Normally, I’m a good person. I celebrate my friends’ wins when something good happens to them. But when half the internet is crying at the sad, sad state of their Genshin Impact rolls for the Lantern Rite event, I can’t help but get a bit of schadenfreude. How’s that C6 Qiqi treating you? (Sisi assures me this is a sick burn -Ed)
With every major Genshin event, new character banners become available. Players can potentially obtain the featured limited-time character by spending “Fates.” Yesterday, players on the North American server were finally able to try their luck at rolling for the DPS bow user Ganyu or the shielder support Zhongli. Over half of the players who rolled a five-star character were out of luck. This means a lot of people who usually play free-to-play can be tempted into paying to improve their odds. But Genshin’s community has systems in place to help prevent that: gallows humor.
Genshin players were initially unimpressed by the incredibly low rates for popular five-star characters in the early days of the game. The base odds of pulling a five-star character on any gacha banner is 0.6%, and it seemed like nobody would be able to play as their characters of choice. However, after a while, the community discovered that there’s a hidden “pity” mechanic that increases the odds of pulling a rare character at 75 rolls, and a five-star is guaranteed at 90 rolls. Here’s the catch: it might be the five-star character that players didn’t want.
The first time a player hits their “pity” by pulling a five-star character, it has a 50/50 chance of being the limited-time character on the banner. If someone “loses” the pity, then they recieve one of the five characters in the standard pool: Qiqi, Mona, Jean, Keqing, or Diluc. While players can still receive a guaranteed limited character of their choice when they hit the pity count the second time, the difference between 90 and 180 wishes is enormous. Each roll costs around $3 depending on the pack, and players who don’t spend money in the game often have no choice but to wait at least months before their favorite character will appear again.
So while Qiqi, Mona, Jean, Keqing, and Diluc aren’t necessarily bad characters, their names are whispered fearfully in the community. When you see their names trend on Twitter, it’s the anguished cry of a poor Genshin player who lost their 50/50. These characters are the ghosts of the Genshin gacha roll.
While some people prefer not to think about them at all, others like to make jokes. By commiserating as a community beforehand, the disappointment is easier to handle when someone does fail their attempt. The community is overwhelmingly free-to-play, and jokes like these help create an atmosphere that encourages people not to overspend. Here’s one farming guide advising players how to farm materials for Ganyu and Zhongli (that’s Qiqi).
Some players joke about a specific character being their mortal nemesis. Personally, Keqing has haunted my rolls ever since I started playing the game. I hated her for almost a year. Not because of her personality, but because she stood between me and my first attempt at getting Venti, and later the Raiden Shogun. I’ve warmed up to her over the course of several story events, but still give her the stink-eye outside of cutscenes. Some people actually want these five horsemen of the apocalypse, but they don’t have rate-up banners. So there’s no reliable way to raise their constellations outside of spending a lot of rolls and hoping for the best.
Ganyu is one of the top DPS characters in Genshin, and she only becomes available during the Lantern Rite event. Zhongli is available just a couple of times a year, and he’s one of the most sought after support characters in the meta. Depending on who players want, losing the 50/50 can mean waiting for a very long time. While there are ways to be strategic about spending gacha currency, players don’t have any agency over each individual roll. Players who have C6 Keqing can joke about it, or they can feel bad. Thankfully, most of the community seems to be choosing the former.