Update: Shortly before this piece was posted, miHoYo released an official response to the community feedback around Zhongli. You can read it here.
The official statement acknowledges the feedback and some specific bugs with Zhongli’s abilities , but makes no promises about fundamentally changing the character beyond that. As a result, the contents of this post remain relevant to the current community conversation around Genshin Impact.
There's no getting around the fact that gacha games are predatory. Their entire design is contingent upon luring as many people as possible into an experience that will tempt them to spend money over and over again. This makes Genshin Impact--despite all of its other positive qualities--a predatory game, but is it too predatory? Does such a distinction matter? And, if so, who gets to draw the line of demarcation?
These are the kinds of questions that have risen to the top of the Genshin Impact community over the past week, ever since a new banner event allowed players to feed the in-game slot machine for a new playable character: Zhongli. In the lead up to his release, players awaited anxiously, poring over his teaser trailer, investigating leaked footage, and analyzing his strength based on his importance to Genshin Impact's story, only to face disappointment once they finally got their hands on him.