Genshin Impact marks its third anniversary next week, and fans' ardent hopes for a more lavish celebration compared to previous years have not come to pass. Last Friday's Version 4.1 Special Program livestream confirmed that the occasion will be marked by the return of the Daily Login Event from the last two anniversaries, despite it being poorly-received on both occasions.
The third anniversary event, called "Bathing in Flowing Moonlight", promises 10 Intertwined Fates to players who log in for seven days, plus some currencies and level-up materials. Players will also receive an in-game mail containing 1,600 Primogems (worth 10 pulls on the gacha), four fragile resin, and an exclusive commemorative pet and gadget. Fans who were hoping for a free selection among the game's standard 5-star characters are expressing disappointment: the news has drawn unfavourable comparisons to the more generous anniversary events in Honkai Impact 3rd, as well as attracting conspiracy theories that HoYoverse favours the Honkai franchise over Genshin. I guess we'll have to wait until Honkai: Star Rail turns one next April for more data on that.
The reception to Version 4.1's banner line-up has been warmer, however. HoYoverse have confirmed that recently announced husbando-bait characters Neuvillette and Wriothesley will indeed both be 5-star units debuting during Phase 1 and Phase 2 of V4.1, respectively. This means that, unusually, there'll be two new 5-stars but no new 4-stars during this update, something that hasn't happened since Version 1.3 launched in February 2021.
Many Genshin fans are sporting avatars of the newbies-to-be on social media already, suggesting that HoYoverse aren't entirely in the doghouse with the player base, even if their anniversary plans haven't gone over too well.
Sweetening the deal still further, both newcomers will be running alongside returning fan favourites on the second banner. Neuvillette's banner debut will run alongside the third rerun for Hu Tao, whose high-investment/high-reward kit coupled with her complete absence from the gacha during the entirety of 2022 has made her a dark horse favourite among some players.
Wriothesley's debut banner will run alongside Venti's first appearance of 2023 — and it's fair to say that players are never sorry to see Genshin's first ever Archon character (and indeed, first ever event-exclusive unit) return to the gacha. Venti being back really adds to that anniversary feel for this update, even if being featured on Phase 2 means he won't actually appear until mid-October.
The V4.1 update also includes an expansion of the Fontaine map making the Fortress of Meropide area accessible. Fontaine's Rapture-esque underwater prison is new boy Wriothesley's base of operations, and is set to play an important role in the ongoing storyline of Version 4.
Genshin Impact 4.1 is expected to go live on Wednesday 27th September, the day before the three-year anniversary of the game's launch.