Screenshot: HoYoverse / Kotaku
I can’t do it. I’m not strong enough. I skipped 18 weeks of Genshin Impact banners to ensure that I could get Nahida, but farming materials for her is so unpleasant. This isn’t just a problem for fans of the tragic goddess. Sumeru is just the worst area for collecting any kind of material. Things are so dire that I’ve left my new characters to sit on the backburner. Why play Candace or Collei when I could simply slaughter everything with my pre-built Ayaka or Xiao?
In Genshin Impact, you can’t simply max characters by using them in battle a ton. Every 10 to 20 levels, you have to unlock the ability to increase their levels further by offering them certain materials. Some of these are easily obtained through daily quests or battles, but the most time-consuming materials can only be found in the overworld. If you don’t unlock these levels, then your characters won’t get their best passive abilities either. To ensure that your characters are the best they can be, exploration is inevitable.
This isn’t a problem in the Mondstadt region, where special leveling ingredients can be found in designated sub-areas. Inazuma is a little stingier, but it’s still generous enough that you can more or less stay in one area to farm all of your necessities. Sumeru, though? Sumeru is hell. I once loved exploring the forested regions, which allowed me to zip back and forth across all directions. That was before I had to start collecting Rukkhadevata Mushrooms for Collei. There are only a few places where they’re clumped together. If you really need the mushrooms, you’ll have to find each one individually in various areas. Don’t even talk to me about Kalotpala Lotuses. You must grab them off towering cliffs, and they’re so easy to miss if you’re not looking at them at precisely the right angle.
It feels like every single plant is like that. You have to explore every inch of the map to farm what the new characters need, meaning it takes longer to get to a point where I feel comfortable using them for regular play. I don’t mind exploration! I love it! But not when it’s directly tied to character progression.
The desert region was much more trying on my patience. Everything is 50 miles apart, including fast travel points. And unlike most open world games, you don’t get a horse or other method of quicker traversal. So you’re stuck running across a very boring looking desert until you find a cactus with the coveted Henna Berry, which is necessary to promote Candace. Oh, the things I do for a hot spear girl who could probably bench press me.
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I’ve never had to use a farming map for Genshin before. I started using them now that I was trying to raise my characters in earnest, which isn’t fun when I’m trying to collect materials naturally. The developers clearly wanted me to leg it. They’ve likely learned from all the players who overused fast travel and never actually went sightseeing, but I just want the option to farm efficiently on the days that I’m busy. Instead, my progress is gated by how frequently I want to explore.
One day I’ll have the patience to max out Nahida. For now, I’m just praying that the upcoming sword character Alhaitham doesn’t use any more of those damn cliff lotuses.