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Genshin Impact Developer Breaks Its Silence On Zhongli Controversy

Genshin Impact might have the mechanics of an elementally-charged Breath of the Wild clone (and a good one at that), but it is still a gacha game at heart. You don't actually need to collect characters to enjoy Genshin Impact, so you would be forgiven for forgetting it is a gacha game. Unfortunately, the gacha mechanic has finally reared its ugly head since many gamers are accusing miHoYo of using it to perform a bait and switch.

Recently, Genshin Impact was updated with new content, including the addition of the character Zhongli. He was billed as a powerhouse with a polearm, and he can make stone obelisks burst from the ground that serve triple duty as damaging totems, shield buffs, and climbable surfaces. It sounds like he should be the strongest member of any player's party, but numerous gamers believe he's actually pretty weak. Many of his mechanics are locked behind his Constellation skill tree, which is at odds with what some gamers claim was advertised. After examining a ton of negative feedback, the developers at miHoYo have finally chimed in and essentially stated that Zhongli isn't weak, you're just playing him wrong.

According to an official blog post, Zhongli was never the spear-wielding nuke players thought he was, but instead a support character. He was designed from the ground up to control the battlefield, as well as spawn shields that maximize party survivability. More importantly, he was created to do all that without relying on equipment bonuses. To drive home his support role, miHoYo testified that while most characters receive damage bonuses — thus solidifying their damage-dealing roles — Zhongli instead funnels most of his bonuses into health.

However, miHoYo didn't spend the whole article trying to dismantle player claims. The blog extended an olive branch and stated that one complaint, specifically regarding a bug in Zhongli's Constellation, is completely warranted. Apparently, many players cast an Elemental Burst to create a damage boost for the effect Enduring Rock, which did not happen. The studio reassured players that specific problem will be fixed.

Despite this explanation, though, quite a few players insist that supposedly weaker four-star characters outperform Zhongli, in spite of his status as a rare five-star hero. Moreover, some players who have tested Zhongli stated he doesn't function as miHoYo claimed until he gains six Constellation skills. Since you can only unlock non-main character Constellations by pulling duplicates from Genshin Impact's gacha store, you will need at least seven Zhonglis to unlock his potential. If you plan on upgrading him that far (or further), you need either the luck of a world class poker player or the bank account of one.