It’s Lantern Rite season in Teyvat once again, and players can look forward to a swath of new features and content around it and other areas of the game when Genshin Impact Version 4.4: Vibrant Harriers Aloft in Spring Breeze is made available on all servers starting 31 January 2024. The first major update by HoYoverse to arguably their most acclaimed game this year, players will gain access to two new playable characters, new events, an expansion to the Liyue landmass connecting the region to Fontaine and more.
The update will see the game’s fictional world, Liyue, celebrating its annual Lantern Rite. This event is marked by the introduction of a new region, Chenyu Vale, located in the northwest. This area offers players new landscapes to explore, including majestic hills, cascading waterfalls, flourishing villages, and areas steeped in mystery. The centerpiece of Chenyu Vale is Qiaoying Village, known for its adepti-taught tea cultivation, and Yilong Wharf, a key trading nexus featuring a remarkable water-powered elevator.
In addition to geographical expansions, Genshin Impact Version 4.4 brings new gameplay elements and rewards. Players can earn various rewards, including 10 + 3 Intertwined Fates, a free Liyue four-star character, and a new outfit for the character Xingqiu. The Lantern Festival within the game introduces a new kite theme, promising a prosperous new year filled with abundant rewards. New events, mini-games, and redeemable items, such as Xingqiu’s outfit, will be accessible. Players also have the opportunity to claim up to 10 Intertwined Fates through a daily login event and receive additional rewards via the in-game mailbox.
The update introduces new characters to the game’s roster. Xianyun, a five-star Anemo catalyst wielder, and Gaming, a four-star Pyro character, are the latest additions. Xianyun, known as Cloud Retainer, is presented as the human form of an adeptus, offering unique aerial abilities and healing. Gaming, a claymore user, integrates Wushou arts into his combat style. The update features two phases of Event Wishes: the first showcasing Xianyun, Gaming, and Nahida, and the second featuring Xiao and Yae Miko.
Technical advancements have been applied to enhance the portrayal of Chenyu Vale, adopting a shan shui style. The Global Far Fog (GFF) feature allows for dynamic changes in mist and cloud density and direction, considering altitude and terrain. The Gradient Tint Rock feature adds visual depth, tinting mountains in cyan, green, or tan based on various factors like height and rock texture. You can see more about each of these in the below showcase videos:
Global Far Fog
Clouds and mist are constantly present in Chenyu Vale, and the Global Far Fog (GFF) feature allows you to better observe how they take on different forms around the rolling hills. By taking into account height, terrain, and other conditions, the developers were able to allow Volumetric Fog to change in density and direction as it passes through different locations. For example, thick clouds converge in low, narrow areas of the valley, while light mist lingers around the cape of the mountains or open areas.
Gradient Tint Rock
Inspired by shan shui, a traditional painting style, and ink wash techniques, Gradient Tint Rock technology is a new tool that our artists and developers created to portray different parts of the lofty mountains through transitions between three colors: cyan, green, and tan. By creating various distance fields in 3D and customizing them for each mountain, it is possible to see a different color gradient depending on the altitude, distance, textural characteristics of the rocks, and structure of each mountain. For example, the leafy parts, the summit and the ubac will appear in dark cyan and green, while the barren paths and the lower parts can gradually integrate into a lighter earthy tan, hence the name of the technique: Gradient Tint Rock.
Developed by HoYoverse, Genshin Impact is a free-to-play, gacha-supported action-adventure game currently available on the PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, iOS and Android platforms.