Genshin Impact’s Windblume Festival is wrapping up, with the final wave of quests and challenges releasing earlier today. Compared to the last major event, Windblume Festival felt more cohesive and meaningful than the Lantern Rite. MiHoYo took the shortcomings of the Lantern Rite and made sure Windblume didn’t fall into the same trappings.
Genshin Impact: miHoYo learned their lesson for Windblume Festival
Hello, Travelers! Have you all ever heard of the Windblume Festival?
It’s a Mondstadt tradition — a festival of love and freedom.
— Paimon (@GenshinImpact) March 17, 2021
Lantern Rite, an event commemorating Lunar New Year, looked at first to be miHoYo pulling out all the stops. The highly anticipated Xiao was released, with a whopping 10 Intertwined Fates given out for the free log-in bonus to give everyone a shot at rolling him. Theater Mechanicus was such a popular mini-game, players are still clamoring for it to be brought back as a permanent game mode. They even gave out a free four-star character of your choosing. Even with all of these great free event rewards, Lantern Rite was missing something.
During Lantern Rite, Liyue Harbor was made up with festive decorations. The event’s story has the Traveler convince the reclusive and melancholy Xiao to partake in the festival. These story beats were divided into three segments, as miHoYo tends to usually structure their events. The story was sweet and touching but was tedious to actually play.
The main issue was the 23 total quests that you had to complete between each of the three-story quests. These quests didn’t actually involve any of the playable characters. They had no impact and felt like filler, especially since the first two sets had nine quests in them spread over a week.
With this many quests, they often were rendered incompletable when NPCs were inevitably involved in multiple quest lines. If you didn’t do them as they released, it was easy for your quest list to be overwhelmed. This is made all the more annoying since you basically ran menial errands for the Liyue citizens. As someone who tends to play in longer sessions on my day off, this was a pretty rough experience.
Have you made your wish for the new year?
With your warm company during this festival of a thousand lanterns, we won’t feel the cold of the night.
— Paimon (@GenshinImpact) February 11, 2021
Ostensibly, the Lantern Rite is the biggest festival in Liyue, but you never saw how the characters interacted with it. You didn’t help Xiangling at her restaurant, see an overworked Ganyu filing paperwork, or find Ninguang taking it easy to enjoy herself. Instead, you were running around as a handyman to fix the citizenry’s problems. Liyue felt empty. Grand but purposeless.
MiHoYo learned their lesson for the Windblume Festival. If Lantern Rite was Teyvat’s version of Lunar New Year, Windblume is like a combination Oktoberfest and Valentine’s Day. It’s the biggest holiday for Mondstadt like Lantern Rite is for Liyue, and the event’s biggest strength was how the characters were incorporated.
The story quest for Windblume is all about Venti. To get you (the Traveler) oriented with Mondstadt’s customs, he has you learn about the true meaning of Windblume. You meet every character from Mondstadt during the event, complete with cute cutscenes of the characters interacting with each other.
While Venti is the story’s focal point, you still get to see everyone from Mondstadt. You see how they enjoy the festival, and the company of the other characters in interaction we haven’t see in the story yet. Albedo comes down from his mountain to play, and we get a cameo from Rosaria who isn’t even released yet. Stormterror himself even flies by.
Other quality of life improvements address that menial-ness that plagued Lantern Rite’s massive questline. MiHoYo seems to be making the game more friendly for players who game in longer sessions, as evidenced by the previous Original Resin limit increase and now with the Condensed Resin limit increase. It feels like the game is shifting to be more of the grand RPG miHoYo set out to build as they start to roll back the mobile game mechanics that held it from greatness. The Windblume quests continue this trend, as they were substantial, easy to complete and rewarding especially for those invested in Genshin Impact’s surprisingly well-written characters.
I ultimately feel more involved and immersed in the world in a way that was missing in Lantern Rite. The game feels alive here, and I’m so happy that miHoYo learned their lessons from the tedium of the Lantern Rite. It’s proof that those player surveys issued every now and then are read, and that the player base’s feedback is an important driving force behind miHoYo’s design ethos. Needless to say, I’m excited to see how they handle next year’s Lantern Rite Festival.