Gaming Log: Genshin Impact


Nahida... did not come home... I pulled Diluc instead! I am disappointed, but at the same time I'm glad it's him. I actually quite like Diluc, and of all the standard 5-stars to pull, he's one of the few I actually want. His gloves are nice... love the two-tone. And it will be nice to have a claymore character that I don't hate! Mining will be lots more fun.

Unfortunately, this means I've got 20-ish days to collect 8,000 primogems, and then the process starts all over again to pull for Xiao and Yaoyao in February. Big sigh! Though I have heard that at something called "Lantern Rite" you get a free 4-star? I don't know how it works and I'm too depressed to look into it, but if it can save me some time and energy then it can only be a good thing.

And save me... money... because I did do a little research, in my desperation for Nahida, to see how many US Dollars she'd cost. The answer is a lot. Too much. More than anyone should ever spend on an evil game like this— and I only need 50 pulls, not 90. It's all so tiresome. I don't even want to play anymore, at least not for the time being, and I refuse to let this game feel like a chore.

I don't want to play without my favourite character, but if I don't play, then I'll never get her. You see my dilemma? IT'S ALL SO TIRESOME!!! I don't like myself very much right now, so I'm going back to bed.


JUST ONE MORE DAY TIL NAHIDA!!! I'm so excited to have her! I have no love for the 4-Stars on her banner, but maybe I'll get lucky and pull some other interesting characters alongside her. I wonder what will happen? It will be lots of fun to see!

Also I bought a new controller... Perhaps 5 or 6 hours after I wrote the rant about my old one, I decided I actually was fed up and needed something new. I decided on the moco 2 kid's controller by Digiforce, a Switch accessory which seems to have had limited release in the West. I chose it because it's cute! After I saw this Fisher Price toy and was devastated to learn it wasn't real (don't ask), I knew that I really, really wanted multicoloured buttons. It would be great to also get them in different s hapes like the GameCube, but that seems to be a totally unique feature in the controller market. Nobody else does it.... I am quite disappointed about that, because the different colours, shapes, and sizes are so seriously awesome!

Ah, well. I'm still happy with my purchase. I was surprised that my package got here so quickly despite coming all the way from Osaka! Seems to have arrived just in time for Nahida~ Today I held it in my hands for the first time... and I love it to bits!!! It's smaller than a standard controller, making it just the right size for me. It's a little heavy, but I'm taking that as a sign of quality compared to my light-as-air pseudo-Gamecube controller. It's also a lot quieter, and the buttons and sticks are smoother.... Great improvements there.

I'll need to get used to the layout— the tiny, uniformly-sized buttons kinda throw me off, and I find myself wanting to use my right hand on the D-pad, as if I'm too afraid to let go of the left stick? Curious! Maybe it's a compulsion leftover from my attempts to keep the L-stick in place on my old, broken controller. I was careful to keep my thumb on it at all times to keep my character from dashing away. I'm sure as I acclimate to this upgraded piece of technology, I'll be able to relax a bit more.


I've been so impatient for Nahida and so bored of my current character roster that I'm scraping for standard banner pulls. I got all the way to 80 without a 5-star, so tonight I said fuck it and capped my ~6 fates with a couple primos so I'd hit pity and FINALLY get someone new. And whaddya know... that someone new was TIGHNARI!!!!!!!

Tighnari was a character I used to love to hate. His design is severely retarded (probably because he was made by some guy who makes characters for Fate Grand Order?) but my Genshin friend's love for him (and his pairing with Cyno) quickly convereted me. Since I played the Sumeru Archon Quest and I saw him in action, I've liked him even more!!! He is such a cool and responsible character. I feel like if I bought him an enamel pin that said "do no harm, but take no shit" he'd be like, "oh, wow, thank you." He wouldn't wear it or know what to do with it, but it would suit him.

Anyways, I got a little too excited and used up materials I was saving for Nahida to build him up instead. I don't even have a viable team for him right now, but... ahh, I didn't even think about it! I was so happy to see him!!! So now I've got 3-ish days to beat up mushrooms and collect dendro crystals or whatever. It will be fun, surely, because I can run around with Nari on screen!!! Even though I want to use Nahida as my main DPS, I'll keep Nari on the team for exploration purposes. And Collei, too. If I get another dendro character, it'd be hilarious to have a full team of the same element. My Sumeru Green Team... that's what I'd call it.

I'm looking forward to 4.4 and I can't wait to see who I get from the gacha! Wish me luck, everyone.


January has been a dry month for Vivarism because I went and got myself addicted to Genshin again. I've been wanting to bring back my video game diary, and uh... this still isn't it. This diary is only about Genshin. I figure that if I am spending so much time playing it, I may as well reflect on my experiences. Like this, I'm less of a passive consumer. I'm regaining control over my thoughts after having them so rudely hijacked by a gacha game.

Many of these thoughts and reflections have been kicking around in my mind all month. I'm sharing that backlog of musings on the page after this one, where they were written down and expanded upon retroactively. At one point I was going to pretend like I'd written them at the time that they'd originally come to me, but I don't care enough to make up the dates. I'm publishing them undated in chronological order. As a ballpark, they span January 1st to today.

So, yeah, that'll be the next page. THIS page is current. The entry just below this introductory passage is 100% recent, and going forward everything will be shared in reverse chronological order, as usual.

Thanks for reading this rambly explanation. It's late at night and my sleep schedule is off (because I keep staying up til dawn playing Genshin Freaking Impact) and I'm not sure how much of anything makes sense, much less required explanation in the first place.


Why is it that I can conceptualise and adhere to longterm goals in my silly Chinese video game, but not in my real life? Like... I'm saving up for Nahida. I'm not going to spend my primogems on anything else. I'm planning in advance for her arrival, collecting ascension materials and levelling up her weapon. There's no cramming, either. I'm going at my own pace and enjoying the process, allowing my focus to shift effortlessly between different tasks to avoid burnout.

I'm even preparing for the possibility that I don't get her. What if I pull all the way to pity, then lose the 50/50? In that case, I'll start over, and keep pulling through the month. What if I run out of time? What if it's the last day of the banner and she's not home? Will I compromise my values (and my wallet) to buy in-game currency? How much am I willing to spend, if anything? I want to consider the worst case scenario to cope with the potential disappointment and find alternative strategies to meet my needs.

What do I need anyway? Fun. Recreation. And "playing Genshin Impact" is just one such strategy for meeting that need.

The point is that I'm able to think very clearly about this game. I commit myself to attainable goals, enjoy the "work" to reach them, and feel very comfortable celebrating the rewards. Maybe that's because so much of the process is propped up by the game design. The goal markers are clearly expressed. Along the way, I receive consistent support and affirmation through satisfying and celebratory sound effects. NPCs constantly praise the Traveller, too, but instead of enjoying that, I just feel embarrassed at the thought of anyone relying on those compliments for their sense of self. Then again, I really loved ""helping people"" in Style Savvy when my real life was miserable, so... to each their own.

The point I detoured from is that my ability to plan, work for, and achieve goais is not actually any better in a gaming context. It's just an illusion. A lot of the heavy lifting— project management— is done by the game itself. Goals that I make up myself, like "save up 90 pulls for Nahida" or "craft a spear for Thoma" may not be invented by Mihoyo, but are substantially supported by them. The game counts my gems for me, archives my gacha history, keeps my morale high, and offers clear suggestions for sourcing premium currencies. ... what if it didn't do any of that?

Like, imagine if I had no idea what materials I needed for Thoma's spear, or where to get them, or who to ask for help. Imagine if crafting Thoma's spear required me to read and understand a dozen different books in real life, invest weeks and months of my life to nurturing relationships with real people, to face fears that typically make me real-life-vomit-and-cry, and also none of that is written down anywhere. I just have to guess which books to read, which people to know, and how much vomit/crying is acceptable on this arduous spear-crafting journey.

That's how it is when I think, "I want to get my life together." Nothing is written down and there's no one telling me what to do. There's no fanfare when I stumble out of bed and cook a proper meal. There is an internal sense of satisfaction, yes, the contentment of needs met, but seeing as I've spent the majority of my waking life neglecting my needs, ignoring my feelings, and at times even harming myself on purpose, born strictly from an all consuming sense of shame and self hatred, it's a lot harder to notice and appreciate those internal cues than the Genshin Impact Treasure Chest Opening Sound Effect.

Plus the elated exclamation of whichever characters have on screen. I think that's even more influential than the sound effect, actually. Like this, it's as if I am sharing the joy of victory with another person. Intellectually, I know it's just a voice actor doing a job, and I don't even speak Japanese well enough to immediately comprehend what they're saying, but my primitive lizard brain hears another member of my species expressing happiness and— very naturally— mirrors it. The majority of human voices I hear come from my computer, and only 2% of those digital voices are aware of my existence.

So... the point I once again detoured from is that it's so much easier to look up "thoma genshin build" and see that the Kitain Cross Spear is a great option for a F2P burgeon team. Then I look up the crafting recipe, knowing that it never deviates or needs to be amended or personalised. 100 pieces of ore, 50 of each type? Okay. I recognise the ingredients and, even if I don't have many to start with, I feel confident that I can get them in that quantity with relative ease. It will only take a day or two and I'll have that spear!

To make it even easier on myself, I can look up "amethyst lump farming route" and find step by step guides from trustworthy, comprehensible publications, complete with diagrams of exactly where to go and what to do. There is more personalisation in the gathering stage, but in a way that frees me rather than a way that confuses or isolates me. That's probably because I can relax into the knowledge that I will get there one way or another, without even a hint of shame over my chosen methodology. I'll use whatever claymore character I want. I'll go to this location and not that one and in whatever order. I don't feel like dealing with those enemies around the ore, so I'll run away. These ones I'll fight, and i'll do it with no style, skill, or obvious technique. It's all fine. There is nobody around to observe or judge me, and even if they did I feel secure in my right as a Genshin player to do whatever the fuck I want.

In the end, I did what I needed to do and had fun doing it. Once gathered, the materials transform into a fully functional spear in seconds. Even the part of the process where I rely on "someone else" (a fictional blacksmith) is easy, assured, and risk free, and pretty much immediately over with as well. And another celebratory sound effect plays. And I like looking at Thoma holding his new weapon. And every time I take him into battle, I remember the "work" I did to get him to that point, and because I win every battle I enter, I always feel good about that work.

I play Genshin on easy mode for this reason. I play Genshin for this reason. I don't want to struggle because I'm not confident I can weather the loss.