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|OT| Genshin Impact |OT| Legend of Gacha: The Whale Waker (free-to-play action RPG)

LegendOfKage

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Three things to get out of the way first:

1) You do not need to spend money to enjoy this game. In fact, here is a list of reasons why you shouldn't spend money on Genshin Impact.

2) When you first start wishing, only use the Beginners' banner for your first 20 wishes. If you don't do this, you're going to miss out on two free early character unlocks. More on this later.

3) The PC version of this game originally launched with the same invasive anti-cheat as Valorant. It ran from the moment you started your PC, couldn't be turned off, had admin privileges, didn't uninstall with the program, etc. At this point, most of that is no longer true. The anti-cheat now doesn't run if the game isn't on, and it does uninstall with the program, but it sounds like the admin privileges granted by the install itself have not changed. You may want to read up on the current situation before deciding if you want to install the game or not.





Who? miHoYo
What? Free to play single player action RPG / massive open world / optional 4 player co-op / light puzzle elements.
When? September 28th, 2020.
Where? PC, PS4, PS5, Android, iOS, and coming later for Switch.
Why? Over 100 hours of content, high production value, full voice acting throughout the campaign, fun combat, emphasis on exploration.
How? Gacha mechanics (loot boxes featuring characters, weapons, and artifacts). There's also a battle pass and login events.

Table of contents:

1.0 - Exactly what does the gameplay involve?
1.1 - Is this game worth playing at all if you don't plan to spend lots of money on microtransactions?
1.2 - Multiplayer and cross-save details.
1.3 - A spoiler free explanation of character unlocks.
1.4 - So what's the deal with the gacha system in this game?
1.5 - A quick guide to resource management (now in easy to browse format).
1.6 - Any other tips or suggestions?
1.7 - What's with the thread title?
1.8 - Reasons to never spend money in Genshin Impact.


1.0 - Exactly what does the gameplay involve?

Combat - You play as a team of four characters, each with elemental abilities. You can switch characters instantly, and only one character from the team is ever on screen at a given time. You fight using various elemental combinations. Each character has basic attacks, and two skills on cooldown timers, one short and one long. There is no lock-on function to target enemies, but there is a dodge function that also doubles as a run button. The main character has a sword, while others can be skilled in archery, magic, spears, etc.

Exploration - This is where Breath of the Wild comparisons are pretty accurate. You can climb most surfaces, you have a stamina bar, you have a glider for air travel, you can swim, you can place pins on your map to mark areas of importance, and the list goes on. There are hundreds of treasure chests to find, some in the open, some that require enemies to be defeated, and some that require light puzzle solving. In most chests you find items that can boost your character's XP. This, not combat, is the primary method of gaining XP.

Genshin Impact is a single player game, not an MMO. Multiplayer is completely optional, and supports up to four players.


1.1 - Is this game worth playing at all if you don't plan to spend lots of money on microtransactions?

What you can do for free without much / any grinding:
  • Fully explore both of the very large areas of the overworld currently in the game.
  • Unlock five characters, each with access to one of the five elemental abilities that you'll need to unlock every chest and solve every puzzle.
  • Enjoy the main story campaign and many various side quests.
  • Use given resources to level ONE character and their weapon considerably more than the rest of your team.

What you'll likely need to grind a bit for:
  • Continuing to level characters after the resources from the main campaign have been exhausted.
  • Reaching the level cap with any of your characters or their weapons.
  • Slowly gathering the resources to continue to use the Gacha system.

What money can buy get you:
  • $5 - Blessing of the moon - A small amount of Gacha roll currency each day you log in. You're paying money for a small login reward.
  • $10 - Battle Pass - Lots of extra resources and your choice of a weapon once you've reached level 30 of the battle pass.
  • Crazy whale money - You can spend $500.00 of real money, and that amount would still only guarantee one 5 star character, due to the pity system. More on the exact rates later, but you don't need 5 star characters to play this game effectively.

1.2 - Multiplayer and cross-save details:

Multiplayer is available after adventure level 16. Full cross-play support with all platforms. PlayStation isn't cross-save with other platforms, but online play does not require PS Plus. PlayStation accounts are tied to a PSN account, while PC and mobile are tied to miHoYo accounts. Only certain activities are available in multiplayer.


1.3 - A spoiler free explanation of character unlocks:
  • The traveler - A brother or sister who becomes your first character, selected at the beginning of the game.
  • Character 2 - Earned by playing the story.
  • Character 3 - Earned by playing the story.
  • Character 4 - Earned by playing the story.
  • Character 5 - Unlocked by using your first set of 10 fates on the Beginners' banner.
  • Random character 1 - Unlocked by using a second set of 10 fates on the Beginners' banner.
  • Character 6 - Earned by reaching adventure rank 18, and then completing a quest.
  • Character 7 - Earned by completing floor 3-3 of the Spiral Abyss arena.
  • Additional random characters - Unlocked by using the gacha "Wish" system.




1.4 - So what's the deal with the gacha system in this game?

When starting the game, only wish on the beginner banner, and only wish using sets of 10 wishes. Doing this twice will unlock at least two new characters. Using the standard banner or a promotional banner can result in getting weapons only, and those are much easier to obtain than characters, so don't do that. The Beginners' banner is strongly recommended.

Wishes - Unlocks characters and weapons. Wishes in Genshin Impact are essentially what most people think of as "lootboxes."

Fates - Used to buy wishes. There are two types of fates.

Acquaint fates - These are used to pull from the beginner banner or the standard banner.

Intertwined fates - These are used to pull from promotional banners, which always have a higher chance of granting the featured character or item.

Stardust - Earned by wishing after receiving any item. Can be used to buy fates, but this has a monthly limit.

Starglitter - Earned by wishing after receiving any four or five star character or weapon. Probably the hardest to earn currency in the game. Should generally only be spent on the weapons in the store, as everything else you can get in other ways. Can also be used to purchase four star characters directly, which usually isn't a good use of starglitter. Even for weapons, you'll want to do your research first and make you're you don't already have a better weapon for a given character before purchasing anything.

Your 10th wish on the Beginners' banner will unlock a specific character, and your 20th will unlock a random character. After that, consider yourself done with new characters for a while. You'll get a four star character here and there, but chances are very slim of getting a five star. Regardless, you can reach the end-game content with just your starting characters.

As far as I'm aware, you aren't guaranteed to unlock a specific five star character until your 180th wish on the promo banner, although 90 wishes does come with a 50 percent chance of the featured promo banner character and a 50 percent chance of a different five star. To buy that number of wishes with real money, you're looking at nearly $450 for a single guaranteed character.

For each single wish, the standard base probability of earning a 5 star character or weapon is 0.6%. The base probability of earning a 4 star character or weapon is 5.1%.


If the information I've been able to find is accurate, To definitely unlock all the content in just the launch version of the game with actual money, you would be looking at spending over $20,000.

Also keep in mind that once you reach the end-game content, the game could eventually start pushing you towards unlocking more powerful characters. My suggestion is to be aware of this, and be ready to walk away happy with the loads of free gameplay that you already experienced. If you are having fun and everything feels fair and rewarding, maybe consider picking up some reasonably priced cosmetics instead, if those ever come to the game.




1.5 - A quick guide to resource management (now in easy to browse format):

If you want to wish for characters, never use your primogems on anything but wishing, and be sure to do your daily quests. You'll be getting 60 guaranteed primogems per day, and they add up.

You should probably spend in-game currency (primogems, stardust) on Intertwined fates over Acquaint fates. Intertwined fates are used to pull from promotional banners, which have better odds of the featured characters than the standard banner. The standard banner doesn't have an increased chance of any particular characters or weapons, no matter who is pictured on the banner.

Pickup everything after opening a chest. Pickup everything else as well. Take every resource. Flowers are pretty, but they're also useful. If you don't need it now, that probably means you'll need it later.

Killing enemies is best for the resources they drop, but you don't gain much XP that way. You will mainly level your character with XP boosts you find in chests. The drops from monsters will be needed to ascend your characters.

Don't use character XP boosts on all of your characters. It's best to concentrate on leveling one or two characters. Resources for leveling will eventually be very limited, although it might not seem so at first. Most of the XP in this game comes from chests, and there are only so many in the world, even if many do respawn over time. Ideally, you'll want to level one or two damage dealers with elements and skills that complement each other nicely.

Level any character you want to 20, level two or three characters to 40, and really start thinking about the exact team you want to build after that. 20 or 40 requires barely any XP when compared to the later levels, although you don't want to level everyone to 40 either. There's no need to worry in the early game, though.

Unless you can't help it, you usually shouldn't put resources into weapons below weapon level level 4 or 5. And you should never put resources into artifacts below level 3 or 4. When you eventually find something better, you do have the option of using your current weapon to enhance that new four or five star item you just found, but you'll lose 10 or 15 percent of all the XP you put into your old weapon or artifact.

In the early game, save mining resources for forging 4 star weapons. At least at first, White Iron Chunk and Crystal Chunk should not be used for making enhancement ores. Save them all for good weapons later. Speaking of mining, using a great sword makes things much easier. You can get one when you get Noelle from the beginner banner. You can also find standard swords that are good at breaking rocks. Later in the game, you'll use those resources mostly for leveling weapons instead.

Don't neglect your talent books
, once you can access the domains required to earn them. These make your various skills more effective, and do more damage.

Don't sit on full Resin. It's the "energy" of this game, and you use it for various events, such dungeons, bosses, and collecting rewards. It regenerates over time. Think of it like sitting on the Glimmer cap in Destiny and not being able to earn more money. Don't do that.


1.6 - Any other tips or suggestions?

Wait until you have four characters before you explore the world. A lot of activities will be inaccessible if you explore too early.

When you do explore the world, don't forget to use your map pins. You should pin areas where you find important resources, or areas that you can't access yet.

For the most part, only the character that triggers an elemental combination is the one responsible for the real damage. For example, a level 10 character who uses a cryo blast followed by a level 40 character who triggers it with electro will do far more damage than the reverse. Because of this, you don't really need to level characters very much that you intend to primarily use for elemental combos.

If you get a new character early enough, go back to the early areas of the game and try them there. If you enjoy using them, put them in your current party as an alternate. As long as they're in your four character party, they will slowly gain XP as you complete story missions and side quests.

Adventure rank matters. It unlocks new questlines and new game features. It also eventually increases the difficulty of the overworld monsters and the quality of their loot drops. If you don't feel ready for more difficult enemies, you can decide not to complete certain ascension missions that you gain access to at levels 25, 35, 45, etc.

Use the Statue's Blessing to heal your characters in the overworld. It regenerates over time. Never eat food in the overworld. Save that for dungeons. Statues can also revive characters that have been defeated.

Looking to increase your stamina? There are two different types of blue floating things in this game. One is a little ghostly thing that you follow to a treasure, and the other is usually found high up in various hard to reach spots. You're looking for the second one. As you find them, you can offer them up to the statues of the seven for a lot of adventure rank XP and increases in stamina. They're called "amenoculus." They also appear as "stars" on your mini map. If you you run into one that you can't reach, mark the location on map so you can return later.

If you're not going to be playing the game for a while, be sure to send some of your characters on an expedition while you're away. The ability to do this unlocked for me at Adventure Rank 14.

Much like Breath of the Wild, you have the option of jumping to climb faster, but you will also not be able to climb as high before you run out of stamina.

You can fall from any height and avoid fall damage by doing a slam attack towards the end of your fall.


1.7 - What's with the thread title?

That's a wind waker reference, but wind waker wasn't really about waking a whale while links awaking was. Either way, it's a Zelda pun.

A whale is a term used by the developers of free-to-play games to describe someone who spends thousands of dollars on their game.
 
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LegendOfKage

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1.8 - Reasons to never spend money in Genshin Impact:


Reason 1 - Wishes are way overpriced


For every 10 wishes on the promotional character banner you will get one of the following:
  • A new four star character.
  • A duplicate character that essentially makes that character more powerful.
  • A new four star weapon.
  • A duplicate weapon that can be use on a different character, or fused into the same weapon to increase its power.

Now some numbers, with currency in US dollars:

Number of primogems for a single wish = 160.
Number for a 10 pull of wishes = 1600. Math!
Cost of 980 primogems, which isn't even enough for a 10 pull = $14.99.
Cost of 1980 primogems, which of course still isn't enough to do two 10 pulls = $29.99.
The real cost for a single 10 pull = $26.67

But again, you can't even purchase the amount of gems required for a single ten pull in the game without paying more money for more gems than you need. So you're paying half the price of a brand new $60 dollar retail game for a single ten pull.
For 15 ten pulls, you're looking at $400.

And remember, each ten pull MIGHT result in a 4 star character, or it might result in a 4 star weapon, and each of those 10 wishes has a 0.6 percent chance to result in a five star. Once you've done some pulls with the money you earn in-game, you'll understand just how overpriced this is, which brings us to the second reason you shouldn't spend money in Genshin Impact.


Reason 2 - Wishes can be earned in-game.

Number of primogems that you can earn each day by doing 4 daily commissions that will take about 15 minutes = 60.
Cost of 60 primogems, which is the same amount you can make for playing the game for 15 minutes each day = $0.99
The amount of currency that a month of playing for 15 minutes a day can earn you = 1800 primogems.

So essentially, you can "make" $29.70 in real fake money, just by playing the game for 15 minutes a day over the course of a month. And that doesn't even go into all the ways you can earn primogems outside of those 15 minutes.

After playing about a month, I had over 10,000 primogems, many of which were earned through achievements or quests that can only be done once. But each new area of the game that gets added will have additional methods to earn primogems. You'll still earn pulls, but it will take a little longer.


Reason 3 - You don't need five stars.

Most of the hardest optional content in the game has already been cleared using just the specific characters that the game gives every player. Story progress is not gated behind acquiring rare characters. Five star characters do have a higher base damage, but a few duplicates of a four star character can quickly make up for that very slight loss of DPS.

This constellation system that increases power with each duplicate character serves two purposes. It allows four star characters (especially those on the current character banner) to quickly become as powerful as the base versions of their five star counterparts. On the other hand, for the big spending "pay to win" crowd, it means that getting that crazy rare 0.6 percent chance five star drop is only the beginning, and they need to get that same five star character to drop six more times in order to fully "max out" that character's abilities.

But again, NONE of this is necessary. All story content is perfectly playable with even the base versions of any four star character in the game. The real power gains in Genshin Impact are made though gaining experience, leveling your weapons, acquiring artifacts, and upgrading your skills, all of which can be earned simply by playing the game.


Reason 4 - Because there really aren't bad characters in this game.

If you think of an old movie you'd really like to see, and then look to see if it's currently available on your favorite video streaming service, chances are you're going to be disappointed. But if you go looking for a random movie you might like, you'll likely be much happier. Likewise, if you go into the game hoping to unlock one or two specific characters (especially if they're not four star characters on the current promotional banner), then you're probably going to be disappointed. But if you pull characters and then go looking for guides on how to build them, you're going to be happy. There aren't bad characters in this game. Even the one character that constantly appears at the bottom of tier lists, Amber, can still do all sorts of damage when she's properly built.


Reason 5 - Because progress feels more meaningful and rewarding when you're earning it through gameplay.




Reason 6 - Because leveling new characters requires more resources.

That's not to say you shouldn't spend your primogems on wishes as you get them, but gambling for new characters when you're not going to have the resources to build them is just working against your own interests. Instead, devote those resources into one main damage dealer and a primary support. When you hit the late-game level cap, that will be the time to think about building more characters. And by that time, you'll likely have unlocked several more for free.


Reason 7 - Because developers can change anything at anytime.

Keep in mind, all characters are subject to change. Like any game, character and weapon balance can be changed by the developers, drop rates can be altered, and the amount of currency or resources given can be adjusted. Anything can change. You could spend well over $400 for a character, only to see that character nerfed, or for even more powerful characters to be released later.


Reason 8 - The developers don't need your money.

Genshin Impact made its development budget back in the first two weeks. It's a massive success and is supported already by a highly predatory Gacha system. Even if you like the game, you don't have to reward the developers with monetary support.


Reason 9 - One of the best things about the game is that it's FREE.

Paying for a free game kind of defeats the point of one of the best things about the game.


Reason 10 - There are better ways of spending money in the game.

If you do want to spend a little bit of money, there's much more value in getting the Battle Pass for $10 or the Blessing of the Moon for $5. The battle pass gets you more resources and a nice weapon unlock, and the blessing gets you 90 extra primogems every day you log in for a month. This can add up to 2700 primogems if you log in each day.
That's 16 wishes, which isn't a lot, but it helps. It's also nearly the same amount of wishes you'd get from buying $29.99 worth of primogem currency.








Where to find character assertion materials:



Thanks to Pejo Pejo for sharing this helpful image.
 
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John Day

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Wow they truly went gacha on a console 🤣🤣🤣

Game looks beautiful,i will have my fun for free for a while, i loved Honshin Impact on IOs.
 

LegendOfKage

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I know there is no cross save with PS4, but can we use the same account for PS4 and PC? Thinking I'd rather play this on PS4 if there is some hope for cross saves in the future.

Sorry to say it, but no. PlayStation accounts are tied to a PSN account, while PC and mobile are tied to miHoYo accounts. I'll add that to the OP.
 
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mcz117chief

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I think you got the release date wrong, on my console it says it unlocks in 4 hours. Or is it different in other regions? I am from Eastern Europe.
 

Fake

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So, where I look for the begginer thing? In my account or when I boot the game?
edit: OK, reading now. Sry. Very confusing.
 
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LegendOfKage

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So, where I look for the begginer thing? In my account or when I boot the game?

I never played any of the betas, but I'm pretty sure it's just in the menus. Much like loot boxes in any other game, they don't want to make it hard for you to access the thing that can give them money. It's not something you can miss at the beginning of the game, but whenever you do decide to use the fates the game is giving you, you'll just want to use sets of 10 on the Beginners' banner twice.
 

McCheese

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Sorry to say it, but no. PlayStation accounts are tied to a PSN account, while PC and mobile are tied to miHoYo accounts. I'll add that to the OP.

Cheers, man that is frustrating. I suspect the switch version will have cross save support (Hades allows it on Switch/PC) which is leaning me towards android/PC now instead.

It's odd as stuff like Fortnite worked around Sony's usual restrictions, can play my character anywhere.

All patched up and ready to go on both!
 

LegendOfKage

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I think you got the release date wrong, on my console it says it unlocks in 4 hours. Or is it different in other regions? I am from Eastern Europe.

I just copy / pasted the official times from the pre-load thread. I'm pretty sure the pre-load should be going live on console in a few hours, while the game itself will be playable late tonight.
 
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i played the beta. love it. the elemental system is awesome. but the gacha sucks. stay cool and patient. in beta, i got hundreds of free wishes but was only able to pull two 5 stars characters and two 5 star weapons. Consider yourself lucky if you get one 5 star. don't overspend.
 

Fake

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I never played any of the betas, but I'm pretty sure it's just in the menus. Much like loot boxes in any other game, they don't want to make it hard for you to access the thing that can give them money. It's not something you can miss at the beginning of the game, but whenever you do decide to use the fates the game is giving you, you'll just want to use sets of 10 on the Beginners' banner twice.
Ok. I played the BETA, so I'll look into this tomorrow.
 

CrysisFreak

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Launch time is same for everyone it seems, just little over 2 hours till release though.
Alright thanks mate will try it out as soon as it goes live.
They better deliver after all the hype. Hopefully one of the women is as hot as my avatar tbh.
 

LegendOfKage

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Is the 10$ preorder on PSN already playable or do preorders not get to play early?

I think it was just for an early pre-load. Either way, the full game is out in about 12 hours from now, so I would save your $10. If you really want to spend money on this game, you can just get the battle pass for the same amount.
 

DESTROYA

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Any step by step guide on getting rid of the invasive anti-cheat garbage on the PC?
Not that I want to cheat but I don’t want this shit running all the time in the background for no reason.
 

mcz117chief

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Almost there, boys

edit: well this was a dud, it only lets you start the game and then it tells you the servers are in maintenance mode. You can look at the gorgeous menu though and listen to some nice music.
 
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mcz117chief

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Base PS4. Runs poorly as usual, but I can dream about a consistent locked 30 fps. If not at launch maybe before a feel patches.
Here's hoping it runs a bit better on the pro, but, since I am an old school gamer, I can survive practically any amount of FPS. I didn't even mind the slide show that is Drakengard 3.
 

Fake

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Here's hoping it runs a bit better on the pro, but, since I am an old school gamer, I can survive practically any amount of FPS. I didn't even mind the slide show that is Drakengard 3.

Was the PRO others graphic options? I remember playing the BETA and the base PS4 have a graphical option to disable v-sync.
 

DESTROYA

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Good question. Unfortunately, not that I'm aware of just yet.
That’s pretty messed up and now sort of second guessing downloading it for my PC , speaking of downloading this has been taking forever and I have pretty good internet service. Must be crazy busy because it’s been downloading for over 6+hours and it’s at only 90%.
Would I have to run the program after it downloads to activate the anti cheat virus or should I not take the chance and just uninstall/get rid of the game all together?
 
Dec 14, 2008
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I mean it's more like Breath of the Wild than The Wind Waker but I get the reference.

I'm ready for The Legend of China: Breath of the Waifu. I'm preloaded on my PC and my iPad LET'S GO LET'S FUCKING GO
 
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Dec 14, 2008
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Wow they truly went gacha on a console 🤣🤣🤣

Fortnite, Call of Duty, and FIFA are 3 of the biggest names in console gaming and they all have random loot boxes. The biggest difference between Western loot boxes and Asian gacha is that most of the time, the loot boxes contain just cosmetics but the gacha contains actual gameplay defining power level increases. Well, and waifus or husbandos, that's a given in the East when it comes to gaming. But there's nothing inherently foreign about the concept of gacha these days, Western studios completely embraced the idea long ago.
 

John Day

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Fortnite, Call of Duty, and FIFA are 3 of the biggest names in console gaming and they all have random loot boxes. The biggest difference between Western loot boxes and Asian gacha is that most of the time, the loot boxes contain just cosmetics but the gacha contains actual gameplay defining power level increases. Well, and waifus or husbandos, that's a given in the East when it comes to gaming. But there's nothing inherently foreign about the concept of gacha these days, Western studios completely embraced the idea long ago.

It was in jest, i meant to say i never expected a game from miHoYo on consoles, as beautiful as they are.
 

Revolutionary

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Pretty sure the servers go live later tonight. Not sure why PS4 is unlocking earlier

Edit: Yeah, their official Discord has a countdown. Says 10 hours left.
 
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