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Genshin Impact Is About To Get Bigger

In Nov. 2020, developer miHoYo introduced the first major update, patch 1.1, to its flagship title, Genshin Impact. Shortly after that, a release date and some story details scheduled for a subsequent patch, which would be update 1.2, were leaked online. Now miHoYo has officially outlined the imminent 1.2 update, subtitled "The Chalk Prince and the Dragon," in a press release, revealing much of what had leaked previously to be true, as well as some entirely new story and gameplay content.

The biggest addition to Genshin Impact will be a new area of its already-sizable game world, called Dragonspine. This marks the first time miHoYo will have added to the world map since the game's release. Whereas the currently accessible regions of Mondstadt and Liyue are themed around the Anemo (or air) and Geo (or earth) elements respectively, Dragonspine will function as Teyvat's Cryo (or ice) zone. An accompanying trailer for "The Chalk Prince and the Dragon" showcases some new, icey versions of familiar enemies that can be found there.

Accordingly, Dragonspine is a snowy, mountainous region. Its snow is constant and year-round, according to new lore, and will thus introduce a new "Sheer Cold bar," which tracks player characters' temperature when navigating the area. Preventing that bar from filling by finding sources of warmth will become key to its traversal. Just as certain elements of Genshin Impact — like its gliding and map discovery features — were famously influenced by The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, this coldness mechanic likewise resembles a similar system in Breath of the Wild, among various other weather hazards.

As with previous patches both major and minor, the 1.2 update will introduce new playable characters. Aldebo is a five-star rarity Geo user who fights with a sword. In addition to joining Genshin Impact's playable cast, Aldebo will play a key role in a seasonal event quest that will begin once "The Chalk Prince and the Dragon" goes live. Ganyu, meanwhile, is also a five-star rarity drop, and uses bow and Cryo element attacks. Her story will be playable as a side quest.

Other additions that will be implemented with the 1.2 update are new four-star weapon recipes, a new domain, new artifact sets, and some general quality-of-life changes. As was expected following the early leaks, "The Chalk Prince and the Dragon" will go live on Dec. 23 on all platforms. This includes PC, PS4, PS5, Android and iOS devices.