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!

Go ahead, disagree with me (or agree, that's cool, too)