Genshin Impact released their most broken character earlier this month. She’s no longer available in the seasonal rotation, but fans are still upset at her lackluster abilities. While some players have been submitting reports and airing their grievances on Twitter, others have gone a step further. Players who have regularly spent money on Genshin have announced that they will no longer pay to play.
Genshin itself is free, but players can drop anywhere from a few bucks to thousands of dollars on in-game currency, which they can use to roll for randomized characters or set upgrade packs. Dehya is a premium fire-element character who was only recruitable for a limited time. Fans were captivated by her bold character design and courageous involvement in the perilous main story quests, and many were excited to spend their hard-earned currency on her three-week banner. Unfortunately, leaks showed that the scaling on her abilities were underwhelming. Players still held out hope that developer HoYoverse would patch things up before launch.
The problems with Dehya’s kit
They did not. Fans were flabbergasted as they personally discovered that Dehya’s damage numbers were low, jumping would cancel out her ultimate attack, and that her attacks didn’t activate popular support abilities. Players also discovered other issues such as how easily she got knocked back during her ult, being able to die from her own ability, and getting stuck in environmental objects. Her fans tried to get HoYoverse to fix her, from submitting customer support tickets to getting the #FixDehya tag to trend on Twitter. Even now, new Genshin character announcements are flooded with demands from angry Dehya players.
Once again, I reiterate: HoYoverse does not profit from releasing characters that players deem unusable. Fan appeal is the core of their business model. And as other fans have pointed out, she has deep tie-ins with the setting and interesting relationships with other characters. These are the qualities that led fans to get so invested in her in the first place. There are Genshin players who argue that Dehya is technically still playable, the base game is easy, or that the point of pulling characters is personal attachment rather than meta. But they’re a small minority.
Character frustrations turn into cynicism towards HoYoverse
More frustrated players point out that Dehya’s regular performance doesn’t measure up to older Genshin characters, leading to concerns that the developers will get “lazy” or commit “false advertising” with future character releases. “If HoYoverse can get away with releasing an unfinished character, this can happen again in the future to your favorite character!” read a popular graphic that’s currently being passed around the community. And depending on your level of investment in the meta, a fully decked out character can cost up to $5,000 real world dollars. If players purchased a $60 standalone game, then their complaints might feel overblown. But HoYoverse is ostensibly selling them a premium item, and they expect to get their currency’s worth. The company has previously fixed buggy characters such as Zhongli and Yae Miko, so their hopes weren’t unfounded.
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But Dehya’s limited-time run is over, and HoYoverse still hasn’t issued an official response about her abilities. This has shattered some fans’ faith in the company’s willingness to deliver high-quality products to its players.
“I’ll stick around for Fontaine and see what happens with other characters, but they’ve already knocked one spending player down to [free-to-play],” wrote one redditor. Another fan saw their spending habits change drastically during Dehya’s release. “It’s incredible really. I went from debating C6R5 [which costs around $5,000] or C6R1 to not spending anything on this patch and wondering if I should even buy the [battle pass],” they wrote. “The only thing Dehya could actually be a bodyguard for was my wallet, it seems.”
“Got me to go from [monthly] Welkin/[battle pass] player with the annual 2x crystal bonuses buyer to a non-spender from here on out,” vowed another player whose purchases would have racked up over $500 a year. “The entire reason I was fine spending money on this game was having confidence [that the] characters I like would be fun to play. Dehya’s absolutely massacred that notion.” Some players felt that HoYoverse was a reliably consistent game designer before Dehya’s release. “I’m now 100% sure I won’t spend a cent on this game anymore since every future 5 [star character] they’re gonna tease that might push me to save primogems / spend a bit might end up being yet another Dehya,” a fan wrote on Reddit. Even a player who obtained Dehya and intended to main her announced that they didn’t intend to pay for the game in the future.
Both high-spenders and casual players also deserve a normally-powered Dehya. HoYoverse hyped her release for weeks, and they should have put out a character who lived up to all of the marketing. Unfortunately, she turned out worse than any other character in the game.
“The sad part is, all this idiotic kit design took in tremendous effort I’m sure,” wrote one fan. “The concept is unique and out of the way. She would have been less sabotaged if they actually put minimal effort in her kit.”