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Genshin Impact tries fixing game’s biggest issue, but fans say it’s not enough

Resin is a topic of controversy

Paimon in Genshin Impact. Image: miHoYo via Polygon

For hardcore Genshin Impact fans who are at the endgame or interested in ascending their characters, managing Resin — this gacha’s version of a stamina cap — is one of the game’s most important mechanics. As some fans tell it, Genshin Impact is stingy with its rewards, requiring people to wait real-world time in order to farm what they need to progress. Developer Mihoyo deployed a patch in late October attempting to address concerns, but the changes still aren’t making some fans happy.

In a nutshell, Genshin Impact’s Resin refers to a resource that passively replenishes at a set rate every few minutes. The catch is that the amount of Resin you can hold on to is capped, so you can’t go over a certain amount. Many of the game’s activities, such as Domains and bosses, requires that you spend some Resin. The problem, according to some devoted fans, is that it’s extremely easy to spend all the Resin they’ve accrued in mere minutes — despite Resin taking hours to accrue in the first place.

Optimally playing the game for some meant logging in more than once a day to spend all the possible Resin they could, or to log time doing repetitive tasks to farm a currency that allows you to replenish Resin faster.

Time-gated systems like these are meant to encourage people to spend money to speed the whole process up — something pretty typical for the gacha genre. While it’s hardly out of the ordinary, the Resin thing has become one of the game’s most controversial aspects.

And so, with Genshin Impact’s 1.1 update, developer Mihoyo decided to tweak the Resin system. The Resin cap has been raised from 120 to 160, and the game is also decreasing the Resin price of Battle Pass weekly missions. It’s a good idea in theory, except that it’s not a big enough change to satiate many Resin critics.

“You’re making it really hard to play your own game,” says one Twitter user whose comments on the tweak announcement received hundreds of likes.

“The resin system literally prevents people from playing more than a hour, never heard of a company forcing their players to stop playing,” another top reply reads.

The issue for these more diehard devotees is that the price of many activities hasn’t dropped, so maximizing their rewards remains a tedious task. Technically, the Resin changes don’t necessarily give you more materials, or increase the amount of Resin you replenish over time. Instead, the new Resin cap rewards more casual play, allowing fans to spend it in a single login rather than encouraging a couple of sessions a day.

Now, whether or not this is truly a problem is up for debate. For players enjoying the game more casually, or fans taking their time with the game, Resin isn’t really a detriment. I play a few times a week for a couple of hours, and haven’t really felt limited by the way the game works. But for players blitzing through the game and attempting to optimize their gains, the mechanic presents a progress wall.

“If people were allowed to play without the resin restriction, then they’d complain about having nothing to do,” one reply to a criticism on Twitter says.

“I wonder if people who complained about the stamina system and gacha rolls are new to mobile game,” another muses. Conversations I’ve had with gacha veterans support this observation; while Genshin Impact literally has a progress gatekeeping mechanic, it is also just following genre convention. Granted, some gachas replenish their version of Resin at a slightly quicker rate than Genshin Impact does.

All the same, the outcry may be a reflection of how many people are jumping into the genre for the very first time. Many of these same detractors allege that they would rather pay full price for the game than have to deal with a stamina cap. Making Resin develop quicker or raising the cap doesn’t change that you still have to contend with something limiting how fast you can progress your characters.

What’s clear, however, is that Mihoyo is listening. Genshin Impact regularly gives players surveys attempting to gauge what they are and aren’t satisfied with, and the current Resin change is a direct result of player feedback according to Mihoyo. As a service game, it’s likely that Genshin Impact will continue to change and refine its mechanics over time.

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