Monday, October 12, 2020
I still haven't hit a paywall in Genshin Impact. However, I hit something which I would call a playwall: Yesterday I killed my first elite monster in the game. That is a scripted, action-based, combat event, not unlike a raid boss in World of Warcraft. You need to do a "dance", avoid the boss in certain situations, attack him in others. At some point I paused the combat and looked up a step of the dance on YouTube, because the boss kept healing himself back up, and I hadn't noticed that I needed to jump into an updraft and collect the globes he healed himself with to prevent it. Once I knew how to do it, it was doable. But I hated every moment of it. This is exactly the sort of gameplay that I abandoned MMORPGs for.
The reason I attacked the elite monster in the first place was that I had hit adventure rank 25, which means that I can now "ascend" my characters to the next star level, which raises their level cap from 40 to 50. But, you guessed it, that needs materials that only the boss mobs drop. Assuming that I want to ascend all my characters, I'll be farming elite monsters for weeks. And I don't want to. I want to do other parts of the Genshin Impact gameplay, explore the map, hunt anemoculus, gather resources, and so on. But if I do that, I am stuck behind that playwall. Only by doing the dance I hate can my characters advance.
Weirdly enough Genshin Impact has a good co-op system in place for domains, which are small events in which you need to kill a number a monsters within a time limit. You go to the dungeon door, press the co-op button, and in no time you have a random group of up to 4 players, which makes the domain a lot easier. The elite monsters would be a lot easier too in co-op, but there is no co-op button for those. You can visit other player's worlds, or let them into your world, but there is no system in place to look for people who want to kill the same elite boss than you do. So I can ascend my weapons to 50, because the materials are found in domains, but not my characters, because their materials are found on elite monsters. It is frustrating!