What has happened since then?
Genshin Impact took the world by storm, though it has calmed down a bit due to HoYoverse releasing Honkai: Star Rail. Still, it has a significant player population that switches between those two games. Since both use the same credentials, there wasn’t a big hit to the number of Genshin Impact accounts. The activity of the players is a different thing, though.
Anyway, it’s a good time to look back and see how far it has come.
Genshin Impact: the beginning
The game’s development started as early as the end of January 2017 with a small team of 120 people. As time passed, the team grew and grew. By February 2021, the team had grown to 700 members. They had a budget of $100 million, making it one of the most expensive games to develop. However, they used the budget wisely, bringing Teyvat to life through real-life inspirations.
miHoYo revealed the game in June 2019, during that year’s E3. Despite the complaints about copying Breath of the Wild, Genshin Impact was released a year later, on September 28, 2020. The reception was warm, praising the combat, design, and gameplay aspects.
Of course, there were complaints, some persisting even until now. One of those is the lack of endgame content, which never improved after all this time. Another was the need for more quality-of-life features, though this is slowly resolved. There have been updates for this, but only some things are better. It could do with a bit more, such as the ‘Dispatch Again’ feature Star Rail has. Also, Genshin trading remains an impossibility.
Every new patch means new events to participate in. This sometimes includes lore, which newer players miss out on, especially that one event when Scaramouche came out. Still, it means there’s always something new to do in the game.
Version 1.0: Mondstadt and Liyue
The first version of Genshin Impact introduced Mondstadt and Liyue, the first two nations of Teyvat. The map was relatively minor, with only these two countries. However, it offered hours and hours of exploration time and other activities.
In version 1.2, the Dragonspine area was added as an extension of Mondstadt. It also borders Liyue to the south, so it’s fitting to be the first new area. Later in 1.6, the last patch for version 1, a limited-time location called the Golden Apple Archipelago was available. It has a vague positioning in Teyvat, as the mountains the Anemo Archon leveled landed there. Still, it is also the site of an Inazuman shipwreck.
Various other game mechanics appeared in version 1, such as the reputation system, gadgets, the Waverider, and the Serenitea Pot.
Characters introduced in Version 1:
- The starting batch of characters
- Hu Tao
Version 2.0: Inazuma and the Chasm
With version 2.0 came the third nation to explore, Inazuma. It started with three islands: Narukami, Kannazuka, and Yashiori. The next update introduced Watatsumi and Seirai, and then the one following that released Tsurumi Island. The last addition to the Inazuma areas happened in 2.4 with Enkanomiya, the ruins beneath the depths of the sea.
This series of patches also released the Chasm, the mysterious mine mentioned in Liyue since the beginning of the game. The last patch, 2.8, allowed us to revisit the Golden Apple Archipelago and served to bridge the current in-game events to the next nation, Sumeru. Not to say the Chasm isn’t connected; the first Sumeru quest leads you to exit from there.
Characters introduced in Version 2:
- Kamisato Ayaka
- Naganohara Yoimiya
- Raiden Shogun
- Sangonomiya Kokomi
- Arataki Itto
- Yae Miko
- Kamisato Ayato
- Kujou Sara
- Yun Jin
- Kuki Shinobu
- Shikanoin Heizou
Version 3.0: Sumeru and its Deserts
Finally catching up to the current version, 3.0 introduced Sumeru and the most exciting plot for the main questline yet. Compared to the other nations, it is the biggest one. Not only does it have a large area, but it also has multiple underground sections that increase the locations players need to explore. More than that, Sumeru was already pretty big at release, but the desert areas kept expanding.
At the time of writing, Genshin is at version 3.6, with the release of the Girdle of the Sands. The other desert areas were the Great Red Sand (Hypostyle Desert, Land of Upper and Lower Setekh) and the Desert of Hadramaveth.
This version also introduced the Genius Invokation TCG. Travelers can collect cards and duel NPCs or other players in this minigame. There are quite a handful of cards to gather by now, as the developers update it every patch. Lastly, it made the Dendro element available to use by players, as before, only Dendro Slimes could.
Characters introduced in Version 3:
What’s coming next in Genshin Impact?
Of course, with the end of the version 3 updates, Fontaine is the next stop on the Traveler’s journey in version 4. Players are already anticipating the new characters and areas to explore. Also, they’re itching to know what happens next and for some lore revelations.
After Fontaine, there are two more nations to go to (Natlan and Snezhnaya) and Khaenri’ah and Celestia to discover. What truths will the Traveler uncover about the world’s fate or the Abyss’s and the Fatui’s motives? There’s also the (spoiler alert) fact that their sibling isn’t considered a Descender or a person from another world. What is the reason for that, and will they be able to travel together once again?
We’ve hit the halfway mark (or are already past it) for the journey across all seven nations of Teyvat. However, that doesn’t mean the end of the Traveler’s adventures. Considering that the Khaenri’ah chapter is marked as ‘???,’ there could be some intervening chapters after the Snezhnaya part and that one. Also, once the Traveler is done with Teyvat, other worlds may open for them.
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