Honkai: Star Rail Is A Highly Rewarding Gacha; Genshin Should Take Note

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Story Highlights

  • After the massive success of Genshin Impact, the developer Mihoyo brings Honkai: Star Rail, a turn-based gacha for multiple platforms.
  • Genshin’s conquering popularity is undeniable, but the game’s low gacha currency rewards have been a long-time concern for fans.
  • Honkai: Star Rail quickly establishes its presence with excellent starting rewards and free rolls among other interesting factors, shooting up in popularity.

Honkai: Star Rail is the latest gacha game from Mihoyo, the developers behind the massive Genshin Impact, and follows turn-based combat inspired by the famous Trails series. Genshin took the world by storm when it was first released. It quickly garnered a gigantic fan following with its excellent open world and exploration, fascinating character design, and fast-paced combat that included peculiar reactions to spice things up.

The game was an overwhelming success for the developers, and in a matter of time, it became one of the most profitable gacha of all time. And the developers responded well to their passionate fans as the game that started as a Breath of the Wild-inspired title has brought enough original content and remarkable landscapes to set it apart and stand tall. And a new project from the developers was indeed an attractive proposal.

A Brief Intro To Gacha Mechanics

Before talking about Honkai: Star Rail, let’s look into the gacha mechanic. The concept has been in practice for quite some time now. It all starts back from the gachapon machines in Japan, where you spend a fixed amount of cash to try your luck and pull a reward. The reward value increased as its rarity increased, and you had quite little chance to get a highly precious reward, typically called an SSR.

The same idea was applied to games, where you spend a specific amount of the gacha currency to roll and try your luck. This gacha currency can be obtained by grinding in-game up to a limited amount available, or you can buy it by spending money, depending on your wish to obtain a certain product of the game. The games start out mostly as free-to-play and sustain themselves with further transactions, much like live-service games.

In order to sustain interest, the developers need to consistently design fresh content, and bring unique characters for gacha. The new character should have good synergy to the ongoing content and possess unique kits and roles, to make their presence impactful. In addition, they need to appeal in design or story-wise, making them desirable and worth rolling for.

To keep the gacha running, almost all games have a standard banner, which includes permanent characters that you can obtain anytime, and then a limited banner which includes time-limited characters or items which you cannot obtain outside of their specific run time. The genre was most commonly on mobile platforms and quite popular with its niche audiences, and now games like Genshin Impact and Honkai: Star Rail bring it to light.

Genshin Impact Has Been Quite Strict With Rewards

Genshin Impact played a considerable role in bringing the genre widespread recognition and spreading it to multiple platforms as well as to a AAA game. Among Genshin’s enormous player base, many gamers were unaware of the gacha mechanic before. Mihoyo also included a pity mechanic, found in some other games as well like Mihoyo’s own Honkai Impact 3rd. Pity allowed you to get the rarest item after a certain number of rolls.

This made Genshin’s gacha a lot more forgiving as compared to some other games like Fate/Grand Order and Another Eden. They lacked a pity mechanic and thus you were entirely up to luck. Fate/Grand Order recently added a pity system, but it requires a whopping 300 rolls, in contrast to Genshin’s 90-roll pity. One plus point to consider is that these games provide a lot of currency for F2P players in campaigns and special occasions.

New Year 2022 – New Pity System
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One of the major complaints of Genshin Players has always been a severe lack of gacha currency rewards. Mihoyo’s other major gacha Honkai Impact 3rd was quite generous in rewards on special occasions like the Chinese New Year or the game’s anniversary celebrations. In comparison, Genshin not only lacked endgame content for long-term players, but it also provided meager rewards, which Honkai: Star Rail seems to improve.

Looking back at the time when Genshin Impact’s first anniversary was right around the corner, players were extremely excited for free goodies, as it’s practically a custom for gacha games to issue rewards on their anniversaries. Players were speculating about what sort of rewards they were expecting, but their hopes were soon utterly crushed when only 10 rolls were announced along with some growth items.

This had the entire fanbase enraged, as the disappointing amount of gifts was not enough to reward the fans’ dedication, and they went on to review-bomb the game to voice their discontent. The players spent an entire year grinding in the game to obtain their favorite and most powerful characters, truly we deserved better rewards. And generous gifts would only serve to improve the game and the developers’ reputation.

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After severe backlash, Mihoyo had to issue additional goods as an apology and that served to calm the storm. Still, the game’s gacha currency rewards from in-game tasks and special events are much lower when compared to many others. The subsequent anniversary was no better with the rewards either. Even Mihoyo’s prior game Honkai Impact 3rd is better in the gains department and it’s something we continue to demand.

Honkai: Star Rail Brings Better Rewards To Heat Up The Contest

A possible speculation could have been made that owing to the nature of the pity system in Genshin, a significant amount of rewards would make it a lot easier to obtain SSRs in the game, thus de-valuing the gacha system. This might have been somewhat acceptable before, but now Honkai: Star Rail arrives to throw out even this argument with its improved rewards and many QOL improvements.

Star Rail has the exact same gacha system as Genshin, the same pity values and currency requirement for a single roll. However, right from the start, the game has been excellent with its rewards. It provided 20 standard and 10 limited banner rolls as starter gifts. This alone goes higher than Genshin’s initial rewards, but the game also announced 10 additional limited rolls which came as a welcome surprise.

Not only that, the overall currency gain from miscellaneous tasks is quite generous in the game. Even the smallest chests award 5 Stellar Jade (Honkai: Star Rail’s primary currency), compared to Genshin’s none at first, but 2 now. In addition, all side quests award considerable currency, with longer quests awarding more. Story quests also have a better reward ratio.

Honkai: Star Rail has a lot more sources to obtain Stellar Jade as compared to its predecessor. While completing quests and opening chests in a region, you also get a region-specific currency to purchase growth materials from the shop, and you can earn Stellar Jade just by shopping with that currency, how great is that? And all three regions have separate reward list so three times the gain.

Earn extra Stellar Jade and rolls simply by spending shop currency
Earn extra Stellar Jade and rolls simply by spending shop currency

Speaking of exploration, keep an eye out for a special enemy called Warp Trotter. This little guy can be found at specific locations across the combat sections of a region, and are quick to get away. If escaped, you need to reset the map by teleporting away and then returning. Just defeat them in battle and you can get 60 Stellar Jade in a simple and straightforward way.

That doesn’t conclude Honkai: Star Rail’s awards, as the game has a very generous permanent campaign which I believe is an excellent addition. For every 10 Trailblaze levels (basically Adventure Ranks of this game) after level 5, you get 10 standard banner rolls, and levels 25 and 35 award an additional 800 Stellar Jade each. The game makes sure your time and investment are duly rewarded.

Honkai: Star Rail's Trailblazing Will campaign offers additional rewards
Honkai: Star Rail’s Trailblazing Will campaign offers additional rewards

What’s more, the game promises a free permanent SSR of your choice, after you reach a threshold of 300 rolls spent on the standard banner. Genshin players have been demanding a permanent SSR of choice ever since the first anniversary, and yet they never got their wishes, but Honkai: Star Rail is here to deliver. The game also has two endgame modes with considerable rewards that refresh more frequently.

Honkai: Star Rail rewards a permanent SSR of choice upon reaching 300 rolls once
Honkai: Star Rail rewards a permanent SSR of choice upon reaching 300 rolls once

With all that and much more to offer, Honkai: Star Rail has quickly gained momentum and established itself as an excellent game. No wonder the game has seen enormous success, as a fascinating implementation of turn-based mechanics, witty interactions and dialogues, and a plethora of rewards add to the charm. Though from the same developers, Star Rail brings many strong points and Genshin needs to up its game as well to stand strong.

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