Even though Genshin Impact is in update limbo, a Spices from the West event is running in-game. Like the Of Drink A-Dreaming event from March 2022, this is a more relaxed activity. You play a minigame involving food. You get rewards for preparing dishes. You can interact with characters you own once you have a meal ready. It’s generally handled well. But even though it is fun and rewarding, it feels like it should have been held back.
For those who haven’t started playing Genshin Impact Spices from the West, here’s how it works. If you meet all the requirements to participate, you can talk to Nazafarin from Sumeru in Liyue Harbor. The character is on the first dock immediately to the left when you enter town. After a brief conversation, you unlock the ability to make seasonings from the event menu. Between May 14-20, 2022, seven sorts of seasonings unlock.
Each one involves a handful of ingredients. Once you start preparing them, you’ll need to press the action button on the bar below the correct item in the listed order before the seven ladles at the bottom of the screen run out. They tick down as you hit the ends of the gauge or make incorrect choices. If you fail, don’t worry. You only use up ingredients when you succeed. These recipes gradually get more difficult. The first seasoning only needs one horsetail, one mint, and one pepper. But by seasoning four, you’re using two mints, two pinecones, and a violetgrass. It also means you can’t leisurely wait and only add one ingredient on each pass. You have to be observant and add at least two each run. It isn’t too taxing, but offers a sense of accomplishment when done right.
It’s also pretty entertaining to add seasonings to dishes. 20 different Delicious Dishes can be turned into Fragrant ones. You only need one seasoning to do so. (Also, all seasonings are generic after you make them, so you don’t need to worry about preparing extras.) Two of the easiest Fragrant Dishes to make are Fragrant Mint Salad and Fragrant Stir-Fried Filet. You only need one Jueyun chili and four mints for the salad. The Stir-Fried Filet only requires a single Jueyun chili and one raw meat. (Qince Stir Fry is also fairly easy, since you only need a cabbage, a Jueyun chili, two lotus heads, and three mushrooms.) Everyone has a different response to the new meals. Even if the reaction is bad, it still works out and ticks a quest box.
From what I’ve seen, some characters seem a lot more likely to be enthusiastic about Fragrant Dishes during the Genshin Impact Spices from the West event. Yunjin tends to be happy with anything I feed her. The same goes for Thoma. Others seem a bit fussier. Hu Tao doesn’t seem to be a fan of my attempts. But even so, their responses are amusing. Not to mention that aside from a few characters in my Serenitea Pot, my current visitors’ Companionship levels are already maxed out. So it doesn’t matter if they don’t love my cooking.
However, it is the Serenitea Pot element that makes Spices from the West feel like a bust. Yes, we are getting a decent amount of free Primogems, a good amount of Mora, and some extra weapon enhancement materials so we don’t have to do about five or six domain runs for them. But it feels like so much of this event is tied to the characters’ reactions. The Serenitea Pot maintenance has been running since March 30, 2022. While we’re getting 5,000 Realm Currency on a weekly basis and can still visit to craft, garden, and shop, we can’t change up our surroundings. Which means no variety for people with visitors already placed.
Worse, if someone started playing or unlocked the Serenitea Pot after 2.6, they probably don’t even have people to feed. Which, in turn, can mean missing out on some rewards. The free Primogems, Mora, and experience books are all tied to preparing seasonings. If you complete each recipe three times, you finish an objective and get the bonus tied to it. The Mystic Enhancement Ores and weapon enhancement materials are tied to feeding folks. If you don’t get NPCs you placed in your Serenitea Pot to taste food seven, fourteen, and twenty-one times, you miss out on those items.
Genshin Impact Spices from the West is fine. I appreciate the extra Primogems and Mora. Especially since I’m spending a lot of time improving artifacts at the moment. But it feels like it is ill-times and set up to fail. The character reactions can be fun! But people can’t get the most out of them and experiment due to the Serenitea Pot maintenance. It’s nice to have a reason to log in every day during a lull like this! But it’s also a quick diversion that not everyone can enjoy. It seems like something that will be better if it returns again at a later date.
Genshin Impact is available for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC, and mobile devices. A Nintendo Switch port is in development. The Spices from the West event will be available in Genshin Impact until June 7, 2022.