Many have long awaited this moment to play Genshin Impact, which launches today on 28 September 2020. We had the opportunity to have an email interview with miHoYo prior to the launch, to learn some backstory to the logistics behind developing such an ambitious title that sees not just a simultaneous global launch, but across multiple platforms as well. Let’s get into it!
What inspired you to design this gameplay and game mechanics?
miHoYo: “Something new, something exciting, something out of imagination” has been miHoYo’s motto since day one. In 2017, we began to feel a game that allowed players on different devices and platforms to play together was something that had the potential to exceed players’ expectations. The open-world concept was a good vehicle for many of our concepts and gives players greater freedom, and thus the idea of developing a cross-platform open-world adventure game was born.
We benefited greatly from the lessons that we learned from the development of the Honkai series. Genshin Impact combines an original setting and story with gameplay focused on multi-character role-playing and interactions between the elements.
Would you say the game was designed with mobile or console players in mind?
miHoYo: The concept behind Genshin Impact has always been to create a cross-platform, open-world gaming experience. One of miHoYo’s main goals is to create games that are “out of imagination,” and Genshin Impact was conceived from the start as a cross-platform title. Freedom is a hallmark of open-world games, and for us this means more than just having a wide-open world to explore in the game, but also to minimize restrictions that players may face in terms of the device that they play on, allowing players using different devices to explore the land of Teyvat, whether by themselves or with players on different platforms. This is why we decided to develop for PC, mobile and console at the same time, and to make cross-platform co-op a key part of development. We are working hard to ensure that the game runs smoothly on all three platforms, and to optimize for each platform.
Any pity system (spark system) for gacha?
miHoYo: Guaranteed drop mechanics are in place for the game’s Wish system. View each Wish Card Pool in-game to see detailed drop rates.
Will there be any events (stuff like summer/Halloween) for the game, or it will be the only main storyline During closed beta, most of the main characters are free of charge, when official release, will they stay free or need to gacha to get them?
miHoYo: There will be in-game events that fit within the world setting that will be similar to the festival event that we launched in the beta to enrich the player’s experience.
Players will be able to unlock 4 main characters to use for exploring the world by simply progressing through the storyline. Players may also obtain materials, equipment, weapons, and other characters by completing challenges and quests. Of course, the Wish system is also available for players who want to have access to more characters and equipment.
The recent trailers showed some characters being able to traverse terrain like water. Are there areas locked behind recruiting certain characters?
miHoYo: You will gradually unlock the world map as you progress through the story and level up, which will allow you to explore even more areas.
How does the co-op mode work, can we clear the story with friends or only certain areas?
miHoYo: Genshin Impact’s co-op feature is unlocked when you reach Adventure Rank 16, allowing you to explore Teyvat in parties of up to 4 players and fight together in co-op-oriented scenarios such as boss fights and domain challenges. Content such as the main quests and side quests can only be played in single-player.
How long is the main story?
miHoYo: As an open-world ARPG, free exploration of a vast world map is at the heart of Genshin Impact’s gaming experience. There are dozens of hours of unique exploration content, and the concept of “completion” is entirely up to each individual player.
In Honkai Impact, certain activities are limited by daily tokens. Will Genshin have similar mechanics?
miHoYo: Some events in Genshin Impact will be limited by a Stamina mechanism, but the core gameplay of open-world exploration will not be. This includes the main quest and side quests, puzzles and collection, among others.
Rerolling is highly common in anything with gacha mechanics. Will it be easy to do so in Genshin Impact?
miHoYo: The game does not have a rerolling mechanic.
For the co-op section, what are the limitations if we join our friend’s quest? Do we have less EXP, less items or etc?
miHoYo: Our goal is to deliver an immersive gaming experience, empowering the player to freely explore the vast land of Teyvat. Most of the time, each player has their game world to themselves, but players can invite other players and friends to join their world as well. Invited players can gather items such as ore and plants on the world map, but more valuable items like chests, Anemoculi, and Geoculi can only be gathered in your own game world, maintaining the integrity of the immersive single-player experience.
Of course, each participating player gets their fair share of rewards from the boss fights and domain challenges in Co-Op Mode.
Will the graphic experience on mobile be as delightful as the console/pc after the final polish?
miHoYo: Each platform has its own unique characteristics and advantages, and our job is to optimize the game to utilize the advantages of each platform, in order to deliver a satisfying gaming experience regardless of which device you are playing on. We work hard to optimize graphics for mobile phones, although performance is also affected by your device specs.
For the gacha system, is it friendly for free-to-play players? Will the pay-to-win players dominate PVP? Or is the gacha just for cosmetics?
miHoYo: Genshin Impact seamlessly combines both single-player and co-op gaming experiences, allowing players to explore the game world by themselves or invite friends to adventure alongside them. Player versus player (PVP) is not one of the areas that we focus on, and there will be no “pay-to-win” system. Our goal is to create a friendly free-to-play (F2P) environment, where players can freely choose whether and how they want to spend money.
For future updates, how will the next character be chosen? Will it be based on weapon types or will the next character be based on next story content?
miHoYo: As with previous character updates, future characters will be updated as the story is unveiled.
Take it slow, or rush for maximum efficiency, there isn’t really a wrong way to play Genshin Impact. So long you enjoy the ride, be sure to take in the sights of Teyvat! Who knows what surprises lie in wait for you around the corner…