Having spent the last four months dutifully collecting Primogems and stockpiling Intertwined Fates in preparation for the release of Dehya in Version 3.5, I was cautiously optimistic that the 3.5 Special Program would give us new details about her character that would finally put a rest to the pervasive rumors that her kit is one of the worst ever designed by HoYoverse. I was not expecting HoYoverse to instead throw a wrench into my plans for obtaining the five-star Pyro claymore user I’ve been waiting for since Sumeru’s characters were first leaked by announcing without warning that she’s headed to the permanent Standard Banner in Version 3.6, joining such undervalued characters as Diluc, Keqing, Jean, and Qiqi. It’s practically tantamount to an admission that Dehya’s kit is indeed as bad as has been speculated all along, and that HoYoverse doesn’t foresee players spending enough money on her banner to make successive reruns worthwhile. You’d think they would just…improve her kit, but apparently not.
As for how this affects me, well, I’ve always intended to get Dehya on her debut banner, and that hasn’t changed. I didn’t pre-farm all of her Ascension Materials for nothing, and I’ve already got a Burgeon team where I think she’ll fit nicely. But my motivation to collect at least one additional copy of her character (the first six of which are referred to as Constellations in Genshin Impact, and provide upgrades that Dehya in particular needs to be viable) has admittedly dwindled somewhat now that I know I’ll probably get her randomly at some point in the near future…though with that said, I’ve been playing Genshin Impact for over a year at this point and I’ve only ever obtained two of the six Standard Banner five-stars currently available (Keqing and Jean). Going after her event-exclusive signature weapon, Beacon of the Reed Sea, might be a better investment.
Fortunately, for those of us who have had never had much luck on the Weapon Banner, Dehya can make use of the new four-star claymore, Mailed Flower, that will be available for free in Version 3.5 as a reward for participating in the Windblume’s Breath Event held annually in Mondstadt to celebrate love and romance. The highly-anticipated Event will feature a minigame based on Pac-Man where players will run amok in the Knights of Favonius Headquarters (yes, even the building’s out-of-bounds upper floors) collecting balloons and evading floating enemies, and a rhythm game in which players can perform pieces of the Genshin Impact original soundtrack on three sonically distinct instruments. The Event’s main storyline will reunite Outrider Amber and Trainee Forest Ranger Collei for the first time since the events of the semi-canonical Genshin Impact manga where Collei visited Mondstadt as a child.
In fact, characters from all across Teyvat will be in attendance, including Cyno and Tighnari from Sumeru (Tighnari’s disgraced English voice-actor, Elliot Gindi, appears to have already recorded his lines for the Event, and will not be recast quickly enough to spare players from having to hear his voice, so consider switching languages or simply muting); Ying’er, a fan-favorite NPC from Liyue (who at first glance seems rather out-of-place in this particular Event, though it seems there’s something going on between her and a Mondstadt NPC, alchemist Timaeus); and of course, practically everyone from Mondstadt (with the possible exception of Kaeya, who is occupied elsewhere).
Specifically, players who have completed Requiem Of The Echoing Depths can expect to find Kaeya hanging out in Sumeru, where Genshin Impact‘s overarching story will continue with a new Archon Quest titled Caribert (seemingly a reference to Charibert I, the name of a 6th Century Merovingian king who was the first of his dynasty to be excommunicated – for having four wives simultaneously, but I doubt that’s relevant). Kaeya, the long-lost heir to the even longer-lost throne of Khaenri’ah, and Dainsleif, a morally ambiguous survivor of the Cataclysm that destroyed Khaenri’ah five-hundred years ago, will accompany us on an expedition deep into the bowels of the earth in search of answers to our questions regarding the Abyss Order (of which our protagonist’s sibling is a high-ranking member), whose stated purpose is to resurrect Khaenri’ah and usurp the gods responsible for wiping it off the face of the earth. Unfortunately, that’s everything we know for sure about the Archon Quest so far, but anyone who’s familiar with Kaeya and Dainsleif’s extensive lore knows that these two characters meeting onscreen could have game-changing consequences. When we’ve met them individually in the past, they’ve always avoided saying too much about themselves, shrugging us off when we press them about it, so having Kaeya on our side to help grill Dainsleif (and vice versa!) will hopefully force everyone to be a little more forthright.
The first chapters of Dehya’s Story Quest and Faruzan’s Hangout Event are also set to be released in Version 3.5, and I have a feeling from the brief synopses provided by HoYoverse during the Special Program that I’ll enjoy both – Dehya’s Story Quest in particular, as it will see the return of Dunyarzad, a beloved NPC who had a significant role in the Sumeru Archon Quest and was originally responsible for getting Dehya tangled up in the plot to rescue Lesser Lord Kusanali from the clutches of corrupt scholars at the Akademiya, because even though Dehya might have been hired to be Dunyarzad’s silent and stoic bodyguard, she’s too much of a big softie to turn her back on her friend (or girlfriend, depending on how you interpret their relationship dynamic). Anyway, with Dunyarzad now cured of the debilitating illness that required her family to hire a bodyguard for her in the first place, I’m excited to see how their relationship will evolve, and what new adventures they’ll go on together. Faruzan’s Hangout Event, by contrast, will primarily take place in the heart of the Akademiya, and explore the distinctions between the six Darshans and their conflicting philosophies.
As intriguing as this sounds, I still do not understand why Faruzan, of all the four-star characters from Sumeru, is first-in-line for a Hangout Event while Collei and Candace are still waiting months after their release, and Mika, the new four-star Cryo polearm user being introduced alongside Dehya in Version 3.5, is apparently going to be dropped into the game without any accompanying story content to remind players why they should want to pull for him besides the fact that he buffs ATK Speed and Physical DMG while providing a little bit of healing, making him a good support for characters like Eula (and Xinyan, especially if you’re using her as your Main DPS, the way I do). If only it made sense to run Mika on Eula’s banner, given that she’s canonically his commanding officer…or, you know, rerun Eula in general, seeing as it’s been over a year and there’s a Mondstadt Event in Version 3.5 and the aforementioned reward for participating in said Event is a claymore, Eula’s weapon…nope, definitely the logical choice by HoYoverse to slap Mika on a banner with Kamisato Ayaka and Shenhe, two characters with whom he has no real synergy, making for an inharmonious Mono-Cryo medley in the latter half of Version 3.5.
Beyond that, a few small adjustments and improvements are being made to the game in Version 3.5, of which the simplest and most popular by far is the new system of rewarding players for completing currently released and upcoming chapters of Genshin Impact‘s main storyline with one Intertwined Fate – exchangeable on any limited-time banner – for every Archon Quest. Whether generous or merely exploitative, I will be taking those Intertwined Fates, thank you very much. Dehya will come home to me, and that’s final. But how about you? Pulling for anyone in Version 3.5, or skipping the patch entirely? Share your own thoughts, theories, and opinions, in the comments below!