Genshin Impact

Why Genshin Impact’s Recent 4-Stars Have Been Disappointing

Free Upcoming 4-star Sword in Genshin Impact 2.8 Update

Genshin Impact has been out for almost 2 years now, but the recent string of 4-star characters has been disappointing. Is the recent drop in quality accidental or perhaps deliberate, and why is Genshin Impact taking such a turn with its 4-stars? In this article, we will discuss why the recent string of niche 4-stars might be a deliberate move and why it’s something players can expect to see more of.

4-Stars in Genshin Impact: Then and Now

Genshin Impact in its earlier days released phenomenal 4-star characters like Bennett, Xinqiu, Sucrose, Diona, Fischl and so on. Back then Genshin Impact had limited characters so they needed powerful versatile units to fill multiple roles for its combat to remain engaging and dynamic. Bennett was at once a healer and a damage buffer, Xinqiu not only gave sub-dps but also a bit of healing and resistance to interruption and so on. 

Back in its heyday, Genshin Impact had powerful, versatile 4-star units because they needed those roles to be filled quickly for players to experience complete and balanced combat gameplay. Today, however, things are a little different.

Most of the new 4-stars in Genshin Impact have thus been deliberately nerfed and their kits have been fine-tuned for niche uses and roles.  Players can trace this back to Sayu who began this trend- which was soon followed by Thoma, Kuki Shinobu, Collei and Dori. The only decent and even fairly powerful 4-star unit to have been released recently is Heizou who’s an Anemo catalyst dps. Even he has his flaws but he’s a complete unit that the player base wasn’t disappointed by.

While Thoma, Kuki and Sayu got significantly better with the Version 3.0 Update that released the Dendro element, they still remain mediocre units in the big picture and not worth investing your resources into unless you absolutely need them or intend to use them for these niche roles. 

These characters already have much better 4-star counterparts who do their job and more without limiting the playstyle of different players. It’s not that they are bad units objectively but just mediocre and disappointing in comparison to the game’s earliest 4-stars which now seem broken in comparison.

And this is actually a good thing. 

Why It’s A Good Thing

Okay, maybe good is an overstatement but this is certainly a smart move by Hoyoverse. In the larger scheme of things, this is a strategically sound move to avoid powercreep and yet keep players interested.

Most veteran players by now have already built these meta-defining 4-stars- some of which still hold S-tier ranks in character tier lists. To keep a sense of progress and improvement, Genshin couldn’t just powercreep the earlier 4-stars to release even better and stronger units. This would frustrate beginner players and disrespect their time and effort in building those earlier characters. 

The new 4-star characters are niche units with limiting playstyles and roles. For newer players, this means they’ll have to grind longer for those amazing S-Tier 4-stars released in the early game. For veteran players, this means they can still pull on these characters to build niche teams and experience new team comps and playstyles. 

This strategy thus conveniently avoids powercreep while still keeping room open for innovation. Despite being mediocre in terms of game design, the newer 4-stars have certainly kicked it up a notch in terms of visual aesthetics and design. Rolling with Sayu on your team is so much fun. Dori’s attack animations and idle animations along with her idle voice lines about her love for Mora are so much fun to experience on your casual Genshin runs. 

Amay De
As an English Masters graduate, I always dreamt of becoming a writer as a profession. Alas! I was led astray by anime and gaming. I enjoy open-world RPGs that encourage exploration with easy but flashy combat along the way. Art and aesthetics also matter immensely to me so even in games my characters tend to stare off into space. If I’m not gaming or watching anime I’m probably just asleep and dreaming.

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