Earlier this month, Genshin Impact added a new character to the roster with Zhongli on December 1st. A Geo-element character, Zhongli met with harsh criticism due to subpar damage, and support skills not holding their own, meaning Zhongli buffs were needed. This prompted a message from developer MiHiYo to give him a modest buff, along with one to other Geo characters.
Apparently, early tests on the Genshin Impact 1.3 beta server have shown that this wasn't enough to rescue the maligned hero from the scrap heap, as today the developer has announced another set of Zhongli buffs for testing on the 1.3 servers, with them first laying out the problems they identified.
The first problem was that Zhongli was a weak support character, especially when playing co-op. In Geo Resonance parties, Zhongli's support was less notable than other Geo characters, meaning even in the background he wasn't doing particularly much. Finally, in single-player Zhongli was not particularly compatible with parties that were Geo Resonance.
A fairly damning indictment, as essentially the developer has said that he sucks under all circumstances. The first set of changes announced last week buffed his Dominance of Earth ability, the Dominus Lapidis' Holding Mode, the Geo Resonance Enduring Rock, and the Geo Shield ability. This new adjustment further focuses on improving the Dominus Lapidis' Holding Mode skill that Zhongli has.
The new addition to Dominus Lapidis' Holding Mode is that when opponents are within a specific range of a character with a jade shield (such as this ability creates), they will have physical and elemental resistance decreased by 20%. For your reading edification, here is the current version of the ability, after both adjustments:
Dominus Lapidis' Holding Mode
Causes nearby Geo energy to explode, causing the following effects:
• If the maximum number of Stone Steles has not yet been reached, it will create a Stone Stele.
• Creates a shield of jade. The shield's DMG Absorption scales based on Zhongli's Max HP, and has 150% Physical DMG and Elemental DMG Absorption.
• When a character is protected by the Jade Shield, opponents within a set radius have all Elemental RES and Physical RES decreased by 20%. Effect cannot be stacked.
• Deals AoE Geo DMG.
• If there are nearby targets with the Geo element, it will drain a large amount of the Geo element from a maximum of 2 such targets. This effect does not cause DMG.
Whether this will be the final adjustment to Zhongli in the lead up to Genshin Impact 1.3 we don't know. MiHiYo is saying that they will confirm the final version of Zhongli for 1.3 once more before the patch, meaning that there is time for further beta testing to show more tweaks are needed and to be implemented.
Do you think these Zhongli buffs are enough? How should balancing characters in gacha games like Genshin Impact be handled? Let us know in the comments below!