Genshin Impact debuted the five-star geo character Zhongli a week ago and the community has been ablaze with discussions and criticism of him ever since, with some arguing that he needs a buff and others claiming that making him any stronger would be absurd. Developer MiHoYo weighed in (opens in new tab) on all this feedback today, explaining its goals for Zhongli as a character and affirming that he has been an "effective" support.
"Zhongli is defined as more of a support character, and the core of the support role is the ability to protect other characters in the party," MiHoYo says. "Based on this, we defined his two core abilities as shield creation and controlling the enemy … From a design standpoint, these two features enable Zhongli to fulfill his role as a support character, and from a review of actual game data, we have discovered that Zhongli is, in fact, effectively improving Travelers' survival capabilities."
Zhongli can place pillars that deal damage over time in a small area, create a shield for your characters, and summon a meteor that briefly petrifies enemies in place (and gives you a handful of invincibility frames during its cast animation). Players that like Zhongli have been singing his praises as a defensive character, while those who find him underwhelming have argued that his damage output is too low even as a support or that his shield isn't durable enough. If there was ever any doubt before, it's now clear that MiHoYo built Zhongli for the support role, putting him in the same league as five-star characters like Qiqi and Jean, who deal less damage overall but make up for it with party utility.
MiHoYo says it is still "engaged in a deep analysis of Zhongli" and maintains that it has been "closely following the situation, both in terms of reviewing the feedback on social media and in terms of analyzing the game data on how people are obtaining, building, and using Zhongli." The studio hasn't outlined any potential or incoming Zhongli buffs, nor has it touched on his pillar's oft-debated energy generation, but it did confirm that one of his bugged abilities will be fixed soon. This bug can cause Zhongli's second Constellation and the shield it generates to not trigger shield-related damage buffs, and it should be fixed in the December 10 update if things go to plan.
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