Genshin Impact just came out of its first-ever delay, and HoYoverse just announced a trove of events, quests, and features. More importantly, “Hidden Dreams in the Depths” adds the highly anticipated Yelan and Kuki Shinobu to the character gacha. And I’m excited for the new gameplay possibilities that they could open up on my account.
Here’s my confession: I don’t enjoy Fischl or Venti as archers since their play styles focus on casting a damaging spell and then swapping out to a different character. I preferred other archers such as Childe, Ganyu, and Kujou Sara, whose more finicky abilities required precise timing and skill. The newest Hydro bow user Yelan seems to be a balance of both approaches to Genshin combat.
Her elemental burst skill summons a die that deals coordinated Hydro attacks with the active character’s normal attacks, just like the four-star sword character Xingqiu. This makes Yelan a fantastic option for enabling powerful vaporize reactions or permafreeze comps. But she’s not just a passive reactions enabler. When she’s spent some time out of combat, her aimed arrows charge faster and become more powerful. And Yelan’s elemental skill increases her speed and ‘marks’ any enemies that she runs past, causing them to take damage at the ability’s end. I’m really enjoying that Yelan’s skill set allows her to play a variety of team roles.
And I’m delighted that the ninja Kuki Shinobu is the electro healer that I’ve been asking for ever since the Inazuma region was released. Yes, yes I know “Electro is the weakest element” but it sucked that it used to be the only element that didn’t have a dedicated healer. Here’s the catch: she heals better when her own health is low, and using that elemental skill takes a chunk out of her own HP. So she joins Hu Tao and Xiao in having a high-risk, high-reward play style. Best of all, she’s a four-star character. Which means that you actually have a reasonable chance of obtaining her in the character gacha.
The next update also features a ton of quests and minigames. The new characters will debut in the latest main scenario, in which players will continue exploring the Chasm region in Liyue. And if you’re not far enough in the story to participate, the update also contains a drumming minigame and the ability to craft tiny robots.
There’s significant quality of life updates too. Domains will now display gameplay suggestions for completing their specific challenges, ability leveling screens will tell players the order in which to spend their talent books, and the artifact menu will list the most used stats for each piece. This update virtually eliminates the need for trawling through a million Reddit threads and YouTube videos for the most optimal character builds. These improvements reflect how HoYoverse has been steadily releasing official tools that are similar to the ones that have traditionally been maintained by fans and guide websites.
Version 2.7 will be arriving on May 31.