For all that Genshin Impact has achieved since its release, there are so many things left to be desired in the game. There’s the Resin System that limits activities too much. Then there’s the Genshin Impact gacha system that has been receiving a ton of flak recently.
Genshin Impact Gacha System, Predatory?
In some ways, it does come across as such. The Genshin Impact gacha system operates like a casino slot machine. The more resources you put in it, the better the chances of winning. It lets players pay thousands of dollars just to get certain characters. That 0.6% chance to get a 5-star puts a high paywall only the most privileged can climb over.
Maybe there’s a cultural dissonance. Asian region gamers are more receptive to this kind of business practice as it came from them. Gamers from the Americas regard it with some suspicion since they’re used to a subscription model. Whatever the problem is, you can earn your peace and form your own opinion of the game. What’s important is finding your own way to enjoy the game.
The game doesn’t force anyone to open their wallets. However, they aren’t subtle in the fact that they want you to open your wallet. When you’re bombarded with implied messages to ‘buy this’, the pull to spend your money becomes harder to resist. That’s pure psychology and nothing predatory at all.
What’s the F2P Perspective on the Gacha System?
For a F2P player, all this fuss about the gacha system is silly. You’re either lucky or not. If not, then you have to make do with what you have. Of course, having the meta characters would be good, but it’s not a necessary thing.
Don’t you think it is more skillful to clear things with characters considered ‘weak’? Some players have built Amber or Kaeya to be complete powerhouses. Others are using Sucrose or Lisa or Xingqiu. The ‘dream team’ may be the meta, but that doesn’t mean the other characters aren’t strong as well.
That’s the majority of what players end up paying for. They want this or that character and won’t settle for less. It’s somewhat understandable for event banner characters, as they’re not in the pool of the standard banner. However, those pulling for Diluc, Keqing, or Qiqi are less understandable.
A F2P player knows that for the standard banner, play for long enough and they’ll get them eventually. It might take longer, but that character will be welcomed once they come home.
5-star weapons? They don’t need those. Some 3-star ones have better effects than those rated higher. Even better, you can refine 3-star weapons to their limit. You get them from wishing and even chests scattered across Teyvat.
Take the ‘Thrilling Tales of Dragon Slayers’ for example. With a level 1 base attack of 39 and a passive increase to HP, it doesn’t seem like a very good catalyst. However, its effect is to increase the attack of the next character you switch into for 10s is great. If you raise its refinement level to 5, that increase goes up to 48% of that character’s attack. That’s an increase of almost half! Equip it on a catalyst support character, such as Barbara, and you get healing and an attack boost at the same time.
One downside is more effort. The majority of the benefits of paying for stuff in the game is to ease your progression. Paying for extra Resin, Fates, or even just the level up or ascension materials can speed up your progress to be stronger than you were before. That convenience isn’t available to pure F2P players, though it’s always their choice to spend money or not.
Conclusion – Player Experience May Vary
You could be the type who wants to figure out the best builds for characters. Maybe you don’t care about the Spiral Abyss (you should still try to get the 3-abyssal star rewards, though). Otherwise, you could be someone okay with spending money on the game, with limits.
Of course, you can also decide to stop playing for any reason. The decision to do so rests on you. The point is, we don’t all have the same expectations toward the game.
That’s okay. There will always be detractors and critics. A 100% approval rating is impossible. What’s important is that you enjoy the game in the way you want. Whether that’s by spending money or not, your experience of the game is valid. However, you should also know your limits. If you find that you can’t have fun anymore, it’s time to stop.
Anything goes, whether F2P or not, as long as you enjoy the game. In the end, that’s the most important thing.
May the Archons bless your journey across Teyvat, Traveler!