closest kingdom to the old world, save for Yvresse. This building represents that idea.
Same idea as with the high elves. Way too many units that play mostly the same role, confusing and overflowing the player while half of the roster is left entirely unused until after later stages of the game where the player can afford to build any thematic army. And they are to receieve even more with the upcoming DLC, which is just going to be insane. Just read this: for short ranged mobile ranged infantry we sligers, nightrunner, nightrunners WITH slings, gutter runners, gutter runner (poison variant), gutter runner (slingers). It's just so much, too much. Even as a seasoned player with a 1000 hours behind my back in this game I'm fucking scared to overwhelmed by too many options on turn 1. So in case you did not read the high elves update: we remove certain units from the unified recruit pool, until you confederate the representing faction.
- Domination confederation added
- Added ability to trade with any skaven faction globally (no need of capital connection), because they are connected through the globe by the Underempire.
- The following units are unlocked through confederation permanently OR TRADE as long as there is a trade agreement between 2 clans. Alternatively, if the clan is destroyed, by taking their capital city has the same effect as confederation.
- Only Clan Eshin can recruit Eshin Triads and Death Runners.
- Only Clan Pestilens can recruit Plague Monk Censer Bearer variant.
- Only Clan Skyre can recruit Ratling Guns.
- Only Clan Moulder can recruit (whatever new giant mutant unit they get in DLC).
- Queek and Craventrail has no exclusive units.
In my opinion, the Vampire Coast is the defination and embodiment of feature creep. They have EVERYTHING. They can build, but they are also a horde. They can spread corruption but don't suffer attrition from the lack of it. Their LLs are black arks, that can move on land. They have insanely good ranged thematics, supported by tanking cavalry and regenerating elite infantry. They have undercities, but their economy is good enough to not rely on them. They can collect
- Suffers attrition on Untainted lands
- Raise Dead (land) is restricted to basic units (wardogs, low tier zombies)
- Raise Dead (sea) automatically grants a larger and stronger unit pool depending on how many Pirate Coves are in the region / province that belongs to the sea area.
- Can only build (woodelf-like) outposts in land settlements that have no ports (starting province is the exception)
- Pirate Cove discoverability reduced greatly
- Pirate Cove building options expanded greatly allowing various underworld-criminal-esque actions, which manifest as dilemmas. This would introduce a certain level of diplomacy for the factions that is on an entirely different layer than the actual ingame diplomacy, by allowing the Vampire Coast factions to make connections with the criminals of each society. For example if you have a Pirate Cove in Lothern, the diplomacy window would be something like "A noble approaches in the dead of night. He does seem confident, despite dead slowly but surely surrounding him. Standing before you, he reveals himself as one of the druchii spies, and makes a proposal: he'll send more clueless asur into your cold embrace, in exchange for some gold you bring up from the seas". Here the player has the dilemma choice: agree and get +growth factionwide (5 turns), negative growth for Lothern (5 turns), but costs 1500 gold. About 10 dilemmas occuring every 10 turns in each pirate cove where the "dilemma building" is built should be enough.
- Etheral units can move through walls in sieges
- Can now attack coastal cities without triggering a war, but the only option when attacking this way is sack. Of course it still adds negative diplomatic relation points to the attacked faction.
- Can now resurrect dead LLs back into the campaign like Chaos Warriors can resurrect Norscan tribes. (example: if you play Luthor and take Sartosa, which is owned by whatever faction that killed off Sartosa from the campaign, you can resurrect the faction much like Chaos can resurrect and vassalize Norscan tribes at their capitals). Upon resurrection the player can choose to dominate confederation, vassalize, millitary ally or let them free. Just defeating the Legendary Lord while his/her faction lives does NOT allow domination confederation! The vampire coast LLs don't seek to control each other like the vampire counts.
Assuming they'll recieve a larger scope feature update much like the greenskins did, I would like to suggest only a few in-between quality of life changes that would be easy to pull off until the big rework.
- Entering raiding camp stance costs no movement points
With the big rework on our doorstep I'd like to refrain from suggesting updates now. I did so for years in very long posts before, now that maybe even today it's getting revealed, it would be pointless.
I think they are in an amazing spot and pretty much done. I cannot think of a new unit they could have, save for a few that Nagash made but since his knowledge is forbidden across Nehekara, it wouldn't be fair to add some new units that are exclusive to Arkhan. Even if you take Nagashizzar, the Nehekaran Kings and Queens don't want to summon these abominations. So instead, I approach this update from another perspective where the Nehekaran history is incredibly rich, but the ingame presentation is kind of bland - which is campaign goals. Yes, the entire game could use a better short victory campaign goal list, but let's just give this to the Tomb Kings in this post, okay? Can we do that?
- High Queen Khalida renamed to High Queen Khalida Nefeher
- Khalida campaign goals: ensure all vampire factions and characters are destroyed in the world. Have the Black Pyramid of Nagash under control either by the sentiels (the faction which guards it on turn 1 so nobody can unleash it's horrors) or own it. Own Nagashizzar.
- Settra the Unperishable new trait that lists every title he has and gives him +1 of every stat (melee defense, leadership, movement speed on campaign map, -1% upkeep cost on everything, every stat that is in the game, but really, EVERYTHING in a gigantic laughable tooltip when the player hovers over it).
- Settra the Unperishable new campaign goals: unite Nehekara under your rule. Destroy all of Norsca and every faction that is norscan (race). They don't know who they fucked with when they stole your crown while you slept.
- Arkhan the Black: own the Black Pyramid of Nagash and Nagashizzar. Collect every page of the Book of Nagash. Control all of Sylvania through alliance or ownership (Mannfred and Arkhan brought back Nagash to the world so this is setting that up as a thematic goal for Arkhan).
- Khatep: control the magical chokepoints of the world in your quest for finding immortality. Own: Saphiery (capital), Oak of Ages, Black Pyramid of Nagash, Nagashizzar, Gates of Darkness (west of Nagarrond). He can build an outpost on these locations now that ensures there is no rebellion happening in these cities. Once you have them all, either own Khemri via alliance or ownership (representing your coming home to Settra who sent you away in the first place to find the source of eternal life).
Chivalry and honour stand in the center of this faction and I would not stray from this theme, but rather expand further upon it while helping them out a little bit, and carry over some Three Kingdoms economy mechanics.
- Trade agreements with high / very high reliability factions yield more income
- Factions who break a millitary alliance when one of their allies is attacked but they refuse to join in their defense now automatically enter to war with all 3 Bretonnian Kingdoms.
- Unique buildings added / updated. The player can now preview the main building of every settlement in "Bretonnian version" in the building chain, and all main settlement buildings are updated based on what kind of region they are in. For example, if a city is nearby a mountain or perhaps already has Iron or Marble as a resource, the main settlement building would provide a 10% bonus income from Industry buildings. But if the city is in the open area of green grasslands, it would provide extra income for Peasant buildings. This bonus would be added to cities that are ideal (green category) climate for Bretonnian factions and is tailormade to logically match the enviroment. For example, this would mean Repanse would get peasant economy bonuses in cities that are near waters, while in the middle of the desert it's industry bonuses only. The way this would create mixed or homogene provinces would still allow a decision to players between the two economy types but some areas would be better in either industry or peasantry, which, especially early on is a helping hand for new players to grasp the idea of how the Bretonnian economy works, while provides target goals for seasoned veterans.
Admittedly I'm no Norsca player myself but one thing I do know they suffer from is ordertide when the player plays as Norsca. Unless you know this issue upfront and beeline rush to take out Bretonnia they WILL invade you stack after stack after stack. This is not how the experience should be, and while I know it can be changed with AI goal tweaks or perhaps even faction nerfs, I'd leave this untouched. At the end of the day this is a fun rivalry, but the player is waaaay underequipped to deal with it and it ends up as a whack-a-mole game that leaves you stranded on Norsca (the continent) forever on the defense with a bad economy, while you are supposed to be out there raiding. If you do that, however, you'll have no armies back home to defend from the invaders. So with some tweaks I'd like to change things up a bit.
- To each stage of support from a Chaos god, bonus income per turn is added, something like ~600 gold per turn, increasing by 200 per level. So on level 1 into Khorne for example, you'll get extra 600 gold / turn income, on lv2 Khorne you get 800. Level 2 Khorne and level 1 Slaanesh gives you 800+600.
- This also introduces a player choice to go for small support from all the gods and give up on their larger factionwide bonuses (or really just delay them) and provides a more stable early game that allows roughly 1 or 0.5 more armies to be paid safely. Since support from the gods come from totems that you build upon destroyed cities this further encourages aggressive raiding gameplay style but also achieves creating a bit more reliable background income that would normally come from homeland economy.
- 1 new Lord type added. I have no idea what but c'mon they have one, it's abysmal.
- Settlement main building level now increases corruption based attrition damage by 3% per level, so a lv1 settlement should make an invading force vulnerable to Chaos corruption attrition damage suffer 3% more attrition damage, while a lv5 settlement gives 15% damage. This should help increase the defenses of Norsca across the continent both from Hellebron (who likes chaotic wasteland but doesn't like corruption), Nordland and Bretonnia.
No update sorry I lied :(. Honestly they are in a good place.