No game in the world is perfect, and Genshin Impact definitely isn’t. And oh boy does it have a lot of problems.
It’s not about the rates, nor the pity system, nor the IRL cost per pull. It’s the fact that gacha exists in the game.
Academic research has shown that lootboxes are linked to gambling problems, in adults and adolescents. And gacha is equivalent with lootboxes since both have the players spend currency for a chance to acquire something rare and/or powerful. And in Genshin Impact, you pull for characters and weapons, which is vital for gameplay.
Can the game be played without gacha at all? Yes, and to my knowledge it has been done twice. A YouTuber, Enviosity, cleared the last floor of the Spiral Abyss, which is the hardest content in the game, with no gacha-exclusive resources.
And by the way, Floor 12 got revamped on February 2021, two months after Enviosity’s went up. It got even harder.
One other documented attempt was by a user on the NGA forums (CN source), who has been playing since the game launched. He did manage to get through the new Floor 12, but since they have been playing since the game started they managed to acquire some extra characters and weapons for free from events, which new players won’t get. Enviosity does his challenges without the event-exclusive characters and weapons.
Almost every discussion on team and character building starts with “What do you have?”. It has completely poisoned the gameplay of Genshin.
RNG Loot Drops
It’s pretty bad.
Every resin-based resource needed to raise your character is based on RNG. Boss materials? RNG. Domain loot drops? RNG. Available-once-a-week boss materials that is needed to max out Talent levels? RNG.
And the worst offender for this are Artifacts.
Every Artifact belongs in a set, can fit in one of five slots, has one main stat and 4 out of 10 possible sub-stats (which cannot be a duplicate of the main stat). Each Artifact Domain can drop Artifacts from two different sets, and at the highest level can drop at least 2 5-star (highest grade) artifacts per Condensed Resin used. Say I am aiming for a Thundering Fury Feather with 2 useable sub-stats. As Feathers and Flowers have a fixed main stat, they have the best chances of being what you want. Assuming that the stat, Artifact type, and set distribution are equal, for every run I have a 0.5% chance of getting what I want. And this is the best case scenario. If I am going for a Goblet, which has 11 possible main stats, my chances of getting a useable one regardless of set is 0.08%.
As if that isn’t bad enough, for every 4 levels you raise for each Artifact, a random sub-stat will increase. So, if I want 2 out of 5 of my sub-stat boosts to be on the sub-stats I want, I have a 25% chance of that happening. Which means, every time I complete a Domain run I have a 0.02% to 0.125% chance of getting something useable.
Without any sort of resin refill and fully utilizing all your Resin, you get to complete 9 rounds of Domain runs in 2 whole days. In other words, for a 50% chance to get a specific artifact that I want I will need to be farming from 89 to 556 days. And this is assuming that the stat distribution is equal. Community testing (courtesy of /u/Acheron-X) has shown that it is actually weighted. Granted, you don’t normally need to farm for just one piece, you’ll be farming for a few at the same time, but this is still frustrating to the highest order as it makes building characters a massive chore. Not to mention, each team has four slots, so you’ll need to build at least 4 characters (or 8 if you want to try Spiral Abyss). You can relax your Artifact requirements for supports and focus on your main DPS, but it is still a back-breaking task.
Yeah, as of the time of writing it doesn’t exist in Genshin. Considering how much some people spend on the game it should’ve been there since Day 1.
I would have said that the first two problems are there to frustrate you enough to start paying, but the artifact issue is painful even if you ARE paying. If I can splurge to refresh my Resin every day (800 Primogems* limit per day), I have 360 more Resin every day. Which means for a 50/50 chance to get the artifact that I want I still have to spend 30 to 186 days. That is still about one to six months.
I suppose that is one way to keep people playing. Give them a grindstone and they’ll whip themselves to grind more.
As for the 2FA thing, that’s just inexcusable.
* side note: You’ll get 60 Primogems daily for free as a reward for completing Daily Commissions, and up to 600 for completing the last four floors of the Spiral Abyss every two weeks. So you only need to purchase 740 Primogems daily, and less if you can earn them from the Spiral Abyss, but it still won’t be cheap.