Genshin Impact – miHoYo Officially Explains Zhongli Is A Support Character
miHoYo answers the Zhongli debate in Genshin Impact and explains he was developed not with DPS in mind but the idea of support and protecting the party.
On November 7, miHoYo published a statement regarding Zhongli and explained his role as a support character in Genshin Impact (PC, PS4, PS5, Mobile, Switch soon). The statement was first shared in Japanese via Twitter and a few minutes later in English through Facebook. Before being shared by the English Twitter as well.
We have recently received a lot of feedback from Travelers regarding issues with the character Zhongli.
— Paimon (@GenshinImpact) December 7, 2020
Long story short, many Genshin players in the English speaking community have been saying Zhongli sucks despite being a five star character. miHoYo explained they’ve been closely following feedback and impressions ever since Zhongli was released. However, miHoYo admitted that while they kept an eye on all the debate, they were pretty slow and didn’t respond until now, and apologized for that.
In the statement, miHoYo explained their views when it comes to developing characters in Genshin Impact, and how Zhongli was primarily developed as a Support Character.
First off, miHoYo wishes for Genshin Impact to have mechanics as diverse as possible. While the majority of characters in Genshin Impact are based on how to deal damage fast and the infamous Damage Per Second DPS, Zhongli’s role is not to attack the enemies but to defend the other party members and control the enemies’ movement. miHoYo also explained Zhongli’s Elemental Skill and Burst have been developed in a way that they can be self-sufficient to efficiently protect the party, without relying on Elemental Reactions, his Weapon and Artifact equipment. The data showed Zhongli is fulfilling this role, as players who use Zhongli in their party now have a higher survival rate.
Moreover, miHoYo mentioned it’s always analyzing, and assessing data so characters have their roles to play. Hinting there should be content coming later on that will make Support characters like Zhongli more useful. They will keep analyzing Zhongli data too, so it’s possible he will get buffed or changed later on. It’s extremely rare for a character in a game with gacha elements to get nerfed after their official release, but it’s not unheard of for them to be buffed.
Personally, I believe the main problem is that all of the endgame content in Genshin Impact, the Spiral Abyss in particular, is based on optimizing your DPS, not your defenses. So from a purely objective standpoint, a character like Zhongli is indeed not worth rolling for right now. As I often say though, at the end of the day, it all comes down to whether you like the character or not. And nothing stops you for using Zhongli for something else than support, even if miHoYo says he is a support and that he’s not as efficient in other roles. It’s up to you, how you use your resources, how you build your characters, and what makes the game fun for you. In any case, I’m looking forward to future content which hopefully won’t solely be DPS based, so a character like Zhongli will get to shine.
Lastly, miHoYo is also correcting a bug regarding Zhongli:
In addition, we have discovered from player feedback that there is indeed a bug affecting Zhongli at present: After Zhongli’s Lv. 2 Constellation “Stone, the Cradle of Jade” is activated, casting an Elemental Burst may not trigger the DMG boost of the Elemental Resonance effect “Enduring Rock.” The developers are currently working on a fix and we estimate that the issue will be fixed in an update on 12/10/2020. Travelers will also be compensated accordingly.
Zhongli has been incredibly popular with Japanese players. Genshin Impact is a game geared towards anime otaku, people who fall in love with 2D characters regardless of apparent age, gender and orientation, and who’d do anything for them. I personally believe many Genshin players are in this category, but it doesn’t mean they ignore the game’s possible flaws, like how it’s highly reliant on DPS and artifacts substats in the long run rather than direct player skill.
Japanese players also found another interesting bug with Zhongli.
The next big update in Genshin Impact, version 1.2, is planned for December 23. It’ll add the Dragonspine area, new quests, and currently unspecified content. Some players leaked work in progress content from Ver 1.2, which earned them a lawsuit from miHoYo. Ver 1.3 is scheduled for February 2021. Future updates will add the Inazuma region.