Everything New In The Genshin Impact Version 4.7 Special Program

With the third and final expansion to the region of Fontaine behind us and travelers gearing up for the next leg of their voyage across the world of Teyvat, there’s still a few things left to do before Genshin Impact Version 5.0, and one of those is our annual encounter with the enigmatic Khaenri’ahn knight Dainsleif, who usually shows up soon after we’ve completed a region’s three-act Archon Quest to take us sightseeing around some underground ruins infested with Abyss creatures, drop some massive lore-bomb about our protagonist’s sibling, or about the Cataclysm, or both, and then leave. The Traveler is better than me, because if I were given the option, at this point I would gladly beat the living daylights out of Dainsleif until he would just tell me what else he knows that he thinks we’re not worthy of learning yet or something, but that’s why the protagonist is not a self-insert.

Close-up screenshot of Clorinde in Genshin Impact, surrounded by crackling purple lightning as she holds her sword, glowing purple, up in front of her face. She has short dark purple hair, a tricorn hat, and golden epaulets on a purple uniform with white gloves.
Clorinde | dexerto.com

But I think everyone has a bone to pick with Dainsleif this year, because he’s late by a whole patch or two, and the last time we saw him, we accidentally got trapped in one of our sibling’s memories from hundreds of years prior (long story), which revealed to us that they played a key role in the foundation of the Abyss Order when they helped a Khaenri’ahn survivor of the Cataclysm named Chlothar heal his son Caribert, who was cursed to devolve into a Hilichurl along with most of the population of Khaenri’ah (another long story), using Abyssal power obtained from a not-at-all-creepy, sentient, talking, chained-up purple crystal suspended over a void simply called “The Sinner”, who was somehow gone when they went back to talk to him but is now worshipped as a god by the Abyss Order. Dainsleif seems to have a guess as to the Sinner’s true identity, but of course won’t tell us anything, except to say that it can see through space and time and, uh, definitely knows now that we know, bye! All of that, coupled with the fact that we found the skeletal remains of Chlothar but not Caribert, means that Travelers have a lot of questions for Dainsleif the next time we run into him.

And that day fast approaches, because the trailer for Version 4.7 prominently features Dainsleif, as well as the Traveler’s rarely-seen sibling, colloquially known as the Abyss Sibling, because, yes, at some point, after traveling the world with Dainsleif for a while, they went back to Chlothar and joined his fledgling Abyss Order of their own free will, apparently as a result of some terrible, mind-blowing truth they had learned on their adventures, something they are certain we too will come to accept. Well, we’re officially over halfway through Genshin Impact’s overarching storyline, with just two regions left to explore (plus Khaenri’ah), and I still don’t know what that “something” is, but theorists smarter than myself have some good guesses, that it has to do with the gods in Celestia, who may or may not be alien invaders, and would explain why they keep randomly dropping enormous spikes into the planet, annihilating entire civilizations. The Abyss Order’s plan to overthrow Celestia is titled the “Loom of Fate”, and Chlothar called Caribert the “Loom of Fate”, implying that Caribert would be able to weave his own destiny, but in the new trailer it’s said that the “Loom of Fate” is now complete, so it’s also a plan, and…I’m confused, quite frankly. I’m just gonna wait for Dainsleif to explain it to me.

So if the Abyss Sibling could maybe not kill him, as it’s implied she will attempt by the shot of her coming up behind Dainsleif with her sword drawn (because even though it’s not technically canon that the female twin is the Abyss Sibling and her brother is the Traveler, and plenty of players experience the story the other way around, I can’t recall the last time HoYoverse used the male Abyss Sibling in promo, if ever), that would be great! I mean, I know she won’t, but I am interested to learn how things get to the point where she might try. Until now, she’s been content to watch us from afar, confident that we’ll see her side of things and join her, but I could see where Dainsleif might start to pose a problem. It’s not like he’s a completely objective documentarian – he seems to believe Khaenri’ah was playing with fire, and that the Abyss Order is following in its footsteps by trying to revive the fallen kingdom. Maybe the Abyss Sibling is tired of having their side of the story recounted to us by someone who views her with a sort of condescending pity.

I have no idea what to expect from this confrontation, but HoYoverse is definitely hyping it up – even using today’s Special Program to premiere an animated short which beautifully summarizes the Traveler and the Abyss Sibling’s parallel journeys across Teyvat. I’m not sure if we should regard this as a teaser for the Genshin Impact anime that was announced well over a year ago, or something entirely separate, but the animation style and quality is exactly what I’m hoping for from the series, whatever topic it covers. Also, as a side-note, it’s really impactful to see certain moments between the siblings that the game has never shown us brought to life in such vivid detail, even something as seemingly mundane as Lumine, before she was “The Abyss Sibling”, braiding her brother’s hair, or of the two of them goofing around. It strengthens our emotional investment in what is truly the protagonist’s one goal.

But if the Traveler’s story doesn’t interest you (what are you, heartless?), there’s a lot of other cool stuff to do and explore in Version 4.7 – a surprising amount, actually, given that Version 4.8 immediately afterwards will be bringing us the year’s summer event and the closer on Fontaine, and before that there’s usually a bit of a dry spell in Genshin (I guess we already had that with Version 4.5, which I didn’t even cover). For starters, three characters are joining the game’s roster – two of them, Clorinde, a five-star Electro sword-user, and Sigewinne, a five-star Hydro bow-user, have been in the game since Version 4.0 and Version 4.1 respectively, while players only recently met Sethos, a new four-star Electro bow-user, in Cyno’s second Story Quest.

To break down all their kits in full would be exhausting, because to be honest, I still don’t entirely understand how the Bond of Life mechanic works. I just got Arlecchino because I think she’s neat, not because I have any idea how to use her properly. Clorinde applies a Bond of Life to herself when she uses her Elemental Burst, its value based on her max HP. Using her Elemental Skill, she enters the Night Vigil state, during which her normal attacks are infused with Electro, and using her Elemental Skill again causes her to lunge. In each of these different states, she gains different effects depending on the value of her Bond of Life – so for example, if you perform a lunging attack while Clorinde’s Bond of Life is less than 100% of her max HP, she will be healed based on her Bond of Life value, and her DMG and AoE will both be increased. Did you get all that? I hope so, because I sure as hell didn’t.

In the foreground stands Dainsleif, a tall man with shaggy blond hair and a dark blue mask covering one half of his face, wearing black with a high collar. Behind him stands the Traveler, with Paimon floating alongside him.
(left to right) Traveler, Paimon, and Dainsleif | gamertweak.com

Sigewinne’s Bond of Life is applied after she casts her Elemental Skill, which also causes a Bolstering Bubblebalm to bounce across the battlefield (the alliteration!), dealing Hydro DMG and restoring HP to all party members except Sigewinne herself upon impact with enemies (pressing and holding her Skill creates a larger bubble that will gradually reduce in size with each bounce, and these bubbles can even immobilize small opponents). When Sigewinne casts her Skill, two Sourcewater Droplets will be left behind, and picking these up gives her a Bond of Life worth 10% of her max HP, while clearing the Bond of Life restores energy. Her Burst seems fairly simple, a Hydro DMG cannon like Neuvillette’s, but because she’s a doctor, it’s a comically oversized syringe.

Last and unfortunately least, Sethos. He’s a charged attack-reliant four-star main DPS, and to make matters worse, his charged attacks are unusually slow and consume energy – and of course, because he’s a four-star, whatever increase in DMG you get from fully charging his Shadowpiercing Shot will likely be dwarfed by what any five-star bow user can accomplish in less time and without wasting energy. His Skill is a battery, recovering more energy when it triggers pretty much any Electro reaction, and his Burst converts his normal attacks into Electro. It’s not a great kit, which is sad, because I want him nonetheless for his design and personality, but I know in my heart I’ll take him out for one joyride and then never use him again.

Clorinde’s debut banner will run alongside Alhaitham in the first half of Version 4.7, featuring Sethos, while Sigewinne will arrive in the second half alongside a Furina rerun. Additionally, both Clorinde and Sigewinne will receive Story Quests, with Clorinde’s showing us a softer, possibly nerdier side of the stoic duelist, as an avid TTRPG (table-top role-playing game) fan, and Sigewinne’s giving us some insight into how the vastly different worlds of Melusines and humans have come to overlap in Fontaine. Cool, very cool, but now can we talk about the Imaginarium Theater?

Players of Genshin Impact have been asking for new endgame content since…well, forever. Don’t get me wrong, the Spiral Abyss is definitely still challenging in my opinion as somebody who has never fully cleared it, but it’s also really repetitive after a while, and outside of that, domains, and bosses, there’s been nowhere that players can really test their characters’ limits or their own strategizing skills. Until now, that is. Imaginarium Theater is set up so that players accustomed to breezing through every challenge the game throws at them with the same couple of characters will be forced to think long and hard about who to choose from a limited pool of characters. For instance, in Version 4.7, you can only choose Anemo, Electro, and Pyro characters – which all synergize pretty well anyway, so if anyone complains about this restriction I’d point out to them that it could be much worse, we could be forced to pick Anemo, Dendro, and Geo characters. Think about it, absolutely no Reactions. It would be infuriating.

With that said, up to four characters who don’t meet the season’s requirements can be chosen as “Special Guest Stars”, so again, there’s no reason to complain. If you don’t have enough characters to fill out your team, several Trial Characters equipped with flawless Artifacts will be provided, and players can even borrow or lend out their own characters for others to use, which sounds fun but also mortifying, because even my best characters are not where I want them to be and I would hate for someone to take my Lvl. 90 Dehya (hypothetically), only to discover that she’s been using an unleveled ATK goblet since I first got her because I could not – and cannot, try as I might! – obtain a Pyro DMG Bonus goblet from the Crimson Witch of Flames domain. These characters-for-hire are referred to as your “Supporting Cast”, not to be confused with your “Alternate Cast”, more of whom will gradually become available each time you complete a challenge in the Imaginarium Theater (keep in mind that your Supporting and Alternate Casts must meet the actual requirements of the season). Even as characters join your team, however, others will become unavailable. You can also trigger events inside the Theater, either randomly or by using Fantasia Flowers, and some of these will allow you to add more characters to your party while others will throw you into an unexpected battle and completely mess up your strategies.

The characters you choose to form your initial party, your “Principal Cast”, will all receive Fantastical Buffs, not only within the Theater but also outside of it, in the open-world, for the duration of the season. That means if I choose Dehya as part of my Principal Cast in Version 4.7, which I probably will, my Dehya’s max HP, ATK and DEF will increase by 20% until the Theater closes (temporarily: Imaginarium Theater and Spiral Abyss will alternate each month from now on). And there will be plenty of rewards, including Primogems, Original Resin, forging billets, and Toy Medals, the latter of which can be exchanged with the Theater’s concierge to obtain iconic poses for your characters, so that when taking photos, you don’t have to wait around for them to cycle through all their other idle animations and then frantically snap a dozen more pictures than necessary in the hopes of getting the one you wanted….which is an experience I’m sure we can all relate to. That totally isn’t just a me thing….right?

Version 4.7 will also see the return of a cute and fun minigame from way back in Version 3.8, the Spinoblaster, as well as a few other Events – Mutual Security Enhancing Simulation, in which players will take control of various monsters and maneuver them into battle against each other, for a chance to obtain the new four-star bow Cloudforged; Record of Reflective Writing, a platformer game where the objective is to collect coins and evade traps; and Endless Forms Most Martial, a classic combat challenge. Nothing too extravagant, but nothing there that sounds boring, either. If nothing else, it’s a few more Primogems ahead of Natlan’s release.

An aquatic Saurian swimming through a river of molten lava in Genshin Impact, orange streaked with vivid turquoise.
A Saurian in Natlan | youtube.com

I’ve saved our discussion of the upcoming region for last because that’s how they went about it on the Special Program, but of course it was all that anyone could talk about afterwards – our very first glimpse of a land we’ve only heard about from a handful of NPCs scattered around Teyvat, who have spoken highly of its hot springs and graffiti-artists, and described it as a colorful place with fashionable people. It’s hard to form a first impression of Natlan from the teaser because it doesn’t show us the culture, which I find curious and potentially worrying given that Natlan is or was supposed to be based on Mesoamerica, parts of Africa, and also…Spain (knowing HoYoverse, they threw Spain into the mix so they would have an excuse for when 90% of the playable characters and NPCs alike are white). The teaser is Saurian-centric, highlighting three of the different species of adorable dragons that players can apparently shapeshift into in Natlan, including one that burrows into the earth and speeds along the sides of graffiti-streaked canyon walls, one that can swim through rivers of lava, and one that uses its extremely long tongue to grab objects and propel itself through the air. It’s very much giving Dinotopia, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but was exactly what I was afraid of when Neuvillette first mentioned that the people of Natlan live alongside dragons, because it feels like another excuse to steer into full-on fantasy and abruptly away from the real-world cultures that informed everything from the architecture down to the literature of Mondstadt, Liyue, Inazuma, and Fontaine. In Sumeru, those influences are filtered through a layer of orientalism and exoticism so thick as to be almost impenetrable, and I fear something similar will occur in Natlan.

But maybe that’s just me being cynical. What do you think? As always, share your own thoughts, theories, and opinions, in the comments below!

Everything We Learned From The Genshin Impact Version 4.4 Special Program

Of all the reoccurring events in Genshin Impact (and there are many), none is more hotly-anticipated by players than the annual Lantern Rite Festival that coincides with and reflects the celebration of the Chinese New Year. Set in the nation of Liyue, itself a patchwork of references taken from various different periods in ancient Chinese history and several distinct Chinese subcultures, the event nonetheless typically features characters from all across the world of Teyvat, and allows for some truly unexpected but delightful interactions. In the case of this year’s Lantern Rite, set to be the crowning event of Version 4.4, the former Hydro Archon Furina will make an appearance, her first in an event held outside Fontaine, which is a pretty big deal given that she’ll be in close proximity to the Geo Archon Zhongli and the two might drop some juicy tidbits of lore in their conversations – but for all that Furina usually commands the spotlight, one must first turn one’s attention to the long-awaited debut of the aloof adeptus Cloud Retainer as a playable character.

Xianyun, a tall woman with long black hair pulled into a ponytail with a hairpin shaped like a feather holding it in places, standing on a mountaintop with her arms crossed. She is wearing a black bodysuit with gauzy turquoise and pale blue ribbons forming a cape around her, and red spectacles.
Xianyun | destructoid.com

Genshin Impact‘s first five-star female Anemo character since Jean in Version 1.0, Cloud Retainer – or “Xianyun” – was described during the Special Program for Version 4.4 as a dedicated support for Plunge Attacks, the relatively little-used Normal Attacks that all characters in the game can perform when jumping or falling from a height. For most characters, gaining the height needed to perform a Plunge Attack in the first place is more of a hassle than it’s worth, because many battlefields – including almost all Domains, Boss Battle arenas, and the Spiral Abyss – are completely flat surfaces. A number of Anemo characters like Xiao, Venti, Wanderer, and Kazuha can propel themselves into the air, and Keqing and Alhaitham have similar abilities, but in all these cases the effect is limited to the character responsible for triggering it. Xianyun removes that obstacle: casting her Elemental Burst imbues every character in your party with a temporary jumping boost, meaning that anyone can perform Plunge Attacks, no matter the terrain. Of course, the characters who currently make the most of Plunge Attacks are the ones already most likely to be capable of performing them on their own, like Xiao, but Xianyun is only an asset to him. Additionally, every Plunge Attack performed while Xianyun’s Burst is active deals AoE Anemo DMG on top of the character’s own DMG, meaning that Catalyst characters (whose Plunge Attacks deal Elemental DMG by default) and characters with Elemental infusions on their weapons will be able to trigger the Swirl reaction more consistently. And as if that’s not enough, her Burst also heals your active character.

Her Elemental Skill allows Xianyun herself to perform three consecutive jumps high into the air, with the option to perform a Plunge Attack that will target nearby opponents and deal AoE Anemo DMG upon impact. From my (admittedly only partial) understanding, Xianyun’s Skill isn’t a necessary investment unless you’re building her to be an on-field DMG dealer. However, for players who enjoy climbing to the highest spots in Teyvat to take in the game’s breathtaking scenery or who struggle to harvest hard-to-reach local resources and always seem to find themselves running out of stamina while trying to maneuver around some slight overhang in a cliffside, Xianyun can be added to the list of (almost exclusively Anemo) characters who make world exploration effortless. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, she has a beautiful design, with her Signature Weapon, a Catalyst shaped like a fan, being one of the game’s most exquisitely detailed, coupled with an endearing curmudgeonly personality.

Xianyun will be available during the first half of Version 4.4 alongside Nahida (and followed in the second half by Xiao, her best teammate, and Yae Miko), with the new four-star Pyro Claymore user Gaming featured on both their banners, and as a free reward of choice during the Lantern Rite Festival. Before we go any further, because Gaming’s name has unfortunately been turned into a joke, mostly amongst English-speakers, because “haha, video game character is named Gaming”, let’s get this out of the way right upfront – Gaming is an actual Cantonese name, and in Cantonese it is pronounced as “Gaa-Ming”, not “Gay-Ming”, and we can debate over whether Genshin Impact‘s English localization team could or should have added a hyphen or a space or a second “a” to his name to make it easier, but I’m just gonna point out that there’s a character in this game named Wriothesley. If you can manage that, Gaming should be no problem.

Anyway, Gaming has a very unique playstyle based around the energetic dance-moves of Chinese Southern or Cantonese Lion Dance, one of the two main forms of Chinese Lion Dance, whose performers wear large, brightly-colored lion masks and costumes. Because lions are not native to China, the dance is believed to have possibly originated in Southern or Central Asia, and that is reflected in Genshin Impact, where the dance is said to come from Chenyu Vale between Liyue and the South Asian-inspired region of Sumeru, furthermore being inspired by legends of lion-dragon hybrids living in the mountains, called “suanni” (an obsolete Chinese word for creatures of a similar nature, with roots in Central Asia). The largest of these beasts, the Solitary Suanni, will be a new Daily Boss in Version 4.4, and will likely drop Ascension Materials for both Xianyun and Gaming.

Gaming from Genshin Impact, crouching on top of a spectral golden cylinder on the wharf, holding a glowing neon-gold grinning lion mask over his head. He has short dark brown hair, and is wearing a long-sleeved dark green and black jacket over a red shirt with black trousers.
Gaming | oficinadanet.com.br

Back to Gaming, his kit is Plunge Attack-dependent, and he synergizes well with Xianyun. His Elemental Skill launches him into the air, allowing him to deal a powerful Pyro-infused Plunge Attack at the cost of a portion of his HP, while his Burst summons an adorable suanni sidekick named Man Chai to provide healing and accelerate his Skill’s cooldown. I don’t know how strong he is, but he’s cute, and he’s a Pyro Claymore, so I feel like I have to get him. I own all three Pyro Claymore-users released thus far, and use two of them for nearly every scenario in the game, hence why they’re both currently at Lvl. 90, outfitted with some of the best weapons and Artifacts I’ve got, and with Talents nearly maxed out (hint: Diluc isn’t one of them). Gaming could be my next obsession. And I have a feeling that I’m gonna be throwing all of my Primogems at Xianyun’s banner (as if I have any chance of getting her this soon after Navia), so there’s a good chance I’ll obtain at least one or two copies of him in the process.

I’ve already mentioned Chenyu Vale in passing, but there’s much more to be said about this next major expansion to the map of Teyvat, a subsection of Liyue best known in the present day for its high quality tea and optimal location at the intersection of three nations, and in the past for being the abode of many powerful and revered adepti who rivaled even Rex Lapis himself, including the Golden Carp, Fujin, who is still worshipped by the people of Chenyu Vale (and, rather curiously, goes by the name of a Japanese, rather than Chinese, deity), and the White Snake (whom we don’t know much about, but I’ll eat my metaphorical hat if they aren’t either related to, or one and the same as the other magical white snake from Chenyu Vale, Changsheng). The region is said to be rich with history and lore, its mountains dotted by the ancient ruins of adeptal mansions and structures dating back to before the Archon War, and I for one can’t wait to explore all of it. It’s also stunning. Like, genuinely some of the best environment design I’ve seen from Genshin Impact to date.

As for Events, well, obviously, there’s Lantern Rite, and all that that entails – various creative and charming minigames, mostly. In one, players can team up in Co-Op Mode to perform a lion dance, one in which you can dress up as a giant lion and fling your teammates into the air as you barrel around the arena picking up coins, though the developers stressed that the aim here is not to cause chaos, and that working together is essential to complete various stages of the game. In another challenge, similar to something I remember from last year’s Lantern Rite, players will have to navigate through a vibrant fireworks display, though the catch here is that you’re playing as a flying golden carp. And there’s a really cute, straightforward enough boardgame involving Xiangling and Yao Yao’s animal familiars, Guoba and Yuegui, where you have to guide them through the forest on a search for ingredients. Players will be rewarded for their participation with a new skin for the four-star Hydro sword-user Xingqiu that appears to be heavily inspired by Furina’s outfit – like, it’s literally just genderbent Furina cosplay, minus the hat and a few other details? I mean, I’m still gonna add it to my collection, because it’s free, but it’s not at all on the same level as free skins that have been released for Kaeya and Lisa, among others, and of course it doesn’t hold a candle to the new skins for five-star Cryo characters Ganyu and Shenhe.

Yilong Wharf in Genshin Impact, a village of white-walled buildings with black-tiled roofs at  the base of a waterfall in the mountains, with a massive white tower built into the falls, connecting the settlements above and below. There are ships in both harbors.
Yilong Wharf | multiplayer.it

A lot of players have been begging for the return of the addictive Of Drink A-Dreaming Event from Version 2.5 (one of the first Events in which I participated, soon after I started playing Genshin Impact), and at long last it is returning, though with a slight makeover. Rather than brewing cocktails at the Angel’s Share in Mondstadt, players will instead find themselves temporarily taking over the duties of the head chef at Wangshu Inn in Liyue and plating delectable dishes for playable characters in Receiver Of Friends From Afar. Timing and precision are of the essence in this game. In Journey Through Hilinigmatic Terrain, players will have to possess the bodies of hilichurls to investigate strange occurrences in Dadaupa Gorge, before unlocking a Domain where they can fight a giant Samachurl with a bunch of different Elemental abilities. And finally, in Triumphant Frenzy, a standard combat Domain gets a bit more challenging with the player being limited to using random trial characters in each round (I’m hoping that some of the bizarre team-comps to come out of this turn out to be weirdly good).

And that’s Genshin Impact Version 4.4 in a nutshell! What are you excited for? Who do you plan on pulling for? Share your own thoughts, theories, and opinions, in the comments below!

Everything We Learned From The “Genshin Impact” Version 4.3 Special Program

Genshin Impact Version 4.3, Roses And Muskets, has the unenviable challenge of following up what is now widely considered to be one of the best updates to the open-world game since launch, Masquerade Of The Guilty, which capped off the Fontaine Archon Quest with an epic, emotionally devastating final act that solidified the Archon Quest in many peoples’ minds as better-written and more engaging than most, if not all, of those that came before (for myself, the meandering nature of the middle-act set almost entirely in the dreary underground Fortress of Meropide prevents it from climbing all the way to the top of my ranking, but then, my extreme dissatisfaction with how the Sumeru Archon Quest ended makes it more of a close match-up). Version 4.2 also featured the release of the former Hydro Archon Furina as a playable character, and she has single-handedly changed the game for those who have her (not me, however, I’ve been saving my Primogems all throughout this patch, resisting the temptation to try for Furina by reminding myself that Navia is up next).

Navia from Genshin Impact, a tall woman with long honey-blonde hair, wearing a frilly dark-blue corset-top and hoop skirts, with golden ornaments and a dark blue hat perched on her head, standing flanked on either side by men in black suits and fedoras with their arms crossed.
Navia | pockettactics.com

We have official confirmation now that Navia is, indeed, up next in Version 4.3. The five-star claymore user will be Genshin Impact‘s first Geo character in a long time – but despite all she brings to the underrepresented Element and her stunning character design, it’s highly unlikely that her banner sales will break any records in the way Furina’s have. She’s not exactly niche, but with a playstyle built around Crystallize, the underwhelming Elemental Reaction between Geo and Pyro, Electro, Cryo or Hydro that produces a pitiful shield, she’s not a guaranteed game-changer either, and I have a feeling that positive word-of-mouth will be a big factor in her success as a unit. Navia is intended to function as an on-field Geo DPS in teams that employ her as a hypercarry, meaning she’ll be dealing the majority of your team’s damage. And in contrast to past Geo DPS’ like Arataki Itto, who have been held back by their inability to synergize with anyone but other Geo characters or make much use of Geo’s one Elemental Reaction, Navia’s unique kit not only gives her greater freedom, it practically necessitates that you run her with characters who can trigger Crystallize frequently.

Will this suddenly make Crystallize any good? Well, yes and no, because while Navia needs all the Crystallize Shards she can get from her teammates, and she deals massive damage via her Elemental Skill in exchange, she’s very much alone in that. Until we get more Geo characters who benefit from Crystallize, including a more easily obtainable four-star and/or a dedicated support for the Elemental Reaction, Navia isn’t really going to do anything for the Element as a whole – even with her best teams needing one other Geo support for the energy, that role is going to go to Zhongli in most cases, and Zhongli is a character who has enjoyed success largely despite his Element. That being said, this is a first step in the right direction for Geo, and the release of a new Artifact Set, Nighttime Whispers In The Echoing Woods, that boosts Geo DMG by 20% after using an Elemental Skill and by an extra whopping 150% while under the protection of a Crystallize shield, makes it very likely that it won’t be the last (this Set and Song Of Days Past, which translates Healing into DMG, will be obtainable through a new Domain).

While Navia will be joining Genshin Impact‘s roster in the first half of Version 4.3, a new four-star character named Chevreuse, will be making her debut in the second half, featured on Raiden Shogun and Yoimiya’s rerunning banners. Chevreuse, a Pyro polearm-user and Captain of Fontaine’s Special Security and Surveillance Patrol, makes use of the underrated Overloaded Elemental Reaction between Pyro and Electro, which knocks affected opponents back a short distance – when a character in her team triggers Overloaded, Chevreuse gains an Overcharged Ball that she can use during her Elemental Skill, entering Aiming Mode to fire and deal widespread Pyro DMG. During her Burst, she launches a grenade that explodes on contact with an opponent, creating smaller grenades that explode again after a short duration, dealing even more DMG. As someone who actually likes the Overloaded reaction, I’m very excited to test out Chevreuse’s kit.

Both Chevreuse and Navia will feature heavily in the version’s main Event, Roses And Muskets, which I gather is a festival to celebrate the fact that Fontaine did not sink beneath the waves of the Primordial Sea. Furina, no longer the Hydro Archon, is directing a film for the festival starring Navia, Chevreuse, journalist Charlotte, and special guests all the way from Inazuma, Kamisato Ayaka, Kamisato Ayato, and Yoimiya, whose inclusion on the cast-list might have something to do with the fact that Xavier of the Inazuma-based Tatarasuna Tales questline is listed as the film’s director. An as-yet unplayable character, Chiori of Chiori’s Boutique, is onboard as the art director, and of course, Furina assigns us, the player, to be her cameraperson. Scene-blocking, lighting and cinematography will be incorporated into several of the Event’s minigames, while other activities include…sniping opponents and sheepherding? I’m not sure if I totally understand those last two, but hey, I’ll do anything for more Primogems.

Following that, Arataki Itto and Kuki Shinobu arrive in Liyue Harbor for Shinobu’s class reunion, and Itto wastes no time setting up the Arataki Blazing Armor Beetle Boot Camp to bring the Inazuman art of beetle-fighting to Liyue. Much like the last iteration of this Event, players will commandeer a stag-beetle through progressively more challenging duels against the best players that Liyue has to offer, including some new characters. In Fontaine, the Lost Riches Event gives players another opportunity to claim a floating Seelie companion in a range of beautiful colors. And back in Mondstadt, the traveling salesman Liben returns at long last with a series of daily errands for players to complete in exchange for gifts, while surely tantalizing us with gossip about our next destination after Fontaine, the volcanic region of Natlan (about which we know next to nothing except what Neuvillette told us in Version 4.2, that the land is populated by both dragons and humans, and that the Fatui Harbinger Capitano seeks to exploit the permanent state of conflict between their peoples).

Chevreuse from Genshin Impact, standing on a street overlooking the Court of Fontaine. She is short, with long purple hair, and wears a stylized bright red military uniform with a tall round hat and an eyepatch. She is holding a musket in the firing position.
Chevreuse | nextrift.com

And apart from a few adjustments to the game’s interface and quality-of-life improvements (for instance, teleporting players automatically back to the “Start Challenge” button when they choose to re-enter a combat Domain, and providing players with better Artifact filters – nothing particularly revolutionary, just smart small stuff like that), there’s not a whole lot happening in Version 4.3, but maybe that’s not such a bad thing. Version 4.2 was already pretty overwhelming, Version 4.4 will be Lantern Rite to mark the Chinese New Year, then Dainsleif is scheduled to pop up again in a revelatory Interlude Quest before disappearing again for another year, new regions of Fontaine and Liyue are likely to become available, Furina’s second Story Quest will probably be a big deal, and the Fatui Harbinger Arlecchino is speculated to become playable before Version 5.0, so it’s okay to have a breather, you know?

Who will you be pulling for in Version 4.3, if anyone, and why or why not? Share your own thoughts, theories, and opinions, in the comments below!

Everything We Learned From The Genshin Impact Version 4.0 Special Program

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I for one am happy to have the monotonous golden-brown deserts of Sumeru in the rearview mirror at last, after several months of increasingly enormous expansions to the Nation of Wisdom that brought as many new convoluted gameplay mechanics, exhausting environmental hazards (I’ll never need to equip the racist sandstorm-dispersing bottle again!), and overpowered monsters (Consecrated Beasts, you will not be missed), as they did fragments of intriguing lore, a couple of fun Events, compelling character stories and well-written World Quests. We’ll surely be passing through the desert again on our way to Natlan, the volcanic Nation of War, around this same time next year, but that’s a long time from now (until suddenly it’s not). Up ahead, it’s crystalline lakes, misty fjords, and winding rivers set amidst lovely alpine vistas as far as the eye can see. We are now less than two weeks away from the long-awaited release of Fontaine, the Nation of Justice – fifth of the seven regions that altogether make up the world of Teyvat in Genshin Impact – in Version 4.0.

Screenshot from Genshin Impact Version 4.0 of Navia, a tall woman with long honey-blonde hair, wearing a ruffled yellow and black dress with high black boots and a hat, standing with her back turned to the camera at the edge of a plaza in the Court of Fontaine. It is dusk, and rain is falling. Fog blankets the city.
The Court of Fontaine | pockettactics.com

Friday’s Special Program, consisting of interviews with writers, combat developers, and environment designers at HoYoverse, concisely introduced the setting and key players in the next chapter of the game’s over-arching storyline, with a particular focus on underwater exploration and gameplay, a new feature in Genshin Impact which sets Fontaine apart from previously released regions – because while Mondstadt, Liyue, Inazuma and Sumeru each have their own large bodies of water, players have only ever been able to swim across the surfaces of these (and even then, only for as long as their rapidly depleting stamina bar allowed). In Fontaine, and only in Fontaine, the stamina bar will no longer be a hindrance because it will no longer exist, and players will have no restriction on how long they can spend underwater (no frantic ascents to the surface for oxygen!), or what characters they can use underwater.

The one major difference between underwater and aboveground gameplay is in the adaptation of Genshin Impact‘s unique combat system for an environment with weaker gravity, greater pressure, lower visibility, and permanent Hydro infusion, all of which proved to be insurmountable challenges for the developers, leading to the implementation of a theoretically simplified underwater combat system where characters use basic aimed attacks to absorb temporary special abilities from sea-creatures called Fontemer Aberrants that will assist them in more difficult battles. Besides the Aberrants, an abundance of sea monsters exist in the waters of Fontaine, some unfortunately rather cute. Prioritizing players’ comfort underwater, the developers opted for bright colors and soothing shapes wherever possible, which is strangely both a relief and a disappointment to me, as someone with thalassophobia (fear of the deep ocean). Perhaps a future expansion to Fontaine will allow us to dive into darker, polluted waters filled with the kinds of nightmarish creatures that I’m realizing now I was subconsciously hoping to encounter in Version 4.0.

It’s not that far-fetched a theory, given that mention has been made of a horrific explosion with wide fallout at the inaccessible Fontaine Research Institute of Kinetic Energy Engineering, and each of the previously released regions has a subarea that’s been scourged from within by some toxic influence, whether it’s the corrosive blood of a dead god on Yashiori Island, or Forbidden Knowledge leaking out of the Abyss in the Nursery of Lost Dreams, or radioactive fragments of a Celestial Nail on Dragonspine. In-game sources like the traveling salesman Liben have been warning us for some time now that the urgent threat facing all of Fontaine is an environmental disaster brought on by an energy crisis. The nation’s automatons (including an elegant duo who together comprise the Icewind Suite World Boss) are powered by “Arkhe”, the product of destructive reactions between volatile new elements called Pneuma and Ousia, and every playable character in Fontaine uses one of these two mysterious forces in their kit alongside the Element bestowed on them by their Vision (so, for instance, Lyney is a five-star Pyro Pneuma bow-user and Lynette is a four-star Anemo Ousia sword-user). An uncontrolled reaction between Pneuma and Ousia is assumed to be responsible for causing the explosion at the Fontaine Research Institute.

And if all that isn’t complicated enough, the capital city or Court of Fontaine runs on a separate, far more nebulous energy source called Indemnitium – derived from the citizens’ belief in their Archon’s Ideal of Justice and generated in the courthouse during the judicial process by a somewhat sentient mechanism titled the “Oratrice Mecanique d’Analyse Cardinale”. The people of Fontaine have come to rely so heavily on the condemnation of their own neighbors for everything from lighting to public transportation that they have turned the pursuit of justice into a spectator-sport to assuage their guilt. Trials are held in the Opera Epiclese, and are full-day affairs with intermissions featuring magic-acts, music, and dance. Justice is served by the Oratrice, and the onlookers are so giddy from the experience that they have no reason to doubt the absolute and unequivocal fairness of its strict sentences until they’re inevitably put on trial themselves.

But the Oratrice is finally breaking down, whether because people are losing their faith in the Hydro Archon or because there’s simply not enough people left to judge. Rainfall, interestingly, is seen as a sign of the mechanism’s failure. The people of Fontaine have a paranoid obsession with rising sea-levels, having unwisely built their capital upon the subaquatic ruins of a city that was flooded centuries ago, when the waters were last in a state of flux. If it’s truly the Oratrice that keeps out the heavy rains, then without it Fontaine will soon be submerged, fulfilling an ominous prophecy that has been circulating around the region, which states that the Hydro Archon alone will remain, “weeping on her throne”, when all of her people have dissolved into the waters. To avert this grim fate, Lyney and Lynette, twin magicians regularly employed at the Opera Epiclese, have covertly been collecting data on the Oratrice right under the Hydro Archon’s nose. But if the shot of Lynette drowning while trapped in a water-tank onstage is anything to go by, it seems they may have underestimated the lengths to which Focalors will go to stop anyone from getting close to the truth.

Screenshot of the Icewind Suite World Boss in Fontaine. Two tall graceful automatons, one wearing a ball-gown, the other a hat and cape, hold hands while standing on an ice-rink with a spotlight shining upon them. Particles of ice drift in the air. It is nighttime.
Icewind Suite | everyeye.it

It’s reasonable to assume, however, that at the center of everything is Celestia, the island floating in the skies somewhere above Fontaine where the gods dwell, armed against the world with Nails that can reduce thriving civilizations to ash and destabilize climates – and wherever Celestia is, it’s safe to assume the Fatui are there too, plotting to overthrow them with the accumulated power of the seven Archons. We know that the Fatui Harbinger Arlecchino plays a significant role in the Fontaine Archon Quest, and is possibly even pulling the strings on Lyney and Lynette, but another Harbinger appears in the trailer, and this one we’ve met before. Tartaglia, a.k.a. Childe, a.k.a. Ajax, has been a frenemy of the Traveler’s ever since that time we helped babysit his younger brother. If he’s in Fontaine to help Arlecchino, he’s presumably back to being our foe, but that didn’t stop him from befriending us in the first place, and his loyalties have never really been with the Fatui, but rather with the Tsaritsa of Shezhnaya.

Coinciding with his second appearance in an Archon Quest, Tartaglia will be returning on a limited-time banner in the back-half of Version 4.0 alongside the Geo Archon Zhongli, following the debut of Lyney’s limited-time banner and an inevitably successful rerun for the coveted Hydro bow-user Yelan. Lynette will be featured on Lyney and Yelan’s banners, but most players will be able to obtain their first copy of her for free, through the Events page, along with enough of her Ascension materials to reach Lvl. 40. Freminet, a four-star Cryo claymore-user, will be featured on Tartaglia and Zhongli’s banners, before both he and Lynette go to the Standard Banner in Version 4.1. On top of that, one of the best all-purpose characters in Genshin Impact, Pyro sword-user Bennett, will be a reward for completing Mega Meka Melee, which looks like a fairly pleasant Event where players will construct clockwork toys based on “Champion Duelists” such as Bennett himself, and the enigmatic Clorinde from Fontaine.

Other Events in Version 4.0 will include Relic Records, the aim of which is to help players get acquainted with the locations of various local specialties and opponents in Fontaine, and Studies In Light And Shadow, a photography game that will lead players to some of the most scenic spots in the new region. Finally, Verdict Of Blades is a strategic combat challenge where players can test out Pneuma and Ousia reactions against different enemies – and if these new elements aren’t enough, a whole treasure-trove of new weapons will become available in Version 4.0, including a forgeable weapon-set matching the classical aesthetics of Fontaine obtainable through the region’s smithy, a sword sold by the Fontaine chapter of the Fishing Association, and Lyney’s signature five-star bow, featured on the limited-time Weapon Banner. However, players will have to spend a small amount of money if they want one of the five new weapons going to the Battle Pass.

Two new Artifact-Sets, Golden Troupe and Marechaussee Hunter, will be available through a Domain in Fontaine that players should consider prioritizing, as both sets are very good and likely to get even better. Golden Troupe isn’t even out yet, and it’s already widely considered the new best-in-slot set for Fischl, Yae Miko, and almost any character who can make use of the 4-piece set’s 25% Elemental Skill DMG increase and additional 25% Elemental Skill DMG increase when the wearer is off-field, on top of the 2-piece set’s existing 20% Elemental Skill DMG increase. Marechaussee Hunter is a little more niche, tailored specifically for Lyney, but the 2-piece set’s 15% Normal and Charged Attack DMG increase would also work well on Yoimiya. The 4-piece set offers a 12% CRIT Rate increase for 5 seconds after the wearer’s HP increases or decreases, making it very suitable for Xiao, Hu Tao, and possibly Dehya.

Last but certainly not least, much-needed adjustments are finally being made to Genshin Impact‘s map and character selection screens. Given how much of Teyvat (and Sumeru in particular) is underground, it’s long been a source of frustration that the in-game map is essentially no help in navigating intricate cave-systems and buried ruins, and ever since the Interactive Map on the game’s companion app HoYoLAB was updated to have multiple layers, it’s felt like a massive oversight on the game developers’ part that they wouldn’t do the same. But in Version 4.0, the in-game map of Teyvat will become multi-layered, and players will no longer be expected to go raving mad as they explore beneath the deserts of Sumeru. The character selection screen, meanwhile, is getting a new look, with beautiful backgrounds that change depending on where players are in Teyvat, and unique animations for every character in the game so that they’re not all just staring blankly ahead.

Screenshot of Fontaine, a plateau covered in water, elevated above the ocean. A tower stands at the base of the plateau with its foundations in the ocean, where ships from foreign lands are docked. High in the sky and out at sea, an island floats amidst the clouds.
Fontaine, viewed from Sumeru | itechpost.com

Of course, with all this new content, Version 4.0 is presumably going to be massive, so you might want to start cleaning out some extra storage space on your devices. As someone who plays Genshin Impact on a PC that already runs relatively slowly, I can’t even imagine how much worse it’s going to be for mobile gamers, and I don’t know how HoYoverse realistically intends to keep expanding the world of Teyvat with the addition of at least three more regions in the next few years, because at this rate, my computer will probably burst into flames by the time we reach Natlan, land of the Pyro Archon. How are you preparing for the release of Fontaine, and what are you most excited for in the new region? Share your own thoughts, theories, and opinions, in the comments below!