Yanfei is a character who, throughout her Genshin Impact introductions, very clearly offered insights into her profession. After all, she’s a legal advisor who is a catalyst user, giving her an excuse to carry a big book around. Since she’s constantly working with contracts and documents, she has a Seal of Approval attack and Signed Edict Elemental Skill that grants her Scarlet Seals. But the best thing about her is how the game introduces her to everyone who plays.
There are multiple characters who are introduced or play parts via events or quests in Genshin Impact. Mona and Scaramouche both had the most screentime as a result of the Unreconciled Stars event, which was sadly a limited time affair. Likewise, Xiao showed up in the story, but really took center stage during the Lantern Rites festival. With Yanfei, there’s no fear of missing meeting her in Genshin Impact. Her introduction is paired up with the Serenitea Pot mechanic. As long as you hit Adventurer Rank 35 and continue through the Archon Quests, you’ll meet her.
But there’s more to it than that. A Teapot to Call Home: Part I could be used as a succinct study to show how to introduce someone in a game with a large cast. The questline isn’t too long. It offers a reward that can make your overall experience a little better. It also features the new heroine as an integral part of the brief story. She’s the focus, and you happen to be there helping her do what she does best. There’s a legal dispute. Watch how one of Liyue’s best advisors handles it.
Yet it’s that execution that really hammers home how much this is all about Yanfei. Most Genshin Impact character-focused story, hangout, or supplemental quests follow certain patterns. You visit a few locations. You fight some enemies. You might even head into a brief domain to take on a challenge or boss. Then, you get your big reward.
With Yanfei’s introduction, there’s no fighting. Rather, you tag along on an investigation. You need a certain ingredient, Smaragdus Jadeite, for the Serenitea Pot. Certain people in Liyue had it, but it’s gone now. But also, was it really the right item all along? Will you actually be able to get the rare gem and use it for your own means? Yes, you know you will, since miHoYo already showed how to use the mechanic and other people have Serenitea Pots. But helping Yanfei investigate the situation, interrogate experts, collect evidence, meet with critical parties, and come to a conclusion offers a different sort of pattern. It breaks the rules we’re accustomed to in a delightful way.
With Yanfei’s first story-based appearance in Genshin Impact, we get to see her perfectly in-character. While we know she’s a fighter, one with appropriately themed attacks, she’s fighting in a different way here. We get to see her legal mind in action. She’s the one driving the story. The questline has the freedom to follow her as she goes about her ordinary job. It appears in a way that makes it always available and worth our while. All in all, it’s one of the better handled introductions to a character, and I wish more of the cast received that consideration.
Genshin Impact is available for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC, and mobile devices. It will also come to the Nintendo Switch. As Yanfei is a four-star, she will be permanently available via the gacha. However, there is an increased chance of acquiring her via the Gentry of Hermitage banner until May 18, 2021.